Click on an image in the slide show to see a larger version.
Swarthmore alumni have gone on to dance professionally, direct companies, teach in college and university settings, enter graduate programs in dance, work in arts administration, choreograph independently, and have started their own dance companies.
While many schools offer excellent technique classes, Swarthmore stands out because dancers here are able to develop their technique, creative vision, and understanding of history and theory simultaneously. Perhaps this is why Swarthmore alumni are not only dancing professionally but are also directing their own dance companies, writing books, and teaching.
Visit the links below to see what some Swarthmore Alumni are doing now.
Alumni: Please send your links and updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Anima Dance (Directed by Rachel Brooker '99)
- Areytos Performance Works (Directed by Sita Frederick '97)
- Burnt Mango Dance Theatre (Directed by Hofan Chau '03)
- C. Kemal Nance '92 (Choreographer and dancer, teaches at Swarthmore)
- Center for BodyMindMovement (Directed by Mark Taylor '75)
- Green Chair Dance Group (Co-directed by Greg Holt '05, Sarah Gladwin Camp '05, Hannah de Keijzer '06)
- IdiosynCrazy (Founded by choreographer and dancer, Jumatatu Poe '04)
- Jalisa Roberts '13 (Dancer and artist, lives in New Orleans, LA)
- Kate Speer Dance (Founded by Kate Speer '08)
- Katia Lom '06 (Dancer and artist, lives in the UK)
- KOREresponse (includes dancer, Hilary Tanabe '08)
- Mascher Space Co-op (Co-founded by Liza Clark '03)
- Mereminne Dancers (Directed by Lacy James '84)
- Post Natyam (with Cynthia Lee '02)
- Project Bandaloop (Founded by Amelia Rudolf '86)
- Sasha Welsh '99 (Brooklyn-based Dancer/Choreographer)
- Susan L. Foster '71 (Acclaimed author and scholar)
Colleen Teresa Bartley '96
lives in London and has recently been appointed the Dance Insider Editor for the U.K.
Dr. Ninotchka Devorah Bennahum '86
is a dance historian, performance theorist and choreographer. She holds a doctorate in Performance Studies from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a Bachelors in History & Art History from Swarthmore College. Her recent work focuses on Islamic Spain and the evolution of the modern art form known as Flamenco. She is the author of "Antonia Mercé, 'La Argentina:' Flamenco & the Spanish Avant-Garde" and has just finished work on a second manuscript on the history of 'Carmen'. In 2012, she won two Rockefeller Grants in Digital Music & Design with which she brought graduate students into economically fragile communities - Harlem, Brooklyn, Bronx - to teach dance-making, spoken word, and interactive design, with the hope of giving voice to young people. She hopes to continue this work. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Hofan Chau '03
Following Swarthmore, Hofan Chau '03 studied at the London International School of Performing Arts & Jacques Lecoq School in Paris. She is currently freelancing as a director, performer and teacher in Hong Kong . In the past year, she has performed in The Overcoat with Theatre du Pif and Air & Breath II with Y-Space. In 2003, Hofan received the Melvin B. Troy Choreography Award for her dance solo about her near-death experience in a car-crash: Aftermath (with Cocoa). Her other pieces include Diamond Baby, which was performed in the XIV Contemporary Dance Festival 2004 in Poland, and Craig & Miriam, performed in London. Earlier this year, she wrote and directed an original script called The Three Dom-dom Pigs Save the Star Tower for the Hong Kong Schools' Drama Festival. Hofan worked with Dan Finkel '02 on Concrete Jungle Berzerk!, a new work that premiered in Hong Kong in spring 2008. www.burntmango.org (currently on hiatus)
Liza Clark '03
recently moved to California. Her interests in somatic movement education, improvisation and yoga prompted her to pursue studies of Body-Mind Centering with Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, earning certifications in Embodied Developmental Movement & Yoga and Infant Developmental Movement Education. In Spring 2008 she initiated a contemplative performance series in collaboration with the Scott Arboretum, /Seed Tree Shell/ as well as beginning an evening-length quartet, /love & fear/created in collaboration with four women/, which premiered in Spring 2009.
Daniel Finkel '02
lives in Seattle, where he performs, improvises, and pursues his PhD in mathematics from the University of Washington. He is a founder of Quiet Monkey Fight Improv, which performed recently at the 2007 Toronto International Improv Festival. He has also performed at the Upright Citizen's Brigade Theater in New York and with Unexpected Productions in Seattle.
As a choreographer, Daniel recently combined mathematics and dance in I Found My Thrill, which premiered at the Breitenbush Contact Jam festival. Other pieces he has choreographed include the solo The Military Man's Tribunal's Decision Concerning the Matter in Question, which he performed, and Faithful in my Fashion, a trio. Daniel's acting / co-creation credits include Virtuosa with the Stolen Chair Theater Company in New York, Lord of the Flies at the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and the UW Community Dance Project in Seattle. Dan has worked with Hofan Chau '03 on a new dance theater work, Concrete Jungle Berzerk! which premiered in Hong Kong in April 2008.
More recently, he was involved with Stimulate Dance in Seattle for about a year, but ended up leaving to start his business, Math for Love . He still occasionally performs and helps others to make theater and dance. His current theater project is an improvisational Waiting forGodot-style piece called Beckett on the Fly .
Sita Frederick '97
is a choreographer, performer, arts administrator and teacher based in New York City. After graduating from Swarthmore College, Frederick performed with Bessie-winning choreographers Jawole Willa Jo Zollar of Urban Bush Women and Merian Soto, co-founder of Pepatian. In 2003, Frederick and visual artist José Miguel Ortiz co-founded Areytos Performance Works, a multi-disciplinary performance company that presents innovative contemporary dance-theatre rooted in Caribbean traditions and the principles of social justice. From 2007-2010 Frederick produced a body of work reinterpreting Afro-Cuban, Salsa and modern in "Maletumba II," "What Do You Dance On?", "Sirenas" and "Bembé, Salon, y Calle". Frederick's newest series explores the convergence of Gaga and Guloya, two African based Dominican traditions and the politics of black identity in the Dominican Diaspora, with site specific "Comparsa G" and work-in-progress "Batey y Macorix: Senderos de Carbón/Carbon Pathways" presented by the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation's NYC Cultural Innovation Fund. Frederick has received support from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Bronx Action Lab, Puffin Foundation, Aaron Davis Hall's Fund for New Work, Harlem Dance Foundation, and Swarthmore College. Presenters of her work include Thelma Hill Performing Arts Center/Kumble Theater, Aaron Davis Hall/Harlem Stages, Pregones Theater, Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, Pepatian@Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out, Congress on Research in Dance, University of Texas in Austin, Cornell University, Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, among others. In May of 2012, Frederick completed a Master of Fine Arts in New Media Art and Performance at Long Island University, Brooklyn.
Gregory Holt '05
After Swarthmore, Gregory Holt '05 studied for two years at the Institute for Dance Art at Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz, Austria, graduating with honors. He returned to the Philadelphia area and has been working as a choreographer/performer, with an active organizing role at Mascher Space Co-op (founded by Liza Clark '03), collaborating with Green Chair Dance Group (Sarah Gladwin Camp '05 anf Hannah de Keijzer '06), and performing for idiosynCrazy Productions (Jumatatu Poe '04), as well as many others. He was a 2011 Live Arts Brewery Fellow through the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. He teaches contact improvisation, dance composition, and creative research and practice. His work has been shown around the US and Europe.
Karen Ivy '95
is a dance artist, educator, and writer currently based in San Francisco. She attained her BA in English from Swarthmore College (1995), and her MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University (2007), where she was awarded a University Fellowship. She performed with Malashock Dance, Janice Garrett Dancers, Deb Slater Dance Theatre, and Trip Dance Theatre, among others. Her own choreography focuses on the emergent premise and she seeks always to engage in true experiment. It has been produced in San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, Raleigh, North Carolina, and Columbus, Ohio. Karen is also a free-lance editor, and has completed five books and numerous articles.
Melanie Kloetzel '93
is an Associate Professor at the University of Calgary. She is also the artistic director of kloetzel&co. , which she founded in New York in 1997 and which has traveled with her across the US and now into Canada. kloetzel&co . has performed in New York at such venues as Danspace at St. Mark's Church, the Flea Theater, and Movement Research at Judson Church, as well as internationally at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia, On the Boards in Seattle, University of Victoria, the Fluid Festival in Calgary, and the California Museum of Photography in Riverside, CA, among others. Kloetzel has received grants/awards from numerous Canadian and American arts councils to support her work with kloetzel&co . Kloetzel's film works have been selected for such international film festivals as the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema in Boulder, CO (where it was selected as a Best of Fest), the DANSCAMDANSE Festival in Belgium, the Danca em Foco Festival in Brazil, the Third Coast Dance Film Festival in Houston, TX, the GAMA Series at the EPCOR Centre in Calgary, and at the Festival Internacional de Videodanza de Uruguay. Kloetzel has performed nationally and internationally with such artists as Ann Carlson and Leah Stein and was a member of Race Dance under the direction of Lisa Race from 1995-2000. Kloetzel was also the Director of the Dance program at Idaho State University from 2004 - 2007. Her research has been published in numerous books/journals and her anthology, Site Dance: Choreographers and the Lure of Alternative Spaces , edited with Carolyn Pavlik, is in its third printing from the University Press of Florida.
Cynthia Ling Lee '02
instigates thoughtful, friction-filled dialogues between American postmodern dance and North Indian classical kathak. Her intercultural, interdisciplinary choreography and scholarship have been presented throughout Asia and the United States at venues such as the Asia Society (New York), Chandra-Mandapa: Spaces (Chennai), Colorado College (Colorado Springs), Congress on Research in Dance (Ann Arbor), Dance Theater Workshop (New York), Department of Performing Arts (Phnom Penh), India International Center (New Delhi), National Asian-American Theater Festival (Los Angeles), Painted Bride Arts Center (Philadelphia), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Taman Ismail Marzuki (Jakarta), Taipei National University of the Arts (Taipei), University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, and World Dance Alliance (New Delhi). Dedicated to intimate collaborative processes, Cynthia's artistic partners-in-crime include the Post Natyam Collective, a web-based coalition of women artists who creatively and critically engage South Asian dance; choreographers Sheetel Gandhi (dance-theater) and Anusha Kedhar (bharatanatyam); musicians David Cutler (jazz/new music), Paul Livingstone (Ragajazz), Loren Nerell (Indonesian/electronic); and visual artists YaYa Chou (sculptural installation) and Carole Kim (multimedia installation). She is also a member of Desijam, a Los Angeles-based collective of contemporary Indian dance artists. Cynthia was the recipient of a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship, an Asia-Pacific Performing Arts Exchange Fellowship, a Santa Monica Individual Artist Fellowship, a Swarthmore Project Residency, a Taipei Artist Willage Residency, and two Durfee ARC grants. Influential teachers and mentors include Simone Forti, Eiko & Koma, Judy Mitoma, Pallabi Chakravorty, Bandana Sen, Kumudini Lakhia, Anjani Ambegaokar, and the contact improvisation community. Cynthia holds an MFA in choreography from UCLA.
Katia Lom '06
For as long as I can remember, I could never quite make up my mind between what I would do: dance/choreography or painting. I came to Swarthmore in great part because of this indecision and dual passion. After graduation I decided to focus more in one area and moved to London to undertake a postgraduate degree in drawing and painting at "The Prince's Drawing School," an institution set up by Prince Charles. Needless to say I soon began to choreograph again. My work was performed in London at The Place, the Siobhan Davies Studios and Rich Mix, but I also toured my work to Bristol and was invited to Canterburry University to show my work too. I began receiving funding from the Swiss Cultural Fund in Britain for my projects and my latest piece was reviewed in Dance Europe magazine by Donald Hutera. I have now once more gone back to painting, which does not mean I have abandoned choreographing. I simply enjoy moving between the two areas. My art projects have lead me to exhibit work in various venues across London including the Southbank Centre, and I was invited to participate in a research project at Tate Britain entitled "Re-imagining the Line: Drawing Lessons for the 21st Century."
Jalisa Roberts '13
is the founder of a beautiful and blossoming non-profit, The Cocoon, a dance-based youth empowerment program in New Orleans. Their mission is to use dance to rebuild community and celebrate the arts in New Orleans East. For more information about The Cocoon, or to see how you can help, check out our website at www.thecocoonyep.org. Jalisa is currently teaching and working in New Orleans, Louisiana as a dance professional and entrepreneur. www.jalisaroberts.com
Kate Speer '08
Currently an MFA candidate at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Kate Speer has studied with such artists as David Dorfman, Doug Varone, Michael Foley, Odile Duboc, Leah Stein, Gesel Mason, and Lisa Kraus. She graduated from Swarthmore College with a BA in dance and biology and frequently attends Bates Dance Festival to get her dance fix. While based in Philadelphia for the past three years, Speer was an artist-in-residence at Mascher Space Coop and a member of Philly Contact Collective. She has performed in the 2009 Philly Fringe, Please Touch Museum's Dancing Days, the GLBT Arts Festival, and Willi Dorner's bodies in urban spaces presented in the 2008 Live Arts Festival. Her own choreography has been supported by the Puffin Foundation and the Community Education Center's New Edge Artist Mix Series, and she has received professional development opportunities from Dance Advance, a program of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Speer has presented research at UCLA's Dance Under Construction Conference, the Society of Dance History Scholars (SDHS) and the Congress on Research and Dance (CORD). www.katespeerdance.org
Mark Taylor '75
Mark Taylor is the director of the Center for BodyMindMovement, with certification programs in somatic movement education located in Pittsburgh, PA, Eugene, OR, and Mexico City. He is also a director of the International Somatic Movement Education and Therapy Association (ISMETA). As a choreographer, Taylor founded Mark Taylor & Friends in New York, directed Dance Alloy in Pittsburgh, PA, and was on the dance faculties of Princeton University and the University of Limerick, Ireland. He served the School for Body-Mind Centering® as U.S. Program Director and Program Coordinator, and taught in the school's programs in Massachusetts, Germany, Slovakia, and France. Trained as a yoga teacher with the Himalayan Institute, he teaches anatomy for yoga teacher training programs in Pittsburgh. He has maintained a meditation practice for thirty-five years and currently studies with Ven. Soorakkulame Pemaratana of the Pittsburgh Buddhist Center.
Sasha Welsh '99
is a Brooklyn-based dancer/choreographer and visual artist. Her work is an exploration of states of awareness, the potential of memory and imagination, and the limitations and possibilities of the human body. Sasha's work is created through unique somatic and character improvisations that are carefully layered with sound and new media/projection, resulting in dances that dialogue with the aesthetics of video games, new media, and film. Her choreography and video art have been seen in venues such as Movement Research at the Judson Church, Dance Conversations at the Flea, Body Blend at Dixon Place, the INOVA galleries (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival (her work was a Philadelphia City Paper Pick of the Fringe in 2004), The Far Space, and the Glue Performance Series at the CEC (Philadelphia). After Swarthmore Welsh earned her MFA in choreography from Temple University where she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant. She has worked extensively with Lifeforms animation and with DV/ Final Cut Pro editing, and Photoshop, DVD studio Pro, Quark, Dreamweaver, and HTML. At Swarthmore she was awarded both a Friends of Music and Dance Scholarship for summer studies, and the Melvin B. Troy Award for her choreography. She currently studies anatomy and dance conditioning with Irene Dowd, and takes class at Movement Research. Sasha has taught dance at DeSales University and Temple University, and Pilates at Swarthmore College, and Koresh Dance Center. She also administered and taught for community outreach programs in Chester, PA (Chester East Side Cultural Arts Program, and Darlington Fine Arts Center). Her work was performed in spring 2008 at Swarthmore, New York, and in Montreal. www.sashawelsh.com
Latika Young '03
After graduating in 2003 with an honors major in Dance and minor in Environmental Studies, Latika received an MA in American Dance Studies from Florida State University. Since 2006 she has been an Adjunct Professor for the Florida State University in New York City program. Latika has also served as the Education Director for the non-profit Dance Films Association and as the Festival Coordinator for DFA's annual Dance on Camera Festival, co-sponsored by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. In October of 2008 she will begin her Fulbright Fellowship to Bosnia Herzegovina, where she will will teach English to students at the University of Banja Luka and will advise on educational matters for the university and for outreach projects. In addition, she will research how artistic practices connect across socio-political boundaries within the country. Specifically, Latika is interested in the burgeoning Argentine tango community that is becoming increasingly popular throughout the region. During her time in Bosnia, she hopes to work with existing dance institutions to develop a dance film festival in Croatia, Bosnia, or Serbia.
Alumni: Please send your links and updates to email@example.com