Columbus Modern (CoMo) Dance Company is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation.
Board of Directors
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. 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. Her work has been shown at the Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Franklin Park Conservatory, the Columbus Invitational Arts Competition, Gallery Hop, the Columbus Arts Festival, and Whetstone Park of Roses.
Renie Viola (Board of Directors) began her dance studies as a young child in eastern Ohio, under the instruction of Cathie Provan. There she studied tap and jazz technique, choreography, and dance education. She then went on to study dance intensively at the Ohio State University under Bebe Miller, Susan Hadley, Tere O'Connor, Karen Elliot, and many other amazing dance artists. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance from OSU in 2004, Renie moved to New York City, where she danced and choreographed for Grove Dance Theatre from 2005-2008, performing on stages all over NYC. She also continued her studies with such artists as Irene Dowd, KJ Holmes and Barbara Mahler. In 2008 Renie took a hiatus from dance to nurture a recurring spine injury, and to focus on completing her Yamuna® Body Rolling certification. She was lucky enough to study directly under Yamuna Zake, founder of Yamuna® Body Sustainability, and completed the curriculum in 2008. This led Renie to another calling: teaching others how to care for their physical selves, which she has been doing ever since. In 2013 Renie returned to Columbus and to her first love of dance. She is honored that CoMo Dance Company has given her the privilege of doing so. Renie serves as Company Yamuna Instructor.
Jessica Wheeler (Company Manager) 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 honors capstone project. She then moved to Columbus to earn her Master’s degree in mathematics from OSU. Jessica joined CoMo II in 2016 and CoMo in 2017. CoMo has given Jessica the opportunity to continue performing as well as to choreograph pieces for Play! and Formation. She currently works at OSU teaching math and supporting TA’s. She enjoys exploring other areas of dance such as ballroom, salsa, and zouk!
Tia DiRienzo (Preprofessional) joins CoMo II for our 2019-2020 Season. Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon! Christa joined CoMo II in our 2019-2020 Season starting with our Hops! performance.
Chelsea Herbert is from Virginia Beach, Virginia and began her dance training at the age of 5 at The Starting Pointe School of Dance, under the direction of Lea Marie Ponessa. She later joined Virginia Regional Ballet, training under Heidi Robitshek, in Williamsburg, Virginia where she performed various roles in the Nutcracker over many seasons. During high school, she was given the opportunity to further her dance education by being accepted into The Governor’s School for The Arts. She trained under Todd Rosenlieb (TRDance), Deborah Thorpe, Kathy Brenner, and Lorraine Graves, to name a few. Chelsea attended Old Dominion University, in Norfolk, Virginia, and received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. While attending ODU, she was a member of the dance team, performed in and choreographed for the departments semi-annual concerts, and attended multiple college dance conferences. After completing her education at ODU, she went on to perform at Walt Disney World and eventually found a passion for teaching. Chelsea joined CoMo II with our 2018-2019 Season, starting with our fall performance "Formation: Dance Inspired by Public Art."
Bio coming soon! Keera joined CoMo II in our 2019-2020 Season starting with the Mother's Day Tea in the Topiary Garden performance.
Bio coming soon! Desiree hails from the Netherlands & joined CoMo II starting with our Hops! performance in the 2019-2020 Season.
Bio coming soon! Casie joined CoMo II in our 2019-2020 Season starting with the Mother's Day Tea in the Topiary Garden performance.
Laura Comana Puscas (Executive & Artistic Director) was trained 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 Notre Dame’s Film, Television, and Theater department. On campus, Laura founded an immersive student modern dance company culminating in her senior project, “Dante’s Inferno” at the Snite Museum of Art. In 2011, Laura earned a BBA in marketing from Mendoza College of Business, graduating Magna Cum Laude. 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. Laura has produced numerous shows with CoMo dance at local venues such as the Idea Foundry, the Cultural Arts Center, Franklin Park Conservatory, the Topiary Park, German Village Meeting Haus, Blockfort, the Abbey Theater, and many more. Thank you to all of the local artists and musicians who have collaborated with CoMo. In December 2015, CoMo transitioned to a nonprofit corporation and was granted 501(c)3 status. Laura has set her choreography on the company with “Object” (2012), “Raven” (2013), “Please Advise” (2015), “Coffee Blues” (2016, Ten Tiny Dances®), along with restaging guest choreographer works, choreographing for private event bookings, and creating works on CoMo’s Adult Modern Dance Class. In November 2018, Laura danced as the soloist in a restaging of Martha Graham’s “Heretic.” During the day, Laura manages digital production operations for the Bath & Body Works website.
Caroline Martin (CoMo II Director, Company Rehearsal Director) 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 World Religion 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 is passionate about dance history. Since joining CoMo in 2014, Caroline has performed, choreographed, and directed for both CoMo and CoMo II. Outside of dance she works as a licensed massage therapist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Le Meridien The Joseph. She works primarily on the pulmonary unit at NCH. Her background in dance heavily influences her massage practice. She is also the Director of Camp Quest Smoky Mountains where she leads programs on movement and puppeteering. Caroline loves hanging out with her husband and their five cats.
Rachel Bobbitt (Rehearsal Director)
has a passion for storytelling through dance and exploring themes of faith and social justice. She began her early training by studying classical ballet for 11 years at Angela's Dance Studio and O'Connor's Dance in Cleveland, Ohio. Rachel attended the Ohio State University where she studied modern, ballet, and hip hop in their prestigious Dance Department. Rachel joined CoMo as a founding member in 2013. She has created original works Mademoiselle (2013) and Long Walk Home (2017) for the company. Rachel In 2012, 2015, and 2018 she performed as a part of the national Urbana Student Missions Conference performing arts team, debuting her 40-person ensemble work "Lanterns" at the 2015 conference. In 2016 Rachel was a performer and lead choreographer at the Lausanne Younger Leaders Gathering in Jakarta, Indonesia. She currently works for Cutler Real Estate and enjoys time with her husband and their fluffy dog, Dylan.
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.