Grief Is a Dancer is not only a book; it's a program

helping people grieve through word, music, and dance


We share a passion to help people grieve well, and have been collaborating on grief events for nearly 15 years.


To book author only, or conference presentations and church programs involving HurleyInMotion,

please contact:

(717) 823-1518

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Photo credit: ©2019 Yi-Chun Wu

Alisa Bair

Author and Speaker

Gregg & Susan Hurley


ALISA BAIR received undergraduate degrees in both Music Education and Music Therapy from East Carolina University. She completed her music therapy at Philhaven Hospital and became board-certified before making a career pivot into motherhood and church music and the arts. During the decades she and her husband were raising their three daughters—their youngest died in 1993—she served a variety of churches before uprooting to enter NYU's Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, where she received her MFA. 

Her choral music has been published and widely sung internationally. She is also the composer of the full-length musical, Hello Sky (Book & Lyrics by Dina Gregory), which had its world premier production with OperaLancaster, and librettist for the extended work, The Lost Son (Neal Harnly, composer) commissioned by Soli Deo Gloria, which received its world premiere with the renowned Indianapolis Children's Choir. She is a member of Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and the author of two books, A Table for Two: A mother and daughter face death together, and Grief Is a Dancer: A mother reflects on the rigor and beauty of grief, 25 years after losing her child.

GREGG HURLEY is the artistic director of HurleyInMotion, a performing arts ensemble that has been building bridges and connecting communities since 2005. He is also Associate Professor of Dance at Messiah University, where he leads the development of a growing dance program and originated the now-annual Blue Christmas. He earned his MFA in dance from the University of Arizona School of Dance and BA in dance from Hofstra University. Gregg has performed internationally and spent over 11 years as the resident choreographer and assistant director at Sight and Sound Theatres, where he was creatively involved in the premiere productions of Abraham and Sarah, Daniel, Ruth, Psalms of David, In the Beginning, and Voices of Christmas.

SUSAN HURLEY is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy and The American Musical & Dramatic Academy, NYC. She has performed internationally, and was seen in the American premiere of the German pop oratorio sensation, Luther, as well as originated the title role of Georgia O'Keeffe in the world premier of Hello Sky with OperaLancaster. She has performed in many Sight & Sound Theatre productions, including playing the role of Mary in Miracle of Christmas, and Sarah in Abraham and Sarah. She remains an active member/co-founder of HurleyInMotion and is Adjunct Professor of Voice at Messiah University, where she recently appeared in Blue Christmas.