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 Arts Dance 2014

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014, 7:30 P.M.

Dance Company in Residence:



Emily Terndrup of Gallim Dance in "Fold Here" | Credit: Tom Caravaglia 


GVSU Music and Dance Faculty and Students present

“Gallim Dance:  Articulate Bodies, Visceral Language”

MONDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2014, 7:30 P.M.




Prelude carillon concert 

In modern dance, improvisation has always been at the root of the choreographic process.  In the early twentieth century, dance pioneers Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis employed movement invention and exploration practices inspired by the sheer joy of simply moving.  In the 1960s, postmodern choreographers Yvonne Rainer and Trisha Brown incorporated spontaneous pedestrian task-based movements to develop choreography.  Using a new dance language called GaGa, Gallim Dance, a New York City–based contemporary dance company, incorporates past, and present movement invention practices, fueled by human emotion. Gallim’s mission is “to play inside the imagination, to find juxtapositions of the mind and body that resonate in the soul, to investigate our limitations and pleasures, and to realize the endless human capacity for inspiration.”


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

Samantha Shelton, received her professional training from the Joffrey Ballet in New York and in Michigan with Rose Marie Floyd. She also studied in London with Anita Young (Royal Ballet) and at the Cecchetti International program in England. For the past fifteen years, she has been on the ballet faculty for American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive, setting ABT repertoire and choreographing new ballets for the final performances. Currently, she is on faculty for the ABT Summer Intensives and teaches
full time for Rochester School of Dance/Michigan Ballet Theatre. She has
choreographed for the professional ballet programs at the Walnut Hill School in Boston,
directed by former ABT principal, Michael Owen, Grand Valley State University, and
Interlochen Arts Academy. She has performed extensively in both classical and
contemporary ballets, including the Grand Pas from Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don
Quixote, also principal roles in Giselle and Raymonda. She was an Assistant Professor of
Dance at Alma College for two years and has been on the ballet faculties at Wayne State
University and the Detroit Opera House, where she was the artistic director for the
Detroit Opera House’s Civic Dance Ensemble. Samantha holds an M.F.A in Dance from
the University of Michigan, where she was awarded a Rackham Thesis grant, and a B.A.
in Political Science also from the University of Michigan. She has also done graduate
work at New York University in Performing Arts Administration with internships in
development and marketing at Carnegie Hall and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. Recently,
she was elected, for a second three year term, to the University of Michigan’s School of
Music, Theatre & Dance Alumni Society Board of Governors and in May 2012 spent
three weeks in Taiwan, teaching and presenting a piece of choreography for Tainan
University. She is certified through the American Ballet Theatre National Curriculum Training


Mike Esperanza, born in Manila, Philippines and raised in Southern California, has established himself as a sought after teacher and choreographer throughout the nation. With a BFA in graphic design from California State University, Fullerton, Mike's approach to visual construction has influenced a unique movement orchestration on stage. His works have been commissioned by prestigious college and university dance programs including Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, UNLV, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Utah Valley University and Shenandoah University to name a few. Six choreographic works have made regional gala appearances at the American College Dance Festival with 3 going on to perform at the American College Dance Festival National Gala held at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

     In 2005, Mike was awarded the "Dance: Creation for Performance" grant presented by Dance/USA and the Irvine Foundation. With this distinguished award, BARE Dance Company began. BARE has produced numerous show around Southern California including the Lestor Horton Award nominated "Manhattan" - an alternative take on West Side Story. Mike has also been a finalist at the Palm Desert Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010 taking second place in 2009 and winning the paid engagement award in 2010. BARE was recently part of the "Innerstate" roster presented by ODC Theater and funded by the Irvine Foundation. The program allowed the company to perform numerous cities in Southern and Northern California. Mike Currently teaches at Peridance and Steps on Broadway.


Take Ueyama

He’s a fascinating performer—weighted, but silky(- Deborah Jowitt, The Village Voice

Takehiro Ueyama is without restraint, a choreographer, dancer, and artist that I long to see more as he grows and matures. If he is producing work such as this still so early in his career, what will he give in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years.(I hope I am there to witness it!(- NYC Dance Stuff

Born and raised in Tokyo, Japan, Takehiro “Take” Ueyama moved to the United States in 1991 to study dance at the Juilliard School in New York City. Upon graduation, he was invited to join the Paul Taylor Dance Company, touring the world with them for 8 years.

In 2003 Ueyama debuted his first choreographic work, Tsubasa, performed with fellow Taylor dancers at the McKenna Theatre at SUNY New Paltz, NY, and in 2005 founded TAKE Dance.  He has performed repeatedly as a guest artist with with Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre.  His television and film credits include PBS’s Dance in America series (with the Taylor Company), Acts of Ardor, and Dancemaker, a film by dancer/choreographer Matthew Diamond.

Having been a baseball player in Japan before fully committing to dance, Ueyama’s work blends both eastern and western sensibilities.  Containing both powerful athleticism, as well as traces of his Japanese heritage by employing delicate gestures, his repertoire has been inspired by the beauty in nature, the duality of darkness and light in the universal human condition and the humanity and compassion in day-to-day living.  These elements, combined with his various partnerships and collaborations with artists of other genres, lend diversity to movement, music and subject matter.  Described as both sensitive and exciting, Ueyama’s choreography ensures a place for the heart on any stage it appears, a feast for the eyes, mind and soul; it is uniquely,  “TAKE”.

In 2005 Ueyama’s ‘s work, Sakura Sakura was a prizewinner at the International Modern Dance Choreographic Competition in Spain, and he was one of four choreographers selected for 2006 Free to Rep at FSU’s Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography. In 2010 he was the first choreographer to win the S & R Foundation’s prestigious Washington Award.

Ueyama has created and re-staged works for The Alvin Ailey School, Tallahassee Ballet, The New School, The Juilliard School, Purchase College, Princeton University, Vassar College, Marymount Manhattan College, Randolph College, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, Booker T. Washington High School for Performing and Visual Arts, the International Summer Dance in Burgos, Spain and ArcDanz in Mexico.

During 2013 Ueyama will create commissioned works for ArcDanz in Mexico and The Juilliard New Dances: Edition 2013.


We are proud to present our

Spring Dance Concert Guest Choreographers in Residence:

ANN SOFIE CLEMMENSEN  is a choreographer and dance educator from Denmark. Her work, including several dance for camera films, have been presented at various venues and festivals in United States, China and Scandinavian.

In 2013 she founded C.L.E.M Summer Art Project, a four-week summer residency in Denmark for American college dance students that focus on performance and cultural exchange. 

Miss Clemmensen holds a Bachelor of Art and pedagogy from the Norwegian College of Dance, a first-class honor Post-Graduate degree from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance (UK) and a Master of Fine Art in dance from The Ohio State University.    

She has performed in original work by choreographers, such as Henri Oguike (UK), Darshan Singh-Buller (UK/US), Wendy Houston (UK), Francesco Scavetta (NO/IT), Sølvi Edvardsen (NO), Tatiana Baganova (RU), and others.

Miss Clemmensen is currently a visiting lecturer at The Ohio State University, department of dance.





Kelly Kerastas is a Michigan Native and grew up in Saline, MI.  She was a member of the pre-professional dance ensemble "DARC,” winning numerous dance awards and scholarships. Kelly trained with choreographer Jackie Sleight as a member of the LA Dance Magic Company and performed across the United States at the LA Dance Magic Conventions. Kelly graduated from Grand Valley State University in April 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She was awarded The Dance Department “Outstanding Student Award.” While at GVSU, Kelly was able to work with many world-renown choreographers like Shawn T Bible, Becca Sweitzer, Thang Dao, Melissa Thodos, and Michael Phillips.

In January 2012, Kelly moved to Los Angeles and is represented by The Movement Talent Agency.  Kelly was chosen to perform in the music video “Blu Sky” with Italian singer Gloria Benatti and was a principal dancer in the Hallmark movie “Dear Dumb Diary”, choreographed by Kelly Devine and Bonnie Story and most recently cast in a SENSA commercial, which will be airing nationwide. Kelly has also had the opportunity to perform with FLASH MOB AMERICA in events such as Dancing for NED, Southern California Edison, and Kirk Kekorian’s Birthday Party. Kelly was a member of two Professional Modern Dance Companies; HART PULSE and Datugen Dance Theatre, which showcased contemporary dance pieces in the Southern California area. She has been fortunate enough to travel around the country, assisting choreographer Robert Schultz, also a Michigan Native, in many dance projects that display an exciting and unique combination of jazz, lyrical and contemporary dance, which have included being part of two choreography submissions for “So You Think You Can Dance.”  

Kelly continues to share her passion for dance as teacher at Dance Dimensions in Woodland Hills, CA.


BRYN COHN  received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in dance performance and composition from California Institute of the Arts under the direction of Stephan Koplowitz.

In addition to serving as the artistic director of Bryn Cohn + Artists, she has been commissioned to make original works for Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Billy Bell’s Lunge Dance Collective (of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and So You Think You Can Dance), Grand Valley State University, :pushing progress a company/a workshop and the contemporary fashion designer Betsey Johnson. She has performed in works by Alex Ketley, Colin Connor, Christian Burns and Barak Marshall, and in self choreographed solos such as Au Revoir Love and Leak.

Bryn was one of twenty international artists invited to participate in New Aesthetics Performance Intensive led by Crystal Pite and Pol Hayvaert in Vancouver, B.C.  She received scholarships to Bridge: Choreographic Dialogues at the Suzanne Dellal Centre in Tel Aviv, the Bessie Schoenberg Choreographic Lab at New York Live Arts and SUMAC, led by Susan Marshall.  She lives and works in New York City as a choreographer and teacher of contemporary, composition and improvisation techniques for the :pushing progress training program.




Page last modified June 19, 2014