DDC Dance Artists

Photography by John Sobczak

Kari

Kari Becker received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Dance Arts from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, England. Throughout college, she trained with Liz Lerman, Doug Verone, Peter Sparling and performed in works by David Dorfman, Robin Wilson and Jessica Fogel. Her senior thesis was chosen to be performed at the American College Dance Association. Kari spent a decade dancing in Chicago with various companies including Concert Dance, Inc. led by Venetia Stifler. She performed in a PBS Emmy-nominated broadcast performance of Ruth Page’s classic Ballet, Billy Sunday, and performed for opening night of Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2008 season. Kari has worked with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago as a lead teaching artist through their educational outreach programs and with After School Matters/Gallery37. Currently, Kari is Chair of Friends of Dance at the University of Michigan. She is thrilled to be in her first season with DDCdances.

Lauren

Lauren Bobo is a freelance dance artist, teacher, and choreographer in Metro Detroit, Michigan. Lauren began her dance training at the age of 14 at Atlanta Ballet’s Center for Dance Education and went on to receive her Bachelors of Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography and Biological Sciences from the University of South Carolina. Lauren’s passion for ballet and contemporary movement is expressed through her love for teaching and choreography. Lauren’s style is heavily influenced by working with and performing works by Maurya Kerr, Brian Arias, Ryley Watts, Alvin Ailey II, Joffrey Ballet School, Jillian Mitchell, Tanya Wydman-Davis and Thaddeus Davis of Wydman-Davis Dance, Madeline Jazz-Harvey, CompanyE, and Arnau Perez, among others. In 2017, Lauren’s choreography was awarded the Director’s Award for Outstanding Choreography. Since moving to Michigan in 2019, Lauren has danced professionally with ArtLab J, Contexture Dance Detroit, and Detroit Dance Collective. In her free time, Lauren enjoys cooking, reading, yoga, and spending time exploring the outdoors. Lauren is looking forward to her second season with DDCdances.

Emma

Emma Davis is working towards her PhD in Dance at Texas Woman’s University and is a dance lecturer at the University of Michigan-Flint, where she teaches a variety of technique, performance, and lecture-based courses. Ms. Davis trained with many dance intensives including Anna Halprin, Liz Lerman, the American Dance Festival, and is certified to teach through the advanced level of Giordano jazz technique. Emma has received awards for her work with dance and the community from the University of Michigan Arts Initiative, Michigan Arts and Culture Council, and the Mellon Foundation. Her choreography has appeared at regional dance festivals, theatre productions, and recently at Cranbrook Art Museum as part of singer Tunde Olaniran’s Made a Universe film and exhibition. She performs as a back-up dancer with Tunde, since 2011, performing national tours and internationally in England and France. Emma is excited to be performing in her fourth season with DDCdances!

Jaiden

Jaiden Kruse began dancing competitive ballroom at the age of 18 with the Michigan State Ballroom Dance Team. After transferring to Eastern Michigan University and joining the Ann Arbor Ballet Theater, Jaiden found his calling in modern dance and ballet. Under the guidance of Molly Paberzs, Jaiden discovered a profound connection with choreography and improvisation. During his time at Eastern, Jaiden performed works by Carol Radovich, Molly Paberzs, Sherry Wilkinson, David Curwen and Barbara Selinger. Jaiden has most recently attended the Whim W’him Summer Workshop under the direction of Olivier Wevers. After graduating with a BA in Dance from Eastern, Jaiden acquired his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist certification from the NSCA and concentrates on training dancers for injury prevention and performance improvement. He is excited to join DDCdances for their 43rdseason and contribute to the city of Detroit through dance.

Amy

Amy Hutchison received her early classical ballet training with the Saginaw Valley Dancers under the direction of Doris Marsh. She was a company member of the Farrell Ballet Theatre from 2006-2010 while earning her BA in Psychology from Kalamazoo College. A member and guest choreographer for People Dancing since 2010, she has danced in numerous works by Christina Sears and had the opportunity to perform in Queens, NY with the company in 2015. She has also been a guest performer with LaMarre and Dancers and Patty Solórzano Dance. Amy has attended intensives and studied with Paul Taylor Dance Company, Kista Tucker Dance Company, Sidra Bell Dance, Toronto Dance Theater, Peggy Baker Dance Projects, L-E-V dance company at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Bill Evans, and The Limón Dance Company. Since joining DDCdances, she has had the opportunity to perform at RADfest in Kalamazoo, Oakland Dance Festival, the Detroit Dance City Festival, and in 2018 and 2019 performed at the Bill Evans Somatic Dance Conference in Geneva, NY. She was featured with the company on Detroit Public TV PBS "Detroit Performs" in 2020. Amy's choreography has been presented at 555 Gallery (Detroit), Oakland Dance Festival, and on DDCdances. Amy is a certified GYROTONIC® and Pilates Instructor and also teaches ballet and modern. She is honored and excited to be in her 10th season with the company.

Maddie

Maddie Parker is a recent graduate of Oakland University with her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Dance Performance. While at OU, she had the privilegeof training and performing as an apprentice with Eisenhower Dance Detroit during their 31st season with Stephanie Pizzo as Artistic Director, as well as training under Greg Patterson, Christina Tasco, Dr. Liz Kattner, Thayer Jonutz, Ali Woerner, Liz Riga, and others. Maddie was honored with the Distinguished Dance Student MaTilDa award from the School of Music, Theater, and Dance at Oakland. University, and has presented her choreography in several concerts. Before her collegiate training and professional career, Maddie grew up and trained in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Maddie is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer, and works in these roles for various organizations in the metro-Detroit area. She considers herselfa student in dance and in life and always looks to learn and grow.

Apprentices

Mackenzie

Mackenzie Kalinowski graduated from Hope College in 2022 with a BA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor in Business. There she trained under: Sharon Wong, Tracy Dunbar, Crystal Frazier, and Julie Powell. She was a company member of the H2 Dance Company where she performed repertory work under the instruction of Matthew Farmer. She was also a member of StrikeTime Dance Theater where she had the pleasure of performing works for child audiences, including a children’s TV miniseries. Mackenzie has choreographed for many projects on campus, as well as a special project for the West Michigan Symphony. She also has experience in theatre and dance production, as she was a part of the Performing Arts Technician Staff at Hope College and served as Assistant Lighting Designer for Eric Van Tassel on the shows Ordinary Days and Eurydice, as well as Head Electrician for the show Bright Star. In the fall of 2021, she served as stage manager and head lighting designer for Hope College’s ‘Ballet Movement Lab’ production Sunday in the Snow. Along with this Mackenzie was a part of the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre Company in 2021 as the Electrics Intern and served as Assistant Lightning Designer for Katy Atwell on the production of Children of a Lesser God. Mackenzie is very excited to be in her first season with Detroit Dance Collective. 


Laurel

Laurel Ryan is working towards her BFA in Dance Performance at Oakland University. She has been able to learn from Detroit-based companies such as Eisenhower Dance Detroit and Take Root. Laurel specializes in modern dance technique but has foundations in musical theatre and jazz as well. She has performed at American College Dance Association and explored her passion for improvisation and choreography throughout her time in college.While dancing at OU, Laurel has also pursued a career in teaching dance. She has instructed at Anita’s Elite Dance and Rochester Avon Recreation Authority and will be teaching her second season of advanced ballet at Gone Dancing Studio in Mt, Clemens, MI this fall. Laurel is excited for her first year working with DDCdances!

A special thank you to our Photographer  John Sobczak 

for his many years of friendship, generosity, and love of dance!