dancer ~ teacher ~ costume designer
Hello! My name is Susan Paino. I've been a dance arts educator since 1982 and have designed and led child/family dance classes and creative arts events for over 20 years.
After living in the Boston area most of my life, my family moved to Hillsborough, NC, right in the middle of the 2020 pandemic. During the months of the shutdowns, I participated in and offered online dance and movement classes, studied a secular form of yoga instruction for children, and practiced Spanish to build up my conversational skills. (Si prefieres comunicarte en español, ¡está bien!) I've also developed a new creative dance project for children, and I hope to schedule classes beginning in summer 2022.
When I'm not studying or dancing, I am most often sewing, reading, writing, walking/biking along the Eno River, and working at a local public school.
My interest and flair for costume design is rooted in my early dance studies with the founder of Boston Ballet, E. Virginia Williams. At her home studio, I was surrounded by talented seamstresses who hand-built tutus and tiaras. I danced in the studios downstairs and watched the costume-making upstairs.
And how can I not mention my mother, who often had her sewing machine set up in the dining room, where she made clothes for me and my sisters. Thanks to her, I learned much. Lesson number one...sewing rooms are much more useful than dining rooms!
As a designer, I enjoy creating imaginative fashions for dance and theatre - especially when I find ways to use recycled and up-cycled clothing, fabric, and other materials.
My most recent project, conducted long-distance, was with Boston's Fort Point Theatre Channel: Oceans of Rivers: Improvisations with Climate.
Inquiries to discuss costume project ideas are always welcome.
Click here for my costume design page.
Scenes de Ballet composed by Marc Warhol; costume built and hand-painted by Susan Paino; photo by Daniel Van Ackere; dancer Lucy Warren