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Graduate Students

MFA Candidates in Dance

  • Alicia Marie Carlin
  • Robert Clark
  • Ashley Clos
  • Jamie Fruge
  • Cynthia Garcia
  • Timithy Holecek
  • Tawnya Kannarr
  • Margaret Leary
  • Mirannda Lindberg
  • Jennifer Mabus
  • Travis Prokop
  • Sarah Sanchez
  • Takiesha Scimio
  • Taryn Wilson


Graduate Teaching Assistant Biographies

Alicia Marie Carlin is an advocate for keeping feet off of the ground and heads in the clouds. A bun-head since her first ballet class at age three in Okinawa, Japan, Alicia rarely goes a day without dancing.even if that means jete-ing down the grocery isle. She trained in classical ballet at the Payne Academy of Ballet and performed with The Woodlands Ballet Theatre. After earning a BFA in Dance Performance from Sam Houston State University in 2006, Miss Carlin danced professionally with the Kista Tucker Dance Company, The Houston Grand Opera, and Blue Lapis Light. Currently, Alicia can be found hanging from the cat walk at Sam Houston State University where she is pursuing an MFA in Dance as well as instructing aerial classes for the dance department. In 2013 Alicia had the opportunity to present an aerial work "Wrapped Up in The Dream" for the ACDFA informal concert. Alicia is also a company member of Vault, Houston's aerial dance company which recently toured to New Mexico for Wise Fool's summer series, to Ecuador on a Cultural Exchange program and then to Ireland for the Irish Aerial Dance Festival. After receiving her MFA in December of 2014, Alicia plans to continue teaching and performing with the approval of her four year old son, Quinn, who has been quoted saying, "Diamonds. Diamonds are Mommy's. The diamonds in the sky, the stars are Mommy's."


Timithy Holecek graduated from New Mexico State University with his Bachelors in Dance Performance and Production. This January, he will be starting his final year at Sam Houston State University in pursuit of his Masters of Fine Arts. Tim has worked and studied with several international choreographers including Bill Evans, Debra Knapp, Jonathan Charles, Elizabeth Shea, Jennifer Pontius, Teoma Naccarato, and Gerard Theoret. Tim currently performs with Nicolay Dance Works, directed by Dana Nicolay, and has performed as a guest with NobleMotion Dance, directed by Andy and Dionne Noble. Tim's choreography has been performed at the American College Dance Festival and adjudicated into the 2012 Gala concert as well as nominated for the national festival. More recently, Tim has crossed borders, venturing into Lucca, Italy through Dance Italia Summer Intensive, directed by Stefanie Nelson, where he not only studied a myriad of styles including ballet with Bruce Michelson and Gaga with Shaked Dagan, but also created a new work specifically for the program.


Tawnya Kannarr, a first year graduate student at Sam Houston State University, is pursuing her MFA in dance. Tawnya graduated from SHSU with her BFA in Dance in the summer of 2013. Tawnya earned two associates degrees from Scottsdale Community College in Arizona, an AAS in Dance Technology and an AFA. Tawnya began professionally dancing with Scorpius Dance Theatre in 2010 and Rosenkrans Dans in 2012. Tawnya teaches multiple styles/ levels of dance. Tawnya began working professionally for NobleMotion and was hired as their Resident Stage Manager in 2013. In 2014, Tawnya joined Nicolay Dance Works as their technical director/lighting designer.


Jennifer Mabus is a dance educator and performance artist living and working in Texas. She is finishing her last year as a graduate student at Sam Houston State University. After receiving her BFA from Southern Methodist University, Mabus has had an active performing career, dancing as a soloist and founding member of Robert Battle's Battleworks Dance Company, as well as other New York based choreographers, such as Takehiro Ueyama, Heidi Latsky, and Amy Marshall. Regionally, she has danced with the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Wild Goose Chase, Elle Danceworks, and Ewert and Company; and she continues to dance with exciting young companies of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance and Noble Motion Dance, both based in Texas. Mabus has taught on the faculties of Texas Christian University and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and is currently a graduate teaching assistant at Sam Houston State University, where she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts. Mabus' choreography has been presented, most notably, at Interlochen Arts Academy, University of Texas at Dallas, the DUMBO Dance festival, White Wave's Cool NY Festival, Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and at Sam Houston State University. She is also a 500-hour certified yoga instructor, and has a passion for the healing possibilities of this ancient practice.


Travis Prokop is finishing his last year as a graduate student at Sam Houston State University. Originally from New Mexico, Travis received his BFA degree from West Texas A&M University. A former competition kid, Travis has been featured through the Vegas callbacks on Season 5 of the Fox broadcasting show So You Think You Can Dance, worked and performed as dance captain for TEXAS: The Outdoor Musical, danced many roles as a principal dancer for Lone Star Ballet, and received performance scholarships and awards from such organizations as West Coast Dance Explosion, and Texas Association Teachers of Dance. Travis has recently returned from Italy where he studied, Jiri Kylian, GaGa, and Batsheva repertory and is currently a member of NobleMotion Dance Company in Houston, TX. Travis has performed at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D. C. Travis is a dancer with NobleMotion Dance in Houston, Texas and is currently teaching for Southern Methodist University as a part time lecturer.


Takiesha Scimio was born in Oakland, California and started her dancing career at the age of eight. She studied under Terri Knapp with the S.K.I.P Entertainment Company in Guam, studying styles such as: jazz, modern, ballet and hip-hop. Takiesha graduated from Austin Peay State University with a BS in Sociology and minor in Dance in 2012. While attending, she studied with Marcus Hayes, Margaret Rennerfeldt and Thomas Shoemaker. Takiesha also, along with modern and ballet, studied West African dance as an undergraduate at Austin Peay. Takiesha also represented Austin Peay at ACDFA in the year 2012, performing a solo entitled "My Mother's Vessels" choreographed by Rafael Tillery. She was also a part of the Austin Peay's Pom Squad for three years. Takiesha has taken master classes from Khaleah London, iMEE, Enzo Celli, NobleMotion Dance, Danté Brown, Jennifer Mabus, Tamara Parrish, Jennifer Archibald, Teoma Naccarato, Lisa Nelson, Astrid Von Ussar, and Keith Fitzpatrick. Takiesha is currently a MFA Candidate at Sam Houston State University and will graduate in the year 2015. While attending Sam Houston, Takiesha has studied with Andy and Dionne Noble, Jennifer Pontius, Dana and Betty Nicolay, and Teoma Naccarato.


Taryn Wilson is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Dance at Sam Houston State University where she is researching the subconscious and how an individual reacts under pressure. In addition, she also completed her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance at Sam Houston State University. Taryn has been dancing since she was four years old and has had the opportunity to attend many summer dance intensives such as Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary School in New York and Margo Dean's school of Ballet in Fort Worth, TX. Her dance training consists of Ballet, Modern and Aerial technique classes as well as experience in Jazz, Contemporary, Hip-Hop and Tap. She has had the opportunity to work with Enzo Celli, choreographer for Celli Contemporary Ballet in Italy, and performed in his guest artist piece at Sam Houston's Dance Department concert, "Dance Spectrum." She has also visited Italy to perform and study under Bruce Michelson, Cristian Fabri, and Piero Leccese through Dance Italia, a three-week summer dance intensive.




Graduate Assistants Biographies

Robert Clark has a B.A. in Dance Performance from New Mexico State University. During his career he has worked with international and nationally recognized choreographers such as Eddy Ocampo, Bill Evans, Eddy Oroyan and Carl Flink. His career has taken him from Las Cruces, New Mexico, to Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Chicago, Illinois, the Twin Cites and now Huntsville, Texas. Over the last three years Robert has begun pursuing lighting design and has lit music, dance and theater experiences including Hot Chelle Rae and Skillet. Robert is now in his first year as a graduate student at Sam Houston State University where he is also working as a Graduate Assistant in the Box Office.


Mirannda Lindberg, a second year MFA candidate, graduated Magna Cum Laude with her Bachelor's of Science in Dance from Stephen F. Austin State University. Originally from Brownsville, Texas, Mirannda has trained with professionals from New York, Houston, Boston, and Taiwan and has studied and performed in such places as the Boston Conservatory and the American Dance Festival. In her work, Mirannda seeks to challenge the horizons of the proscenium theater with the usage of technology and the creation of environments on stage. It is her belief that each dance is unique experience capable of being viewed time and again, with the audience and dancers able to find new nuances in each presentation and viewing. In pursuing her masters, Mirannda is excited to continue to work and grow as a choreographer, performer, and artist within the Sam Houston Dance family.


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