COLUMBUS MODERN DANCE COMPANY: 2017-2018 SEASON
Chelsea Jones joined CoMo II for our 2017-2018 Season and now dances for the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company for 2018-2019. Chelsea has taught weekly Children's Modern Dance Classes for CoMo Dance. Chelsea has instructed local Brownie Girl Scouts at CoMo's Dancer badge workshops.
Tori Chu is from Hockessin, Delware, where she began learning ballet and jazz at the age of three. Tori continued her early dance studies by taking ballet classes at the University of Delaware. These classes with Tisa Della Volpe were a part of Tori's training as a competitive figure skater. At age 13, Tori returned to Hockessin Dance Center for ballet and pointe with Cindy Phillips. While attending the Case Western Reserve University, Tori pursued ballet and modern in the Mather Dance Department. Working with artists such as Kelli Sanford and Shannon Sterne, Tori completed a Minor in Dance in 2011. Tori graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and is currently a software developer at Nationwide Insurance in Columbus, OH. Tori joined the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company in 2013 as a founding member. She has created original works Unveiling of Dawn (2013) and Acceptance (2016) for the company.
Laura Comana Puscas (Executive Director) was trained in modern dance technique and ballet in St. Louis, MO by Todd Weeks and Jennifer Reilly of Modern American Dance Company (MADCO). While attending the University of Notre Dame, Laura completed the Saint Mary’s College Dance Minor program along with additional study in theatre, composition, and improvisation to earn a Certificate in Dance. For four years, Laura worked as an initiator for the art of dance at Notre Dame, founding a unique, immersive student modern dance company and campaigning at all levels for dance education. In 2011, Laura earned a BBA in marketing from Mendoza College of Business, graduating Magna Cum Laude.
During school and after graduation, Laura worked in nonprofit arts administration and gained valuable experience working for companies including BalletMet, MADCO, aTrek, and NY2Dance. After moving to Columbus in 2011, Laura served as a committee member and commissioned artist for the Locality 2012 Bus Tour Dance Festival, part of the city’s bicentennial celebration. In Fall 2012, she co-founded the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company with Kelsey Morozow Burbrink. For several years, they ran the Company as an LLC partnership as the organization grew and developed. In December 2015, CoMo transitioned to a nonprofit corporation and was granted 501(c)3 status. Laura served as the Director of CoMo & CoMo II when our second company was founded in 2016, before transitioning CoMo II to the leadership of company dancer Caroline Martin in Fall 2017. Laura currently acts as the Director of the Company & Treasurer of the Board of Directors. She enjoys helping the Columbus Modern Dance Company grow and thrive.
Caroline Martin (Rehearsal Director, Director of CoMo II) began her dance training at the age of three in Boston, MA. Upon moving to Georgia she danced with the Georgia Youth Ballet for 11 years, studying ballet and modern under the direction of Magdalena Maury. Caroline holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Religious Studies from Agnes Scott College. Caroline's college career included dancing with David Dorfman Dance, being featured in the 2009 Gala performance at the Southeast conference of ACFDA, and studying Kuchipudi, a form of classical Indian dance, in Hyderabad, India. Caroline holds an Elementary Certification in Labanotation, and her choreographic project Thoughts In Space focuses on making dance more accessible to audiences of various backgrounds. Outside of dance she is the Director of Camp Quest Smoky Mountains and works as a licensed massage therapist.
Rachel Bobbitt (Rehearsal Director) began her early training by studying classical ballet for 11 years at Angela's Dance Studio and O'Connor's Dance in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2002, Rachel attended the Ohio State University where she studied modern, ballet, and hip hop in their prestigious Dance Department. In 2012 and 2015, she performed as a part of the national Urbana Student Missions Conference performing arts team, debuting her work "Lanterns" at the 2015 conference. In 2016 Rachel was a performer and lead choreographer at the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta, Indonesia. Rachel joined CoMo as a founding member in 2013. Rachel has created original works Mademoiselle (2013) and Long Walk Home(2017) for the company.
Bridgette Rawlins (Academy Director) is from Zanesville, OH and began her early dance training at BalletMet in Columbus. During high school, she attended the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, VA, training under Petrus Bosman, David Keener, and Martha Faesi. She attended her freshman year of college at Wright State University where she also was a member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II. Later transferring to Miami University of Ohio, she continued to dance and perform in Miami’s dance company on campus, which gave her opportunities to teach, choreograph, and hold several executive positions. Bridgette graduated with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Science and a B.A. in Microbiology and currently works for Ohio State's Hospital. Bridgette joined the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company in 2013 for our founding Season. She has created works Black Tambourine (2014) and Promenade (2017) on the company.
Faith Chester (Costume Manager) has known from a young age that she wanted to be a dancer, and started dancing when she was only two. At age 11, she began training intensely at Leap of Faith Dance Company in Westerville, Ohio, under the direction of Kelley Haney. During her six years there she became a teaching assistant and Senior Company dancer. Faith was a soloist in Leap of Faith's Life of Christ production in 2015. Intensifying her ballet training in 2014 with additional classes at BalletMet, Faith performed in BalletMet's Nutcracker. In Fall 2015 she joined the intensive training program at Columbus Dance Theatre under the direction of Tim Veach. There she has performed roles in MATCHGIRL, Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet and was the Jazz soloist for the ITP Spring Concert. Faith has attended summer programs at Leap of Faith Dance Company and Ballet Chelsea in Michigan. She will attend intensives this summer at Ballet Magnificat in Jackson, Mississippi, Ballet Detroit at the Detroit Opera House, and CDT. Faith is trained in the styles of ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip hop, lyrical, and tap. Faith is excited to join CoMo II's inaugural season.
Jessica Wheeler (Company Manager & Dancer Representative to Board of Directors) is from Knoxville, Tennessee and began her dance training at the age of 12. She danced with her school’s dance team and was trained in jazz, modern, ballet, and pointe at the Academy of Dance Arts studio. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in both dance and mathematics from Radford University. While at Radford, she performed in various department shows, including the Nutcracker and Cabaret. She also had multiple choreographic opportunities while in college, including directing and choreographing an honor’s capstone project. After college, Jessica moved to Columbus to work on her Master’s degree in mathematics and has continued dancing through ballroom and social dance, and in classes at BalletMet. Jessica is currently teaching math classes in Columbus.
Alicia Hann began her dance training in Columbus Ohio at Dublin Dance Center at the age of 4. Not long after that she discovered her love for movement, studying ballet pre-professionally and being introduced to modern, jazz, and tap. Alicia pursued her study of modern dance at Ohio University and earned her BFA in modern dance performance and choreography in 2013. Studying modern dance expanded her definition of dance beyond codified movement vocabularies and opened up a whole new world of possibility and ideas. After graduating from college, Alicia began teaching dance to children and teens. Sharing this passion brought so much joy. Alicia is also a choreographer/performer for The Movement Mission, a nonprofit that raises money for melanoma research at their an annual performance and gala. This has been a unique opportunity to develop work and collaborate with women in all walks of life. Recently Alicia was introduced to Dancing Mindfulness, created by Dr. Jamie Marich. She became a certified facilitator in March of 2016. Dancing Mindfulness is a form of conscious dance which incorporates meditation, improvisation, music, and community. She loves that rather than focusing on technique Dancing Mindfulness focuses on the mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical practice that is dance. Alicia began dancing with CoMo for the company's 2017-2018 Season.
CoMo II: 2017-2018 Season
Chelsea Herbert - Bio coming soon! Chelsea joined CoMo II with our 2018-2019 Season, starting with our fall performance "Formation: Dance Inspired by Public Art."
Ellison Luthy - Bio coming soon! Elli joined CoMo II with our 2018-2019 Season, starting with our February 9, 2019 performance.
Emily Cecil - Bio coming soon! Emily joined CoMo II with our 2018-2019 Season, starting with our fall performance "Formation: Dance Inspired by Public Art."
Kelly Hernandez - Bio coming soon! Kelly joined CoMo II with our 2018-2019 Season, starting with our Giving Hope Gala performance.
Kimberly Taylor - Bio coming soon! Kimberly joined CoMo II with our 2018-2019 Season, starting with our fall performance "Formation: Dance Inspired by Public Art."
Hayley Lamberson (Apprentice) began her dance training at age 3 at Tulsa Ballet. She later left ballet to pursue competitive cheerleading and gymnastics. Hayley rediscovered her love of dance in college when she began taking drop-in classes at the Joffrey Ballet in Chicago. Since then, she has continued studying ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz dance in studios throughout Vermont and most recently Columbus. During the summer of 2015, she served as an intern at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, where she had the opportunity to delve deep into dance history and contemporary dance, as well as expand her own training with classes on composition and improvisation. Hayley currently works in Asset Management at JPMorgan.
Kelsey Morozow (President, Board of Directors) started her dance training in ballet under the Royal Academy of Ballet syllabus at a small studio in the Las Vegas Valley. Kelsey moved on to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) where she studied Modern, Ballet, and Jazz along with dance history, pedagogy, music theory, production, lighting, and choreography. During this time, she worked with guest artists and faculty such as Louis Kavouras, Margot Mink Colbert, Ernesta Corvino, and Richard Havey among many others. Kelsey graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and a minor in Human Services Counseling. After moving to the Columbus area in 2012, Kelsey performed in the Locality 2012 Bus Tour Dance Festival. In Fall 2012, she co-founded the Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company with Laura Puscas. Kelsey has administrative experience in higher education and currently works at Ohio Dominican University.