Jim Ballard (he/him) was born in Midland-Odessa, Texas, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Jim found his love for dance at Lane Community College, where he took as many classes in as many dance styles as possible. In the Summer of 2009, he attended American Dance Festival at Duke University on scholarship. He has performed all over Oregon, including at the Oregon Country Fair, The Oregon Bach Festival, and across the Oregon Coast. Jim performed in countless musicals at the Shedd Institute for the Arts, including The Music Man, The Wizard of Oz, and Anything Goes. He joined Danceability in 2014 and performed with the company for six years in Oregon, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. He also was part of two productions with Eugene Opera. Jim was also a guest artist with Ballet Fantastique and, during the Pandemic, Co-founded Fermata Ballet Collective. Since moving to the Bay Area, he has performed with San Jose Dance Theater in the Nutcracker as Drosselmeyer, The Rat King, and the Coffee Divertissement. In addition to SJDT, he has worked with Opera San Jose in Carmen and West Side Story and is excited to be joining them again for Romeo and Juliet this fall. When Jim is not performing, he is a Behavior Specialist at an Elementary school and is continually inspired by his students. This is Jim's first season with eMotion Arts, and he is thrilled to be here!
Rosika (Rosie) Dater-Merton (she/her) is an Asian American dance artist based in the Bay Area. She grew up in Vermont where she danced at her local studio and attended many dance intensive programs around the country. These summer programs include NW Dance Project, Hubbard Street Dance, FLOCK Dance, The Ailey School, and others. She graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy and then moved to California and completed the Alonzo King LINES/Dominican University BFA program. Her recent performance experience includes original works for Kambara+Dancers, Xochipilli Dance Company, A Pulso Dance Project, and Piñata Dance Collective. In addition to being a freelance dancer, Rosie is a teaching artist for the HeART with LINES community program and a rock climbing instructor. In the future she looks forward to becoming more involved in the Bay Area dance community, developing her choreographic voice, and finding a path in dance outreach.
Yara Figueroa (she/her) is a Puerto Rican performer from Macon, Georgia. She danced before she could speak and considers dance her native tongue. She trained in classical ballet at UNCSA, before moving to Los Angeles. There she worked as an actor, freelance dancer, and choreographer, expanding her movement vernacular at Ryan Heffington’s Sweat Spot and dancing with MUDA MVMT. She and her husband relocated to San Francisco last year with their dog and cat. In addition to performing, Yara is a certified Pilates instructor, constantly learning about the human body, and working holistically to help others feel at home in their body.
Maxine Flasher-Düzgüneş is a poet, dance artist, and former US-UK Fulbright Finalist, holding a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch and an MA in Dance Philosophy from the University of Roehampton, London. As a choreographer, she has held residencies at the Djerassi Resident Artist Program and Stapleton Center of the Performing Arts and has been awarded for her dance films by 92NY’s Future Dance Festival (New York), World Stage Design (Canada) and SzólóDuó International Dance Festival (Hungary). She currently serves as a California Poet in the Schools and as Director of Roco Dance’s youth modern dance company, BodyLanguage in Mill Valley, CA.
Timmorie Freeman (she/her) is originally from San Diego, California, and received her most impactful training at the Ruth Page School of Dance in Chicago, IL. Following her training at Ruth Page, she accepted a Trainee position at Ballet West in Salt Lake City, where she danced in productions including the world premiere of Beauty and the Beast, Willam Christensen's "The Nutcracker," John Cranko's "Romeo and Juliet," among other galas and academy productions. Upon an invitation from Ramona de Saa Bello, Timmorie spent the following year in Cuba as one of the first Americans training full-time at La Escuela Nacional de Ballet "Fernando Alonso" in Havana, Cuba. Following her unparalleled year in Havana, she then joined City Ballet of San Diego for two seasons performing works including Balanchine's Walpurgisnacht, Rubies, Carmina Burana, and the original work, Battu. In May 2022, Timmorie completed the two-year Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program. She had the pleasure of working with choreographers, including Sidra Bell, Mike Tyus, Alex Kelley, David Harvey, Chuck Wilt, Gregory Dawson, and Carmen Rozenstraten. Timmorie is now a freelance classical and contemporary dance artist based in the Bay Area. Over the last year, she's been honored to work with Marika Brussel's Fieldworks London Residency in London, England, Peninsula Ballet Theatre's Carmina Burana and Carmen, ODC's Pilot Program, ''The Gaze," a performance and video project with Andi Salazar, as well as an upcoming work for Deborah Slater Dance's Studio 210 Residency by Jesse Escalante. Timmorie is excited to work with Mariana and eMotion Arts this season!
Tracy Fuller (she/her) is originally from Denver, Colorado, and has been dancing professionally for nine years. She trained at Boston Ballet and Colorado Ballet and began her career at Colorado Ballet's Studio Company. In her three seasons with the company, she had the opportunity to perform In George Balanchine's Serenade, SwanLake, and Septime Weber's Alice In Wonderland among many others. Tracy then spent two seasons In Oregon as a Soloist for Ballet Fantastique. During the Pandemic she co-founded Fermata Ballet Collective. Tracy joined San Jose Dance Theater In 2020. While at SJDT she has had the opportunity to perform as Helena In A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Sugar PlumFairy In The Nutcracker, and many new works by Michael Pappalardo, Mark Foehringer, and Linda Hurkmans. She has also had the opportunity to perform with Opera San Jose In Dido and Aeneas and West Side Story. In addition to dancing, she Is a certified Yoga Teacher and teaches Ballet to all ages. She Is thrilled to be performing with Emotion Arts!
Emily Hansen (she/her) is a dancer and dance instructor based in the Bay Area. She believes that dance and the arts provide much needed avenues for engaging in healing journeys, telling stories, and building community. She holds a BA in Dance and Performance Studies from UC Berkeley, and an MS in Dance/Movement Therapy from Sarah Lawrence College. Her dance experience included being a youth company member with the Merced Civic Ballet, and training under many artists at UC Berkeley. Emily currently teaches modern dance and ballet with the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts and works as a dancer in the Bay Area. This is Emily's first season with eMotion Arts.
Erin McMahon (she/her) is originally from Houston, Texas. She attended the University of Utah where she received her BFA in Ballet, BS in Economics and a minor in Modern Dance. She has danced major roles in Ronn Guidi’s “The Secret Garden”, René Daveluy’s “Dracula”, and Rolando Sarabia’s “Snow White”. She also currently dances with San Jose Dance Theatre. This is her first season with eMotion Arts.
Skylaer Palacios (she/her) grew up as a competitive gymnast and cheerleader before falling in love with dance in college. She has studied numerous styles including ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip-hop, tap, salsa, and African. She loves merging styles of dance and choreographing. She has had the privilege of performing with Savage Jazz and PUSH dance companies and is currently a dancer with eMotion Arts. She has also had her dancing featured in short films and advertisements such as FitBit and Daroo. She continues to train in and teach this humble art form in addition to pursueing her other passions of theater and music, having recently released her debut EP titled Juke to my Uke. Learn more at skypalacemusic.com This is Sky's first season with eMotion Arts.
Ruth Perez (she/her) fell in love with dance when she was in middle school. Dance allowed Ruth to be free with her creativity and find solace in the art form. In 2000, Ruth danced with the College of San Mateo Dance Ensemble for 2 years and joined for change dance collective in 2011 under artistic director Claire Calalo Berry. Ruth’s love of dance took her to work in various dance studios throughout the bay area. Ruth spent 12 years managing a dance studio in SSF, worked as the operations manager at SAFEhouse Arts, assisted with PUSH dance company as well as worked at the Academy of Ballet. She has also taken several classes at Shawl Anderson Dance Center and the Academy of Ballet SF. Ruth is thrilled to join eMotion Arts and to begin sharing her love for dance with audiences again.
Maddie Sager (she/her) grew up in Missoula MT, training at Rocky Mountain Ballet Theatre. She attended summer programs at Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle and abroad in countries such as Portugal and Austria. Maddie graduated summa cum laude from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA program at Dominican University of California with a minor in Business Administration in the Spring of 2023. She performed works by choreographers such as Gregory Dawson, Carmen Rosentraten and Dexandro Montalvo while at the program. Maddie is also a dance teacher, choreographer and certified GYROTONIC trainer. She is super excited to be working with eMotion Arts!
James Santiago (he/him) Born in the Philippines and raised in Hawaii, James Santiago is a professional dancer and performer, currently based in the Bay Area. He earned his AA in Theatre Arts from Ohlone College (2018) with his concentration in Jazz and performance and his BA in Dance from San Jose State University (2021). He started performing in musicals and dancing at a young age specializing in jazz and contemporary. He has trained with the Joffrey Ballet and Cirque Du Soleil alongside DOVA, Gallim, and Mike Esperanza. Locally, James was an apprentice at Perspectives Dance (2019). He has also worked with West Edge Opera, Peninsula Ballet Theater, the Hallmark Channel, Cedar Fair’s Great America, and the San Jose Opera. This is James' first season with eMotion Arts.
Angel Velez (they/them) is a dance artist who has performed works by Parangal, eMotion Arts, LV Dance Collective, Embodiment Project, and notable others in the Bay Area. Trained in multiple dance lineages from a young age, Angel draws from Laban/Bartenieff fundamentals and is informed by internal sensations, emotions, and visualizations. Angel is a founding member of eMotion Arts.
Hannah Woolfenden (she/her) is so grateful to be a part of this artistic team. Hannah was recently on stage in A Chorus Line (San Francisco Playhouse), House of Spirits (Dance Lumiere), As You Like It (San Francisco Playhouse), and Hello, Dolly! (Mountain Play). She graduated from the Alonzo King/Lines Ballet BFA program and trained at summer intensives such as Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet West where she studied Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, and Jazz dance. You can find her performing, dancing, and choreographing throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She is incredibly thankful for the support of her family and artistic community.
Peter Colclasure (Composer) is from Merrill, Wisconsin. He studied music at the Wausau Conservatory of Music and graduated with a degree in piano performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, Peter spent a decade touring with various rock bands and recording albums, before shifting to teaching and ballet accompaniment. From 2007 to 2012 he lived in Seattle where he played for Dance Fremont, Spectrum, and Evergreen Ballet, providing live music for dance rehearsals, as well as composing and arranging original music for choreography.
He currently teaches piano at Evergreen Studio of Music and the Arts and plays piano for The New Ballet School in San Jose.
Peter has released four albums of instrumental compositions: Antigo (2017), Long Form (2019), Una Corda (2020), and Reflections (2023).
Antigo was inspired by the ancient world, while Long Form explored longer, more experimental compositions. Una Corda was released during the pandemic and included a composition that later became the basis for Mariana Sobral's choreography for New Ballet. Reflections was born from Peter's new collaboration with Mariana and features a more intimate and personal sound.
Peter is currently working on the original musical score for eMotion Arts' latest project, Dreamers.
You can find Peter's music at https://petercolclasure.bandcamp.com/music
John Ligda (Visual Arts) is a lifelong artist with an extraordinary excitement for life. His style is versatile and you’ll find Chinese techniques influences blended with other forms of experimentation in his art. Collaboration with other artists in his home state or while traveling reveals the driving force behind his efforts: Connection. Ultimately, art is a source of connection between the viewer, the drawing, the models, the artist and the stories behind them. Abstract figurative drawings are central in his body of work, inviting the viewer to consider the mysterious nature of body movement. When he’s not working in his studio or traveling, he can often be found performing with local dance groups in front of live audiences all around the Bay Area. John has been an eMotion Arts collaborator since the very beginning.
To learn more about John's work visit https://ligda.art/