Elizabeth Johnson’s professional dance training began at North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied with many historically notable classical Ballet teachers including Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, and Robert Lindgren. She earned a BFA with honors from George Mason University, receiving the Department of Dance Award for Academic Excellence, and her MFA in Performance and Choreography from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) where she was awarded the first Patricia Knowles Scholarship for graduate student excellence and the Wanda M. Nettl prize for student choreography.
Since 2004, her contemporary repertory company, Your Mother Dances (formerly based in Milwaukee), has produced her original work alongside established choreographers from across the country (David Parker, Sara Hook, Gerald Casel, Trey McIntyre, Molly Rabinowitz, Heinz Poll, Luc Vanier, Erika Randall, Anna Sapozhnikov, Dawn Springer) as well as emergent regional and local artists. Johnson's choreography has been seen in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Louisville, New Haven, CT, Fort Worth, the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, and has been selected for Gala performance at the American College Dance Association.
As a professional performer, Johnson has toured nationally and internationally as a company member with New York City’s David Parker and The Bang Group and also danced with Sara Hook Dances (NYC & IL), and Molly Rabinowitz Liquid Grip (NYC). She has also performed distinguished classical and contemporary works by Marius Petipa, George Balanchine, Frederick Ashton, Salvatore Aiello, Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, Rachel Lampert, Mark Morris, Cynthia Oliver, Luc Vanier, Trey McIntyre, and Heinz Poll and has served as rehearsal director for works by Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, Sara Hook, Rebecca Stenn, Daniel Gwirtzman, Rebecca Bryant, and Maria Gillespie.
A somatic educator and practitioner, Johnson holds a Graduate Laban Certificate of Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago’s Department of Creative Arts Therapies where she garnered the Warren Lamb Tuition Scholarship. She is also a dual certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique (AmSAT, ATI), teaching private students and guest teaching in Alexander Teacher training courses in the United States (Alexander Technique Milwaukee, Salt Lake City Alexander Technique) and South America (Escuela Técnica Alexander Buenos Aires--Buenos Aires, Argentina, Escuela Uruguaya de Técnica Alexander--Montevideo, Uruguay).
Her academic research and teaching include the integration of aesthetics, anatomy, kinesiology, and somatic inquiry into dance technique teaching, Dance Composition pedagogy, and exploring feminist theory, embodiment, relationship, and popular culture trends and ironies in her dances. Johnson has been a guest artist/in residence at the University of Utah's Utah Ballet Summer Intensive (UBSI), Valdosta State University, Stephens College, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Texas Christian University, Milwaukee Ballet Summer Intensive, Wild Space Dance Company, and the American College Dance Association annual festivals, and has presented her written, embodied, and creative research at Motus Humanus, Southeastern Women’s Studies Association (SEWSA), National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT), and Body-Mind Centering Association (BMCA), and the University of Southern Florida Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) national conferences.
Internationally, Johnson has taught master classes at the University of Chile—DUOC, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, LA CASA Centro de Formación y Producción Artística (La Plata), Formación de Artistas Contemporáneos para la Escena (FACE) (Buenos Aires), La Fabrica (Buenos Aires), and the mixed-ability dance company Compañía de Danza Sin Fronteras (Dance Without Frontiers) (Buenos Aires). Recent international presentations include The Fourth International Dance and Somatic Practices Conference at Coventry University, the International Symposium on Practice as Research (Hong Kong), the CORPS de Ballet International annual conference (Florence, Italy), the Movementis conference on Movement: Brain, Body, Cognition annual conference (Harvard Medical School), and the 11th International Alexander Technique Congress (Chicago).
Johnson has served as Dance faculty at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of North Carolina-Greensboro, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Texas Tech University, and is now fully grafted into the Gator Nation.