ZENON PROGRAMS.

The Xchange Program is Zenon’s work-study program that allows students to volunteer in exchange for dance class credit.

Zone is a non-professional, intensive program aimed at dance students who are looking to deepen their dance experience.

Camp Zenon is an opportunity to sample a variety of styles and instructors over the course of week.

“Your love for and belief in the power of dance was so evident.”

-Performance Art Examiner

MEET THE FACULTY.

Allison Rubin Forester

Allison Rubin Forester is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher of dance and mathematics. Ali first studied ballet, jazz and modern in Chicago and Evanston, Illinois, at the studios of Gus Giordano and Lou Conte (Hubbard Street Dance). She received a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois-Urbana in 1987, while studying and performing as a full-time student in the dance department. Ali also taught and choreographed at the University of Oregon while simultaneously working toward her Master’s in dance and secondary education. Ali is now teaching junior high math and dance at Clara Barton Open School for the Minneapolis Public Schools. Locally, she has studied and performed with Chuck Davis’ Babu’s Magic; The Umoja Ensemble; 10,000 Dances; and several independent choreographers.  Ali teaches a strong technique-based class that blends modern influences with strong classical jazz elements— and lots of energy and sweat!

Amanda Sachs

Amanda grew up in New Jersey studying R.A.D before moving to San Francisco for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. In 2014, Sachs joined The Francesca Harper Project in NYC, and in 2017 joined TU Dance in MN, where she performed Alvin Ailey’s solo Witness and Night Creature, Walking with Pearl: Africa Diaries by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, and numerous other works. She in an original member of Come Through, produced by Liquid Music in collaboration with Grammy-winning musician Bon Iver and TU Dance. She is featured in Bon Iver’s Naeem and We lyric videos, and has performed at the Bonnaroo and Eaux Claires music festivals. Sachs joined NW Dance Project in Portland in 2021, where she performed works by Ihsan Rustem, Yin Yue, Joseph Hernandez, Sarah Slipper, and Luca Veggetti. She performed locally with Honeyworks and Hatch Dance for their Live @ The Shed series in 2021 and 2022. Sachs premiered in Ashwini Ramaswamy’s Invisible Cities as well as Cold Air Rises by Ben Frost as part of The Great Northern Festival in Minnesota. In 2023, she made her opera debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago this Spring in Carmen and joined PARA.MAR, performing original works by Helen Simoneau and Stephanie Martinez.

Anna Pinault

Raised in the Twin Cities, Anna has been living in New York City for the past 10 years working as a dance artist and educator. In the summer of 2022 she moved back to the Twin Cities once again to pursue the next season of her creative work. Her work as an educator includes Dance Theatre of Harlem, The Neighborhood Playhouse School, Daya Yoga Studio, and the NYC Public School System, among others. In Minnesota she will be adding Zenon Dance School, Hothouse Minneapolis, and TU Dance to the list. In MN she dances with Alternative Motion Project, and is a collaborator for the trio of Ashwini Ramaswamy, Alanna Morris, and Berit Ahlgren. She also continues to work with the NYC-based Rovaco Dance Company. Her current personal work explores the repetitive translation and transmutation of our universe’s intrinsic languages. In addition, Anna practices Thai bodywork, and has worked as a Physical Therapy Aide for the past 3 years. Her passion for bodily education spills into both her teaching and artistic work.

April Sellers

April Sellers is a choreographer with a desire to lift and celebrate ignored streams in society. She founded the April Sellers Dance Collective in 2002 as a home for her work exploring complex expressions of gender and identity.  Using pop culture, activist politics, experimental aesthetics, and audience participation, she infuses life’s extreme moments and human stories with dance craft, controlled bedlam, and superb comedic chops. In 2021 Sellers received the National Dance Project Production Grant for Rumble Strips, her most recent work. Her works have been commissioned by The Right Here Showcase, Candy Box Festival, Southern Theater, Hennepin Theater Trust, Red Eye Theater, and Dancing Queerly. She has been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the MN State Arts Board, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and the McKnight Foundation. She received a Sage Award for Outstanding Performance for “House of Big Love,” created and performed with collaborator Judith Howard. In 2017, she received the City Pages “Artist of the Year” award.  She has curated performances for the Southern Theater, Bryant Lake Bowl, Hennepin Theater Trust, Gamut Gallery, and Link’s Hall, Chicago.  Over the past decade, Sellers’ work has been recognized by invitations to several well-known artist residencies, including the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (Santa Cruz CA), Maggie Allessee Center for Choreography  (Tallahassee FL) Tofte Lake Center (Ely MN) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Thesis Residency, where she received her MFA in Dance.

Ariel Linnerson

Ariel Linnerson began her ballet training at Minnesota Dance Theatre and graduated with a BFA in Contemporary Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2003. Ariel teaches pole dance, modern dance, ballet, pilates, barre, yoga, flexibility/mobility training, cardio dance, HIIT, and TRX. She believes that consistency and sustainability are the keys to a lifetime of health and fitness, so her goal is to make each class fun, engaging, and just the right amoung of challenging for every student! In addition to dancing and teaching, Arie co-owns and operates MinneappleDV, a full-service video production company specializing in dance documentation, with her husband Will. 

Arturo Miles

Arturo Miles is originally from Mexico City and began dancing in Minneapolis in the late 90s. Arturo specializes in hip-hop, house, waacking and modern dance styles. Formerly a curator at Patrick’s Cabaret, his work ranges from variety style shows, experimental theater, and short film. Arturo is a founding member of Collective Hip-Hop Dance Company and has lent his talents throughout the years with Deborah Jinza Thayer, Three Dances Company, Penny Freeh, B-Boy J-Sun and The Lovemelts. His work has been showcased at Bryant lake Bowl, The Southern Theater, The Varsity Theater, and The Cowles Center.

Benjamin Johnson

Benjamin Johnson was a professional ballet dancer for twenty years, portraying characters and making abstract works come alive on a regular basis. He performed regular seasons with James Sewell Ballet, Dayton Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Ohio Ballet, and Milwaukee Ballet.  His guest appearances stretched from Tampa’s Bay Ballet Theater, Fort Wayne Ballet, Lakeville City Ballet, Minnetonka Dance Theater, and Wisconsin’s East Shore Ballet Company to the Miss Kentucky Pageant, and performances with the Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati Operas. Benjamin performed dance works by James Sewell, George Balanchine, David Parsons, Anthony Tudor, James Kudelka and others, and brings what he learned on the stage into the classroom to be passed along to his students. He has taught regular and master classes in ballet, modern, and juggling around the country, as well as regularly in the Twin Cities at various schools. He taught for two years at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in Saint Paul. A choreographer as well, Benjamin has had works performed at the Minnesota Fringe Festival; The Southern Theater; The O’Shaughnessy at the College of St. Catherine; Collective Soles Dance Festival in Tampa, Florida; the James Sewell Ballet Choreographic Workshop sponsored by the Jerome Foundation; and by ballet schools in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. He is a licensed and certified Massage Therapist, and has a private practice focusing on injury rehabilitation and the particular problems of performing artists.

Danielle Robinson-Prater

Dean Magraw

Learn more at www.deanmagraw.com/biography/

Dustin Haug

Dustin Haug began his dance training in the mosh pits of rock concerts at First Avenue. The visceral physicality and reckless abandonment of those experiences within the throb of pounding, energetic music continue to influence his movement choices. He is indebted to the dance department at St. Olaf College for encouraging him on his journey and to KT Niehoff (Seattle) for imbuing a fierce artistry in his heart. His lively classes encourage individual expression, dancing with the group, improvisation, moving into and out of the floor, horizontal space, and lots of zany, good-times laughter. Beyond dance, Dustin aspires to be a semiprofessional brewer, a makeshift cook, a random handyman, a loving husband, and a caring father. He is thankful for the support of his family, without whom he could not continue to do what he does, and humbled by the passionate students he’s had the pleasure of working with at Zenon over the years.

Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson began her dance performance career in 1970 with the Minnesota Dance Theatre and continued in New York City in the companies of Nina Weiner and Bebe Miller. She received a New York Dance and Performance award, “BESSIE,” in 1986 for her dancing in Nina Weiner’s Enclosed Time at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. Erin moved back to Minneapolis in 1990, dance with Zenon Dance Company for two years, and founded 45 Chartreuse Dance Company with her husband, Byron Richard, in 1992. They received choreographer’s fellowships from the McKnight Foundation (1993) and from the National Endowment for the Arts (1994, 1996). Since 1992, Erin has been on the faculty of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Theater Arts and Dance as well as at Zenon Dance School where she continues to provide advanced professional contemporary/modern dance training for the Twin Cities dance community. In the past five years, she has appeared in the work of choreographers Joanie Smith, Judith Howard, Penny Freeh, Sharon Picasso, and Deborah Jinza Thayer. Erin received a SAGE Award for Outstanding Dance Educator in 2008 and the City Pages Best Dancer Award in 2016. She is an ATI certified Alexander Technique teacher, and the recipient of a 2019 McKnight Dancer Fellowship.

Eliana Durnbaugh

Eliana (she/her) is a multidisciplinary dancer, researcher, and educator based in Minneapolis. She holds a BA in Dance and Microbiology from Carleton College, and has performed in works by Stephen Koplowitz, Darrius Strong, HIJACK, Judith Howard, Herb Johnson III, Emma Marlar & Leila Awadallah, and Mary Willmeng. Eliana has 12 years of training in Bhratanatyam and Graham Modern techniques, touring with Kallanjali Dance Company in Mumbai, Chennai, and Hyderabad, India in 2015. Currently, she is a Teaching Artist with Young Dance and Zenon Dance School. Eliana adores personal somatic inquiry and bases her pedagogy on Laban principles of movement. She is a fierce advocate for the radical empathy-building power of dance and the way dancing shapes individuals into compassionate members of community.

Hannah Gonzalez

Hannah Gonzalez (she/her) is a longtime dancer, music lover and aspiring educator from Ithaca, NY. She danced with Armstrong School of Dance in Ithaca for 15 years, where she cultivated a strong love for rhythm and tap dance. She attended Northwestern University, graduating with a BS in Journalism with minors in Spanish and Portuguese. At Northwestern, Hannah was a member of TONIK Tap for four years, going on to serve as Co-Artistic Director of the club in 2021-2022. With TONIK, Hannah was able to choreograph and collaborate on many rhythmic pieces, exploring themes of community, love and happenstance. She recently moved to Minneapolis and hopes to find more welcoming dance and movement communities like Zenon.

HIJACK

HIJACK is the Minneapolis-based choreographic collaboration of Kristin Van Loon and Arwen Wilder. HIJACK is the confluencce and clash of two independment compositional/kinesthetic impulses. Their dances embrace juxtaposition. Their dances house unlikely intimates and question “who is the enemy?”

Van Loon and Wilder each grew up in Chicago, met at Colorado College, and established their collaboration in Minneapolis in 1993. HIJACK’s roots in a liberal arts setting isolated in the mountains laid the foundation for expirimemntation, invention without precedent, and making dancce our of everything but dance. Their teaching is fuled by their choreographic research as well as ongoing study and collaboration with improvisation/contact improvisation inventor and inovators including Lisa Nelson, Steve Paxton, Jennifer Monson, Karen Nelson, and others. HIJACK teaches Contract Improvisation and Composition at the University of MN and hosts/curates FUTURE INTERSTATES – the sporadic series for dance improvisation. They have created and performed over 100 dances over the last 27 years in the United States and Internationally. HIJACK has enjoyed long relationships with Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Zenon Dance School, Red Eye Collaborations, and the Walker Art Center. In 2013, Walker Art Center commissioned “redundant, ready, reading, radish, Red Eye” to celebrate twenty years of HIJACK and Contact Quarterly published the chapbook “Passing for Dance: A HIJACK Reader”. 

Jennifer Glaws

Jennifer Glaws is a Minneapolis-based interdisciplinary artist who is steering innovative, interactive performance experiences that push notions of space, time, and human connection. She is interested in the social and developmental rewards of the arts evident in her work as a dance artists, educator, director, and photographer. Jennifer’s research delves into the relationship of dance with cognitive science, and the view that the practice of choreography enhances critical thinking skills in dancers and non-dancers alike. Jennifer holds a MFA in dance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a BFA in dance and photography from Arizona State University, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in photography from Minneapolis Colleges of Art and Design. She teaches dance in settings as varied as private studios, public education programs, and colleges. She has served on faculty at Gustavus Adolphus College, Rochester Community and Technical College (Rochester, MN), and is the current school and communications director for Young Dance (Minneapolis, MN). Jennifer has resided in Minneapolis since 2004, producing in museum, theater environments, and public spaces with commissioned dance pieces created for Gustavus Adolphus College, ACDA-Midwest, Alternative Motion Project, metro-area middle and high schools, and UW-Milwaukee, among other private institutions. Jennifer’s work has been show in Arizona, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, and New York.

Kendall Kramer

Kendall Kramer is a dancer, choreographer and educator interested in experimenting with the differentiation between props-venues-audience and performer. Born in Minneapolis, she trained at Minnetonka Dance Theater and School, and performed in the Minneapolis Fringe Festival and the Studio 4A project. Kendall graduated magna cum laude from Southern Methodist University (TX) in 2010 with a dual degree in Dance Performance and Spanish Language. In Texas, Kendall worked with organizations and individual artists including Leslie Scates of Lower Left, Psophonia Dance Company, Young Audiences of Houston, Jacquelyn Doe, and Danny Buraczeski. Kendall has set choreography on Psophonia Dance Company, at the Nasher Sculpture Garden, for 3D film, and the Houston Comedy Dance Festival, among others. Since returning to Minneapolis, Kendall has performed at the Future Interstates Dance Improvisation Festival, and delved deeper into dance film. Kendall has received reviews for noteworthy performances in the Houston Press, and her work GLOW received the honor of Best New Dance Work of the Houston Fringe Festival in 2016.

 

Lisa Erickson

Lisa Erickson is a dancer, teacher and choreographer of over 30 years. She trained first in MI where she danced with the Christopher Ballet, then IL where she attended both National Academy of Arts (HS) and the University of Illinois on scholarship before moving to MN to train and dance with the MN Dance Theatre. She performed in a variety of works including Loyce Houlton’s Nutcracker Fantasy, Knoxville, Summer of 1915 and Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco, as well as contemporary classics, including Glen Tetley’s Mythical Hunters and Loyce Houlton’s Carmina Burana. Lisa has taught and choreographed on children and adults and is known in the studio for instilling confidence and crafting classes that naturally guide students in fine-tuning their technique, moving effectively and efficiently, and “having fun” doing so-one of the rules of her classroom! Her ‘eagle eye’, as students describe it, enables her students to excel and attain impeccable placement.

Mary Willmeng

Mary Willmeng is an independent choreographer, teacher, and dancer living in Minneapolis, MN. She danced professionally in Chicago, IL with Mordine and Company Dance Theater, the 58 Group, Breakbone Dance Company, Adriana Durant Dance, and Ayako Kato before relocating to Colorado in 2009. During her time in Colorado, she performed with Cindy Brandle Dance Company, Mary Wohl Haan, and Rachel Oliver Young. Her own work has been presented at the Dairy Center for the Arts in Boulder, the Colorado Conservatory of Dance, the Dance Center of Columbia College, Links Hall, the UIC Theater, and Stage 773. She has set her work on Simantikos Dance Chicago, Trifecta Dance Collective, and the students at Zenon Dance School. Her duet, Walk With Me, was chosen as a commissioned piece by Simantikos Dance Chicago and was presented in their company show. In 2019, she was chosen as a choreographer to collaborate in the creation of a new work with flutist Hope Rogers for Trifecta Dance Collective’s Summer Engage Artist Lab. Her work, Open Field, was chosen as a commission by TDC and was set on their professional company. Most recently, she produced a show, Little Pieces, as part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival and presented a new work in the production of 16 Feet, a choreographer’s collective, at the Tek Box theater. Currently, she is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the dancers of the Zenon Zone program this winter/spring session!

Pat Lyles

Pianist Pat Lyles has been accompanying ballet classes in the Twin Cities for over two decades for MN Dance Theatre, Ballet Arts, Macalester, St. Paul Ballet, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, TU Dance, and Zenon. She loves attending dance performances, playing for ballet, and the dancers and teachers themselves. For her, being involved in dance is transporting — to a place of beauty and reflection.

Penny Freeh

Penelope Freeh is a contemporary ballet dancer, choreographer, and educator who dismantles antiquated modes of how ballet is taught, languaged, applied in research terms, and expressed phusically, intellectually, performatively, and at the gut level.  Through her practice of expanding the terms and exploding the tropes of ballet, she aims to meanifully connect with a diversity of collaborators, colleagues, students, and audiences.  Freeh is a two-time McKnight Fellow for Choreographers, McKnight Fellow for Dances, and aSage awardee for Outstanding Performer.  She danced for James Sewell Ballet for seventeen years, serving as Artistic Directer from 2007-2011.  In addition to Zenon, she is faculty at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Ballet, the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and TU Dance. Freeh holds a Dance MFA from Hollins University.

Roxane Wallace

 Roxane Wallace has been active in the arts as a performer, instructor, choreographer and teaching artist since graduating with a BA in Philosophy a minor in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley (93).  She was seen nationally and internationally as a principal artist with Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater Company for 15 years and has performed in works by Meredith Monk (Quarry, Mercy), Vincent Mantsoe (Kutu), Marciano Silva Dos Santos (Motiro) and Shawn McConneloug (She Captains) as well as in numerous works by Leah Nelson, Morris Johnson, Laurie Carlos and others.  She was awarded a Minnesota Sage Award for Outstanding Performer, voted “Best Dancer” in the City Pages “Best of the Twin Cities”, and holds the honor of being named a McKnight Artist Fellow in Dance.  Mrs. Wallace has been working with Paula Mann as a member of TimeTrack Productions for over ten years and also currently provides inspiration and dance instruction through Zenon Dance Studio and School and as a teaching artist for the VocalEssence WITNESS Program and the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.  As an independent creative, she choreographs original, socially conscious works for school groups, independent organizations and herself.

Sarah McCullough

Sarah McCullough (she/her) is a Minneapolis-based movement artist and educator. Originally from Virginia, she attended James Madison University as a Madison Achievement Scholar, and earned her BA in Dance and Mathematics. Since joining Minneapolis’ dance community in 2018, she has performed the works of Carl Flink, Mathew Janczewski, Alexandra Bodnarchuk, Berit Ahlgren, Helen Hatch, Marisol Herling, and more. Alongside her performance work, Sarah is an enthusiastic educator of contemporary forms. She has offered classes at the Limon Twin Cities Intensive, ARENA DANCES’ Instinct Summer Intensive, The University of Winchester (UK), North Carolina State University, James Madison University, PiM Arts High School, as well as several high school dance programs throughout the country.

Sofia Arisian

Sofia is a dancer and fulltime scientist who recieved her training in Italy and the US. She gained her passion for teaching in high school after assisting with various Zenon youth classes, and graduated college with her Dance Certificate annd Bachelors of Science. She is actively involved in multiple styles of dance and believes it is important to teach her students the histroy behind each style covered in her classes. Sofia is currently a part of the Yirií Salsa Fusion Team and has performed onstage with Borealis Dance Tehater and Ballet Co. Laboratory, in Confluence with Dance Project and the Don Giovanni Opera at the Pablo Center for the Arts, and on camera for Blake Nellis’ ‘Mad Minute Films.’ Her goal is to help others understand that dance is all about self expression and individuality, and that there is no right or wrong way to do a step, as any variation is just a new movement. 

Susan Hsu

Xan Mattek

Xan is happy to call Minnesota home after moving from Kansas where she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from Wichita State University. She has been totally captivated by the booming theatre and arts scene, friendly people and eclectic pockets of creativity. Recent choreography credits include Godspell (Paul Bunyan Playhouse) and the Princess and the Pea (Old Log Theater). She has also served as Dance Captain for Bare: A Pop Opera (The Wildwood Theatre) and Escape to Margaritaville (Old Log Theater). Other credits include working professionally as an actor, choreographer, and educator with the Guthrie Theater, the Children’s Theatre Company and Minnesota Fringe. Her time at WSU gave her the opportunity to work closely with Daxton Bloomquist (Book of Mormon on Broadway) and several time Broadway National Tour artist and dance captain, Bradley Alan Zarr. She draws inspiration from being deeply engrossed in her hometown’s community theatre from a young age. The following beliefs were instilled in her; creativity is a collaborative and enriching cultural experience that teaches young people and community members to be more engaged, open-minded, well-rounded individuals and that has been her operating belief thus far. Teaching at Zenon has been filled with the utmost joy! xanmattek.com

Summer Session | June 10-August 31SCHEDULE
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