Originally from Boise, Idaho, Edson received her training at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and The Juilliard School, under the direction of the late Benjamin Harkarvy. She danced with Trey McIntyre Project for several years and was featured in many of his critically acclaimed works. Throughout her career she's had the honor of performing the works of Pina Bausch, Maguy Marin, Angelin Preljocaj, Robert Battle, Johannes Wieland, and Alex Ketley, among others.
As a choreographer, she has received many fellowships/awards for her choreography. She was recently awarded the prestigious 2019 Washington Award for excellence in choreography. She created an original work for the International Commercial agency, The Freeman Company in 2017 that premiered at the Winspear Opera House in Dallas, TX. In 2016, was selected by Whim W’Him in Seattle to create and original work for their Choreographic Shindig. She collaborated with Internationally renowned cellist, Dave Eggar. She is the recipient of the ICA Performing Arts Fellowship, the Dance Omi International Resident, UNCSA Choreographic Development Residency, a ‘Level Up Artist’ of The Dance Gallery Festival and the University of Kansas’ 2015 Choreographic Fellow. She is the winner of Northwest Dance Project’s The Pretty Creative’s International Choreography Competition, the recipient of the Audience Favorite Award at Milwaukee Ballet’s International Choreography Competition, Winner of the Grand Prize and Paid Engagement Award at the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Competition, winner of Western Michigan University’s Great Works Dance Project and resident Guest Artist at East Carolina University, University of Utah, Peck School of the Arts, Western Oregon University, Oakland University, Western Michigan University, University of Kansas, Grand Valley State University and Pacific University, to name a few.
Edson's choreography has appeared at the McCallum Theatre, Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series, Ailey Citigroup Theatre, Winspear Opera House and the Kennedy Center. Her past choreographic commissions include: Whim W’Him, Northwest Dance Project, Houston MET Dance, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Idaho, Freeman Company, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Pensacola Ballet and SALT Contemporary Dance, to name a few.
In January 2015, Edson created LED with her husband, composer and musician, Andrew Stensaas. LED combines contemporary dance, original music, and film into breathtaking cinematic experiences. Described by the Seattle Times as “an important addition to the dance scene in the Northwest and a dazzling feat of pyrotechnics." LED's live performances have wowed sold-out crowds at Boise's Morrison Center for the Performing Arts, Egyptian Theatre, and Treefort Music Fest, as well as audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest. In 2017, LED was named Boise's Emerging Organization.
I have made dances for as long as I can remember. When I was very young, it was the one activity in which I could express the feelings bottled up in my excruciatingly shy self. As I grew older, this desire to move and express was translated into the pursuit of a career as a professional dancer. I just never stayed anywhere for longer than a year or two. The inkling to make movement was always present and it just wouldn't go away.
I am interested in making dances about people, their relationships and what unites us as human beings. I feel privileged to be able, through dance making, express a collective consciousness. I am interested in the process of creation and how, with the help of fellow artists, we can get at something that transcends us, to explore the unknown.
Taking a journey into the wilds of creation is a precarious one, filled with hesitation and doubt. Most of the time I’m terrified. Yet, to walk on the ridge of these discoveries is what propels me. It’s through play and wonderment that I, and everyone in the room is able to dig at the most complicated of human emotions.
My process, by no means is streamlined. It’s clunky and messy and I’ve come to realize that dance can be discovered and made in every fleeting moment. It can be made in the kitchen with my three year old son, and conversely in a studio when all things are aligned. The only ingredients truly necessary are a presence, and a willingness to be both thoughtful and reckless. I try to accept the invitation daily.
Some highlights of this creative journey include meeting my husband and lifelong collaborator, Andrew Stensaas, creating our first project together and the premiere of the work in New York City, welcoming our three year old son Finn into the world and watching his curiosity and creativity blossom every day, and having the guts to start LED.