Natalie Benally

Natalie Benally

Navajo

About

Natalie Benally is born into the Grey Streaked Ends Clan and born for the Red Running into Water Clan. Her Maternal Grandparents are the Zuni Pueblo Clan and her Paternal Grandparents are the Water’s Edge Clan. As a young Diné girl growing up on the Navajo Reservation, Natalie’s first dance studio was the land she was surrounded by, which taught her movement embedded in cultural re-connection and storytelling. She is also a self-taught hip hop dancer. Natalie attended Fort Lewis College where she earned a BA in theatre - Performing and Directing in 2010 and was a first generation college graduate in her family. She performed dance professionally for 7 years with Dancing Earth Contemporary Dance Company and also led youth workshops for Native youth throughout her time with the company. Natalie performed the lead role of Dory in the Navajo dubbed version of Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and directed/choreographed the production I’m Native And... for Fort Lewis College’s inaugural Indigenous Arts Festival, which was then invited to the Los Angeles Kennedy Center for the Arts’ Regional College Theater Festival in 2019. In addition to performing, she works as the Indigenous Programs Coordinator for Girls Inc. of Santa Fe. She is also co-founding a mixed media storytelling company, Tse’Nato’, where she hopes to continue sharing stories through dance, theater, and film. She was recently awarded the Senator John Pinto Native American Filmmakers Fund in 2020 to direct a short film entitled “Mother’s Day”.

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