brianna Nerud, instructor

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Brianna was born and raised in Long Island, New York and began dancing through involvement in musical theater at ten years old. She grew up with a love of movement as well as music, studying voice with Opera singer Leslie Hayley from elementary school until college along with being a member of the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra for three years. Brianna’s love of movement was also expressed in her ten-year martial arts practice, earning a brown belt in Taekwondo. Theater became her foremost passion when she was cast in musical productions for her middle school and realized her love of performance and dance. Brianna fell in love with modern dance in college while earning a Bachelor’s degree in General Social Science from the University of Oregon. She has been teaching and coaching athletics and hurdling since high school and is thrilled to begin pursuing her love of teaching and movement through instructing at Sherwood Dance Academy!

She teaches: Musical Theater, Ballet, Tap, Contemporary

Get to know Brianna better:

When did you start dancing and why did you keep dancing?  I started dancing in theater when I was ten years old and then was introduced to modern, hip-hop, ballet, and African dance at the University of Oregon in college. I have always been someone who expresses herself and finds joy through movement and dancing is what allows me to communicate in the most natural and accurate language how I make sense of the world around me. Dancing fills my soul in a way that nothing else does.

Why did you want to become a dance instructor?  I wanted to become a dance instructor because I love giving something that has filled my life with such meaning to other people, particularly young people who are exploring the world and themselves more and move with every day. I want to be able to impact young people in a way that fosters a love for movement, but more importantly gives them an outlet to express and empower themselves and support each other.

Do you still dance or take dance lessons even though you are an instructor?  I am elated to have recently joined Eleven Dance Company, founded and directed by BB Delano. I am constantly amazed and inspired by all of the beautiful people I have the opportunity to dance with in Eleven as we prepare for a performance at the end of September. I also take classes at Steps Dance PDX as often as I can, along with BodyVox, Northwest Dance Project, and Tongue Dance Project’s class at Flock.  

What is your favorite style of dance and why?  That is a tough question! My favorite style of dance is probably something along the lines of contemporary, hip-hop fusion! I love blending styles and experimenting with new movement ideas! I also love musical theater dance for it’s energy and vibrant partnership of music, movement and storytelling!

What is the hardest part about dance to you and why?  The hardest part about dance for me is probably practicing remaining present in my body and not letting self-criticism and perfectionist type thinking get in the way of my movement!

What is your favorite thing to do outside of the studio or besides teaching dance?  I love spending time with my family and friends, hiking and running, singing, and reading.

What is your favorite dance quote and why?  “I loved to dance because I was scared to speak. When I was moving, I could feel.” -Pina Bausch

Random tidbits:  I love animals and once choreographed a piece inspired by my cats’ movement!