Elisabeth Motley

Assistant Professor of Dance
  • Nick Benson Photography, 2014

Elisabeth Motley M.F.A./ Motley Dance has been presenting and performing her own work both nationally and internationally since 2004, and has received grants from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. She was a finalist at the A.W.A.R.D. show, Joyce SoHo, and has been awarded the Hector Zaraspe Choreography Award. Motley has presented performance events at Movement Research, The Chocolate Factory Theater, Dance Conversations at the Flea, HERE Arts Center, The Whitney Museum, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Sitelines and Swing Space, Springboard Danse Montreal, Dance Theater Workshop’s (now NYLA) Fresh Track’s, the Joyce SoHo, Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Causey Contemporary Gallery, Center for Performance Research, Dance New Amsterdam’s RAW Materials, RAW Directions and Object Series, Rooftop Dance, Stella Adler Studio of Acting’s MAD AIR, Wave Rising Series, WAXworks, West End Theater, the Virginia High School Dance Festival, and Mascher Co-op in Philadelphia. Motley has performed and created work for Lecce, Italy’s 1st and 2nd International Dance Festival, Oltre Passo.

Motley has been on faculty at the Juilliard School Summer Dance Intensive for four years, and has been commissioned twice by the school to create works. She has been a Guest Artist at Snow College in Utah; Bowdoin College in Maine; SUNY Purchase College, and Lafayette College in PA. She has been an Adjunct Professor of Dance at Manhattanville College, and Improvisation Faculty for the Certificate Program at Peridance Center. Motley has taught at Gibney Dance; Dance New Amsterdam; The Playground; Peridance Capezio Center and Centro Dimensione Danza in Italy. 

Elisabeth has been an Artist in Residence with Chez Bushwick, Center for Performance Research, Dance Theater Workshop, Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. From 2011-2013 Motley collaborated on a series of structured improvisations with Trisha Brown. She has performed professionally for Sue Bernhard, Charlotte Griffin, and Randy James and has served as Asst. Director to Chinese Opera Director Shi-Zheng Chen. Motley is a Certified Pilates Mat and Apparatus Instructor and has been teaching Pilates and exercise privately since 2005, working primarily with an aging population with neurological conditions.


Assistant Professor of Dance







B.F.A.,  the Juilliard School

M.F.A. Interdisciplinary Arts, Goddard College

Recent Work

Currently, her choreographic practice explores an authorship of both music and movement. As part of her performance, Motley hones the skill of synthesizing disparate mediums, and moves toward a necessity to create and embody sound. Her practice includes the use of looping tools and midi machine, creating voice and sound scores. As part of her process Motley researches and identifies objects, voice, language, and dance that can be used as sound and choreography.


Carson Hall 516