Susan holds a Bachelors of Art in Dance from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Social Welfare from the University of Kansas. She also holds an LCSW license. She is currently pursuing CYT (Certified Yoga Teacher) training and will complete her coursework in August of 2012.
Much of Susan’s early career was in the field of social work- working with battered women, rape survivors, and people with chronic and persistent mental illness. Later, Susan worked as a psychotherapist, counseling families, couples and individuals. She also provided adoption home studies, and facilitated groups, including anger management and parenting groups.
During these years, Susan pursued her interest in dance by teaching and choreographing and gradually dance became a larger part of her career. She was one of the founders of aha! dance theatre in 1993, which had a 14 year history inKansas City. Rieger was the Artistic Director from 2002-2007. During that time, she produced concerts at the Folly Theater, in galleries, museums and outdoor spaces, as well as developed dance programs for grade school, high school and adult audiences. She has worked in Kansas as an Artist-in-Education, providing workshops and performances throughout rural areas. In addition, she has been on the KC Young Audiences roster for over ten years, with exciting, educational performances and workshops. For the past eight summers, Rieger has been on the faculty of the Missouri Fine Arts Academy in Springfield, Missouri, teaching dance and interdisciplinary arts.
In 2004, Susan was honored with a Kennedy Center Award for Achievement in Choreography (ACTF Region V in the original play “Lost” at Rockhurst University). Susan was most recently employed as Artistic Director of the 940 Dance Company in Lawrence, Kansas (2007-2011). In 2009, her company was invited to perform in Puebla, Mexico at Performatica, an international dance festival.
In the last 24 years, Rieger has toured throughout the Midwest teaching and performing for all ages; training professional dancers; and developing and presenting innovative choreography. The subject of her choreography has often related to the human condition, in all its struggles, joy, and longing.
Today, these two pathways of study and work in mental health and movement are merging to create “Moving Towards Wholeness”, a private practice that engages the whole person in reaching their goals. Susan has facilitated movement therapy groups for women in recovery from substance abuse, people with cognitive disorders and people who have been diagnosed with a chronic or serious illness. She has worked individually with people who range in age from 13 to 64 years of age, who have brought a range of issues to the movement studio.
SUSAN IN THE NEWS: Links