Brooklyn Draper received her BA Cum Laude in Dance and a minor in Anthropology. Furthermore; in 2012 she received
a Post-Graduate degree from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music & Dance in London, UK. She has had the honor to perform both in China and the UK and to work with professionals such as The Martha Graham Dance Company, Sonia Rafferty, Hagit Yakira, Gary Lambert, Eric Handman and most recently Lesley Telford. Along with Wasatch Contemporary Dance Company, Brooklyn has also professionally danced with Co.da, Porridge for Goldilocks, Triptych Figures and various freelance project-based works. Brooklyn’s choreographic work has been shown through WCDC, Mudson, Artist Interrupted, Beijing Dance Academy, Bonnie Bird Theater in London, UK, and the Rose Wagner. Brooklyn is currently receiving her IMS certificate along with RSMT/RSME and will be attending the University of Utah’s MFA Dance Program in the Fall of 2016. Brooklyn is currently a freelance dancer, choreographer and teacher.
Sarah Arnett – bio and image coming soon!
Sarah Gamblin, Associate Professor of Dance, was a member of Bebe Miller Company from 1993-2000 and Bill Young and Dancers from 1996-99 and toured various cities in South Africa, Portugal, Poland, St. Petersburg, Russia, Estonia, Peru and Venezuela as well as numerous cities in the US. In 2000 she earned the MFA in Dance from the University of Washington. In Seattle she performed with Rob Kitsos, Lingo dancetheater and Amii Le Gendre. Gamblin joined the dance faculty at Texas Woman’s University in 2002 where she teaches modern technique, composition, choreography, improvisation, experiential anatomy and in 2006 founded Dance Lab, a student performing group devoted to improvisation in the dance making process and performance. As an independent choreographer/performer her work has been produced by the Fort Worth Dance Festival, the Out of the Loop Festival, the Houston Fringe Festival, the Cultivate Dance Festival in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, the New Genre Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Seattle Festival of Dance and Improvisation, Bates Dance Festival, Bard College, the University of Washington, The Northwest New Works Festival at On the Boards and in New York City at the Flea Theater, Hundred Grand and Dia Center for the Arts. She has set original choreography on Mam-Luft Company/Dance of Cincinnati, OH, the University of Montana, the University of Wyoming, Lyons/Nelson Dance Company, Perpetual Motion Dance Company, University of South Florida , Texas Christian University and the University of Montana. She has also set Bebe Miller Company repertory on dance groups from the University of Hawai’i and University of North Texas.
Big Rig Dance Collective (Whitney Geldon, Amanda Jackson, & Lily Sloan) – The idea behind Big Rig Dance Collective (BRDC) sprung up in 2010 while we were road trippin’ from Denton to a performance in Austin, TX. Like highways connect cities, we aim to connect diverse communities through accessible performances, community classes, and collaborative events. In our creative process, we value what each individual brings to the group, and that is often the impetus for our work. Whether our collaborations lead us to light-hearted theatrical movement or raw energy and explosive physicality, we always start making dance by looking to what drives us in the here and now. Our methods for creating often include improvisation, choreography, and collaborations with other artists. BRDC is directed by Crysta Caulkins-Clouse, Whitney Geldon, Amanda Jackson, and Lily Sloan and creatively developed with many DFW area dance artists. Visit www.bigrigdance.org for more information.
Kansas native Whitney Geldon’s work emerges from the immediacy of the body, through dance, installation, and pedagogical practice. She holds an M.F.A. in dance from Texas Woman’s University, where she received the Excellence in Choreography Scholarship Award. Whitney’s work has been presented in festivals, colleges, and living rooms around the region. In addition to creating, Whitney has performed works by Amii Legendre, Rebecca Bryant, The Equus Project, D. Chase Angier, Jordan Fuchs, Sarah Gamblin, Mary A. Chase, Kathy Dunn Hamrick, and the 940 Dance Company. She has also been a guest artist at Eastfield College, Tarrant County Community College, Texas Dance Improvisation Festival, Movement Fundamentals, and the Lawrence Arts Center. Whitney is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas and a Co-Director of Big Rig Dance Collective.
Amanda Jackson is a performer, choreographer, educator, stylist, and avid cooking improviser holding an M.F.A. in Dance from Texas Woman’s University, where she was honored to receive the Excellence in Performance Scholarship Award. Amanda has performed extensively in local venues as well as professionally at The Kennedy Center with CholoRock Dance Theatre; the ADF 75th Anniversary in Durham, NC with Mark Dendy; and Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC with Dance Exchange. Amanda is currently Co-Director of Big Rig Dance Collective, Adjunct Professor at University of Texas Arlington, and Adjunct Professor at Tarrant County College Northwest where she serves as the Assistant Artistic Director of Mosaic Dance Project. Additional teaching credits include workshops and residencies at Texas Dance Improvisation Festival, American College Dance Festival, University of North Texas, and Luther College in Decorah, IA. Her choreography has been presented across the US with a notable experience at Harvard University. Most recently Amanda toured her collaborative work, Face on the Ground, in Las Vegas.
A Michigan native, Lily Sloan received her M.F.A. in dance at Texas Woman’s University with the Outstanding Graduate Student award. Currently, she is a Co-Director of Big Rig Dance Collective and an Adjunct Professor at Texas Christian University and Texas Woman’s University, all while living in Denton, TX with her husband and son. She has performed and/or presented work across the United States and in Mexico, as well as in Italy, where she was a guest artist in site-specific dance at La Bella Vita Arts Workshops. She has performed works by choreographers such as Amii Legendre, Rebecca Bryant, Mark Dendy, Jordan Fuchs, and Sarah Gamblin. Simple Sparrow Dance Company, Flatlands Dance Theatre, and Texas Christian University have commissioned Lily’s choreography and her writing on site-specific dance has been published in the Journal of Emerging Dance Scholarship. Lily sees dance making and performing as unique opportunities to problem solve in a physical and spontaneous way. She strives to continue exploring, performing, and creating innovative performances, often combining her interests in improvisation and site-based work.
Melissa Pihos is a teacher, dancer, choreographer, filmmaker and producer. She received a BA in Biology from UNC-Greensboro and an MFA in Choreography from UNC-Greensboro where she is was an adjunct faculty member for two years. She currently is adjunct faculty of dance at High Point University, Salem College and Central Piedmont Community College. She has been dancing for over 25 years, receiving her training at Academy of Dance Arts in Winston-Salem, NC; Appalachian State University in Boone, NC; UNC Greensboro; and The American Dance Festival in New York City. She currently dances for The Van Dyke Dance Group and John Gamble Dance Theatre. Her choreographic and film works have been featured in Dance Magazine, The Philadelphia Eagles Television Network and various film and dance festivals across the United States. She had made it her mission to raise awareness for Alzheimer’s disease through her creative works.
Tricia Zweier is an educator, choreographer, and performer with a cross-disciplinary interest in dance and kinesiology. After earning a Master of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, she relocated to Missouri and is in her second year as an Assistant Professor of Dance at Lindenwood University teaching mostly contemporary and jazz techniques, dance history, dance & technology, and dance kinesiology. In 2011, Tricia was awarded the American Kinesiology Association Graduate Scholar Award for her work toward the development of an innovative Dance Kinesiology curriculum. Outside of LU, Tricia has been commissioned to teach master classes in Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and recently completed a residency as a Guest Artist for The Center for Contemporary Dance Pre-professional Student Intensive in Orlando, Florida.
Tricia danced as an apprentice with the Atlantic City Ballet (formerly Atlantic Contemporary Ballet Theatre), then toured internationally in the cruise line industry as a lead dancer and dance captain. Her modern dance performance credits include the works of Hanya Holm, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham. She has also had the pleasure of working with more contemporary artists including Sean Curran and Mark Dendy, and continues to perform with Leverage Dance Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri.
Hannah McKinney is thrilled to be back in Lubbock to perform with such an amazing company! Her most recent role was with the Dallas African American Repertory Theatre performing Raisa in Jar the Floor with Ms. Irma P. Hall. Prior to that Hannah was seen at Fort Worth’s Circle Theatre as Princess Fartina in Seven in One Blow (The Brave Little Kid). During her studies at Texas Tech she was in several productions including The Underpants, Curtains, Goodnight, Desdemona (Good Morning, Juliet), and Death of a Salesman.She also worked with the Boston Playhouse and Louis Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts performing in Beauty Queen of Leenane and Voices of Survivors, respectively. Special thanks to LBK, LSV, and my family, real and imagined, without whom I would not be here.
DAN DONAHUE has appeared on stage continually for the last 35 years. He was most recently seen on the Garza Theatre stage as Jack Mullen in Conor McPherson’s The Weir. His previous favorite roles include Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman, Salieri in Amadeus, Polonius in Hamlet and Wilhelm Furtwangler in Taking Sides. When not doing theatre, Dan works as a CPA and is Vice President of V. F. Neuhaus Properties, Inc., an oil and gas company located in Mission, Texas. Dan is married to Linda Donahue, an associate professor in theatre at Texas Tech University.
Norman A. Bert teaches playwriting and dramatic analysis at Texas Tech University. The 30-some play scripts he has written include Riders of the Golden Sphinx published by Baker’s Plays of Boston, America Shows Her Colors, selected for production by Inner Voices Social Issues (University of Illinois), and Scenes from a Romance, showcased by ATHE’s PlayWorks program. Bert’s published books include Theatre Alive!, The Scenebook for Actors, and One-Act Plays for Acting Students along with its sequels More One-Act Plays for Acting Students and New One-Act Plays for Acting Students. He assisted Sam Smiley in the revision and reissue of Smiley’s classic text, Playwriting: The Structure of Action. His most recently completed scripts are The Gospel According to Jesse, a documentary drama about poverty in America, Pedrito’s Road, a play for young audiences adapted from two novels by Arturo O. Martínez, and Nine Eleven Voices commemorating the 9/11 attack. Bert earned his Ph.D. in dramatic theory and criticism from Indiana University and taught theatre in colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and Montana before moving to Texas.
Posy Knight began dancing at TheCumbrae School of Dance in Ottawa, Canada in 1987 with Marion Harvey. Continuing her training at the Washington School of Ballet from 1990-1994, Ms. Knight landed in Colorado Springs her freshman year of high school and formed a strong bond with Ormao (then known as Jazz Works West,) as well as the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center/Repertory Company, the Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration and teachers Esther Geoffrey and Debbie Mercer. Additionally Ms. Knight guest performed in productions with UCCS Theatreworks, the Colorado Springs Symphony, the Colorado Ballet, and Ballet West (UT.)
She earned her B.F.A. in 2002 from the Juilliard School, where she trained with and danced in the works of revered American modern choreographers such as Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Margie Gillis, and Lar Lubovitch amongst others. Ms. Knight danced from 2004-2007 with New York-based modern company Rioult, receiving praise in the New York Times. In 2009 her work PLAYLIST was awarded “Best Choreography” by the Pikes Peak Arts Council. Since April, Ms. Knight has appeared with the Ormao Dance Company, Our Community Dance Company, David Taylor’s Zikr Ensemble, Boulder’s Delusions of Grandeur Productions, and with the Club of Arts. She can be found teaching and choreographing at Ormao and Pikes Peak Community College, in addition to being the newly appointed director of ballet at Synergy Dance Academy. She was recently accepted to the University of CT’s Theatre Design Masters School in scenography and art direction and will begin in the fall of 2011.
Ila Conoley began her studies at the Alabama Dance Theatre, where she attended the South Eastern Regional Ballet Association yearly. She earned her BA in Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. In 2004 Ila moved to Colorado Springs and joined the Ormao Dance Company, with whom she currently performs and choreographs. Ila chairs the dance department at Pikes Peak Community College and directs the student dance company, the Colorado Modern Dance Company (CMDC). Ila has also taught various courses and master classes at Colorado College’s Extraordinary Summer Dance Festival, Mesa State College, University of Wyoming at Laramie, and the American College Dance Festival. Ila is the co- executive director and choreographer of 6 for 12 Productions, along with Christian and Jessica Medovich. Ila’s education and experience merges all facets of dance, combining artistry and beauty with her knowledge in the business.