Cathy Nicoli

Cathy Nicoli dances
Cathy NicoliProfessor of Dance and Performance Studies

Contact Information

cnicoli@rwu.eduPerforming Arts Annex

Areas of Expertise

Contemporary Dance Technique, Pedagogy, Choreography and Production

Cathy Nicoli,Cathy Nicoli dancingProfessor of Dance / Performance Studies, directs RWU's dance program, and its Dancing in London semester abroad. At RWU she has been nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award several times and has also been voted Outstanding Woman on Campus.  She is a Certified Movement Analyst and Bartenieff Fundamentals Practitioner, and earned her MFA on a full teaching fellowship from Smith College. 

Cathy has received 2 RI State Council for the Arts Choreography Fellowships and a RI Foundation Teaching Artist Scholarship. Her choreography has been featured in a variety of venues – from London’s National Theatre, to Stolkholm’s Ballet Academy, from a Ben Folds Five music video in the desert, to under a grand piano in the woods of Maine. Her screendance credits include Chris Lewis Smith’s (UK) To Be Watched While Eating an Orange, which received the Jury’s Selection Award at the 2018 Courant 3D Film Festival (FR), and the Best Experimental Dance Award at the 2020 Soundance Film Festival, Barcelona (ESP) & Resistencia (AR).

Cathy Nicoli teachingCathy taught at Keene State College and the 5 College Dance Department for several years. Hampshire College, which made a profound and early mark on her teaching career, philosophy, and practice, awarded her their Project Pericles Civic Engagement Course Development Award based on the social impact and civic engagement of her course Moving Memoirs: Composing Yourself with Choreography.  

Cathy’s interests in developmental movement, sustainability, and multi-generational creative communities led her to teach a Parkinson’s movement collective at Cheshire Medical Center (NH), and to directing a children’s day camp at Bearnstow, an arts and nature retreat dedicated to the preservation and appreciation of nature (ME).  She dedicates much of the lessons she learned in this beautiful setting to founder Ruth Grauert and teacher Bebe Miller.

Cathy Nicoli dancingRecently, Cathy co-wrote Taking a STAND: Creating Community with Dance Against Domestic Violence with Dr. Candice Salyers (USM), published in the journal The Dancer - Citizen, May of 2022. Having experienced first-hand the positive influence dance can have on individuals, families, and communities; Cathy aims to train adaptable, healthy, and distinct dancers – while also bridging dance to social justice and equity initiatives, and to professions that contribute to the overall health and wellbeing of not only the dancers themselves but their families and communities.