Hanya Holm’s background and training was in modern dance, but her approach to teaching dance mirrored her genre-agnostic approach to choreography – and because of it, her influence extended far beyond the modern dance community.
Holm began teaching in Germany for expressionist dance pioneer Mary Wigman, and then founded a Wigman School in New York, which was soon renamed the Hanya Holm School of Dance. Starting in 1934, she taught at the now-internationally renowned Bennington School of Dance at Bennington College in Vermont. Bennington was also home to the other “Big Four” modern dance pioneers in America – Charles Weidman, Doris Humphrey, and Martha Graham.
In 1941, Holm found her “teaching home” at Colorado College, which she would make her summer destination for 43 years. She continued to work internationally on other projects throughout those years, but for those who attended Holm’s eight-week summer dance school in Colorado, her most lasting impact on the dance world was as an educator.