2017 Choreographic Artists
Erin East began her dance training at East*West Music & Dance in 1980. She continued training at Interlochen Arts Academy (MI), Idyllwild Arts Academy (CA), Dance Aspen (CO), and San Francisco Ballet. She studied intensely at The Juilliard School (BFA program) in New York City. Her Broadway debut was in the original cast of Swing! – 1999-2000. She performed in the Tony Awards 2000, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade 1999, and The Today Show 2000. Erin performed with the local company sjDANCEco in 2006 and 2007. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from SJSU with a dance major/accounting minor in 2007. In 2010 Erin co-starred in a Ford Focus television/radio commercial with her sister, Amber. In 2012, Erin’s piece “Shiva Moon” won the “Audience Choice Award” with sjDANCEco’s 9th Annual ChoreoProjects. Erin is currently the Associate Director at East*West Music and Dance where she handles the accounting, runs the Performing Company, and spends much time in the studio teaching and choreographing. Erin completed her RYT-200 hr teacher training at East West Yoga in the summer 2016. Her classes focus on connecting breath to movement, mind to body, and embracing the energy of presence within.
Ishika Seth (Mona Khan Dance Company)
Ishika Seth graduated with a B.A. in Dance from SJSU in 2007, studying with Gary Masters, Fred Mathews, Jill Yager, Janet Vanswoll & Janie Scott. Other dance mentors include Douglas Nielson, Miguel Gutierezz & Nina Haft. Since 2007, Ishika has presented her work at various venues in & around the Bay Area including ODC, CounterPULSE, Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, Fort Mason, Moving Arts Dance, Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts & Spector Dance. She has also produced her own shows at NOHspace & The Garage. She has danced with Irva Herz-Picciotto, Suzanne Beahrs, Brian Brooks, Monica Mark & was part of the repertory works of Tere O’Connor & the Paul Taylor Dance Company at ADF in 2006. She has been working with Mona Sampath Khan since 2007 and has been the Assistant Artistic Director of the Mona Khan Company since 2012. She received the Audience’s Choice Award at SJ DanceCo’s ChoreoProject Awards, Spring 2016, along with Amit Patel for their work “Broken Memories.”
The Mona Khan Company is one of the largest Bollywood companies in North America. They redefine “Bollywood” by encompassing various dance genres like Contemporary, Jazz and Hip Hop, in addition to Indian Classical and Folk Dance forms. The company repertoire include performances at the SF Ethnic Dance Festival, Inaugural Ball in Washington D.C honoring President Obama’s second term in office, Oprah Winfrey’s ‘The Life You Want’ event in San jose, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bay Area Community Reception, Super Bowl 50 alongside Beyonce, Coldplay & Bruno Mars & Top 48 on America’s Got Talent, Season 5.
Ms. Yager is a dancer, choreographer, and instructor of Jazz I, II, and III. She earned a BS in Kinesiology with a Minor in Dance from San José State University. Performance credits include Best from the Bay: A Community Concert for Dance Educators of America, Hotel Sofitel’s April in Paris, Bastille Day Celebrations, and the Grand Opening and Spirit of Spring fashion shows in Riverside, CA . She toured the U.S. as a featured dancer for pop artist Jossette from 1996 to 1998. She choreographed A Fosse Affair, With Love and Legends (2004-2006) for Pure Dance Productions in San José, and was a guest choreographer for Presentation High School’s dance team (2005-2006). She also choreographed three pieces for San José State’s University Dance Theatre (2004-2006), two of which were selected for adjudication at the American College Dance Festival and one being selected for the Gala performance at ACDF in Long Beach, CA. She is currently teaching jazz and tap at South Bay Dance Center in San José.
Christine’s professional and performance career began at the age of seven when she performed in San Jose Cleveland Ballet’s Nutcracker under the direction of Dennis Nahat. Throughout her extensive dance training, Christine has worked with Andrei Bossov, Shannon Bresnahan, Kristine Elliot, Mark Foerhringer, and Lawrence and Sarma Rosenberg. In 2006 Christine was selected by Bossov to perform in St. Petersburg, Russia, creating original roles for Fall, Spring, and Summer for The Four Seasons. Christine’s theater experience includes Amadeus, Candide, Godspell, Lysistrata, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, and Once in a Lifetime. In 2003, Christine was presented with an American Musical Theater award for her portrayal as Louise in Carousel. With her experience in performing and training, she has choreographed numerous musicals in the Bay Area community and choreographed jazz and lyrical numbers for dancers who have won state and national titles. In 2016, she was the recipient of Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award.
2017 Dance Artists
Michel Ashley Chord
Michel Chord began her training and love of dance at age 6 in Northern California. By the age of 14, Michel was accepted into Alonzo King Lines Ballet Summer Intensive and she continued to attend other programs such as CALArts and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. While attending these programs, she became a Soloist Company member for Redding City Ballet in 2007 at the age of 17. Michel continued her training at San Jose State University where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, and worked with several choreographers such as Gary Masters, Holly Johnston, Kara Davis, and Mike Ezperanza. Michel has continued to work in New York in projects such as the Table of Silence with Buglisi Dance Company, Shifting Earth with Kelley Donovan and Dancers, and has presented her own work at the international Dumbo Dance Festival.
Jennifer Gorgulho ~ Artistic Assistant
Jennifer has a BFA in Dance from SJSU. She has performed three pieces with David Popalisky of Santa Clara University Dance Department in festivals in San Franisco, Pasadena, and New York City. She also performed two seasons with the Company “RUGGED” under the direction of Tawnya Kuzia.
Musical Theatre Choreography Credits:
Big Fish, Young Frankenstein, Miss Saigon (PAP), The Little Mermaid, Phantom (CMTSJ), West Side Story, Spamalot (CLTC), Irene (WVLO), and The Mystery….Drood (AMHS)
Musical Theatre Performance Credits:
Hairspray, Mary Poppins & White Christmas (CMTSJ), The Little Mermaid (Andrina), Addams Family (PAP), Shrek (STC), A Chorus Line (Connie), Hairspray (Lou Ann), and SWING! (CS).
Andy Steven Jacobs
Andy grew up in Natick, Massachusetts and began his training at the Boston Ballet School and Impulse Dance Center. He attended Adelphi University and graduated May 2013 with a B.F.A. in Dance. After graduating he had the opportunity to work with Mazzini Dance Collective, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Patricia Kenny Dance Collection, Maya Kite & Dancers, ChrisMastersDance, and Elisa Monte Dance. As well as guest dance for David Parker & The Bang Group, Kinesis Dance Project, and Circle Dance. Andy has recently started creating his own work through a duo dance troop he co-founded called MelAndCHOLY Dance.
Ryan Kwok is a recent 2014 SJSU alumni receiving his Bachelors of Art in Dance. He was a member of the two advanced resident performing companies, Company One and University Dance Theater. Upon graduating he has created 5 significant works and directed an evening site specific performance. He has also worked for other bay area professional choreographers such as Nhan Ho and Scott Wells. Ryan was also recently a part of DVDance’s performance at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre in 2015. The faculty of SJSU has deemed him with a quality of raw creativity and entrepreneurship. He is now the Artistic Director of Voyagers Dance Project, which introduces a new movement style of contemporary fusion dance. He plans to further his unique modern philosophy and poetry through the medium of film and performance.
Andrea graduated from San Jose State University with a B.A. in Dance and has trained and danced with many Bay Area companies including: San Francisco Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Los Gatos Ballet, Academy of Classical Ballet California, sjDanceco, Margaret Wingrove Dance Company, San Jose Dance Theatre, and the American Musical Theater of San Jose. Andrea is the director of Los Gatos Ballet’s Open Program. Her goals for this program are to create a space where dancers of various ages, backgrounds and experience levels can enjoy and study the art of ballet not as solo dancers but as a ballet family. Andrea’s focus through class is to provide exercises that rejuvenate the soul and balance and strengthen the body. She brings inspiration to each daily class with a “Theme of the Day” such as Magical Mondays, Thinking Thursdays and Sensational Saturdays. She also encourages continued growth in ones understanding of ballet vocabulary with a “Word of the Day”.She is also the team coach and choreographer for Los Gatos High School’s Dance Team as well as a coach for the Santa Clara Aquamaids Synchronized Swimming Team. She has a passion for all types of dance and finds no greater joy then to be given the opportunity to share the art of dance to those who want to learn.
Nikki grew up dancing in Sacramento California and received her training at Northern California Dance Conservatory. She continued her dance training through college at San Jose State University where she received her BFA Dance degree with an emphasis in Modern Dance. She had the opportunity to work with several California choreographers such as Kara Davis, Nahn Ho and Holly Johnston. After college Nikki moved to New York City to pursue her dance career. Since moving to the city Nikki has had the opportunity to perform at several contemporary dance festivals in the city such as The Dance Gallery, Brooklyn Dance Festival, The Tank, and The Peridance Gala. Additionally she dance in Chitty Chitty Baily Chang web series, and has been in several concept dance films. Most recently she has performed pieces with Mike Esperanza, Shirlene Quigley, and Gigi Torres.
Pearl C. Wang ~ Visionary Director
Pearl began her dance journey in ballet at the age of three. Since then, she has trained at the Joffrey Ballet School, Yao Yong Dance, and UC Berkeley where she received her BA in Dance and Performance Studies. Pearl was principal dancer for Bay Area Repertory Dance Company where she performed in works such as Paul Taylor’s Esplanade and Jose Limon’s A Choreographic Offering. She Performed a leading role in Benjamin Levy’s pOrtal at the National College Dance Festival held at the Kennedy Center. Pearl has also danced principal roles with CAAM Chinese Dance Theater and Chinese Performing Artists of America on tours to Canada, Hawaii, Las Vegas, and New York. Pearl and Dominic began their collaboration in 2009, creating and performing many pieces together, including Crescent, Written in Calligraphy, and Density of Souls.