SRU dancers will be ‘In Their Element’ at Feb. 4 concert


Winter Dance Concert artwork

Feb. 3, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than four-dozen Slippery Rock University dance students will present original choreography as part of the SRU Dance Theatre Winter Concerts, entitled "In Their Element," at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Feb. 4 at the Butler County Community College Succop Theatre.

Bookending the students' dances will be performances choreographed by guest artists Matthew Shaffer and Teena Marie Custer.

Shaffer, whose "Give Me a Mingus" will open the show and feature 16 dance students, is a former principal dancer for the world-renowned Giordano Dance Chicago. He has performed in a variety of productions, including: "The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall;" "Earth to America" with Jason Alexander; "Broadway Cares" with Rosie O'Donnell; and has appeared alongside Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler in the Netflix original series "Wet, Hot American Summer. Shaffer is the co-founder of A Group Production, LLC and has performed in, choreographed, directed or produced more than 40 projects for Broadway, film and television.

Custer, an instructor of dance at SRU, will see her choreographed piece, "Quake," close the show. The dance, which also features 16 students, blends contemporary and hip hop dance styles with pulsating body isolations and reverberating movement imagery that will demonstrate the dancers' versatility. Custer is an urban dance artist based in Pittsburgh. Her hip-hop dance theater work has been presented at the Breakin' Convention in London, The American Dance Festival, Pittsburgh's Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, Ford Amphitheater in Los Angeles and the American College Dance Festival Gala Concert. She has created hip-hop dance theater works for more than 20 university dance departments across the country.

"Each of the two concerts will also feature 13 solo and group works choreographed by the students," said Nola Nolen, associate professor of dance. "The featured dances were selected from the November Adjudication Concerts and will truly present the 'best of the best' in SRU student, faculty and guest artist dance works."

Students performing at the concerts include:

  • Emily Armentrout, a junior from Merrill, Michigan;
  • Ashley Barron, a freshman from Fryburg;
  • Kaila Belinda, a senior from Philipsburg;
  • Alyssa Bradley, a senior from Pittsburgh;
  • Djenne Boutrin, a junior from Mount Joy;
  • Brianna Casale, a senior from Allison Park;
  • Maria Crist, a senior from Lancaster, New York;
  • Paige Demore, a sophomore from Wayne, New Jersey;
  • Tara Dubac, a senior from Leechburg;
  • Samuel Elizondo, a sophomore from Watertown, New York;
  • Marie Ellis, a senior from Transfer;
  • Jenee Ewing, a freshman from McKeesport;
  • Emily Gardiner, a senior from Slippery Rock;
  • Justice Gray, a junior from Lady Lake, Florida;
  • Natalie Goforth, a senior from Avon, Ohio;
  • Felice Gross, a freshman from Monroeville;
  • Taylor Hahn, a senior from Hanover;
  • Emmalee Hallinan, a senior from Altoona;
  • Victoria Homschek, a senior from Aliquippa;
  • Molly Huey, a sophomore from Warren;
  • Jamie Hussman, a freshman from Munhall;
  • Tenaja Jennings, a sophomore from Clinton, Maryland;
  • Emilie Klinger, a junior from Harrisburg;
  • Patricia Kohler, a senior from Leechburg;
  • Kaitlin Kulasa, a sophomore from Belle Vernon;
  • Megan Long, a sophomore from Doylestown, Ohio;
  • Maddison Manolis, a senior from New Castle;
  • Malena Maust, a senior from Butler;
  • Savannah McCartney, a senior from Moundsville, West Virginia;
  • Lindsay McGivern, a senior from Allison Park;
  • Hannah Mellor, a sophomore from Enola;
  • Darrin Mosley, a senior from York;
  • Olivia Nellis, a sophomore from Glenshaw;
  • Shannon O'Reilly, a sophomore from Hanover;
  • Daniella Parks, a freshman from Medina, Ohio;
  • Melitta Parzyszek, a junior from Dillsburg;
  • Alisha Pelkey, a freshman from Woodbine, Maryland;
  • Emily Ragland, a sophomore from Strongsville, Ohio;
  • Caroline Ready, a sophomore from Allison Park;
  • Elizabeth Rohm, a senior from Cranberry Township;
  • Hannah Schneible, a sophomore from Rochester, New York;
  • Chelsey Shaner, a senior from Bellefonte;
  • Michelle Slavik, a senior from Downingtown;
  • Brittany Stote, a sophomore from Avon, Connecticut;
  • Julia Studer, a sophomore from Huron, Ohio;
  • Giana Tegler, a sophomore from Rochester, New York;
  • Mary Thomson, a junior from Niagara Falls, Ontario;
  • Monica Traggiai, a senior from Sarver;
  • Alison Vitale, a junior from New Castle;
  • Katharine Vrankin, a junior from Glenville;
  • Kacei Womack, a senior from Philadelphia; and
  • Madison Yankovich, a senior from Ridgway

Tickets, $12 for students and $16 for the general public, are available at the Smith Student Center Information Desk and online at:

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |