ELIZABETH (BETSY) COKER
is a scientist, dancer, and teacher. She is an Assistant Arts Professor of Dance at NYU/Tisch School of the Arts and co-Artistic Director of Seán Curran Company.
Coker received her master’s and doctorate degrees in Motor Learning and Control from Teachers College, Columbia University and holds a BA in Psychology (concentration in Dance) from Columbia University. Prior to initiating her academic career, she performed with the Washington Ballet and trained at the Ballet Nacional de Cuba.
Coker’s areas of research include postural control, motion capture technologies, and motor imagery in dancers. Her work has appeared in a variety of media including scientific journals, field publications, documentary film and radio.
Additionally, she has taught, created and set choreography with students and professionals across the country as well as at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Opera de Montreal, San Diego Opera, Opera Lafayette, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and Yale Repertory Theater.
Mental simulation techniques for orthopedic rehabilitation
Clinical uses of motor imagery and action observation in post-operative orthopedic rehabilitation of dancers and athletes. Secondary interest in the development of accessible EEG technology for the measurement and description of mental simulation behaviors.
Fully Remote Balance Measurement
Development and feasibility testing of a fully-remote method for measuring standing balance using a custom iPhone application and video conferencing. Particular interest in the application of remote technologies to distinguish the effects of age, visual condition, and cognitive load on balance control.
Funded by the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab: Center for Smart Use of Technologies to Assess Real-World Outcomes (C-STAR).
Feeling, Seeing, Hearing Balance: Empirics and Poetics of Movement
Interdisciplinary experiment resulting in three distinct products: 1) empirical research study comparing the validity of smartphone accelerometry to “gold-standard” clinical force plate measures in dance movements; 2) smartphone application providing biofeedback linked to balance qualities; 3) choreographic work exploring concepts of balance, informed by creative experimentation with biofeedback technology.
Created through a fellowship with NYU's Center for Ballet and the Arts.
Visual Dependence and Balance in Dancers: Adapting a Virtual Reality Paradigm
Collaboration with NYU/Steinhardt Physical Therapy comparing dynamic postural control strategies during a dance-specific balance task in healthy elite dancers and elite dancers with a history of ankle inversion injury. We take a particular interest in further developing applications of accessible technologies including VR and smartphone accelerometry towards this aim.
Funded by the NYU University Research Challenge Fund.
Lubetzky, A., Coker, E., Arie, L., Aharoni, M., & Krasovsky, T. (2021). Postural control under cognitive load: Evidence of increased automaticity revealed by center-of-pressure and head kinematics. Journal of Motor Behavior. DOI: 10.1080/00222895.2021.2013768
Coker, E., & Kaminski, T., (2020). Effect of Visual Condition on Performance of Balance-Related Tasks in Elite Dance Students. Motor Control. DOI: 10.1123/mc.2019-0032
Coker, E., McIsaac, T. & Nilsen, D. (2015). Motor imagery modality in expert dancers: an investigation of hip and pelvis kinematics in demi-plié and sauté. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, 19(2), 63-39. DOI: 10.12678/1089-313X.19.2.63
Coker Giron, E., McIsaac, T. & Nilsen, D. (2012). Effects of kinesthetic versus visual imagery on two technical dance movements: A pilot study. Journal of Dance Medicine and Science. 16(1), 36-3.
FEATURED IN MEDIA
Gwinn, Alison (2022). Something in the way we MOVE. Scope Magazine, Vol 3, pp. 31-33.
Youdan, G. (Host). (2022, Jan 5). Measurement in Dance (No. 93) [Audio podcast episode]. In DanceWell Podcast. https://www.dancewellpodcast.com/news/2021/12/22/episode-93-measurement-in-dance
Sandall, E. (2021, March). Balancing act: Five ways to get better at finding your center. Dance Magazine, 95(3), 48–51. https://www.dancemagazine.com/training/?share_id=6334734
Kusner, E. (Host). (2020, May 21). Motor imagery (No. 68) [Audio podcast episode]. In DanceWell Podcast. https://www.dancewellpodcast.com/news/2020/5/21/episode-68-motor-imagery
University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA)
Dido and Aeneas (dir. Richard Gammon, chor. Elizabeth Coker)
Kansas City Ballet (Kansas City, MO)
Celts (Assistant to choreographer Lila York)
Wolf Trap Opera (Vienna, VA)
Merlin's Island & The Emperor of Atlantis (dir. Richard Gammon, chor. Elizabeth Coker)
Jack Crystal Theater (NY, NY)
Odawara 3D (chor. Elizabeth Coker)
June 9, 2018
Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival (Detroit, MI)
Trouble in Tahiti (dir. Richard Gammon, chor. Elizabeth Coker)
Oct 5, 2018
Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center (Birmingham, AL)
Seán Curran Company with Third Coast Percussion
Oct 24-27, 2018
Brooklyn Academy of Music (NY, NY)
Seán Curran Company with Third Coast Percussion
Dec 1-9, 2018
Guggenheim Museum Works and Process (NY, NY)
Peter and the Wolf (dir. Isaac Mizrahi, chor. John Heginbotham)