Past Guest Artists

Rebecca Whitsett

Since graduating from Missouri Valley in May of 2013, Rebecca has been back in her hometown of Joplin Missouri teaching at Karen's Dance Studio. She teaches ages 2-18 in a wide variety of classes including creative movement, ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, and tap. She is also one of the competition choreographers at KDS. Rebecca is a member of the Cecchetti Council of America and a member of Dance Masters of America. Through DMA she is certified to teach ballet and jazz. Rebecca is very grateful for the time she had at Valley and for the impact it has had on her success.

Jessica Shobe

Tracey Wozny

Tracey Wozny is the director and owner of Shapes Dance and Acro Studio in Carrollton, Missouri. Her studio has been in operation for over 20 years and she currently has 4 locations in the rural central Missouri area. As a former competitive gymnast and dancer, Tracey came back to her hometown to enrich the lives of children through the art of dance and acrobatics.

In 2011 Shapes Dance and Acro started training in the artistry of aerial silks under the instruction of Kate Wajda, a professional aerial artist attending Illinois State University who is a member of a circus and acrobatic production company. Tracey's daughter Savanah Wozny, age 18 started training on the aerial silks at age 11 and has performed in several live competitions and performances throughout the country. Savanah currently takes under the instruction of Liv Morrow from Quixotic Fusion Company in Kansas City, MO. Savanah is trained in aerial silks, lyra hoop, contortion acrobatics and ballet.

Tracey and Savanah have instructed aerial silk workshops and master classes throughout the country and are passionate about bringing this unique art to other schools, studios and their students.

Leslie Scott

Leslie Scott is the founder and AD of BODYART ( a NY & LA based multi-media contemporary dance theatre Company as well as an International producer for dance. Her work has been performed in notable venues from LA, NYC, Dallas, Edinburgh and New Zealand. The Decay Project, a dance film residency program, was created to partner with local communities and has just finished their third residency in Christchurch, New Zealand. The company is looking toward upcoming projects in Malaysia & Indonesia in June 2016. As a photographer, Scott worked for world-renowned dance photographer Lois Greenfield and later became the Art Director for BODYART's collaborations with underwater photographer, Chris Crumley. As an International producer, Scott has organized festivals in NYC, Beijing, and Edinburgh, and locally works with Invertigo Dance Theatre. Scott holds a BFA in Modern Dance with an emphasis in photography from Texas Christian University and an MFA in Choreography from CalArts. Ms Scott is also certified sommelier and enjoys incorporating all five senses into her choreographic projects.

Moreno Zanandre

Moreno started to dance at the age of 14 at his father's, Paulo Zanandre, Ballroom Dance School in Campinas - SP, Brazil. He started his career as a ballroom dancer, teacher, and choreographer under the teachings of his father. When Moreno was 18 years old, he moved to Rio de Janeiro to get specialization in Samba at Academia de Danca Jimmy de Oliveira. At Jimmy's Dance Academy, Moreno received a scholarship to dance; he became one of Jimmy’s dance professors and was one of the members of Jimmy’s Dance Company. At the age of 20, Moreno went back to Campinas to spread the Samba culture and started teaching at Ballroom dance conferences and workshops throughout Brazil. He has participated in dance shows and taught dance classes in various cities such as Campinas, Paulinia, Indaiatuba, Jundiai, Artur Nogueira, Ribeirao Preto, Jacarei, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Macae, Rio das Ostras, Juiz de Fora, Florianopolis, and many more.

Currently, Moreno promotes one of the biggest conferences of Samba in Campinas. The conference is called Oficina de Samba Edicao Campinas. "I am very honored by the invitation to work with students at Missouri Valley College and I hope to spread the Brazilian culture through Ballroom dance" Moreno.

Charlique Rolle

Charlique Rolle is a 23-year-old native of Grand Bahama, Bahamas. She is a proud 2012 graduate of Missouri Valley College, having graduated Suma Cum Lade with a BA in Dance with a Business minor under the teachings of Janie Morgan.

She trains with choreographers such as Joel Hall, Will Gill, Deb Nanni, Anna Czajun, Jessica Deahr and others. She is in her second season as the Business Manager for Inaside Chicago Dance. She has previously interned with Chicago Dance Crash and has also worked with The Dance COLEctive. Using her faith as a basis of creating work, she is an advocate of dance for social change and creating thought provoking works based on real life experiences of herself, her dancers, and those that surround her.

She creates through fusion styles of modern, contemporary, hip-hop, and improvisation. Her choreography has been feature throughout the Chicagoland area, Missouri and New York, and the Bahamas and has received many accolades, recognition and award from various competitions including the Youth America Grand Prix among others.

Evolving Doors Dance

Evolving Doors Dance cultivates, collaborates, builds community, educates, and performs while nurturing the art of dance and movement and its place in our world. The company works to present politically motivated, professional, relevant, accessible, contemporary modern dance. As EDD’s work paints pictures only bodies and spacial relationships can conjure, it uses dance as a medium to bring human and social awareness to it’s audience and it’s community--both locally and nationally. The company presents dance woven with political impressions, born from visions of equality, and filled with unmistakably universal human connections and themes that cross lines of sex, gender, ethnicity, and class. From the interaction of an intimate duet to echoes of the call for equal rights, performances seek to evoke, engage and evolve. Dances often strive to spark engagement in ways that create questions, uncover fears, investigate relationships, question behaviors and promote self-examination. Ultimately, Evolving Doors Dance connects with people through dance and uses dance and the body as the ultimate expression of artistic, political and social ideas and views.

Jillian Davis

I began dancing as most little girls, in my local recreational studio in Kutztown, PA. With mentors leading my progress, I studied extensively for three years at Princeton Dance and Theater Studio with Susan Jaffe and Risa Kapolowitz. I performed in the studio's most memorable performances The Nutcracker and The Dying Swan. In Seattle, WA I trained under full scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet in their Professional Division. Moving to San Francisco, CA I studied at San Francisco Ballet, School of American Ballet, and Alonzo King LINES Summer Program.

My professional performing experience started in San Francisco. I had the opportunity to work with two project companies, Labayen Dance/SF, with director Enrico Labayen, and Blue Scorpion Dance Theater, with director Frederick Gaudette. With Labayen Dance/SF, I was featured in a revival of Labayen's Glass and Labayen's world premiere work Kulang Ang Dasal(Prayer is Not Enough). While with Blue Scorpion Dance Theater, Gaudette created multiple works on the company, including myself, and grew the repertoire of the company while I was a part of it.

I have had the pleasure of performing as a guest artist with solo-artist Folawole. I had the opportunity to choreograph my first piece while in San Francisco, Fluid Interference, as performed by Regan Fairfield. Since that time, Princeton Dance and Theater Studio and Missouri Valley College have asked me to be a guest artist to choreograph for their groups. Now living in New York City, I am a current member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company and Ballet Neo and working on multiple dance and choreography projects.

Sara Malan-McDonald

Sara Jean Malan-McDonald is a freelancing academic, teaching a variety of classes throughout the greater Phoenix area including Arizona State University, Scottsdale Community College and Estrella Mountain Community College. She is the founding director of C3 Dance, teaching dance as a means of expression and healing to primarily under resourced youth. In addition to teaching Dance, Yoga and Pilates, Sara has also supervised and mentored student teachers at Arizona State University. Sara loves to perform professionally and most recently did so with A. Ludwig Dance Theatre.

Sara prefers interdisciplinary work to limiting herself to the dance community and is currently working with Texas A&M AgriLife on a project (melding of dance, lecture, video games etc.) to help middle school children understand photosynthesis intimately. She earned her MFA in Dance from Arizona State University and two BFA degrees, in Dance and Art History, at Brigham Young University. Though Sara has been awarded a variety of accolades, scholarships and grants throughout her career, the most important title she holds is "mother" and "best friend' to her three young daughters, LolaBella, Penelope and Flowrence. She thanks her family and friends for undying support--particularly Aaron, her husband, whose selflessness makes it possible for her to do everything she is passionate about at the same time.

Jessica LaRue

Jessica LaRue has been dancing for 20 years. While growing up, Jessica danced competitively at various studios and won several awards for solo routines, group routines, and choreography. She danced at DeSoto High School and served as co-captain and captain for one year each. In 2004, Jessica competed at the summer dance camp and made the UDA London team. This team performed in the London New Year's Parade ringing in 2005. In 2006, she began at Missouri Valley College participating four years in both the dance team and Repertory Dance Ensembles. Jessica acted as captain of the dance team for two years and as the rehearsal director and assistant director under Professor Janie Morgan for the Rep ensemble. Her graduation in May 2010 marked the first dance major graduate for the college. She immediately went on to coach the dance and cheer teams at Concordia University of Nebraska for one year. In that time, Jessica took the non-competing dance team to the National Championships and placed second in their division. After taking a few years off, Jessica is now back to choreographing.

Harper Piver

Harper Piver is a dance and multi-media artist who creates things of all sorts: choreography, films, written musings, music, and little balls crafted from empty straw wrappers. Raised as an only child by a band of characters that escaped from an epic Southern novel, Harper discovered that her imagination was more interesting than yet another game of solitaire. Harper’s curiosity propels her journey as an artist. In addition to her initial training as a dancer, her work has included significant encounters with music, text, and video. Her creative impulse stems from a desire to investigate and understand people and the places they inhabit. Her art practice exists where life, art, and media merge, creating an ever-changing landscape of convergences. Until 2005, Harper was based in North Carolina, where her choreography was presented in numerous venues including the American Dance Festival's Acts to Follow Series and an extended tour with the North Carolina Dance Festival. In addition to dance performance with choreographers in the US and abroad, Harper performed with the John Gamble Dance Theater Company as a dancer and musician.

Her choreography has been commissioned and presented by companies and academic institutions around the US. As a video artist, her dance for camera work has been presented in numerous dance film festivals both nationally and internationally. Musically, Harper trained as a classical violinist. She studied Celtic music while living in Edinburgh, Scotland and has since stopped calling her instrument a violin and proudly started calling it a fiddle. She has been fortunate to play on several recordings for Portland-based band Solyoni. Her most recent musical project was The Dark Side of Hall and Oates with Koot Hoomi, a.k.a. husband and collaborator Robert Lurie.

Harper’s artistic practice is also influenced by her experiences as an art educator. She currently teaches studio, composition, and lecture classes in dance and film at Arizona State University and in the Maricopa Community Colleges. She also facilitates explorations in dance, video, and the creative process through residency projects in K-12, higher education, and community settings. Her research on dance, technology, and pedagogy has been published and presented worldwide, as an advocate for the arts.

Harper co-founded The Dance Cooperative, based in her hometown of Wilmington, NC. Now celebrating over eleven years of service, the Cooperative is a community-based 501 (c) 3 not for profit organization offering classes, rehearsal space, and performing opportunities to area professionals, teens, and community members. She also served the dance community as a board member for the North Carolina Dance Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization for dance. Harper has a BFA in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an MFA in Dance from Arizona State University. Upon graduating from ASU, she was named the Outstanding Graduate of the Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts. She is certified to teach both Yoga and Pilates and is a licensed K-12 Dance Educator. Harper currently lives in Tempe, Arizona, where she creates dances and films with her company, H.Lab Performance. Harper stays inspired by reading voraciously, traveling often, singing while commuting, and maintaining a personal yoga practice. She is slowly working on writing her family back into the novel they abandoned.


Kansas City Contemporary Dance, is a professional dance company presenting high-quality performances accessible to the Kansas City community and Midwest region. The company creates new work through the co-artistic directors innovative collaboration, and is dedicated to the continued experimentation of movement involving local artists & musicians.

Nicole Hawkins-Beasley

Holding a BFA in Theatre/Dance Minor, Nicole has studied Ballet, Jazz, and Tap for twenty years. Nicole fell in love with her continuing study of modern dance since 2001 and since then has studied in other areas such as West African Dance, Hip Hop, and Indian Classical Dance. Nicole began studying Belly Dance with Kandice Grossman in 2005 and became a member of The Moon Belly Dance Ensemble. She has studied with Tribal Fusion influential instructors including Amy Sigil and Zoe Jakes. Drawing from her background, she likes to fuse theatrics, modern and hip hop with the art form. Nicole is continuing work on certification levels in the Jamila and Suhaila Salimpour Formats. Nicole has been a member of the DragonFlies Belly Dance Company since 2010.

Lisa Thorngren

After temporarily leaving dance to receive her BS in Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Puget Sound in 2002, Lisa returned to the art form and began searching for a way to combine her two passions, science and dance. She took numerous courses in anatomy and kinesiology to further her knowledge of these subjects, and she applied this knowledge while working at a physical therapy clinic, and later while in graduate school. After receiving her MFA in Dance from Arizona State University (ASU) in 2008, Lisa decided to pursue her certification in Pilates. She completed her training with a dance specialization with Karen Clippinger through Body Arts and Science International in 2008.

For five years, Lisa worked as an Adjunct Faculty member in Dance and Co-Artistic Director of SCC Moving Company at Scottsdale Community College (SCC) in Scottsdale, AZ; an Adjunct Faculty member in Dance at Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix, AZ; and a Pilates instructor at Kinesphere in Phoenix. Lisa has taught ballet, modern, tap, dance kinesiology, and dance conditioning at the college level, along with developing curricula and course materials for several SCC courses, and she has received recognition from faculty and students alike for her teaching. From 2008 to 2014 Lisa served as the Co-Treasurer for the Arizona Dance Education Organization, and she has presented on the teaching of dance technique at the National Dance Education Organization’s 2006, 2008 and 2010 national conferences. Lisa also published a short book detailing her unique pedagogical approach to ballet technique through the use of resistance bands. More recently Lisa began her studies with the Restorative Exercise Institute and was certified as a Restorative Exercise SpecialistTM; she applies this biomechanical knowledge through her teaching of dance and Pilates.

Lisa took a short break from Arizona to work in Portland, OR, where she worked as a Pilates instructor and Restorative Exercise SpecialistTM with Pacific NW Pilates and Jessica Schultz Pilates. She was also Adjunct Faculty at Clackamas Community College and Portland State University. She recently returned to Arizona to continue her work with SCC, GCU and Kinesphere. Please visit Align Movement for Health for updates on Lisa's Pilates and Restorative ExerciseTM teaching schedule.

C-c Braun

C-c Braun is an educator, choreographer, performer and community arts activist. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in dance from Arizona State University. Currently, she teaches dance classes at Sierra Linda High School in addition to directing their dance company. As a volunteer, she has facilitated dance programs at Lowell Elementary, various Boys and Girls Clubs, Terros Rehab for Women, and The New Foundation, a homeless shelter for troubled female teens and underprivileged children at the UMOM.

C-c is a seasoned choreographer and performer. She currently dances with FLUX Dance Company. Additionally, she has choreographed and performed in various venues in Pheonix, AZ, Pittsburgh, PA, North Hampton, MA, and Riverside, CA.

C-c received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where she majored in both Dance and Communications. It was at SRU that she realized how many countless things she would like to accomplish with art in her lifetime.

Her professional development includes attending the "Dance Under Construction" conference in Riverside, CA. At DUC, she presented work about interpreting the body language of feral children. She also presented her research about the importance of core development for dance technicians at the 2006 National Dance Education Organization Conference in Long Beach, CA. She spent the summer of 2003 in Washington D.C. interning with the National Dance Education Organization. She helped write standards for dance education in grades K-12 and learned firsthand how important dance can be for communities and education, specifically underprivileged children.

She has an ongoing working relationship with the Cultural Arts Coalition. During her time with C.A.C., she has met other artists that have committed much of their time to working with communities to create a stronger connection within the groupings of people they have worked with. With her latest project with C.A.C., C-c choreographed a flash mob with over 80 community participants.

Jenna Kosowski

Originally from Rochester, New York. In 2000 she moved to Manhattan to pursue a degree in art and dance from NYU. While studying she realized she did not enjoy painting, and thus focused on charcoal, glass, metal, film, and any medium other than acrylic paint. Two years after she graduated, Jenna moved to Tempe to pursue her MFA in dance. While researching for her thesis project, she dabbled in painting thanks to a new approach to making work—enjoying the practice for what it is and allowing one’s self to be meditatively process-oriented. Since late 2007 Jenna has been actively painting, collaborating with other artists and dancers, and continually exploring new ways in which to create work Jenna moved to Nashville in the summer of 2011 and is currently a Lecturer of Dance at Middle Tennessee State University. She is excited for what the Southeast will inspire.

Missouri Contemporary Ballet

A professional dance company committed to creating and presenting high-quality productions and educational opportunities through the art of contemporary ballet. MCB strives to increase the appreciation of contemporary ballet through educational outreach programs, emphasizing innovative, athletic, and high-quality performances. MCB seeks to collaborate with emerging artists and offer the opportunity to create unique works, enhancing audience experience. MCB furthers its vision through the School of MCB by cultivating the artistic and personal development of students by providing a supportive environment of dance study.

Sandy Matsuda

As a licensed Occupational Therapist and certified Tai Chi and Feldenkrais Practitioner, I offer classes and individual Functional Integration sessions based on the Feldenkrais Method. Tai Chi classes are held at the VA (employees only), the MO United Methodist Church and yoga at the ARC. Awareness Through Movement classes (Feldenkrais group classes) at Columbia Area Career Center.

Tawanda Chabikwa

An archive/resource of a constellation of ethnographies, a series of collaborative encounters and a centering of ‘bodymind’ and practice-based research and creative process. Tawanda is a Zimbabwean artist and scholar. He has a B.A in Human Ecology, an M.F.A in Dance, and works with visual and performance art and creative writing ( he published his first novel Baobabs in Heaven in 2010). He was briefly artistic director of Tumbuka Dance Company before joining the PhD program with the The Ohio State University Department of Dance. This site archives, shares and traces personal and collaborative, multi-disciplinary projects and ideas relevant to but not restricted to the cultivation of my practice. It is – among other things – a way to proffering conversation and re-membering practice. Enjoy...