Alumni: 2010-19

2018

Harper Foote
Email: hfoote07@gmail.com
“I am currently living in the cities, dancing with Alternative Motion Project and in other dance projects as they come up, teaching at studios in the greater metro area, and working at Seward Community Co-op.” (Update: March, 2019)

Christy Dobbratz
Email: cmh.dobbratz@gmail.com
Christy is currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota and is working as a dance teacher. (Update: March, 2019)

2017

Chloe Chambers
Email: chloedanaechambers@gmail.com
Chloe is currently living in Hopkins, Minnesota and is working as the Coordinator of School Programs at The Ordway Center for Performing Arts. Prior to that, Chloe worked as an Education Intern at The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts. (Update: March, 2019)

2016

Tatum Holland
Email: holland.tatum@gmail.com
“I will graduate with a masters in Special Education and a license in Early Childhood Special Education in May. I am working for Fraser off and on as a behavior technician/RBT (registered behavior therapist). I currently live in St. Louis Park, MN and am still subbing occasionally at Division Street Dance in Northfield.” (Update: March, 2019) 

Kate Roy
Email: roy.katherinej@gmail.com
“Kate graduated from St. Olaf College in 2016 with a B.A. in Psychology and Dance. Currently, Kate is pursuing her Master’s in Integrative Health and Wellbeing Coaching at the University of Minnesota.  She will graduate at the end of 2019. In addition to being a full-time graduate student, Kate works part-time as a Senior Stylist for Stitch Fix. She participates in drop-in ballet and modern dance classes around the Twin Cities, and currently lives in Minneapolis.” (Update: March, 2019)

Juliane Hagn
Email: julianefwh@gmail.com
Juliane is currently living in Los Angeles, California and is working as an Executive Administrator for The Miracle Project. (Update: March, 2019)

2015

Sarah Cassavant
Email: s.cassavant@gmail.com
“I’m still living in St. Paul, and I’m currently associate publicist at Nectar Literary and also the event coordinator at SubText Books, which is a bookstore in downtown St. Paul. Though dance isn’t currently a part of my career, I still try to go to class when I can and I’m so thankful for my experience as a dance major!” (Update: March, 2019)

Michaela Liesenberg
Email: liesenbergm@gmail.com
“I am currently finishing up my first year at the University of Minnesota Law School and will be spending my summer as an associate at Gray Plant Mooty. Before law school, I worked extensively in the Minneapolis retail industry, spending two years at Target Corporation and one year at a boutique consulting firm doing category management work. Though I have moved to the legal industry, I have many contacts in the retail world and I’m always happy to connect people within my network. I am still dancing and moving through teaching primarily ballet to high schoolers at Dance Endeavors in Bloomington, MN.” (Update: March, 2019)

Karina Culloton
Email: karinaculloton@gmail.com
“I have lived in Minneapolis for the past 4 years, but will be moving to New Mexico at the end of August. I work as a dance instructor, performer and choreographer and do some arts administration on the side. I’d love to stay in touch with the St. Olaf Dance Dept! ” (Update: March, 2019)

Seipati Jonga
Email: seipatijonga@gmail.com

“Since my graduation in 2015, I’ve been teaching a modern dance class at my (high school) Alma Mater, Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA. I’ve also been taking dance classes in latin social dances (salsa, bachata and kizomba) and am starting to assistant teach in those.
When I got home I had a few part time jobs and then landed a really cool one. I ended up being the head of the CSR section of Eswatini’s biggest music festival (www.bush-fire.com – you can check out the Schools’ Festival, the Bring Your Fire Zone, Arts Round Table and the Legacy Project. As you read these pages please know that I fought hard for better spelling and grammar but failed continuously for 3 years!)

After 3 years in that job, I decided to move on and join Yebo! ArtReach, a tiny (like really tiny, me and my boss work there) NPO that supports the arts in Eswatini. Through this we’ve been renovating a community centre and doing work in collaboration with the US Embassy and with the public library in Mbabane, the capital city. This has been incredibly rewarding work.

In September last year, I was beginning to feel that I would like to revisit my involvement with the dance community. I began to seek out more performance opportunities and delved further into the opportunity of become a teacher of latin social dance. At the time I also considered taking ballet classes at my old studio. It was in October when I got a call from my old ballet teacher. She was looking to retire (at 85!) and pass the studio on to someone. I like to think that this was serendipity (I like to thank Janice for my continued use of that word). I’m in the process of transitioning into a proud studio owner. I began teaching my first classes in January this year. I’m definitely still learning the ropes, and the teething process has been, and will continue to be difficult (for example, I’m inheriting a dance studio that has existed for over 40 years, but somehow has managed to avoid being registered, a problem that I aim to rectify at some point).

I’m currently working out of a rented community hall, and would like to move into more dance specific premises. I would also like to not be the only teacher! I teach roughly 6 hours a day in addition to the work that I continue to do for Yebo!. I’ve already taken the first steps to acquire a Registered Teacher Status through the Royal Academy of dance, and I would like to introduce more modern (my one true love) into the schedule. One day, in the very distant future, once I have premises and an established studio with more teachers than just me, it’s my dream to set up a study abroad opportunity with St. Olaf.” (Updated: March, 2019)

 

Alisha Jihn
Email: asjihn@gmail.com
“I am a dance/movement therapist and dancer currently based in Milwaukee, WI. Recently, I had the opportunity to spend one year in Taiwan as a Fulbright Fellow engaging in cross-cultural dialogue regarding dance/movement therapy. The dance program at Olaf opened my horizons regarding what is possible with a dance degree–I find that I carry embodied practices from Olaf into my work as a dance artist and dance/movement therapist.” (Update: March, 2019)

2014

Ashley Yergens
Email: ashleyyergens@gmail.com // Website: www.artyergens.com
“Ashley R.T. Yergens made their debut with “Is this more ladylike?” at the Walker Art Center’s 2014 Choreographers’ Evening. Ashley is a byproduct of growing up on tater tots and WWE SmackDown, being queer in small town USA, and bonding with blue collars. Their choreography has been presented at NYC venues such as the Wild Project Theater, Dixon Place, Center for Performance Research, Annoyance Theatre, and the WOW Café Theatre. Recently, they received a 2016 boo-koo Space Grant from Gibney Dance, and they are a 2016-17 Fresh Tracks Artist at New York Live Arts. Additionally, you can catch them Yackez-ing with Larissa and Jon Velez-Jackson.” (Update: November, 2016)

Julia Moser-Hardy
Email: julia.moserhardy@gmail.com
Julia is currently living in Lauderdale, Minnesota and is working as a Dance Instructor and Events Manager at CREO Arts & Dance Conservatory, and dancing for a company called  Alternative Motion Project. (Update: March, 2019)

2013

Jose Richard Aviles
Email: joserichardaviles@gmail.com
“Jose Richard Aviles is a community organizer and Los Angeles native whose journey into dance began at a young age through Latin Social Dance. Aviles constantly seeks ways to find movements that are authentic to all of his identities and skins. His goal as a movement artist is to create works that inspire and empower others to become activists in their lives. Such aspirations stem from his background in community organizing and passion for gender studies. His research, Queering Up the Stage, in collaboration with Professor Heather Klopchin, focuses on choreographing queer and feminist theories in American Modern Dance. Aviles has presented at St. Olaf College, Carleton College, University of Southern California, and at the American Colleges Dance Festival Association. Aviles has focused on choreographing pieces that convey queer narratives, as well as his Latin movement history.
Aviles is recent graduate who aspires to be a social work to use dance as a form of addressing suicide, bullying, self-image, healing through the body, and dance as a form of resistance among young people. Currently as an emerging artist in Los Angeles, Aviles is creating solo work around the politics of desire. Aviles has performed at Planet Queer, St. Agnes Church, and REDCAT Studio. Aviles has his research presented at workshops and panels at Common Bond Gathering, Queer People of Color Conference, Association for Joteria Arts, Activism and Scholarship, and API Equality.
Aviles is currently pursuing his Masters in Social Work at the University of Southern California where his research is focused on the creation of evidence-based interventions that are catered to the queer community and are centered around psychosomatic therapy. Aviles is currently developing work, Fruta Prohidbida; the politics of desire centered around the social construction of desire and the application of somatics and desire.” (Update: March, 2019)

Abby Masters
Email: abigail.k.masters@gmail.com
“Abby is currently the Marketing Operations Manager at San Francisco Ballet. Prior to this, she held internships with Dance/USA and the dance programming department at the Kennedy Center, both in Washington, DC.” (Update: March, 2019)

2012

Molly Hess
Email: mollycyhess@gmail.com // Website: gnomeanthropology.wordpress.com
“Molly Hess is a Cambridge, MA based dance artist, educator and administrator. Her creative work values process, collaboration, curiosity, and transparency. These values carry over into her teaching for Cambridge Performance project, Arlington Dance Place, and Green Street Studios as well as in her roles as director of Bearnstow Day Camp, curator for Electric Fish Studio, and Program and Education Director at Green Street Studios. Her current creative work is interested in practices of letting go, memory, storytelling, feminism, care in the face of conflict, and connection of voice with movement. She recently toured a new performance, Molly + Tessa Make a Dance around the East Coast. Earlier in 2016, Arc Dance Research Laboratory selected her as emerging artist in residence. Her work employs vivid imagery and storytelling to create immersive experiences where the audiences are invited to shape the performance experience. Molly is a member of Back Pocket Dancers. She received her B.A. in dance from St. Olaf College in 2012.” (Update: October, 2016)

Britta Maddox
Email: bcamaddox@gmail.com
“I currently work for the Joint Law Enforcement Council of Anoka County and the Coon Rapids Police Department as the Public Safety Data System assistant manager and with digital evidence and investigations. I also teach dance at Prairie School of Dance in Eden Prairie and perform with various sacred dance companies around the Twin Cities area. My son, who turns two next week, also enjoys dancing in my Mommy and Me class.” (Update: October, 2016)

Aleks Weaver
Email: aleksweaver@gmail.com
“Aleks Weaver originally hails from Stillwater, OK. where she found her passion for dance at an early age by taking tap, ballet, and jazz classes at Showstoppers Dance Studio. While at Olaf she had the opportunity to perform in work by Urban Bush Women and Shapiro & Smith Dance, performed in three ACDFA concerts, participated in a summer scholarship program at Zenon Dance Company and School, and received an undergraduate research position for a project entitled Somatic Foundations in Dance Education with Professor Sheryl Saterstrom. After graduating in 2012, she spent a year in Minneapolis working as a nanny and at the Guthrie Theater and Children’s Theatre Company to support her artistic endeavors as a member of Alternative Motion Project (AMP) and an apprentice for ARENA Dances. While there she also completed her 230-hour yoga teacher certification through the Yoga Center of Minneapolis and is a Yoga Alliance certified instructor. Too many cold winters brought her back to Oklahoma and closer to her family, where she worked as a barista at her favorite local coffee shop. She currently teaches dance and yoga and works at a barre3 fitness studio in Tulsa while heading into her second season as a member of Tulsa Modern Movement (TuMM), a burgeoning modern dance company creating bold, intelligent, raw, exploratory, visceral, and challenging work. She is quite loyal to the St. Olaf Dance Department, still considering it a second home/family and wearing her Companydance ring everyday, so please feel free to contact her about anything.” (Update: August, 2014)

Siri Smithback
Email: sirismithback@gmail.com
Siri is currently living in Portland, Oregon and is working as a Mental Health Counselor at Windhorse Integrative Mental Health, as a yoga instructor at The Grinning Yogi, and as the Oregon Regional Coordinator for SheJumps. (Update: March, 2019)

Shannon Denzel
Email: shannon.denzel@gmail.com
Shannon is currently living in Honolulu, Hawaii and is working as online with VIPKID for flexibility. (Update: March, 2019)

 

2011

Timmy Wagner
E-Mail: timmypaul.emil@gmail.com
“After graduation, I performed in “Awaken Absurdity” a piece choreographed by Taja Will which has recently been nominated for a Sage Award for best ensemble. I am totally thrilled by that type of work and by that honor. I spent the rest of my summer as an intern at Camp Bearnstow, a series of dance workshops in central Maine. It gave me nine weeks to reflect and transition from life as a student to life as a professional dancer. I am now living in Minneapolis and dancing with ARENA Dances and The BodyCartography Project; two extremely different approaches to dance and performance which I am enthused to continue learning through.” (Update: September, 2011)

Elizabeth Nail
Email: libby.nail@gmail.com
“I graduated from medical school (University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, class of 2016) and my married name is now Dr. Elizabeth Nail Miller. I am an OB/GYN resident physician at the University of Minnesota.
If any dancers are interested in medicine, please let them know I am available to talk! The connection we develop as dancers between the mind and body translates into a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection as a physician. I am so thankful for my dance training!” (Update: March, 2019)

2010

Brianna Johnson
E-Mail: BriannaRaeJohnson@gmail.com // Website: briannaraedances.com
Brianna is currently living in Columbus, Ohio and is in the second year of her MFA at Ohio State. Prior to that, she lived in Southern Oregon where she rehearsed, performed, and taught full time with Dancing People Company. She also did some freelance, project based Contact Improvisation, Salsa and Samba work, and danced with with ArenaDances and Paula Mann. (Update: March, 2019)

Berit Nelson
E-Mail: berit.e.nelson@gmail.com
“After spending 2 years in Minneapolis working with the Alliance Française and dancing with Alternative Motion Project, I moved back to France to pursue an MBA in Artistic and Cultural Management. I completed my MBA and have been working with the study abroad company CIEE since May. My role with CIEE includes helping students find internships, volunteer opportunities and extra-curricular activities in Paris. I would love to meet any Oles traveling through Paris and I am happy to speak with any new graduates looking to start a career in dance in Europe!” (Update: October, 2016)

Brianna Hall
Email: briannahall@gmail.com
“I am currently a doctor of physical therapy student at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. My dance background gives me an edge in understanding movement science, movement synergies, and the psychosocial implications of touch and movement.  I am excited to teach healing movements to transform lives as a future physical therapist.  I look forward to integrating creativity and curiosity into my doctoring practice.  In recent years, I choreographed and performed musical theater (Cabaret, 42nd Street, The Wizard of Oz, Sweet Charity, The Toxic Avenger) and taught various dance techniques!” (Update: March, 2019)