ABOUT TU DANCE

Founded in 2004 by Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands in Saint Paul, Minnesota, TU Dance is a leading voice for contempory dance. The 12-member, professional company is acclaimed for its diverse and versatile artists, performing work that draws together modern dance, classical ballet, African-based and urban vernacular movements.

“Dance creates a shared experience—an undeniable space where a diverse community of audience and artists connect to a common power.

We founded TU Dance to create access and opportunity—a platform for performers, students and audiences to engage the remarkable art form that shaped our lives.”

Toni Pierce-Sands & Uri Sands, Artistic Directors

The TU Dance repertory features original work by Uri Sands, as well as renowned choreographers including Dwight Rhoden, Ron Brown, Katrin Hall, Gregory Dolbashian and Camille Brown. Through celebrated performances of the professional company and accessible dance education at TU Dance Center, TU Dance provides opportunities for everyone to experience the connective power of dance.

.

THE CONNECTIVE POWER OF DANCE

.

THE 2014-15 TWIN CITIES PERFORMANCE SEASON

.

Fall Dance Concert ▪ November 21-23, 2014

The O’Shaughnessy, Saint Paul, Minnesota | Tickets
Join us at The O’Shaughnessy in Saint Paul for the opening of our 11th performance season with a fall dance concert featuring current choreographic perspectives from St. Paul, New York and Reykjavik. The evening includes a world premiere by Icelandic choreographer Katrin Hall, specially commissioned by The O’Shaughnessy—a work that explores the essential need for space through Hall’s distinctively contemporary lens. Also on the program is Uri Sands’ One (2013), a work for eight women which pays tribute to Henrietta Lacks and the HeLa cell; and If and Or (2013), a vibrant full-company work choreographed by Dwight Rhoden of Complexions Contemporary Ballet.

140509_TU_Large_282_72dpi

.

Spring Dance Concert ▪ April 17-19, 2015

The Cowles Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota | Tickets
The 2015 spring concert features a world premiere work by choreographer Uri Sands honoring Marian Anderson, the celebrated American contralto who was breaking barriers for African-American artists decades before the civil rights movement. The program also includes Sands’ Hikari, an immersive exploration of light created in collaboration with master print artist Hiroki Morinoue, and selections from the company repertory.

TOURING & RESIDENCIES

2014-15 Touring & Residencies Schedule

.
Aug. 31-Sept. 6, 2014Beloit, WIResidency at Beloit College
Sept. 7-20, 2014Boston, MAResidency at Boston Conservatory
Sept. 17 & 19, 2014Twin Cities, MNPerformance, Arts Midwest Conference
November 8, 2014Miami, FLPublic Performance, South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center | tickets
December 4, 2014Faribault, MNPublic Performance, Shattuck-St. Mary's School | tickets
January 9-10 , 2015New York, NYPublic Showing at APAP Conference
January 24, 2015Moorhead, MNPublic Performance, Minnesota State University | tickets
Jan. 25-Feb. 1, 2015Miami, FLResidency at New World School of the Arts
February 7, 2015Fairmont, MNPublic Performance, Fairmont Opera House | tickets
February 25, 2015Winona, MNPublic Performance, St. Mary's University | tickets

Booking TU Dance

TU Dance is a member of Pentacle (Dance Works, Inc.), a non-profit management support organization for the performing arts, Mara Greenberg & Felicia Rosenfeld, Directors. 75 Broad Street, Suite #304, New York, NY 20001. www.pentacle.org. For booking information, contact Harold Norris, Director of Booking, at 212-278-8111 or Haroldn@Pentacle.org. Full Booking Information

MSAB-LEGACY-logos

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour, Arts Access, and Operating Support grants, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

.

“BREATHTAKING…THE SOLD-OUT AUDIENCE RESPONDED WITH A SPONTANEOUS OUTPOURING OF EMOTION”

                                                                                — StarTribune

.

THE PERFORMING ARTISTS

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel

Brooklyn, New York

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel (Company Member) is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She began dancing at age 5 studying a variety of dance styles. She is a graduate of the La Guardia High School of Music and Art & the Performing Arts. Alanna received her B.F.A. from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. She has worked professionally with Nathan Trice/Rituals. In 2011, Alanna received a SAGE Award for Outstanding Performer. Alanna joined the company in 2007.

Duncan Schultz

Duncan Schultz

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Duncan Schultz (Company Member), a Minnesota native, is a University of Minnesota graduate with a B.A. in Dance. During his college career, he performed in works by Jose Limón, Louis Falco, Laurie Carlos and Shapiro and Smith. He has also spent time training at the Alvin Ailey Dance School, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and most recently completed the Alonzo King LINES Ballet 2012 Summer Program. Duncan has performed with ARENA Dances, and joined TU Dance as a company member in 2010. He was recently honored with a 2014 Outstanding Performer Award from the SAGE Awards for Dance.

David Rue

David Rue

Minneapolis, Minnesota

David Rue (Company Member) began dancing at 16 after he was introduced to tap dance in a high school musical. Born in Liberia and raised in Fridley, Minnesota, he is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he received a Bachelor of Individualized Studies that combined Dance, Journalism, and English. He was introduced to TU Dance by performing in the University’s production of The Wiz, which was choreographed by Uri Sands. He performed in the company’s Ordway debut during his final semester in school, and has also danced work by Nora Chipaumire and Makeda Thomas. David has dance with TU Dance since 2011.

Demetrius McClendon

Demetrius McClendon

Chicago, Illinois

Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Demetrius McClendon (Company Member) began dancing hip-hop at age 15 and pursued formal training at Northern Illinois University where he completed a BFA in Dance. He has danced professionally with DanceWorks Chicago and as guest artist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wylliams/ Henry Contemporary Dance, Deeply Rooted’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase, DanszLoop Chicago, Pursuit Productions, Chicago Repertory Ballet, and the Civic Ballet of Chicago. He studied on scholarship at Lou Conte Dance Studios under Claire Bataille, Joffrey Ballet summer intensive and Deeply Rooted Productions. He joined TU Dance in 2014.

Hassan Ingraham

Hassan Ingraham

Miami, Florida

Hassan Ingraham (Company Member), born and raised in Miami, Florida, first discovered dance while attending Charles R. Drew Middle School. He continued his dance training at the New World School of the Arts and then received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the prestigious Juilliard School. Hassan has worked with Alexander Ekman, Christopher Huggins, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Troy Powell, among many others. He has been a guest artist with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Theater. He was a dance specialist at the Promise Academy at the Harlem Children’s Zone and a faculty member at the Harlem School of the Arts. Hassan has danced with TU Dance since 2012.

Elayna Waxse

Elayna Waxse

Overland Park, Kansas

Elayna Waxse (Company Member) received her early training with Alecia Good, and at the Kansas City Ballet School, spending summers at the School of American Ballet. She continued her training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a Professional Division student, where she performed frequently with the company. Elayna has been a member of Minnesota Dance Theatre, Colorado Ballet and Black Label Movement, where she performed works by Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Loyce Houlton, and Christopher Wheeldon. Most recently, she performed with Cie. Ismael Ivo e Grupo Biblioteca do Corpo at ImPuls Tanz Vienna International Dance Festival 2014, and in São Paulo, Brazil. Elayna has danced with TU Dance since 2012.

Taylor Collier

Taylor Collier

Washington, D.C.

Taylor Collier (Apprentice) is a native of Washington, D.C. where she trained at the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day and Rebecca Wright. She most recently received her B.F.A. in Dance from Dominican University of California/Alonzo King Lines Ballet B.F.A. Program. She has attended summer programs at the Rock School of Dance, Houston Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2014, she performed in the San Francisco Opera’s production of Showboat. Taylor joined TU Dance in 2014.

Katelyn Skelley

Katelyn Skelley

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Katelyn Skelley (Company Member, Assistant to the Choreographer) is a native of Minneapolis and began her training at Minnesota Dance Theatre & School, and studied summers at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, with Alonzo King Lines and at the Springboard Dance Festival in Montreal. Katelyn received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, performing works by Karole Armitage and Dwight Rhoden, among others. She has danced with Kyle Abraham, Cherylyn Lavagnino, Gallin Dance and Dre Dance in New York, and locally with the MovingCompany, Theater Forever, Live Action Set and Nic Lincoln. Katelyn joined TU Dance in 2008.

Kendra Dennard

Kendra Dennard

Southfield, Michigan

Kendra Dennard (Company Member) is a native of Southfield, Michigan. Her training spans jazz, ballet, tap, singing and acting. She trained at Sheryl’s School of Dance, Marygrove College and Oakland University. She studied at Point Park University’s Conservatory for Performing Arts under an artistic scholarship. Her performance credits include the works of Kristopher Storey, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Kyle Abraham, Francesca Harper, Sidra Bell, Camille A. Brown, Gregory Dolbashian and Uri Sands. Kendra joined the company in 2013.

Tara Cacciatore

Tara Cacciatore

St. Louis, Missouri

Tara W. F. Cacciatore (Company Member), from St. Louis, Missouri, graduated with honors with a BFA in Dance from Webster University and recipient of the Chalot Douglas Trust Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts. While in college she performed at the Kennedy Center in Iyun Harrison’s Union, a role created for her. She has worked professionally with Karlovsky & Company Dance, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, ANNONYArts and aTrek Dance Collective. Tara has performed in lead roles such as Anonymous by Jessica Lang and One choreographed by Uri Sands, where she was first introduced to his work. Tara joined TU Dance in 2014.

Kaitlin Setzke

Kaitlin Setzke

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kaitlin Setzke (Apprentice), a Wisconsin native, received her formative training from various dance centers throughout the Milwaukee area. In high school, she worked with Denis Malinkine, head master of The Milwaukee Ballet, as well as professors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was first introduced to TU Dance through Toni Pierce-Sands while studying at the University of Minnesota, where she completed her BFA in Dance in 2014. Kaitlin’s performance credits include works by Uri Sands, Donald Byrd, Larry Keigwin, Andre Tyson, Bill T. Jones, Ananya Chatterjea, and Shapiro & Smith.

Darwin Black

Darwin Black

Newark, New Jersey

Darwin Black (Company Member) of Newark, New Jersey began dancing at age 16 and graduated from Newark Arts High School under the direction of Ronnie D. Carney and Kim Richardson. Darwin furthered his training under Nancy Turano with the New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, and at Alvin Ailey as a fellowship student. His professional career includes Miami Contemporary Dance Company, performing repertory by Ray Sullivan; Sacramento Ballet, dancing in works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Trey McIntyre, among others; and Pascal Rioult Dance Theater. As a freelance dance artist he danced with Alaska Dance Theater, Momix, and Nimbus Dance Works. Darwin joined the company in 2013.

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel

Brooklyn, New York

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel (Company Member) is a native of Brooklyn, New York. She began dancing at age 5 studying a variety of dance styles. She is a graduate of the La Guardia High School of Music and Art & the Performing Arts. Alanna received her B.F.A. from The Juilliard School, under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. She has worked professionally with Nathan Trice/Rituals. In 2011, Alanna received a SAGE Award for Outstanding Performer. Alanna joined the company in 2007.

Duncan Schultz

Duncan Schultz

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Duncan Schultz (Company Member), a Minnesota native, is a University of Minnesota graduate with a B.A. in Dance. During his college career, he performed in works by Jose Limón, Louis Falco, Laurie Carlos and Shapiro and Smith. He has also spent time training at the Alvin Ailey Dance School, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and most recently completed the Alonzo King LINES Ballet 2012 Summer Program. Duncan has performed with ARENA Dances, and joined TU Dance as a company member in 2010. He was recently honored with a 2014 Outstanding Performer Award from the SAGE Awards for Dance.

David Rue

David Rue

Minneapolis, Minnesota

David Rue (Company Member) began dancing at 16 after he was introduced to tap dance in a high school musical. Born in Liberia and raised in Fridley, Minnesota, he is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he received a Bachelor of Individualized Studies that combined Dance, Journalism, and English. He was introduced to TU Dance by performing in the University’s production of The Wiz, which was choreographed by Uri Sands. He performed in the company’s Ordway debut during his final semester in school, and has also danced work by Nora Chipaumire and Makeda Thomas. David has dance with TU Dance since 2011.

Demetrius McClendon

Demetrius McClendon

Chicago, Illinois

Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Demetrius McClendon (Company Member) began dancing hip-hop at age 15 and pursued formal training at Northern Illinois University where he completed a BFA in Dance. He has danced professionally with DanceWorks Chicago and as guest artist with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Wylliams/ Henry Contemporary Dance, Deeply Rooted’s Emerging Choreographers Showcase, DanszLoop Chicago, Pursuit Productions, Chicago Repertory Ballet, and the Civic Ballet of Chicago. He studied on scholarship at Lou Conte Dance Studios under Claire Bataille, Joffrey Ballet summer intensive and Deeply Rooted Productions. He joined TU Dance in 2014.

Hassan Ingraham

Hassan Ingraham

Miami, Florida

Hassan Ingraham (Company Member), born and raised in Miami, Florida, first discovered dance while attending Charles R. Drew Middle School. He continued his dance training at the New World School of the Arts and then received his Bachelor of Fine Arts at the prestigious Juilliard School. Hassan has worked with Alexander Ekman, Christopher Huggins, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Troy Powell, among many others. He has been a guest artist with Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Theater. He was a dance specialist at the Promise Academy at the Harlem Children’s Zone and a faculty member at the Harlem School of the Arts. Hassan has danced with TU Dance since 2012.

Elayna Waxse

Elayna Waxse

Overland Park, Kansas

Elayna Waxse (Company Member) received her early training with Alecia Good, and at the Kansas City Ballet School, spending summers at the School of American Ballet. She continued her training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet School as a Professional Division student, where she performed frequently with the company. Elayna has been a member of Minnesota Dance Theatre, Colorado Ballet and Black Label Movement, where she performed works by Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Loyce Houlton, and Christopher Wheeldon. Most recently, she performed with Cie. Ismael Ivo e Grupo Biblioteca do Corpo at ImPuls Tanz Vienna International Dance Festival 2014, and in São Paulo, Brazil. Elayna has danced with TU Dance since 2012.

Taylor Collier

Taylor Collier

Washington, D.C.

Taylor Collier (Apprentice) is a native of Washington, D.C. where she trained at the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day and Rebecca Wright. She most recently received her B.F.A. in Dance from Dominican University of California/Alonzo King Lines Ballet B.F.A. Program. She has attended summer programs at the Rock School of Dance, Houston Ballet, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. In 2014, she performed in the San Francisco Opera’s production of Showboat. Taylor joined TU Dance in 2014.

Katelyn Skelley

Katelyn Skelley

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Katelyn Skelley (Company Member, Assistant to the Choreographer) is a native of Minneapolis and began her training at Minnesota Dance Theatre & School, and studied summers at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, with Alonzo King Lines and at the Springboard Dance Festival in Montreal. Katelyn received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, performing works by Karole Armitage and Dwight Rhoden, among others. She has danced with Kyle Abraham, Cherylyn Lavagnino, Gallin Dance and Dre Dance in New York, and locally with the MovingCompany, Theater Forever, Live Action Set and Nic Lincoln. Katelyn joined TU Dance in 2008.

Kendra Dennard

Kendra Dennard

Southfield, Michigan

Kendra Dennard (Company Member) is a native of Southfield, Michigan. Her training spans jazz, ballet, tap, singing and acting. She trained at Sheryl’s School of Dance, Marygrove College and Oakland University. She studied at Point Park University’s Conservatory for Performing Arts under an artistic scholarship. Her performance credits include the works of Kristopher Storey, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Kyle Abraham, Francesca Harper, Sidra Bell, Camille A. Brown, Gregory Dolbashian and Uri Sands. Kendra joined the company in 2013.

Tara Cacciatore

Tara Cacciatore

St. Louis, Missouri

Tara W. F. Cacciatore (Company Member), from St. Louis, Missouri, graduated with honors with a BFA in Dance from Webster University and recipient of the Chalot Douglas Trust Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts. While in college she performed at the Kennedy Center in Iyun Harrison’s Union, a role created for her. She has worked professionally with Karlovsky & Company Dance, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, ANNONYArts and aTrek Dance Collective. Tara has performed in lead roles such as Anonymous by Jessica Lang and One choreographed by Uri Sands, where she was first introduced to his work. Tara joined TU Dance in 2014.

Kaitlin Setzke

Kaitlin Setzke

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Kaitlin Setzke (Apprentice), a Wisconsin native, received her formative training from various dance centers throughout the Milwaukee area. In high school, she worked with Denis Malinkine, head master of The Milwaukee Ballet, as well as professors from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She was first introduced to TU Dance through Toni Pierce-Sands while studying at the University of Minnesota, where she completed her BFA in Dance in 2014. Kaitlin’s performance credits include works by Uri Sands, Donald Byrd, Larry Keigwin, Andre Tyson, Bill T. Jones, Ananya Chatterjea, and Shapiro & Smith.

Darwin Black

Darwin Black

Newark, New Jersey

Darwin Black (Company Member) of Newark, New Jersey began dancing at age 16 and graduated from Newark Arts High School under the direction of Ronnie D. Carney and Kim Richardson. Darwin furthered his training under Nancy Turano with the New Jersey Dance Theater Ensemble, and at Alvin Ailey as a fellowship student. His professional career includes Miami Contemporary Dance Company, performing repertory by Ray Sullivan; Sacramento Ballet, dancing in works by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, and Trey McIntyre, among others; and Pascal Rioult Dance Theater. As a freelance dance artist he danced with Alaska Dance Theater, Momix, and Nimbus Dance Works. Darwin joined the company in 2013.

THE SCHOOL AT TU DANCE CENTER

Alanna summer intensive photo
The School at TU Dance Center was formed in 2011, realizing Toni and Uri’s vision for an educational program committed to access and excellence.   The School shares TU Dance Center with the professional company, providing unparalleled opportunities for students of all ages to learn from working dancers, seasoned faculty, and distinguished guest artists who are frequently in residence with the company.

“students come out of the program with self-confidence, with the ability to transform their lives, with the gift of having experienced pure joy.”Natalie, a TU Dance Center parent

The School is organized in three divisions: the children and teen program introduces the joy of creative movement and beginning dance technique; the pre-professional program trains aspiring dancers up to age 23 who are considering dance careers; and the open program welcomes everyone to join individual classes in a range of techniquess including ballet, modern and West African dance.

PROGRAMS, CLASSES & FACULTY

To learn more about the offerings of The School at TU Dance Center, including class schedules and registration information,
>>click here to visit the programs, classes & faculty page<<

GIVING

Supporters Like You Make TU Dance Possible

Through performance, outreach and education, TU Dance celebrates the connective power of dance for audiences, students and performing artists. In the eleven years since our founding, generous gifts from individual donors have made this work possible. In fact, a November 2012 Minnpost article cited TU Dance among 18 highest impact nonprofits in providing access to the arts. With your donation, you are supporting the connective power of dance in local and touring performances, educational outreach programs and training for students at TU Dance Center in Saint Paul. Click here to give now at our GiveMN.org site.

The Foothold Campaign: Lend Your Feet to TU Dance Center

As we prepare for expansion of our studio facilities at TU Dance Center, we hope you will consider a special one-time gift to our Foothold campaign for TU Dance Center. Foothold donors, whose gifts support improvements, maintenance, and operation of the Center, are recognized on the wall of the Center’s lobby with a special photograph by Ingrid Werthmann, celebrating all the feet that are finding a foothold for dance at TU Dance Center in St. Paul. Click here for more information on the Foothold Campaign.

TU Dance was named by Minnpost among the highest impact nonprofits in providing access to the artsMinnPost, November 2012

TU Dance activities are made possible with major support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Target Foundation, The Saint Paul Foundation, F.R. Bigelow Foundation, General Mills Foundation, The David and Rosemary Good Family Foundation, Markell C. Brooks Fund for Dance of the Minneapolis Foundation,  Archie D. and Bertha H. Walker Foundation, City of Saint Paul Cultural STAR, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Minnesota State Arts Board
mcknight-foundation-logo     knight-logo-white (2)     targetMSAB-LEGACY-logos

Made possible by the voters of Minnesota through Minnesota State Arts Board Arts Tour, Arts Access, and Operating Support grants, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Finding TU Dance Center

 

TU Dance Center is located at 2121 University Avenue West in the Raymond-Midway area of St. Paul, just east of Vandalia Street, directly behind Subway restaurant.  By public transit, the center is 2.5 blocks east of the Raymond Avenue LRT Station on the Green Line. By car, the center is convenient to I-94 and both downtowns. Parking is available directly in front of our main entrance on the building’s east side.

 

loading map - please wait...

TU Dance Center 44.960747, -93.188382
TUDC sign_spc

 

Contact Us