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 Artists

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Emily Ferguson (she/her)

Emily began dancing at the age of two. She studied and performed as a dancer with Mercyhurst University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Dance Performance and a Minor in Art Therapy. Emily performed as a demi-soloist with the Ballet Theater of Maryland and was featured in “Cinderella,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Nutcracker,” and “The Sleeping Beauty.” She has also performed with Ballet Concerto in Fort Worth, Texas, Virginia Youth Ballet, and Lake Erie Ballet. Emily currently works as a Staffing Specialist at Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center and as a Dance Instructor for Spotlight Dance Studio, and she is currently pursuing her M.S. in Organizational Leadership at Mercyhurst University. Emily truly enjoys collaborating with a group of talented dancers who share her passion for bringing dance to the Erie Community, and she is thrilled to join Seiche for a second season.

Megan Jell (she/her)

Megan’s dance training began with tap classes at the age of nine. She loves sharing the energy of the stage to tell a story through movement. In addition to performing during Seiche’s inaugural season, Megan has performed with the Erie Playhouse, most recently in the mainstage production of “42nd Street,” playing the role of Gladys. Megan graduated from Mercyhurst University with a B.A. in Art Education and Art Therapy, and earned her M.A. in Art Education from Boston University College of Fine Arts. Megan works for the Millcreek Township School District, where she serves as the Art Teacher at Grandview Elementary School. She has served as an Adjunct Professor of Art Education for Mercyhurst University. Megan was recognized as the 2020 Pennsylvania Art Education Association Outstanding Elementary Art Educator, for her excellence as an educator, putting student issues at the forefront of the curriculum, enabling her students to make connections between classroom content and their own life experiences. She is also an Art Educator with Art 21, bringing contemporary art, artists, and themes into classroom teaching and learning. Megan is a founding Board Member of Seiche Dance Collective. She takes pride and finds joy in the opportunity to collaborate, choreograph, and perform with her fellow Company Artists. 

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Corinne Justine (she/her)

Corinne has over 17 years of dance experience. She began her training with Erie Dance Theater and she earned her B.F.A. in Contemporary Dance Performance with an emphasis in Composition from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Corinne is currently building her career as a performer, choreographer, and creative director. Her favorite experiences thus far include working with Jessica Castro for Berklee’s 2019 Commencement and performing in front of Justin Timberlake and Missy Elliott, performing a re-staged version of “Gloria'' by Mark Morris, filming her first professionally produced work, “Flux,” and choreographing and directing “FUNERAL” for Seiche Dance Collective. Corinne is also passionate about teaching and setting choreography for her many students and mentees. She is honored to be a part of Seiche for a second season, where she has an outlet to continue training and performing as a professional dancer in her hometown.

Alexis Snedeker (she/her)

Alexis has danced for 19 years. She graduated from Mercyhurst University with a B.A. in Dance. Her current work as a Rehab Specialist with Health Source Chiropractic allows her to combine her professional expertise with her passions for dance, movement, and wellness. Thus far, her favorite experiences as a dancer have included performing works choreographed by fellow artists at Mercyhurst University, and at Seiche Dance Collective. She has choreographed at Mercyhurst as well as Sovereign Ballet, where she has taught dance. This is Alexis’ first season as a Company Artist with Seiche Dance Collective. Alexis loves that dance allows her to express herself without using words, and that dance is an art form that accepts all people. 

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Jenna Swartz (she/her)

Jenna began her dance training at the age of three. She is a graduate of Mercyhurst University, with a B.F.A. in Dance, as well as a B.A. in Pre-Health Science.  Jenna is currently focused on dance instruction, choreography, and performance. She has performed with the Mercyhurst University Dance Department, Mercyhurst University Dance Team, SoMar Danceworks, Dissonance Dance Theater, and is proud to join Seiche for a second season. Her favorite professional experiences thus far include working as a choreographer and dancer for the Erie Dance Film Festival, and returning to Central Pennsylvania as a guest artist to perform the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker.” Jenna currently serves as a Dance Instructor and Rehearsal Director for Erie Dance Conservatory and Erie Contemporary Ballet Theater, and she also teaches at Little Dance Studio. Jenna was drawn to Seiche by the opportunity to continue her training, and to advance her career as a professional dancer in a welcoming and accepting environment.

Jo Theisen (she/her)

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. 

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Kristen Weibel (she/her)

Kristen has danced for over 25 years. She graduated from the University of Akron, earning a B.A. in Dance Studies, with a Business Cognate and Theater minor. Her favorite experiences as a performer thus far include the Seiche self-titled premiere performance, Seiche [SEYSH], the world premiere of “Tuning In,” directed and choreographed by Tony-nominated Emmy winner George Pinney, with musical direction by Terry LaBolt, and acting as a Character Performer at Walt Disney World. Kristen currently works for the Erie School District, serving as Dance Director for Northwest Pennsylvania Collegiate Academy. Kristen is a founding Board Member of Seiche Dance Collective, and loves the fact that Seiche gives her the opportunity to feed her passions for learning and performance opportunities for adults in Erie, and to offer the community the opportunity to experience local professional dance performances throughout the year.

Madison Wieczorek (she/her)

Madison started to dance at the age of five. She has previously performed with Erie Contemporary Ballet Theater, and some of her favorite experiences as a dancer included participating in the National Choreographic Intensives hosted by Regional Dance America, where she had the opportunity to perform new choreography by emerging and established choreographers on a daily basis. She graduated from Gannon University with a B.S. in Computer Science, and currently works as a System Engineer for mining vehicles. One of the aspects that Madison loves about dance is that it is both an art and a tool, and she recognizes that the lessons she has learned as a dancer continue to show up in all areas of her life. This is Madison’s first season as a Company Artist with Seiche Dance Collective, and she is excited to revisit dance with a new perspective as an adult, working alongside other adults who love to create and express themselves through movement.

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Andona Zacks-Jordan (she/her)

Andona took her first ballet class at the age of four, and has loved to dance ever since. 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, currently serving as a Public Defender for Erie County and as a founding partner of A to Z Law Erie, Erie’s mother-daughter team of experienced, compassionate attorneys resolving issues peacefully, with dignity and respect. Although the majority of her experience as a dancer was younger in life, Andona is an experienced performing artist. She is a musician and thoroughly enjoys performing and teaching. 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.

*Company headshots taken by Jen White, Acacia Studios*