Ellen Kogan is a seasoned professional recognized in both the dance world and as an occupational therapist. She has had an extensive involvement with movement and dance for over forty years and is known for her extensive knowledge of the human body, emotional and intellectual intensity, and deep curiosity to explore new ideas.
Her dance career began as a member of Eugene Loring Dancers and San Francisco Ballet before becoming a soloist with The Bat-Dor Dance Company in Israel and The Cliff Keuter Dance Company in New York City, sponsored by Sol Hurok. In 1981, she founded Kogan Solo Dance, a company of one, created to explore and present solo dance. Her solo work has been critically acclaimed both in the United States and abroad and she has appeared in major theaters and festivals worldwide including Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, The Joyce Theatre, with Ohio Ballet on the Cleveland Series, and Brooklyn Academy of the Performing Arts, The Place, The Laban Center for Movement and Dance, and Tate Gallery in London under the auspices of the Dance Umbrella in Edinburgh and London. Kogan Solo Dance was funded by The National Endowment for the Arts for seven consecutive years and The New York State Council of the Arts.
In 1996, Ms. Kogan began using her skills and opportunities to help children who are unable to help themselves, due to physical, emotional, and cognitive influences. She received a degree in occupational therapy in 2000 and, since then, using her special mix of traditional and movement treatments, has worked with a wide range of disabilities.
In 2007, she founded “Sensory Steps” - A Movement Intervention - for children with autism and other neurological disabilities to help them move more effectively, attend better, and improve social skills. As part of the movement experience, the program fosters expressiveness, creativity, social cohesiveness, teamwork, increased cognition, and a greater sense of self.
In 2013, driven by “what works”, armed with extensive research and a deep conviction in the power of movement, Ms. Kogan created a series of workshops called “KoganSteps” to help service professionals, educators, artists, and parents integrate movement practices into what they already do with the children they care for. “KoganSteps” has been presented at various international events and venues, including : “The Very Special Arts Program” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, DC; Young Child's Expo and Conference, NYC; Prevent Child Abuse Conference, Albany, NY; New York Therapy Placement Services (NYTPS), NYC & Queens; NYC Department of Education, NYC; and the Lee Kong Chian Garden School (MINDS) in Singapore under the auspices of the John Mead Dance Company. In 2016, as part of the Dance Motion USA/BAM program, Ms. Kogan gave a two-day pre-tour intensive called “A Therapeutic Approach In An Artistic Package” to the Limón Dance Company, in NYC, to prepare the company members to work with disabilities in Africa.
Kogan has taught extensively throughout the United States and Europe and has created several educational workshops, seminars and lecture demonstrations fostering an eclectic view of movement, its cultural and religious impact, and influence on a functional lifestyle. She recently presented an evening lecture-demonstration to the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts exploring how her own career has served to help children with disabilities.
She has been on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Sarah Lawrence College, Lincoln Center Institute of the Arts and Education, New York University, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, The Laban Center for Movement and Dance in England and The Center International de la Dance in Paris. She holds a B.A. in Dance from the University of California at Irvine, a M.A. in Dance from University of California at Los Angeles, a certificate in Dance Therapy and a M.A. in Occupational Therapy from New York University.