Performer | Teacher | Choreographer | Beacher I am forever inspired by the 80s, summer sun, soft pastels and high, high kicks! I bring spirit, light hearted energy and a love of movement to my creative projects. Over the past 20 years I have performed both nationally and internationally in theaters, music venues, cabarets, on film, sidewalks and at parties. I've taught in elementary, middle and high schools, in colleges, and in yoga and dance studios. I've choreographed 13 full length musicals, countless modern dance pieces, dozen's of 80s back up routines, a handful of music videos, a few quinceñara performances and an infinite amount of choreography in the street and on the beach!
Welcome and prepare for fun.... it's time to JESSERCIZE!
Bio I studied at Reed College and the London Contemporary Dance School before graduating from Cornish College of the Arts with a BFA in Dance Magna Cum Laude in 2001. I completed Shiva Rea's Prana Vinyasa Flow Yoga teacher training program at the Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in 2007 and have studied with Kathleen Hunt of Samadhi Yoga for over two decades. In 2018 I received a grant to travel to Rishikesh, Dharamasala and Varanasi, India where I studied with Mittra Rawat and at the Sheev Yoga Peeth and the Vishnu Yoga Shala.
I teach at UPrep, an independent Middle and Upper School in Seattle where I have been a member of the Fine Arts Department faculty for 14 years. In addition to teaching dance and yoga at school, I lead a weekly vinyasa yoga class on Sundays at The SweatBox on Capitol Hill and teach a weekly online class on Saturday mornings from my living room: Rise & Shine: breathing, vinyasa yoga & meditation.
When not teaching, dancing or practicing yoga, I spend as much time as possible in the sun at the beach!
Performance As a performer, in the early 2000's, I achieved local notoriety as Debbie Dazzle in the Seattle guerrilla performance art duo FANKICK! Our duo was named one of the "65 Best Ways To Love Our City" by Seattle Metropolitan magazine. "...these two women remind us that dance can happen anywhere, anytime and be just as uplifting when your tongue is firmly in your cheek." -Seattle Metroplitan. FANKICK! often appeared dancing on the city streets in ephemeral art pieces. "Once the weather gets warm, the strains of David Bowie floating out of FANKICK!'s soundsystem may seduce you around a street corner." -Marcie Sillman, KUOW.
The Stranger produced "The Dance Battle of the Century" featuring FANKICK! vs. Streetbeat in a memorable dance off event at Westlake Center with 1000's of onlooking fans."Despite a stunning secret weapon deployed by FANKICK!--an instantly assembled army of two dozen backup dancers grooving in unison to "She Works Hard for the Money"--the tie-breaking Scream-O-Meter® favored, by the slimmest of shrieking margins Streetbeat..." -The Stranger(Readmoreabout it.) FANKICK! was commissioned by Microsoft, the Seattle Art Museum, Henry Art Gallery, the Wexley School for Girls and the Capitol Hill Block Party. "...these two fabulous young ladies are armed with massive amounts of energy and neon-colored attire so they can dance their way into your hearts." -The Stranger. In Seattle we performed at Velocity Dance Center, Neumos, Chop Suey, Mo Pop, the Olympic Sculpture Park, Pike Place Market and more. FANKICK! "took the beats to the streets" and danced in two tours to Las Vegas and New York City. I have worked with many artists and choreographers over the last two decades. I toured with Mark Haim Dance Theater's piece 'This Land Is Your Land' which was named "one of the most influential works in the past 15 years." -Dance Magazine. I have performed both nationally and internationally at the Southern Theater (MN), PICA's TBA Festival (OR), the Myrna Loy Center (MT), Dance Theater Workshop (NY), the Joyce Theater (NY), American Dance Festival at Duke University (NC), the Consumer Electronic Showcase (NV), Colegio San Jose (Barranquilla, Colombia) and in the ArtDanThe Festival (Paris, France). I choreographed and was a featured performer in 'Transition,' an absurd mix of stereophonic effects, live video, geometric movement and improvisation created by comedian/musician Reggie Watts and playwright/director Tommy Smith performed at On The Boards in Seattle. I have also danced with the Seattle Opera, Pat Graney Company, SOM Performance, Amy O'Neal, Greg Thompson Productions, Crispin Spaeth Dance Group, LeGendre Performance, Scott Powell Performance, Deborah Wolf, Fae Rose Phalen, Rainbow Fletcher, the Castaways, Hypernova Contemporary Dance Company, Randy Phillips, Diana Cardiff, Sara Jinx, Andrew Schneider and more. I was featured in two Macklemore & Ryan Lewis music videos 'And We Danced' and 'Thrift Shop.' Other film work includes Karn Junkinsmith's 'Night Falls on Jack and Cleo,' Vockah Redu's 'Fantahsea,' Kris Orlowski's 'Pieces We Are,' and the Wimps' 'Dump.' I have performed live with a few bands including the Art Martyrs Relief Society, the Young Evils and Vockah Redu & the Cru.
Teaching At UPrep I create and teach semester long dance and yoga courses for students in grades 6-12. I recently designed and taught 3 intensive, full day 3-week courses: Choreography, Yoga On and Off the Mat & Art Lab. Choreography class focused on skills in composition and dance building, culminating in a performance of original works for students in grades 7-12. Yoga On and Off the Mat explored yoga philopshy, the 8 limbs, asana, pranayama, meditation, mindfulness practices and more for students 9-12 grades. Art Lab explored the creative process through the intersections of dance, theater, visual art, writing and mindfulness for students in grades 7 and 8. In January of 2020 I developed and co-taught an interdisciplinary course in collaboration with the Colegio San Jose school in Barranquilla, Colombia exploring culture, dance and identity for students in grades 10-12. In April of 2018 I travelled with UPrep's Global Programs department to Gabarone, Botswana where I co-led a cultural exchange program for teenagers including camping in Chobe National Park, learning marimba at the Maru-A-Pula School and exploring one of the 7 wonders of the world, Mosi-oa-Tunya or Victoria Falls, in Zimbabwe.
Prior to my work at UPrep I taught dance and yoga to students Pre-K to grade 5 at the Bertschi School in Seattle. I've taught in the Youth Summer Program at the Gage Academy of Art where as a teaching artist for numerous years. I have also worked with the Dance This! program through the Seattle Theater Group to teach both live yoga classes and to create pre-recorded yoga sessions for dancers ages 13-21. I choreographed for the Youth Theater Northwest and ran a program of my own through Fred Wildlife Refuge, an art center in the heart of Seattle, where I taught weekly yoga classes. Early in my career I worked as an Artist-in-Residence teaching dance for the Campbell County School District in Gillette, WY and the Des Moines Elementary School in Des Moines, WA.
I bring my vast and varied experiences as an artist and teacher to each of my lessons and I am dedicated to inspiring a love of movement and sense of connection in all of my students.