Austin, TX & Traverse City, MI

Anna Beard

INSTRUCTOR AT SoCal Swordfight 2024

Historical Weapons Guild

Instructor Bio: Anna Beard

Anna Beard first started dancing somewhere about age four in her Wonder Woman underoos and that, as they say, was that. She began pursuing dance in earnest at age seven, training intensely in studios located in her native Northern Michigan before earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan in 2003. Along the way she has danced and trained with a number of different groups, including the Kyrgyz National Ballet in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Movement Artists’ Guild and her own creation, AuxWerks. Over her twenty years of teaching, a deep love of technique has allowed her to refine movement and give her students a strong foundation in a way that is both fun and rewarding.

Starting in about 2012, Anna shifted her focus to instructing adults exclusively. As adults, we often talk ourselves out of trying new things because we perceive it as “too hard” or because we’re “too old” or think we’ll be judged too harshly. Wouldn’t it be great if adults had a place to play? Not play in the entertainment sense, but truly explore both ourselves, and an activity, in the most innocent sense of the word. This and the fact adults find swearing much more entertaining has inspired her to dedicate herself to creating accessible dance opportunities for those who think it's beyond their reach.

This same mentality permeates her approach to HEMA. In 2018, Anna had her first historical swordfighting class at Austin Historical Weapons Guild and now she co-owns Historical Weapons Guild with her husband which has two locations, Austin, Texas and Traverse City, Michigan. Her diverse movement background brings new focus to old movements and she strives tries to teach with a quirky freshness while upholding the integrity of the technique. You can be guaranteed to laugh and have fun whether you’re taking her historical dance class, digging into Meyer’s dussack techinique, or discussing teaching methods.

Anna resides in Traverse City, Michigan where she enjoys sunshine, looking for petosky stones, and everything cherry related.

Class and Schedule Information

Information on classes being offered by this instructor and the event and class schedule can be found on HEMA Scorecard.

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