As a dance artist, Rachel strives to make work that is honest, thoughtful and vulnerable.  Utilizing multimedia elements including dance, video, original soundscores, storytelling and song, she employs a collaborative approach with her dancers, trained and untrained, to create relatable emotional experiences in a performance setting. Her pieces often take on a meditative quality: She has found that performing is the ultimate mindfulness practice-- a shared experience in which the performers, and hopefully the audience, are focused on absolutely nothing else. When our minds are clear and our focus is on the present moment, we radiate joy.

Rachel Grant Rugh

(Rugh sounds like kangaROO!)

Rachel is a dancer, teacher, mover and shaker currently based in Blacksburg, VA.  As a performer, she has collaborated with the DC-based Dance Exchange, as well as Seattle choreographers Pat Graney, Amy O’Neil, and Jurg Koch.  Her choreographic work has been featured at the Seattle International Dance Festival, Movement Research (NYC), and the Washington, D.C. Capital Fringe Festival.  In 2016, her graduate choreography was chosen to represent the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the gala performance of the American College Dance Association's North-Central Conference.  Rachel is also a founding member of Mountain Empire Performance Collective, a long-distance dance collective dedicated to alternative processes of making work while separated by both time and space:  


A joyful and enthusiastic movement educator, Rachel has trained extensively in Ann Green Gilbert’s Brain Dance curriculum, and has taught at Radford University, Virginia Tech, and West Virginia University.  She has presented at the National Dance Education Organization's 2015 conference, and was on teaching faculty at the American College Dance Association 2016 conference.  Currently she is the director of the dance program at the Virginia Governor's School for Humanities and Visual and Performing Arts (2017, 2018). Rachel is also an adjunct faculty member at Radford University, as well as the recipient of the 2017/2018 Dr. Robert L.A. Keeley Healing Arts Residency at the Carilion NRV Hospital, where she currently provides therapeutic movement experiences for patients, staff and visitors.  She holds a BA in dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and an MFA in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.