Born and raised in small town rural Iowa, Shawn Stone was a self-taught gymnast until the age of 12 when he began competitive USAG gymnastics. At the age of 16 he began his own program teaching tumbling at a local dance studio in his community, as his own gym was 100 miles away. Shawn went on to compete NCAA gymnastics for the University of Iowa while obtaining his BA in Studio Art and Communication Studies. He began his performing career in 2006 as an acro/dancer in the world famous Folies Bergere in Las Vegas. Shawn then performed in Cirque de la Mer (’07, ’09,10) as well as Riptide (’07) at Sea World San Diego where he did flying trapeze, Chinese poles, tumbling, dance and character work. His most recent endeavor in his performing career was Le Reve, The Dream created by Franco Dragone at Wynn Las Vegas (’11, ’12, ’13). At Le Reve he was an aerial soloist along with disciplines in aerial harness, acrobatics, swimming, diving, hand-balancing, character, banquine, dance, and partner work. In 2014 Shawn was the Artistic Director and Choreographer for Gladius the Show, an equestrian/acrobatic spectacular that performed in Golden, CO and Austin, TX.
In 2014 Shawn began taking dance classes, mainly ballet, about a year after a back surgery on his lumbar spine. Dance became crucial to his physical and mental healing while providing a new relationship, outlet and focus for his passion of movement. During this time, Shawn also created his first complete series in oil paint, entitled Stability, which consisted of a year and half’s work of painting the spine with one brush. He debuted this show at Eden Art Gallery in Las Vegas in May 2015.
Shawn has over 17 years of teaching experience in different fields and contexts including studio art, gymnastics/acrobatics, youth behavior and dance. He continues to paint contemplative abstract works and is interested in further exploring the relationship within fine art and movement. Having a fascination with the mind and psychology, including studies at the master’s level in art therapy, much of Shawn’s creative work explores the relationship between the mind, body and soul.
Shawn is honored to continue his path of movement, creativity and pursuit of knowledge as an MFA Dance candidate at the University of Maryland, 2019. Along with expanding his technical moving skills, he is currently in research and exploration of contemplative dance as well as interdisciplinary creative work.
Photograph (left): Prognosis, photo by Dylan Uremovich