Becky Valls is an Associate Professor of Dance at the University of Houston where she teaches dance education, dance history, modern technique, and senior projects. She is the director of the UH Young Audiences Touring Company and a recipient of the Ross M. Lence Teaching Award in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (2013). As an independent choreographer, she produces and choreographs the Memoirs of the Sistahood series – evening-length, multi-disciplinary works based on her large Catholic family, with sculptor Babette Beaullieu of New Orleans, and film maker Deborah Schildt of Anchorage. They received a Houston Arts Alliance grant and a National Performance Network Grant to produce/tour Chapter One (2007), Chapter Two: House (2009), Chapter Three: Ave Maria (2011), and Chapter Four: Sacred Trails (2013) in Houston and New Orleans.
In the last three years her solo Red Square has toured to the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Tempe Performing Arts Center in Tempe, Harvest Chicago Dance Festival at Ruth Page Arts Center in Chicago, and the WestFest Dance Festival in New York City. The solo is performed by Teresa Chapman.
In 2013, Valls was a guest choreographer for Core Performance Company in Atlanta, Georgia and her new work, Web, was performed at the Calanwolde Center Atlanta and the Florida Dance Festival in Tampa. In February of 2015, she was a guest choreographer & teacher at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania where she set her dance, Drift.
In Louisiana, Valls served as Company Director /Choreographer for Moving South Dance Company where her choreography was funded by numerous state grants from the Louisiana Arts Council and performed in New Orleans, Houston, Washington D.C. and France. Since residing in Texas, Valls’ choreography has been presented by Diverse Works, BarnStorm Dance Fest, Big Range Dance Festival, Chrysalis Dance Company, JCC Dance Month, Weekend of Texas Contemporary Dance at Miller Outdoor Theatre (4x), San Jacinto College, and Rice University where she served as director of the dance program and Rice Dance Theatre.
As a Teaching Artist for 23 years, Valls designs movement lessons with cross curricular links for elementary schools and conducts professional development workshops for teachers. She is the director and choreographer of Becky Valls and Company, a performing group with Young Audiences of Houston that tours two dance/science performances titled Dance of the Insects and For the Birds performed by Toni Valle and Kate Rash. She is presently researching embodied learning with UH Charter School through the Science Dance Project. The project trains classroom teachers to develop science/dance curriculum for the constructivist school and documents how students construct knowledge of science concepts through dance.
In February & October 2015, she collaborated with UH engineer professor/neuroscientist, Dr. Pepe Contreras-Vidal who specializes in developing algorithms that read electrical activity in the brain to gather data on the link between language (dance) and intent/command of the brain. Valls performed Red Square as part of the Blaffer Art Museum Innovation Series at UH Quintero Theatre in a brain cap embedded with electrodes to track brainwaves which were projected on stage. Valls’ brain waves controlled the intensity of the lighting design during the performance of the solo. The project, Your Brain on Dance, was invited to be presented at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C. during Innovation Week in September 2015. Red Square was performed by Teresa Chapman and Anastaysia Kopteva.
Valls holds a Masters’ of Fine Arts in Choreography from Sarah Lawrence College in New York where her thesis work was selected by the American College Dance Festival Association for the national performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.