I am one of seven dance artists globally to be certified by Yvonne Rainer to perform, lecture and transmit Yvonne’s repertoire work. I worked closely with Yvonne from 2008-2010 as a dancer, choreographer and teaching assistant at the University of California, Irvine. Having been a guardian of Rainer’s work since 2010 I have travelled extensively across the US, EU, UK and SE Asia sharing the work through performing, lecturing and teaching.

I offer opportunities to engage with Yvonne’s work that can be tailored for 121 lessons or group work for dancers, artists or enthusiasts (no dance training needed).

I also work with organisations and businesses looking to apply creative methodologies to their organisational development and as an experiential approach to thinking through equity aims within work environments where leadership can be shared and democratic structures are felt.

Sara Wookey, Trio A
Sara in the studio rehearsing ‘Trio A (1966)’ with Yvonne Rainer

My work with Yvonne is part of my passion for creating positive lasting legacies. It is important to support the preservation of and ongoing evolution of dance works such as Yvonne’s.

What brought me to work with Yvonne?

What has brought me to work with Yvonne as one of her transmitters is my love of her work, belief in its legacy as an ongoing influence on dance today. My interest in experimental dance, expanded choreographic practice and socio-political aspects of the form are also what motivates me to share the work more widely, including dancers, dance enthusiasts and those interested in democratic ways of working.

I studied with Yvonne at the University of California, Los Angeles where I also became her assistant in 2010. Yvonne served as one of my Master of Fine Art advisors at the University of California, Los Angeles from 2010-2014. I went on to continue a collegial-friendship with her and I am in touch with her in regards to my custodial work with her legacy project.

How do I transmit?

I have developed methods for transmitting her works to dancers, artists and dance enthusiasts that includes a warm up that prepares the body for the rigorous learning process. The transmission time is spread across 1-6 days, depending on the needs and wants of the participants, and engages layers of information and the captured language Yvonne uses to describe the dance. These layers include movement, spacing, pacing and gaze.

What does it bring?

What it can bring to others who experience it is a connection to the work in an experiential way and through a living oral history. The process includes physical and cognitive experiences such as learning movement phrases in which 2-3 actions are happening in the body at once that are unrelated. It is a way to get in touch with a significant part of dance history through learning, doing and experiencing it directly. It also offers an experience of equitable working models in which collective decision making, co-leadership and democratic approaches are practiced.

Who would benefit?

Those who are interested in Yvonne’s work, who have a passion for dance and choreographic practices such as dancers, choreographers and dance scholars. As well as those from the visual arts and film studies who are familiar with Yvonne’s work but may not have experience or knowledge of her dance work. Anyone with an interest to learn and explore movement and those with an interest in work from the 1960s & 70s New York scene that also have references to socio-political histories and art as activism. Those who work in teams and are interested in alternative modes of leadership, in particular, shared leadership approaches as Yvonne’s choreographic methods employ such principles of horizontal hierarchies.

What it contributes to

Learning Yvonne’s repertoire contributes to an ongoing thread of enquiry and development of her legacy and the legacy of dance and arts in general. It is part of an oral history tradition in dance that has meaning beyond the sector to be inclusive to anyone interested to take part in that process regardless of dance experience and ability.

Potentials and examples of impact created

The potentials within the transmission project is to not only preserve the work of Rainer for future generations but of sharing the possibilities of her work to teach us about equity, diversity and inclusion. Yvonne was interested in inviting anyone to dance regardless of ability and training. Her choreographic methods and structures embrace shared experiences in which the relationships between the individual and group are explored. She built her dances to challenge notions of authority and hierarchies. Her dances employ a politics of the body that is useful in today’s world and continue to ask us to question positioning of ourselves and each other through dance and the resonance and impact such awareness can have for our contemporary humanitarian moment.

If you are interested in learning more or to book your experiences contact me at or through the button below

Previous venues and communities include Dance House Sydney, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (PICA), Yale University, Singapore, National Gallery of Victoria, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance, Hammer Museum, Chisenhale Dance Space, Corali and Tate Modern London.