Rachel Oliver Young

Rachel Oliver Young has been creating dance works across the country since 2008. Her choreography is project based, interdisciplinary dance that fuses contemporary modern dance, theater, and film. 

Choreographic work has been presented in women’s prisons, public schools, outside spaces, multi-media performance spaces, and traditional theaters. Physically charged phrase work and highly stylized gesture combine to tease out persona based on biography, and to promote reflection and commentary on personal concepts and experiences. 

Rachel’s choreographic work has been presented nationally and internationally, including being commissioned by Centennial State Ballet (formerly Longmont Dance Theatre), Bare Bait Dance, Trillium Performing Arts Collective, and West Virginia Dance Company, selected for performance at WestFest Dance in Manhattan and Performática in San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, México, and presented at the University of Iowa, University of Colorado at Boulder, WV Wesleyan University, Pocahontas Opera HouseWVU Techthe ATLAS Institute, five myles gallery, the Philly Live Arts & Fringe, the Jack, Triskelion Arts and Dixon Place.  Rachel co-creates and collaborates on interdisciplinary performances with Brooklyn based lonely collective and with Art Codex Ltd.


About Rachel

Rachel Oliver Young is a performing artist, choreographer, teaching artist, mountain woman from Montana, and a bit of a crazy cat lady, based in Denver, CO. She holds an MFA in Dance, as an Arts and Sciences Fellow at CU-Boulder, and a BS in Dance and Biochemistry from Beloit College, having graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Rachel has performed professionally with Avodah Dance (New York), Ballet Afsaneh (San Francisco), Carli Mareneck (West Virginia), Dance Theatre/Shannon (San Francisco), Double Vision (San Francisco), ecnDanceworks (Chicago, now The Moving Architects in NY), Gesel Mason (New York),  Presidio Dance Theatre (San Francisco), Shandoah Goldman/Carte Blanche Performance (New York),Shaun Irons & Lauren Petty (New York), Tough Cookie (Brooklyn), You & Me Performance Project (Denver), and the West Virginia Dance Company, touring the Mid-Atlantic Region for three years under the direction of Toneta Akers-Toler and Donald Laney, performing work by Gerri Houlihan, Doug Varone, and others.   Rachel currently dances for Denver based choreographers Kate Speer, Tara Rynders, and Mary Lynn Lewark.

As a dance maker, Rachel has created work for women’s prisons, public schools, outside spaces, multi-media performance spaces, and traditional theaters. Rachel is an interdisciplinary choreographer focusing on collaboration in order to bring her interest of personal interactions and experiences alive.   By exploring autobiographical stories of the artists, Rachel teases out facets of each experience to shape a persona based on biography, in order to promote reflection and commentary. These personas and relationships are explored through task-oriented, full-bodied, articulate movements accompanied by clear, intriguing gestures. 

Rachel has taught dance courses and as a guest artist at public schools, dance studios, community centers and universities including University of Colorado Boulder, Longmont Dance Theatre, Presidio Dance Academy, Radford University, Performática, and Pikes Peak Community College. Through teaching Dance & Popular Culture at CU-Boulder, Rachel was nominated by the Theatre & Dance department and awarded the Graduate Part-Time Instructor Teaching Excellence Award by The Graduate School at CU-Boulder. Rachel is currently an adjunct instructor for the Continuing Education Department at CU-Boulder, a dance educator for the Colorado Ballet Education Program, and the Education Director of the DSA Classical Contemporary Pre-Professional Dance Program at Denver School of the Arts.