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Alumni

  

This list is by no means complete. It merely highlights of the activities of some of our graduates. Also, dancers are always moving, and contact information and career details are challenging to keep current. If you are an alumnus and would like your information added or updated, please email smtd.dance@umich.edu.

2000s

Jonutz, Thayer MFA 2009

Thayer Jonutz is currently an Associate Professor of Dance at Oakland University. He and OU Assistant Professor and fellow UM alum (MFA 2007) Ali Woerner co-founded and co-direct Take Root, their company whose mission is to “connect” through movement with as many individuals in as many diverse circles as possible. The company has performed original work in a variety of locations and venues including: Seoul, South Korea; Incheon, Korea; Berlin, Germany; Costa Rica; National Dance Education Organization (Miami and Chicago); American College Dance Festival; Arts X at the Detroit Institute of Arts; TEDx; RADfest; Ohio Dance Festival; Detroit Dance City Festival; and more.

Take Root teaches master classes nationally and internationally to all ages as well as an annual movement session at Walk the Line to SCI Recovery’s Field Day to those with spinal cord and brain injuries. Currently, Take Root hosts a free Dance for Parkinson’s Disease class once a month at Oakland University, and Ali and Thayer have also been named a finalist for the Governor’s Fitness Awards for 2016.

More about Thayer Jonutz

 

Springer, Alex BFA 2007

Alex & ‘Xan’ began dancemaking together in 2006 when they premiered Tied, their 1st evening-length production at the McIntosh Theatre in Ann Arbor. In 2007, Xan graduated with degrees in Dance and English and Alex with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Movement Science. Since then, they have cultivated a choreographic voice that has been featured in MI and NYC. Their solo Loading was chosen for Dynamic Dancing in Ypsilanti, MI, and they presented pieces from Tied at Arts Collage 2007 in Glen Arbor, MI. In April 2009, they converted a studio in a warehouse in Detroit into a performance space and produced/choreographed Beginnings, Endings, + Other Events. Since moving to NY, they have shown work in WAXworks, the Solar One Solar Powered Dance Series, the Williamsburg FreeFest at Triskelion Arts, the Under Exposed Series at Dixon Place, and the BAX Upstart Festival. They also make video dance shorts for YouTube in their spare time. Their video Lunch was featured in the Food Festival at BETA Spaces in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Alex, originally from Farmington Hills, MI, currently dances for Doug Varone and Dancers and is the booking agent for Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects. Xan, a Youngstown, OH native, is the production director of WAXworks, the front office administrator at Dance New Amsterdam, and has the pleasure of working with choreographers and companies Nancy Bannon, Daniel Charon, DOORKNOB Company, Shannon Gillen, and Shannon Hummel/CORA Dance, among others. Together they have performed for ChavasseDance&Performance in NY and Ann Arbor. They have toured nationally and internatonally with the Leopold Group of Chicago and Umbigada Dance of Ann Arbor.

 

Woerner, Ali MFA 2007

Ali Woerner is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Oakland University. She and OU Associate Professor of Dance and fellow UM alum Thayer Jonutz (MFA 2009) co-founded and co-direct Take Root, their company whose mission is to “connect” through movement with as many individuals in as many diverse circles as possible. The company has performed original work in a variety of locations and venues including: Seoul, South Korea; Incheon, Korea; Berlin, Germany; Costa Rica; National Dance Education Organization (Miami and Chicago); American College Dance Festival; Arts X at the Detroit Institute of Arts; TEDx; RADfest; Ohio Dance Festival; Detroit Dance City Festival; and more.

Take Root teaches master classes nationally and internationally to all ages as well as an annual movement session at Walk the Line to SCI Recovery’s Field Day to those with spinal cord and brain injuries. Currently, Take Root hosts a free Dance for Parkinson’s Disease class once a month at Oakland University, a program Ali created and for which she was recently awarded the prestigious Oakland County Executive’s 2016 Elite 40 Under 40 top honor. Ali and Thayer have also been named a finalist for the Governor’s Fitness Awards for 2016.

More about Ali Woerner

 

Leopold, Lizzie BFA 2006

Lizzie Leopold is a dance scholar and choreographer, currently a PhD candidate at Northwestern University studying intersections of dance and economics. She also holds an MA in Performance Studies from New York University. Lizzie runs a Chicago-based modern dance company, the Leopold Group, whose members have included UM alums Melissa Bloch (BDA '06), Jordan Newmark (BFA '06), Shannyn Hart (BFA '07) and Amanda Dye (BFA '08). Lizzie has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and worked as a producer on Broadway. Her dance scholarship is being published by Florida State University Press and Oxford University Press.

More about Lizzie Leopold

 

Schneider Perez, Molly MFA 2005

Working with the Several Dancers Core, the umbrella organization for CORE Performance Company.

 

Blume, Julie BFA 2004

Danced with the Parsons Dance Company.

 

McGarry, Anna BFA 2004

Anna McGarry is the founder of AuxWerks, an Ann Arbor-based dance company. She teaches as well as choreographs works performed in the Ann Arbor and Detroit area.

More about Anna McGarry

 

Sebaly, Abigail BFA 2003

Abigail Sebaly received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2003 from UM. From 2005-08, she was the Director of Special Projects for the Merce Cunningham Dance Co. She is currently spending 12 months in Melbourne, Australia on a Fulbright scholarship. She has performed her own choreography in New York, Melbourne, and Beijing. In August, she will return to the US to attend a graduate program at the University of Chicago.

 

Hirina, Kelly BFA 2000

Kelly is working with Opera Ballet companies throughout Europe.

 

 
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