Mercedes Johnson: Executive Director/ Choreographer/ Dancer
Mercedes Johnson is a choreographer and dancer, serving as the executive director for Modern Collective Dance Company. With a BA in Dance from The University of Hawaii at Manoa, she professionally danced with Keiko Fujii Dance Company, Iona Contemporary Dance Theater, Divino Ritmo Dance Company, and South Pacific Theater. Mercedes studied for a year in NYC at Broadway Dance Center and Complexions Contemporary Dance Company amongst other accredited studios. Thankfully to The 418 Project, The Santa Cruz Community, and her fellow dancers, she has discovered her choreographic voice and capability. She currently shares the joy and technique of dance at The Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center. Mercedes looks forward to serving the Bay Area with the professional talents of Modern Collective dance artist and more.
Amelia Nommensen: Choreographer/ Dancer
Amelia was raised in the mountain community of Frazier Park, California. As a studio dancer, she was well trained in Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Hip Hop and Tap and also participated in the competition team. She progressed within the studio to be an instructor herself. Furthering her education Amelia attended the University of California: Santa Cruz to study Marine Biology and Dance. She was one of the founding members of the Dance Minor in 2012 establishing its credibility among the UCSC theater arts department. She partook in performing and choreographing in many dance showcases including acclaimed choreographer, Cid Pearlman's original work "Ice Road."Amelia also co-directed the student showcase Random With A Purpose in 2014. Since then she has participated in shows throughout the Santa Cruz community and continues to grow her dance education by sharing her passion with other dancers and audience members alike. Amelia has found a home within Modern Collective Dance Company in 2014 and plans to continue furthering her artistry.
Angela Chambers: Dancer/ Singer
Angela Chambers has enjoyed dancing in many forms all her life. She was introduced to formal training in modern, contemporary, and ballet upon moving to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC. Alongside her minor in dance, Angela obtained her BS in Intensive Psychology in 2014. Having worked with many talented and inspiring choreographers and artists in the Santa Cruz dance community, Angela is very excited about her new home within Modern Collective Dance Company.
ancer/ Performance artist/ Movement educator
Brynne Flidais is a freelance dancer, performance artist, and movement educator. She has been creating innovative dance happenings for stages, dance companies, festivals, flash mobs, major events, and streets throughout the U.S. since 2004. She studied movement science at the university level and earned a science degree in Kinesiology. She gives form to music and rhythm through intuitive dance, structured improvisation, flow art, and choreography.
Ian Crowell: Choreographer/ Dancer
Over the past seven years, Ian has been studying the techical aspects of many dance disciplines; contemporary being his favorite. Ian is currently experimenting with choreography while presenting his works alongside Modern Collective Dance Company. Contributing as a choreographer for The 418 Project's annual Emerging Choreographer's Showcase. Presently dancing with the acclaimed FLEX Dance Company in Santa Cruz.
Jeanette Bent: Owner of Aerial Arts Santa Cruz: Dancer/ Choreographer/ Instructor
Jeanette has over 20 years of dance and modeling experience spanning from New York, France, Mexico to L.A. She has performed in Super Bowl XXXVII, the 2004 NBA Summer Pro League, Disneyland's Dance the Magic Parade and aboard the Norwegian Cruiseline's Gem. She was contracted to choreograph for the GLEE! Project, a musical production off-Broadway (T.S. Eliot's The Wasteland: The Musical) as well as for an ABA basketball team before working as the choreographer in resorts in Manzanillo, Cancun, Turks and Caicos, and Florida. There, she picked up aerial dance and acrobatics. She returned to New York City in 2009 to advance her skills in circus, dance and modeling before heading back to California to open up her own studio, Aerial Arts Santa Cruz. Jeanette travels internationally to compete in pole and aerial hoop. This summer you can watch Jeanette performing on the concert stage in the sand in front of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
Jennifer Radakovich: Dancer
Fun, daring, and experimental, Jennifer Radakovich likes to be involved in all things sparkly, neon and fiery! A hula performer from the age of 15, Jennifer is finally branching out beyond the Pacific and will get to try her hand (and a leg or two) at modern dance. Jennifer earned her MA in Dance (Ethnology) from the University of Hawaii - Manoa and continues to be involved with the arts in practically every way possible here in Santa Cruz.
Masah Bluestein: Dancer
Masha began her formal dance training in the Central Valley where she studied Ballet and participated in numerous local performances and competitions. Masha has continued to study dance for the past twelve years, focusing on Ballet and Modern. Currently Masaha is majoring in Literature and Dance at The University of California, Santa Cruz. With her talent she has captured the focus of many and been selected for several opportunities to perform and study with inspiring individuals from UCSC and the greater Santa Cruz community.
Natalie Wyman: Dancer
Natalie is a local dancer and student at Soquel High School studying in Santa Cruz. She was a member of Santa Cruz Ballet Theater for seven years, and is now a member of Coastal Vibe Dance Studio. She has studied with former Pacific Northwest Ballet's principle, Deborah Hadley. Trained with Alonzo King Lines Ballet in a summer program, studied with contemporary ballet instructor, Duncan Cooper, and has worked with various local artists in other genres throughout Santa Cruz. Natalie is looking forward to her college career next year where she plans to major in psychology and dance.
Nicole Mari Casado: Performance Artist/ Movement educator
Nicole Mari Casado's commitment to movement and art began early in life, as she found movement and art accepting friends with whom she could explore challenging questions and they would only ever ask her to dive deeper and deeper until beautiful expressions could pour forth upon the paper or send her across the floor. Her choreography exists as a sensuous ritual process of opening to connection with self, environment, and others, and as a gentle search for depth and truth in expression.
Nicole has her BA in Dramatic Arts with an emphasis in Dance and Choreography from the University of California Davis. She has facilitated classes, programs, projects, and experiments with preschool, kindergarten, elementary, high school, and college students. Nicole is currently in the early stages of creating a piece exploring un-domestication, exorcism of shame and trauma, and the constant presence of angels.
Patrick Sheck: Dancer
Patrick Sheck started dancing at the age of three and continued to dance at his parents studio in Los Angeles as he grew up. He has formal training in ballet and tap and began contemporary upon moving to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC where he obtained a BS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2013. In the fall of 2012 he was asked to join FLEX Dance Company under the artistic direction of Leslie Johnson and is also a company member to date.
Cipacteo Herrerra: Aztec Dancer