University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Merry Lynn Morris holds a Masters of Fine Arts degree in dance performance and choreography from Florida State University and is a PhD candidate at Texas Woman’s University. She has been on the faculty of the USF dance program since 1998. Ms. Morris seeks out interdisciplinary opportunities in which her movement background and expertise can be utilized and expanded. Her collaborative work crosses multiple disciplines including: Engineering, Physical Therapy, Architecture, Music, and Visual Art. She enjoys opportunities to utilize dance in diverse, integrative, and therapeutic ways. She began exploring the venue of mixed ability dance in 2002, and as caregiver to a disabled father over a 21 year period, her interest and awareness in disability needs has been ever-present. Ms. Morris serves on the board for VSA of Florida, the statewide arts and disability organization, and in the Tampa community, Ms. Morris teaches ballet and integrated dance for young children and adults (REVolutions Dance www.revdance.org) and choreographs regularly.
Ms. Morris’ dance/mobility chair project (http://artsanddisability.blogspot.com/) involves approaching wheelchair design from a dance performance perspective to increase options for differently-abled individuals and expand perceptions regarding human mobility. The project has received national and international recognition and several patented chair prototypes have been built. Ms. Morris has been featured/interviewed on MSNBC, the Katie Couric show, PBS, CNN, and in the Reader’s Digest. Her invention has been featured at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, where she has also been a guest speaker. Ms. Morris’ publications include: four U.S. Patents and 10 scholarly publications, including conference proceedings and peer-reviewed journal articles.
Ms. Morris is a member of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO), and the Florida Dance Education Organization (FDEO). She is also an American Ballet Theatre® National Training Curriculum certified teacher. Ms. Morris continues to pursue research and study in the area of dance medicine/kinesiology and she is also a member and regular presenter at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS).
For more information also see: https://usf.academia.edu/MerryMorris