Debra Lacey is an artist who brings decades of Dance experience as a teacher, performer, and choreographer to her
Throughout her life she has maintained a multidisciplinary approach to her vision of movement, studying and finding commonality in disparate fields such as art, spirituality, science, and academia to enhance and deepen her understanding. Her influences inform the expression of her art, where she seeks to incorporate image on film, through photography and live performance. Debra's passion for truth in art fuels not only her own inquiry, but also her wish to pass on what she has learned. She finds great satisfaction in guiding her students to build and cultivate their own deep relationship to movement and Dance.
Debra's first awakening to new possibilities in Dance came when as a young women when her mother took her to see the Martha Graham Company perform in her home town of Pittsburgh. The depth and power of the emotion she recognized in Graham's choreography was a revelation for her and inevitably drew her to seek out the Graham school when in New York. While training there, Debra immersed herself in the Graham vocabulary and internalized the commitment to truth in movement that Graham embodied. This became an early marker in her journey through Dance.
Though Debra has gravitated towards the versatility of expression inherent in Modern Dance, she has also recognized the artistry intrinsic in the Ballet discipline. She saw that the undeniable precision of Ballet could lead to the fulfillment of the beauty of the body's lines, and also foster the freedom of movement that would allow for unhindered expression. She maintained a strong commitment to hone and refine these qualities in herself. After relocating to Las Vegas, Debra taught Modern classes at the Nevada Ballet Theater Academy, and created their Modern Dance program, before moving to the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater and serving as the Associate Artistic Director.
All the while, she trained with a teacher who had studied at the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet in St. Petersburg, Russia, and had graduated from the Russia Academy of Theater Arts in Moscow as a teacher and choreographer. The ballet training layered over her efforts in Modern furthered her awareness of the body and her relationship to movement.
Departing from traditional teaching approaches, Debra's latest work, and most invigorating, is her studies in somatic practice, Laban Movement Analysis, and Bartenieff Fundamentals, conducted as part of her MFA at Saint Mary's College in CA. Her practice of somatics explorations has revealed and bolstered an unfiltered, instinctive voice that cuts through the pressures and divisions found in social culture, and articulates absolutes and personal truths that lay the groundwork for her to communicate her ideas/art. Laban Movement Analysis and Bartenieff Fundamentals are comprehensive systems that approach the teaching and execution of movement from both a physiological and psychological point of view, and they provide tools that she finds expands and enlivens the conversation between the mover(s) and the observer(s). These elements, working hand-in-hand, have provided the narrative element to reorganize and compose her years of demanding technical training into a new movement vocabulary.