Sarah Emmons graduated Summa Cumme Laude from Northern Kentucky University, where she pursued a BFA with emphasis in dance. Sarah danced professionally with Exhale Dance Tribe for three years under the direction of Missy Lay Zimmer and Andrew Hubbard. Sarah performed in the rock opera “One Hundred Days,” choreographed by Sonya Tayeh, and in Olafur Arnold’s concert series choreographed by Heather Britt. After relocating to the Bay Area, Sarah worked with Maurya Kerr in her experimental study through the ODC Sandbox and performed as a company member in the Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project. Since moving to San Diego, Sarah joined PGK Dance Project, has worked with Bad Dance Collective, Continuum Dance Project, and Khamla Somphanh, and is thrilled to be joining the Malashock Dance family.
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.
Christine Marshall received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from California State University, Fullerton under the tutelage of Gladys Kares. Since then she has performed for various artists in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Diego including Mike Esperanza, Te Perez, and Michael Mizerany. She was a company member with Malashock Dance Company for more than six years and still enjoys participating in various projects. In addition to dance, Christine is a licensed acupuncturist and mother of two rambunctious little boys.
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.
Marisa Shimano graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in English and Psychology, as well as special recognition for Dance Excellence. In Chicago, Marisa partnered with Vanessa Valecillos to choreograph and perform a version of Stravinsky’sFirebird for Ravinia Festival’s Reach*Teach*Play program. Upon graduation, Marisa moved to New York City to attend The Ailey School, where she earned her certificate of Independent Study and had the honor of performing an original work by Bradley Shelver at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Since relocating to the West Coast in 2018, Marisa has performed works by some of San Diego’s brilliant artists including John Malashock, Blythe Barton, Brittany Taylor, Desiree Cuizon, and Peter Kalivas. Marisa is honored to join Malashock’s teaching faculty this fall, teaching recreational contemporary, ballet, and musical theater dance. Marisa also loves participating in Malashock’s outreach programs, and is a 200HR certified yoga instructor through YogaWorks.
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 Rachel Torres graduated from UCSD in 2012, receiving a BA in Literature with Honors and a minor in Dance. Since graduating, she has had the pleasure of performing for several local dance artists in events such as The Engagement Ring Series at Malashock Dance, youTurn2015, Sound Dance Company’s “An Unlikely Outfit”, IGNITE, The San Diego Fringe Festival, The Live Arts Festival, and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. In 2014, she performed as a UCSD Alumni guest dancer for Jean Isaacs’ “There the Dance Is.” After performing as a guest artist with Malashock Dance during their 2016 season, Rachel was honored to become a company dancer in 2017.
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.
Marty Dorado graduated with a BA in Dance from New Mexico State University in 2011. He performed in San Diego Dance Theater’s Annual Trolley Dances in Fall 2011, which inspired a relocation to San Diego. Since then, Marty continues to perform in Trolley Dances each year and danced for many local San Diego dance artists and companies including Visionary Dance Theater (2012-2015), The PGK Dance Project (2014-present) , Compulsion Dance and Theater (2014-present), and as a guest artist for San Diego Dance Theater (2019). His first opportunity to work with Malashock Dance was as a guest artist in “Lifeblood Harmony” (2014). Marty is thrilled with his decision to move to Southern California and be part of such a wonderful community of devoted artists.
Darren Oei began dancing at the age of 17, performing on a hip hop dance team with his high school. He began his formal dance training and education at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated with a BA in Dance and Sociology, training in ballet, contemporary, modern, jazz, and ballroom. In 2011, Darren began training at California Ballet School and later danced with California Ballet Company as an apprentice in their 2013-2014 season. He performed in San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances in 2014, working with Teri Wilson, and again in 2018, working with Debi Toth-Ward. Darren has been choreographing and dancing for local church ministries in recent years, where he has been invited twice to perform at international conferences. Currently, Darren is a dance instructor at various studios in San Diego and a dancer with Shock Army, an adult hip hop troupe at Culture Shock Dance Center.