MFA Modern Dance, Guest Artist
Sara Pickett is a passionate teacher who believes in the pure joy of moving by connecting to groove and kinesthetic exploration. Pickett’s teaching history covers a wide range of subjects including all levels of modern, contemporary, jazz and hip-hop techniques, dance history, choreography, improvisation, teaching methods, history of hip hop, and dance appreciation.
Pickett danced professionally with Rick Robinson’s Total Control, and was a core member of Millennium, a hip hop company in Denver, Co. with Kenny Jimenez. She has co-produced and presented work in BRINE in Salt Lake City, now in its third season. Her choreography has been performed at the University of Utah, Weber State University, Utah Valley University, Brigham Young University, Sugarspace, and the American College Dance Association, among others.
Pickett received her MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah as a recipient of a University Teaching Award, and her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Weber State University where she was the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships including the Lindquist Creative Arts Fellowship. Pickett also worked as Public Relations Associate for the College of Fine Arts at the University of Utah from 2007-2013.
Molly S. Jorgensen
MFA, CLMA, SME, ISU Dance Faculty, SDF Director
Molly S. Jorgensen is a dance artist and Somatic Movement Educator currently on faculty at Idaho State University in the theatre and dance department and teaching independently in the Pocatello community. Her teaching is informed by ongoing study in embodied research, and the blend of dance science & Somatics for dance training, performance and wellness. She has her master’s degree in modern dance from The University of Utah, is a Certified Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analyst through Integrated Movement Studies (an ISMETA approved training program), and an ACE certified personal trainer. Her choreography has been chosen to perform at The American College Dance Festival’s Gala Concert and she has been awarded grants from the Pocatello Arts Council, Idaho Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts to further her professional development and artistic work.
As a dance and somatic educator, Jorgensen has taught a variety of dance courses at different universities throughout the western United States. She is excited to be offering a class in the ISU dance program titled Experiential Anatomy in the fall of 2017 and is currently developing programs/workshops to be implemented in fall of 2017 designed to create better health and dancer wellness practices for dancers at ISU and in Pocatello and surrounding communities. She is a certified yoga instructor and has several years’ experience teaching yoga, fitness/wellness and children’s creative dance classes under the umbrella of The Center for Movement, Dance and Somatic Wellness (CMDSW). Jorgensen was the Artistic Co-Director of I~Move, the ISU Modern Dance Company from 2007-2009 and is the co-founder of EXTEND Dance, a program designed specifically to create an active and professional dance community in Pocatello, ID.
As a performer, she has had the opportunity to train and work with esteemed teachers/choreographers such as Abby Fiat, Kaye Richards, Ellen Bromberg, Deborah Hay, Stephen Koester, Eric Handman, Pamela Geber-Handman, Satu Hummasti, Donna White, Brent Schneider, Tandy Beal, Jon Scoville, Pat Debenham, Janice Meaden, Ed Groff, Peggy Hackney, and Mel Claridge. Additionally, she has danced with Kinetikos Dance Alliance, ISU’s I~Move, EXTEND Dance, the University of Utah’s Performing Dance Co., and The Dancer’s Company at BYU. She toured the Midwestern United States with The BYU Dancer’s Co. and internationally to Tonga, Samoa, England and Wales with the BYU-I Contemporary Dance Theatre.
Molly helped in the creation of and serves on the executive board of IDEO (Idaho Dance Education Organization), a state affiliate of NDEO (National Dance Education Organization). She is passionate about dance as art in education, mindfulness-based movement practice and creating collaborative dance work.
ISU Ballet Faculty, Co-owner Alliance Academy of Dance
Sergiu Brindusa received his earliest training in his native Romania at the Institute of Music and Choreography in Bucharest. Entering the United States at age 14 to attend the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, D.C., on full artistic and academic scholarship, he graduated with the highest artistic achievement diploma. Sergiu danced on numerous occasions alongside stars of the Kirov Ballet, and in 1998 joined Orlando Ballet where he danced for six seasons. His versatility was evident in his leading roles in many classical and contemporary ballets: Prince Siegfried in Swan Lake, Prince Florimund in The Sleeping Beauty, Prince/Cavalier in The Nutcracker, Count Albrecht in Giselle, Solor in La Bayadere, Franz in Coppelia and many others.
Brindusa was twice a finalist at the world-renowned International Ballet Competition — in 2000 in New York City and in 2002 in Jackson, Mississippi. He is privileged to have trained and worked with many famous artists of the dance world including Fernando Bujones, Peter Stark, Alla Sizova, Oleg Vinogradov, Anatoli Kucheruk, Melissa Hayden, Robert North, Peter Anastos, Deborah Wingert, Karena Brock, Yan Chen, Winthrop Corey, Rasta Thomas, Sascha Radetzky and many more.
In the summer of 2005, Brindusa opened Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy in Pocatello with his wife, Beth Moore. Together, they have produced and performed leading roles in nine full-length ballets, including 11 seasons of The Nutcracker under the sponsorship of the Rotary Club of Pocatello. They performed alongside their students in The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle, and Coppelia, and took their bows from the stage in leading roles during The Nutcracker performances in 2015. During summer intensives they have also presented full-length productions of La Fille Mal Gardee, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Edward Scissorhands – The Ballet.
In January 2015, Brindusa and Beth joined the faculty of Idaho State University as Ballet Master and Ballet Mistress in the School of Performing Arts. They have performed in numerous community events in Pocatello and guest appearances elsewhere, including as Guest Artists with the Idaho State-Civic Symphony at its 2014 Valentine’s “Ballet at the Symphony Gala.”
Brindusa and Moore and Brindusa-Moore Ballet Academy have been the recipients of numerous community awards since arriving in Pocatello. In May 2007, they received the Pocatello Arts Council Community Partnership Award “in appreciation of the exceptional contribution to promoting the arts in our community.” They also were honored as recipients of an Idaho State Journal Business Award for 2007 as “Overachiever(s) Under 40.” In June 2009, they and the Academy were privileged to be recognized by the Rotary Club of Pocatello with its President’s Award acknowledging their “significant contributions to the community” through the Rotary/Brindusa-Moore Nutcrackers over the (then) past four years and were named Honorary Members of the club in 2010. The Directors and the Academy were named in September 2009 as recipients of the Mayor’s 2009 Corporate Award for the Arts. The Academy was voted the #1 Ballet Academy by Idaho State Journal’s Reader’s Choice Awards in each year 2014-2016. Mr. Brindusa proudly earned an award of a different nature in September 2013, his U.S. citizenship.
Sergiu is eagerly committed to this next chapter of his professional life with the launching of Alliance Academy of Dance and is excited to be working in partnership, as always, with his wife Beth, and now with Whitney, in their great collaboration.
ISU Dance Faculty
Sheena M. Phelps is a creator of dance and wellness. As an Idaho State Alumni and current instructor in the Department of Theatre and Dance, she is a thriving member of the Southeast Idaho dance community. Creating choreographic works for various teams and studios has taken her across the state to build creative relationships with numerous performers, students and other artists. Using her background in Pilates and yoga, she strives to build body and wellness awareness to keep artists creating throughout the years.
Over her 30 years in dance, she has worked for and studied with local studios and attended numerous workshops including annual IDAA dance camps. Sheena has also had the privilege of competing and leading the Idaho State University Bengal Dancers at national collegiate series, National Dance Alliance and Universal Dance Association. Moving her focus into higher education in the liberal arts program at ISU, she has attended and taught at numerous Northwest American College Dance Association regional conferences. Currently, she provides students at Idaho State University with technical training and performance opportunities. Sheena also provides community programs in wellness, technical training, and choreography through Mind Your Body and SMP Creative Wellness.
Dr. Lindsay Tucker
ISU Dance Faculty
Dr. Lindsay Tucker was a member of the Idaho State University Bengal Dancers while completing her undergraduate studies and worked as the assistant coach to the team throughout graduate school. Lindsay was also a Graduate School Senator for Idaho State University and has been involved in various other campus activities. Lindsay has an extensive dance background in Jazz, Ballet, Tap, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary and Aerial dance styles. Lindsay’s teaching theories revolve around strength and conditioning, technique, movement quality, and performance execution with goals of preparing students for futures within the dance industry.
Dr. Lori Head
ISU Dance Faculty
Dr. Lori Head is a certified Pilates instructor on Pilates equipment, floor, curricular, standing and Mat Pilates for Physicalmind Pilates Studio in New York City, NY. She is also certified in Gyrokinesis, Yoga, and completing her second year of Feldenkrais training. Dr. Head is a professionally trained figure skater and toured with the Ice Capades and Holiday on Ice International for several seasons. She is owner and operator of Mind Your Body, a Pilates and Yoga studio in Pocatello.
Dance Factory Studio Owner
Gina Underwood has always had a gift for dancing. She began teaching dance at various studios at the age of 12 and then started her own studio.
Cassie House-Harris is a performer, choreographer, and teacher who has trained in various studies of dance for many years. Her true passion lies in performing and creating modern dance. She is currently a Licensed Physical Therapist Assistant with a minor in Dance Choreography and Dance Education. Cassie has performed with ISU's modern dance companies, and danced as a principal with I~MOVE at the National College Dance Festival in New York City. She was involved with ISU's student dance company Danson and served as president for 3 years. Some of her works were chosen to be showcased in the Northwest Region of the American College Dance Festival. Cassie is the co-founder of the adult community group EXTEND where dance artists can come together to teach, create, and perform. As a former teacher for The Gateway Foundation, a former teacher for The Idaho Children's Dance Theater, and through EXTEND she has taught jazz, ballet, tap, musical theater dance, modern and contact improvisation classes.