After Dance @ Wesleyan

Our alumni dance, choreograph and teach. They build communities. They become doctors, midwives, therapists, lawyers, and entrepreneurs that start companies and businesses, as well as artist/scholars that engage in transformative interdisciplinary performance and research. See what some of our alumni are doing with dance. We invite our Dance Alums to send news, updates and links to websites to Michele Olerud at molerud@wesleyan.edu.

What do you do with a dance degree from Wesleyan? See some examples below!

Inquire, Mobilize, Actualize, Engage, Risk, Unravel, Embody

Alumni Profiles

  • Rick Hong Manayan '17

    Show Bio
    rick h m (they/them) is an anti-disciplinary artist based in Boulder, CO. They are a current MFA (Choreography) candidate at University of Colorado Boulder, and a Graduate Part-Time Instructor in the Theatre & Dance Department. rick received their BA (Dance & Sociology) from Wesleyan University, concentrating in performance studies and choreography as a means of ascribing a creative process rooted in imagining/actualizing queer utopia(s). Their scholarly research on queer utopia has further led to community building via various artistic/life pursuits, including their performing under the stage name, umami goddess™. rick's current research interests include emerging technologies (AI/machine-learning), absurdism/comedy, decolonizing studies, Asian-diasporic studies, queer theory, and how dance might constantly be reimagined towards hybrid art practices representative of hybrid lived experiences. rick has worked with and studied beneath noted dance makers/scholars including Michelle Ellsworth, Darrell Jones, Bebe Miller, Erika Randall, Rennie Harris, Nicole Stanton, and Katja Kolcio. Through written and embodied forms of creative research, rick calls for a dismantling of the systems that enforce control over our abilities to liberate our social bodies.
    Sonics (umami goddess™): www.soundcloud.com/umamigoddess
    Recent Works:
    For What? (2018) - https://vimeo.com/336227696
    GAUGE / the needle (2018) - https://vimeo.com/292241847
    Works from Wesleyan:
    GET OFF / starry-eyed lizard duets (2017) - https://vimeo.com/258902069
    UTOPIA01_SH3.wrld (2016) - https://vimeo.com/217578953
    You First (2015) - https://vimeo.com/148702635
  • Chloe Jones '15

    Show Bio
    Originally from Salt Lake City, UT, Chloe Jones graduated from Wesleyan University in 2015 with a double major in Dance and Hispanic Literatures and Cultures. Chloe spent her junior and senior years interning at Wesleyan's Center for the Arts, where she had the formative experience of working with the center's director at the time, Pamela Tatge. This internship, coupled with a summer spent at Forklift Danceworks in Austin, TX, as a Wesleyan Dancelink Fellow, sparked Chloe's interest in arts administration. 
    The day of graduation, Chloe drove to Martha's Vineyard for a summer internship at The Yard, where she still works today. The Yard is an artist residency and performance center with year-round educational offerings, which operates with coequal priorities to support contemporary dance-makers and the Martha's Vineyard community. As Director of Development and Associate Producer, Chloe has driven the creation of a development department at the organization. This expanded effort resulted in a 31% increase in general operating donations from individuals between 2015 and 2018, and The Yard continues to grow and thrive. Chloe's role on the producing team has sent her traveling within the States and abroad for curatorial research and project development. She continues to have opportunities to dance professionally and choreograph.
  • Sally Williams '14

    Show Bio

    I grew up in Atlanta, dancing jazz and nerding out on science. My academic dance studies at Wesleyan stemmed from an interest in translating the concept of "aphasia," a neurological concept of global loss of verbal language, to the language of movement. My thesis further explored the ideas of the diseased and degenerable body and mind, culminating in the works "Attachment Behavior" and "Cement". After graduating Wesleyan with degrees in Dance and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, I entered medical school. I am now a second year medical student at Boston University, and am pursuing a career in Neurosurgery. I research genetic markers of brain tumors and metastases at the Massachusetts General Cancer Center, and frequently imagine my patients' neurological symptoms played out on stage. My dance studies at Wesleyan constantly remind me to approach complex scientific and medical problems from various perspectives.

  • Lindsay Kosasa '13

    Show Bio

    My thesis was a joint project for the East Asian Studies and Dance Majors. After picking up the Japanese language my sophomore year and then studying abroad in Kanazawa and Kyoto in the following years, I began investigating my grandparents' internment in California during WWII, and finally found my interest in Butoh and the atomic bombs. My written thesis is titled "Time, Space and the Body: A Literary and Choreographic Investigation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki", and I have two movement pieces called Navigable Mobius and Navigable Reverie.

    Since graduating from Wesleyan in 2013, I am a Teach For America corps member at Waipahu High School in Hawaii. I teach Special Education Social Studies, and this year, I was asked to teach Creative Dance, a for-credit dance class. The students are both thrown off by and drawn in to the Modern Dance mindsets and movement, and for me, having a creative outlet every day is definitely making my experience in the classroom more engaging and fun!

    Thesis links/School links

    Waipahu High School
    Navigable Mobius (Dress Rehearsal)
    Navigable Reverie

  • Nik Owens '12

    Show Bio

    NIK OWENS is from Altadena, California where he began his movement experience with gymnastics at age three and continued at a competitive level until he was 19.  He began dancing at Wesleyan University and graduated with a BA in Dance and a certificate in Environmental Studies. He's worked with Nicholas Leichter, Tania Isaac, Kyle Abraham and has performed works by Vanessa Tamburi, The Dance Exchange, Gierre Godley’s Project 44, Mersiha Mesihovic’s CircuitDebris, Helen Simoneau Danse, and Abdul Latif's D2D/T. Nik currently dances with Raja Kelly's thefeath3rtheory, Bryn Cohn + Artists, Tiffany Mills Company, and David Dorfman Dance.

    Photo by Stephanie Crousillat courtesy of Helen Simoneau Danse.

  • Dante Brown '09

    Show Bio

    Danté Brown began his dance training at Wesleyan University, which led him to The Ohio State University to receive his MFA in Choreography and Performance. As a performer, Danté has worked with artists such as Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Christal Brown, Dance Exchange, David Dorfman, Kendra Portier, and Noa Zuk, among others. After founding Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance in 2010, DB|WD has had the opportunity to show work at Columbus Dance Theater, Dance Gallery Festival, Dixon Place, GAP Green Building, LaMaMa Moves Festival, Movement Research at Judson Church, The New Museum, Sam Houston State University, Triskelion Arts, The Wild Project, Wexner Center for the Arts, and YourMove Dance Festival.

    As a teacher, Dante has had the opportunity to teach a range of classes/master classes at Bates College, Broadway Dance Center, Dancewave, Dance New Amsterdam, East Village Dance Project, Gibney Dance Center, Kenyon College, Middlebury College, Oberlin College, and The Ohio State University.

    Social Plaque is a new group work by Dante Brown|Warehouse Dance that examines the relationship between spatial design and the building of social constructs. Collaborating with set designer Nick Benacerraf, and incorporating concepts of architectural design from Frank Llyod Wright, Social Plaquecreates an immersive environment where the audience experiences the building of a community and based on demarcation of space, witnesses the breaking down of that very world.

  • Lydia Bell '07

    Show Bio

    Lydia Bell is a performance curator and administrator based in New York City. She is currently Program Director at Danspace Project, where she oversees programming, publications and research initiatives. From 2009-2011, she coordinated the three-year tour of the Eiko & Koma Retrospective Project in collaboration with 15 partner venues, including the Walker Art Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Lydia has worked on projects with Movement Research, Sam Miller/OAM Company, and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance. She has contributed to publications such as Judson Now (Danspace Project, 2012), Museum and Curatorial Studies Review, and Movement Research Performance Journal and spoken nationally and internationally about her work. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wesleyan University (B.A., Dance and Classics) and the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University.

  • SheenRu Yong '02

    Show Bio

    SheenRu Yong ’02 is a choreographer and the initiator of body portal theatre. She began dancing at Wesleyan University and then trained in New York City and Taipei, where she was commissioned and inspired to choreograph evening-length shows, site-specific works, and community-based experiences. While earning her MFA in Choreography at the Taipei National University of the Arts, she toured internationally with Legend Lin Dance Theatre. Through the platform body portal theatre, SheenRu works to research and develop the creative potentials of the individual, collective, and environmental bodies we inhabit. Her latest series, THIN SKIN, explores vulnerability and empathic resonance and was recently presented as performance installations, community workshops, and interactive exhibits in Hawai'i, Germany, Iceland and Spain. She currently splits her time between Honolulu and Berlin. sheenru@bodyportaltheatre.com