Meet the Dancers

Alyssa Casey

Hello! My name is Alyssa Casey, and I am currently a junior dance major in UWSP’s Dance Program.  This semester I have had the incredible opportunity to work with both Joan Karlen and Michael Estanich as they develop new work. With Karlen, I am consistently pushed to work to my fullest movement potential.  In each rehearsal I discover something new about how I can continue to grow and develop my dancing.  In Estanich’s process there is an emphasis on the exposure of one’s true self.  I am encouraged to allow myself to access a place of vulnerability, and to experiment with what this brings to my dancing.  In both works, the cast members have been incredibly supportive of one another, which allows creative collaboration to thrive.        

Jennifer Hancock 

I’m Jennifer Hancock, a sophomore at the Dance Program at UWSP majoring in Dance and Arts Management. This is my first time performing in Danstage and I am fortunate to be cast in two works. The first is Joan Karlen’s new work Interval. The rehearsal process for this work challenges me to explore expanded creative expression. Joan encourages everyone to be vulnerable and open to new experiences in rehearsals. This process pushes me to invest in a new level of concentration.
                  The second work I will be performing in is Air, choreographed by guest artist Larry Keigwin, from his longer work Elements. Working with a professional company allows me to gain insight to the professional dance field. I am excited to be in this piece because it allows me to incorporate acting, athleticism, and a high level of artistry. I look forward to working with Keigwin + Company rehearsal director Jaclyn Walsh in the coming weeks!

 Kellen Skidmore

I’m Kellen Skidmore, a junior dance major. This year I am cast in Joan Karlen’s and Jeannie Hill’s new works. I’m really enjoying rehearsing with both choreographers because the rehearsal processes are completely different. In Joan’s rehearsal we learn original movement material, then create variations – for example changing the order, timing or spacing of the movements, and creating partnered variations. I can modify movements, find easier transitions between steps and participate in the phrase evolving into something completely different from what I started with. Jeannie starts with a specific idea and vision, creates movement phrases, and then she finds the link that connects the movements together.

Shane Donohue

My name is Shane Donohue and I am a sophomore Dance and Psychology major. For Danstage 2014, I am in rehearsal for two pieces, Larry Keigwin’s “Air” and Jeannie Hill’s new work. So far we have had only one rehearsal for “Air”, and I can say that I am so excited to both learn the complete dance in April and be challenged by its week-long rehearsal process.
In Jeannie Hill’s rehearsal, we are playing with the concept of perception. The choreography is complex rhythmically and spatially. At points, everyone is doing something different at the same time. This really forces me to be tuned into how I experience the dance as I try stay in time with the others. Jeannie is also having us fly! She and Theatre & Dance Technical Director Scott Wirtz-Olsen brought in ariel equipment which, to me, is something I never dreamed of doing, and I am so glad I have the chance!

Sarah Godlewski 

This semester I am a part of two very diverse pieces.  I am honored to be the female understudy in Larry Keigwin’s work, Air, and a cast member in Michael Estanich’s new work It’s About Love Again This Year.  Working with these two choreographers is providing me the opportunity to continue exploring my physical and expressive capabilities through their particular rehearsal processes.   

Being a part of the guest choreographer’s work this year is a unique experience since we will learn the majority of the piece the week before Danstage opens.  I am looking forward to the fast-paced rehearsals to come and, as an understudy, the task of learning a large amount of choreography quickly.
Estanich creates a rehearsal environment that allows for experimentation and vulnerability.  As I work towards greater expressivity, I am also challenged to uncover a heightened physical and spiritual awareness and availability.  I am enjoying the creative process, and I am looking forward to the performances.

 Jarrel Homesly

My name is Jarrell Homesly and I am a freshman here at UW-Stevens Point. What I really like about the Danstage rehearsal process is that it is really special and different than what I am used to. For example at my previous studio teachers gave the dancers choreography and the dancers learned it whereas in Joan Karlen's rehearsals we were invited to make our own choreographic variations that led me to bigger ideas about how to move. It is really great to be working with the professors here and how they approach dance. The main theme here is space and how to move through space and how to be in a spatial setting. I have never thought of dance like that before!