BODYHUES: Virtual Pilot Program

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BODYHUES is a new program, developed by Gibney Company Artistic Associate Jie-Hung Connie Shiau, that challenges harmful body stereotypes in dance. Join us for the Virtual Pilot Program to get a taste of why and how BODYHUES aims to cultivate a culture of celebrating and loving one’s body and dismantle the toxic body-shaming culture that oppresses and limits us all.

Self-love and self-care look different for everyone. Each Saturday in August, four different Guest Facilitators will guide participants through a FREE workshop offering their unique perspective on nurturing self-love, self-care, self-confidence, and creativity. Guest Facilitators include: Darling Shear, Janet Lo, Jennifer Sun, and Bonnie Buckner.

To offer a cohesive experience, participants must register for the full series of five workshops. Date, time, and registration information is below.


August 14, 12-2:30pm EDT:
Dance From The Heart workshop with Janet Lo

August 21, 12-3pm EDT:
TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) fundamental and TCM cooking class with Jennifer Sun
August 21, 3:15-4:15pm EDT:
Post-workshop debrief with Dr. Catherine Drury and Jie-Hung Connie Shiau

August 28, 12-2pm EDT:
Dreaming While Awake experience with Bonnie Buckner 

September 4, 12-3:30pm EDT:
Healing movement workshop and Artist Chat with Darling Shear + 30 minute talk back session

Deadline for the registration: August 7, 2021
Max number of participants: 20



Darling Shear will be guiding a movement healing workshop and there will be a screening of their work and followed by an artist chat with them about their work. They believe that we need to come into a new knowing that a healthy body has no one specific shape. Also, there are many different things people find beautiful within themselves and that should not be mocked or ridiculed because that’s what they like for themselves.  We must remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we all behold different things that light us up as we should. Life is about diversity. When we take time to quiet ourselves and tune into our inner being we realize that we are lovers of the variety of things and find great joy and happiness in the abounding options. 

Janet Lo will also be guiding a movement healing workshop. She believes mindful embodiment practices help to release the power of emotional energy on our minds and help us alchemize/transmute it into creative energy. How do we tune in, ground down, and find safety within our core value as human beings, in order to manifest what we do want to express and in the most gentle and heart-centered way? If emotions are pure energy and energy is all vibrations, how do we address stuck energies that manifest as tension, pain, or stress, and release them back into the universe by connecting back to what’s most natural to us (breath, movement, sound)? How do we move with and embody nature (the elements) instead of against it?

Jennifer Sun will be teaching a fundamental to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) through a cooking class. She believes the way we take care of ourselves is one of the first steps to taking care of humanity as a whole. To shame the other is to not only show a disconnection with the self but to impart disconnection to the other, which can cause disconnection in the scaffold of what one might consider as united Humanity. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, we practice Daoism and accepting all that is natural, and living with the way. To continue this enlightened way of life, we must find ways to heal ourselves, which can also bring healing to others.

Bonnie Buckner will be guiding a dream workshop. She will guide through an experience of how to look inside our body to connect with our spontaneous imagination (dreaming while awake), among others, all of which bring us back to our body, literally, and to move from this place of embodiment and imagination. This work of reconnecting leads to not only stimulating creativity, surmounting blocks, manifesting projects, and finding creative solutions to social and global challenges, but also appreciating and loving our miraculous bodies.


Darling Shear
Darling Shear is a Kinetic Linguist, Healer, Historian, Guerrilla Anthropologist. Darling is a Chicago Native but has roots in Atlanta where Darling started dance training. Darling attended North Springs Charter School of the performing arts where Darling was trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz and African. Darling began dancing professionally right out of high school and in that time worked with many great choreographers. The highlights were working with Bubba Carr choreographer/artistic director to Cher for 12yrs and counting, Rhonda Henriksen soloist with Hubbard Street and Twyla Tharp, Tracy Vogt former Philadanco dancer, Hinton Battle the Original Scarecrow from the broadway production of “The Wiz” and Lauri Stallings Hubbard street soloist and founder/artistic director of gloATL. Darling moved back to Chicago the summer of 2011 to start Suna Dance, a collaborative artist group and had the first performance in November of 2011. In 2018 Darling was chosen as the cover model and also quoted in Micah Salkind’s Oxford published book ‘Do you remember house? Chicago’s queer of color underground’. Followed by receiving the Between Gestures  scholarship to Austria to attend Impulstanz in Vienna also the Chicago Dancemakers Forum fellowship and Links Hall CoMission Fellowship along with a 3Arts nomination in 2019. Darlings career has been one with a strong spiritual center and allowance of universal well-being.

Janet Lo
Janet Lo is a second-generation Chinese Canadian/American interdisciplinary storyteller and conscious dance facilitator with a background in Theater, Dance, TV + Production. After many years and multiple burnouts in the industry, she now focuses on creating heart-centered wellness spaces for healing and empowering the concept of safe play in relationship to the body. Since discovering the Dance From The Heart modality with Critical Mass Dance Company (CMDC) in 2018, Janet is passionate about teaching and building a community of self-healers, movers and shakers through tapping into the feminine divine, sensuality, conscious dance + movement, and other embodiment practices. She leads CMDC’s virtual Dance From The Heart programming, collaborative workshops and teacher training with the heartfelt intention of creating safe and brave spaces for exploration and transformation. Virgo Sun, Libra Rising. 4/6 Reflector. Instagram: @Jglowgirl 

Bonnie Buckner holds a PhD in psychology, with an emphasis in media, from Fielding Graduate University, and a PCC level coaching certificate from ICF. She is adjunct faculty for the GWU CEPL e-CO Leadership Coaching Certification program.  Author of Dream Your Self into Being, her academic and professional work since 2008 has centered on the study and use of images, dreaming, and the spontaneous imagination as cognitive tools for behavioral and communal change.  Her private consulting practice teaches these tools to individuals, organizations, and performing arts foundations/individuals to stimulate creativity and to find creative solutions to social and global challenges.

Jennifer Sun is a third generation Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbalist and Nutritionist based in Amsterdam and New York. As a first generation American, Jennifer practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as a child with her father, Dr. Sun, but it wasn’t until a few years ago she truly found a deeper connection to her culture and to her own body through pursuing a degree in Acupuncture and Chinese Herbalism. In the summer of 2018, Jennifer launched Sun for Soul, an East-meets-West approach to TCM through herbal food products. What started as a food passion project turned into a full-time venture where Jennifer aims to help others understand how to consciously develop a holistic relationship to their bodies through TCM Nutrition courses and personalized food therapy coaching. Her mission with Sun for Soul is to continue the lineage of traditional Chinese healing with the hopes that together, we can all learn to honor, appreciate, and consciously practice true wisdom that is Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Catherine Drury
Catherine Drury, LCSW, is a licensed psychotherapist who specializes in supporting dancers through injury, stress, burnout, and career change. At her Manhattan-based private practice, Catherine treats adolescents and young adults with eating disorders, depression, anxiety, and histories of trauma using cognitive behavioral and evidence-based treatment modalities. She has also delivered workshops and lectures to dance institutions such as The Ailey School, the American Ballet Theatre JKO School and Studio Company, and the Princeton Ballet School, fostering resilience and emotional intelligence among pre-professional dance students. In partnership with The Actors Fund, Gibney Dance, Dance/NYC, and the NYU Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, Catherine facilitates support groups and programs designed to meet the unique needs of the dance community. She has published on her work with injured dancers, presented at the Association for Applied Sport Psychology Annual Conference, and contributed to articles in Dance Magazine and Dance Informa Magazine. Catherine has a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where her research is dedicated to eating disorder treatment and athletic performance enhancement for dancers.


Body positivity is a political movement that addresses the marginalization of certain body types. It is addressing oppression and discrimination. It is not about being positive about your body. 

Body confidence however is about you, and your individual relationship with your body.

Body shaming manifests in many ways, including criticizing your own appearance, criticizing someone else’s appearance in front of them or criticizing someone else’s appearance behind their back. 

A Note from BODYHUES Founder

A big part of the reason why I feel the need to create this space is that I want to remind myself that I am enough, that this miraculous body I have is mine, not owned by white supremacy, not owned by heteropatriarchy, not owned by capitalism, and not owned by stereotypes, but is mine. I want to remind myself that I can trust my body, and when at times I forget how to do that, I can come to this space to release, heal, and communicate. Though BODYHUES is a space to remind me of these truths, I know that I am not the only person who needs this reminder and that so many of us experience body-shaming language and culture. This beautiful vessel that is the body, how do we fully live, flow, and express when it is clogged with all the things that are forced and placed upon it? I thought, “What would be a better way to address this toxic culture than to start appreciating, caring, and loving our own bodies?”. And when we start appreciating, caring, and loving for ourselves, the energy fractals outwardly and changes the way that we see bodies and talk about bodies. ––Jie-Hung Connie Shiau


BODYHUES exists to challenge harmful body stereotypes that have been fostering a culture that nurtures hierarchy, exclusion, and supremacy based on how one looks; and to remind culture that not one body is the same, and different is absolutely beautiful. It is time to dismantle body-shaming culture, deconstruct body stereotypes, and create spaces for all. BODYHUES believes that when loving and celebrating our miraculous bodies and building confidence in our bodies, we are truly thriving by unlocking the full potential, pleasure, and creativity from within.

Founder and Director of BODYHUES

Jie-Hung Connie Shiau
Jie-Hung Connie Shiau, a movement artist, choreographer, and dance educator. Born in Gainesville, Florida, raised in Tainan, Taiwan. Graduated from The High School Division For Dance of Taipei National University of the Arts (TNUA), and the Dance Conservatory of SUNY Purchase College. Jie Hung is a dancer, choreographer, and educator. Shiau has worked as a collaborator with an array of companies, including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, AIM by Kyle Abraham, Gallim Dance, Helen Simoneau Danse, MeenMoves, Adam Barruch Dance, and Kevin Wynn Works. She has performed works by Crystal Pite, Ohad Naharin, Lou Conte, Kyle Abraham, Brian Brooks, Peter Chu, Robyn Mineko Williams, Alejandro Cerrudo, Helen Simoneau, Sameena Mitta, Rena Butler, Alice Klock, Hanna Kiel, Osnel Delgado, Adam Barruch, and Kevin Wynn.

Shiau has taught nationally and internationally at National Cheng Kung University, Sheng Kung Girls High School, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, AIM by Kyle Abraham’s summer and winter intensives, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s summer intensives. Shiau has restaged Kyle Abraham’s repertories at SUNY Purchase College, Point Park University, Cornish College, Rutgers University, Princeton University, Queensborough Community College, Booker T Washington Visual and Performing Arts High School.

Shiau has presented works at New Choreographer Project in Taipei, Taiwan, Loyola University, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago summer intensives, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago’s 42nd virtual season.

In addition, Shiau was a recipient of Chicago Dancemaker Forum Greenhouse Artist in 2019, Dance Magazine’s “25 To Watch” in 2018, Honorable Mention for Jadin Wong Award for Emerging Asian American Dancer in 2014, and Reverb Dance Festival Dancer Award in 2014. 

Bodyhues was created in part through Gibney Company’s Moving Toward Justice Fellowship program with support by the Bay and Paul Foundations, with additional support from Andrew A. Davis, a Trustee of the Shelby Cullom Davis Charitable Fund.


Darling Shear:
Janet Lo:
Bonnie Buckner:
Jennifer Sun:
Dr. Catherine Drury:
The Body Positive:
Pro Hoe:
Okay, Let’s Unpack This:

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