Courtney Giannone is a professional dancer, choreographer, and movement instructor. She holds a BFA in dance from Fordham University and The Ailey School and also studied extensively at Joffrey Ballet and Martha Graham. Courtney has performed with Queen of the Night, Neil Patrick Harris, Company XIV, Quixotic Fusion, Buglisi Dance Theater, Kazuko Hirabayashi, Pascal Rioult, STREB, Diavolo, Martha Graham, and Alvin Ailey.
Courtney’s choreography has been performed at Jacobs Pillow, BEAT BROOKLYN, Galapagos Arts Space, STREB, CSLB, Cornish College, Idyllwild Arts Academy, and the Ailey School. Her nominations, awards, and affiliations include Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival, The Rolex Mentor-Protege Arts Initiative, Carnegie Hall (classical piano), ABT, Kirov Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Buglisi Dance Theater, Pascal Rioult, Dance Magazine, and Highways Performance Space. She is also a world champion in Cyr Wheel for team USA. Courtney teaches GYROKINESIS ®, GYROTONIC ®, Horton Technique, Ballet, Modern, Cyr Wheel and more.
Jennifer Fait Puls
Jennifer Fait Puls began her love of dancing in San Diego at a young age. Upon receiving the Distinguished Artist Award, she attended Hope College (Holland, MI) where she completed a double major in Dance Performance/Choreography and Chemistry with a Pre-medicine emphasis; she graduated Magna Cum Laude. In 2010, Jennifer eye-high kicked as a RadioCity Rockette in The Christmas Spectacular in Providence, RI, and Boston, MA. Since then, she has performed in San Diego with somebodies dance theater, independent choreographer Khamla Somphanh, IsadoraNOW, and Blythe Barton Dance. Jennifer is currently performing as a company member with both The PGK Dance Project and Malashock Dance.
Andrea Rehm began her formal dance training with Debra Rice Endris at Southern Indiana School of the Arts. She later trained at the Louisville Ballet School and graduated High School at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She then went on to study at the University of Hartford’s Hartt School, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Ballet Pedagogy and Kinesiology. After receiving her undergraduate degree, Andrea danced professionally with Louisville Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and Ballet Quad Cities. She studied Pilates throughout her dance career as a means of cross-training and injury prevention and now teaches Pilates to others. Andrea is in her second season with Malashock Dance Company.
Lara Segura has extensive experience as a professional dancer, teacher, producer, and choreographer. In 2005 Lara graduated with a BFA Degree from San Diego State University and was later named the 2012 Dance Alumni of the Year for SDSU. She has had the pleasure of performing with Mojalet Dance Collective, Malashock Dance, Pat Sandback and Dancers, Jacksonville Dance Theater, Sound Dance Company, Wallpaper Performance Company and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. She has served as a faculty member at Douglas Anderson School for the Performing Arts and Jacksonville University. In 2014 Lara received her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University with an emphasis in engaging audiences via site-specific dance. She is a founding steering committee member of San Diego Dance Connect and serves on the advisory board for National Water Dance.
Brittany Taylor graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA with a BFA in dance and relocated to San Diego in 2009. Her first appearance with The Malashock Dance Company was in RAW3 (2012) and is excited to be jumping into the 30th anniversary season with the company. She has been very fortunate to perform with Blythe Barton Dance (company member), Joe Alter Dance Group, Compulsion Dance and Theatre, Ion Theatre, [the] movement initiative, Khamla Somphanh, Andrew Holmes, and other independent artists. She was awarded “Most Compelling Performance by a Single Dancer” at the 2014 Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize performing for Jaime Nixon. Brittany and longtime dance partner Desiree Cuizon-Fejeran premiered their work Avenue Lexicon in August 2016 as well as co-produced the mixed media event Doublespeak. Brittany is honored to be a part of Malashock Dance’s faculty teaching advanced modern Wednesday mornings.
Rachel Torres graduated from UC San Diego in 2012, receiving a BA in Literature with Honors and a minor in Dance. She has since had the pleasure of performing for several local dance artists, including Lara Segura, Erica Buechner (Sound Dance Company), Lavina Rich (Push Process Movement Theory), Erin Tracy, and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances (Terry Wilson, Mark Haim, and Debi Toth-Ward). In 2014, she performed as a guest artist with San Diego Dance Theater and in 2016, she was a guest dancer with the Malashock Dance Company, performing in Malashock Signatures and their Classics for Kids collaborations. Rachel is also a Malashock Dance faculty member, teaching Contemporary II and Intro/Beginning Modern. She is very happy to be joining the Malashock Dance Company this year.
Justin Viernes has been entertaining audiences nationally and internationally since the age of 5. Departing from years of professional singing and musical theater productions, he fell in love with dance and began his dance career at the age of 16. Justin is extensively trained in ballet, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. He has danced for Fusion Dance Company, d’Shire Dance, Sound Dance Company, DK Dance, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, Imago Moves, The PGK Dance Project, Anjanette Maraya-Ramey and Dancers, Khamla Somphanh and Dancers, The Southern California Ballet, Compulsion Dance and Theater and various artists and professional companies across the Nation. Justin’s dancing has traveled him to Kazakhstan and Belize as a U.S. Cultural Envoy, San Miguel de Allende, Buenos Aires, on stages all over the nation. Justin is a senior company dancer for Malashock Dance, a guest artist for The Southern California Ballet, modern dance faculty for the California State Summer School for the Arts program (CSSSA) at CalArts University, and is Artistic Director of brown paper bag dance co. Justin currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Daniel Wentworth started dancing in 2008 at his local high school. By 2011 he was awarded the Norma Sneller Scholarship of Artistic Excellence and continued his education at Grand Valley State University as a scholarship student. He was able to attend Joffrey Ballet School’s New York summer intensive as a scholarship student in 2014 and in 2015 his work “Resound” was selected to be showcased at ACDA. (formerly ACDFA)
Following his graduation Daniel joined Eisenhower Dance as an apprentice for two consecutive seasons. While there he has been able to work with artists including Edgar Zendejas and Josh Manculich and have choreography showcased at the Detroit Institute of Art. He has had additional performance opportunities at The Lincoln Center of Fine Arts in New York and internationally in Tel Aviv, Israel for Eisenhower Dances’ production of the ‘Light Show.’
Angel Acuña began his dance training at the age of eighteen in San Diego City College where he trained with dance educators Terry Wilson, Grace Jun, Debi Toth-Ward and Terri Shipman. In 2015, Angel was awarded “Most Compelling Performance by a Single Dancer” in result of participating in the winning choreography by Ariana Siegel in San Diego Dance Theater’s Young Choreographers Showcase. In 2015, Angel also joined San Diego Dance Theater as a company member and teaching artist. While dancing for director Jean Isaacs, Angel also performed with Somebodies Dance Theater, directed by Gina and Kyle Sorenson. Choreographically, Angel is interested in involving audiences in a more communicative environment when it comes to the process of dance making. Angel has created his own evening-length work titled MAY BE as well as Dances My Mother Taught Me Vol.2 with dancer Andrew Holmes, a duet that was part of Lux Boreal’s Cuerpos En Transito 2016 in Tijuana, Mexico. Angel recently returned to San Diego after Studying and training in École de Danse Contemporaine de Montréal directed by Lucie Boissinot in Québec, Canada. In his experience in Montréal, Angel had the pleasure of performing in original works choreographed by Daryl Tracy and Edgar Zendejas. Angel is currently working in a collaborative process with dance artist and the curator/director of San Diego’s first dance film festival, l-40 North Film Fest., Chelsea Zeffiro.
At a young age, Marisa Shimano fell in love with dance and began training with Viktor and Tatiana Kastasky in San Clemente, CA. In 2016 Marisa graduated from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) where she earned her BA in English and Psychology, and received special recognition for Dance Excellence by the Northwestern Dance Department. In the Chicago area, Marisa performed works by Amanda Lower and Emma Draves, was artistic director of Graffiti Dancers, and helped develop and performed in Ravinia Festival’s outreach production of The Firebird. Marisa has spent summers at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, MetDance Houston, Ballet Hispanico, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and Malashock Dance. Recently, Marisa relocated to NYC where she completed a year of training with the Ailey School’s Independent Study Program, and was honored to perform work by Bradley Shelver at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Marisa is thrilled to be working as a guest artist with Malashock Dance for their 30th season!
Thom Dancy is a recent transplant to San Diego and is thrilled to be working both on stage and behind the scenes with Malashock Dance. Thom studied Ballet at the University of Oklahoma under Steve Brule and Mary Margaret Holt and has danced for Milwaukee Ballet II, Grand Rapids Ballet, The Big Muddy Dance Company, and The Muny. He has danced soloist roles in works by Brian Enos, Harrison McEldowney, Kate Skarpetowska, Kevin Jenkins, Bryn Cohn, Robert Moses, Olivier Wevers, and Gerald Arpino. Thom has provided his expertise as an audition assistant for both The Big Muddy and The Muny. Thom has also had the pleasure of teaching contemporary dance for Milwaukee Ballet and Grand Rapids Ballet’s Summer Intensives and is currently on faculty at California Ballet. Thom is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. www.ThomDancy.com.