LYNN NEEDLE/RYT/500 – Founder/Artistic Director - Art of Motion, Inc. /Art of Motion Dance Theatre Lynn Lesniak Needle/RYT/500, TEDMED performer, and internationally recognized speaker, choreographer and performer earned her Bachelor of Arts in Dance Cum Laude from Connecticut College where she was the recipient of the ACDFA Dance Magazine National Award for choreography.
Her yoga teaching embraces multi-disciplinary yoga fusing principles of Iyengar, Ashtanga, Anusara, Vinyasa, Partner Yoga and Pilates. Her expert understanding of anatomy and the body as an instrument helps to inform her classes. Lynn has hosted and taught a Yoga Retreat in Montego Bay, Jamaica and a Creativity Retreat exploring Modern Dance and Yoga on Parker Pond at Bearnstow in the backwoods of Maine. She enjoys helping students recover from injuries and overcome obstacles whether they be emotional, psychological or physical. She teaches on and off the mat and encourages each student to reach their potential. She is grateful to her teachers, BKS Iyengar, Kim Peralta, Raji Thron, James Murphy, Mary Dunn, Kent Lindemer, Colleen Fontes and Jay Bolsom for their influence.
Her work COOL WAVE, featured in Dance Magazine was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington, and hailed as "a flash of what is happening now-Lesniak has a great theatrical sense-the choreographer is in touch with the times in which we live." Lynn is a former soloist with the Nikolais Dance Theatre where she toured internationally, traveling to six out of seven continents and more than 40 United States.
She has been influenced by many, including Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Luigi, Ann Reinking, and BKS Iyengar, but studied intensely with her mentors Alwin Nikolais and Murray Louis at the Nikolais/Louis Dance Lab in New York City. Nik created seminal works on Lynn during her tenure with the company and she began teaching and assisting Hanya Holm. While on tour she was later asked to direct the Nikolais and Louis Dance Lab, a professional studio school of dance in Soho where she arranged for dancers from around the world to study, choreograph, and perform. During this time, Lynn pioneered classes in Pilates-based exercises, training with thera-bands, trampolines, and fitness balls. Her students included many dancers who have gone on to perform with professional companies and tour throughout the world.
Over the years, Lynn has been featured in the PBS documentary Nik and Murray, been photographed by Lois Greenfield, and Tom Caravaglia and has enjoyed collaborating with lighting and costume designers, composers, yogis and poets. She has choreographed hundreds of works including for MTV, corporate videos for Verizon, and premiered her work at the Colima Festival in Mexico, Dance in the Desert Festival in Las Vegas, Global TEDMED at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Boston Conservatory, Westbeth Theater Center, JOYCE SOHO, The Hatch, American Dance Guild, DNA, MMAC, 92nd Street Y, as well as NYU, Hunter College, Rutgers University, Montclair State University, Ramapo College, Rider University, Bergen Community College, Connecticut College and for local community theatre groups. In many of these venues Lynn has choreographed and set vast repertory on the Art of Motion Dance Theatre, a company established after she founded the non-profit studio, Art of Motion, Inc. with Olivia Galgano, her Artistic Associate who hails from Ballet Russe.
Lynn has also worked as an artist in residence in the public schools as a staff developer, and is currently an adjunct Professor of Modern Dance at Bergen Community College. She has dedicated her life to preserving the Nikolais legacy, teaching modern dance, yoga and Pilates and training future generations of professional dancers. Her most recent collaborations with performance artist, costume designer and Ashtangi yogi, Annie Hickman, composers Dr. Dinu Ghezzo and John T. LaBarbera, and former Pilobolus Principal Dancer, Kent Lindemer have led to the creation of new work exploring body mechanics, the physics of partnering, sculptural shape and complex relationships.