Lizzie grew up in Arvada, Colorado and began dancing when she was three. As a teenager, she spent five years training with the Arvada Center Dance Company under Christina Noel-Adcock, Lisa Rebik, Ashi Smythe, Kate Wagner, Emily Hoch, and Therese Patton-Sanchez. With the ACDT company Lizzie had the opportunity to partake in outreach performances in various nursing homes and with children's fundraisers. After graduating from Arvada West High School, she went on to study at Metropolitan State University of Denver.
Currently still in college, she is working on her Bachelor's degree in pre-medicine with a minor in dance, while working as an office coordinator at Denver Sports Medicine. She plans to attend Physician Assistant school after college and work in the medical field while still pursuing her passion for dance.
Lizzie currently dances with Park Hill Dance Collective under the direction of Emily Hoch and Karlyn Griswold. This is her first year dancing with Life/Art Dance Ensemble and she is excited to grow with the company.
Ariel studied ballet at Ballet Denver Academy for 9 years before going to Metro State University to earn a B.A in Theatre with a Minor in Dance. She has a passion for families that currently drives her to pursue her MA in Marriage and Family Therapy from Liberty University. Ariel joined Life/Art in 2011. Loving to share the joys of dance with others, she taught dance and creative movement for five years at several studios in the Denver area including Colorado Conservatory of Dance, MCDA, and Denver Dance Starz. Her choreography premiered in some showcases with Life/Art Dance Ensemble as well as in several musicals in the Denver area. Her favorite musical to choreograph has been A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at MSU Denver. Singing has always been a second love and she was delighted to study voice for two years at MSU singing in choirs and Musical Theatre Showcases. She performed as a character actress for children's events and parties with Wands and Wishes Occasions for over two years. She loves to spend time with her family and drink tea. Ariel is thrilled to be dancing with Life/Art.
Alberta Shulman grew up in Maryland where she fell in love with dance at the age of seven. She performed and worked as a member of Dance Unlimited's Repertory Company with training from other institutions, including Maryland Youth Ballet, Point Park University and Towson University. She began teaching at age fifteen and quickly delved into any opportunities to choreograph, perform or teach within her community. She attended college for two years at The University of the Arts where she had the privilege to work with a multitude of choreographers and teachers including Donna Faye Burchfield, Sidra Bell, Douglas Becker and Jennifer Johnson.
Her first big move brought her to Colorado, where she finished her BFA in dance at University of Colorado Boulder, studying under influential teachers such as Erika Randall, Michelle Ellsworth and Giselle Mason. During her time in school she performed in multiple graduate and faculty shows and participated in community outreach programs throughout Colorado. With a long background in musical theater, Alberta has worked with theater companies such as Candlelight Dinner Playhouse, Other Voices Theater and The Maryland Ensemble Theater as both performer and choreographer.
Currently, Alberta teaches at Airborne Dance, developing the ballet program and performance dance teams. She is planning to continue her educational pursuits with a masters degree in education. Alberta is delighted to be an official member of Life/Art Dance Ensemble and proud to be working alongside such talented individuals.
Community Outreach Dancer
Rachel is a Colorado native who has always carried a passion for art and beauty. She joined her first recording project at age 11 and started dancing that same year with Celebration Ministry of Arts, where she was trained in ballet and lyrical for 10 years. Soon Rachel discovered her love for teaching and organized a volunteer-led dance camp for underprivileged students in North Littleton from 2008-2010. From 2011-2013, Rachel was involved with Youth with a Mission, volunteering in South Africa, Mozambique, Amsterdam, London, and California, and spending a year in Hawaii. In each location, the arts played a prominent role for Rachel.
In 2014 Rachel joined Axios Performing Arts Company, dancing in cities such as Los Angeles, Portland, Spokane, Denver, and Harrisburg. She apprenticed with Avatar Movement Dance Company in Denver for their 2015-2016 season. Since 2016 she has found theater family through Englewood Summer Drama, playing prominent dance and acting roles in Hello, Dolly! and Mary Poppins. Rachel was a ballroom dancer and hotel patron in Netflix’s Our Souls at Night (2017), which stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda.
Aside from dance, Rachel is pursuing her Bachelor’s in Behavioral Health and hopes to help special needs children in vulnerable situations. She enjoys drawing, writing, hiking, and road trips. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of the Life/Art Outreach Company!
Outreach Assistant Director, Dancer
Mary Overton has been a member of Life/Art since 2014 and is thrilled to have the opportunity to dance with such talented individuals. Mary is a Colorado native who began her dance training at Little Theater in Littleton, CO at the age of 5. It was there that she found her love of dance and continued dancing throughout high school. She then attended Colorado State University where she studied Dance and Spanish, earning Bachelor's degrees in Dance, Spanish, and Liberal Arts, and a Master's degree in Spanish Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. As a CSU student, Mary had the privilege of working with various teachers and choreographers including Carol Roderick, Chung-Fu Chang, Jane Slusarski-Harris, Judy Bejarano, Katie Elliot, and Jacques Heim, among others. Mary was also a member of CSU's Tour Dance Company and taught dance at various Fort Collins studios. In 2011, Mary returned to the Denver metro area and began teaching Spanish for Heritage Speakers and Spanish as a Second Language at Skinner Middle School. She is passionate about teaching and has helped to develop Spanish curriculum and assessments. Mary loves languages, traveling, and experiencing other cultures. She has traveled to more than a dozen countries and studied in both Quito, Ecuador and Granada, Spain.When she is not teaching or dancing, Mary enjoys spending time in the mountains skiing, camping and mountain biking with her husband, Dennis.
Karleen holds a B.A. in Performing Arts with a concentration in Dance and a Minor in English from Colorado State University. At CSU, she was privileged to work with faculty choreographers Chung-Fu Chang, Melissa Corr and Carol Roderick as well as several guest choreographers including Mary Wohl Haan of Boulder's HAAN Dances and Jacques Heim of Diavolo Dance Theater in Los Angeles. She was a member of CSU's Tour Dance Company and performed at K-12 schools throughout Colorado to share the art of dance with younger generations. Karleen also danced with Canyon Concert Ballet of Fort Collins, CO performing in the Nutcracker and David Taylor's Contemporary Classics. After graduating in 2009, Karleen spent some time near Boston, MA dancing with modern dance company Forty Steps Dance under the artistic direction of Sallee Slagle. While in Massachusetts, she also taught ballet at the Hamilton-Wenham School of Dance and worked with Boston Ballet's outreach program Citydance. Since 2010, Karleen has happily been back in her home state of Colorado. Her creative career has led her to teach ballet and early childhood dance at Ballet Nouveau Colorado (now the Colorado Conservatory of Dance), become a certified Zumba Fitness Instructor, and work as a professional wedding and portrait photographer. Karleen has been a member of Life/Art Dance Ensemble since 2010.
OUTREACH PROGRAM MANAGER, DANCER
Mykayla began dancing at Premier School of Dance in Thornton, Colorado at the age of 3. From the ages of 7 to 18, she competed in dance; such was her dedication to dance that Mykayla elected to be home schooled so she could spend more time dancing and competing. During this time she studied many different dance styles including African, salsa, musical theater, modern, and break dancing. She joined LA Dance Magic's Company in 2015 under the direction of Jackie Sleight and Dave Carter. While working with LA Dance Magic's company she had the opportunity to study and work under Jason Myer, Will Thomas, Christian Vincent, Eddie Moody, DJ Guthrie, Ayodele Casel, and Albert Blaise Cattafi. Mykayla currently works for a mechanical contracting company, but her goal is to pursue a professional dance career. She is ecstatic to be a part of Life/Art Dance Ensemble for her first year, and is looking forward to being a part of something amazing and dancing her heart out.
Community Outreach Dancer
Camila Serrano grew up in Denver Colorado and has danced for 9 years. She began dancing under Colorado Ballet and followed Academy Director Michelle Dolighan-Rodenbeck to her new studio Classic Dance Academy. There she studied for four years under Catherine Board, Heather Marsh-Schieck and taught ballet for kids 3-5 and 7-12. After graduating from Lakewood High School, Camila attended the University of Denver where she studied Film and Production as well as Technical Theatre and Sound Design. A recent graduate, Camila looks forward to creating more dance centered film and to become more involved with the Denver media scene. Camila is so excited to be apart of the Community Outreach at Life Art Dance Ensemble and to bring dance and joy to others.
Michelle was born and raised in Maine, and has been dancing since age 7. She studied dance at Skidmore College, the University of South Florida, the University of Southern Maine, and the Bates Dance Festival. In college, Michelle had the profound opportunity to work with teachers and choreographers such as Jeanne Brescianni, John Parks, Michael Foley, David Dorfman, Mark Dendy, and members of Doug Varone and Dancers. She danced with several companies in southern Maine, including as a soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and with the contemporary company Collective Motion.
Michelle relocated to Colorado in 2012, and has been undertaking the great adventure of life out west!
Since arriving, Michelle has focused much of her creative energy on teaching dance to children and adults. She teaches Modern dance at Airborne Dance in Longmont, where she also serves as Wellness Ambassador and Tour Ensemble Director. Both her work with her students and with Life/Art are driven by a desire to connect with her community, with dance as the means of communicating meaningfully.
She received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2016, with secondary areas of study in Somatics and Digital Media. She has enjoyed the opportunity to create multimedia works for stage and screen in the Denver/Boulder area, including collaborations with It's Like But Not Productions, Signal to Noise, DAM Entertainment, and 6 A.M. Chili Productions, and she has recently become the new Executive Director for Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema. Her work has been seen at Crossroads Theater, Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Fiske Planetarium, and the Gates Planetarium at Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Michelle is so grateful for the continued privilege of being a dancer and board member for Life/Art, and for the honor of dancing with such brave and thoughtful women every week, giving her with the freedom to be her most creative self.
Megan Roney has danced since the age of three and is captivated by the stories our bodies tell through the art of dance. Megan works as an occupational therapist and weaves her love of dance with her passion to empower the independence, advocacy, and artistic creation of children and adolescents with disabilities. Megan sustained a traumatic brain injury and multiple physical injuries at the age of nineteen when she was in a car accident. She was told by doctors dancing again may be an impossibility, but with the support of her family, multiple therapy services, and determination she went on to not only dance again, but tour internationally performing in professional stage shows with Disney. Megan is proud to be a part of Life/Art Dance Ensemble and strives to empower dancers of all abilities to reach for their artistic endeavors.
COMMUNITY OUTREACH DANCER
Melissa Ferris, a Colorado State University graduate with a BA of Spanish Language Literature and Cultures, also studied in Chile where she learned and performed the salsa. Her performance experience also includes Disney World, local Nutcracker productions, and a Fundraiser for the Children's Hospital. Currently, Melissa teaches ballet, tap, jazz. lyrical, and hip hop at Summit School of Dance in Frisco. She joined Life/Art in 2018 and is excited to share her passion for dance with the community.