Alumni Notes

Catherine Coury (BFA ’10, dance) is the co-founder and co-artistic director of award-winning international contemporary dance company Marcat Dance and Festival Vildanza, based in the south of Spain. As a dancer she has been recognized with prominent awards and nominations. Her career was honored with a 2024 SMTD Alumni Award.

Alexandra Beller (BFA ’94, dance) teaches dance and has been the artistic director of Alexandra Beller/Dances since 2002. She has created over 50 original dance theatre works, presented at theaters and universities throughout the U.S. and internationally. The 2024 SMTD Alumni Awards honored Beller with the Professional Achievement in Dance Award.

Brendan Ryan (BFA ’21, dance) is a professional choreographer, dance instructor, and a Los Angeles Rams cheerleader since 2021. He discussed his community service experiences in the Winter 2024 Michigan Muse.

Yoshiko Iwai (BFA ’18, BS ’18), who double-majored in dance and neuroscience, is a medical student now heading to a residency in general surgery at Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital. She shared insights on her career path in the Winter 2024 Michigan Muse.

An educator, dancer, and choreographer, Erika “Red” Stowall (BFA ’08, dance) is a 2023 SMTD Alumni Award winner. She is currently the dance teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. High School in Detroit, her alma mater. Stowall is the founder and current artistic director of Big Red Wall Dance Company.

Tina Grosowsky (MFA ’76, dance) is retired from a career in public health. She volunteers with Elders Climate Action Mass, advocating for clean energy.

Lynn Slaughter (MA ’76, dance), formerly Rosenfeld, published her fifth novel in 2023. In Missed Cue (Melange Books), a homicide detective investigates the most complicated case of her career, the suspicious onstage death of a revered ballerina.

Emma Cotter (BFA ’97, dance) and her company RETTOCAMME Inc had site-specific, roaming performances featured in the 2023 Chashama Gala in Times Square and in the 2023 Art in Odd Places: DRESS festival, curated by Gretchen Vitamvas and Ed Woodham. Both events included alumnus Josef Woodson (BDA ’95, dance) and visual artist Ryan Roth.

In 2023, the Daniel Gwirtzman (BFA ’92, dance) Dance Company’s Everybody Can Dance, kicked off their 25th anniversary. Gwirtzman’s Charged screened in Caracas, London, Exeter, and at Duke University. Gwirtzman’s research, “Creating Comfort in the Classroom,” was presented at the National Dance Education Organization’s conference. In November, Ithaca College’s production of Newsies, featured Gwirtzman’s choreography.

Peter Kentes (MFA ’78, dance) is the instructor of the Lifetime Fitness Program offered through the U-M School of Kinesiology, where he has taught for over 30 years. Kentes is also active in professional and community dance and theatre performances and choreography. He most recently performed in a production of Miracle on 34th Street in Adrian, Michigan.

Connie (Bergstein) Dow (MFA ’76, dance) is publishing two picture books about dance in 2023: Beastie Jamboree (Young Dragons Press, April 2023), and Tap and Rap, Move and Groove (Free Spirit Publishing, October 2023).

Aimee McDonald (BFA ’96, dance) is artistic director of Terpsichore Collective. Her work How We Got Here was presented at the 2023 Detroit Collage Dance Festival and again in Grand Rapids, while McDonald served as a guest artist at Mosaics of Humanity by Atelier Dance Company. She is currently working on numerous dance for camera projects.