Pennsylvania Partner of the Arts 2006-2016
Erie Arts & Culture Established Artist Fellowship 2016
Solveig Santillano joined the Mercyhurst Dance Department faculty in 2009 following years of adjunct teaching. Originally from Sioux Falls. SD, Ms. Santillano holds an MFA from Hollins University, a Master of Arts and Liberal studies (Rulewater Prize recipient) from Wesleyan University, and a BFA from the Julliard School of Dance. An (ISMETA) registered Somatic Movement Therapist (RSMT), she is a CLMA (Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst) through Integrated Movement Studies (2020). She has also earned Essential, Advanced certifications through Open Sky Yoga, Beginner to Adv. Restorative Yoga certifications (Judith Hanson Lasater), is a certified Yoga Alliance R.Y.T instructor @ 500 hours, a certified William “Bill” Evans Instructor, and has trained and taught Stott Pilates.
She has enjoyed a career of national and international touring that included Anna Sokolow’s Players Project, Ruby Shang and Dancers, Prometheus Dance Theatre, Boston Arts Group, Spencer/Colton, Nancy Compton, Neta Pulvermacher, and culminated with the innovative (and often outrageous) MOMIX Dance Company with whom she performed as a soloist, acted as choreographic collaborator, appeared in Italian television specials, and in an IMAX film for the Korean Film Festival.
Her work as a choreographer, director, performer, and collaborator has culminated in the co-founding of SoMar Dance Works, along with partner Mark Santillano, the contemporary in-residence dance company at Mercyhurst University. Their work has been presented internationally (Sweden, Austria), nationally and regionally (Arizona, California, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania) and locally (extensively). Long time Pennsylvania Partners of the Arts grant recipients (2007-present), the duo was awarded Erie Arts and Culture’s first Established Artist Fellowship (2016), and celebrated their company’s 20th anniversary in 2019. Santillano directed/produced 4 National Water Dance Erie community collaborations and was a grant recipient and choreographer collaborator for Erie’s first Dance Film Festival in 2020.
In addition to performing, Ms. Santillano has dedicated her life work to teaching, coaching and direction inspired by her research on somatic disciplines, therapeutics, and the intersection of arts, advocacy, artistic discovery, and community service. She serves as faculty advisor for the National Honor Society for Dance Arts (NHSDA) and the Yoga Club, regularly attends/teaches/presents at regional to international workshops/conferences and is dedicated to building/serving community as an artist and educator, and supporting young artists in their (holistic) pursuit of excellence, optimal human movement potential, meaning making, and cultivation of well-being and artistic “voice”.