Alumni News and Updates


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Alumni News: Decades of Dance Greatness

Christy Donnelly (Montuoro) (BFA 1995) briefly taught dance after graduation in Charlotte, North Carolina. After raising a family, she decided to return to school to study law. Christy graduated with her law degree and was admitted to practice in 2014. She is currently an assistant prosecutor for the Stark County Prosecutor's Office in Ohio, working in the specialized unit for child physical and sexual abuse cases. 

Carol Boggs

Carol Boggs (BA in Dance and BS in Education 1969) has been in private practice as an Alexander Technique (AT) teacher since 1980. For the past five years, she has been involved in designing a process for evaluating the competence of Alexander Technique teachers. In addition, Carol has been developing an AT protocol for working with Hypermobility Syndrome. For both projects she has enjoyed working with AT colleague and Ohio State graduate, Ann Rodiger. She has also qualified to teach 3-D Workout, developed by Dianne Woodruff, another Ohio State graduate.

Barbara Foley (Dickinson) (1968) has retired from being a school teacher and is now an insurance administrator in Westlake, OH.

Dianne McIntyre

Dance Magazine honored Ohio State Dance Alumna Dianne McIntyre (BFA 1969) at a celebration benefitting the Harkness Promise Awards at Chelsea Factory in New York City on Monday, December 5, 2022. McIntyre is a dancer, choreographer, researcher, mentor, director, producer, and dance-driven dramatist. Her artistic intention is to “express dance as music moving.” She has sustained a career over many decades with choreography in concert dance, theatre, film, and opera.

In the 1970s, after moving from Ohio to New York City, she founded Sounds in Motion in Harlem, which grew from a dance/music company into a school into a mecca for artists, scholars, and activists through the 1980s.

Current work for her company and others is performed internationally and encompasses dance connections with live “jazz” music, cultural history, social movements, personal narrative, and legend. She has transformed words into dance, from the work of acclaimed writers Ntozake Shange, James Baldwin, and August Wilson to the aviator stories of her mother. Her work spans genres and collaborators including Olu Dara, Lester Bowie, Cecil Taylor, Amina Claudine Myers, Bartlett Sher, Regina Taylor, and Jonathan Demme. She has choreographed for Broadway plays, London’s West End, over forty regional theatre productions, and for film with Beloved. She received an Emmy nomination for HBO’s Miss Evers’ Boys.

Her mentors are Gus Solomons, jr., Louise Roberts of Clark Center, Vera Blaine, and Helen Alkire as dance faculty of The Ohio State University and Elaine Gibbs Redmond. McIntyre’s numerous accolades include a Doris Duke Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, three Bessies, two Honorary Doctorate Degrees, two Audelco Awards, and a Helen Hayes Theatre Award.


Debra Bernstein-Siegel (MA 1976) has relocated back to Chicago, IL after her dance career in metropolitan Detroit, which included 25 years on the faculty at Oakland University in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. Debra continues to teach dance history and dance appreciation online for the University. She is now serving on the Board of Directors of See Chicago Dance, a service organization for dance companies in Chicago, as well as the Board of Eisenhower Dance Detroit. 

Deborah Siegel (BFA 1973) has retired from teaching in a Colorado school system for 26 years. Her focus was in kindergarten and special education. She also choreographed for school musicals and taught yoga in an afterschool program. Debra now teaches Hatha yoga and tap classes. Her other simple pleasures are gardening and hiking. 

The New York Baroque Dance Company, photo by Frank Wing from opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire by Jean Philippe Rameau, Stage director/choreographer: Catherine Turocy

Catherine Turocy (BFA 1974) is the Artistic Director of The New York Baroque Dance Company and is taking her dancers to perform at The Royal Opera House in Versailles, France in April of 2020 for their 44th Season. She is also the stage director and choreographer for the opera-ballet Scylla et Glaucus. This production is composed by Jean Marie Leclair, involves over 100 artists and will be performed twice in San Francisco and twice in Versailles. Catherine received an achievement award from Opera Lafayette in Washington D.C. this past November. Photo: The New York Baroque Dance Company, photo by Frank Wing from opera-ballet Le Temple de la Gloire by Jean Philippe Rameau, Stage director/choreographer: Catherine Turocy

Nancy Walker (MA 1979) is an Adjunct Professor of Dance in the Theatre Department at Gettysburg College, as well as a Rostered Artists for the state of Pennsylvania, and the Director of historical dance company, Daze Antiqua. Her current project involves restructuring social dances from the 1920’s for performances that will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of passing the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote.


Beth Corning

Beth Corning (MA 1981) is the Artistic Director of her company corningworks—a vehicle for her bi-annual productions for THE GLUE FACTORY PROJECTS (GFP). The company produces original, full-length, dancetheater works created by internationally and nationally renowned performers over the age of 40. This upcoming March 2020 season will be Beth’s 17th production with GFP, as they celebrate their 10th Anniversary in Pittsburgh, PA. "THE TIPPING POINT - what would it take for YOU to leave home?" is an “unprecedented artistic collaboration with the international humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières.” With the support and blessing from DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS, Beth has “re-imagined their critically acclaimed touring exhibition, FORCED FROM HOME, intertwining it with movement, a theatrical audience-immersive designed experience, provocative projections, led by a diverse cast of 12 local professional dancer/actors, and an international group of resettled refugees.” Next, she is off to Athens, Greece to produce commissioned work that will open the 2020 Nostos Festival. Photo: Frank Walsh

Ann Gould

Ann Gould (Azevedo) (MA 1981) currently teaches physical education and dance to lower school and middle school students at The American School in London.

Kimberly Neal (Adams) (BFA 1983) works full-time as a special education tutor specializing in working with children with autism. She loves her husband of thirty years and adores her two sons. 

Debbie Oliver

Debbie Oliver (Downs) (BFA 1989) danced for regional companies in Minneapolis and Washington, D.C. for nearly a decade after graduation and then ultimately moved to a business career in Sales at LexisNexis. After 15 years with the company, she transitioned to Harland Clarke, a financial payments and marketing company, where she has worked for three years. Debbie and her husband married in 2005 and have two children together. Photo: Lexis Nexis


Clio Pavlantos (MA 1982) has worked as an adjunct faculty at Gettysburg College, Wilson College, and NYU, as well as a certificate faculty member at the LABAN/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies since she graduated from Ohio State with her Master of Fine Arts. In 2012, she received her Masters of Divinity from St. Valdimir’s Seminary. 

Jim Provenzano (BFA 1985) wrote his sixth novel, Now I’m Here, set in the small town of Serene, Ohio, in the 1970s and ’80s. Two boys from different families discover, then lose, then find each other again. Listen to his author’s talk with podcaster Matt Baume about the rock band Queen’s influence on his novel at Unleash the Queen (Ep. 205 - Freddie Mercury).

Karen Stokes (BFA 1982) was named the number-one choreographer in January 2014 in the "Ten Top Choreographers in Houston" list by Houston Press. Her company, Karen Stokes Dance, also received a 2013 Masterminds Award, and was the first contemporary dance company to receive this award, which is given to recognize progressive art makers in Houston. Karen Stokes Dance is currently developing a multi-facted project titled "Deep: Seaspace," which includes site-specific works, a dance for camera component, several collaborations and partnerships, and a main stage premiere.

Heather Sultz (MFA 1989) is currently splitting time between LA and Chicago. In 2019, she was the creative in residence at the National Building Museum, Washington DC, where she created unique opportunities to explore and learn about the museum's history and building, including movement workshops, an evening with the artist conversation, and a site-specific performance with a multitude of local performers from a wide variety of fields called Transits & Passages. The work took place on all four floors of the building, drawing on the history of the museum as a space built for Civil War pensioners, the architectural aspects of the site, the Museum’s historical collections and the creativity of the DC-based community of performers. 

Helena VonVille (BFA 1985) had lived in Houston, TX until her recent move to Pittsburgh in March of 2019. In Texas, she earned her Masters of Public Health and was the director of the University of Texas School of Public Health Library. Currently Helena is the graduate school of public health liaison for the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Science Library System. She is excited to be a part of the evidence-based practice movement and has worked with researchers in medicine, public health, occupational therapy, nursing, physical therapy and even dentistry.

Angela Casey (Nermeth) (1995) is teaching ballet, modern, and contemporary at Studio 136 Dance Center in Massillon, OH. She choreographs all of the studio’s contemporary pieces for both the competitive company and for their spring concert. In addition, Angela works with Artful Living and Learning, a program that allows her to teach creative movement and dance classes at various preschools and Headstart programs throughout Stark County through the Stark County Educational Service Center. She also has two children that share her love of dance and movement. 

Christy Donnelly (Montuoro) (BFA 1995) briefly taught dance after graduation in Charlotte, North Carolina. After raising a family, she decided to return to school to study law. Christy graduated with her law degree and was admitted to practice in 2014. She is currently an assistant prosecutor for the Stark County Prosecutor's Office in Ohio, working in the specialized unit for child physical and sexual abuse cases. 

Susan Hamilton (BFA 1990) is the sole proprietor and operator of a small Pilates-based movement studio in Miami Beach, Florida. 

Laura Treglia

Laura Hymers-Treglia (BFA 1995) lives and dances in Colorado Springs, CO, where she performs with and choreographs for Ormao Dance Company and serves as their associate director. She leads the company's Dance for Parkinson’s program, teaching weekly classes for the Parkinson’s Community. Laura is also a guild certified Feldenrais practitioner, teaching privately, as well as an adjunct professor at Pikes Peak Community College. Photo: Patrizia Herminjard


C. Noelle Partusch (Rose) (MFA 1992) is in her 13th year of being on faculty at Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA and is now an associate professor, teaching ballet, pointe, kinesiology, introduction to labanotation, dance conditioning, as well as a new course focused on liturgical dance. She is also the artistic director of the Liturgical Dance Ensemble at Mercyhurst and has taken them to various events across the country as well as to Sydney, Australia and Jerusalem, Israel. When not working with students, she is busy with her husband, 10-year-old twins and 8-year-old daughter.   

Ursula Payne (MFA 1995) has been the chair of the Department of Dance at Slippery Rock University for the past nine years. Next year she will be on sabbatical where she plans to develop a “new body of creative work that is interdisciplinary.” Ursula is also the director of the Frederick Douglass Institute at Slippery Rock, allowing her to develop leadership, events and research activities that integrate themes of intersectionality, diversity and inclusion on campus. 

Nicole Stanton (MFA 1997) has recently been announced as Wesleyan University’s 12th Provost and Senior Vice President for academic affairs, with her tenure beginning on May 15, 2020. Nicole joined Wesleyan in 2007 as an Associate Professor of Dance, has twice served as Chair of the Department (2008–2011; 2014–2017) and is currently serving as Dean of the Arts and Humanities. She has also been an Assistant and Associate Professor of Dance and undergraduate studies chair here at Ohio State from 2004 to 2007. A dance artist and an educator by training, Nicole’s work explores the cultures and histories of the African diaspora, especially the ways in which the arts and dance serve as sites of reclamation and platforms for cultivating community. Nicole earned a BA in dance and foreign civilizations and languages/European studies from Antioch College. 

Sara Swinehart (Cohen) (BFA 1999) is beginning her fifth year as dance faculty at The School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, OH and is also a mother to two beautiful girls. 

Pam Tanowitz on April 2021 Dance Magazine cover

Pam Tanowitz (BFA 1991) was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine in April 2021. Tanowitz is Choreographer and Artistic Director of Pam Tanowitz Dance.  She has since been commissioned by The Joyce Theater, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Vail Dance Festival, and many other leading arts institutions, and has received numerous honors and fellowships from organizations ranging from the Bessie Awards, The Guggenheim Foundation, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Princeton University, among others.  

Andrea E. Valdés

Andrea E. Valdés (Woods) (MFA 1999) is an associate professor of dance at Duke University and currently in Ph.D. studies at Texas Woman’s University. She is also the Artistic Director of SOULOWORKS/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers, which recently celebrated 20 years of dancing and dancemaking. Woods Valdés is a former dancer/rehearsal director of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Co. Her research includes Afro-Cuban dance/music, African Diaspora history/culture, and dance for the camera. Her mission is black audience building for black women's creative work. Her work explores intra-cultural and interdisciplinary dialogues and activities between black women artists throughout the African diaspora. Her work and research have taken her to The Cannes International Dance Festival, Taiwan, Russia, Senegal, Morocco, Korea, Poland, Singapore, Belize, Ghana, Cuba, Barbados, Puerto Rico and throughout the US.  She has done collaborative works with musicians: Randy Weston, David Pleasant, Tiyé Giraud, Madeleine Yayodele Nelson, and Philip Hamilton and performance poet, hattie gossett. Woods Valdés was part of the American Dance Festival Faculty 2000 - 2007. She holds a MAH from SUNY Buffalo in Caribbean Cultural Studies. In 2016, Woods Valdés founded wimmin@work, an inter-generational, interdisciplinary performance showcase celebrating women’s history month. Woods Valdés calls her dances SOULOWORKS because they are works from the heart, works from the Soul.  

Melanie Anastacia Van Allen

Melanie Anastacia Van Allen (BFA 1999) obtained two Masters of Arts, one in Interdisciplinary Studies from the Draper Program of Social Thought and another in Performance Studies from the Tisch School of the Arts both at New York University. Melanie also received a Masters of Fine Arts in Dance Choreography and Performance from the University of Michigan, where she was awarded the Julian and Vera McIntosh Memorial Fellowship Award. In May of 2019, she graduated with a Ph.D. in Dance Studies at Texas Woman’s University. Her dissertation was an ethnographic study, mapping “the development of a largely unknown Detroit cultural product, the street Jit, which emerged at the same time Detroit was losing its champion auto industry in the early 1970s.” Her dissertation demonstrates how Detroit, its manufacturing methods, and cultural production are inextricably intertwined, producing the city’s distinctive identity.” Photo: Javier Ishino 

Gina Wiley (Calvelage) (BFA 1993) taught as an adjunct faculty member at Ohio Northern University for 18 years, choreographing musical theatre numbers for their concerts. She is currently the choreographer for their Holiday Spectacular, celebrating 25 years this year. Gina also owns a studio that she opened two months after graduation. Her studio, The Dancer by Gina, is celebrating its 27th season with over 500 students. Gina married her high school sweetheart and they have one son together. She would like to thank “everyone at Ohio State for helping make her dreams come true!”

Sara Wookey (BFA 1996) is living and working as a dance artist in London, England on a talent visa endorsed by Arts Council England. Sara also did a recent interview with Moving Architects and with Ohio State alumna Erin Carisle-Norton. The interview is dedicated to Vickie Blaine and her impact on Sara’s training and life choices.

Shannon Drage-Heyborne (BFA in Dance and BS in Nursing 2003) is currently working as a registered nurse at Shriners Hospital for Children and at the Veterans Affairs Hospital both in Salt Lake City. Shannon continues to take dance classes and have dance parties in her living room with her two sons.

Sydnie Liggett

Sydnie Liggett (BFA 2008) stepped into the role of executive director of Abraham in Motion (A.I.M.) contemporary company led by Artistic Director Kyle Abraham, in September of 2019. Photo: Joel Cadet



Ariadne Mikou (MFA 2009) received her fully-funded Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Choreographic Research from the University of Roehampton (UK) in 2018 and is now residing in Italy. Her focus is on dance and community-making processes. She also specializes in “experimental practices across dance architecture, and media as well as site-interventions and performance practices that question the theatrical apparatus.” Ariadne’s work has been presented in various venues and contexts across Europe, USA, and New Zealand. As a performer, she has collaborated with Abigail Yager of the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Bojana Cvejic and Christina De Smedt, Virgilio Sieni, Ismael Ivo, Laura Boato. She has also contributed as an author to book anthologies, been a visiting lecturer at many prestigious institutions, including Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, co-founded futuremellon/NOT YET ART collective and has co-curated [SET. me free] Dance & Movement on Screen.  

Katie Perry Jeffrey

Katie Perry-Jeffery (BFA 2008) opened her own dance studio, Los Angeles Dance Academy, in Sherman Oaks, CA that offers a variety of styles to a wide range of dancers. It has been open for two and a half years and the student body has grown to 250 students. Katie is married and has two children. She and her husband enjoy going on hikes with their three dogs and doing Pilates together. Photo: Whatababe Photography


Kendra Portier (BFA 2002) and Karl Rogers are part of a state funded cultural exchange program as part of David Dorfman Dance through BAM DanceMotionUSA, which has them teaching, performing, and learning with diverse groups in Yerevan, Armenia; Istanbul, Diyarbakir, Batman, and Ankara, Turkey; and Dushanbe, Tajikistan. These endeavors culminated in a creative residency at Bates Dance Festival 2014, where they collaborated with international artists they met on the tour and created a new work that was performed at BAM Fisher (NYC) in August 2014.

Tam Welch (BFA 2001) is the gender and sexuality specialist for the University of California at the Santa Cruz Resource Centers, focusing on the Cantú Queer Center and Women’s Center. Tam works with all six community resource centers on the support, advocacy and cultural celebration and education of such communities and their intersections. In 2013, Tam lead a campus-wide survey and focus-group study on queer students of color at UCSC, which lead them to co-author the 2015 Report on Research Findings and Recommendations for the Improvements of Visibility, Inclusivity and Retention of Queer Students of Color at the University of California Santa Cruz. Tam is an educator, dancer/performer and a non-binary parent.

Erik Abbott-Main (MFA 2012) is the Director of “Boy Friday,” an NYC-based performance and visual art company “creating works of progressive and surreal dance-theatre.” The company created a new work with long-time collaborator and fellow Ohio State Alumna Madeline Irmen that premiered in the fall of 2018. He also performed as MacBeth in Punchdrunks’ long-standing production Sleep No More, as an original cast member of Third Rail Projects and as the Dad character in Grand Paradise, receiving the New York Times 2016 “Critics Pick” for this role. In addition, Erik is a dramaturg with Patricia Noworol Dance Theater. Recently Erik has been selected as an UpStream Artist at the Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, completed creative residencies at the Brighton Dance Festival (MI) and at the New Dance Alliance (NYC), as well as premiered Cowboy, an evening length performance in NYC. He is currently a Visiting Associate Professor at Indiana University. 

Victoria Alesi (BFA in Dance and BA World Economics 2016) is currently an assistant instructor and project coordinator with Momentum-Excellence, Inc. She is a company member with Hixon Dance, while also being contracted for dance management, marketing and choreography projects.

Alice Bacani (BFA in Dance and BA in Journalism 2014) is a freelance dancer, commercial model and fitness instructor.

Hazel Black (BFA 2019) has moved to Portland, Oregon after a summer filled with planning her brother's wedding and traveling cross country. She is enjoying her time post graduation and is open to the many opportunities available. 

Amanda Colangelo

Amanda Colangelo (BFA 2019) is currently training with SALT Contemporary Dance School’s Second Company for the 2019-2020 season. Photo: Don Polo Photography




Simone Burnett headshot

Simone Burnett (BFA 2022) was featured in an October 17, 2022 review by The Seattle Times for her performance in Spectrum Dance Theater's Occurrence #11. 



Julie Cruse (MFA 2010) returned to Ohio from completing her Master’s degree in media arts and sciences at Arizona State University’s School of Arts, Media, and Engineering, during which she researched and designed embodied, multimedia, collaborative games for learning and health in K-adult settings that span schools, studios, museums, science centers and therapy settings. She joined Oberlin College as the founding designer and director of the new cross-disciplinary creative media initiative, where she catalyzes campus-wide curricular and scholarly collaboration, experimentation, learning, and innovation via student-led workshops, assistance, and hybrid exploratory events.

Shannon Drake

Shannon Drake (BFA 2015) is the co-director of school administration at the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC and has been since August 2017. She has developed a matching scholarship with the Ohio State Department of Dance to cover tuition for an Ohio State dance major to attend the Summer Dance Intensive. Photo: Justin Tornow

Rebekah Edie (BFA 2013) is currently in her second year of school at Duke University, pursuing her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. In the future, she hopes to work in pelvic health or with the neuromuscular movement disorders population. 

Abby Frank

Abigail Frank (BFA 2019) is currently working at Acceptd in Columbus, OH. Photo by Derek DuPont




Melissa Hinchman

Melissa Hinchman (Brenner) (BFA 2011) founded Cultivate Dance Project in 2018 as a space for adult dancers in Columbus, OH to continue to pursue their love for dance and give adults the opportunity to perform, create and inspire. The group has performed in several local showcases in 2019, including Columbus Dance Alliance’s WORKS #2, Ten Tiny Dances Columbus and the Columbus Arts Festival. They are currently creating new works for their first company showcase, set for May 30th, 2020. Melissa is also a full-time dance instructor, teaching students from ages three to adult at Columbus Dance Arts Academy in Dublin, OH. Photo: Hayden Hinchman

Haley Harrison

Haley Harrison (BFA 2012) is now a doctor of physical therapy, a certified strength and conditioning specialist, as well as a yoga instructor. She works in Boston, MA at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and also runs her own business out of a local gym. Haley enjoys helping dancers, athletes, amputees and the general population move better and feel better. She is engaged to be married in August of 2020. Photo: Shane Godfrey Photography


Anna House (BFA in Dance and BA in Psychology 2014) received her Masters in Social Work at New York University and is now a forensic social worker in New York City, working with clients with severe mental illness and involvement in the criminal justice system. 

Adam Houston

Adam Houston (BFA 2014) has recently moved to New Jersey with his partner and two dogs, where he regularly teaches jazz and contemporary classes at a local studio. Adam performs with up and coming drag artists in the city while also capturing his own photography, pioneering a new pathway of editorial fashion. Photo: Robert Riese Photography



Meghan Linz (BFA in Dance and BS in Health Sciences 2018) is a second-year medical student at Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. Meghan uses her free time to enjoy the arts by attending theatrical performances offered at Ohio University.

Kerry Kapaku

Kerry Kapaku (Dibble) (BFA 2014) performed with Ballet Theater of Indiana and Gregory Hancock Dance Theater as well as taught at Expressionz Dance Center until she recently opened up her own studio, DanceWorks Indy. DanceWorks Indy is the only studio in Indianapolis dedicated to adults, ranging from those who have never danced before to those who are returning to dance after a hiatus. Her studio offers a wide variety of styles, including ballet, tap, hip hop and contemporary. Kerry is very passionate about making dance accessible and welcoming all people. Check out their website here:  

Brian Koenig (BFA 2014) took on the position of Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Circus Company in the fall of 2017. He currently works as a solo entertainer, circus artist and event entertainer. 

Headshot of Cailin Manning

Cailin Manning (BFA 2016) is pursuing a Master's Degree in Screendance at London Contemporary Dance School and her latest film Going Down has been programmed nationally and internationally and just won Best Film at LA Dance Film Fest. Check out the film and Manning's website at "Sending thanks to Mitchell Rose for instilling a love for dance film in me," says Manning. 

Clara Martinez (BFA 2015) is the dance director at Everett High School for the Visual & Performing Arts. She is a member of many boards and committees, including the Mayor Andy Schor’s Arts & Culture Commission, Arts Education, and Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council for the City of Lansing, as well as the Michigan Dance Council. She is also a graduate student in clinical social work at Michigan State University.

Jordan McDowell (BFA 2019) has moved to New York City and is currently living in Brooklyn with two other Ohio State Dance alumni. While taking classes and auditioning for modern and contemporary companies, she has a job with Kinderdance, teaching dance and yoga classes to young children in schools and daycares. Jordan also teaches yoga at YMCA and she is a trainer at the physical therapy office there. In addition, she is in the work study programs at both a yoga studio and Peridance Capezio Center. 

Anthony Milian

Anthony Milan (BFA 2018) is currently an apprentice with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, working on repertories from a multitude of artists including Crystal Pite, Kyle Abraham and Ohad Naharin. He is also performing with a group who was a finalist on America’s Got Talent in Las Vegas and auditioning for full-time positions with national and international companies. 


Katherine Moore (MFA 2019) moved to Hattiesburg, MS, where she is an assistant teaching professor at the University of Southern Mississippi. Katherine enjoys teaching modern technique, dance appreciation to non-dance majors and student choreography. 

Heidi Murr (BFA 2017) has launched her own company MURRdance, a Pittsburgh-based company aimed to engage with the community through performance and education. MURRdance has toured and presented work in Allentown, Chicago, Richmond, Pittsburgh and Columbus. Heidi also started and helped grow the dance department at a newly opened performing arts high school in East Pittsburgh. She is currently working full-time as an educator for an independent PK-12 school in Sewickley, PA.

Mary Chase Pierson with students

Mariel (Mary Chase) Pierson (BFA 2017) is a first grade special education teacher at a charter school in Washington, D.C.. Last spring she led an after school jazz dance club for first and second graders and plans to do so again this year. Mary Chase also teaches ballet to three to five years olds on the weekends. 



Hana Newfield (BFA 2017) is currently dancing and performing with SeaBus Dance Company in Columbus, OH. She is also choreographing and performing her own work with dance partner Chloe Napoletano, another Ohio State Dance alumna. The two of them work project to project, and when Hana is not dancing, she is working at a restaurant in German Village. 

Maxi Riley (BFA 2019) is dancing with a small Cleveland-based dance company, called Cleveland Dance Project. She had her first showcase with the company this past November. 

Kerry Sellers (BFA 2011) is working in the Education and Engagement Department at Queensland Ballet in Brisbane, Australia. 

Rashana Smith (MFA 2012) is on faculty in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Ohio Wesleyan University. She also produces solo works, as well as collaborative works with artists in Columbus to create immersive dance theatre performances. 

Elissa Snouffer

Elissa Snouffer (BFA 2015) received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The Ohio State University in May of 2019. While finishing her final clinical training for school in March she was able to work with a company in Chicago, IL that contracted physical therapists for Joffrey Ballet Company. Elissa is currently working in a private practice in Mentor, OH, where she hopes to expand more dancers into her caseload. Photo: Jessica Cavender


Marissa Thomas

Marissa Thomas (BFA 2019) is dancing with Dancing Wheels company as an apprentice in Cleveland, OH. She recently returned from Beijing, China on her first international tour with the company, where she performed at the Luminous Festival, the first disability-led performing arts festival in China. Marissa is also working on her own choreography projects, teaching at a few local dance studios and looking forward to getting certified in physically integrated dance through Dancing Wheels Company. 

Ashley Thorndike-Youssef (PHD 2010) leads Now & Next Dance Mentoring Project, which was featured in the May issue of Dance Magazine. Now in its fifth year, N+N is expanding to four sites nationwide for Summer 2014. The program facilitates physical, artistic, and leadership development in professional artists, college dancers, and middle school girls. Executive Director Ashley Thorndike-Youssef runs the program with faculty members Laurie Atkins (MFA 2009), Annie Beserra (MFA 2007), Adriana Durant (MFA 2008), Kristen Lucas, and Meghan Durham Wall.

Calder White (BFA 2018) is a freelance dance artist based between Vancouver and Toronto. He has originated roles in work by Shay Kuebler (Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art), Kora Radella (BOOMERANG), Colin Connor (Jose Limon Dance Foundation), Santee Smith (Kaha:wi Dance Theatre), and Alexander Whitley (Alexander Whitley Dance Company). Calder is currently a company member with Shay Kuebler/Radical System Art (Vancouver) and Peggy Baker Dance Projects (Toronto). 

Brandon Whited (BFA 2016) is currently an assistant professor of dance at the University of California Santa Barbara and will be going up for a tenure track this fall. Him and his dog, Gus, enjoy living in The Golden State.

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