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.



MOLLY PURYEAR brings seven years’ experience in program management and administration to her position. She was instrumental in the founding and development of the School in 2007, and as Education Director from 2009 – 2014, she was responsible for all aspects of development, facilitation, marketing, employment, partnerships, curriculum development, grant-writing and administration for the School and inreach/outreach programs. She has strategically aligned specific synergies between the artistic and educational pillars in order to create a holistic approach to the relationship between MD’s programs, the community it serves, and its funders. She infuses the administrative staff with confidence, is open to creative strategies, and has increased accountability, trust, and cohesion amongst staff. Molly has proven to be an excellent model of management and leadership. She is thrilled to share her profound knowledge and passion for the artistic and education programs of Malashock Dance with the community.

A modern dancer and instructor with over fifteen years’ experience teaching dance and over 25 years of training in various dance genres, Molly demonstrates uncompromising dedication to both students and the art form of dance. Molly received a BFA in Dance from University of North Texas in 2003, where she primarily studied under Arleen Sugano, master instructor and co-author of Physics and the Art of Dance; and Robin Lakes. Molly has choreographed and performed for numerous local dance events, including Sound Dance Company in San Diego.

Molly is an active member of several arts education advocacy groups including AERO San Diego, and was honored to present on arts integration at the Kickstart the Arts in (Y)our Schools conference in 2014 with Dr. Meryl Goldberg. Ms. Puryear participated in the Fieldstone Foundation’s Non-Profit Leadership Learning Group and executive coaching program. She was the recipient of the Center for Cultural Innovation’s NextGen grant for professional development, and served on the Steering Committee for San Diego Dance Connect, a local dance service organization, from 2014-2016.



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 dance professional with over 20 years of experience as a dancer and instructor. Her love and passion for dance led her to her study 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 New York City based 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’s also performed with multiple dance and theater groups in festivals and performance projects throughout New York City.

Ms. Laurent is the founder of the Whitney Nichole Dance Outlet which had its debut at the New York Jazz Project held at the Joan Weill Center for Dance/Alvin Ailey Studios. Her main goal as a choreographer as well as an instructor is to create work and environments that inspire, uplift as well as challenge. Whitney has been a teaching artist at various schools and institutions throughout the New York/ New Jersey metro area including the highly esteemed New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

Upon moving to San Diego, Whitney has taught in school dance programs and has been a guest teaching artist and choreographer at San Diego Mesa College. Whitney also had the privilege of creating and performing a solo for the “Dimensions of Black” exhibition held at the prestigious Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego.  Her latest performance can be seen as the featured dancer in the film “Volta” directed by Erick Msumange set for a late 2017 release.

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 continue in the role as the Education Manager at Malashock Dance and strives to make dance accessible to the San Diego Community at large.


Posted at January 11th, 2013 by admin.