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Skidmore College
Dance Department

Dance Alumni

Michelle Avery '05Michelle Avery
Class of 2005
Hometown:  Wakefield, MA
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Michelle is the Senior Director of Investor Relations and Patient Engagement at Summit Therapeutics, which focuses on developing new antibiotics. In her free time, Michelle is an avid ballroom competitor, dancing the waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and quickstep all over the US.  

Ali Kenner Brodsky '98Ali Kenner Brodsky
Class of 1998
Major(s): Dance/Psychology
Hometown: Cranston, RI
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Ali Kenner Brodsky, artistic director of ali kenner brodsky & co., has been a Catalyst Artist at the Dance Complex, MA, Choreographer in Residence at the Joyce SoHo, Bates Dance Festival and The Croft Residency: Ground for Art. She was a recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship and has received support from NEFA. Her dance film,  between silences, was named “Best Dance Short” at the Jacksonville Dance Film Festival, FL. Ali is on faculty at Roger Williams University.

Tamika ByerTamika Byer
Class of 1995/1996
Hometown: Mountain View, CA
Major(s): Dance

Although I currently work in the IT/technology space as a contractor at Google, I still have a goal to open my own dance school. I'm currently working on Ensemble School of the Arts. I've also helped establish a non-profit organization, Giving with Grace, supporting women and young girls.

Jackie CourcheneJackie Courchene
Class of 2016
Hometown: Houston, TX

After graduating, Jackie moved to San Antonio, TX where she became a resident choreographer for the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet. In 2017 she was awarded the San Antonio Dance Umbrella’s Emerging Artist scholarship for her work as a teacher, choreographer, and performer in San Antonio. Once in Austin, she began teaching at Balance Dance Studios and its sister school The Dance Spot. In addition, Jackie still creates freelance work and currently performs with Articulate Austin and Lisa Nicks and her Band of Wild Ponies.

Emily Craver '11Emily Craver
Class of 2011
Major(s): Dance
Hometown: Framingham, MA
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Emily Craver is a current Graduate Teaching Associate at the Ohio State University, pursuing an MFA in dance. Her company, The Little Streams, has been thrice presented at Triskelion Arts and has performed at The Comedy in Dance Festival, Chen Dance Center's newsteps Festival, The PIT, and Westfest's All Over Westbeth. She performs with Trainor Dance, CabinFeverLiveArt, and St Fortune Productions. She currently lives in Columbus, Ohio but often frequents other cities in constant pursuit of dancing and making.

Brendan DugganBrendan Duggan
Class of 2010
Major: Dance
Hometown: Amherst, NH
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Duggan has performed with Gallim Dance, Loni Landon, Danielle Russo, Third Rail Projects, and most recently, Punchdrunk’s "Sleep No More".  As a choreographer, Duggan served as Co-Director of LoudHoundMovement before establishing himself as an independent choreographer.  His work has been presented throughout New York and has been commissioned for SALT Dance, Western Michigan University, Whim W’Him Dance, and Treefort Music Festival. Duggan has also served as faculty at Peridance Center and Gibney Dance, as well as a guest artist at Western Michigan University, BYU, Skidmore College, and Marymount Manhattan College, among others.

Lynda Erbs '04Lynda Erbs    
Class of 2004
Major(s): Spanish Lit./Dance
Hometown: Washington, CT

Upon graduation Lynda toured as a lighting supervisor/production stage manager with several professional dance companies based out of NYC such as, Stephen Petronio Company, Battleworks Dance Company, Parsons, and New York City Ballet. She then started working large stadium ceremonies such as the PanAmerica Games, the Caribbean Games, and the London Olympics. For the last five years she has helped produce the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show. Most recently she has been directing productions produced by Lincoln Center, while she continues to produce events throughout NYC.

Rebecca Greenbaum-Goodhart '11Rebecca Greenbaum-Goodhart
Class of 2011
Major(s): Dance, minor in Biology
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:

After graduating from Skidmore, I went on to receive my MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts where I was a Graduate Assistant. I have freelanced for many contemporary ballet and modern companies and choreographers in NYC, as well as danced for the Jamal Jackson Dance Company for the past seven years. I have taught dance at Saint Ann’s School, Creative Arts Studio, and Nacre Dance. I currently teach Classical Pilates in NYC. I am married to Skidmore alum, Jacob Goodhart, whom I met in the dance department.

Ariel Grossman '04Ariel Grossman
Class of 2004
Major(s): Dance, Minor: Women's Studies
Hometown: New York City, currently living in Jersey City NJ
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Ariel has 3 children: Eva, Max and Ariel Rivka Dance, a critically acclaimed all-female contemporary dance company led by her and composer husband David Homan. Ariel’s recent inspiration is drawn from the struggles and joys of the mother experience. Ariel Rivka Dance was recently presented  BAM Fisher and the Battery Dance Festival, and in 2018 toured Baltimore, Boston, Cleveland, Houston and Nebraska. Performances in 2019 include the NYU/Tisch Summer Residency Festival Performance Series and tours to Atlanta and Memphis.

Sara Juli '00Sara Juli
Class of 2000
Major(s): Dance and Anthropology
Hometown: Falmouth, Maine
Personal or Professional Website URL:,

Sara Juli has been creating and performing innovative dance-theater for nearly two decades.  She has been fortunate to tour around the world including American Dance Festival, Performance Space New York, New York Live Arts, Bates Dance Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival and many more. Sara is the Founder/Director of Surala Consulting, a fundraising consultancy helping non-profits and artists build and execute fundraising strategies. She is the co-chair of Bates Dance Festival's Advisory Board and is an Affiliated Artist of Bates College.

Fran Kirmser '93Fran Kirmser
Class of 1993
Major(s): Dance and Psychology
Hometown: New York, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Fran is a two-time Tony Award Winning producer who, inspired by Skidmore’s “Creative Thought Matters” motto, strives to produce work relating to the world around us. Her credits include HAIR, LOMBARDI, MAGIC/BIRD, and GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS starring Al Pacino. Currently Fran is producing a political series called American Scoreboard. She is the co-author of the book A Life In Dance: a practical guide. Her passion is teaching self-producing for emerging artists who want to produce their own work on stage.

Jesse Kovarsky '10Jesse Kovarsky
Class of 2010
Major: Dance/Art History minor
Hometown: Chicago
Personal or Professional Website URL: @scruffyjester on Instagram

Received a Masters in Performance from Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance in London and remained in London for 4 years working with various choreographers such as Russel Maliphant, Russel Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Arthur Pita, Junk Ensemble, and Punch Drunk. He moved to NYC and became a soloist at The Metropolitan Opera House while also performing in the immersive show ‘Sleep No More’. Recently performed as the Fiddler in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ on Broadway dancing the work of Hofesh Schecter, and then went on to become the associate choreographer/understudy for the 10 time Tony winning show ‘The Bands Visit’. He’s also worked with Ryan Heffington, Celia Rowlson-Hall, Sonya Tayeh, Lynne Paige, and Bobbi Jene Smith.

Felix LaBella III '03Felix LaBella III
Class of 2003
Director/Choreographer & Production Supervisor
Major(s):  Dance & Business
Hometown: New Harford, NY

Currently, Felix is an Emcee/Judge for Turn It Up Dance Challenge, and for the past 6 years was a Show Director/Supervisor for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas.  Prior, he spent 5 years at sea as a singer/dancer/dance captain.  Immediately after college he started performing and did for the next 15 years.  Credits:  Broadway Tours (CATS, Oklahoma, 42nd Street), Regional Theater:  (Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story) and TV Commercials (WB Mason).  He’s also a teacher/educator who loves to inspire young aspiring artists. 

Karen LacyKaren Lacy
Class of 1992
Major(s): B.A. in Dance and English
Hometown: Wilmington, DE

Karen Lacy lived in NYC for 21 years and moved outside of Philadelphia in 2014. Dance credits: Metropolitan Opera Ballet, NYC Opera, Neville Dance Theatre, John Passafiume Dancers. Choreography credits: La Traviata, Once Upon a Mattress, Romance Romance, Chess, Clue, and countless children’s dance recitals. Teaching credits: ABT (certified teacher, Primary through Level 7), Dance Delaware, Manhattan Youth Ballet, School of the Garden State Ballet, Philadelphia Dance Theatre. 24 years at Gaynor Minden, as Senior Fitter and Dance Teacher Liaison.

Cameo LethemCameo Lethem
Class of 2014
Major(s): Dance, Neuroscience
Hometown: Kaneohe, HI
Personal or Professional Website URL:

Cameo has presented work at On the Boards, Velocity Dance Center, Yaw Theater, Base Experimental Arts, Electric Lodge, and more. She was a selected artist for Ellenore Scott's The Breaking Glass Project and received year-long mentorships from Sidra Bell and Nia-Amina Minor in 2015-2016. Cameo is also a recipient of Seattle Dances' 2017 Dance Crush Award, a grant awardee of 4Culture and Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, and a 2018-2019 James Ray resident.

John LiJohn Li
Class of 2015
Major: Dance
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Since graduating from Skidmore, John pursued further education in the medical field through nursing at NYU. He is currently a clinical nurse at the Hospital for Special Surgery helping people to "get back in the game," while continuing to stay active in other forms of dance. He plans to one day become a nurse practitioner in an acute setting.

Elise Baker MumfordElise Baker Mumford
Class of 2017
Major(s): Dance Performance; Art History
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Personal or Professional Website URL: ; (not currently active)

Independent dancer and choreographer, Elise Baker Mumford, currently resides in New York City. She is a part-time teacher at Cobble Hill Ballet in Brooklyn, NY and attends acting courses at the Neighborhood Playhouse Theater with James Brill. Most recently, Elise artistically directed and choreographed a music video for singer song-writer, Emie Nathan, and performed in a music video for the artist, Carlile. She is beginning more film and video projects, in pursuit of being a full-time performer and creative producer.

Emily PacilioEmily Pacilio
Class of 2012
Major: Dance
Hometown: Bronx, NY

Emily Pacilio performs and creates with Emily Craver and the Little Streams, CabinFever, Trainor Dance, Designated Movement Company, and Saint Fortune. She’s danced at Joe’s Pub, Jacob’s Pillow, the Yard, Kaatsbaan, Judson Memorial Church and MCA Chicago, among others. Her own work with Gavin Price (The Basics) has been presented at venues around NYC.

Alyssa Rutchik PadialAlyssa Rutchik Padial
Class of 1991
Major(s): Dance and Anthropology
Hometown: Palisades, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:

I am a PT in NYC for more than 20 years, specializing in orthopedics, dance rehab and pelvic health. I was honored to work as one of the therapists for the Cunningham Company and enjoy when I can help support the young dancer. Over the past 6 years, I have been given wonderful opportunities to perform again, dancing for Susan Cherniak, Allison Pagano and Teresa Perez. I have even shared the stage multiple times recently with other Skidmore alum like Allison Bazin and Laura Rimes, ‘89.

Courtney RottenbergerCourtney Rottenberger
Class of 2007
Majors: Dance and Psychology
Hometown: Bethpage, NY

Courtney has been a Radio City Rockette for the last 7 years and has performed in various other theater productions as well as TV and film. Some favorite credits include: Chastity in the first national tour of 'Anything Goes', Tootsie in the national tour of ‘Cabaret,’ dancing as a NFL cheerleader for the New York Jets, dancing on 'Boardwalk Empire' and Wonderful Pistachio's 2013 Super bowl commercial. Recently, Courtney began choreographing for the City Center education program.

Sarah Juliet Shaw '14Sarah Juliet Shaw
Class of 2014
Major(s): Dance and Psychology double major, Arts Administration minor
Hometown: Merion, PA
Personal or Professional Website

Since graduating from Skidmore, Sarah has gone on to pursue a career in dance and musical theatre. She has performed professionally in shows around the country such as Jesus Christ Superstar, Saturday Night Fever, The Little Mermaid, Carousel, Elf, and Kiss Me, Kate. She also had the opportunity to travel to Sri Lanka with Sea Legs Dance Company and dance in an original work by Christopher d'Amboise at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. She is currently based in New York City.

Alexx Shilling '99Alexx Shilling    
Class of 1999
Major(s): Dance
Hometown: Manalapan, NJ
Personal or Professional Website

Alexx’s original choreography and experimental films have been presented nationally and internationally, through residencies like the Ebenbökhaus / Jewish Museum in Munich, and with generous support from institutions including Dance Films Association, CHIME (with mentor Bob Een) and most recently the California Arts Council as Artistic Director of alexx makes dances. Since moving from New York to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue her MFA in Choreography, she has performed in the works of Victoria Marks (since 2010), Laurel Jenkins, Kevin Williamson and others. Alexx is passionate about creating platforms for local movement artists including the popular Hi, Solo series. She collaborates with her husband, musician Julio Montero of Cuñao (Class of ‘00).

Maggie Stack '09Maggie Stack
Class of 2009
Major(s): Dance, Studio Art
Hometown: Reno, Nevada
Personal or Professional Website URL: Dance Video Reel

Maggie Stack is originally from Pittsburgh, PA where she began her training at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. She received a BS in Dance from Skidmore College in 2009 and upon graduating moved to San Francisco to train at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan. Stack has performed in the Bay Area and around the globe with ODC/Dance, Amy Foley's Bell-wether Dance, Project Thrust, CabinFever, Christine Cali (Cali & Co.), Alyce Finwall Dance Theater, FACT/SF, Katie Faulkner’s Little Seismic Dance Company, RAWdance, Concept o4 and Moderngram. She was a faculty member at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance from 2011 - 2018 teaching professional ballet. She has also been a guest faculty member for Skidmore College’s Dance Department and a guest choreographer for University of Nevada’s Spring Dance Concert. In May of 2018, she relocated to Reno Nevada where she is teaching advanced dance levels and choreographing contemporary works.

Lauren Thompson '93Lauren Thompson
Class of 1993
Major(s): English / Dance
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:

For the past 20 years, Emmy-winning producer Lauren Thompson has been telling stories that explore the human condition and shape our understanding of the world. She’s produced and directed dozens of award-winning series for CNN, PBS, ABC, BBC, Food Network, and Smithsonian Channel. She was senior producer on the CNN documentary, The End: Inside the Last Days of the Obama White House, and most recently directed the Emmy-winning series, United Shades of America, with W. Kamau Bell.

Caitlin Trainor '97Caitlin Trainor
Class of 1997
Major(s): Dance
Hometown: Scituate, RI, current resident Bronxville, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:,

Caitlin Trainor is a dancer, choreographer, entrepreneur and the artistic director of Trainor Dance. She was named one of 25 to watch by Dance Magazine in 2016 and has made dance for site, game-based audience interactive work, and extravagant group works for the concert stage. She is the founder of Dancio, providing online dance class with the best teachers in the world and is a member of the dance faculty at Barnard College/Columbia University. Caitlin's return to Skidmore as Visiting Professor in Dance in 2020 is a full circle event. She lives in New York with her Mr. and daughter Evangelina.

Hana van der KolkHana van der Kolk
Class of 2000
Major(s): Dance
Hometown: Troy, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:

I recently finished my first year in the practice-based PhD program in Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, where I am researching the potential of creative, embodied practice & ritual as processes of restoration, relinquishment, and resilience in the face of untenable pasts and terrifying futures. I continue to teach far and wide under the name radial diamond kinetics, facilitate personalized rituals in private practice and under the name coco damah, contribute heavily to the workings of Troy Bike Rescue, co-host Troy’s queer dance party Polly, and performed my ceremony performance nothingnessXXX in collaboration with Tomislav Feller in Amsterdam and Zagreb in 2018.

Alia Carponter-WalkerAlia Carponter-Walker
Class of 2016
Major(s): International Affairs and Dance (Performance + Choreography) with a Minor in Spanish
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Personal or Professional Website URL:

After graduating from Skidmore, Alia moved to Madrid, Spain to work as a Science, Art, and English teacher to 300 amazing 5th and 6th graders. While living in Madrid, Alia both studied and performed Flamenco dance. Since moving back to New York, Alia has continued to foster a career in education as the Director of Program Development at Curious Jane - an educational content organization that focuses on fostering girls empowerment through hands on learning in science + engineering + design. Alia currently teaches contemporary dance to a group of rock star 7-9 year old girls at a non profit in Harlem, NYC.

Nikhita WinklerNikhita Winkler
Class of 2015
Major: Dance with a concentration in Neuroscience
Hometown: Windhoek, Namibia
Personal or Professional Website URL:


Recent/Past Accomplishments:
Namibian Championship of Performing Arts Gold Medalist
Founder of the Nikhita Winkler Dance Theatre and Project

Known as Namibia's Dancing Queen; performer, choreographer, teacher, director, and founder of DancN Heels and the Nikhita Winkler Dance Theatre and Project. Nikhita empowers women and children through her passion and wealth of experience in dance. She holds an honours degree (2015) in dance performance from Skidmore College, New York, USA and has danced for over 20 years with formal training in ballet (RAD), modern dance, jazz, Pilates, improvisation, choreography, dance history and production.