The Dance Alchemist
ZenSpace Founder and Director
Kristen Mangione has taught dance and the healing arts for over two decades. She is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and healing artist. She loves sharing her passion for dance, and discovery through one's body in a safe, nurturing environment.
She danced professionally for choreographers in New York including Bill T. Jones, Nancy Zendora, and Chris Ferris. She has worked in arts administration and production for American Ballet Theatre, The Juilliard School and Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.
She first discovered and fell in love with modern dance while studying at the Somerset County Performing Arts Dance Program in her teenage years. Modeled after the LaGuardia "Fame" School, in this program she performed extensively, started choreographing, as well as studying dance history, dance criticism and production. During her studies she was awarded as a Governor's Scholar in Dance, selected twice for the Performing Arts Dance Program Outstanding Student, and was mentored by NJ Dance Critic Joseph Gale. She went on to major in dance at Smith College, and the Five Colleges, MA, in addition to receiving a Professional Diploma in Dance Studies and Choreography at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, London, UK.
She has extensive studies in body awareness based techniques including Zena Rommett Floor-Barre®, Shiatsu and Reiki. She is a Certified Zena Rommett Floor-Barre® instructor and Certified in the Simonson Method of dance teaching, both of which she teaches virtually and in person. For a decade, she led a team of meditation, dance and yoga instructors, as part of ZenSpace being a home for dance, wellness and transformation. ZenSpace currently hosts Kristen's teaching, artistic work and offers both short and ongoing rentals of its studios.
Kristen has taught Eastern philosophy, Chinese medicine, and movement mechanics in bodywork at the internationally recognized Ohashi Institute in New York City. She has also worked with over 1,000 clients in bodywork therapy and Chinese Medicine. Also a Certified Reiki Master and meditation teacher, Kristen has trained in authentic Zen practice at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, a Rinzai Zen Buddhist monastery located in the Catskill Mountains.
She has led retreats at Dai Bosatsu Zendo, in the Catskills of upstate NY; in Tamarindo, Costa Rica, and as part of Michael Andreula's ReBoot Camp Retreats. She has been a featured presenter of workshops on Eastern philosophy and meditation at various businesses and organizations including the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Emmys) in New York City.
She most recently has created and been leading LÎLA (pronounced LEE-lah, translated as Divine Play in Sanskrit) Dance Alchemy for the Soul©. LÎLA is a revolutionary practice that combines elements of Dance Alchemy© - movement improvisation, meditation, creative play, healing principles and the Chakra and Chinese Five element energy systems – for transformation.