2014 Summer Dance Artist Bios

Cynthia Adams (Choreographer/Performer/Instructor) is the Co-Artistic Director and cofounder of Fellow Travelers Performance Group since 1993, creating a hybrid of traditional and experimental dance theater involving the voices of choreographers, dancers, musicians, visual artists, directors and actors. FTPG has a tradition of pushing all parameters of performance from the physical space, to vocabularies, structure and content to explore the surreal scope of human experience. FTPG has performed nationally and internationally in festivals such as the West Wave Festival, Dancing on the Edge Festival, Vancouver, Canada; Yerba Buena Gardens Choreographers Festival, House Special (2002); Oakland Arts Festival, and others. Ms. Adams received the CHIME grant (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange) from the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company in 2008. She and James have taught extensively including at Mills College, The University of Wisconsin-Madison, Cabrillo College and currently at Iowa State University.

Janelle Bentley, a native of St. Paul, MN, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from UW-Madison. She has performed in works by Kate Corby, Carrie Hanson/The Seldoms, Kun-Yang Lin, Susan Marshall Company, Marlene Skog, Scott Wells, Chris Walker, Jin-Wen Yu, and of course, Li Chiao-Ping. Following graduation, Janelle moved to northern Israel to study with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company (KCDC). In 2013 she was invited to join KCDC’s young company, KCDC 2 as the only non-Israeli apprentice.

Fellow Travelers Performance Group was formed in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1992 by artistic directors/choreographers Ken James and Cynthia Adams, whose vision was to create a hybrid of traditional and experimental dance theater. Since that time they have created over 60 pieces and received numerous grants and residencies. Their work has been performed nationally and internationally and the choreographers have been guest artists in residence at Mills College, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Cabrillo College among others.

Kate Hewson is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and administrator based in Madison. She has created over fifteen works for modern and aerial dance and received her MFA in Dance from UW-Milwaukee in 2009. Kate co-founded Dear Heart Dance, whose work was recognized with awards by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Dance County Cultural Affairs Commission, and the UW-Madison New Arts Venture Challenge. Kate is also Assistant Director for Curriculum and Student Services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arts Institute.

Ken James is interested in the movements of thoughts and dreams. In 2007 he was awarded the Isadora Duncan Dance Award for Best Choreography (San Francisco) with Chris Black for The Adventures of Cunning & Guile. He has performed a range of works from Josie Limon’s Missa Brevis to dancing on cliffs with Project Bandaloop.

Paula McArthur is owner and director of DanzArts Studio. She moonlights as an adjunct professor for Drake University where she teaches dance for the Musical Theater Department. In her professional dance career she started off as a ballerina but later turned modern. In Iowa you may have seen her in many productions with “Hurley & Dancers” and FTG! Paula loves all forms of dance from ballet, jazz, tap, modern and is shamelessly addicted to salsa dancing.

Mariah Meyer LeFeber, MA LPC BC-DMT DTRL, lives in Madison, Wisconsin. She is a lecturer in the UW-Madison Dance Department, where she also co-directs Performing Ourselves, a dance outreach program for low-income teen girls. Additionally, Mariah practices dance/movement therapy at the Hancock Center for Dance/Movement Therapy and provides consultation services for other local agencies. She enjoys writing on the use of dance/movement therapy, and her work on using the modality with children has been published on several occasions. Mariah savors opportunities to dance and perform, but these days her favorite dancing partners are her husband and two young daughters, who know how to have killer living room dance parties. Mariah was honored to be named the Wisconsin Dance Council New Leader in Dance in 2011.

Li Chiao-Ping (choreographer/performer/instructor), one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to watch”, is the Artistic Director of LI CHIAO-PING DANCE. Ms. Li earned her Master of Arts degree from UCLA and has been on faculty at Hollins University, Mills College, and UW-Madison where she is currently Chair of the Dance Department. An honorary member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society, Li has also been invited to join the Fulbright Specialists Roster. Her choreography has been shown throughout the world and at prominent festivals, including Jacob’s Pillow, Bates, The Yard, and the American Dance Festival. Recipient of grants from the NEA and fellowships from the Wisconsin Arts Board and Scripps/ADF Humphrey-Weidman-Limon, she is the subject of two documentaries about her work, The Men’s Project and Women Dancing; “Seven Solos: A Documentary”, directed by Douglas Rosenberg, was selected to premiere in the Dance On Camera Festival held at Lincoln Center in New York and at the Wisconsin Film Festival. She was the American representative in ADF’s International Choreographer’s Program and has been commissioned by dance companies, university dance programs, and individuals around the country. Her latest screen dance work “daughter” screened in the Oklahoma Dance Film Festival and was selected among the “best of the fest”. Recent honors include the Bartell Award, the Romnes Award, the Creative Arts Award from the Arts Institute, the Emily Mead Baldwin-Bascom Professorship in the Creative Arts, the Wisconsin Dance Council Award in Choreography and Performance, the Vilas Associate Award, and a 2012 Outstanding Woman of Color in Education Award. She is the creator of The Extreme Moves Training MethodSM/TM which she is teaching at UW-Madison this summer.

Nicole Roerick is a dance artist making work in New York city. She received her BFA from UW-Madison and her MFA from Florida State University. She formed her company, Nicole Roerick Collective, in fall 2011 and has since presented work for the Upstart Festival at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Anahata Dance: “Celebrating D’Houlber” (NYC), DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn), WestFest Dance Festival (NYC), Dance Films Kino (Chicago), Big Range Austin Dance Festival (Austin), Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival (TX), and numerous other shows presented in Austin, TX during 2012-2013. She has presented and produced 2 of her own shows, Raw (Madison, WI) and Morose Beauty (Austin), which included an evening length performance where, “Roerick showed a fine, sculptural quality, tattooed edginess, and an enthralling ability to sustain tension, and her movement language had inventive clarity.” She dance with Li Chiao-Ping Dance in 2011-2012 and is happy to be part f the summer workshop.

Mychelyn Schnettler has been all over the dance world since graduating from UW-Madison with a bachelor’s in Dance in 2009. She continued her studies in Taipei, Taiwan that summer focusing on ballet and modern technique, and martial arts. While in her undergrad and overseas she also became interested and invested in different hip-hop and breakdancing styles. Her move back to the US took her to Milwaukee, WI where her fiancé attended the Medical College of WI. While there she taught all over the city full-time and danced with Li Chiao-Ping Dance and Wisconsin Professional Dance for the Riptide Dance Team and Diamond Dancers. She moved to NYC in 2011 to work for the all female hip-hop company DecaDanceTheatre. Her return back to Wisconsin lead to a faculty position at UW-Madison where she taught Fundamentals of Hip-Hop. After tying the knot with her boyfriend of eleven years, the pair moved to Chicago. She is currently the Dance Director for the Chicago Steamers Professional Dance Team and a choreographer for the world champion Energizers Dance Team. She continues teaching everything from ballet to tumbling around the city and giving master classes throughout the Midwest.

Liz Sexe is a dance educator, performer and choreographer. In 2009 she received her M.F.A. in Performance and Choreography from Mills College in Oakland, CA. Currently, Sexe is a lecturer at UW-Madison and Pilates instructor at Capital Fitness. She has been called a “celan and efficient mover,” performing works by Rachel Berman, Alyce Finwall, Li Chiao-Ping and Marlene Skog. Her own work has appeared at Danceworks in Milwaukee, WI at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin in Spring Green WI, and at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she was an artist in residence in 2013. As a performer and choreographer she is interested in how clear intention of movement can transcend spoken language. In class. Liz loves to merge her knowledge of anatomy and movement in a deep and playful way.

Collette Stewart is a contemporary choreographer, performer and movement educator. Her professional career has spanned the last 20 years, during which time she has dance with Jin-Wen Yu Dance and Li Chiao-Ping Dance in Madison, 1*4*8 the collective and Dixiefun Dancetheater in New York, and Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth in Fort Worth, Texas. Her choreography has been presented at Dance Theater Workshop and the Joyce Soho in New York and in other venues around the country. In May, Collette completed an MFA in Dance from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee where she received the Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship Award. Collette is a lecturer at UW Madison and owns Pilates/Yoga studies in the Madison area. She holds Pilates and Yoga certifications and has been teaching since 1999. Her teaching incorporates a deep understanding of the body gained through her movement practices, meditation practice, and energy healing work.

Christina Briggs Winslow is a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer, She just finished her third year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She spent 15 years in New York City, where she was on the faculty of Hofstra University, Queens College and the Joffrey Jazz & Contemporary Summer Intensive. She has taught Contemporary Technique and Repertory at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the TseKh Summer Dance School in Moscow, Russia and is a regular guest artist at Valley Academy of the Arts (WI), where she teaches Ballet Technique. Since 1998, she has been a Pilates Instructor and is currently training in the Alexander Technique. She is the Co-Director of Incidents Dance with Edward Winslow. Through inter-discipinary collaborations, they use dramatic scenarios, physically demanding movement and complex partnering relationships to explore the human element in dance. Christina has performed with and be influenced by Gerald Casel, Pat Cremins, Heidi Latsky, Susan Osberg and Li Chiao-Ping.