Louisa Pancoast

Performer. Curator. Writer.



Louisa received her formal dance training in her home state of New Hampshire and is a graduate of the Certificate Program at Peridance Capezio Center, New York, NY. During her time in the program, she was selected to perform works by Igal Perry, Loni Landon, Ronald. K. Brown, Charlotta Ofverholm, Oniin Dance Company, and Caterina Rago. After completing the program, Louisa was part of the inaugural group at the Barton Movement's Axis Connect, where she performed an original work by Cindy Salgado. She has also performed professionally in New York with such choreographers as Yvonne Rainer for the Museum of Modern Art's Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done exhibition, Diego Funes, Pat Catterson, Cleo Mack and Rock Dance Collective, Pramila Vasudevan, Michelle Thompson-Ulerich, Ashley McQueen and Smashworks Dance Collective, Emily Bufferd, Jacqueline Dugal, Monica Hogan, Yuki Hasagawa, and Joyce King. Louisa's film work includes videos directed by The Kuperman Brothers and Gierre Godley; she is soon to appear in rapper Lando Chill's upcoming music video, "Light Her." Louisa premiered her own work, Strange Girl Dances: A Visual Duet with Melissa Stern, at Garvey|Simon Gallery, New York, NY in October 2018, and recently served as movement director on a limited run of W.B. Yeats' play, Purgatory. Currently, she is performing in Alexander Polzin's adaption of Into the Little Hill at 92nd Street Y and performing with Smashworks Dance. Louisa is also the rehearsal director for De Funes Dance. In addition to performing, Louisa holds her B.A. in English Literature and Art History from New York University, is a coach at Row House, Columbus Circle, and a trainer at Box + Flow. She is interested in finding the intersections between different mediums and modes of communication in all of her work.



Performance Reel 2019

Featuring work by Pat Catterson, Pramila Vasudevan, Diego Funes, Michelle Thompson Ulerich, Melissa Stern, Jacqui Dugal, and Monica Hogan. Edited lovingly by Jacqueline Donahue.




FEMPIRE A work in progress

Margret Echeverria | Aug 22, 2019

A review of Smashwork Dance Collective's Fempire at The Tank, New York, NY.


Learning to Be a Good Guest and Host in ‘Invited’: Rock Dance Collective’s latest explores our best and worst impulses

Blake Weil, No Proscenium, April 2019

A review of The Rock Dance Collective's immersive show, Invited.

Melissa Stern in Art Speak

Art Speak, November 17, 2018

Melissa Stern discusses our collaboration with Yasemin Vargi:

My rule of thumb is I never censor an artist I collaborate with; with the exception of if it is in someway offensive. I’m tired of the passive relationship that art has with the public. When and wherever I have an exhibition I like to figure some sort of programming that we can do to make the room jump! I want to change how people respond and relate to artworks in galleries and museums. With this show, I‘ve also collaborated with a dancer/ choreographer and it was truly an extraordinary experience. I asked Louisa Pancoast, the dancer, to dance and respond to my work in any way she wanted. We devised it like a comic strip. Every day, for seven days, Louisa choreographed a 2-4 minute piece based on a combination of the attitude, the stance, the psychological vibe and/or the pose of several sculptures. They were filmed and put on Instagram and Facebook. Super fun.  

The experience kind of mimicked the excitement of making the art -to see somebody responding in real time and creating another layer of art on top of mine. It’s something I would very much like to do again.  I am not interested in monologue, I am interested in a dialogue and that’s what all of these engaged projects have lead to- dialogue between people, dialogue between the art and the public and finally… to this conversation. 

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Featured Listing: Melissa Stern Strange Girls at Garvey|Simon

Art Critical, November 2018

Today is not just the last day of Melissa Stern's Strange Girls but also the finale of gallery employee Louisa Pancoast's Terpsichorean interpretations of the assembled cast of sirens and showgirls, "Strange Girl Dances" (performance at noon). The dance series amped up the already above quotient raucous whimsicality found in Stern’s drawings, dolls and assemblages. An edgy aesthetic found in both artists, teetering between brazen and coy, was epitomized in a drawn-out moment of agony and ecstasy, a silent scream. DAVID COHEN

Strange Girls at Garvey|Simon

October 31, 2018

Written by Etty Yaniv for Art Spiel

An interview with Melissa Stern and Louisa Pancoast on their dance collaboration for Melissa Stern: Strange Girls at Garvey|Simon Gallery.

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Review: The Humanity of Yvonne Rainer’s Natural and Peculiar Dances

September 18, 2018

Alastair Macaulay's New York Times review of Yvonne Rainer: Early Dances at the Museum of Modern Art's Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done exhibition.

Review: MoMA Puts Judson Dance on Display and, Better Yet, in Motion

September 20, 2018

Gia Kourlas' New York Times review of Yvonne Rainer: Early Dances at the Museum of Modern Art's Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done exhibition.

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Inflection Series

March 7, 2020

92nd Street Y, New York, NY

Operas by George Benjamin and Thoshio Hosokawa
Artistic concept by Alexander Polzin
Choreography by Sommer Ulrickson

The Giving Tree

March 14, 2020

Ballet Arts @ City Center

A curated evening of work, the proceeds of which will be donated to Direct Relief Charity and Books for Africa.


March 20, 2020

St. Ann & The Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, NY

Three evenings of dance, poetry, and community action with De Funes Dance. Inspired by the writings of Virginia Woolf, this site-specific re-staging of V. will also feature poetry produced by Cat Tyc's writing workshop and literature discussion.


Additional Services



Grant and publicity writing for dancers and choreographers

In addition to performing, Louisa has worked for both non-profit and commercial arts organizations as a writer. Her dual roles as artist and writer have given her a unique insight into translating the physical into the verbal. She offers grant and marketing writing on a freelance basis.