Toni Pierce-Sands & Uri Sands, founders and artistic directors

TU_Dance_18112015_002 photo©Michael Slobodian
Toni Pierce-Sands (Artistic Director). Prior to co-founding TU Dance, Minnesota native Toni Pierce-Sands performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Tanz Forum in Germany, Rick Odums in Paris, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she was a featured soloist in such signature pieces as Revelations. Toni has also appeared in the Twin Cities as a guest performer with Ragamala Music and Dance Theater, Shapiro & Smith Dance, VocalEssence, Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater, and Robin Steihm’s Dancing People Company. Her command of the Horton Technique has led to teaching posts throughout the United States and Europe. Toni directs programming and teaches classes at TU Dance Center in Saint Paul and at the University of Minnesota, where she is also the Director of University Dance Theater. Toni was awarded a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Dance, named the Sage Awards’ “2011 Outstanding Dance Educator” and recognized with a 2013 Links Emerald Service Award for service in the arts. She was recently named as a 2015 USA Fellow, receiving this year’s Knight Fellowship in Dance together with TU Dance co-founder Uri Sands.
TU_Dance_16112015_014 photo©Michael Slobodian
Uri Sands (Artistic Director and Choreographer) has received national recognition for choreography that is notable for the fusion of classical elegance with edgy contemporary action, for pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism. A native of Miami, Uri trained at New World School of the Arts, and performed as a principal dancer with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for five years, Philadanco, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, as principal dancer with North Carolina Dance Theatre, and as guest artist with Complexions under the direction of Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson. His choreographic commissions include, among others, Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of California, Dance St. Louis, VocalEssence, Zenon Dance, Penumbra Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Uri has received the Princess Grace Award in choreography, the Joyce Foundation Award and the McKnight Artist Fellowship in Choreography. He was named City Pages’ 2011 Choreographer of the Year, and–along with Toni-Pierce-Sands–the 2010 StarTribune Artist of the Year. Uri was recently named as a 2015 USA Fellow, receiving this year’s Knight Fellowship in Dance together with TU Dance co-founder Toni Pierce-Sands.
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The TU Dance Board of Directors

Board members join the Company in a letter writing campaign for TU Dance
Pictured: The TU Dance board of directors joins company members
in a letter writing campaign for TU Dance
Chris Andersen, President
Michelle Horan, Secretary/Treasurer
Darin Florenz
Toni Pierce-Sands, ex-officio (founding member)
Uri Sands, ex-officio (founding member)
Kelly Greene Vagts
Julia Yager

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Administration

Toni Pierce-Sands & Uri Sands, Artistic Directors

Abdo Sayegh Rodríguez, Managing Director | bio

Laurel Keen, Director, The School at TU Dance Center | bio

Kaitin Kelly Benedict, Education & Outreach Coordinator

Gemma Isaacson, Administrative Associate

Grantwriting: Don Sommers
Accounting: Neal Evert, Carpenter, Evert & Associates
Medical Consultant: Dr. Brad R. Moser, MD
Physical Therapists: Maryann Johnson, PT , O’Keefe Matz Chiropractic and Jonathan Reynolds

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