About OUR Master Teachers
Alva danced with the Dance Express company from 2002 to 2008 and then returned
as a dancer in 2018. Alva enjoys choreographing to popular music and assists
with teaching adaptive dance workshops with school groups. Her cat, Sweet Pea,
at times inspires her dances. Alva works in the community. She is co-teaching a pre-recorded session with Michael on Thursday, October 14th, at 1:00PM on “Stretch and Step”
Anika Star has been a company member with Dance Express since 2012. She is happy to teach Around the World dances, especially Irish dance and Salsa. Creating and choreographing her own solos is one of her many talents. Anika enjoys
horseback riding. She and Tamara teach a pre-recorded session on Friday, October 15th, at 10:00 “Around the World”.
Connor Downer began their dance journey at the age of 4 in northern Colorado focusing on ballet, jazz, contemporary, and lyrical, thus igniting a passion for art and creative movement. Connor further received instruction from G. Madison, Richard Elszy and WildaBeast while in L.A. In 2019, Connor moved to Tian Jiang, China where they created and implemented an all-abilities dance program for the children at Shepherd's Field Children's Village, an orphan home for children with special needs. Connor has had the pleasure of working at Lighthouse Dance, Front Range Classical Ballet Academy, and Rez Dance and with Dance Express. Besides dance, Connor has a passion for social justice and is currently pursuing a degree in social work. Connor teaches Creative Modern Movement on Saturday, October 16 at 2PM .
Debra Endres is a professional dance instructor who has taught private and group classes locally since 2003 in northern Colorado. Her initial training is from the Minneapolis, MN area, including certification with Arthur Murray Dance Studios and In The Mood Studio. Since moving to Colorado she's continued training with top dance coaches in Ballroom, Country, Swing, and Latin dances. It's been a joy to share her love of dance with her students in competition, for pleasure, for special events, and for wedding dance choreography. Let's create some magic -let's get together and DANCE! You can find her at www.OkayDance.com; her studio is located at 6718 N. Franklin Ave.,Loveland, CO. 970-988-4693 Debra teaches Salsa on Saturday, October 9 at 12PM.
Glenda Monasch, Eurythmist, has performed as an artistic Eurythmist for over 30 years since earning her Eurythmy Diploma from the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland. She is the current Director at Therapeutic Eurythmy Training in North America, TETNA, which is a graduate-level training in therapeutic eurythmy accredited by the Medical Section of the Goetheanum. She has a demonstrated history of working in the health, wellness, education, and fitness industries with people of all ages. She is skilled in Nonprofit Organizations, Coaching, Healing, and Research. Glenda teaches Imaginative Story Eurythmy for Youth on Saturday, October 16, at 11AM and Soulful Awakening Eurythmy for adults at12PM.
Ixchel Levendosky, is the founder and director of Front Range Classical Ballet Academy. Invited to Fort Collins to be School Director of Canyon Concert Ballet, Ixchel stayed in the area to share her love and knowledge of dance with countless students throughout northern Colorado. From years of performing professionally and studying classical ballet and modern dance, Ixchel has a tremendous breadth of experience to share with her students. She is known for her precision in teaching proper technique geared towards minimizing injury and maximizing consistent student progress. Ixchel seeks to share the art and soul of dance with all who come into her classes, finding the individual gifts and beauty in each of her students. Since 1990, her choreography, with broad appeal among audiences, is performed throughout northern Colorado as well as Denver and virtually to accommodate online learning. Ixchel teaches Ballet Partnering on Friday October 8, at 3PM.
Jayne Persch, founder of Briah Danse based in Boulder, CO, is more than a long list of credits. As a teacher of dance and movement therapist, she works to prevent injuries and promote body awareness so that dance and movement work as therapy together with music, color, speech, and drama. Jayne twinkles to inspire a range of movement, imaginations, and explorations of the soul and understanding of our personal movements that may have been washed aside by the busy-ness of rushing lives. For dancers, she is a source of inspiration both during and after life in dance. With more than 25 years of professional experience in dancing, teaching, choreography, and directing, and years of personal advanced study in massage therapy, craniosacral therapy, and psychology, Jayne brings compassion, passion, and joy to her work. She nurtures a real sense of accomplishment and awareness of personal integrity, rooted in her deep love of the arts. Visit: https://www.jayneperschco.com Jayne teaches Embodied Awareness on Thursday, October 14, at 12PM.
Jessie Biser is an RYT (RegisteredYogaTeacher) 500 Yoga Instructor living out of a van and traveling across the United States. She started practicing yoga in 2013 and quickly fell in love with the way it influenced all aspects of her life. She says, “Yoga cultivated gratitude and made me stronger in more ways than I ever could have imagined.” She has been teaching yoga since 2017 and runs an online yoga business teaching classes and workshops from all over the United States. Jessie teaches Rest and Restore Yoga on Tuesday, October 12 at 12PM.
Kristi Rupert has been teaching exercise classes for over 20 years. In addition to getting strong and healthy herself, she wants her participants to get strong and healthy, too, and to have fun! That way, it’s much easier to keep doing it. Kristi holds certifications from multiple national and international fitness programs, including SilverSneakers, Les Mills, and NESTA. Kristi teaches Kristi's Cardio on Monday, October 11 at 10AM and on Wednesday, October 13 at 12PM.
Lisa Morgan has been a member of the CSU dance faculty since 2000, teaching modern dance technique, choreography, and currently, focusing on teaching methods for children's dance. She works closely with regional schools, pre-K to 12 educators, and state agencies to increase movement experiences for children in public schools and was on the committee to revise the 2020 Colorado Dance Academic Standards for the Colorado Department of Education. She coordinates the dance portion of BRAINY (BRinging Arts INtegration to Youth), a program designed to bring students from Title I schools to the University Center for the Arts for a day of the arts. She works with CSU Music Therapy, teaching movement improvisation for graduate and undergraduate students and coordinates Moving Through Parkinson's, a movement therapy program for individuals living with Parkinson’s. Lisa teaches Dancing with Parkinson's on Tuesday, October 12, at 1PM.
Mary Elizabeth Lenahan, MS, OT founder and artistic and executive director of Dance Express, recognizes the talents, natural lyricism, and dance capabilities of persons with Down syndrome thanks to her sister, Theresa. Dance Express was founded in 1989, and incorporated in Colorado and granted a federal 501(c)(3) designation in 1992. Annually the company produces dance and dance theatre concerts, hosts adaptive dance workshops, and the regional inclusive dance convening. Named a Northern Colorado Woman of Distinction in 2015, honored with a Northern Colorado Community Ordinary Extraordinary People Award in 2019, Ms. Lenahan certifies as a Colorado Creative Change Leader in 2021. Mary Elizabeth & Dance Express co-teach Open Rehearsal Basics on Sunday, October 10 at 2PM and Facilitated Choreography on Sunday, October 10 at 3PM.
Megan Roney, MS, OTR, has danced since the age of three and is captivated by the stories our bodies tell through the art of dance. As an occupational therapist and a certified DanceAbility instructor Megan weaves her love of dance with her passion to empower the independence, advocacy, and artistic creation of children and adolescents with disabilities.
Megan researched the experience of adults with traumatic brain injuries who engaged in yoga and works in community adaptive recreation programs, clinics, schools, and home health. A company dancer in the Denver/Boulder-based Life/Art Dance Ensemble, Megan performs in annual company productions and for low-income senior living communities in the Denver area. A former volunteer and dancer with Dance Express, Megan is excited to dance again with familiar and new faces during this year's DANCE BEYOND the LIMITS convening. Megan teaches DanceAbility on Friday, October 8, at 2PM and on Saturday, October 16 at 3PM.
Michael has been a star performer and troupe member of Dance Express since 2007. His enthusiasm and natural rhythm give vibrancy to his dancing and bring audiences to their feet! Michael enjoys cross-fit with his father and works part-time in Fort Collins. He co-teaches a pre-recorded session with Alva on Thursday, October 14th, at 1:00PM Stretch and Step.
Mindy Grossberg, Certified Action Theater Teacher, LMSW: For over twenty years as the Program Coordinator for ArtStreet, a community art studio and a program of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, Mindy has combined her belief in play, community building, and collaborative art-making to guide her socially-engaged work. Along with her Masters in Social Work and her own art-making practice, she has studied Action Theater (AT) for over 14 years and has taught this form of physical improvisation for over six years. Grounded in the belief that creativity in all forms is a necessary component toward individual and social transformation, Mindy investigates how physical improvisation can support the dismantling of the internal and external barriers that keep us separated from ourselves and one another. This exploration is especially rich when it is playful and informed by the body. Mindy teaches Connect with Action Theatre on Tuesday, October 12, at 10AM.
Nadia Duncan owns Impulse Dance and Fitness LLC. Nadia grew up dancing with her family as a cultural norm. After formal dance training at Soul Motion, she joined a competitive dance team at Centerstage Starz. Moving to Fort Collins, she attended Colorado State University for a Bachelor’s in Psychology. She has taught Hip Hop, Break, and Dance fitness all over town. Nadia is certified in Zumba, BODYJAM by Les Mills, Strong By Zumba, and Group Fitness by AFAA. With Impulse, she took her passion for dance to the next level, creating a space for the adult community to share, grow, inspire, and find happiness through dance. Impulse provides accessible adult dance opportunities that cultivate community, expression, and happiness. Nadia teaches Hip Hop on Friday, October 8, at 12PM.
Paulette Dolin has been a teacher and practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method(R) of somatic education for over 20 years. She applies Awareness Through Movement lessons from Stanford Integrative Medicine to exercise and wellness programs she conducts. She has worked with cancer patients and participants at senior centers, where everyone gets dancing no matter their perceived limitations. A student of various forms of dance, her goal is to facilitate movement as self-expression as well as enhancing performance capacity. Locally, Paulette is an instructor with Aspen Club and has a private practice. Paulette teaches Feldenkrais for Personal Power on Friday, October 8, at 11AM.
Rachel Goldman earned her BFA in modern dance in 2007, and a masters degree in occupational therapy in 2015. As a movement artist, her focus is primarily on improvisation, play, presence, and connection. She currently pursues these through dance, Action Theater, bouldering, and drumming. She has been working with clients with severe mental illness since 2015, and identifies as a person with a mental health disorder. She is fascinated by the relationship between sensory experiences, neurobiology, and mood. Rachel will be teaching Movement and Mood on Saturday, October 9 at 1PM.
Rebecca Hahn (Minding Your Business) is a speaker, writer, facilitation expert, and creative consultant. Minding Your Business (MYB) is passionate about helping highly motivated people, artists, and companies further develop their platform, programs, presence, and impact. As a vision doula and creative partner, Rebecca is there from the brainstorming and ideation phase to witnessing you stepping out on the stage (virtually or in person) to share your message, passion, and programs with ease and grace. With over 30 years as a seasoned dancer, yogi and clinical Dance/Movement Therapist, Rebecca integrates the art and science of creativity in a powerful and seamless way to create deeply felt and transformative experiences. The Choreography of Calm integrates the three-fold experience of creative movement, breath re-patterning, and prescriptive movement to calm and ground the nervous system, jump-start our happy neurochemistry, and free up trauma and tension in our bodies. Rebecca teaches the Choreography of Calm on Thursday, October 14, at 10AM.
Sadie Gelb is the Community Education and Mixed Ability Program Director for Keshet Dance and Center for the Arts, an arts non-profit based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Since 1996, Keshet's mission is to inspire and unite community by fostering unlimited possibilities through dance, mentorship and a creative space for the arts. Keshet’s Mixed Ability classes focus on celebrating the expression of all individuals and all abilities in dance. While dancers of all abilities are welcome in all Keshet programming, Mixed Ability classes specifically integrate all mobility devices as well as all levels of physical and developmental abilities. In Mixed Ability classes, students are invited to move and express dance technique together while discovering their unique movement possibilities. In this online improvisation workshop, dancers will be inspired to move through the elements of time, space, and energy. Sadie is originally from Indiana, and completed her Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and Dance as well as Educational Studies with an emphasis on Special Needs from Alma College. Her research on the benefits of dance for students with Cognitive Impairments allowed her to graduate with Honors in both fields Summa Cum Laude. Sadie has experience teaching dance in both studio and therapy settings. She has brought her dance experience to previous positions as Behavior Technician at an Applied Behavior Analysis Autism Clinic; teacher at Live Laugh Dance, a summer camp for young adults with Down syndrome; student teacher in a variety of Special Education classrooms; and dance teacher for ages 5-15 at Academy of Performing Arts. At Keshet, Sadie is on teaching staff for the Community, Pre-Professional, and Movement + Mentorship = Metamorphosis programs. Sadie is certified in Progressive Ballet Technique and has trained in ballet, jazz, modern, somatic methods, and Highland dance. Sadie teaches Keshet Mixed Ability Improvisation on Tuesday, October 12 at 11AM.
Silva Laukkanen loves dance. She loves movement. She loves diversity. She loves the beautiful moments that are created in space by bodies telling stories. During a chance opportunity to teach at a rehabilitation center in her native Finland she was reminded of the transformative power of movement in the lives of people, and because of this experience she decided to refocus her career on community and inclusive dance. Her passion for dance education has taken her around the world to teach in many different environments, from senior centers, to correctional facilities, and to other educational settings. She wants to expand the notion of who can dance and where dance should happen. This inquiry sparked the idea in 2016 to start the DanceCast: a podcast to bring awareness about dance artists working outside the traditional norms. Silva holds a dance degree from The North Karelia College of Outokumpu and a postgraduate degree in Community Dance from The Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, UK and is a certified DanceAbility teacher. Silva is the director of integrated dance at Art Spark Texas and a teaching artist for Forklift Danceworks. Silva co-teaches a pre-recordedDance Improvisation with Tanya Winters on Friday, October 15 at 12PM.
Susie Garifi holds a MA in Dance Education from New York University, a BA with a major in Dance from Colorado State University. She studied with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in their Independent Study Program. Susie carries a strong interest in the fundamental values of dance and community and strives to create productive and supportive experiences that use dance as a vehicle to form connections. She is also a certified Vinyasa yoga instructor and enjoys sharing the benefits of somatic practices in all of her teaching and learning experiences. Susie is part of the dance faculty at Colorado State University, a dance and yoga instructor at Impulse Dance & Fitness, and dances professionally as a company member in IMPACT Dance Company where she also acts as an Outreach Coordinator of their program 'Every Voice Matters'. Susie teaches Yoga on Monday, October 11, at 12PM, Tap on Monday, October 11, at 1PM, and Modern Improvisation on Saturday, October 16 at 1PM.
Tamara is one of the original six troupe members who joined Dance Express in February,
1989. She has been choreographing, performing, assistant teaching, and leading
within the company for many years. Teaching children and fellow troupe members,
Tamara brings joy wherever she goes. She was awarded the Hal O’Leary Inspiration
Award in 2011 with a ceremony, performance, and dinner at Coors Field, the
Colorado Rockies' home base. Tamara co-teaches with Anika the pre-recorded Around the World session on Friday, October 15th, at 10:00AM .
TamaraLynn Jonason - As a young ballerina, TamaraLynn performed with the Colorado Ballet Company and Red River Dance & Performing Company, under the Artistic Direction of Cathy and Eddie Gasper (Legendary Eddie Gasper, who was Bob Fosse’s assistant for over a decade in New York). At sixteen, she was Soloist for the opera Magic Flute, Fargo/Moorhead Minnesota Civic Opera. TamaraLynn danced with Ballet Arizona under the Artistic Direction of Jean Paul Comelin; performed as Soloist for four years with Opendance Progressive Ballet Company; School of American Ballet; ABT; the Joffrey Ballet School; and Royal Ballet School in London. In Phoenix, TamaraLynn directly trained, worked, and lived with Irina Dolgova from the Vaganova Academy Mariinsky Ballet Saint-Petersburg/Leningrad Russia. TamaraLynn, owns and directs is Love Performing Arts Center (LPAC). LPAC is a place to perform, create, and learn for young artists, professional artists, and community members. In addition to performance, Love Performing Arts Center offers casual instruction and professional training in Ballet, Sabre Fencing, Yoga, Dao Meditation, Contemporary Dance, Jazz/Modern, Fringe Theatre. Tamara Lynn teaches Bartenieff: Conversations for Movement on Friday, October 8 at 1PM and Roots and Wings on Friday, October 15 at 11AM.
Tanya Winters, a Chicago native, fell in love with Austin after a weekend trip. As a dancer with a disability, she loves creating and enjoys pushing the boundaries of art and movement! Tanya's career as an artist began in theatre in 2005 and shifted to dance in 2007 thanks to a wooden chair and the desire to tell a story. As a student of Austin Community College, she gained extensive background in improvisation and choreography. Tanya became a certified DanceAbility instructor in 2011. Currently, she dances with a project called the Body Shift Collective where she choreographs and participates in performances; teaches and engages in classes; as well as educates and advocates for inclusion. She hopes that her work will motivate other dancers to think outside the box and erase the line between ability and disability. Tanya co-teaches Dance Improvisation with Silva on Friday, October 15 at 12PM and virtually participates in CONVERSATIONS on INCLUSION on Saturday, October 16 at 2 PM
TJ Englund has been dancing all of her life. She received her BFA and MA in dance from the University of Cincinnati and has danced professionally with several companies in Illinois. Her training goes beyond dance with certifications in Gyrokinesis with Julio Horvath, Aerial Yoga with Cathy Gauch, and Pilates with Juanita Lopez. She recently moved to Colorado with her husband and two boys to enjoy the outdoors. TJ teachesGyrokinesis/Moving Yoga on Saturday, October 9 at 10AM.
Tessy Brown has a passion for performing arts and is a believer in expressing skill in any form an artist feels compelled to do. Creative expression can foster healing and mental well-being. Internal exploration and creative interpretation is a healthy way to find inner confidence. Performing arts can bring solitude to shut out distractions and bring focus to the moment. Inspiring others to thrive and explore in their own inner personal art brings her purpose and joy. Tessy is ten years trained in Modern contemporary, Jazz, and choreography. She has five years of grade school theatre experience as co-director and stage manager and is a member of two local Dance Companies. Tessy and her family enjoy traveling, spending time together with intention, movies, supporting the community, and volunteering where needed. Our belief is to give good toward others and be your personal truth on purpose. Tessy teaches Jazz on Wednesday, October 13 at 10AM.
Toña Rivera (she/her) is a dance and visual artist and the founder in 2014 of the nonprofit Every Ability Plays Project. She has cerebral palsy which impacts her speech and the use her hands and legs. She uses a wheelchair for mobility and a computer to help her speak. In 1999, she discovered dance via Keshet Dance. In 2005, she traveled to Eugene, OR to get the DanceAbility teacher certification and later certified in 2020. She began painting in 2005 and now works with clay by using a head pointer. Since 2003 through 2020, she attended the North Fourth Art Center associated with VSA Arts of New Mexico. There, she danced with the Buen Viaje Dance Company, a mixed abilities company. Every Ability Plays Project is a non-profit that purchases special playground equipment for children with physical disabilities. Toña teaches DanceAbility on Thursday, October 14, at 11AM.
Triet Hoang, born in Binh Duong, Vietnam, started as a musician, which allowed him to find his path to dance in 2007. Together with Ricky Al, he co-founded Machinez Remainz in 2010 and is the Co-Director under Director Ricky Al. He is educated in various styles such as locking, hip-hop, and house, but his main style is popping. Triet has trained under Poppin Pete, Hugo aka Mr. Smooth, and Zulu Gremlin and performed with Machinez Remainz on many notable stages such as World of Dance Las Vegas and New Jersey, Hip Hop International, and Breakin Convention Tour at the Buell Theater. Triet teaches Poppin': Animation & Robot on Wednesday, October 13, at 11AM.
Tailfeatherdance, UK: With over 30 years of dance teaching experience, Tailfeatherdance provides dance technique and performance training to young adults with learning disabilities. Tailfeatherdance believes in promoting inclusivity, celebrating diversity, and widening participation within the performing arts. Tailfeatherdance is committed to providing a person-centred approach to develop performing arts skills. Andrew has been with Tailfeather for 4 years and he is the Tailfeatherdance Teaching Assistant. Blythe and Isabella have danced with us for a while but will be joining Tailfeatherdance as part of their college supported internship in September 2021. We, in Colorado, are thrilled to have this dance collaboration with these dancers. Tailfeatherdance teacheson Monday, October 11, at 11AM.
Yvonne Hanning, an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Health Coach, and a certified group fitness teacher with the Functional Aging Institute. She has worked in the fitness industry for 20 years and is almost always in the middle of a fitness training. She specializes in Functional Fitness, Tai Chi, Yoga, & The Big Stretch. In 2020, she started Willow Tree Studios Online Fitness for Active Agers. Yvonne’s perspective on fitness is that our bodies were created for movement and movement should feel good. Moving regularly and intentionally helps you to do all the things that bring joy to your life. In her classes, you always start with two deep breaths. Yvonne teaches Tai Chi on Saturday, October 9 at 11AM and on Wednesday, October 13 at 1PM, and teaches Functional Fitness on Friday, October 15 at 1PM.
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