Photo by Adam Emperor Southard
Photo by Adam Emperor Southard


I am Heather Vaughan-Southard. I am a Movement Designer.

Our bodies contain our experiences. When we move and make, we process our experiences to create meaning. These are pathways to transformation which lead to a life of quality. I help people connect with themselves, others, and to global ideas and communities. I assist people who want to feel safe and empowered in their physicality. In doing so, I encourage them to also maintain a creative practice. Hence, HVS Movement Studies.

Art and Science drive my work. Each class, course, workshop, and presentation I design takes the participant from function to articulation to meaning to expression.

HVS Movement Studies represents the work I do with individuals, groups,  organizations, and sometimes audiences. At times, this involves a full-bodied experience, and sometimes it is isn’t. I offer individual and small groups sessions in person or virtually connected, as well as large group experiential workshops and teacher training.

My training has come in the fields of dance, education, pilates, and somatics. My life experiences and research have shaped how I web ideas together to create a safety net for my clients and the teachers I train. The movement and making we create for ourselves shifts how we show up in the world, which ripples into our communities. Movement, specifically dance, has been the first chapter of my career. Making has been a staple of my upbringing and a creative practice which has shaped my perspective of a life of quality.

My clients include:

  • people looking to find a new normal in physical capacity and social-emotional wellness,
  • educators of movement or other subjects looking to improve the depth and experience of their students,
  • professionals of many fields wanting to use movement as a source of inquiry and research,
  • creatives who live beyond boundaries.

My credentials include:

  • Director of Professional Learning for the Michigan Arts Education, Instruction, and Assessment project (MAEIA)
  • National Presenter in the fields of Dance Education, Pedagogy, Education, Somatics
  • Directing K-12 Dance programs in urban and suburban districts
  • Directing and Teaching in Dance Programs in Higher Education
  • MFA and BFA degrees in Dance Performance and Choreography
  • Professional Performance and Choreography credits: Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, Michigan
  • Comprehensive pilates training through the McEntire School
  • Board Member of the Michigan Dance Council

I subscribe to inclusive and compassionate philosophies, which means I :

  • create a welcoming environment for all bodies and abilities,
  • promote health at every size,
  • encourage the teachers I train to be themselves, in their own movement vocabulary and not imitations of my work.

Join me.








Please do not use my words or my pictures without my written permission. As for the ideas, feel free to borrow and adapt. I simply request that you give me appropriate credit for what is truly my own and let me know how things go. Join me in conversation.


4 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Heather, I took a workshop of yours through Happendance 1-2 years ago in the summer and enjoyed it. I was doing workshops for Dance Lansing and choreographing at the time while visiting the Lansing area for the summer. I’m a licensed therapist, dancer. yoga teacher and educator. I’m currently based in Korea with the public school providing fresh ideas while working on choreography and workshops on the side. It seems we have a lot in common and would love to co-inspire, share or collabarate sometime.

  2. Heather,
    I am a teacher in Indiana. I am wondering what the job market is in this field of a dance traveler. The public school districts in my area have limited jobs for General Education teachers. There are numerous jobs for special ed, Math and Science trachers. I wouldn’t expect there to be too many jobs for dance teachers.
    Thank u in advance for replying!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I am curious about what you mean when you say Dance traveler? In terms of Dance educators teaching in public schools, this really varies based on state and population. I would say there are more Dance education jobs in areas considered to be urban, where magnet schools tend to have a larger presence. States like New Jersey and Arizona have more Dance educators than many other states.

      If you have any other questions, or more specific information, please let me know!

      Thanks for reading and reaching out!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s