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Meet the Company

Seiche is a performance based dance company, which identifies as a collective. Under the Artistic Direction of Danielle Kaiser, our Company Artists produce and perform original choreography. All Company Artists are welcomed by audition. Open auditions are held annually.

Artistic Director

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Danielle Kaiser (she/her)

Danielle brings over 30 years of experience to her work as Seiche Dance Collective’s founding Artistic Director. Her passion lies in educating the upcoming generation of leaders in the Arts, as well as creating choreography that connects dancers’ experiences with their minds and bodies. She remains focused on preserving the integrity of dance education by using her knowledge in the fields of education and dance, creating pathways for the future generation of dancers, choreographers, and dance educators. 

 

Her training supported a professional performance career during which she appeared on stage both nationally and internationally. Danielle’s professional performance credits began as performer and soloist with PGT Entertainment, onboard the Dawn Princess. She performed with Princess Cruises, Ltd. onboard the Dawn, Emerald, and Grand Princess vessels as an aerialist, ballet soloist, and Assistant Company Performance Manager. In addition to performing, Danielle managed the cast responsible for a six-show repertoire, including re-staging of shows and choreographing and preparing the onboard holiday spectacular. Danielle has also previously appeared as a company member with SoMar Danceworks, and served as Captain for the Erie Bayhawks AAA NBA dance team. 

 

Her choreography has been presented aboard the Dawn Princess with Princess Cruises Ltd., as well as with the Mercyhurst University Department of Dance, Cleveland Ballet Conservatory, Erie Contemporary Ballet Theatre, Erie Dance Theatre, and Seiche Dance Collective. Danielle’s choreography has been presented at the Northeast Regional Dance America Festival, where she was nominated for the prestigious Monticello Choreography Award in 2015.

Danielle graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2010 with a B.A. in Dance, as well as a B.A. in Secondary Education Mathematics. During her time at Mercyhurst, Danielle was the recipient of the Mercyhurst Egan Scholarship from 2006-2010, as well as the Etoile Leadership Award in 2010. Danielle recently earned her M.F.A. in Choreography with a Concentration in Practice as Research from Jacksonville University in 2019. She was honored with the Howard Gilman Fellowship Award through Jacksonville University’s M.F.A. program, and acted as the cohort and faculty liaison from 2017-2019. Danielle is both a PBT Certified Teacher, and an ABT NTC Certified Teacher for levels PP-L5. 

Danielle currently works as Adjunct Faculty and full-time Administrative Assistant for the Mercyhurst University Dance Department. She also currently serves as the Head Coach for the Mercyhurst University Dance Team, and as Faculty Advisor for the Dance Club. Danielle also currently serves as Ballet Advisor and Faculty at Little’s Dance Studio.

Danielle is a founding Board Member of Seiche Dance Collective, and is proud to serve as the organization’s first Artistic Director. Her vision is “to work with pre-professional and professional level dancers, both in an educational and choreographic environment.” She is passionate about “creating ways to offer dance to an adult audience who may otherwise lack the opportunity to train or continue training in an accepting and appropriate environment.” These are the reasons that Danielle gravitated to the other four co-founders of Seiche, in order to create this opportunity in our community. 

Company Manager

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Jo started dance lessons at the age of six, and began her formal ballet training at the age of 16 with the Chautauqua Regional Youth Ballet. She has performed professionally with Ballet Concerto in Fort Worth, Texas, Ballet Theater of Ohio, Albany Berkshire Ballet, SoMar Danceworks, and Dafmark Dance Theater. Jo also has extensive teaching experience, and has worked with Linda Dies Dance Unlimited, Cleveland Ballet Conservatory, and Erie Dance Conservatory. Jo graduated from Mercyhurst University with B.A. as a Double Major in Dance and World Languages, and earned her J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Jo is a Partner at Amicangelo and Theisen, LLC, practicing Family Law. As a founding Board Member of Seiche Dance Collective, Jo is committed to working as a part of a like-minded community to elevate and expand dance opportunities for adults in the Erie area. Jo serves as Company Manager as well as a performing Company Artist.

Jo Theisen (she/her)

Production Manager

Kristen, one of the five founders of Seiche Dance Collective, is proud to serve as the company’s Production Manager. She has worked as a light designer and stage manager for the University of Akron Dance Company, stage manager for the Akron Institute, production manager for the 2017 Erie Festival of Dance, producer for the 2019 Erie Festival of Dance, and led the Erie Dance Consortium’s sponsor activities for Erie’s Blues & Jazz Festival from 2018-2022.  Kristen earned her BA in Dance Studies with a Business Cognate and Theater Minor from the University of Akron. Kristen is currently the Dance Director at Northwestern Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy. She has choreographed original work with Seiche Dance Collective, Collegiate Academy, Erie Dance Theater, Union City Schools, Firestone CLC Akron School for the Arts, and Villa Maria Cathedral Preparatory Catholic School. She has proudly performed as a Company Artist for Seiche Dance Collective during the company’s inaugural and subsequent seasons. Kristen loves that Seiche feeds her passions for learning and performance opportunities for adults in Erie. She takes great pride in bringing opportunities to the community to experience local professional dance performances throughout the year.

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Kristen Weibel (she/her)

Operations Director

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Andona took her first ballet class at the age of four, and has loved to dance ever since. She is an experienced performing artist and appreciates the artistry and creativity of dancing as well as choreographing. She graduated from Skidmore College with a B.A. in English and Philosophy, and minors in Religious Studies and Music. She earned her J.D. from Stetson University College of Law, and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Penn State University. Andona is an attorney, mediator, and collaborative professional. She is a founding partner of A to Z Law Erie, and she currently serves as a Public Defender for Erie County. As a founding Board Member of Seiche Dance Collective, Andona is excited and committed to being a part of creating a new community around dance for adults in Erie, and happy to continue to explore dance as an artform and means of self-expression. Andona serves as Director of Operations as well as a performing Company Artist.

Andona Zacks-Jordan
(she/her)

Founding Company Artist

Megan is an art educator with the Millcreek Township School District, working at Grandview Elementary. She holds a dual degree in art therapy and art education from Mercyhurst University, and a Master's degree in art education from Boston University College of Fine Arts. Megan was Pennsylvania Art Education Association's 2020 elementary art educator of the year and is currently an Art21 educator. Her article titled "Thinking like Contemporary Artists" was published in the May 2023 SchoolArts Magazine. As an art teacher, Megan's contemporary pedagogy is centered on building a sense of place for students through authentic art making. As a local artist, born in Erie, PA, Megan's work is connected to the city's rich history, especially on the water. Her primary medium is woodcut printmaking.  Her pieces, "Erie Bayfront Boathouses" and "Departure," are included in the friends of Mercyhurst permanent art collection. She works from original photographs of places and moments, reducing them in a simplified way to color and shape. Megan has performed in Erie since the age of 9, most recently with Dafmark Dance Theatre, The Erie Playhouse, and Seiche Dance Collective. Megan is a co-founder of Seiche Dance Collective where she is currently a Company Artist.

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Megan Jell (she/her)

Company Artists

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Katie Bleu (she/her)

Katie is a passionate dancer and choreographer. At age 4 she decided to follow in her sister’s footsteps and become a dancer. She first found this passion dancing with Laurel Ballet Performing Company, and also trained with West Point Ballet. After high school she began her journey through college to obtain a BFA in Dance at Mercyhurst University. Katie has apprenticed with Texture Contemporary Ballet and has been a company member with SoMar Dance Works. Katie has also gone to summer intensives and workshops such as Alonzo King Lines (Online program), Attack Theater, Diffusion Dance Company, and Nimbus Dance. Katie has performed a wide variety of ballets and has received spotlight roles in various contemporary and modern pieces. Katie’s hope is to help people through dance because she believes that it can be a positive life changing experience for people in all stages of life. She is excited to see how this next chapter of her journey unfolds as she dances with Seiche as a Principal Company Artist in conjunction with her day job working in admissions at Mercyhurst University.

Hannah grew up dancing with Sovereign Ballet, CADANCE Dance Company, Erie Dance Theater and Mercyhurst University. She choreographed the one-act ballet “Kore” at Mercyhurst in 2016 and produced “Home of the Free Because of the Brave,” a fundraiser for veterans at Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy in 2017. As part of the Temple University Class of 2021, Hannah studied under notable teachers including Professors Kun Yang Lin, Jillian Harris , Merian Soto, Virgil Garson, Dr. Laura Katz Rizzo, and Dr. yonTande Whitney Hunter. She graduated from Temple with a BFA in Dance and a Certificate in Entrepreneurial Business. Hannah has presented work through the Erie Festival of Dance, Seiche Dance Collective, We Love Erie Days, Temple University Student Dance Concerts, D2D: Dare to Dance, and multiple dance competitions and conventions. She is the Social Media Coordinator and Modern instructor for Sovereign Ballet, and Social Media Coordinator for Corella Productions. She is the 2021 recipient of the Rose Vernick BFA Choreography Award. In 2021, Hannah was recruited to produce Erie’s biannual dance festival, the Erie Dance Consortium. She also produced “The Nutcracker Story,” a dance for camera iteration of Lake Erie Ballet’s beloved Nutcracker. In 2022, Hannah accepted a Company Artist contract with Seiche Dance Collective, creating three new works during her first performance season. Hannah is currently an Artist in Residence with Seiche.

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Hannah Borczon (she/her)

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Christina started dancing at the age of three. She earned her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University in 2013, her AS in Physical Therapy Assistance from Mercyhurst University in 2016, and her DPT from University of Findlay in 2021. Christina is a physical therapist at NovaCare Erie South, with a focus in dance rehabilitation. She is also the lead ballet instructor for the United States Rhythmic Gymnastics team. Dance has afforded her the opportunity to travel around the world to perform, and her professional career as a physical therapist enables her to keep dancers on the stage and performing. Christina has worked collaboratively with Seiche Dance Collective, helping to keep dancers healthy and dancing, and contributing to a positive and safe environment that has inspired her to dance again! Christina joins Seiche for her first season as a performing Company Artist.

Christina Brown (she/her)

Ali is a recent graduate of Slippery Rock University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in performance and choreography as well as a minor in Film and Media Studies. She prides herself on being awarded the Outstanding Dance Service Award in 2023 and being selected as SRU’s Student Employee of the Year in 2022 for her work for the Department of Dance as an office assistant, student ambassador, and the student social media coordinator. She started dancing at age 2 at Spotlight Dance Studio by Stacey Kabasinski Inc. and has experience in performing and teaching various styles of dance. Currently, Ali is working as a Marketing Intern for the National Dance Education Organization, teaching dance at McDowell High School, and is enjoying dancing with Seiche Dance Collective.

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Ali Chludzinski (she/her)

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Emily Ferguson (she/her)

Emily is thrilled to join Seiche for a fourth season. She performed with the Ballet Theater of Maryland as a demi-soloist and was featured in roles such as the Matting Eye Princess in Cinderella, Marie in The Nutcracker, and Aurora’s friend in Sleeping Beauty. Emily spent two seasons appearing with Lake Erie Ballet and one season with Ballet Concerto in Fort Worth, Texas. Emily began her training with Gennadi and Susan Vostrikov at Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia where she was a member of Virginia Youth Ballet performing the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and various roles in The Nutcracker including Clara, Dew Drop Fairy, and the Sugarplum Fairy. She is a graduate of Mercyhurst University where she earned a B.A. in Dance Performance and M.S. in Organizational Leadership. Emily currently works as a staffing specialist at the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center and is an instructor at Spotlight Dance Studio. Emily enjoys collaborating with a group of talented dancers who share her passion for bringing dance to the Community, and she is honored to return as a performing Company Artist, and for the first time as an Artist in Residence.

Lauren started dancing at the age of three and has over 25 years of experience. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a B.A. in Dance Theater, and Politics and Government, with an Economics Management minor. She earned her J.D. and M.P.A. degrees from Cleveland State University. Lauren is a labor and employment attorney at MacDonald Illig, where she helps a variety of public, private, and nonprofit employers develop mutually beneficial labor relations with employees. Her experience as a dancer taught her to facilitate resolution and collaboration among diverse populations. She uses creative problem solving methods to negotiate complex workplace relationships. Her post-grad credits as a dance professional include training at the American Dance Festival, dancing as a company member with MadJax Dance Company, dancing as a trainee with the Movement Project, and choreographing for Cleveland Dance Project. She has showcased her work throughout Cleveland and Columbus for five years under Expedition Dance, a project-based modern company that she started while living in Cleveland. Lauren moved to Erie from Cleveland in 2021 and she is eager to see and be a part of developing a more vibrant dance community here. She is excited to join Seiche in these efforts for her second season.

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Lauren Holler (she/her)

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Maya began dancing at the age of five and has over 18 years of experience as a dancer. She graduated from Mercyhurst University with her B.F.A. in Dance and her B.A. in Mathematics. In addition to performing, she is passionate about teaching. Maya recognizes the impact that one can have on others, particularly as a teacher. She loves seeing individuals learn, taking what she teaches and making it work for themselves. As a small dance company that utilizes a variety of styles, Seiche Dance Collective is exactly the type of warm and welcoming atmosphere that Maya is proud to be a part of. This is Maya’s first season with Seiche Dance Collective, and she strongly identifies with the collaborative efforts that are supported and celebrated at Seiche. She is honored to join Seiche this season as a Principal Company Artist. 

Maya Richards (she/her)

Ramani has been passionate about dance from the moment he started. He has proudly performed as a company member of Cadence, the Mercyhurst College Dance Department, and Seiche Dance Collective. Ramani graduated from Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy, where he studied under the mentorship of Carla Hughes. He also attended Mercyhurst University, where he studied Dance. His primary interest as an artist has become choreographing original work, creating something unique and expressive. In addition to performing, Ramani enjoys teaching and coaching young dancers in multiple genres. Ramani joins Seiche for a second season as a performing Company Artist.

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Ramani Rosa (he/him)

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Linnea Stureson Tolbert (she/her)

Linnea began training at Lake Erie Ballet School of Dance in Erie, Pennsylvania under the directorship of Lesley Bories-Scalise. There she had the privilege of performing various roles such as Dew Drop, Snow Queen, and Spanish Lead in their rendition of The Nutcracker. Linnea continued her training at Mercyhurst University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in Performance. She had an expedited experience at Mercyhurst that shaped her into a well-rounded, diverse, mature artist with a hunger for knowledge and cultivating her craft. Linnea is proud to have worked as a Company Member with Giordano Dance Chicago, America’s original jazz dance company for seven seasons. During her professional career, she was honored to work with choreographers Ray Leeper, Peter Chu, Roni Koresh, Jon Lehrer, Marinda Davis, and perform historical works from Gus Giordano. In addition to performing, Linnea is a passionate dance educator and choreographer. She has certifications in Basic, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Level of the Nan Giordano Certification Program, NASM Certified Group Fitness and an Advanced Certification in Hormone Health from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. With her extensive fitness, wellness and movement background she currently spends her time as a full time Trainer and Manager of Customer Experience at P.volve, a functional fitness method. Linnea would like to thank her husband, family, and friends for their continued love and support of her dreams!

Mary Joy is a native of New Port, RI. She began her training at New Patlz School of Ballet under Peter Naumann and Lisa Chalmers-Naumann, and continued at Ballet Academy of Pittsburgh with Steven and Lindsay Piper and Lindy Mandradjieff. She has appeared in Giselle, Swan Lake, and Coppelia, and in Balanchine’s Serenade and Stars and Stripes. Mary Joy has attended summer intensives at The School of American Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. She attended Mercyhurst University on dance and academic scholarships where she earned a B.F.A. in Dance and earned a place on the Dean’s List. She appeared with The Mercyhurst Dancers in leading roles including the title role of Giselle. She also worked with renowned instructors and choreographers, including Richard Chensee, Maria Caruso, Jeffrey Rockland, Tess hoekstra, Janet Strunkley-Dziak, Attlla Mosolygo, John Giffin and Ursula Payne. As a performer, Mary Joy loves to bring life to the stage. She enjoys the environment and the people she gets to work with at Seiche, where she truly feels safe, and gets to explore different styles of dance and creative movement. This is Mary Joy’s second season with Seiche Dance Collective, as a Principal Company Artist.

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Mary Joy White (she/her)

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