Laura Harrell, Studio Manager, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts degree from Sam Houston State University. She is currently an adjunct professor at San Jacinto College, Houston Community College, and Lone Star College. Laura has presented choreography at The Dance Gallery Festival (Texas/New York City), the American College Dance Festival, the Fringe Festival (Houston), Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival, and in the first ever, Art Saves Lives: A Cultural Conversation performance and educational outreach program in Nice, France. Additionally, she has set work at SHSU, Booker T. Washington High School, SJC, HCC, LSC, and West Texas A&M University. Laura served as assistant choreographer for Recked Productions site-specific project, Up For Air, and co-choreographed Tower and Super Nova presented by NobleMotion Dance at Zhilka Hall (Hobby Center, Houston, TX). Harrell was a featured emerging artist by NobleMotion Dance in the first ever Next Step Series, and most recently was recognized as one of Dance Source Houston’s 2017 Artist in Residence. Laura is thrilled to join the Hunter Dance Center staff, as well as Open Dance Project’s Company Manager!
Tehillah Hartmann*, Program Director, is a native from Chicago, IL where her love for dance first integrated with her passion to see people healed and whole from the inside out. She explored these themes while obtaining her BFA from the University of Michigan, and upon graduating received the Albert A. Stanley Medal for outstanding achievement. During her time at Michigan, Tehillah produced and choreographed three evening length shows involving video, music and costume collaborators, as well as co-founded the student organization Performance Ark which seeks to facilitate collaboration between student artists to engender community thought and discussion. After graduation Tehillah continued to investigate the relationship between her faith and her artistry in Redding, California at Bethel Church’s School of Supernatural Ministry. Fueled by this season of creative soaking, Tehillah moved to Houston with her husband and joined the Ad Deum Dance Company for their 2014-2015 season. She is thrilled to be working with Open Dance Project in its premiere season and supporting Annie in her creative and entrepreneurial ventures.
Abby Flowers* graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance in 2013 from Sam Houston State University. SHSU is where she began her career in the aerial arts, studying under Alicia Chappell and eventually assisting her lower level classes before graduating. In 2014, Abby completed her Aerial Fabric and Aerial Trapeze and Lyra Teacher Trainings at VauLt Houston and began teaching classes there regularly. She has also had the opportunity to train with incredible aerialists from all over the world at the Irish Aerial Dance Festival, VauLt Houston’s Festival of Aerial Arts, and most recently at Frequent Flyer’s Aerial Dance Festival in Boulder, CO. Abby is overjoyed to be leading the aerial program at Hunter Dance Center where she teaches kids and adults how to gain strength, develop artistry, and climb higher than they ever imagined.
Nalley* was first introduced to the Pilates method during her years training with the Houston Ballet Academy. After graduating with her BFA in Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she decided to delve back into the Pilates world. In 2003, she earned her teaching certification through the internationally recognized Pilates Center of Boulder, under the direct tutelage of second-generation instructors Rachel Taylor Segel and Amy Taylor Alpers. This 985 hour, yearlong comprehensive program gave her the confidence and knowledge to teach anyone . . and she pretty much has! Young kids, adults in their 90s, professional athletes, folks suffering from illness, pre and postnatal women, people with injuries and people rehabilitating after surgeries . . .you name it, she’s been in the studio working with these individuals. Nalley believes everyone can and should do Pilates. It doesn’t matter your age, your size, or your athletic “ability.” The truth is, Pilates is a very powerful method of exercise that will make you feel better, so you can live a happier, healthier life. Nalley stays committed to continuing education. In 2011, she completed the 96-hour Master’s Level Certification, through the Pilates Center of Boulder. She takes yearly continuing education classes to keep her brain pumped! When she’s not teaching or dancing with Open Dance Project, Nalley is having fun with her husband Aaron and their two young children Arlo and Evie.
Juan Jimenez started his performance career at 12 years old. He became a professional dancer at the age of 15 and has since traveled the world showcasing his talent. He competes in international breakdancing competitions and dances with a variety of performance companies. His abilities range from basic modern and ballet dance training to acrobatic discipline. He has performed with Sol y luna dance company, Vault Houston, Dance Houston, HIStory, Cirque la vie and a lot of independent contractors where he has gotten hired as a solo artist. He currently works on furthering his career by performing and demonstrating his versatility.
In addition to a long and prolific performance career, Alisa Mittin* remains committed to her continual growth as a movement researcher and educator. She has been teaching for over 12 years, working with all age groups, in both traditional and non-traditional settings, and sites her rigorous training and higher education at the California Institute of the Arts as the linchpin of her experience and approach. She has twice served as co-director of Nimbus Dance Summer Youth Intensive in Buffalo, NY and currently acts as the director of ODP2, Open Dance Projects resident youth company. She has worked with ArtReach Houston and is passionate about movement education and therapy for incarcerated populations. Her main focus in the classroom is movement efficiency for the individual. Experiencing the form through ones own specific anatomy and capabilities. Patient growth from the inside out.
Seth McPhail* was born in Hartford, Connecticut, but escaped to Houston at the age of 2. Seth grew up in Friendswood, TX where he graduated high school and began his dance training at San Jacinto College South at the age of 18. He went on to obtain a BFA in dance from Sam Houston State University where he studied under Jennifer Pontius, Andy Noble, Dionne Sparkman Noble, Erin Reck, and Jonathan Charles. After graduating, Seth spend two years dancing at sea with Royal Caribbean Productions where he performed the musical Hairspray. Since returning, Seth has performed with Hope Stone Dance and METdance. Recently, he had the opportunity to perform with Dark Circles Contemporary Dance at Jacobs Pillow’s in Massachusetts. Currently, Seth teaches dance at Dance Du Couer in Sugarland, TX and Dance Expressions in Friendswood, TX. Professionally Seth is in his 5th Season with NobleMotion dance, and is so excited to be in his first season with Open Dance Project!
Alonzo Lee Moore IV* teaches dance through Open Dance Project’s collaborative dance residency programs. He is currently working on projects in conjunction with Young Audiences as well as assisting KIPP Dance Krew, Lisa Sandifer dance teacher/director. The Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) is a nationwide network of free open-enrollment college-preparatory schools. Alonzo is very proud to work with these students, empowering them to aspire towards collegiate level dance. Alonzo has taught in schools and studios alike over the past 11 years, primarily Modern. Fusing his knowledge of folk/character dance and modern with African-American and Caribbean cultural dance stylings, for inspiration, Alonzo brings to the studio a joyful strengthening modern dance class. Classical lines mixed with that of torsos capable of isolating as well as undulating. Explorations of placement, alignment, stamina, and core strength at the beginning of class sets the tone from which one might investigate swing, reach, width, spiral, weight, release and fall. Alonzo asks his students to bring 3 things to class, an open mind, body and spirit. With an awareness and focus on these three release into the rhythm.
Lori Rutledge holds a degree in Mortuary Science and once she became a mom she left the funeral service business and went into the fitness world full time. She was an instructor at Sheila Kelley’s S Factor for 7 years in the pole communityand shortly thereafter she found her love for the aerial arts. She taught all levels in aerial fabric including aerial conditioning in the hammock at Vault Houston for 5 years. Her aerial experience has lead her to performances with Vault Houston and the Houston Grand Opera’s “The Ring Cycle”.
Stacy Skolnik* is a fitness enthusiast and working dance artist. She is currently on faculty at Hunter Dance Center and a company member of Open Dance Project. Stass, the sunshine Skolnik, is no stranger to the “barre.” She strives to personalize her regiments with the focus of athleticism mixed with the classical form and effective biomechanics. With innovative use of props, you are guaranteed to be a lean, mean fighting machine. She also holds a certification in Stott pilates Mat and equipment. In her practice of Pilates, she focuses a lot on how to move with flow efficiently and safely. As a young working artist, she is constantly trying to create new works to share to the community. The show, Houston X6, was her first appearance as an emerging choreographer. At Hunter, she will work with all ages and levels to get those creative juices flowing!
Davis Stumberg* graduated from the University of North Texas with his BA in Dance. Aside from his dance background he was a collegiate cheerleader and has taught gymnastics and cheerleading for many years. He is a fitness enthusiast with a love for movement. His classes, Dance Party Workout and Aerial Conditioning, are a combination of his vast knowledge of exercise styles, packed with the punch of his fun loving and energetic personality. You might not know exactly what you’re walking into, but with Davis you’re guaranteed to get in a good workout while having a great time!
Brittany Thetford Deveau* is a dance artist working in Houston. Brit is currently on faculty at Hunter Dance Center and an adjunct professor for Sam Houston State University where she received her MFA in 2013. Brit has taught as a guest teacher throughout Houston and the State of Texas, for several companies and universities including NobleMotion Dance, Open Dance Project II, Leon Dance Arts, Sam Houston State University, The University of Houston, Lamar University, San Jacinto College-South & Lone Star College, also including a handful of Master classes at The American College Dance Festival in the South-Central region.
*Open Dance Project Company Members