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

Malashock Dance Faculty


Erica NEWErica Buechner

Beginner/Intermediate Modern (Adult) Tuesdays 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

A local to San Diego, Erica Buechner’s professional career began in 1999, as a professional dancer for many established companies in San Diego. She performed as a company dancer with Mojalet Dance Collective for eleven years and with The PGK Project for two years. Buechner has been a guest artist for Eveoke Dance Theatre, Patricia Sandback and Dancers, Malashock Dance, San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances, Opus Mixtus, and the Joe Alter Dance Group, among other individual choreographers.

Buechner is the co-producer of the youTurn Contemporary Arts Exhibition, an annual arts event created to mobilize artists within the San Diego Community to produce new works more frequently. Her work has been presented by Mojalet Dance Collective, including in Konstanz, Germany in 2012. She was selected to be a part of the La Jolla Music Society’s inaugural CHOREOLab and San Diego Dance Theater’s second annual Young Choreographer’s Prize in 2012. She has also presented her work at many other local events around San Diego, including the Celebrate Dance Festival and San Diego Dances. She continues to produce work, both as an independent artist and under her company name, Sound Dance Company, which was established in 2011.

Buechner received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival in 2013. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance in 2006 from San Diego State University and was named the Outstanding Graduate of the Year in Dance. In 2011, she was awarded the Alumni To Watch Award from SDSU’s School of Music and Dance. In January of 2014, Buechner was named by the San Diego Union-Tribune as an “Artist to Watch” in 2014. She is a current committee member of San Diego Dance Connect, a local organization which has the mission to strengthen the dance community by providing opportunities to network, communicate, advocate, and share resources.



Maddie HeadshotMadeline Campisano

Contemporary II A (Ages 11 +) Monday’s and Wednesday’s 5:00-6:30 p.m. 

Creative Dance (Ages 4-5) Saturdays 10:00-10:50 a.m.

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Maddie is a graduate of the Fordham/Alvin Ailey BFA program where she has performed works by acclaimed choreographers including Matthew Rushing, Nicholas Villeneuve, Hope Boykin, and Darshan Singh Bhuller. She has extensive training in Ballet, Graham, Horton, Limon, Contemporary, and West African and has performed with the Houston MET Dance Company as well as with South African Choreographer, Khensani Mathebula. Additionally, she has completed the National Dance Institute’s Teacher Training Program to further her knowledge and passion for arts and dance education. Ms. Campisano utilized this training in her role as the Dance Education Programs Coordinator for Ballet Hispanico for the past year and a half in New York City. Ms. Campisano is also a professional dance and portrait photographer and has trained under photographers Jordan Matter, Rose Eichenbaum, and Christopher Duggan at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival in Becket, MA and Fordham University. Some of her published performance photography can be viewed on Alvin Ailey’s social media sites as well as the Fordham University annual alumnae book.


Nicole Carriker, 2014 Nicole Carriker

Contemporary I (Ages 9-10) Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 — 6:30 p.m.

Nicole has been dancing for as long as she can remember. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Public Health from University of Washington, where she performed in the Faculty Dance Concert, Master in Fine Arts programs, Henry Art Gallery Installation, and was selected to perform Jennifer Scanlon’s reconstruction of Jose Limon’s Dances for Isadora. She has been in San Diego since 2013.

Nicole has danced with local dance company [the] movement initiative as part of their award-winning show Victor Charlie in the San Diego Fringe Festival. She has taught ballet, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and modern at local dance studios and public schools, and is excited to be a part of the Malashock Dance Faculty.


image1 (1) Hannah Cook

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Hannah Cook began training in ballet, tap, and jazz at four-years-old. At age eight, she joined the Patricia Rincon Dance Collective Junior Ensemble and got to perform in original works and with the professional company. After training at many dance studios in North County, she began auditioning for summer programs. She attended programs with Boston Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet School in New York. In 2007, she began the Joffrey Ballet School’s Trainee Program. After two years, she decided to pursue a degree. She completed her BA in Dance at UCSD and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014, where she was recognized as a Muir Scholar and rewarded The Leandra Smith Memorial Dance Scholarship. She enjoys teaching and choreographing and is excited to teach at Malashock Dance.


Nikki DunnanNikki Dunnan

Intermediate Modern (Adult) Mondays 7:00 — 8:30 p.m.

Nikki Dunnan grew up in Colorado Springs, CO, and moved to San Diego at the age of 18 to attend college and, of course, to dance.  She graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Psychology in 1999.  In 1994, Nikki co-founded Eveoke Dance Theatre as one of the original 8 Concert Company dancers under the direction of Artistic Director, Gina Angelique.  She then went on to become the Administrative Director in 2000 and Executive Director in 2007.  She was featured in 32+ original dance theatre works (month-long runs) in her 18 year career with the Company.  In August 2012, Nikki left her role at Eveoke to explore other opportunities in dance, and she was honored to become part of the Malashock faculty.


 Natalia Hill

Education Outreach Teaching Artist 

Natalia Hill graduated from The University of the Arts, Philadelphia with a degree in Modern Dance Education. Her passion for dance and teaching have sent her all around the world.  She was a company member of Dance Envoy (Florence, Italy), Estensiona Dance Company (NY, NY), Vox Dance Theatre (LA,CA) and The PGK Dance Project(San Diego, CA) working with numerous choreographers/directors from around the world.  She also performed in the 80th Anniversary Tour of the Martha Graham Dance Company,  at MGM in Las Vegas with The Pointer Sisters, Temptations, and The Four Tops. As well as regional musicals such as  Will Rogers Follies and Peter Pan in PA.Natalia has also choreographed across the country for things such as Pirates of Penzances and P.T. Barnum, “Dance Your A** Off” promotion in Times Square, NY for Lifetime, and a dance sequence for an independant film in LA,  Once Upon a Superhero. She currently is a lead singer in two local bands in San Diego.


Andy Dance ShotAndrew Holmes

Contemporary III (Ages 12-16) Tuesdays & Thursdays 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.

Intro/Beginner Modern (Adult) Saturdays 10-11:30 a.m. 

Andrew Holmes began dancing at the age of 16 when he fell in love with the art form. He then went on to receive his BFA in Dance from SDSU where he graduated with the Outstanding Dance Student Award. He has trained under Faith Jensen-Ismay, Melissa Nunn, Pat Sandback, Leslie Seiters, and Joe Alter. He currently dances for Malashock Dance and Mojalet Dance Collective where he also instructs and sets choreography on the junior company, Jamolet. Andrew has been fortunate enough to dance in numerous venues in San Diego as well as Germany, Switzerland, Arizona, and New York. In January, Andrew will be moving to London where he is ecstatic to be able to jump into a new ocean of dance so that he may continue growing as a performer and artist.


Becky Hurt HeadshotBecky Hurt

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Becky (Bex) Hurt started dancing when she was 5 years old. She danced her way through school at San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts and graduated with honors in 1997. She went on to minor in dance at S.D.S.U. while she continued her training and performing with Unity Dance Ensemble from 1997-2004 under the direction of Tessandra Chavez. She has also trained with Culture Shock under the direction of Sherman Shoate (2010) and performed in Afta Shock under the direction of Trina Lyons (2009). She found Eveoke Dance Theatre in 2005 and joined the performing group, became a Master Teaching Artist and a Concert Company member as well as an award winning Choreographer. She has performed in multiple shows in San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and went on tour in the Dominican Republic.

She had the honor of co-choreographing the hip hop workshop production Refuge with Myriam Lucas in 2011. And then making it a full production for La Jolla Playhouse called BREAK in 2012 winning the Bravo SD Award. Bex now coaches two competition teams at San Diego Danceworks, teaches movement for the actor at La Jolla Playhouse and teaches outreach at Malashock Dance.



Gloria's Headshot Gloria Lanuza

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Gloria has many years of professional free-lance work as a featured performance artist in concert and commercial venues internationally since childhood. She also has extensive experience in teaching students of all ages and backgrounds in studios, schools and workshops internationally since 2007. In 2009 she also founded and incorporated Lanuza-Morales, an educational academy and performance company, consisting of her talented filled family and other professional performing artists.

Ms. Lanuza currently is performing internationally and here in San Diego with Café Sevilla, SD Bellydance Co, The MKM Bollystars USA, The San Diego Camarada, Ooh La La Dance Company, Emilio Modern Gypsy, The West Coast Cabaret and continues to direct and perform with her own performance companies. Gloria Lanuza, throughout her years of experience as an artist, is dedicated to developing exciting and unique approaches of fusing styles and cultures together to create an exhilarating experience in her classes, performances, and artist collaborations.


Whitney Laurent Head ShotWhitney Laurent,  Education  Manager,

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

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.


Lisette_Morris_Crop-0390 Lisette Morris

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Born and Raised  in New York, Lisette studied with American Ballet Theatre, David Howard, Finis Jung, School of American Ballet (SAB), Martha Graham Studios, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center Scholarship Program, Istvan Rabovsky and Frank Hatchett and many others along the way.She performed with Orlando Ballet Company, Classical Ballet of New Jersey, American Ballet Theatre, Soloist with Ailey III as well as various other productions and reviews throughout her career. Being a member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Guild of Variety Artisits (AGVA), she has worked on many movies and television shows and many fashion shows in NYC.Having gathered the wealth of professional experience and training, it is her goal to pass on to students what she has learned from the great pioneers of dance who have come in touch with her life and learning experiences. Lisette’s desire for the student, regardless of ability or level, is to be challenged and inspired by the arts, movement and performing.



Molly Puryear

Executive Director, Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Molly has been committed to, and nurtured by, the arts since the age of three when she began studying dance.  She received her B.F.A. in Dance from University of North Texas where her studies included Ballet and Modern Technique, dance pedagogy, kinesiology, African dance, improvisation, movement for theater and creative dance for all ages.  In 2003, she moved to San Diego and began teaching dance as well as visual art and theater.  She has enjoyed developing standards-based curricula and teaching outreach programs through Young Audiences of San Diego and Malashock Dance School.  Since 2006 she has worked with The Malashock Dance School to facilitate partnerships and artist residencies with La Jolla Country Day School, Elizabeth Freeze Elementary, Liberty School at NTC; Dewey Elementary and ALBA (Alternative Learning for Behavior and Attitude) School, High Tech Middle Media Arts, The Peninsula Family YMCA, Correia Middle School, A.R.T.S (A Reason to Survive) and the Balboa Park OCILE Program.  In 2008 she choreographed for Point Loma Nazarene’s production of Mozart’s Papageno and the Magic Flute, which received the National Opera Association award.  She has also choreographed and performed work for local dance events such as Art Walk, MixUp Project at Ray at Night, The Malashock Dance School Showcases, and Celebrate Dance Festival.  Molly strives to make each class full of energy, inspiration and fun, while challenging each student to reach their maximum physical, mental, and artistic potential, and remains passionate about supporting Malashock Dance in their mission to create, educate, and collaborate.  She works with at-risk youth, underserved student populations, and students with disabilities in the San Diego area and continues to teach and train at the Malashock Dance School.


laraheadshotresizedLara Segura, Artistic Program Manager

Intermediate / Advanced Modern (Adult) Wednesdays 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Education Outreach Teaching Artist

Lara 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. 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. In 2014 Lara received her MFA in choreography from Jacksonville University and is committed to supporting the concepts of community, ensemble, and the accessibility of dance. She has worked with Malashock Dance since 2007 and most recently has taken on the role of Artistic Program Manager.


Khamla dancingKhamla Somphanh

Advanced Modern (Adult)

Tuesdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Thursdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Saturdays 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Khamla Somphanh has performed and taught professionally throughout the country. She began her training at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and continued at the University of the Arts before moving to NYC to pursue her career. In addition to her classes at Malashock Dance School, Khamla is Artist–In–Resisdence at Canyon Crest Academy and is a freelance choreographer. As an established instructor, Khamla has taught at Mills College, ODC Dance Commons and Shawl-Anderson Modern Dance Center.  She has danced with ODC/ San Francisco Dance Company, Wylliams/Henry Danse Ensemble, Na-Ni Chen Dance Company, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, East/West Repertory Ensemble, New World Dance Company, Soundance Dance Company, as guest artist for Malashock Dance and on Broadway in the “King and I”, choreographed by Lar Lubovitz to name a few.  Khamla received her Horton Pedagogy Certification at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC.


 Rachel Torres 

Contemporary II B (Ages 11 +) Monday’s and Wednesday’s 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Rachel Torres graduated from UCSD in 2012, receiving a BA in Literature with Honors and a minor in Dance. Since graduating, she has had the pleasure of performing for several local dance artists in events such as The Engagement Ring Series at Malashock Dance, youTurn2015, Sound Dance Company’s “An Unlikely Outfit”, IGNITE, The San Diego Fringe Festival, The Live Arts Festival, and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. In 2014, she performed as a UCSD Alumni guest dancer for Jean Isaacs’ “There the Dance Is.” Recently, Rachel was honored to join Malashock Dance as a guest dancer in “Signatures” and Classics for Kids. She is very excited to be joining the Malashock Dance faculty this year.




Posted at March 29th, 2013 by Molly Puryear.