Alum of Expressive Arts Therapy
Marlena E. Zahm (2011), originally from Massachusetts, has twenty-five years of experience as a dancer. She is part of the first graduating class of the Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School. She moved to San Francisco in 2008 to pursue graduate work in mental health and in 2011 received her BFA in Dance & Theater from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. It was through her work as a client using the expressive arts that she uncovered her calling to be a healing artist. She uses movement, drama, music, poetry, storytelling, and painting in her work with clients. Marlena has worked in skilled nursing facilities and in drug rehabilitation clinics as a therapist.
Currently Marlena works as a dance educator and theater director at Kids 'n' Dance in Oakland, Lafayette, and Orinda California. She has integrated her passion for dance, and education in expressive arts to facilitate self-expression through the modalities of dance and theater. She directs musical theater productions for children ages 4-11 and teaches ballet, jazz, tap, gymnastics, Creative Movement & hip-hop to children ages 2-13.
Marlena elevates awareness about the importance of the arts in education to public school administrators through lobbying and fundraising. Marlena believes that children need creative outlets to express their feelings, hopes, and fears. Through the creative process children can enrich self-understanding and compassion.