About Our Team
Jen was dragged kicking and complaining to her first dance class, but fell in love instantly, and has been dancing and practicing yoga ever since. She is the Director of Mountain Movers Dance Company, which has been the resident modern dance company at ETSU since 1982. She teaches aerial, modern and dance history at ETSU as adjunct faculty, works full time as a researcher in a Microbiology lab at Quillen College of Medicine, and is the owner of Azure Aerial Arts.
Jen holds a 200 hour certification in Yoga, has trained more than 300 hours with Shiva Rea in Vinyasa yoga techniques and philosophy, and has trained in Jayne Bernasconi’s method of aerial yoga. She has 40 years of experience studying, teaching and performing modern dance, and has a foundation teacher training certification in Aerial Fabrics with the New England Center for Circus Arts. She also has a Masters degree in pharmacology and toxicology, just for fun!
Sunshine Marion Taylor
Sunshine’s earliest dream memories are of her flying. Her dreams came true when she began aerial dance training at ETSU where she studied Anthropology and Dance and performed with Mountain Movers Dance Company. Her aerial journey has taken her all around the world to study with aerial dance forerunner, Jayne Bernasconi, technical mastermind, Rebekah Leach, and the creative resources of Fekat Circus in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. After taking a three year hiatus to serve in the inner-city of Washington DC, get married, move to Africa and have a baby, Sunshine is eager to return to teaching and sharing the love of aerial with others.
Lydie is an experienced yoga teacher who sees Yoga as her walk of life, her passion. She has studied with many of the leading voice of yoga worldwide, and she honors the love and support from all her loving students and practice ‘buddies’. She is also an Integrative Yoga Therapist and a voice with International Association of Yoga Therapy. Her background as a Physical Therapist, Massage Therapist, Acupuncturist (BR) and Energy Work define her awareness and knowledge expressed during her classes where she also combines her love for nature and the overall Divine creation. Within her teaching an eclectic array of styles are blended in gentle, focused, balanced, harmonious, powerful and flowing movements of all bodies and in particular the ‘subtle aspects of them.’
As a yoga studio owner for 14 years, she well understands the beauty and the urgency of understanding and embracing yoga in every aspects of our life towards enhancing overall health and wellbeing. As a director of InnerSeaYoga Teacher Training Programs, Lydie has been an active supporter for the expansion of Yoga in the Tri-Cities area and is happy to see that the ‘growth of yoga is ON.’
Besides leading international yoga and transformational retreats, she is also the author of “The Top 10 Yoga Mudras & Siddhartha” and the producer of a beginners and two intermediate yoga DVDs. For more information:www.thecenterforlifeexpression.com
Jessica was captivated by aerial dance when she experienced the power and pain of the fabric for the first time in 2011. She was introduced to aerial fabric by Jennifer Kintner, director of Mountain Movers Dance Co., and began to advance her training with aerial dance innovator Jayne Bernasconi, Amy Powell of Chattanooga Aerials, Molly Graves with Aerial Fabricators in Nashville, and aerial dance author and technical genius, Rebekah Leach. She began aerial performances with Mountain Movers Dance Co., and made aerial appearances in ETSU’s 2012 Dance Concert, the 2012 Bristol Celebration of Dance, and Bristol Ballet’s Cirque du Ballet.
In addition to her own aerial training and performance, Jessica quickly discovered a love for teaching aerial fabric. She has worked with Elsie Smith, Co-founder of New England Center for Circus Arts, in Introductory and Foundation level teacher training workshops for aerial fabric. She has taught classes for Mountain Movers Dance Co., the 2013 Tennessee Association of Dance Festival, and the Bristol Ballet and looks forward to continuing her instruction at Azure!
Claire Woodard began her dance training at the Kingsport Guild of Ballet and the State of Franklin Dance Alliance where she studied ballet and jazz. She continued her studies at Converse College as a member of the Converse Dance Ensemble, and is a long time member of Mountain Movers Dance Company. Claire has studied aerial fabric with Elsie Smith, of NECCA, and aerial hoop or lyra with Julianna Hanes. She specializes in honing students’ performance quality, and in using an innovative, personalized approach to her teaching.
Kelsea Nickels – Dancer, Crossfitter, Olympic Weightlifter, and Aerialist. Member of Mountain Movers Dance Co. Exercise Science Major. Dance Minor…and on top of all that, a compassionate and detailed instructor. Kelsea brings all of her detailed knowledge of body mechanics to her aerial instruction, along with a sense of play and fun that is hard to beat.
Thérèse Keegan is a dance performance artist whose work spans multiple decades and dimensions. After performing on the ground with modern dance companies in the DC area, she took flight as a founding member of Air Dance Bernasconi in Baltimore, then toured with Canadian company Caravan Stage. For ten years, her touring company, Updraft earned its reputation for riveting entertainment, featuring a hybrid synthesis of live music, theater, dance, video, circus arts, and spoken word. The company performed widely throughout the mid-Atlantic region and was selected for the Maryland State Arts Council Touring Roster as well the South Arts Performing Arts Exchange video showcase. Thérèse performed as a soloist and ensemble member, as well as providing artistic direction and serving as the organization’s executive director. Thérèse holds a Bachelors degree in Dance, a Masters in Arts Administration, and Aerial Yoga certification from Dawn Brooks through Raja Hot Yoga. More about Thérèse’s work and projects can be found at www.ignitedwayarts.com.
Originally known for her ability to tap dance and recite Shakespeare at the same time, Lizard Walker began dancing professionally in Washington DC when she was 10 years old with modern dance choreographer Nancy Havlick. Soon thereafter, she discovered the world of aerial dance, and has been an enthusiastic participant in the rigorous and thrilling art form ever since. A founding member of Maryland-based touring aerial dance theater company “Updraft”, Lizard spent five years as both performer (dancing, singing, and acting) and operations manager for the group. Upon moving to Nashville, TN, Lizard began performing and teaching with Molly Graves in the Aerial Fabricators, Thérèse Keegan in New Altitude, and as a solo artist. Lizard takes advantage of her ties to Music City to collaborate with musicians; performing live and creating video pieces that weave the performance genres together in unique and beautiful ways. She is skilled in fabric, trapeze, lyra, and the flexible flying cube, and creates hybrid performance pieces that span aerial dance, circus, ground dance, music, and theater. More about Lizard can be found at www.lizardwalker.com.