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Alison Dietterle Smith

Continuing Lecturers in Dance


I am a movement educator, dancer, and lecturer in the Theatre and Dance Department at the University of California, San Diego, where I have been teaching since 2003. I hold a BA in Biological Anthropology from UCSD, a MFA in Dance from UCI, and am a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner®. My multiple roles as an artist, teacher, wife, mother, and avid surfer, inform my passion and zealous research in all movement. My teaching and artistic work is influenced by a merging of my early conservatory classical ballet training at the San Francisco and Pacific Northwest Ballet schools, modern and contemporary dance techniques, and my ongoing movement investigations in somatics, and embodied presence. My current research focuses on how dance functions as a way to deeply connect and re-kindle our lost reciprocity with the with the natural world around us; and how the reverberating capacity of movement rituals, and ceremony can re-weave us into a state of remembering.
I began dancing in the fog and forests of the Central Oregon Coast with Nancy Mittleman-Merkens and have had the pleasure of a life full of movement. My dancing path has been illuminated by my experiences with The Eugene Ballet Company, Ballet Pacifica, Stephanie Gilliand, eight years working with Jean Isaacs and San Diego Dance Theatre, Margaret Marshall, Christopher Pilafian, Joe Goode, Kim Epifano, Lisa Naugle, Donald McKayle, Risa Steinberg and the work of Jose Límon, Yolande Snaith, Allyson Green, Joe Alter, John Malashock, Anna Halprin, Shiva Rea, and the amazing faculty, guest artists, and students that pass through the studios of the dance building at UCSD. 
My choreography has been presented at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, San Diego State University, Palomar College, Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater’s site-specific Trolley Dances, The City of Carlsbad, The Light Box, The 10th Ave. Theater, Sushi Performance and Visual Arts, The Electric Lodge in Venice, Dance Camera West Festival (Los Angeles); Colorado College Dance Festival (CO); Frederick Lowe Theater (NYU); Constanta Opera House (Romania); and CECUT (Mexico).


BA in Anthropology, University of California, San Diego

MFA in Dance, University of California, Irvine

Certified Feldenkrais Method Practitioner 

Research Areas

Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Embodiment, Eco-somatics. 


Wagner Dance Building