Rusti Brandman, PhD/Dancer in Residence

Rusti enjoying the company of this lovely giraffeRusti Brandman, Ph.D. is a Shands Arts in Medicine Dancer in Residence, Associate Professor Emeritus of Dance for the School of Theatre and Dance at the University of Florida where she founded the dance program and was Co-Director Emeritus of the Center for the Arts in Medicine.

She produced more than 75 choreographic works for the concert stage and served as performer, choreographer and/or director for academic and professional dance companies, including Kinetics Repertory Dance Theatre and New Moves Productions.  She has presented choreography, master classes, and workshops with UF dancers and as a guest artist regionally, nationally, and internationally and has received awards from the Florida Fine Arts Council, the National Dance Association and the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA).  She served as Southeastern Regional Representative on the National Board of Directors for ACDFA, was a member of the Global Alliance for Arts and Health and the National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA).  She received six Scholarship Enhancement grants at the University of Florida for arts in healthcare research and documentation through which she produced the video “Dancing in Hospitals,” and documentation videos for the Vital Visionaries 2006 and AIM for Africa projects.  Print publications include editing and contributing content for the book The Arts and Health and several related articles. She is a founding  coordinator of the Gainesville Creative Aging Network.

Rusti has worked with Shands Arts in Medicine since 1996, providing movement workshops, performances, and bedside activities while mentoring students in most units of the hospital as well as community programs.  She has presented on the subjects of the arts in healthcare and creative aging at international conferences, including the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, the International Arts in Healing Institute, and the Hawaii International Conference on the Arts and Humanities and the National Center for Creative Aging.  In 2006, she served as an on-site consultant in establishing an Arts in Medicine Program at the Mater Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya and in both 2006 and 2008 was Principle Investigator for the National Institute on Aging’s Vital Visionaries Project.  In 2011-12 she served as guest artist for the Harn Museum of Art‘s Art for Life program designing and presenting  movement components for presentations of visual art pieces to populations that otherwise would have limited access. She is now focusing on arts for healthy aging, completing National Center for Creative Aging’s (NCCA) Core Training as well as educational work in Creativity and Memory and she has presented for the NCCA National Leadership Conference.  Her current programs for AIM include Dance for Lifelong Health, and Encore Dancers Workshop.