Jess 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. Jess is on the Fine Arts Faculty at UPrep in Seattle where she inspires student joy and creativity in classes for middle and upper school students. Jess has also taught at the Bertschi School, Dance This! with the Seattle Theater Group, Youth Theater Northwest, the Fred Wildlife Refuge, the Campbell County School District and at the Des Moines Elementary School.
In the early 2000's Jess achieved local notoriety as Debbie Dazzle in the Seattle guerrilla performance art duo FANKICK! The 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! usually appeared dancing on the street 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 duo also performed at Velocity Dancer Center, Neumos, Chop Suey, Mo Pop, the Olympic Sculpture Park and more. 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.
Jess has performed with many notable choreographers and companies over the last two decades including the Seattle Opera, Pat Graney Company, SOM Performance, Amy O'Neal, Greg Thompson Productions, Crispin Spaeth Dance Group, LeGendre Performance, Scott Powell Performance, Reggie Watts, Tommy Smith, Deborah Wolf, Rainbow Fletcher, the Castaways, Hyperova Contemporary Dance, Mark Haim Dance Theater, Diana Cardiff, Sara Jinx and more. She toured with Mark Haim's piece This Land Is Your Land which was named "one of the most influential works in the past 15 years." -Dance Magazine. Jess has 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). Jess was featured in two Macklemore & Ryan Lewis music videos And We Danced and Thrift Shop. Other film work includes Karn Junkinsmith's The Chronicles of Cleo and Jack, Vockah Redu's Fantahsea, Kris Orlowski's Pieces We Are, and the Wimps' Dump. Jess has performed live with several bands including the Young Evils and Vockah Redu + Cru.
Jess completed her yoga teacher training with Shiva Rea at the Exhale Center for Sacred Movement in 2007 and continues to study with Kathleen Hunt of Samadhi Yoga. She is influenced by studies with Dharma Mittra, Andrey Lappa, Seane Corne, Sharon Gannon, and Gary Kraftstow. In her personal practice Jess explores a variety of traditions from vinyasa, ashtanga and bikram to yin and mindfulness meditation. When not teaching, dancing or practicing yoga, Jess spends as much time as possible at the beach.