monica hogan thysell
Monica Hogan Thysell is a professional choreographer, teacher, and dancer based in New York City. As the artistic director of her company, Monica Hogan Danceworks, she has presented choreography on stages internationally including: Ailey Citigroup Theater, DUMBO Dance Festival, Dixon Place, Actor’s Fund Arts Center, Gelsey Kirkland ArtsCenter, NY Jazz Choreography Project, Queens Council on the Arts, CoolNY Dance Festival (NYC); Xuzhou Concert Hall, Tianjin Concert Hall (China); Triangle Dance Festival for AIDS (NC); and Jazz on Tap (GA), to name a few.
She and her company have held numerous artist-in-residence masterclasses and discussion panels for the Duke University Dance Program. Monica has performed professionally with companies including Gaspard&Dancers, De Funes Dance Company, BalaSole Dance Company, Phyzix Urban Dance Theatre, and more. On screen, Monica has performed in music videos for artists including Delta Rae and Vienna Teng and in work for AdCouncil and The College Board. In 2011, she was a choreographer and dancer in the opening ceremonies of the Universiade olympic games in Shenzhen, China. She serves the greater dance community as Marketing Director for National Choreography Month (NACHMO).
She was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where she trained at numerous studios including the Georgia Ballet and Atlanta Ballet. Monica graduated with distinction in Dance Choreography and Performance from Duke University, where she was the winner of the Louis Sudler Prize in the Creative and Performing Arts. While there, Monica had the opportunity to learn from workshops with artists/companies including Alonzo King’s LINES, Nederlands Dans Theater, Alvin Ailey, Chunky Move, Mark Dendy, David Dorfman, Donald Byrd, Shen Wei, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, and more. Her performance repertory there included Twyla Tharp's Eight Jelly Rolls and Torelli, along with countless works by acclaimed dance faculty.
Ellen Brown is a professional NYC based artist from Orlando, Florida. Ellen is a trained dancer with over 15 years experience in ballet, tap, jazz, Scottish highland and contemporary dance and holds a bachelor's degree in dance and psychology from Duke University. Off-Broadway credits include Freefall Frostbite, which ran at Theatre 80 St. Marks. She is also currently a company member of SHIFT Dance and individually has performed at the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, and DUMBO Dance Festival. She has performed works by various artists including Jennifer Archibald, Ming-Lung Yang, and Merce Cunningham. She has been a member of MHDW since 2016.
Emily Hogan is a NYC-based dancer and choreographer from Atlanta, Georgia. She received degrees in Politics and Dance from Princeton University, where she had the opportunity to perform repertory by Bill T. Jones, Zvi Gotheiner, Merce Cunningham, Brian Brooks, Jessica Lang, and Pam Tanowitz. In 2015, Emily received the Francis LeMoyne Page Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Creative Arts. She was also an active member of Princeton's BodyHype Dance Company and served as artistic director. Recently, Emily has had the privilege to work with De Funes Dance, Monica Hogan Danceworks, Grind Arts Company, and various others. In addition to performing, Emily is a certified yoga teacher and teaches weekly in Lower Manhattan. Being of the Hogan clan, she has been a member of MHDW since, honestly… diapers.
Sarah Lapinsky is a dancer and choreographer currently based in NYC. Originally from Stowe, VT, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of dance with her BFA in performance with a composition concentration and a minor in Arts Management. While at school, she was selected to perform works by Doug Varone, José Limón, Nejla Yasemin Yatkin, Sue Bernhard, Dylan Crossman, and Barak Marshall. As a choreographer, Sarah has presented her work at the 92nd Street Y mobile dance film festival, Dance shorts film festival, Small Plates Dance, Greenspace, Austin Dance Festival, and more. Sarah has been a member of MHDW since 2018.
Louisa received her formal dance training in her home state of New Hampshire, is a graduate of the Certificate Program at Peridance Capezio Center, and was part of the inaugural group at the Barton Movement's Axis Connect. Louisa has performed professionally with such choreographers as Yvonne Rainer for the Museum of Modern Art's Judson Dance Theater: The Work is Never Done exhibition, Diego Funes, Pat Catterson, Cleo Mack, Pramila Vasudevan, Michelle Thompson-Ulerich, Emily Bufferd, Jacqueline Dugal, Monica Hogan, Yuki Hasagawa, and Joyce King. Most recently,Louisa premiered her own work, Strange Girl Dances: A Visual Duet with Melissa Stern, at Garvey|Simon Gallery, New York, NY. Currently, she is performing with Smashworks Dance, developing a new multi-media installation with visual artist, Danielle Riede, and serves as the rehearsal director for De Funes Dance. In addition to performing, Louisa holds her B.A. in English Literature and Art History from New York University. She is interested in finding the intersections between different mediums and modes of communication in all of her work.
Born in Izmir, Turkey, Arzu Salman grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina where she received her primary dance training from Piedmont School of Music and Dance. She continued her education at The Ailey School and Fordham University where she has received her BFA in Dance with a minor in Communications in 2018. While dancing at The Ailey School, she performed works such as Alvin Ailey’s Revelations and Night Creature, Jose Limon’s PSALM, and ManMan by Clifton Brown. She participated in Robert Battle’s New Directions Choreography lab where she performed works from Brice Mousset, Ephrat Asherie, Netta Yerushalmy, and Juel D. Lane. She attended summer intensives such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, The Juilliard School, and The San Francisco Conservatory. She has been featured in music videos for Melody English as well as Sam Schall, and is a member of Queens Ballet Center Company. She has been a member of MHDW since 2018.
Audrey Wells is a New York City based dancer from Portland, Oregon. She graduated in Spring 2018 from Marymount Manhattan College with a BFA in dance. Most recently, Audrey played the role of Anybodys in West Side Story at Leonia Summerstage. While at Marymount, she performed in works by Robert Battle, Larry Keigwin, Ron K. Brown, Elisabeth Motley, Tito Del Saz, and Katie Langan, among others. She was also a member of the Marymount Manhattan College Dance Company. She spent summers at various programs including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, San Francisco Conservatory, NW Dance Project, and Parsons Dance.
Chisato Yanagisawa is originally from Japan, where she began her training in classical ballet at the age of five. When she was 17, she performed as a soloist in "Sleeping Beauty" at the Yokohama Port 150th Anniversary in Yokohama, Japan. She moved to New York to continue her studies at SUNY Purchase College, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance. While there, she performed works by Bill T. Jones, Attila Joey Csiki, Gabrielle Lamb, Rosalind Newman, Merce Cunningham, and more. Professionally, she has been working with multiple choreographers and some Japanese artists based in New York City. Chisato is also a company member of NSquared Dance directed by Nick Neagle and has performed nationally with them.
Tyra Els (St. Maarten, Dutch Caribbean) began her formal dance training at Dance Theater of St. Maarten at age 12. Tyra has attended various dance workshops and summer intensives such as: Create Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn, Dance Excellence LA, Art Saves Lives, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Ailey School, and Alonzo King Lines Contemporary Ballet. She is also the recipient of the Be The Change Foundation: Big Dream Scholarship 2016 as well as The Art Saves Lives Outstanding Performance Award 2013-14. Immediately after graduating from St. Dominic High School, she moved to NYC to attend The Ailey School’s Certificate Program where she performed works by Hollie Wright, Brice Mousset, Johnathan Lee, Earl Mosley, Amy Hall, Clifton Brown, Winston Dynamite Brown, and Alvin Ailey’s Memoria in 2016 with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. During Tyra's senior year at Ailey, she was a member of The Ailey Student Performance Group where she was performed Alvin Ailey's Revelations and Night Creature. Upon graduating with honors, she has gone on to work with choreographers such as Earl Mosley.
Sydney Keir started her formal training in Toronto, Ontario at the National Ballet of Canada. Recently, she graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA program where she pursued a double major in dance and communications/media studies. Since then, she has performed with Cadence Contemporary Ballet, Karpov Ballet, Ballet Jorgen, The Nathaniel Hunt Dance Project and Buglisi Dance Theater. Sydney has performed works by Bill T. Jones, Crystal Pite, Medhi Walerski, Mats Ek, Robyn Mineko Williams, Jae Man Joo, Hope Boykin, James Kudelka and most recently Vladimir Varnava in the international touring show Isadora starring Natalia Osipova. She has also attended intensive programs with Jacob's Pillow, Hubbard Street Chicago, Ballet BC, National Ballet of Canada, and the Saint Petersburg Dance Open Festival.