Two-Week Intensive Faculty
The BJDW reserves the right to substitute faculty as necessary.
Click on names to view photos and bios.
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.
Peter Davison – Boulder, CO
Peter Davison brings over 38-years of diverse performing experience to his role of Co-Artistic Director of Boulder Ballet. His childhood idols were Alexander Calder and Batman, influences that led to training in visual art, juggling, and dance. While a teenager, Peter began his professional career street performing in Los Angeles, and as a variety artist for Hollywood films. He moved to Boulder in 1980. Peter studied ballet with Larry Boyette, Ana Claire, Barbara Demaree, Finis Jhung and Donald Mahler; modern dance with Danelle Helander, and tap with Susan Hadley and Lynn Dally, among others. In 1982 Peter became a founding member of the trio Airjazz with whom he appeared at venues such as the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, New Zealand International Festival of the Arts, BAM, and the Hong Kong Arts Festival. He has performed solo shows mixing dance, theater and object manipulation at the Carmel/California Performing Arts Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse, and Utah State Arts Tour, and has appeared as a featured soloist on the CBS, BBC and Fox television networks. Peter has received numerous awards and grants including the Arts Innovation Award from the Colorado Federation of the Arts, and the Performance Fellowship from the Colorado Council on the Arts. Peter has choreographed works for several Colorado-based companies, and he is a recipient of the 2009 Ballet Builders Award for Choreography, from New Choreographers on Pointe in New York City.
Katie Elliott – Boulder, CO
Katie Elliott co-directs 3rd Law Dance/Theater with dance ethnologist Jim LaVita. Elliott has been creating original evenings of dance/theater, site specific work and installations for more than twenty years. Her works have appeared on the stage in Colorado, at the International Dance Festival in Hong Kong, in Taipei, Taiwan, and other festivals throughout the US including the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC. Elliott’s wish to intersect with other communities has led to a variety of collaborations some of which include Art Lande, The Hannah Kahn Dance Company, an original piece made for the wearable “soundsuit” sculptures of visual artist Nick Cave, music collaborations with Zachary Carrettin, Mina Gajic, Marcia Schirmer and The Boulder Bach Festival, a site specific performance with digital media artist Darwin Grosse for the Henry Moore exhibition at Denver Botanic Gardens and most recently an original evening-length work with composer Paul Fowler. Through residencies Elliott has set work on numerous university companies nationally and internationally. Most recently she taught at HUST University in Wuhan China through a program initiated by Beijing Dance LDTX. Some of her commissions include St. Paul Ballet, Ormao Dance Company, Nancy Cranbourne’s One Big Yes Productions, Boulder Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Colorado Repertory Dance, and Interweave Dance. In recognition of her body of work, she received a Neodata Endowment Fellowship for artistic excellence. Elliott has a BFA in dance from the University of Utah and an MFA from the American Dance Festival/Hollins University Program. Elliott has had the honor of dancing with the Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Colorado Repertory Dance and many other independent artists in Chicago, New York and Colorado before founding 3rd Law. This year 3rd Law received the “Living Legends of Dance in Colorado” honoring artists that have made an outstanding contribution to dance.
Mimi Ferrie – Boulder, CO
Mimi Ferrie is a Colorado dance artist who has been performing, teaching and choreographing for over fifteen years. Mimi graduated with her BFA in Dance from the University of Colorado in 2007. Mimi has taught extensively across Colorado and has become a sought after educator with her strong emphasis in technique, performance and creative development. She has performed with several local dance companies including New Breed, Impact Dance, Louder Than Words Dance Theatre, One Big Yes Productions, Interweave Dance Theatre, and Wild Heart. Mimi has choreographed works for Interweave Dance Theatre, New Visions Dance Festival, Denver Independent Choreographers Project and Fort Collins Children’s Theatre. In 2009 she co-founded Peekaboo Sole Productions, a performing arts organization committed to providing artistic exchange and performance opportunities for students and artists in the Boulder/Denver area.
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.
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.
Kelsey Kempfer – Boulder, CO
Kelsey Kempfer is a Boulder Native who received Bachelor Degrees in Dance and Sociology from the University of Colorado. She started dancing at the age of three, and trained with the City of Boulder’s Expressions Dance Company and Grace Studios School of Dance. Over the years she has danced in works by Nancy Cranbourne, Linzee Klinkenberg, Helander Dance Theater, David Dorfman, Peekaboo Sole Productions, Susan Marshall, Rennie Harris, Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer, Onye Ozuzu, Erika Randall, Gabriel Masson, and Larry Southall. While at CU, Kelsey performed in the gala concerts for the American College Dance Festivals in Montana and Utah. She was awarded the Jamie Kellam Redmond Scholarship and the Talent and Creativity University Dance Award, along with being a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and the National Scholar Honor’s Society. Kelsey has extensive performance, competition, and choreographic experience and has been trained in the styles of Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, Tap, Ballet, and West African Dance. She has also taught dance at Grace Studios School of Dance for the past ten years. As a hip-hop teacher Kelsey teaches a variety of styles ranging from House to Funk.
Brittney Kirkpatrick – Boulder, CO
A native of Boulder, CO, Brittney grew up training in a wide variety of dance styles. She primarily took classes in jazz, lyrical, ballet, tap and hip hop at Dance Dimensions in Longmont, CO. There, she was exposed to master classes taught by professional dancers from New York and L.A. Dance Dimensions also gave her the opportunity to teach dance classes and she found great joy in teaching kids as well as choreographing. Once she graduated high school, Brittney continued her dance education at The University of Colorado at Boulder. There she was able to work with world-renowned artists such as Erika Randall, Michelle Ellsworth, Gabe Masson and Rennie Harris. She graduated cum laude with a BFA in performance and choreography. Brittney was also a member of The Schiff Dance Collective, a contemporary dance company based in Boulder, for fours years while she attended college. After graduating she lived for a year in Chicago, IL. There, she completed a season dancing for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater as a member of their Emerging Artists Ensemble. She also worked as a freelance dancer and taught an after school ballroom dance program for inner city children. While in Chicago, she has had the honor of training with artists such as Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Nick Pupillo, Jessica Deahr, and Karly Hansen.
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.