Hannah Benditt (Philomena Phlipflopagopoulous)

Hannah Benditt graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance earning her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a dual emphasis in Ballet and Modern. Originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, Hannah began formal training at Minnesota Dance Theatre (formerly Ballet Arts Minnesota). She has attended American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Washington Ballet, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and Milwaukee Ballet summer intensives. Upon graduating from UMKC, Hannah began dancing professionally with Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company, later joining Consuming Kinetics Dance Company in St. Louis, MO. Hannah returned to the Twin Cities in 2015 to join St. Paul Ballet and is currently a freelance artist working with a variety of independent choreographers and companies in the community. Hannah has enjoyed performing works by George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor, Jessica Lang, Uri Sands, Sally Rousse and more. In addition to dancing, Hannah enjoys spreading her love of movement as a teacher and choreographer in the metro and surrounding areas. This is Hannah's second project with DanceCo and she is so excited to be back working with Brittany and Matthew on such a fun, interactive show.

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Keely Blahauvietz (Keely Bananapeely)

Keely trains at Larkin Dance Studio and enjoying laughing spells. When she is not witching she plays multiple instruments, goes golfing, and eats ketchup with almost everything. This is Keel’s second production with DanceCo.

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Heather Cadigan-Brockman (Skyla Squall)

Heather Cadigan Brockman danced with Myron Johnsons’ Ballet of the Dolls for over 20 years. She is currently a member of Collide Dance Theater Company and serves as both faculty member and performer with Out On A Limb Dance School and Company. Heather is also enjoying work with various independent artists and choreographers in the Twin Cities. She has been seen on numerous stages throughout Minnesota. Heather is thrilled to be involved in her third original dance theater production with DanceCo.

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Nicky Cohelo (Hester Festerump)

Nicky Coelho is from Charlottesville, VA, and began her dance training with her mother Sally Hart. Further studies include Virginia School of the Arts, Dance Theater of Lynchburg, Maryland Youth Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet.

Mrs. Coelho has danced with Charleston Ballet Theater, Robert Ivey Ballet, Mikerline Haitian Folkloric Dance Company and James Sewell Ballet where she was the Company Manager for two seasons. She has enjoyed working with choreographers Myron Johnson, Keith Lee, Joanna Kotze, Christine Maginnis, Norbert De La Cruz III, Carl Flink, and most recently Berit Ahlgren on the filmOnly Dance Can Save Us.

Nicky has worked with the Albemarle Ballet Theatre in Crozet, VA as an Executive Associate and Stage Manager since 2005. Additionally, she has taught and choreographed for various schools and summer programs throughout Minnesota.

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Emma Fullerton

Emma Fullerton received her ballet, modern and jazz dance training at Ashley Ballet Arts Academy. Most recently she has turned her sights to musical theater by exploring summer intensive education with the Guthrie Theater. Emma also plays violin with the Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphony. She is excited to be in her first DanceCo production.

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Ronin Holley

At 8 years old, Ronin found passion for dance and began training at a competitive studio in Anoka. He has since continued his dance training at Northland School of Dance and TU Dance. In 2017, he graduated from Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists where he studied various styles of dance, including ballet, modern, classical jazz, composition and west African.

Recently he’s been working with Collide Theatrical Dance, a Minneapolis based jazz company, on various performances since august 2017.

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Benjamin Johnson (Gordon Randall Gandolfuss)

Benjamin Johnson started ballet at age fourteen, and quickly found his niche in the dancing world; hats. He has spend the past thirty five years specializing in and performing roles with hats.

Hats that look like mouse heads, hats with viking horns coming out of them, straw hats, railroad worker and conductor hats, and bright blue hats made to look like sailing ships have all graced his head as he has danced across stages across the country and in several foreign countries. In this performance, Mr. Johnson will be the guy onstage with the Fedora hat.

He is excited to return for these performances with DanceCo, after previously performing in Expectation Station and Wolftales. He has previously danced and worn hats for James Sewell Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Dayton Ballet, Ohio Ballet, Bay Ballet Theater, and Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota.

Outside of the dancing world, he is a Massage Therapist and ballet teacher.

Brittany Keefe

(Polly Wallywampus)

Brittany Fridenstine-Keefe is currently a freelance dancer and teacher in the Twin Cities. Brittany has danced with Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Ballet Memphis, Minnesota Dance Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, American Repertory Ballet, Terpsicorps Dance Theater, Terra Firma Dance Company, Chamber Dance Project, at the National Choreographers' Initiative, and with Morphoses. She performed in a solo improvisation show in Germany and Italy under the direction of Luca Veggetti, and was selected to be an American ambassador at the international dance festival in Cali, Columbia.

Administratively, Brittany served two years as the School Coordinator of the Rockford Dance Company where she created and implemented a school wide syllabus, teacher training program, and programmed client management software.

Brittany is certified in the GYROTONIC® exercise system and runs a home based studio, My Spiral Motion, helping people to “live better in their own bodies!”

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Mercedes Lano (Glindapolis Dawitch

)

Mercedes Lano’s favorite spells include wowing innocent onlookers with long, sustained balances and running on pointe. She learns her moves Project 52 in Eden Prairie, MN. This is Mercedes third production with DanceCo.

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Megan McClellan (Hexa Texarkana)

Megan McClellan's first professional dance job had her portraying a "water molecule" at a sewage treatment facility for a site-specific choreographer in Minneapolis. At that very moment, her career began an unpredictable trajectory that continues to span the globe. So far seen on three continents, her performance range includes pounding out percussive dance with Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum, performing the contemporary repertoires of Shapiro & Smith Dance and Black Label Movement, cheerleading for Miss Richfield 1981, and executing the tango in a Los Angeles night club for food. Since joining forces with Brian Sostek in 2000 she has added writing, acting and choreography to her repertoire. Together they have created work for several theater companies in Minneapolis and St. Paul and have toured their own shows at theaters and festivals across Canada, the U.S. and Europe.

In 2003 Megan was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship in Dance previously administered by the Southern Theater and funded by the McKnight Foundation. In 2012 she was named an Artist of the Year by City Pages (Minneapolis).

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Brian Sostek (Gordon Randall Gandolfuss)

Since the late 1980's, Brian Sostek has parlayed his background in various dance forms, his life long experience with comedy, and his fascination with verbal and physical play, into a successful and constantly expanding career in the arts as a writer, director, choreographer, performer and teacher.

His exploits have ranged from acting in some of Hollywood's most quickly-cancelled sitcoms to touring internationally with percussive dance-theater company JOE CHVALA AND THE FLYING FOOT FORUM to staging the King Boreas coronation ceremony at the ST. WINTER CARNIVAL to teaching 3rd graders how to make puppets from the junk in their desks and BFA acting students at the University of Minnesota how to dance with a partner.

He can frequently be seen on various stages in the Twin Cities including the GUTHRIE THEATER, CHILDREN'S THEATER COMPANY, ORDWAY CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS, and occasionally can be heard on TV and radio as anything from a gang of monsters to an upstanding announcer guy. From the Edinburgh Fringe to the Sun Dance Channel, his award-winning work has earned him a reputation as a "brilliantly versatile."

In 2000 he joined forces with Megan McClellan to create Sossy Mechanics.

Brian is a recipient of a 2014 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, a 2005 SAGE AWARD for Performance and the 2010 MN BRIDE MAGAZINE award for Best Dance Instructor.

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Rebecca Surmont (Cora Comatose)

Rebecca has spent over 20 years in the dance, movement, theater and commercial acting space collaborating in the creation of new work. She worked as resident teaching artist for eight years, educating children and their teachers throughout the Midwest in the vocabulary of movement and in making aesthetic connections to theatrically-based theater/movement works. Her teachers include Marcel Marceau, Stefan Niezdialkowski, and Kari Margolis.

Rebecca is passionate about the role that the arts can play in transforming experiences, inciting motivation, and bringing people of diverse backgrounds together in shared experience. She believes that children who grow up with the arts have tools that enrich their lives, and enable them to use their brain and hearts more fully. Dance-theater is a powerful story-telling vehicle that goes beyond words and can inspire where words cannot.

As a business woman, Rebecca spent 14 years building a successful services company from start-up to 150+ full-time employees and acting primarily as its director of sales and marketing and second in command. Today she works as an Organization Development Consultant, coaching and creating interventions that promote greater human learning and development.