Current Team:

Julie Strandberg

Julie Adams Strandberg is Senior Lecturer and founding director of dance in the Brown University Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and co-founder of the American Dance Legacy Initiative housed at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and co-founder of ASaP. The four primary goals of Julie’s research are,  1) to provide dancers with holistic, multi-faceted ways in which to be artists in our culture,  2) to advocate for the inclusion of the arts, and particularly dance, in the education of EVERY child,  3) to make connections between her work within the university and the broader culture, and  4) to develop and design materials and programs that provide broad access to dance as an art form to all persons, including pre-professional and professional dancers; students in grades K-university; and the general public.  The inclusion of persons with neurological disabilities, often denied access to the arts, is consistent with that mission. AsaP advances all four of her research goals.

Julie Adams Strandberg is Senior Lecturer and founding director of dance in the Brown University Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies and co-founder of the American Dance Legacy Initiative housed at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and co-founder of ASaP. The four primary goals of Julie’s research are, 
1) to provide dancers with holistic, multi-faceted ways in which to be artists in our culture, 
2) to advocate for the inclusion of the arts, and particularly dance, in the education of EVERY child, 
3) to make connections between her work within the university and the broader culture, and 
4) to develop and design materials and programs that provide broad access to dance as an art form to all persons, including pre-professional and professional dancers; students in grades K-university; and the general public. 
The inclusion of persons with neurological disabilities, often denied access to the arts, is consistent with that mission. AsaP advances all four of her research goals.

Rachel Balaban

Rachel Balaban received her BA from Brown University and has returned as an Adjunct Lecturer in Brown’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS). She is co-founder and co-director of Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP), at Brown where she advocates for arts in healthcare and facilitates studies of the theory and engagement with the practice of the arts in healing. Rachel continues to train at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease). She is Dance for PD Coordinator for Connecticut and Rhode Island and regularly teaches People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. She also teaches Dance for the Aging Population (DAPpers) at Brown for people with movement challenges. Rachel is committed to helping people access their vitality and health through the use of their own bodies and to make dance accessible to all populations. She leads movement workshops for schools, faculty, foundations, corporations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Rachel Balaban received her BA from Brown University and has returned as an Adjunct Lecturer in Brown’s Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies (TAPS). She is co-founder and co-director of Artists and Scientists as Partners (ASaP), at Brown where she advocates for arts in healthcare and facilitates studies of the theory and engagement with the practice of the arts in healing.

Rachel continues to train at the Mark Morris Dance Group in Dance for PD (Parkinson’s Disease). She is Dance for PD Coordinator for Connecticut and Rhode Island and regularly teaches People with Parkinson’s and their caregivers. She also teaches Dance for the Aging Population (DAPpers) at Brown for people with movement challenges. Rachel is committed to helping people access their vitality and health through the use of their own bodies and to make dance accessible to all populations. She leads movement workshops for schools, faculty, foundations, corporations, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Teaching Assistants

Kaia Sargent (Brown '18)

Kaia is a senior concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience, with a particular interest in alternative approaches to healing. Her research at Brown focuses on neurophysiological mechanisms of mindfulness meditation, and she has also conducted research on traditional medicine in Madagascar. Kaia joined the ASaP team as a teaching assistant after taking the course in Spring 2016, and she hopes to continue to explore the intersection of medicine and the arts. As a classical singer, Kaia firmly believes in the therapeutic potential of music and dance, particularly for neurological disorders. She hopes to encourage dialogue between scientific and artistic communities to validate the arts as a method of healing.

Kaia is a senior concentrating in Cognitive Neuroscience, with a particular interest in alternative approaches to healing. Her research at Brown focuses on neurophysiological mechanisms of mindfulness meditation, and she has also conducted research on traditional medicine in Madagascar. Kaia joined the ASaP team as a teaching assistant after taking the course in Spring 2016, and she hopes to continue to explore the intersection of medicine and the arts. As a classical singer, Kaia firmly believes in the therapeutic potential of music and dance, particularly for neurological disorders. She hopes to encourage dialogue between scientific and artistic communities to validate the arts as a method of healing.

Leslie mccauley (brown '18)

Leslie is a rising junior from Chicago, Illinois. At Brown, she is concentrating in Health and Human Biology and particularly looking at Health Behavior. Last year, Leslie took both semesters of Artists and Scientists as Partners and was completely entranced by the course. As a pre-med student, she found it refreshing to look at alternative health practices, especially those involving dance, as she has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Moving forward as a TA with ASaP, Leslie is excited to continue exploring how art and science can be used together in order to arrive at a place of healing.

Leslie is a rising junior from Chicago, Illinois. At Brown, she is concentrating in Health and Human Biology and particularly looking at Health Behavior. Last year, Leslie took both semesters of Artists and Scientists as Partners and was completely entranced by the course. As a pre-med student, she found it refreshing to look at alternative health practices, especially those involving dance, as she has been dancing since she was 3 years old. Moving forward as a TA with ASaP, Leslie is excited to continue exploring how art and science can be used together in order to arrive at a place of healing.

rebecca chernick (brown '18)

Rebecca is currently double concentrating in Health and Human Biology, with a focus on the social context of disease, and French and Francophone Studies. She is also pursuing pre-medical coursework. As a dancer from the age of two, Rebecca discovered early in life that the study of dance, which requires knowledge and mastery of the muscular-skeletal system, as well as a strong understanding of kinesiology and physiological processes, was highly compatible with the study of human health and disease. Her passion for medicine began as a goal of pursuing orthopedic surgery and treating injuries in the dance community, and has evolved over time. Rebecca participated in the ASaP course as a student for two semesters beginning in Fall 2015, and now joins the ASaP team as a teaching assistant. While she has stepped back from her dance training, Rebecca has been volunteering with the Dance for our Aging Population class, and is passionate about infusing the arts into the lives of others. She looks forward to expanding the work of ASaP and further incorporating the arts into the science and healthcare fields. 

Rebecca is currently double concentrating in Health and Human Biology, with a focus on the social context of disease, and French and Francophone Studies. She is also pursuing pre-medical coursework. As a dancer from the age of two, Rebecca discovered early in life that the study of dance, which requires knowledge and mastery of the muscular-skeletal system, as well as a strong understanding of kinesiology and physiological processes, was highly compatible with the study of human health and disease. Her passion for medicine began as a goal of pursuing orthopedic surgery and treating injuries in the dance community, and has evolved over time. Rebecca participated in the ASaP course as a student for two semesters beginning in Fall 2015, and now joins the ASaP team as a teaching assistant. While she has stepped back from her dance training, Rebecca has been volunteering with the Dance for our Aging Population class, and is passionate about infusing the arts into the lives of others. She looks forward to expanding the work of ASaP and further incorporating the arts into the science and healthcare fields. 


Program Development Advisors

MIRANDA OLSON (BROWN '17)

Miranda Olson is an AB-ScB candidate in Global Health Narrative-Biomedical Engineering, also studying pre-medicine coursework. She participated in the ASaP course as a student in Fall 2013 and joined the ASaP Course Design Team in summer '14, working as a teaching assistant for the 2014-15 course. After working as an assistant teacher for Dance for PD classes in New England for two years, she received a Royce Fellowship to pursue independent research in London with Dr. Sara Houston at the University of Roehampton. As an independent subproject supplementing Dr. Houston's award-winning 5-year Dance for Parkinson's study, Miranda's research focused on the experience of living and dancing with Parkinson's from the perspective of dancers in the English National Ballet Dance for Parkinson's program. Her work focuses on access to health care for individuals with diverse mobilities and needs - especially exploring new, interdisciplinary avenues for advocacy and sharing health narratives. Research this summer will take her to Haiti to examine the need for, barriers to, and development of palliative care programs in a low-resource health care environment

Miranda Olson is an AB-ScB candidate in Global Health Narrative-Biomedical Engineering, also studying pre-medicine coursework. She participated in the ASaP course as a student in Fall 2013 and joined the ASaP Course Design Team in summer '14, working as a teaching assistant for the 2014-15 course. After working as an assistant teacher for Dance for PD classes in New England for two years, she received a Royce Fellowship to pursue independent research in London with Dr. Sara Houston at the University of Roehampton. As an independent subproject supplementing Dr. Houston's award-winning 5-year Dance for Parkinson's study, Miranda's research focused on the experience of living and dancing with Parkinson's from the perspective of dancers in the English National Ballet Dance for Parkinson's program. Her work focuses on access to health care for individuals with diverse mobilities and needs - especially exploring new, interdisciplinary avenues for advocacy and sharing health narratives. Research this summer will take her to Haiti to examine the need for, barriers to, and development of palliative care programs in a low-resource health care environment

Mackenzie woodburn (brown '17)

Mackenzie Woodburn is a cognitive neuroscience concentrator with a focus in childhood development and neurodevelopmental disorders. Mac began his work with the ASaP Team as a student in the class of fall 2014, and now continues to develop and lead the dance class for children with autism spectrum disorder at the Groden Center, piloted by Emma Russo ‘15. As an advocate for the neurodiversity movement, Mac is interested in facilitating broader dialogues between the scientific and artistic communities to validate art programming and to foster humanized interactions between individuals across the spectrum of abilities. Though his background is in scientific research and he plans to continue onto graduate studies in cognitive neuroscience or educational neuroscience after Brown, Mac is also trained in tap dance and is interested in communicating art and science through the medium of tap dancing.

Mackenzie Woodburn is a cognitive neuroscience concentrator with a focus in childhood development and neurodevelopmental disorders. Mac began his work with the ASaP Team as a student in the class of fall 2014, and now continues to develop and lead the dance class for children with autism spectrum disorder at the Groden Center, piloted by Emma Russo ‘15. As an advocate for the neurodiversity movement, Mac is interested in facilitating broader dialogues between the scientific and artistic communities to validate art programming and to foster humanized interactions between individuals across the spectrum of abilities. Though his background is in scientific research and he plans to continue onto graduate studies in cognitive neuroscience or educational neuroscience after Brown, Mac is also trained in tap dance and is interested in communicating art and science through the medium of tap dancing.

Jason Vu (brown '17)

Jason Vu, undergraduate class of '17, is a Health and Human Biology concentrator with a focus in dance based health interventions. Jason strives to utilize dance as a platform for social justice and empowerment for marginalized communities. He is a strong advocate for the intersection of art and science because he believes they inspire one another--art informs health and health inspires art. Jason dreams to go on tour as a dancer, start his own dance company, and create a youth empowerment dance program. Jason is already taking strides towards his dreams: he was accepted into the prestigious pre-professional dance program in the Broadway Dance Center of New York, has choreographed a piece for New York's Symphony Space, and has taught dance classes in studios across California. He is now choreographing Brown's production of A Chorus Line and directing/producing/choreographing his own dance concert to premier in May 2017. Through all of his work, Jason strives to inspire his students and dancers to embrace their individuality and artistry.

Jason Vu, undergraduate class of '17, is a Health and Human Biology concentrator with a focus in dance based health interventions. Jason strives to utilize dance as a platform for social justice and empowerment for marginalized communities. He is a strong advocate for the intersection of art and science because he believes they inspire one another--art informs health and health inspires art. Jason dreams to go on tour as a dancer, start his own dance company, and create a youth empowerment dance program. Jason is already taking strides towards his dreams: he was accepted into the prestigious pre-professional dance program in the Broadway Dance Center of New York, has choreographed a piece for New York's Symphony Space, and has taught dance classes in studios across California. He is now choreographing Brown's production of A Chorus Line and directing/producing/choreographing his own dance concert to premier in May 2017. Through all of his work, Jason strives to inspire his students and dancers to embrace their individuality and artistry.


Alumni Team: