Promoting dance as a channel for
personal expression through participation,
education, and artistic collaboration.

Malashock Staff Bios


John Lean 250 pixJOHN MALASHOCK brings 35 years of experience in dance, theater and film to his current role as Artistic Director of Malashock Dance. He has created more than 70 choreographic works, dance/theater collaborations, theater and opera productions, and award-winning dance films. John founded Malashock Dance in 1988, after a distinguished performing career with Twyla Tharp’s company in New York, where he performed world-wide; appeared in the Academy Award-winning film Amadeus; was featured in numerous television specials; and performed in numerous concerts with Mikhail Baryshnikov.

Under John’s leadership, Malashock Dance has become one of California’s premiere dance companies, and his work has been presented throughout the United States, Central America, Japan, and Central Europe. Malashock has many notable collaborative credits to his name: he has choreographed productions at the La Jolla Playhouse and the Old Globe Theatre; his work has been commissioned by the San Diego Symphony, La Jolla Music Society, and San Diego Opera; and he has garnered six Emmy Awards for his dance films, which have aired on over 30 affiliate PBS stations nationwide.

John has served as guest faculty for the American Dance Festival, Cal State Long Beach, Dance Space New York, ADF/Tokyo, Connecticut College, and University of Utah, among many others. A leader within the local and national dance communities, Malashock has served on the Board of Trustees for Dance USA, and is proud to have taken the leadership role in conceiving, developing, and establishing Dance Place San Diego at Liberty Station, where he teaches classes and workshops throughout the year.

As an Artist in Residence at the La Jolla Playhouse, Malashock is currently developing a dance musical based on the life, work, and relationships of artist Marc Chagall.


Molly laughingMOLLY PURYEAR, Managing Director for Malashock Dance, is an accomplished modern dancer and teaching artist with over ten years experience teaching dance and over 25 years of training in various dance genres. With uncompromising dedication to both students and the art form of dance, she has taught and inspired literally thousands of students in San Diego.

Molly has choreographed and performed for local dance events such as youTURN contemporary arts exhibition, the Mission Federal ARTwalk, MixUp Project at Ray at Night, The Malashock Dance School Showcases, and Celebrate Dance Festival. She currently dances with Sound Dance Company and continues to share her passion for dance through performance.

Molly has a BFA in Dance, and has worked with Malashock Dance since 2006. Molly develops community partnerships, artistic residencies in schools and other educational institutions, and specializes in creating programs that integrate dance with academic studies. Molly facilitates all aspects of The Malashock Dance School, a Modern Dance training program with classes for all ages, levels, and abilities. Molly is passionate about inclusion of students with disabilities and was invited to present on inclusive movement strategies at the National Conference on Inclusion in 2010. Through outreach programming, Molly strives to create access to dance for at-risk youth, underserved student populations, and students with disabilities. She is an active member of several arts education advocacy groups including AERO San Diego, the San Diego Arts Education Alliance, and Rising Arts Leaders of the San Diego Foundation.


laraheadshotresizedLARA SEGURA  is a bi-coastal artist with extensive experience as a professional dancer, actress, teacher, producer and choreographer. In 2005 Lara graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from San Diego State University and was named the Outstanding Graduate in Dance. She was later named the 2012 Dance Alumni of the Year for SDSU. She has had the pleasure of performing with Mojalet Dance Collective, The PGK Dance Project, Joe Alter Dance, Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, Pat Sandback and Dancers, Sound Dance Company and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. While living in Florida she performed and choreographed for The Braided Light Dance Project, Jacksonville Dance Theater and Creatively Independent. She has served as a faculty member at Douglas Anderson School for the Performing Arts and Jacksonville University. More recently, she has assumed the role of Artistic Program Manager in addition to her work as a company dancer and faculty member at Malashock Dance. In 2014 Lara received her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University with an emphasis in engaging audiences via site-specific dance. She is delighted to serve on the steering committee for San Diego Dance Connect and is committed to supporting the concepts of community, ensemble, and the accessibility of dance.


Whitney Laurent Head Shot

Whitney is a New York City based dance professional who has over 20 years of experience as a dancer and instructor.  She’s trained at local studios from the age of three and her love and passion for dance led her to continue her studies at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University where she received a B.F.A in dance. While at Rutgers she had the opportunity to work with notable choreographers and instructors Julia Ritter and Randy James as a member of University Dance Works, Rutgers University’s professional dance company. Her journey as a professional has afforded her opportunities to tour nationally and internationally with notable companies such as: the Hudson Repertory Dance Ensemble and Foot Prints Dance Company both under the direction of Freddie Moore along with the Rod Rodgers Dance Company and Vashti Dance Theater. She has also performed with various dance and theater groups in festivals and performance projects throughout New York City.Whitney is also the founder of the Whitney Nichole Dance Outlet which had its debut at the New York Jazz Project held at the prestigious Alvin Ailey Studios. She’s choreographed works that inspire and uplift and this is her goal as a choreographer as well as an instructor. Ms. Laurent has taught at various schools and institutions throughout the New York and New Jersey area including the highly esteemed New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Her hope is to share the gift of dance with people young and old with full and limited mobility. Because of this, she is pleased to take on the role as the Education Program Manager at Malashock Dance and strives to make dance accessible to the San Diego Community at large.


Posted at January 11th, 2013 by admin.