Susan Hefner trained intensively with renowned neuromuscular trainer Irene Dowd for 15 years, and was Irene’s teaching assistant for 10 years. She taught Anatomy and Kinesiology in the Dance Program at Hunter College for 10 years, and Maintenance of the Dancer’s Instrument in the Arnhold Dance Education Program for 3 years. She maintains a private practice in neuromuscular training. She has also taught at Movement Research, the Limon Institute, Long Island University, West Side Dance Physical Therapy, Sal Anthony’s Movement Salon, Groundfloor Pilates, Yoga Union, L’Escuela Nacional de Danza in Mexico, and the International Summer School of Dance in Tokyo.

Neuromuscular Training

Neuromuscular training is a process of education designed to achieve an efficient, pain-free use of one’s body in relation to the demands of one’s dancing and/or everyday life. Patterns caused by compensation to injury, poor alignment, muscle imbalance and the repetitive motions of one’s work habits are identified and new movement patterns are introduced as recuperative activities. Individual sessions are scheduled by appointment at Susan’s studio at 119 West 23rd Street in Manhattan. For more information see www.susanhefnertraining.com or email Susan.

Anatomy and Kinesiology

Susan teaches anatomy and kinesiology of the muscular-skeletal system. An active, experiential approach using movement, muscle testing in partners, drawing, and discussion enlivens the lecture material. Besides college-level courses, she also designs and teaches shorter workshops on a variety of specific anatomy topics for dancers, educators and movement professionals.


“Spirals” is a unique warm-up choreography by Irene Dowd, for stretching and strengthening every major muscle group of the body in tandem. “Spirals” begins on the floor and gradually progresses to spiraling through space for maximum mobilization of joints and enhanced range of motion.

Authentic Movement

In a process developed by Mary Stark Whitehouse, students learn to access their own unconscious movement material with the help of a non-judgmental witness. In an era where superficiality takes precedence, the process of listening to the movement stories of our bodies encourages us to know our true selves, bring this awareness to our artwork, and heal ourselves through letting the unexpressed be expressed.