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Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.

Mary Oliver



Cathy Appel, President and Artistic Director

Cathy Appel is a dancer, choreographer, clinician, writer and editor, with extensive experience in project, curriculum and program development. Cathy has performed in many venues, such as New York City Center, The Esplanade in Boston and the Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Her writing has been published in literary and research journals, anthologies and textbooks, and she has presented her clinical and academic work nationally and internationally.

Cathy’s early dance training was at the American Ballet Theatre School with Madame Pereyaslavec and William Dollar. She then studied with Leon Fokine as a trainee of the Harkness Ballet Company before performing with the Pennsylvania Ballet Company. In the 70s, she resumed her education and, as an undergraduate at Sarah Lawrence College, had the opportunity to study modern dance and choreography.

At the same time, she pursued her dance studies in New York City with several prominent choreographers, began performing original choreography and formed her own dance company. In the early 80s, she was fortunate to work with Tom Brown and Muriel Topaz on a reconstruction of Doris Humphrey's Day on Earth for performances with Dance Junction and the Cathy Appel Dance Company.

Cathy also began writing at Sarah Lawrence, where she studied with poets Jean Valentine and Thomas Lux. Working with Valentine and Lux ignited her consciousness of movement as language and of verbal language as movement.

Cathy Appel Dance Company

At Sarah Lawrence, she took a workshop with Meredith Monk and was deeply inspired by Monk’s performance work. Through her own interdisciplinary performance, Cathy began to explore resonances within the body through body movement and dancers’ interactions with the imaginal, external, social and archetypal world. Her performance work began to focus on the interplay of movement and spoken word, as she integrated her poetry into dance theater pieces in which she explored movement more specifically as language, and the movement intrinsically contained within verbal language itself.

In the early 80s, Cathy worked blindfolded for 18 months on a duet with dancer, Pamela Harling, about the relationship between Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan. The Pulitzer Prize winning author, Joseph P. Lash’s book, Helen and Teacher, was a primary resource for this study as were visits to the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-Blind Youths and Adults on Long Island. The full-length piece, Two in One, was performed blindfolded.

Cathy also earned MFAs in Writing from Vermont College and Warren Wilson College, culminating in her thesis, Recognizing the Dance. Her poetry has been published in literary journals, textbooks and anthologies.

With a deepening awareness of inner and outer experience – the interrelationship between the mind and the body and the role of the senses in human existence – Cathy’s learning and inquiries expanded. She went on to study developmental movement, Body-Mind Centering, yoga and Authentic Movement.

By the late 80s, Cathy’s growing focus on the relationship between dance and healing led her to pursue an MSW and an MS in Dance/Movement Therapy from Hunter College. In 1992, she founded the Creative and Movement Arts Psychotherapy Program at the International Center for the Disabled in New York City, which she directed for 20 years, becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R) and Licensed Creative Arts Therapist (LCAT) before leaving to return to Sarah Lawrence College in February 2012 to design and direct the College’s Graduate Dance/Movement Therapy Program. She led the Program through New York State Education Department (NYSED) credentialing and subsequently through the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA) Approval Process (completed spring 2016).


Cathy was Senior Editor and author of two chapters in the textbook, Dance Movement Therapy: A Healing Art (2005, 2nd Rev. ed.), edited by F. Levy. She also co-authored a chapter in: Artistic Approaches I. (Appel, C., Bardin, S., Chieh-Hua H., Fontanesi, C.), in C. Lammer, Bewegende Gesichter – Moving Faces (2015). Vienna, Löcker Essay on movement interventions before, between and after reconstructive surgeries on nerves and muscles of children affected by facial palsy. She has presented papers at the Faculté Libre de Médecine, l’Université Catholique de Lille, France (2012), and the Université de Rennes II, France (2014).

She was co-editor of the American Journal of Dance Therapy (2003-2007), and has served on its Editorial Board since 2007.


At this time in her life, Cathy is most interested in supporting the creative work of artists, individuals and groups who make fearless connections through embodied expression that help us to experience and understand the world and ourselves.

Overtime Dance Foundation

Board of Directors

Cathy Appel, President/Artistic Director

Deborah Kelly, Vice President/Treasurer

Margot Lewis, Vice President/Secretary

Overtime Dance Foundation, Inc. is a New York not-for-profit charitable and educational corporation, tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. More information about the foundation can be found at the Charities Registration Bureau of the Office of the Attorney General for the State of New York.

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