For the past 22 years, Gina Darlington has been educating students and audiences of all ages in the medium of dance and creative movement. She has taught in the public, private, and charter schools throughout Flagstaff and around the world. She has been on the Arizona Commission on the Arts roster for residencies in schools and communities where she conducted residencies in many schools, as well as after-school programs. She taught residencies in Colorado, the Grand Canyon, and Ireland with Canyon Movement Company, the organization she founded in 1993. Nearly every student in Flagstaff has performed the “Japanese Dance” with her. Multiple residencies were taught at Cromer School and the Peak School, as well as many others. These included community performances in both formal theaters and places like Heritage Square. She was part of Marshall School’s dance program when they were awarded accolades for being an Arts Magnet School by the State of Arizona.
Gina has been an Associate Faculty member at Coconino Community College for 20 years teaching all aspects of dance including modern, jazz, dance history, careers in dance, dance production, choreography, performance, and special studies in dance. She was pivotal in implementing CCC’s dance degree as well as organizing Encore, CCC’s performing dance company. She accompanied them to Italy to perform in a festival.
Gina founded Canyon Movement Company which will be celebrating 20 years of performing and teaching in 2013. She also founded Canyon Dance Academy, a school of dance for all ages. She previously owned three previous dance schools in Utah and Nebraska before moving to Flagstaff. Canyon Dance Academy is based on the philosophies of Virginia Tanner and the University of Utah. Modern dance as well as most other form of dance are taught at the studio. In 2008, the studio merged with the Company under Gina’s leadership and guidance. Together, they produce the annual Nutcracker Suite in Modern Bare Feet. She is also responsible for bringing world class caliber dance teachers and artists to Flagstaff through various programs such as Step-Up Summer Dance Intensive, and DanCelebration dance festival.
Gina served on the State of Arizona’s panel to re-write the Arts Standards for education in dance, and also on the National Arts Assessment committee. Finally, she was awarded “Outstanding Alum” by Brigham Young University’s dance department for her work in the community.
In the past year, she has mentored and hired new teachers at Canyon Dance Academy, employing dancers in their field. She has produced dance events that include professional dancers, students of all ages, free community performances, and formal dance concerts. She has also performed lecture demonstrations for hundreds of students including De Miguel School, Thomas School, Knoles Elementary School, Sinagua Middle School, and Tuba City’s Thunderbird School. In addition to youth education, she has also worked with Ponderosa Pines Senior Facility and Emeritus Living Center.
Overall, Gina’s impact in the Flagstaff community has been far reaching including students as young as 1 and as old as 100+. She is an expert in the field of dance education and has shared that expertise with our community. She mentors young adults and provides opportunities for them to share their gifts and talents as well. Many of her students and mentees have gone on to have careers in dance in places like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York City.