who we are

Maren Waldman PortraitAbout

Moving Joy Studios is an organization that creates connections within and between people, communities, organizations, and cultures. We encourage people to move and feel through interdisciplinary experiences and performances. Using the fundamental experience of movement, we address the widespread cultural and global issues of dis-integration, dis-connectedness, and dis-ease.

MISSION: What we do

  • Create a safe space for movement, dance, and performance
  • Expose people to high quality dance technique, informed and excellent teaching, and the joy of dance through private lessons and group classes
  • Create & facilitate movement-centered workshops for the community
  • Collaborate with artists, scientists, and other professionals to bring thought-provoking, visually striking performances to audiences
  • Provide a wide range of excellent dance and movement teachers to serve the local, regional, national and global population
  • Offer one-on-one movement sessions in stretching, self-care, dance, and massage therapy

VISION: Why we do it

Moving Joy Studios is founded on the following beliefs:

  • Creativity is available to everyone
  • Movement is life
  • Dance connects people on the human level
  • Education about the body helps integrate life
  • Open creativity, moving the body with confidence, connecting to others, and knowledge increase personal power

Moving Joy Studios is motivated by the following values:

  • Creativity: in artistic collaboration, use of resources, and solvent business practices
  • Excellence: in artistry, skill, and education
  • Respect & cooperation: in our interactions with clients, collaborators, and each other
  • Delight: our clients and collaborators leave each interaction with a positive emotional response
  • Service to society: solving significant social problems


We operate all of this from a triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit.

People : Please refer to mission and vision.
Planet : We use environmentally aware practices in the office, transportation, purchases, and products whenever possible.   Our website is hosted by a "green" server that is run primarily by the sustainable resource of wind energy.
Profit : We set wages and fees based on the sustainable practice that dance artists deserve to earn a living wage from their craft. We have multiple streams of income to stay balanced in challenging economic times.

Help us keep spreading joy!  Donate here to support our Student Scholarship Fund. 

Director Maren Waldman, MFA

Maren has a lifetime of training in dance, including modern, tap, jazz, swing, and salsa. She received her MFA in Dance Performance & Choreography with a focus on somatics at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She studied modern dance intensively at the Limon Institute in NYC and danced professionally with Adrienne Celeste Fadjo Dance in NYC. She has also studied choreography and community with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, modern-jazz in the Simonson technique, and anatomy with Irene Dowd and Andrea Olsen. Her swing dance career began in 1998 – and hasn't stopped. East Coast and West Coast Swing are her specialties. She competed in national competitions in west coast swing, has taught swing to teens through seniors in schools, community centers, and at Sandra Cameron Dance Center in NYC.

Maren has performed in Boulder, Coloardo, NYC, Rochester NY, Ithaca NY, San Francisco CA, and England. Her choreography of solo and ensemble works for stage and for specific sites include Rochester’s ArtWalk, Art in the Heart public sculptures on the Ithaca Commons, and Ithaca's annual festival of art and science, Light in Winter.

Collaborating is her favorite way to create.  Collaborations include projects with musicians, visual artists, and scientists.

She teaches contemporary modern dance, swing dance, and workshops in dance, anatomy, environmental connection, movement & writing, and stress management.           

She is available for hire for group or private dance lessons, workshops, and performance collaborations. Her work focuses on community and relationships – relationships between people, negotiations inside of oneself, relationships between people and their physical environment. Drawing on her degree in anthropology, her work reflects a perspective on humans life seen through any or all of the following artistic lenses: critical, celebratory, analytical, questioning, emotional.

Massage Therapy Training & Experience

Maren is a NYS Licensed, CO Registered, and Nationally Certified Massage Therapist. She graduated in 2006 from the Finger Lakes School of Massage in Ithaca, NY, a 1000-hour program. Subsequent training includes Shiatsu, Cranial-sacral Therapy, Reiki and anatomy. Her treatment sessions integrate therapeutic massage, movement, and stretching, drawing on her years of training and experience in modern dance, yoga, and therapeutic massage. She offers table massage, Shiatsu/acupressure (floor work), and personalized targeted stretching for pain relief, flexibility, and relaxation. She focuses on stress reduction especially in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain, headaches, exhaustion, and high levels of general anxiety. Her treatments also address performance enhancement for dancers and other performing artists. She creates a safe, comfortable environment that provides an opportunity for rest, re-balancing, and renewed health, and learning.

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