MaryAnn Medenas Douvikas, Assistant Director, Dancer
MaryAnn is a dancer, choreographer, performer and teacher of dance and yoga. She received her Associate Degree in Liberal Studies from Santa Ana College, CA in 2007, her BA in Dance and Human Communications in 2012 from California State University Fullerton, during the same year she completed her 200-hour yoga certification with Cloud Nine Yoga and in 2016 she graduated from Saint Mary’s College of California with her MFA in Dance, Creative Practice. During her time at CSUF she had the honor to perform for Mike Esperanza at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. for the American College Dance Association. Other artists she has had the pleasure of working with include Heather Gillette, Carly Westergard-Dobson, Debra Noble, CatherineMarie Davalos, Todd Courage, Raul Galvan and Sharon Sobel Idul. Mary Ann currently teaches dance and yoga at different studios/schools around the Bay Area such as Salesian College Preparatory, Pittsburg Performing Arts Academy, Yoga Sol, The Benicia Yoga House, and The Big C Athletic Club. Other dance company experiences consist of: Santa Ana College Dance Touring Ensemble 2008-2010, Performed in Disneyland Parade as High School Senior with Song Team 2005 and has been Greek Dancer for 20+ years – Toured Greece in 2005 and performed at Dora Stratou Theater in Athens, Greece. Modern Dance Training with Debra Noble, Robin Johnson, Muriel Joyce, Gladys Kares, Heather Gillette, CatherineMarie Davalos, Rogelio Lopez, Dana Lawton and Elizabeth Randall.
“Movement in itself is a very important aspect of my life. It allows be to be a whole, breathing, living, expressive human being. I have been on a journey with movement in the form of dance as art since I was 20 years old. Before that I was a Greek Dancer for many years exploring my culture. However, as a late bloomer in dance as an art form I always felt that I was playing catch up with all the amazing dancers I was dancing with. But I knew deep down that I could not stop. Dance has helped me during the most happy and stressful times. It has allowed for an expressive outlet to share my ideas with many different audiences. I embody dance on a daily basis from the moment I wake up until I go to sleep and according to my husband sometimes when I sleep. Dance does not have to be movement you find in a class, it can be the sequence I am creating as I am cooking dinner or moving around as I am talking on the phone. Dance is the creation of my deepest feelings, sensations and experiences. It is my passion and I aim to embody it in whatever way I can.”
Hailey Yaffee, Dancer
Hailey began her dance training at the age of 10 in her hometown of Lakeport, CA. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Saint Mary’s College of CA with a BA in Performing Arts: Dance. Upon graduation she received the Louis LeFevre Award for Performing Arts. She spent her college summers studying at the Laban Conservatoire of Dance in London and at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Hailey has performed professionally with Jia Wu Dance Theatre, Diablo Theatre Company, Woodminster Summer Musicals, Jumpin’ at the Sun Dance Company and Davalos Dance Company. In addition, she has been featured in local music videos and short films. Along with her love of dance, Hailey is passionate about acting and in June 2017 she completed the Waterfront Playhouse & Conservatory one year Meisner training program. She is currently earning her MFA in Dance and hopes to establish herself in the dance-theatre realm. This is Hailey’s first season with mBody Dance Company.
“Dance has always been a powerful tool for me to process events in my life. Change is the only constant. To work with change and movement daily, or even moment to moment, helps me process this fact of life. Existence is made easier when I intimately work with movement in the form of dancing. Dance gives my life purpose and offers a plethora of new discoveries and challenges. I bring my whole self to my dancing and explore areas of myself and humanity at large. I transform when I dance to convey something beyond my limited experience. Dance is a gift to be shared and to be received. This cyclical relationship keeps me coming back.”
Kelsey Foraker, Dancer
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Kelsey is 23 years old and originally from Mariposa, CA. She’s a recent graduate of Saint Mary’s College of California, Class of 2018
as a double major in Dance and Kinesiology. At age 3, she started dancing, caught the bug and never stopped. Kelsey has studied ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, hip hop and tap. She has been performing with various companies and choreographers in the Bay Area since 2014 and has loved being exposed to so much art and passion for dance!
“Dance enables you to find yourself and lose yourself at the same time”
Mary Katherine Patterson, Dancer
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Mary Katherine began her dance and theater training in Orange County California with West Coast Performing Arts and received her B.A. from Arizona State University. She has a Master of Arts From University of Illinois. She was a company member of Scottsdale Arizona Jazz Ensemble and Desert Dance Theater. Mary Katherine performed with Alight Dance Theater in Washington DC, Amy Lewis Dance Project, and choreographer Stephanie Unger. She also choreographed and danced in artist Lyrics Born’s music video. Mary Katherine enjoys teaching and choreographing for various schools and studios in the bay area. She is grateful for the vibrant artistic community in the bay area and the opportunity to dance with mBody Dance Company.
“Dance is a powerful force in my life. It is both grounding and up-lifting. It is where I find strength in exploring and pushing boundaries. I connect with the imagery of movement as language and creative expression for things larger than life as well as the everyday and ordinary.”
Sierra Don, Dancer
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Sierra was born in the Central Valley of California. Sierra recently earned her MFA in Dance/Choreography at Mill’s College. Previously earning her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts – Dance with a minor in Child Development at California State University, Fresno. Sierra began as a gymnast, shifting into musical theater, and then dance. Her dance training and explorations are in Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Latin techniques (Maracatu, Samba, Afro-Brazilian, CoCo, and Salsa). Sierra is influenced and inspired by her work with companies such as CONTRA TIEMPO, Robert Moses Kin, Movement Exchange, and Trisha Brown Company. Her recent thesis work focuses on how latin movement and cultural practices can be applied as methods of healing and reversing symptoms of trauma.
Kionna Costello, Dancer
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Sierra Kellogg, SoCal based Dancer
Sierra began her dance training at Sebastopol Ballet School where she learned her ballet technique. She attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts as a dance major for her high school years focusing on strengthening her ballet technique and incorporating modern into her dance training. She spent summers studying at Salzburg Ballet in Austria, Joffrey ballet, Washington School of Ballet, and San Francisco Conservatory. Sierra continued her training at Boston Conservatory and moved to the bay area in 2011.In her time in the bay area she has danced with In Step Dance Theater, performed work by Sara Vincent in Fullerton, Ca and joined mbody dance in 2017.
“Dance has always been important to me since I was 8 years old. It was something that gave me drive, persistence, and allowed me to express my emotions and passion through movement. It truly made me understand the importance of being comfortable in my own skin. Exploring my creativity through movement has allowed me to know myself and express the things I cannot put into words. It has been an outlet that got me through tough times and pushed me to do better every day. Movement brings me back to the present where I can be completely consumed by my breath, the beat, and my body. Moving in whatever way feels good in my body, in time with the music is the best feeling in the world.”
Marta Serra, Dancer-Understudy
Marta is from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. She specializes in traditional and contemporary dances from the Silk Road, Middle East and Beyond. She has danced for over 20 years and has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Middle eastern, Classic Indian (Mohinyattam & Barattanatyam), Central Asian, Contemporary, and Artistic roller skating. Marta also has a few years of experience with Flamenco, Modern Dance, Shaolin Kung Fu, Musical dance and theatre which help her to be very versatile within her dance career. Some choreographers she has was lucky to train with in Spain include Lesya Starr, Rachida Aharrat, and Sandra Segui. Since she moved to the US she continued her training at World Dance Fusion, SF with Katy Alaniz Rouz. Marta currently is dance for the following Dance Companies in the Bay Area, Ballet Afsaneh, Nava Dance, and Shahrzard Dance Company. She has also practiced yoga for 20 years and recently got certified in Classical Pilates through Power Pilates which she enjoys teaching around the Bay Area as well.
Dance has always been there for me, if I don’t dance I am nothing.”