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Lisa Whitwell, was born to Boise native parents Monty Fleenor and LeAnne Wallce in 1978. She began dancing at age 4 with Georgia Listen of Timestep Dance Studio where her love of dance and passion for performance became evident. She danced with Dance Dimensions, Pat Harris and Dance Pros before continuing her training with Marla Hansen of Idaho Dance Theatre. For two years she danced with Nissa Toreon of Flamenco Fire. Her dance career includes multiple years of The Nutcracker with American Festival Ballet, dancing with Opera Idaho, and numerous student showcases at BSU. Lisa’s first season with Off Center Dance Project (2009-2010) brought her back to the stage after an almost decade long hiatus.  She earned a Master’s Degree in Business from Boise State University in 2016 and stepped into the role of Managing Director of Off Center Dance.  Lisa has written and was awarded 3 grants since 2015 that have helped fund Off Center Dance’s amazing performances, including the original works Folding/Unfolding at the Boise Art Museum in conjunction with the origami exhibit.  She continues to dance with Off Center Dance, with the upmost gratitude for Founder, Kelli Brown  Katie Ponozzo who have renewed her love of dance and passion for performing.

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A proud native of San Jose, California, Carly Giacinto has been dancing all her life. With early foundations in jazz technique, Carly has also formally studied lyrical, hip-hop, and character dancing. As a member of the Lincoln Convertibles high school performance dance team, she performed in solo and group numbers all around the country. She then went on to become a senior company member at Studio 10 Dance for two years where her love for expressive movement reached an all-time high. During this time, Carly won scholarships at JUMP, 24/7, Hollywood Connection, and other national events. After performing in the Superbowl 50 Halftime Show alongside Bruno Mars, Coldplay, and Beyoncé— and even winning an audience dance-off at The Ellen Show— Carly went on to discover the glamorous worlds of cabaret, burlesque, and aerial arts. After two years spent with Cabaret San Jose; a premier cabaret and jazz company in the Bay Area, Carly moved to Boise in 2018 to become a pole dancer with the Ophidia Performance Group and is now a fresh performer on the Off Center Dance stage.

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Rachel Lyons was born and raised in Boise, Idaho.  She began her dancing career with Kathy Lee School of Dance, studying Tap, Jazz, and pointe.  She also danced with Kathy’s performing company and taught for two years.  Her senior year of high school, she danced with Pat Harris and taught for Pat for nine years.  Rachel was Captain of the Boise High Dance team which she coached after graduation for three years.  Rachel continued her artistic journey at Boise State University, receiving her BA in Elementary Education.  She danced ballet with Marla Hansen and was an apprentice for IDT.  Rachel took some time off from dance to graduate and be a first time mom.  After graduation, she pursued her Master’s in Education through NNU.  While completing her Master’s, she joined Off Center in 2012 and was thrilled to dance again.  During this period she took a couple seasons off to be a mom 2 more times.  Rachel currently resides in Boise with her husband and three kids, teaching first grade.  Rachel continues to dance with Off Center Dance. 

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Arianna Christiansen, Originally from Boise, ID, has been dancing since she was three and has been competing since she was six years old! She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical, and Ballroom Dance. Currently, she is coaching and teaching at Backstage Dance Center, and previously danced on the Extreme Staffing Stampede Dance Team for The Idaho Stampede basketball team. This year she is so excited to be representing and performing with Off Center Dance Company. 

Teresa has spent her entire life dancing, teaching, choreographing and judging.  For 25 years (1982-2007) she was Co-owner/Director of Dance Dimensions studio in Boise where she trained hundreds of Treasure Valley dancers.  Her passion for performing did not diminish over the years,  and after retiring from the studio,  Teresa returned to her first love-performing-with Off Center Dance where she has continued to perform and choreograph into her 60's.

 

Linnaea Christiansen was born in Minneapolis, MN. and moved to Idaho when she was 2 years old. She started dancing at Studio C at the age 4 where she discovered her love for dance. After 3 years Linnaea and her siblings found Natalie Gallegos where they started Salsa Dancing. Soon after they were introduced to Martha Pohl from Idaho Ballroom Dance Center and started dancing on there competitive team, going to Nationals competing in Swing, Cha Cha, and Samba, while also dancing for many local private and public events. In 2012 she started dancing at Backstage Dance Center training in Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap, Lyrical, Jazz, and Contemporary, while also competing on there Black Diamonds Team 4 years. After Helping Off Center Dance back stage with costume changes, lighting, and being the stage manger for Elements of Idaho last year, Linnaea is so excited to dance and preform for Off Center Dance.

Madison Miller was born and raised in Twin Falls, Idaho. She took her first dance class at fourteen years old, under the instruction of Cynthia Jones. After that, she knew it was something that was going to be a large part of her life. She danced competitively in high school and later was invited onto Inspirata Dance Project as she neared her senior year of high school. This led to her getting her Associates degree in Dance from the College of Idaho. This created many opportunities for her to choreograph and teach for Sun Valley Ballet, Grace Dance Academy, and choreograph many competitive pieces and solos. Madi was not born into the dance world,  but she has every intention of spending her life immersed in it. She is eager to continue learning and exploring the dance community and those who make it such an incredible and creative place. 

Emily Geothal began dancing at the age of 10 in Northern California. At the age of 15 Emily joined the Folsom Lake Civic Ballet Company and iMPACT Contemporary Dance Company as a principal dancer under the umbrella of Stages Northern California Performing Arts. Emily also spent her free time competing across the Northern California region winning various musicality and overall high score awards. Emily moved to San Diego to attend Point Loma Nazarene University in 2008, and has danced and performed with Butterworth Dance Company, Mesa College Dance Company, Bite Dance Company, Ooh La La Dance Company, The PGK Dance Project, Velours Rouge Entertainment, and Viola Entertainment. In 2016 she danced on an international tour to the Maldives and Thailand, and was part of a performance featured in a commercial for Allina Healthcare. Emily recently performed site specific choreography with San Diego Dance Theater in the annual “Trolley Dances”, the performance was voted “Best of Trolley” out of 20 years of productions. Emily moved to Eagle in 2018 and and can be found as the Company Director at Dance Arts Academy where she teaches classes and coaches dancers of all ages. Emily’s most recent choreography for teen competitive dancers has won multiple high score, choreography and judges choice awards. She is incredibly excited to be a part of Off Center Dance!

Kelli Brown is the founder and past Artistic Director of Off Center Dance.  While AD for OCD, Ms. Brown choreographed over 30 works and 5 short dance videos. She is an adjunct professor Boise State University and a dance educator at Idaho Arts Charter School.  Ms. Brown has performed with groups including, Off Center Dance, MahaVia, Flux, Boise Dance Co-op, Drop Dance Collective, and Idaho Dance Theatre. In addition to her performance work, she has choreographed for Alexa Rose Gallery, Drop, College of Southern Idaho and University of Texas, PanAmerica.  She obtained her Master of Arts in Dance from California State University, Long Beach and her MFA in dance performance and choreography from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Ms. Brown has been the recipient of Fund for Teachers Grant (2015), Boise Arts and History AiR Award (2009) and project grant (2010, 2015), Idaho Commission on the Arts Awards (2010), a Surdna Foundation Fellowship (2010), Bates Dance Fellowship (2011, 2013),  and was awarded NW Dance Educator of the Year 2009.

 

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Libby Schmoeger was born and raised in the lovely city of Boise, ID. This is her 3rd season with Off Center Dance. She has been trained in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, acrobatics/tumbling, and has done a little aerial work. When she was 9 years old until she graduated high school she was apart of Balance Dance Company, under the direction of Leah Stevens. The scope of Libby’s dance training comes from the University of Utah where she attended as a modern dance major. She has also performed with Drop Dance Collective, Boise Dance Co-Op and Story Story Night in pieces choreographed by Chanel DaSilva, and a show for Opera Idaho choreographed by Lauren Edson. Libby currently teaches at Boise Dance Alliance and is a teacher at the YMCA in their Youth Development Program. 

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Katie was born and raised in northern Idaho, and studied dance at the University of Idaho with Festival Dance Academy. She moved to Boise to attend Boise State University, where she graduated with a BA in Theatre with dance emphasis, Cum Laude.  While attending Boise State she spent two years performing with Idaho Dance Theatre, one year with Stampede Spirit Dancers and two seasons with Drop Dance Collective. As an original member of Off Center Dance, Katie has danced and choreographed many works throughout the years and is excited to take over as artistic director for the 2016/2017 season.  Along with her role in Off Center Dance, Katie teaches ballet at Boise State University and  she also directs the high school dance department at Idaho Fine Arts Academy, a public arts school in Eagle, ID.  In 2012 she was the recipient of the independent artist grant from Idaho Commission on the arts for her dance piece "Ball Change".  

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Samantha Buckmier was born and raised in Portland Oregon. She attended Western Oregon University and earned a degree in Forensic Chemistry and a minor in Dance. She studied jazz, hip hop, aerial and modern. She has traveled all over the U.S., Mexico and China dancing with Rainbow Dance Theatre for 5 years, was an  apprentice with A-Wol aerial dance company for 2 years, and danced for local Portland shows with Subrosa Dance Collectives and Pure Dance Company for one year. She continues to teach at Thunderbird Dance Camp every summer for last ten years. Thunderbird teaches over sixteen hundred middle and high schoolers each year. She moved to Boise in September of 2013 and immediately started dancing with the Stampede Spirit and Off Center Dance company. She was the director of the Stampede Spirit for 2 years and has coach multiple dance teams in the area.