2018 faculty for two-week intensive
To see the faculty for the Weekend Workshop click here.
The BJDW reserves the right to substitute faculty as necessary.
Click on names to view photos and bios.
Lauren Beale – Boulder, CO
Lauren is a performing artist, choreographer, contemplative teacher, yoga instructor, and active mama. She holds an MFA in Dance from The University of Colorado Boulder with an emphasis in collaborative improvisation and performance. Lauren has performed nationally and internationally with Colorado based companies Helander Dance Theater, 3rd Law Dance/Theatre, David Capps/Dances, Interweave Dance Theater, Kim Olson/Sweet Edge, as well as New York City companies Curt Haworth and Dancers, Ellis Wood Dance and Peter Sciscioli. Lauren has co-created and collaborated on interdisciplinary performances with Brooke Gessay, Mark McCoin, Jessica Hendricks, Amanda Leise, and Jimmy Lusero. Her creative work has been presented in Colorado, New York City, Mexico, and Costa Rica. She has been on faculty at the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop for over ten years and facilitates dance and movement exploration classes at Running River School K-8. Lauren is also on faculty in the dance department of CU-Boulder and has taught Performance Improvisation, Jazz Fusion technique, and Looking at Dance. Her current creative research seeks to engage performance as a site for cultural critique and the body as means of expressing the most pressing questions of the human experience.
Nancy Cranbourne – Boulder, CO & Seattle, WA
Nancy is the proud owner/director of One Big Yes Productions. In October 2014, OBY was delighted to present Badaboom! at the Dairy Center in Boulder, a sold-out show featuring the work of 9 extraordinary artists. 2015 holds a full performance schedule for Nancy including: Dance Gallery with Wade Madsen (Bellingham WA), Full Tilt (Seattle), Her Many Gifts (Boulder), and One Big Yes Presents! (Boulder). Nancy is also a featured panelist for the Wild Summit 2015 (Denver). Visit the One Big Yes Productions website to learn more about Nancy and her activities! Nancy Cranbourne’s love affair with teaching dance has spanned 37 years. She has taught at University of Colorado, Colorado State University, the Denver Center for Performing Arts, Cornish College, University of Washington, and nationwide in numerous workshops and residencies. Nancy has been a guest artist for BJDW for over 30 years. It is one of the families she holds most dear. Nancy teaches passionately at the Dairy Center and Alchemy of Movement throughout the year in Boulder.
Helen Estrella – Denver, CO
Helen was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of her youth was spent in the rigors of competitive artistic and rhythmic gymnastics through which she found her love of dance. Helen eventually moved to Los Angeles to dance with some of the industry’s top choreographers. In 2002 she found her way back to Sonoma County where she directed local competitive companies until the birth of her own, Estrella Dance Company. Helen is known for her cutting edge, contemporary style and is currently a faculty member of “Winterfest & Summerfest The Convention”. She is a nationally recognized instructor and choreographer who travels extensively teaching master classes and setting choreography on various dance companies. She can also be seen on tour with “Talent on Parade” as an adjudicator and Dance Directive faculty member. She currently teaches at Synergy in Colorado Springs.
Chris Harris – Denver, CO
Chris Harris has been choreographing & dancing in Denver for over three decades. Her unique blend of modern & jazz dance techniques coupled with her passion for architecture, math & science has led her to create work which appeals to audiences from across the spectrum. Always fascinated by creating structure & art, Chris holds both a BFA in Dance & a Bachelor of Environmental Dance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is currently Artist in Residence at the Denver School of the Arts, & on the faculty Colorado Ballet Academy & Longmont Dance Theatre Academy. She has taught at many studios; choreographed for local theaters; been a guest lecturer at The Arts Institute of Colorado & CSU & adjunct faculty for Denver University; choreographed for Denver University & the University of Colorado & Ormao Dance in Colorado Springs; designed many websites; & is the Artistic Director/Choreographer for Louder Than Words Dancetheatre & the Colorado Youth Danse Theatre in Denver & a co-director of the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop & Assistant Artistic Director of Interweave Dancetheatre. Her current obsession is creating a system to record choreography using digital media & animation.
Jessica Hendricks – NYC, NY
Jess Hendricks graduated from the University of Colorado with a BFA in Dance. Her training consisted of summers at Perry Mansfield School of the Performing Arts, American Dance Festival, Harvard Dance Festival, EDGE Scholarship, Gus Giordano and Hubbard Dance Street. Her credits include commercials and industrials for Godiva, L’Oreal, Reebok, Toys R Us, Universal Studios, Volkswagen and Warner Brothers. Jess worked on the tour of HAIR as Dance Captain for years, performed for the opening premiers of Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby and can be seen in such movies as Living Out Loud and Between The Sheets. She has danced in or been the assistant choreographer to the Elan Awards, Bob Fosse Awards, Ms. America Pageant, Carnival, Dance Break and Broadway Bares. Jess has choreographed the New York musicals “The Shaggs”, “The Book Of The Dun Cow” and “Dead City” as well as the movie musical “Free Fall”. She has choreographed the music video “Just A Dress” for the Berlin Film Festival, “Mia Agapi Fotia” for European artist Sofia Strati’s Eurovision and was one of the choreographer finalists for the ACE Awards in New York City in 2011. Jess has taught at Universities and Festivals throughout Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, France, Italy, Japan, Korea, Norway and the United States. Jess has danced with “The Wes Veldink Movement” and co-created her own company “Two Peas & A Pod”. She recently created live work for the band “A Great Big World” at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, set work to be performed at Carnegie Hall and assisted with choreography for the Alicia Keys tour. She is currently an adjunct professor at Pace University in Manhattan and on faculty with 24 Seven Dance Convention.
Kari Herman – Los Angeles, CA
Kari has inspired many students and audiences throughout her dance journey and is respectful of the art of teaching as well as performance. Her training includes Walnut Hill School of the Arts (Natick, MA), Edge Performing Arts Center and Millinenium Dance Complex (Los Angeles, CA) . Kari’s concert performance experience includes Interweave Dance Theatre, guest artist in the Commonality Dance Benefit Show, Damsels Contemporary Dance Company, Wayne Foster and the Choreographer’s Ball in Zurich, Switerland. Her commercial experience includes Wamm TV commercial, Denver Broncos CBS Affiliate commercial, Nikken Industrial and Spyder Skiwear dancer/model. She was a featured dancer for the Mirage Hotel New Year’s Celebration Show and for the music video “Want to Take You Down” by Saliva. Kari is currently the owner and artistic director of Synergy Dance Academy studios where her students have experienced continued success in companies, colleges, and the commercial world of dance. Synergy Dance Academy, currently ranked in the top ten dance studios in the northwest region by the Federation of Dance Competitions, is home to the 2011 West Coast National Teen Champion as well as the 2011 Pro-Am Open Ballroom National Champion. Ms. Herman has won numerous awards for choreography and technical excellence on both the regional and national level. Kari tours as a master teacher with Dance Directive, and teaches as well as choreographs for colleges and studios across the country and Canada. She has had the pleasure to tour as an assistant teacher with the Los Angeles based teacher/choreographer Malaya throughout Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.
Meghan Lawitz – Denver, CO
Originally from Arizona, Meghan Lawitz has been dancing for over 20 years. She is an established dancer, teacher and choreographer in Colorado having trained in many styles from contemporary, jazz, lyrical, and ballet to hip hop, tap, acrobatics, tumbling, and poms. As the recipient of numerous choreography awards, titles, and accolades for her artistic creations, not only on the regional and national level, but also on the professional level, she has choreographed for performing art schools, studio competition teams, and professional companies throughout the States. From 2008-2012, Meghan was the Co-Director/Choreographer for The Damsels Contemporary Dance Company – a Denver-based company dedicated to providing assistance to women in crisis. She has been a featured Guest Artist at Denver School of the Arts, a Master Class/Workshop Instructor & Judge for local dance competitions and intensives, including guest judging for The Block Party’s Open Styles Battle, and an Official Judge for the UDA Mile High Dance Championships and the ICU World Cheerleading Championships. Meghan is currently the Artistic Director of Rogue Co, a professional contemporary dance company in Colorado, as well as a member of The Janes, an all female hip hop crew from Boulder.
Amanda Leise – Boulder, CO
Amanda Leise, originally from Boulder, Colorado, performed, taught and choreographed in LA and Houston from 2002 to 2013. She recently moved back to Colorado where she teaches at Dance Dimensions. Her film and industrial credits include Dance 10, Heart Association Ball, and Cherry Creek Arts. Her stage appearances include Kitty McNamee Benefit, Interweave Dance Theater, The Nvitational, California Adventure, EDGE scholarship show, and Adam Parson’s Essentials show. Amanda currently teaches at the EDGE Performing Arts Center, with TamJams, faculty member with danceplug online, and was also on the Urban Jamm faculty. She is in high demand as a Master teacher and choreographer all around the world. She was a guest teacher in Nicosia, Cyprus for Dance Anonymous, as well as a teacher/choreographer for the internationally known Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop for the past six years. She looks forward to sharing her passion of dance and teaching her students how to express themselves through the art of dance.
Wade Madsen – Seattle, WA
Wade Madsen has been teaching, performing and choreographing in Seattle since 1977. He is a former dancer with Tandy Beale & Company, the Bill Evans Dance Company, and his own company for over 30 years. Wade is beginning his 30th year as a professor of dance at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. He has guest taught at the University of Colorado, University of New Mexico, UC Santa Cruz, Western Washington University and the University of Washington. Wade has been commissioned to set his work on dance companies in El Paso, New Orleans, Durango, Bellingham, Mexico and Seattle. Wade has been a Guest Artist for the New Orleans Jazz Dance Project and artist in residence at Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts. His choreography has been featured multiple times at the American College Dance Festival, along with Seattle Opera and various theater companies in Seattle. Wade has created nearly 200 choreographic works and has received two individual choreography grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and several arts organizations in Washington state. He has appeared in films and on Star Search with his dance company. Wade has been a regular faculty member for the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop since 1983 and has premiered numerous works on students and Interweave Dance Theatre. His modern class blends spinal work with, strengthening, Limon, Cunningham and release techniques along with Wade’s own unique, challenging movement vocabulary.
Christy McNeil Chand – San Luis Obispo, CA
Christy McNeil Chand earned her BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts where she studied on a full scholarship granted by the Kreielsheimer Foundation. At Cornish she performed with Cornish Dance Theatre, received the Outstanding Dance Major Award, and her choreography was chosen to represent Cornish at the American College Dance Festival. She completed three contracts for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, two as Dance Captain and Company Manager. At age fifteen, she performed in the Rudolf Nureyev Ballet Festival in Kazan, Russia as a member of Evergreen City Ballet and was honored to dance at the Artissima Festival of Art in Turin, Italy with Chamber Dance Company in 2010. Christy has been faculty at Cornish, Shoreline College, and Sammamish High School where she created the dance curriculum. In October of 2011, she presented her research on stretching and the jazz dance warm up at the NDEO national conference in Minneapolis and at the DEAW conference in Washington state. She received her MFA in dance from the University of Washington in June of 2012 and is currently an Assistant Professor at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA.
Erika Randall – Boulder, CO
MFA in Choreography, Ohio State University; BA in Dance, University of Washington, Assistant Professor, CU faculty member since 2007. Randall is a teacher, choreographer and filmmaker who has recently worked with Teena Marie Custer, Sara Hook, David Parker and the Bang Group, Michelle Ellsworth, Gabriel Masson, Anna Sapozhnikov, Rebecca-Nettl-Fiol, Esteban Donoso, the Mark Morris Dance Group and Buglisi/Foreman Dance. She is also a founding member of the Seattle born company Cava-Parker Dance whose new home is in Puebla, Mexico. She formed the Columbus Movement Movement (cm2), an organization supporting the development and visibility of contemporary dance artists in Columbus, Ohio, which was named one of Dance Magazine’s “Top 25 to Watch” in 2007. Before relocating to Colorado, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois for 3 years and a Guest Lecturer at the Ohio State University. She was part of the summer faculty at the Interlochen Arts Camp for 8 years and has been a frequent guest artist at the Interlochen Arts Academy. She has presented solo/group choreography and taught nationally in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington, and internationally in Ecuador and Costa Rica. Her multi-media work has been shown at the Digital Cabaret Technology Conference in Urbana, Illinois and at the Underground and the Leo Kreilsheimer Theatre in Seattle, WA.
Jenny Schiff – Boulder, CO
Jenny Schiff is a sought-after choreographer and teacher with roots in Los Angeles, Denver, and Boulder. During her 25 year career she has worked with some of today’s finest choreographers including; Joe Tremaine, Doug Caldwell, Mia Michaels, Marguerite Derricks, Rudy Perez, Karon Brown-Lehman, Donald McKayle, and Cleo Parker Robinson. Jenny uses her extensive knowledge of both the commercial and contemporary dance world to create enthralling works and offer a unique class experience. Jenny has been a guest artist at Colorado College, Colorado Springs, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, The Boston Conservatory, Boston and Taipei National University Of The Arts, Taiwan, to name a few. Jenny has also choreographed local productions of “Hot Mikado”, “Westside Story”, “Crazy for you”, and “Guys and Dolls”. Since founding The Schiff Dance Collective in 2006 she has created seven original evening length contemporary dance works. These works have have been called by critics, ” a fresh look” and “…knocks this one out of the park”. It is Jenny’s goal to help every student find their true passion and brilliance in dance. As a dance educator she has lead many students to thrive in the world of dance. Their credits include; “In the Heights” 1st National Tour, Jason Derulo “Breathing” Music Video, Dre. Dance, Printz Dance Project, Hysterica Dance Company, Jubilee Las VegasThe Joffrey Ballet School Contemporary Dance Program, Montgomery Ballet, Broadway Dance Center’s Summer Intern Program, Skidmore College, and University of Utah BFA program. Her students are represented by agencies in Los Angeles and New York. They are now teaching and choreographing throughout the US.
Kaitlin Webster – Chicago, IL
Kaitlin Webster is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher. She earned her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where she received the Merce Cunningham and the Kreielsheimer Foundation scholarships. She studied under Wade Madsen, Christy McNeil Chand, and Pat Hon. There she had the honor of working with Robert Battle on his iconic piece Rush Hour and performed Merce Cunningham’s 4:33, and several of his Min-Events set by Patricia Lent. Kaitlin has been a company member of Chicago Dance Crash, a hip hop contemporary fusion company, for the last five years. With Crash, Kaitlin has toured nationally and performed throughout Chicago including at The Auditorium Theater. She was Rehearsal Director for the 2015-2016 season and choreographs regularly for the company. Kaitlin danced in Erin Kilmurray’s dance film Dive Baby Dive and acted, choreographed, and performed in Open TV’s web series Full Out. Kaitlin is in process of creating dance films with partner Kayla Ginsburg and choreographing for several festivals and companies throughout Chicago. She is building her own company, High Falutin Dance Theater starting 2017.