In The Spotlight

Meet the Denver metro dance scene. Featured below are spotlighted members of the community who have been nominated for their dedication, artistry or cultural impact on the Colorado dance community. Know someone who supports the creation and expansion of Denver metro dance but is not featured here? Our next round of call for nominations will take place from October 1 – December 31, 2018. Due to the upcoming Presenting Denver Dance Festival, we will not be taking nominations for In The Spotlight in 2017. We hope you will consider making a nomination in 2018. The spotlight is on you, Denver!

  • Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography.

    Luciana Da Silva

    By in In The Spotlight 2017 on

    BRAZILIAN DANCE: THE GIFT FROM TRADITIONS “My expertise as a dancer and teacher includes my culture. When I started learning and searching for the roots, the origins, the meanings… I also found myself in a way.” — Luciana Da Silva Brazilian Luciana Da Silva’s life work is the dance of her home country. In Colorado (and recently across Europe) she

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  • Photo by Jamie Kraus Photography.

    Francisco Estévez

    By in In The Spotlight 2017 on

    ART ACROSS BORDERS During a time when partisanship, widening divides, and uncertainty cloud our worldview, art remains the key to connection. Embodying this is dancer Francisco Estévez of the Colorado Ballet. Francisco has journeyed from his birthplace of Quito, Ecuador to Denver, Colorado, with many stops in between, carrying with him a passion for ballet and a developing eye for

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  • Photo by Grant Kinser

    Samantha Hyde

    “If you want to study the dance, study the people, and if you want to study the people, study the dance.” — Wisdom taught by Baba Dr. Charles “Chuck” Davis (Founder and Artistic Director of African American Dance Ensemble) to Baba Stafford C. Berry Jr. (Assistant Professor of Dance and Black Studies at Denison University) and handed down to Samantha

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  • Photo by Grant Kinser.

    Peter Davison

    By in In The Spotlight 2017 on

    Outsider Art Clown Triumphs Children and laughter spilled into the aisles of the Pine Street Church throughout movement artist Peter Davison’s Objectivity Dance Theater’s performance during the 2016 Boulder International Fringe Festival. A ball became many balls that leapt from hand to hand as jackets and hats slipped on and off. A ladder balanced and bowed as the person on

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  • Photo by Grant Kinser.

    Caitlin Brozna-Smith

    DANCING IN DIVERSITY A Denver native, Caitlin Brozna-Smith meets me to discuss all things dance. Her petite frame and bubbly personality blend well with the mish-mash of characters in the coffee shop, and we begin to engage in fluid conversation discussing everything from figure skating to cultural appropriation. From the ice to the dance floor, the athletic life of Caitlin

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  • Photos by Photo by Random Vision (Timothy Salaz). Images courtesy of Chase Evered.

    Chase Evered

    By in In The Spotlight 2016 on

      Union Station’s Mercantile was hopping the Friday before Easter. The drink and pastry Chase Evered ordered at the beginning of our interview took nearly its hour-long duration to arrive. Despite the hectic scene and the barista’s lack of urgency, Evered remained calm. “I’m a patient man,” he said with the deliberateness of a monk. Patience may not be what

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  • Lucy Wallace

    By in In The Spotlight 2016 on

    SO MUCH GRACE Come dance with me Over murder and pain Come and set you free Over heartache and shame Come dance with me Over heartache and rage Come set us free Over panic and strange From “Man on Fire” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros These words ring inside the gymnasium of the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility, a

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  • Photo by GMark Lewis. Image courtesy of Kenny Nelson.

    Kenny Nelson

    By in In The Spotlight 2016 on

    DENVER’S DEDICATED SWING DANCER! After just five minutes of talking with Kenny Nelson, it becomes incredibly clear that he is one of those energetic people who love taking a big bite out of life. He grew up as part of a home-schooling community dedicated to the arts, music, and performance, and came of age just when the swing revival reached

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  • Jessica Riggs

    By in In The Spotlight 2016 on

    JESSICA RIGGS: CREATING, DANCING, CARING & GIVING As the founder, director, and primary choreographer of Life/Art Dance Ensemble, a recent recipient (2014) of a Master of Science in Human Nutrition, and a registered dietitian nutritionist working for King Soopers and The Little Clinic, Jessica Riggs knows what it’s like to wear more than one hat. And even though it may

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  • Mary Wohl Haan

    By in In The Spotlight 2016 on

    RIDING THE EDGE WITH MARY WOHL HAAN   Calling choreographers! Creative whirlwind (dancer, choreographer, human) Mary Wohl Haan seeks similarly spontaneous artists with whom to collaborate. Bring your wild ideas and careful plans to an exploration of the edges of expectation as we become more, together.   Mary Wohl Haan’s focus on movement and expression for all is the basis

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  • Eleanor Moriarty

    “My advice to others aspiring to make it in the arts is to stick with it. If this is truly your life’s passion, the rewards are endless. Your professional journey might be bumpy and frustrating but it is totally worth it. Truly having a passion for your craft makes it seem less like work. This is my purpose in life.”

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  • Brian Young

    By in In The Spotlight 2015 on

    IF IT AIN’T BROKE: BRIAN YOUNG’S BACK TO BASICS VISION It’s controversial, for sure, to name a dance studio after a factory that violates labor laws. But the name of Brian Young’s pre-professional school, Sweatshop, speaks to Brian’s dedication to, philosophy about and passion for dance that’s earning the school national recognition. Growing up in Pueblo, Brian tagged along to

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  • Sandra Minton

    By in In The Spotlight 2015 on

    DEVOTED TO DANCE EDUCATION Sandra Minton’s dance education career began in high school in the basement-cum-studio her father built where she taught the neighborhood kids ballet and tap, earning money that would partly fund her undergraduate degree from UCLA. Since then, she’s been hooked on the combination of dance and education – or perhaps more accurately the connection between body and

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  • Jayne Persch

    By in In The Spotlight 2015 on

    AN EDUCATION: TEA WITH MS. JAYNE PERSCH “Dance is the noblest of arts.  It blends music, color, tone, textures, and nuances.  It is mathematical, historical, structural, conversive; speaks of relationships and contrasts, explores opposites, contains histories of cultures and relationships of peoples.  I believe that all people dance!   express themselves personally and culturally.  They socialize, connect, blur differences,

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  • Cindy Brandle

    WE ARE ALL IN CONSTANT MOTION Chicago has been living in Boulder for the last four years.  Having worked with the Chicago Moving Company and having served as its Co-Artistic Director, Cindy Brandle knows good dance. She also knows what it is like to live in a city where there are a lot of private foundations who fund dance.  Boulder has proven

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  • Rachael Kras

    By in In The Spotlight 2015 on

    DESIGNING WOMAN: RACHAEL KRAS, WONDERBOUND COSTUME DESIGNER Marie Antoinette is known for several things –gravity-defying powdered coiffures, lavish tastes, a falsely ascribed quote – the least of which being seen as an actual person. Rachael Kras, resident costume designer for Wonderbound, says that when Garrett Ammon, the company’s Artistic Director, approached her with his idea to examine the French queen through a

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  • Sarah Leversee

    ARTIVIST – A PERSON WHO CHANGES THE WORLD BY PENETRATING THE COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS   Art is why I get up in the morning but my definition ends there and it doesn’t seem fair that I’m living for something I can’t even define there you are right there in the meantime –Ani DiFranco In its 12th year, Art as Action pushes boundaries.

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  • Dana Benton

    THERE’S BLOOD AND EVERYTHING Hired straight from a video audition, Dana Benton has been a Colorado Ballet staple for 14 seasons. Originally from Canada, Dana decided at the age of 8, ballet was her life’s passion. At age 9, she was accepted to the National Ballet School in Toronto and trained for eight years. Talk about dedication! Considered an atypical ballerina due

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  • Sarah Tallman

    WHATEVER HAPPENS IN THIS SPACE FEELS LIKE MAGIC When someone loves her job, you can feel it. When the energy is palpable in a space and magic happens, there is a shared sense. The magnitude of potential available within the walls of Wonderbound simply astounds. So, why not start a conversation? I want people to talk about art. – Sarah Tallman,

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  • Kim Olson

    “BETWEEN WHAT IS AND CAN BE” Kim Olson/SWEET EDGE seeks to create urgent, authentic impact. Working as a puppet master, she directs her technically proficient dancers in discovering new frontiers of movement. Her dancers must trust in their training and work fearlessly in uncharted territory. Her style is modern release technique with an emphasis to deconstruct and search for the underpinnings

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  • Louder Than Words Dancetheatre

    GET LOUD Don’t expect to see the same show twice. The upcoming collaboration between Louder Than Words Dancetheatre (LTW), Playground Ensemble and Jeff Nycht at the Newman Center’s Elizabeth Eriksen Byron Theater in-the-round will not only have 21dancers but also live musicians working with pre-recorded and real-time created music during the 3-act performance. The juxtaposition of humans moving and creating will define your BREATH. With over a year and

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  • Photo of Hannah Kahn, Founder and Artistic Director of Hannah Kahn Dance Company. Photo by Meredith Hutson.

    Hannah Kahn

    Tucked in the Golden Triangle between an automotive/mechanic store and residential homes, on March 13, 2014, Hannah Kahn welcomed Presenting Denver’s Executive Director, Meredith Hutson and me to her studio to watch her and her dancers practice and then granted us the opportunity of an interview. Born in Ithaca, New York, Hannah moved to Denver in the 80’s. A successful NYC choreographer,

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  • Linzee Klinkenberg

    By in In The Spotlight 2013 on

    LINZEE KLINKENBERG Artistic Director of New Breed Dance Company Professional Dancer / Small Business Owner / Full-time Mother Hometown:  Boulder, Colorado Current City:  Boulder, Colorado Education:  Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance, Cornish College of the Arts Profession:  Professional Dancer, Small Business Owner, Full-time Mother Company Name:  New Breed Dance Company Website:  www.newbreeddance.com Spouse:  Thomas Klinkenberg Children:  Jude, Clive, Miles, &

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  • Patrick Mueller

    PATRICK MUELLER Choreographer/Venue Executive Director/Dancer/Teacher/Lighting Designer/…/… Hometown:  Lakewood, CO Current City:  Denver, CO Education:  BA from Pomona College / MFA from Hollins Univ. & ADF Profession:  Choreographer, Venue Executive Director, Dancer, Teacher, Lighting Designer… Company:  Control Group Productions / work|space Denver Website:   http://www.controlgroupproductions.org Spouse:  Kristine Whittle Children:  In utero!!!!! (just 1) Patrick Mueller is a Denver-based performance artist and the

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  • Angie Simmons

    Name: Angie Simmons Hometown: Centralia, Illinois Current City: Denver, Colorado Education: MFA in Dance Choreography, University of Colorado, BS in Dance Education from Illinois State University, 1000 Hour Certification in Massage Therapy from Boulder College of Massage Therapy Profession: Artistic Director, Choreographer, Massage Therapist, Educator Company: Evolving Doors Dance Website:  www.evolvingdoorsdance.org Spouse: Amy Shelley, drummer and sound design artist Angie

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