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Feb122011

Company Member Biographies

Jen Kintner holds a BS in Biochemistry and an MS in Pharmacology, and has studied modern, jazz, aerial and African dance as well as yoga.  While in college, she performed with the Grinnell and Dartmouth College Dance Ensembles.  Jen was a member of The Motion Collective (MoCo), an improvisational modern dance group in Bar Harbor, Maine, and the multi-generational Movita Dance Company in Kingston, NY.  She has worked with choreographers Judith Woodruff, Erin Law, Andrea Pastorella, Keith Johnson and Ford Evans, and has set work on Fusion Dance Ensemble, MoCo, Trinity Ballet and Mountain Movers Dance Company.  Jen is a lab coordinator in the QCOM Department of Microbiology and teaches dance at ETSU as adjunct faculty.  Jen is the director of Mountain Movers Dance Company.  

Jenna Middlebrooks is originally from St. Augustine, Fl, where she began dancing at a very young age, studying ballet and Russian folk dancing.  Jenna attended Douglas Anderson High School of the Performing Arts, where she was introduced to modern dance as well as a multitude of ethnic dances. During this time, Jenna also danced for the Florida Ballet in Jacksonville, FL.  Most recently, she danced for a Tampa-based Caribbean-influenced ska band, performing throughout south Florida.  Jenna is a registered dental hygienist and is working on a Master's in Public Health with a focus in rural health at ETSU. This is her first performance with Mountain Movers.

Marla Perna is a graduate student in the Biomedical Science program at ETSU and is currently in her third year, under the advisement of Dr. Theresa Harrison. Marla began her dance training in ballet at the age of 6. She danced under the instruction of Judith Shoaff-Reading at Dance Unlimited Inc. in Tiffin, Ohio. In addition to ballet, she has also studied Jazz and Modern dance. This is Marla’s first performing year with Mountain Movers.

 Jessica Vest is a sophomore at Daniel Boone High School.  She first discovered her passion for dance while training with Tanya Rathbun at Trinity Arts Center, where she studied jazz and ballet. Jessica danced in four ballets with Trinity Arts:  Remember Me, Genesis, God with Us, and danced the lead role in The Secret Garden.   Jess went on to develop her interest in hip- hop, modern, and lyrical dance styles at Studio Dance of Johnson City under Kellie Tolley.  This is her first year performing with Mountain Movers.

Claire Woodard, a native of Kingsport, TN, began her dance training at the age of 9 at the Kingsport Guild of Ballet where she studied ballet and jazz.  In 1995 she joined the State of Franklin Dance Alliance, performing in the ballets Cinderella, Coppelia and La Sylphide.  She continued her studies at Converse College as a member of the Converse Dance Ensemble from 2001-04, and as a choreographer in 2005.  Claire currently teaches music and English at Providence Academy.  This is her fourth year dancing with Mountain Movers.

Tiffany Ysidron holds a B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy from ETSU. Tiffany began dancing in high school at Baylor in Chattanooga, TN where she danced for Vervé under the direction of Karen Smith.  She was a member of the Swing Club, and was the captain of High Energy Dance Team her senior year.  Tiffany attended Loyola University of New Orleans where she studied the Vagonova syllabus under Laura Zambrano, and was vice-president of The Society of Dance in 2003. While at ETSU Tiffany studied under Cara Harker in social dance and is currently a member of the Mountain Movers Dance Company. Tiffany says she dances because it gives her the opportunity to smile often and improves her quality of life.

Molly Baker Crofts received her B.A. in Comparative Literature from Hunter College, N.Y., and holds a master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology at ETSU. Molly has been recipient of ballet scholarships in San Francisco and New York under Yehuda Maor and Igal Perry, respectively. When Molly moved to the area in 2005, she was thrilled to join Mountain Movers, and has since become increasingly interested in modern movement. Molly has taught Ballet at ETSU. This is her second year choreographing for the college’s annual dance concert.

Karen Cunningham White danced with Mountain Movers Dance Company in its early years. She originated roles in many of the works that became classics in the company repertory, including Newton’s Creation, Hagardorn’s Willow, and Woodruff’s Catch and Country Suite. Karen took a lengthy hiatus from dancing to raise a family, although she continued participation in the arts as a background vocalist for contemporary gospel group, Brotherly Love. Recent performances are Woodruff’s Moment in the Sun and Out of the Fog, and Tag Team. She also appeared as dancer and guest vocalist in Trinity Arts Center’s Emanuel God with Us choreographed by Rathburn. Karen is a National Board Certified Teacher teaching third grade at Cherokee School in Johnson City, and is a recipient of the 2006 ETSU Distinguished Alumni in Education Award.

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