A native of Baltimore, MD, Abby graduated Cum Laude from Towson University, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and a Bachelor of Science in Deaf Studies. While in school, Abby studied with choreographers Robert Battle, Runqiao Du, Linda Denise Fisher-Harrell, and Christopher K. Morgan. She has also studied in New York City alongside Sidra Bell, Kevin Wynn, Larry Keigwin, and Aszure Barton, and in Chicago with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Upon graduation, she spent two years performing and touring with Washington, D.C. contemporary dance company, DEVIATED THEATRE. In 2016, Abby made her debut at St. Paul's Ordway theatre in White Christmas, and has since returned to perform in West Side Story and In The Heights. When not on stage, you can find Abby in classrooms around the Twin Cities as a teaching artist who works closely with the disability community. Abby couldn't be more thrilled to be part of SHAPESHIFT and continuing to tell its story.
Jessika is originally from Memphis, TN, and moved to Minneapolis at a very young age. She began her first formal dance training a couple of years ago at Lundstrum Center for the Performing Artist where she was introduced to jazz, ballet, and musical theatre. More recently, she has studied Horton and other dance techniques at TU Dance Center. You might have seen Jessika in works with Shá Cage, STRONGmovement or Curio Dance. Continuing her gratitude for the arts, Jessika is a 2015 graduate from Perpich Center for Arts Education and is currently in her second year at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities as a B.F.A dance major!
Corey began studying dance at age 13. He has trained with Mathew Janczewski of Arena Dance, Kenna Cottman with Voice of Culture, Amy Sackett, Deborah Johnson, Arturo Miles, Erin Thompson, Pandora, Betsy Maloney, Laura Ciganko, Carol Schwarzkopf, Sonya Tayeh and Mia Michaels. In 2010 Corey graduated from the Main Street of Performing Arts (MSSPA)with honors and an emphasis in dance performance. Following graduation, he was invited back to choreograph a contemporary piece titled “Twilight for the MSSPA Dance Company”. While serving as a significant contributor on SHAPESHIFT’S creative team, he also is a competitive dance instructor and choreographer at Turning Pointe Dance Studio in Eagan Minnesota, where he has received many national titles, including 2014’s Triple S National Grand Champion title.
Originally from Alexandria, MN Kole Nelson began dancing at a young age. After his early graduation from high school he moved to the city to pursue his career in dance. Represented by Caryn Model and Talent Agency, Kole is a dancer, instructor, and choreographer in and throughout the midwest region. His true passion lies in teaching and choreographing for it allows his visions to come to life. His choreography has been recognized at both the regional and national levels as well as being recognized for its outstanding and unique creativity. He has performed in several productions, his most recent works include "White Christmas" at The Ordway Center for Performing arts, "Romeo and Juliet" with Metropolitan Ballet, "Air and Space" for MSP airport via John Mark Creative, Eaux Claires Music Festival, 3M commercials, Kinetic Kitchen (Stacy Boedekker),"Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Best little Whorehouse in Texas" at the Old Log Theater, "CLU"- a jazz dance musical, and is a recent dance captain in the Old Log Theatre's production of "The Wedding Singer".He can be seen in music video production with artists such as: Har Mar Superstar, Little Scream, 7th Ave, and Vie BoHeme. He aspires to be a talent agent and working choreographer. "there is no greater joy than inspiring others and helping them to reach new heights"
Rachel has been dancing since age of 5. She has been perfecting her craft at Chaska School of Dance, Premiere Dance Academy, Center Stage Dance Studio, and Studio 4 Dance. She is trained in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, jazz, musical theatre, pointe, African and tap. Dance is Rachel’s passion, as she enters her senior year at the University of Minnesota as a BFA Dance Major. She has worked with artists from New York, Los Angeles, and the Twin Cities area including Gregory Dolbashian, Wynn Fricke, and Gerald Casel. She also has trained in Italy, and performed on the big stage with Spank Rock at the Eau Claire Music Festival and Tori Kelly at the Official Prince Tribute Concert in 2016. Rachel pays it forward as she also teaches students in contemporary, lyrical and ballet at various studios throughout the Twin Cities.
Emilia grew up in Lake Zurich, IL. She is in her senior year at the University of Minnesota studying Dance and Kinesiology. Emilia has performed in works by Gregory Dolbashian, Maurya Kerr, The Martha Graham Dance Company, Wynn Fricke, Brian Brooks, Marcus Jarrell Willis, Luciana Achugar, Erin Thompson, Joanie Smith, and Michel Kouakou. Emilia’s fun facts: a bowl of Raisin Bran makes her day, she adores napping and can fall asleep in any moment, and she loves to laugh to a comedy films or sitcoms.
As a dancer and choreographer, Alan is a two- time Sage Award Nominee in the State of Minnesota. Born and raised in the Twin Cities, Alan has been performing 10+ years and has been sculpting his craft as an all-around performer. He is a member of SHAPESHIFT's Creative Team, Immortal Dance Team leader, Head Choreographer for LegacyLiveEnt, Co-Founder of Rebirth Of Quality Art, and Creative Director for Global recording artists RajiTheOne and Anjanie Da Artist.
Gabriel started his movement training at the tender age of five at Out on a Limb Dance School, and he fell in love with the art form in high school, while attending the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists in St. Paul Minnesota. Gabriel is continuing to perfect his craft as a BFA candidate at the University of Minnesota School of Dance. Performing is his passion, but also is a dance instructor and choreographer. Gabriel loves music, fashion, longboarding, and always tries to be the best friend, son, and brother that he can be.
Emily is a natural performer, born and raised in Minneapolis. Emily has been seen in regional theaters such as The Ordway Center for Performing Arts (West Side Story; In the Heights), Theatre Latte Da (Cabaret), and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres (Hairspray; Bye Bye Birdie; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; The Little Mermaid). Emily is a new member to Shapeshift and is excited to become a part of the family.
Luis (age 20) hails from the 612 area code (Minneapolis). He started training at SPCPA, where he excelled in numerous styles (Modern, Ballet, Jazz) and world dances (African, Hip-Hop, Character). He has studied intensively with Uri and Toni at TU Dance. Among many other acting and dancing projects, his credits include performer and co-creator with LegacyLivEntertainment and New Black City dance crew.
Alyssa has trained as a competitive studio dancer since she was four, graduating from Studio 4 in 2013. She is trained in a variety of dance styles, including contemporary, jazz, ballet, lyrical, modern, hip hop, and tap. In 2014, Alyssa was selected to perform on for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines on the Allure of the Seas, traveling to many beautiful ports in the Caribbean. Alyssa continues to expand her professional dance career nationally from her home town of Minneapolis Minnesota.
Nate is a 19 year old dancer, born and raised in South Minneapolis. Nate is a humble student of dance and hip hop. His would describe his style as unorthodox like Prince, not wanting to be closed into a limited box in anything. Nate enjoys cooking and working out at the gym with his friends. He is looking forward to continuing his training and exploration throughout his journey with SHAPESHIFT!