Helen Hansen French, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida received her BFA from The Juilliard School in 2001. Upon graduation she was invited to join Buglisi Dance Theatre. As a dancer with BDT she rose to principal dancer and served as rehearsal director. In addition to BDT’s annual New York City seasons she has toured nationally and internationally performing in such venues as, the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Chautauqua Dance Festival, Vail International Dance Festival, Rishon LeZion International Festival in Israel, and the Oriente Occidente Festival in Rovereto, Italy. Mrs. French has been instrumental in staging BDT’s works at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pieve International School in Italy, North Carolina Dance Theater, and numerous colleges and universities through out the United States. Mrs. French is also a member of Karen Reedy Dance and has had the pleasure of performing with Nilas Martins’ Dance Company, participating in a residency at White Oak Dance working with choreographer Adam Hougland, and performing in the Guggenheim’s Works/Process program with Brian Reeder and Pam Tanowitz.
As a choreographer/movement maker Mrs. French focuses on collaborations and exploring the relationship between dance and other art forms. In support of these endeavors she has been awarded a 2015, 2016 and 2017 Individual Artist Grant from the City of St. Petersburg and she was also a 2016 Creative Pinellas Artist Fellow. Her work has been shown at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Clark Studio Theater, Kaatsbaan, Studio@620, The Palladium and St. Petersburg College.
Helen is deeply committed to arts education and developing the next generation of artists as well as contributing to the community in which she lives. She is a founding member of the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance, www.spdancealliance.com, co-producer of Beacon: a performance series for St. Pete, and Interim Executive Director for Rogue Dance.
In addition to teaching dance to all ages Mrs. French is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher. She has served on the dance faculties at George Mason University, The Juilliard School, Flint Hill School (VA), the Neighborhood Playhouse (NYC), John Hopkins Middle School and St. Petersburg College.