Artist, Teacher, Yogi
Mackenzie Rawls is a NYC based dancer and teacher originally based in Washington DC and metro area.
Originally from Rockville, MD, Mackenzie training at the Berrend Dance Center under the direction of Patricia Berrend. She finished her pre-collegiate training at American Dance Institute (ADI) under the direction of Runqiao Du. Upon graduating high school, she continued her training at the Boston Conservatory where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance.
Throughout her four years at the Boston Conservatory, Mackenzie had the opportunity to work with many influential artists, learn repertoire and delve deeper into her art studies. She was given the opportunity to perform works by Thang Dao, Doug Varone, Bill T. Jones, Danny Buraczeski, Karole Armitage, and Francesca Harper. Mackenzie received the WISE Foundation's "Emerging Artist of 2013" for her performance in Danny Buraczeski's "Ezekiel's Wheel".
Mackenzie has attended workshops and programs at Julliard, Alonzo King Lines, Balletmet, CBT, San Francisco Conservatory, and Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria and Axis Connect. As a result of this exposure, she has had the pleasure to work with artists from all over the world and perform works by Alessio Silverstrin, Robert Battle, Yannis Adoniou, Darrell Grand Moutlrie, Hernan Justo and Peter Chu.
Mackenzie has guested with companies like Carolina Ballet Theater (CBT) Greenville, RDT (Allentown), and Belcantanti Opera. Mackenzie was a company dancer with Dissonance Dance Theater. She then spent two seasons with Bowen McCauley Dance Company from 2017-2019 where she was able to dive deeper into her performance, choreographic, and teaching artist career. In the spring of 2018, Mackenzie set a world premiere on Howard University dance students, "Samudaay". It was premiered in April in a show highlighting female choreographers.
Mackenzie is currently freelancing as a dancer and choreographer in the New York City area and performs as opportunities present themselves.
Since graduating the Boston Conservatory, Mackenzie has been teaching all around the DC/MD/VA area. Amongst the many studios, she had the privilege to teach at Elizabeth Seton High School, where over her three years there, developed their dance program and curriculum. Starting with only two "physical education" dance classes and a small dance team club, she managed to ignite a curiosity and enthusiasm across the school community. At the end of her second year, she put on the 1st ever end of the semester dance performance with the dance classes and dance team. The following year, the demand for dance classes required a doubling of offerings each semester, two dance performances as well as a growing dance team with overwhelming success. Mackenzie was also crucial in the development of the beginning stages of the Performing Arts department where she wrote the curriculum for the dance program and aided in the push of the importance of the arts in the school.
Mackenzie offers a wide variety of classes. She teaches ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, jazz/hiphop, conditioning for dancers, creative movement and yoga. The newest addition to her services is wedding choreography and dance lessons. You can find more about her offerings. private lessons, and classes and testimonials under services.
With a natural passion for teaching and a long standing practice of yoga, she participated in a 200 HR Hatha Raja YTT in 2017 under Gabrielle Sulk (Yogini Kali). In summer of 2017, Mackenzie began teaching yoga at Bembe Beach Yoga at the Annapolis Sailing School. In fall of 2017, Mackenzie began teaching at Prana Studio in Annapolis where she continued to two for the following two years. During this time, she also extended her teachings to private clients, high school athletic teams, and college groups.
She took her passion for teaching to the waterways of Annapolis where she taught SUP Yoga and created SUP dance class at CapitalSUP.
Stand Up Paddleboarder:
Having been a self proclaimed mermaid as a child, it didn't take long for Mackenzie to fall in love with stand up paddling. Introduced to paddling in 2015, Mackenzie dove in head first quickly becoming WPA certified to help at CapitalSUP in Annapolis, MD. There she was a part of the race team for a few brief seasons but found her home within the teaching and educational component. Around the same time she was WPA certified she was also SUP Yoga certified and her SUP fitness classes began. There she created SUP Dance, a movement classed inspired by her career as a dancer. At her time at CapitalSUP, Mackenzie became an integral part of the development of the Grom camp (kids camp). Since moving to NYC, she has already found a home in Manhattan Kayak on Pier 84 as a SUP Basic instructor, SUP Yoga instructor, assistant guide, and has taken over their social media. Thrilled for new waters to explore and audiences to teach, Mackenzie is excited to have been brought on staff at the beginning of the 2020 season and looks forward to breaking into another SUP family to call home in NYC.
Image: Jackson Steppe