Upon graduating in dance from the Jefferson Performing Arts High School in Portland, Oregon, Ms. Farnum was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City. She received her BFA in Dance & Performing Arts at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. At NYU she had the honor of studying Pilates with Kathy Grant a Pilates elder, one of only two elders certified to teach by Joseph Pilates. Colleen danced professionally with the Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Company at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She has also danced in the choreographies of Amanda Miller, Bob Fosse, Ann Reinking, David Dorfman and David Parsons. Ms. Farnum toured the United States with the Horde Festival, choreographing and dancing for the bands Phish, Widespread Panic, Blues Traveler and Spin Doctors.
In Miami, she was the principal dancer, choreographer and assistant director of Dance Now! Miami for seven years. For nine years she was a dancer, the rehearsal director, and Assistant Artistic Director of Miami Contemporary Dance Company (MCDC). MCDC toured both nationally and internationally during her time with the company. She is now the director of Atma Yogadance. Ms. Farnum has served on the faculty of the Miami City Ballet and on the summer intensive faculty of the Joffrey Ballet. As a dedicated Pilates instructor and yoga practitioner Colleen had many opportunities to study with elders even travelling to Mysore, India to study under the tutelage of Sri K. Patthabi Jois, the creator of Ashtanga yoga.
Over the last 25 years, she has taught students from toddlers to adults in many diverse settings. Ms. Farnum approaches teaching enthusiastically with the philosophy that dance and yoga provide opportunities for participants to build self-confidence that in-turn produces positive change in attitudes and behavior. She believes that the disciplines of modern dance, yoga postures, centering techniques and meditation help balance the body and mind to inform the dancer and creative choreography process.
In 2011, Ms. Farnum created a new technique combining her passion for yoga, dance and Pilates – the YogaDance Method™. This method is exhibited in the choreography of her Atma Yogadance Company. The combination of dance, yoga and the discipline of Pilates creates a form of movement that can be experienced in both professional performances and in workshops and classes.
Atma Yogadance focuses on both education and performance. The company has performed at some of Miami’s most prestigious venues: Daniel Lewis Sampler 2014 – 2017; Art Basel 2012 – 2016, at Open Stage at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, and at the historic North Miami Beach Bandshell 2012 -2017. Workshops have been conducted at the Miami Performing Arts Network, Girl Power Rocks, Miami and the Gang Alternatives Program in Miami, Florida.
In addition, Ms. Farnum created a dance film based on the concept of the myth of Sisyphus. The Myth (co-directed by Gina Cunningham and Peter Eves) premiered at Art Basel 2013 in conjunction with a multimedia dance and music performance choreographed and directed by Ms. Farnum. The film has been screened at two international screenings. The first of these is the Fesval Internacional de Videodanza DV Danza Habana Movimiento y Ciudad in Havana, Cuba. The second is an international exchange residency program at the Barim Institute in Gwangju, Korea, where the company performed and Ms. Farnum taught the YogaDance Method.