ZUZI|School

School: Teacher Bios

Aja Knaub

Aja Squires is the assistant school director for O-T-O Dance and has been teaching and performing with them for four years. She started her performance training in the theatre arts and moved to dance when she discovered the aerial apparatus, flying and suspending movement in the air. She began 9 years ago on the low flying trapeze under the tutelage of Patti Lopez and the Arivaca Arts Council. In Tucson, she expanded this skill with Annie Bunker, Charles Thompson and Nate Dryden. She has taken workshops with Robert Davidson, Nancy Smith of Frequent Flyers Productions, Terry Sendgraff, the trapeze twins Elsie and Serenity Smith, and French aerialists Jacques Bertrand and Frédérique Debitte. She is excited to be teaching for ZUZI!

Alan Gonzalez

Alan Gonzalez furthered his art and dance education at Pima Community College where he collaborated directly with the director of the dance department, Aurora Goncalves-Shaner and Carol Carder in charge of marketing & PR Coordinator. After earning an Associates degree in Arts and Graphic design, Alan became a dancer in Artifact Dance Project, for “The Great American Dance Tour” in China. After Alan’s participation in Artifact Dance Project, he started working for Kim Robard's dance company in Denver, Colorado as a full-time company member during 2012-2013 season. His painting and digital skills gave him the opportunity to become the artistic marketing director of Kim Robards Dance while continuing to dance as a company member. Gonzalez had the opportunity to work with contemporary ballet choreographer David Taylor and his company Zikr in Denver, Colorado. Alan was accepted into The University of Arizona dance program in the fall 2014 and he was part of the cast for "The Unsung" by Jose Limon and travel to NYC to perform in the Jose Limon International Dance Festival 70th Anniversary at the Joyce Theatre in the fall of 2015. During his last year at the University, Gonzalez was cast to perform Ohad Naharin master pieces. Alan is excited to be part of The AACC and do more to help children of the Tucson community to express themselves throughout arts.

Billbob Brown

Billbob Brown was Chair of the School of Dance at the Hong Kong Academy for the Performing Arts, and before that the director of the Dance Program at UMass Amherst.  Co-founder and artistic director of Desert Dance Theatre in Phoenix (now in its 36th year) in the 1980s, he has performed and taught across the globe, including tours in Japan, Thailand, Great Britain, and Mexico; created shows for the Utah Shakespearean Festival, and choreographed and performed in TV work and commercials for the Chicago Cubs, Molson Canadian Beer, Disney Studios, and ABC-TV, which have received numerous awards.  He has toured internationally with the Bill Evans Dance Company, and was director of Buen Viaje Dancers, a group of people with disabilities. His Emmy-award winning video, "Opening Doors," with Buen Viaje, has been seen on PBS stations across the country.  His teaching and choreography emphasize spatial and energetic awareness, community and social connectivity, through humor, serious topics, and digital arts. 

Cesar R. Degollado

Cesar R. Degollado, a native of Mexico, has worked as a dancer with well known choreographers and has performed world-renowned choreography by George Balanchine, Anthony Tudor, Paul Taylor and Ben Stevenson. He has traveled as a performer to Amsterdam, Germany, London, Scotland, Mexico, Venezuela, Japan, and Thailand, as well as throughout the United States. He worked with Ballet Tucson for seventeen seasons where his credits as a dancer involved principal, soloist, and corps de ballet roles. He shared the role of rehearsal assistant with Ballet Tucson, Ballet Master for Ballet Tucson 2, and Ballet Tucson's Regisseure, and Outreach Development Coordinator. César served twelve years as faculty at Ballet Arts including ten years as faculty for Ballet Tucson Summer Dance Workshop. Mr. Degollado founded ConDanza, a Contemporary Repertoire Company and a Community Outreach Project that originated in Stockholm, Sweden, officially moving operations to Tucson, AZ in 2009. His information is eclectic and rooted in tradition. 

 DeAnna Murray

DeAnna Murray delights in communicating with the mover in you! After all, "Dancing is just a faster way of walking.....and you know how to walk!" Join me in having fun with movement! Currently I have "fun" in my studio, The Labyrinth Center, Sierra Fitness, The Red Monkey Studio and at private client's home.

Debby U

Debby Urken has led writing, expressive arts and movement groups in Tucson for more than five years. She is a member of ZUZI! Dance Company. Debby holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Brain and Behavioral Science from Cornell University. She is also a certified Let Your Yoga Dance® teacher and Journey Dance™ teacher.

Jasmine Roth

Jasmine Roth is a NH native who holds her bachelor’s degree from Union College in upstate NY. Jasmine graduated with her Bachelors in Theater Arts while having minors in dance and storytelling. In addition to her college training in modern, jazz, tap, and ballet, Jasmine trained in ballet with Edith Toff at Northeastern Ballet Theater, in tradition Vietnamese dance at the National Theater of Vietnam. Jasmine also works professionally as an actor and director of theater and loves to combine her love of theater with dance to creative movement theater pieces. In addition to teaching at ZUZI! Jasmine teaches at Diverse Dance, the CFSD Community Schools program, and Christian Youth Theater. 

 Karenne Koo

Karenne Koo is a dance artist dedicated to developing and practicing multi-disciplinary approaches to stimulate the art of inclusive dance as an instrument for building community.  She is co-Founder and Executive Director of Evolve Dance Inc., a nonprofit dance organization founded in 2006 with the mission of pursuing understanding, advancement and realization of the human experience through dance.   While in New York, she managed the Y Dance Program at the Family YMCA at Tarrytown with Evolve Dance Co-Founders Jane Alexandre and Julie Johnson and was Co-Producer and performer in the YDance Festivals and Evolve Dance Festivals between 2006 and 2012.   She serves on the Board of Directors of Mettler Studios, Inc. and is a member of the International Association for Creative Dance.  Karenne has conducted creative dance workshops through Evolve Dance’s Dance Together residencies in New York, Vietnam, Indonesia and Peru.  In Tucson, she teaches creative dance improvisation at Arts for All, Inc., a nonprofit arts organization that provides art education for adults and children with mixed abilities; and co-directs the Arts for All Adult Dance Ensemble, a performing group of dancers with mixed abilities that regularly presents original works at multiple venues throughout the year.  

Karyn Reim

Karyn Reim has had an eclectic ballet education that culminated with a BFA and BA in dance performance and choreography from Shenandoah University. Though not a ballerina herself, she believes good dance technique, presentation, and discipline begin with a strong ballet foundation.  Her modern dance, Pilates, and yoga studies will also likely influence her teaching style. Come explore a powerful and elegant dance technique!

 LeighAnn R

LeighAnn Rangel Sotomayor currently works at Pima Community College Center for the Arts. She was the co-founder and director of NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre for 10 years. LeighAnn has a Bachelor's Degree in Dance from the University of Georgia and a Master's Degree in Dance from the University of Arizona.

 

Maile N

 

Maile Nadelhoffer is a dancer, choreographer, singer, and actress. Her formal dance studies began at age 3 with jazz legend Gus Giordano and she went on to dance with Chicago jazzmen Joel Hall and Mike Fredrics. Maile began training in classical Spanish dance and Flamenco at age 11. Pursuing this ancient art form became a lifelong passion, and she has been fortunate to study Flamenco, both in the U.S. and in Spain, with some truly wonderful dancers: Andres Marin, La Tania, Oscar Nieto, Omayra Amaya, Belen Maya, and Eva La Yerbuabuena. Maile loves teaching and sharing Flamenco! Maile was co-director of the Luna Llena Flamenco Ensemble, has been a featured singer with the Zuzi Dance Company, and has performed with Borderlands Theater Company. 

 Melissa Wenn

Melissa Wenn, a newcomer to Tucson, found circus arts shortly after arriving. She threw herself into the community, learning hoop dance, fire arts, stilting, acrobatics and aerial arts. She found she had a passion for aerial arts above all else. She has taken workshops, classes and private instruction from various teachers in Tucson and the surrounding area. She has performed with cirque roots in numerous productions. She is excited to share her passion for aerial silks with you and carries that passion into her teaching. 

Monica WB

Monica Weinheimer Boccio has been studying modern dance and aerial arts since 2004. She has performed with Peggy Soomil Dance Company, ZUZI!, Flam Chen, Murphy Speaking Films, Sugarbeast Circus, and Circus School of Arizona. She has performed solo work in Tucson, Phoenix, Ann Arbor, and Cleveland, and in 2015 directed the contemporary circus show Lily in the Argon Forest. She especially enjoys exploring the frontier between ground and air in dance.

Nanette

Nanette Robinson, choreographer, educator and dancer is ZUZI! Co-Founder and Director of Arts Education, holds a BFA in Dance from Temple University and is an introductory and ongoing certified instructor of Skinner Releasing.   She has travelled internationally teaching and performing and has extensive experience as an aerial dancer and teacher having worked with Robert Davidson and Terry Sendgraff. Nanette’s choreography has been showcased locally with O-T-O, Zenith Dance Collective, Arts for All, University of Arizona Dance Department, Rick Wamer, “Mythos” Project, NEW ARTiculations, Funhouse Movement Theater, The Tucson Poetry Festival, the ADAA Showcase and the Flagstaff Summer Dance Festival. Nanette is currently teaching at Paolo Freire School, with Mirasol Recovery Treatment Program and ZUZI! School.  She is thrilled to be a part of ZUZI!. It has been her home and artistic toolbox for creating dances,  flying, teaching and working with all levels and ages of dance lovers.

Serena Tang

Serena Tang brings a unique perspective to her AcroYoga practice. She fuses performance art, capoeira (an Afro-Brazilian martial art), dance, and partner acrobatics in her art. She has taught workshops internationally, including Europe, Canada, Mexico, as well as across the US. Serena received her AcroYoga Montréal teaching certification in 2010 and assists in their teacher trainings. She performs with Flight School Acro, Cirque Roots, and teaches AcroYoga in Tucson, Arizona.

 Stephanie Cortes

Stephanie Cortes is a co-founder, co-owner, and artistic director of Cirque Roots Studio and Productions. Stephanie has choreographed many shows for the past three years, and performed for a variety of audiences and venues. Modern hoop dance has been her primary performance art, however her excitement and interests has led to an expansion of skills including aerial hoop, fire dance, stilt dance, and acrobatics. She has a passion for teaching and thrives to inspire creativity, confidence, and happiness in every student. 

 Tammy Rosen

Tammy Rosen Wilbur is the co-founder and former director of NEW ARTiculations Dance Theatre for which she choreographed, performed and taught.  She is also the founder of The DanceLoft, where she still teaches. In addition to NEW ART, she performed with FUNHOUSE Movement Theater, Tenth Street Danceworks and O-T-O Dance.  She is a practitioner of the Feldenkrais Method® of somatic education.