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.
Marisa Shimano graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in English and Psychology, and completed her professional dance training at The Ailey School in New York City. Most recently, Marisa performed work by John Malashock in Jason Mraz’s new musical, Shine. Since moving to San Diego, she has had the privilege of performing with BAD Dance Collective, Blythe Barton Dance, the PGK Dance Project, and Continuum Dance Project, and for independent choreographers Brittany Taylor and Thom Dancy.
Marisa has been teaching dance since 2011, and loves connecting with students of all ages and abilities. She is currently director of Malashock’s Junior Company, and has choreographed and taught at institutions throughout Southern California including Lynch Dance Institute, Culture Shock Dance Center, San Diego School of Creative & Performing Art, and Jimmie Defore Dance Center. Marisa is also a 200HR certified yoga instructor through YogaWorks.
Rachel Torres graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in Literature with Honors and a minor in Dance. Upon graduation, Rachel began taking classes and working with artists in the San Diego community. She has had the pleasure of performing works by several local artists including John Malashock, Jean Isaacs, Sadie Weinberg, Debi Toth, Lara Segura, Erica Buechner, Erin Tracy, and Lavina Rich. Rachel has been a company dancer for the Malashock Dance Company since 2016 and also teaches youth Advanced Modern and adult Intermediate Modern for the Malashock Dance School.
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.
Lauren Christie is currently dancing professionally with San Diego Dance Theater and DISCO RIOT and was thrilled to join Malashock Dance for High Strung. Since relocating to San Diego, she has danced for local artists including Blythe Barton Dance, Erica Buechner, Gina and Kyle Sorenson (somebodies dance theater), Aurora Lagattuta, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, and Chelsea Zeffiro. Dubbed “fresh and talented” by The Washington Post, Lauren has also performed throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with DC-based Christopher K. Morgan & Artists since 2012. Carmel Morgan of CriticalDance describes Lauren as “captivating…an agile performer with a knack for getting under your skin.”
Jeremy Zapanta began training at Burbank School of the Ballet under Elizabeth Sutton. He graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of California, Irvine as a William J. Gillespie and Glorya Kaufman Scholar. He studied under David Allan, Donald Mckayle, and Jodie Gates. Jeremy dances as a Soloist with California Ballet under the direction of Jared Nelson, as well as San Diego Dance Theater under the direction of Jean Isaacs. At California Ballet he has performed works by Jared Nelson and Septime Webre. Jeremy has danced with the Traverse City Dance Project in Traverse City Michigan for 5 summers and recently toured with the group to New York City. This is Jeremy’s first year with Malashock Dance.
Mario Jaimes is a technically trained dance maker with seven years of experience in modern, hip hop, and jazz. He graduated from San Diego State University in May 2016 with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Management. Mario is a company member of San Diego Dance Theater. He has performed with companies such as Eastlake Dance Company, [San Diego State] University Dance Company, Malashock Dance, and Bite Dance Company.