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BLUE MOON DANCE COMPANY – Current Artist Profiles

PAT CONNELLY (Director) moved to Boulder in 1974 and attended CU for several years as a graduate student in dance. She worked for many years as an performer and choreographer in dance, theater and opera before founding Blue Moon Dance Company in 1995. Three consecutive entries, commissioned by three different dance companies, were awarded a place in the Colorado Choreographers Showcase and another original piece was chosen for the Aspen Dance Festival, a juried concert. Her work was commissioned by Denver Contemporary Dance Theatre, Turning the Wheel Productions, Interweave Dance Theatre and many other organizations. She was board member for the Boulder County Arts Alliance for twelve years, serving as Treasurer and Board President. In addition to the BCAA, she is a member of the Boulder County Arts Leadership Forum (BCALF). With Blue Moon Dance Company, she returns to the 2017 annual YWCA Benefit “Dancing with the Boulder Stars” for the eleventh year; she won the YWCA choreography in 2010 and 2012. She was a member of Nancy Cranbourne’s “40 Women Over 40”, Dance Forms and several other local dance companies. She teaches independently, specializing in partnering and social dance forms. In 2017, she received the Boulder County Arts Alliance Dance Fellowship.

NOEL BATERNA grew up in Aurora, Colorado, and studied biology at the University of Colorado Denver. He has trained in martial arts for over ten years and is an instructor at West Gate Kung Fu in Boulder. With his martial arts background he has done stunt choreography for three films and many live demonstration performances. He joined Blue Moon Dance Company in 2017.

YING CHANG began training in hip-hop at Motion Underground, but had his modern dance performing career jump-started in 1999 when he was chosen for the David Dorfman Community Project, sponsored by the Colorado Dance Festival. He joined the company in 2000. He continues to expand his exposure to different dance styles, finding frustration and enjoyment in the endeavor. In 2003, Blue Moon Dance Company received a BCAA/Addison grant to stage his multi-media work “STROKES” which premiered at the Carsen Theatre, Dairy Center for the Arts in April 2004 and was also performed at the Longmont ArtWalk. He returns to the company in 2017 after a several-year break following the birth of his 3rd child.

AMANDA KEPUS joined the company in 2017. She was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. Amanda started dancing at age 3 and has been dancing ever since, with an emphasis on ballet, jazz and modern dance. She danced competitively from ages 12 through17. She currently attends the University of Colorado in Boulder, majoring in Internal Affairs with a minor in dance.

MARYANN NASON, a California native, began her professional dance career with the Sierra Nevada Dance Company and Inner Rhythms Dance Company where she performed a number of roles in ballets and contemporary dance works. In 2009, a serious accident forced a break from performing, but her passion for movement and expression brought her back to the dance floor. She joined the company in 2014.

JULIUS REINANTE, a native of the Philippines, began studying ballroom dance with Pat Connelly before joining the company in 2002. He trained in competitive ballroom dance at Booth DanceSport Studio, Denver and performed in the Turning the Wheel 2005 production of “Nearly Invisible”. He won the YWCA benefit, “Dancing with the Boulder Stars”, in 2007, 2008 and 2009. He returns to the company in 2017 after taking some time off to spend time with his family.

LISA ADEVA SAMOY was raised in Florida, where she began formal dance training at the University of Central Florida and received a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. She has directed theater, danced and performed spoken word in Florida, Louisiana, Colorado, California and Massachusetts. In New Orleans, she performed with Anne Burr Dance Company and the Caravan Stage, and produced V-Day productions of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES by Eve Ensler. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University and she is a practitioner of the Rolf Method of Structural Integration and Core Synchronism. She is a mother to three sons, resides in Ward, Colorado and joined the company in 2015.

SKY SHAVER joined the company in 2015. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas where she danced competitively from the age of 3 through 18 and also taught dance with the Dance Dynamics Company. She moved to Boston where she continued to dance with the Boston College Dance Ensemble and community organizations, such as Boston Ballet. In 2016, she performed in the YWCA benefit “Dancing with the Boulder Stars” and won the choreography award. After receiving a degree in Astrophysics from CU Boulder, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Now residing in Golden, she is preparing for graduate school while researching black holes with the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy.

THOMAS WINGERD began studying dance with his parents who danced and performed traditional rounds and square dancing in the style of Lloyd Shaw. He toured with two internationally recognized folk dance groups, Calico & Boots and the Rocky Mountain Dancers. Natural curiosity for other dance forms led him to study and eventually teach swing dance, increasing his love for traditional waltz and vernacular dance forms. After graduating from CU, he went to New York for a year to work in the film industry and rejoined the company when he returned to Boulder. Eventually, he hopes to integrate the performance aspects of dance with the visual manipulation offered in film. As a member of Blue Moon Dance Company, he has performed in several YWCA benefits, “Dancing with the Boulder Stars”. He won the YWCA choreography award in 2013 and will perform again in the 2017 event. He is actively working in film and documentaries in the Front Range area.

(1995 to present)

  1. Adjei Abankwah – 2007 to 2010
  2. Michelle Badgeley - 2007
  3. Michelle Bernier - 2012 to present
  4. Amy Bland - 2012
  5. Sol Benson - present
  6. Ying Chang - 2002/2004/present
  7. Pat Connelly - 1995 to present
  8. Thomas Dixon (posthumously) - 1996
  9. Mora Gluskin
  10. Rachel Grote - 2005
  11. Landon Gustafson – 2004 to 2007
  12. Seth Gustafson – 2003/2004
  13. Elena Marie Hofer – 2013 to present
  14. Karen Howard – 1996 to 2000
  15. Tobi Johnson-Compton – 1997 to 2002
  16. Meghan Larsen – 2012 to present
  17. Sarah Leversee – 2003/2004
  18. Ariel Manzanares-Scisney – 2015/2016
  19. Debra Mercer - 1995
  20. Beth Moger – 2007 to present
  21. Courtney Murray – 2008 to present
  22. Chris Nuernberger – 2008 to present
  23. Yuki Ojika – 2003 to 2005
  24. Dreah Pentell – 2005
  25. Emily Plummer – 2011 to 2012
  26. Julius Reinante – 2004 to present
  27. Lisa Adeva Samoy
  28. Stephen Schroeder – 1997 to 2001
  29. Sky Shaver
  30. Ben Schultz – 1997
  31. Jessica Simpson - 2005
  32. G. Webster Smith – 1996 to 1999
  33. Larry Southall – 1999
  34. Franca Telesia – 1995 to 1997
  35. Tomas Waples-Trefil - 2012 to present
  36. Thomas Wingerd- 2010 to present
  37. Alison Yoder - 2004
  38. Colleen Noelani Young – 1997 to 2001
"You have to love dance to stick to it. It gives nothing back, no manuscripts to store away, no paintings to show on the walls and maybe hang in museums, no poems to be printed and sold, nothing but that single fleeting moment when you feel alive." Merce Cunningham

(1996 to present)

  • 1996 Break A Leg
  • 1997 Mood Indigo
  • 1998 Serious Fun
  • 1999 Dreaming on Time
  • 2000 Boundaries
  • 2001 Continuum
  • 2002 Light & Dark
  • 2003 Mood Swings
  • 2004 Elasticity
  • 2005 Torque
  • 2006 Moving On
  • 2007 Love is Strange
  • 2008 Dancing the Blues Away
  • 2009 Ephemera
  • 2010 Something Blue
  • 2011 Lovers and Other Strangers
  • 2012 Serious Fun 2012 (dedicated to the memory of G. Webster Smith)
  • 2013 Moving Parts
  • 2014 Body & Sole
  • 2015 Don’t Forget to Breathe!
  • 2016 Collide
  • 2017 Off Balance

Company Members/Guest Appearances:
(current members in bold face type)

Adjei Abankwah, Tyffanie Ammeter, Gemma Asir, Michelle Badgley, Noel Baterna, Michelle Bernier, Danielle Bernier, Sol Benson, Michelle Ballard, Andrew Berry, Amy Bland, Jeni-Sue Briggs, Ying Chang, Marty Connell, Pat Connelly, Laurie Coulis, Cindy Davis, Heather Davis, Eric Donovan, Keats Dormont, Sue Yoon Farabaugh, Bruce Feistner, Mora Gluskin, Rachel Grote, Landon Gustafson, Seth Gustafson, Lisa Harris, Camille Hensley, Elena Hofer, Karen Howard, Rita Jenkins-Gaynes, Tobi Johnson-Compton, Joel Kelly, Amanda Kepus, Kit Kyle, Desiree Lanz-Ewertz, Meghan Larson, John LeRoux, Sarah Leversee, Abe Levine, Ariel Manzanares Scisney, Allen McCowan, Kara McRae, Scott McLane, Debra Mercer, Hope Welles Meyer, Beth Moger, Courtney Murray, Kevin Nadeau, Mary Ann Nason, Carrie Noel, Christopher Nuernberger, Yuki Ojika, Karen Panasewicz, Dreah Pentell, Emily Plummer, Laura Rains, Willow Reed, Julius Reinante, Michael Rudeseal, Lisa Adeva Samoy, Stephen Schroeder, Ben Schultz, Arielle Schwartz, Sky Shaver, Arthur Siegle, Jessica Simpson, G. Webster Smith, Jason Smith, Larry Southall, Tiffany Stone, Sara Stranovsky, Justin Taggart, Franca Telesia, Gustavo Vargas, Cheryl Vick, Tomas Waples, Thomas Wingerd, Rebecca Wright, Alison Yoder, Colleen Noelani Young, Alexandra Zelinskaya

Members in the News


Webster Smith passed away in 2012. He was an original member of the company, a wonderful dancer and choreographer. He will be greatly missed.

Allen McCowan passed away in 2015. As an actor, he gave us great performances. As a unique individual, his laughter brightened the world.

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©2009 - 2017 Pat Connelly, Blue Moon Dance Company “All Rights Reserved”

Photography provided by Josh Lawton Photography unless otherwise indicated.