Suzanne Ryanstrati (she/her) is a descendent of an immigrant who arrived in America by boat in 1640, and sold into indentured servitude. Her familly history has been preserved through oral history, historic sites, publishings and artifacts passed down through generations. Her research-based choreographic works explore culture and the global human condition to bring awareness to human rights.
Suzanne Ryanstrati has a Master of Fine Arts in Dance Choreography from the University of Iowa, where she was on full scholarship, taught tap and modern dance as a GA and was the manger of Dancers in Company, the dance departments' touring dance company. She is a choreographer, educator, and director. Her choreography has been performed in Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, Washington and Internationally in England (2012 & 2015), France (2015, 2019), Germany (2016, 2019) and Ireland (2016). Her future plans include Nairobi, Kenya.
Ryanstrati's professional dance career began at the age of 19 under Neil Hess, director of the Lone Star Ballet and TEXAS Musical Drama. She performed with Bill Evans in the USA and Japan, later relocating to Kansas City where she joined aha! dance theater and co-directed Reach...a movement collective with Richard Parsons. Ryanstrati is currently the Director of The Dancing Word, an intergenerational production merging spoken word, dance and visual art investigating social, civil and environmental issues.
She has been a faculty member at the Kansas City Ballet School since 2008 and a Professor of Dance with Störling Conservatory since 2019.
Ryanstrati's interest in neuroscience is close to home. A Traumatic Brain Injury survivor, she founded and led the dance program, based on the Dance for PD program in New York, through the National Parkinson's Foundation for 7 years. Additionally, she worked with dancers diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Dyslexia, Clinical Depression, and Anxiety Disorder. She has also taught and/or cast dancers with Polio, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes and Spina Bifida. In 2020 she founded Dancing Together with Cystic Fibrosis funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She founded Ryanstrati & Co. where she employed people living with and without disabilities and diagnosed illness.