Research Keywords

  • Performance Studies
  • Healing Trauma
  • Dance and Wellness

Creative Research

  • "Heartland: Studies of the Heart" (2018-Present) "Heartland" is a body of research in which Heller explores the idioms, sensations, associations, and physical spaces of the heart. This research has premiered as individual studies and pop-up events in both Salt Lake City and San Francisco. "Heartland" will culminate as an evening length work in 2020. -Commissioned solo for "Movement for Sound: 5 Dancers Respond to the Music of Mike Wall," presented by the Shawl Anderson Dance Center (October 2018), Berkeley, CA. Live performance and composition by Mike Wall, 15 minutes. -Performing Dance Company (November 2018): Trio, Music by Mike Wall Collaboration with Wendy Wischer (Art and Art History) Curatorial/Production, completed 10/20/2018.
  • LITTLE SEISMIC DANCE COMPANY, KATIE FAULKNER; SAN FRANCISCO Performer/collaborator for evening-length work, "Divining." Residency and showing at ODC Dance Theatre, CA. Premiere in Summer 2019. Performance, in progress 08/2018.
  • Joanna Kotze, NYC based choreographer Performer/collaborator for new work, ‘lectric eye, trio. Three-week Schonberg Artist in-residency with Kotze. Performance at The Yard, Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Performance, completed 05/2018.
  • THE MIDDLE WAY: Premiere for the Gala Concert, School of Dance, University of Utah. Quintet, music arrangement and composition by Mike Wall, 15 minutes; Kingsbury Hall. Choreography, completed 03/2018.
  • REGALIA: Finalist for Repertory Dance Theatre’s choreography competition and gala, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City, UT. Competition, completed 02/10/2018.
  • "very vary": Evening length dance work, presented by the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley, CA (December 2017). Sextet, original music composition and performance by Mike Wall, additional collaborations with visual artist Gretchen Reynolds and print maker Kate Thomas. Also presented at the Eccles Regent Street Theater, Salt Lake City (May 2017). In addition, excerpts of "very vary" were performed at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in the Eccles Auditorium for patients and staff (May 2017). Choreography, completed 05/11/2017.
  • "The Most Delicate Timekeepers," quintet. Choreography for the Performing Dance Company's spring concert, Department of Modern Dance, University of Utah as well as the Distinguished Alumni Concert at Kingsbury Hall. Choreography, refereed, completed 09/2016.
  • Choreographer, Co-Director, Producer, Performer for "Bright Loud." "mighty," a duet, was presented alongside the work of Chicago-based artists Jessie Young and Josh Andersen. Presented by Links Hall. Curatorial/Production, completed 05/23/2016.
  • "Into Real," quintet. Premiered at the Courage Theatre, Westminster College (SLC). Commission, completed 12/07/2015.
  • SPLITS Co-created duet with Netta Yerushalmy (NYC and Israeli based choreographer), 16 minutes, original music composition by Mike Wall. Presented by Movement Research at the Judson Church, NYC. Choreography, refereed, completed 11/2015.
  • Produced "Fault Rising: An Evening of Dance and Puppet Art." Choreography included: "This is your Paradise," trio and "Two Awash," duet. Gowanus Art + Production (NYC). Curatorial/Production, completed 10/15/2015.
  • "This is your Paradise," trio and "Two Awash," duet. Performed at the Mahaney Center for the Arts, Middlebury College (VT) as part of "Until the Golden Tides," an evening of work by Molly Heller and Scotty Hardwig. Choreography, completed 10/14/2015.
  • Performed and Choreographed "Bump and Run," duet. Performed as part of the faculty showing at Salt Dance Fest, Marriott Center for Dance, University of Utah. Performance, completed 06/12/2015.
  • Curated and presented work in "Making Space: An Evening of Curated Choreography," KANEKO, Omaha, NE. Choreography: "Iron (anne) Glass," solo. Curatorial/Production, completed 02/14/2015.
  • IF A SNAKE SHOULD BITE Self-produced concert held at the Ladies’ Literary Club (SLC), sponsored in part by the Department of Modern Dance, University of Utah. An intimate evening of dance choreography researching performance as a cathartic act and the relationship between physical expression and emotional trauma. Choreography Included: • "This is your Paradise," trio, 22 minutes, music by Marshall Tucker Band, Peter, Paul and Mary and Neil Young. • "Splits," a collaborative duet with NYC artist Netta Yerushalmy, 15 minutes, music composition by Mike Wall. Choreography, completed 11/2014.


  • NATIONAL COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION CONFERENCE, SALT LAKE CITY (2018) Co-presenting with Assistant Professor Kate Mattingly and Associate Professor Michelle Lavigne, San Francisco University. Our three part presentation, "Playing with/while/within Dancing: Communicating for/with/about Dance," draws from different definitions of play, examining how dance as a theatre art form is characterized as an academic discipline, performative practice, and cultural object. In conversation, we will explore how writing for/with/about dance is a kind of play that can happen between dancers, writers, and choreographers. Presentation, Presented, 11/15/2018.
  • "Wellness within Pedagogy": Invited lecture/discussion at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Berkeley, CA for instructors in higher education. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/18/2018.
  • Invited lecture/discussion for interns at The Yard, Martha's Vineyard focused on graduate school and higher education within the field of dance. Part of a Schonberg artist residency with choreographer Joanna Kotze. Invited Talk/Keynote, Submitted, 05/31/2018.
  • UNIVERSITY OF UTAH, LIFE LONG LEARNING (2012-PRESENT) “Steep, Sip, Savor: An Introduction to Tea.” Invited lecture-demonstration for Continuing Education students. Presentation, Presented, 12/2016.
  • NOW-ID Invited panelist alongside Now-ID directors Charlotte Boye-Christensen and Nathan Webster, discussing space as a collaborator. Other, Presented, 11/2016.
  • TEDx SALTLAKECITY Selected to present "mighty," Kingsbury Hall. Music composition by Mike Wall. Presentation, Presented, 09/2016.
  • RIRIE-WOODBURY PROFESSIONAL INTENSIVE, SLC (2016) “Cultivating a Dynamic Wellness Practice.” Invited lecture-demonstration for festival participants. Presentation, Presented, 07/2016.
  • Guest Artist and Lecturer, Department of Dance, Middlebury College (VT). Presented: "Fostering Adaptability, Resilience and an Entrepreneurial Spirit in the Arts.". Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/12/2015.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Lithuania
    Culturally interesting, related to ancestry.
  • Switzerland
    Geographically inspiring, related to ancestry.