Guest Choreographers in Residence

We are determined to bring a diverse range of professional Dance artists, Dance companies, and Guest Lecturers to interact with our students.


We are proud to present our Fall Dance Concert Guest Choreographers in Residence:

Amy O’Neal is a freelance dancer, performer, choreographer, and dance educator.  Sometimes she makes performative work under the name AmyO/tinyrage. AmyO/tinyrage has been presented by the TBA Festival (Portland) , On the Boards Northwest New Works Festival, Northwest Film Forum, Seattle Theater Group/The Moore, Project Motion (Memphis), Bumbershoot (Seattle), and Velocity Dance Center (Seattle).  From 2000-2010, Amy was co-director of locust (music/dance/video) with musician/composer Zeke Keeble.  locust was presented by On the Boards (Seattle), Seattle Theater Group at the Moore Theater, The Myrna Loy Center (Helena), Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out (Becket), Joyce Soho (NYC), TBA Festival (Portland), Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston), University of Montana (Missoula), SUSHI (San Diego), the Southern Theater (Minneapolis), Next Dance Cinema (Seattle),  ODC Theater (San Francisco), Kyoto Arts Center (Kyoto), Next Moment Film Festival (Tokyo), and UNAM Danza sin Fronteras (Mexico City). 

Since 2002, Amy has frequently collaborated with musician/comedian, Reggie Watts. She choreographed for “A Very Reggie Christmas” at On the Boards and has improvised with him in Seattle and NYC at The Triple Door, Bumbershoot, Gallapagos and Comix. She performed in his show “Disinformation” at the TBA Festival (Portland), Under the Radar Festival (NYC), Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburg), Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and ICA Boston. She choreographed for Reggie's music video “Fuck, Shit, Stack” released through Comedy Central in 2010.  She also choreographed for LA based electro pop artist Jules Leotard for the video “Body Builder” and for Seattle based Vox Mod's "Irridescent Asteroid Mists (featuring Palaceer Lazaro" official video.

Amy danced with the Pat Graney Company, Scott/Powell Performance, and in Mark Haim’s acclaimed “Goldberg Variations”. Amy was the lead singer of Zeke Keeble’s band Marrow and sung in the Seattle based David Bowie cover band, Heroes. Amy’s work has been commissioned twice by Spectrum Dance Theater/Donald Byrd, twice by Degenerate Art Ensemble, Cornish Dance Theater, Moving Current (Tampa, FL), and Seattle Theatre Group in 2005 collaborating with Savion Glover, 2009 with locust, and 2011 with AmyO/tinyrage. 

Amy teaches Contemporary dance technique, improvisation, and choreography regularly at Velocity Dance Center, and with STG's "Dance This" program in Seattle. She has also taught her wildly popular Bottom Heavy Funk (Hip Hop/Club/Street based class) at Velocity for over a decade. She is the co-founder and lead teaching artist of Seattle Theater Group’s “Young Choreographer’s Lab” which merged with Velocity Dance Center to form the “Seattle Youth Dance Collective”. She has taught, conducted residencies, and been a guest speaker at the University of Washington, Cornish College of the Arts, Washington University (St. Louis), University of Idaho, Idaho State University, University of Montana, Texas Woman’s University, University of Oregon, Northwest Vista College (San Antonio), Conduit (Portland), Okinawa Prefectural Museum (Okinawa), and Dance New Amsterdam (NYC). 

Amy has received funding from the Seattle Mayors Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, the international DanceWEB scholarship (2000), the Mary Levine Fund, Artist Trust, 4 Culture, the Bossak/Heilbron Charitable Foundation, the National Dance Project, the National Performance Network, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the Creative Capital Foundation, and the Foundation for Contemporary Art. Amy has been awarded creative residencies at Bates Dance Festival (07), Headlands Center for the Arts (08), the US/Japan Choreographers Exchange through Dance Theater Workshop. MASS MOCA, and the Japan Society (09), and was Velocity Dance Center Artist in Residence (2011).  Amy is a two time Artist Trust Fellow, two time Stranger Genius Award nominee, over funded her latest solo work on USA Projects, and holds a BFA in dance from Cornish College of the Arts. 




Eddy Ocampo has danced with some of Chicago’s premiere dance companies as the Joel Hall Dancers, River North Chicago Dance Company and Giordano Dance Chicago.  Mr. Ocampo has served as school director of the Giordano Dance Center, as well as the director of Giordano II and the Giordano Merit Scholarship Program from 2000-2004.  As a master jazz teacher, he has taught in Europe, Mexico, Canada, the Russian Republic and throughout the U.S.  As a choreographer, Mr. Ocampo’s works can be seen on such companies as Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Odyssey Dance Company, (Salt Lake City), Thodos Dance Chicago, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, (Detroit), Kannon Dance (St. Petersburg, Russia), Lisa Clark Dancers (San Francisco, CA), and many regional ballet companies across the U.S. Mr. Ocampo received the Outstanding Choreographer Award for Dance Chicago in 2004 and the Cliff Dwellers’s Choreographer of the Year in 2005 and 2007. He is the first recipient in the history of the foundation to have ever received this honor twice. Eddy was also named as one of the best jazz dance teachers in the country by Dance Spirit Magazine and has been featured in Dance Magazine, Dance Spirit and Young Dancer Magazine, as well as numerous Chicago publications, including the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Magazine, The Sun Times and The Daily Herald. Eddy is artistic director of Forum Dance Theatre, as well as co-director of LEVELdance, a new Chicago based dance company, which will have its inaugural performance at the Athenaeum Theatre in July 2013. Mr. Ocampo is the recipient of the 2005 Filipino American of the Year Award, recognized as a pioneering artist in the field of dance.



Lauren Blane was born and raised in Chicago’s western suburbs.  She began her training at the Faubourg Ballet Academy under the direction of Watmora Casey, and chose to continue her education of dance at Grand Valley State University.  In her senior year, Lauren’s choreography was chosen to be featured in the American College Dance Festival's Gala Showcase.  Upon graduation, Lauren was selected by the dance faculty to receive the Outstanding Undergraduate Award in Dance.  She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance Performance.  After graduating, Lauren was invited back to Grand Valley to perform the principal role of The Bride in Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring, and was both honored and delighted to work closely with the wonderful Susan Kikuchi.  Lauren also studied as a full scholarship student at the Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago, and trained under the direction of Claire Bataille for a full year.  She attended the Hubbard Street Summer Intensive on scholarship for two summers as well.  Lauren has performed both featured and soloist roles in The Schaumburg Dance Ensemble’s production of The Nutcracker under the direction of Michele Holzman.  She also performed as a featured dancer in the Lincolnshire Marriott’s production of SHOUT! and Now And Forever:The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber.  Lauren has also had the opportunity to perform with pop icon Beyonce, on Oprah’s Farewell Episode at the United Center in Chicago.  For two seasons, Lauren had the privilege of performing with Giordano Dance Chicago’s Second Company, in Chicago, Illinois under Nan Giordano. Lauren will be performing this fall as a featured dancer with the Marriott Theater in their production of Mary Poppins, and also with Drury Lane in their production of Young Frankenstein.  Lauren is thrilled to be back in the Grand Valley Dance Department!


We are proud to present our Fall Arts Dance 2013

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2013, 8 P.M.

Dance Company in Residence:


                                   Photo courtesy of McCallum Theatre, photographer Jack Hartin


GVSU Music and Dance Faculty and Students present

Memories of Summer: The American Identity in Dance

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2013, 8 P.M.




Prelude carillon concert from 7:20–7:50 p.m.

Featuring Guest Carillonneur Helen Hofmeister Hawley

Throughout the 20th Century an explosion of original music filled American dance performances with the iconic sounds of a newly emerging American identity.  Few composers captured this powerful presence more than Samuel Barber, who, when most composers were experimenting with dissonance and freedom in musical form, was writing in a lyrical, romantic style filled with achingly beautiful melody – distinctively American melody.   Through the virtuosity of nationally celebrated choreographer, Lauren Edson, you will experience a fresh, new interpretation of Barber’s music in modern dance.  Come experience the breezy chatter and carefree excitement of the Boardwalk while capturing the essence of hot summer nights from the deep south of old America with the nationally acclaimed Lauren Edson + Dancers

About Lauren Edson + Dancers

     Lauren Edson, originally from Boise, Idaho began her training at Ballet Idaho Academy and Westside Dance Academy (OR).  She continued her formal studies at North Carolina School of the Arts and The Juilliard School, under the direction of the late Benjamin Harkarvy.   She is a 2003 alumnus of the School at Jacob's Pillow Contemporary Dance Program.  She most recently danced with the highly acclaimed Trey McIntyre Project located in Boise, ID.  While a part of this celebrated company she was  featured in several of McIntyre's works including: Bad Winter, Oh! Inverted World, In Dreams, Blue Until June, Arrantza and Shape.  Her past professional experiences include: Hubbard Street 2, Ballet Idaho and Idaho Dance Theatre.  She has had the privilege to perform the works of Jose Limon, Paul Taylor, Angelin Perljicov, Robert Battle, Alex Ketley and Pina Bausch, among others. 

As a choreographer, she has won several awards and been commissioned by numerous companies and Universities throughout the nation.   She was most recently one of three finalists selected to participate in Milwaukee Ballet's 2013 'Genesis' International Choreographic Competition and was honored to have received the Audience Favorite Award.  In November 2012, she won the Grand Prize Award at McCallum Theater's 15th Annual Dance Under the Stars Choreography Competition in Palm Desert, CA.   In February 2012, she won the Great Works Dance Project Choreography Prize, a National Choreography Competition affiliated with Western Michigan University.  Her work, Foreground was chosen to perform at the Kennedy Center in May 2012 as part of the National College Dance Festival.  She was selected to participate in The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2011 and 2010 Seattle, affiliated with the Joyce Theatre, one of New York City’s major dance presenters.  In 2009, she won the Northwest Dance Project's first annual Pretty Creative’s International Choreographic competition.  She has recently been named Artist in Residence at Mystic Ballet (CT) and commissioned by Eisenhower Dance Ensemble (MI), Opera Idaho (ID) Polaris Dance Theatre (OR) Grand Valley State University (MI), Washington and Lee University (VA), Peck School of the Arts (WI)  Pacific University (OR) Palanza Dance (CA) and Houston Met Dance (TX)  to create work or serve as Artist in Residence for their upcoming seasons.  In addition, her work has been featured at the American Dance Guild Festival (NY), Idaho Dance Theatre (ID), Conduit: Charged (OR), Ten Tiny Dances (WA), Aerial Without Limits (OR), Portland Youth Ballet (OR), Northwest Dance Project (OR), American College Dance Festival (MI), Regional Dance America (UT), DROP Dance Collective (ID), NW Fusion Dance Company (OR), Balance Dance Company (ID) and Coriolis Dance Collective (WA), to name a few.  She received a 2012 Honoraria Fellowship from Idaho Commission on the Arts, recognizing her achievements in choreography.

She has been a guest artist for numerous companies, Universities and studios throughout the nation including: BodyVox (OR), Willamette University (OR), Northwest Dance Project (OR), Grand Valley State University (MI), Washington and Lee University (VA)  Westside Dance Academy (OR), Boise State University (ID), Balance Dance Company (ID), Montana Arts Association (MO), Columbia Dance Center (OR), Portland Youth Ballet (OR) , Ballet Idaho Academy (ID), Northwest Conservatory of Dance (WA), Summer DanceFest (ID) Vancouver School of Arts and Academics (OR) and Western Michigan University (MI), to name a few.


Lauren Edson

Jason Hartley 

Jem Wierenga 

Yurek Hansen 

Nell Rollins 

Mallory Welsh



We are proud to present our Spring Dance Concert Guest Choreographers in Residence:


MARLAYNA LOCKLEAR hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and has been immersed in dance since the age of 12.She began her training at City Ballet Theatre under the direction of Marjorie Yoshida and Lee Palmer. She later attended Milwaukee High School of the Arts and became a founding member of Milwaukee Dance Connection. Ms. Locklear received her B.F.A in Dance Performance from the University of the Arts with a focus in ballet and jazz. While in college she was a member of Eleone Dance Theatre and since then went on to join Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Marlayna teaches master classes and choreographs throughout the U.S. Ms. Locklear joined the company in 2008.







Rebecca Lemme is an educator, choreographer, performer, and visual artist.(She is currently a full-time faculty member at California Institute of the(Arts, where she also taught during her MFA Candidacy (2011-13). Rebecca has additionally been on faculty at Columbia College Chicago (2010-11),(Roosevelt University (2007-11), Hubbard Street’s Lou Conte Dance Studio (2005-), Visceral Dance Center (2007-), and Joffrey Ballet Chicago((2010-11). Lemme was a finalist chosen to present choreography for The A.W.A.R.D. Show! 2010: Chicago and has been commissioned and presented by Thodos' New Dances, Columbia College, Loyola University, The Harvest(Chicago Contemporary Dance Festival, Dance Chance and Instruments of(Movement. Additionally, she has toured nationally with contemporary(repertory companies Luna Negra Dance Theater (2008-09), River North Dance Chicago (2005-08), RTG Dance (2005-06), Hedwig Dances (2004-06), and(Instruments of Movement (2002-06). Lemme holds a BA in English and Theater(from Princeton University (2002) and an MFA in Choreography from California Institute of the Arts (2013). For more information please visit

Page last modified March 17, 2014