Dance Source Houston Announces 2016-17 Artists In Residence

For Immediate Release

Contact: Mollie Haven Miller,
Executive Director, Dance Source Houston
Phone: 713.224.DANC (3262)


Dance Source Houston Announces 2016-17 Artists In Residence

HOUSTON, TX, November 8, 2016. 
AIR logo-font GothamDance Source Houston is thrilled to announce the artists selected to participate in its Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program for the 2016-17 season. DSH welcomes Laura Harrell, Tyesha Lewis, Jennifer Mabus, Felicia Thomas and Heather vonReichbauer to the AIR program. Through member companies City Dance Studio, Hunter Dance Center, METdance Center and The Pilot on Navigation, DSH will offer free rehearsal space to the five Houston based choreographers. In addition, the AIR program will provide free access to professional development workshops, assistance with grant writing and application submissions, participation in Fieldwork in partnership with CORE Performance Company, and a shared performance opportunity produced by Dance Source Houston.

This season marks the third year of the AIR program, which has strengthened its impact from its first year, initially offering three residencies at the organization’s former home, The Barn. DSH Executive Director, Mollie Haven Miller, explains, “The AIR program is such an impactful experience for the artists involved. Not only do they have the financial burden of rehearsal space lifted, the program also provides professional development, production support, and performance opportunities beyond what many artists are able to achieve on their own. Through the integral support of our AIR partners this year’s residents will bring forth exciting new work.”

The residency will culminate with Barnstorm Dance Fest, happening June 15-24, 2017 at MATCH – Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston. Applications for the 2017 festival will be available November 15 and accepted through January 6.

Artist Bios

Laura Harrell

Photo by Salted Hart Photography

Photo by Salted Hart Photography

Laura Harrell holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Master of Fine Arts degree from Sam Houston State University. She is currently an adjunct professor at San Jacinto College, Houston Community College, and Lone Star College. Laura has presented choreography at The Dance Gallery Festival (Texas/New York City), the American College Dance Festival, the Fringe Festival (Houston), Brazos Contemporary Dance Festival, and in the first ever, Art Saves Lives: A Cultural Conversation performance and educational outreach program in Nice, France. Additionally, she has set work at SHSU, Booker T. Washington High School, SJC, HCC, LSC, and West Texas A&M University. Laura served as assistant choreographer for Recked Productions site-specific project, Up For Air, and co-choreographed Tower and Super Nova presented by NobleMotion Dance at Zhilka Hall (Hobby Center, Houston, TX). Harrell was a featured emerging artist by NobleMotion Dance in the first ever Next Step Series, as well as a presenting artist under The Pilot on Navigation’s Artist Board. Laura is very excited and honored to be recognized as one of Dance Source Houston’s 2016-17 Artists In Residence.
Ty’esha Lewis

Photo by Joel Rivera

Photo by Joel Rivera

Ty’esha Lewis is a native Texan with a strong passion for all forms of art and how they can complement one another. She graduated with a Bachelors in Dance from Sam Houston State University. While at Sam Houston, Ty’esha trained under professors that have made a tremendous influenced in her artistic career. She also traveled to Lucca, Italy, where she trained and learned repertory from Batsheva Dance Company, The Netherlands Dance Theater, and Noble Motion Dance. She is also a member of Urban Souls Dance Company and has performed in many shows in the Houston area, as well as guested performed with the company Noble Motion Dance. Ty’esha received the Choreographer Award from Sam Houston State for two consecutive years, in 2015 and 2016. Ty’esha has returned home to Houston to further extend her artistry through teaching, choreography, and performance.
Jennifer Mabus

Photo by John Beasant

Photo by John Beasant

Jennifer Mabus is an artist and educator based in Texas. She comes from a rich career as a performing artist working regionally and internationally for choreographers and companies such as Robert Battle (founding dancer of Battleworks, NYC), Amy Marshall Dance Company (NYC), Heidi Latsky (NYC), Takehiro Ueyama (NYC), Bruce Wood Dance Project (TX), Noble Motion Dance (TX), Dark Circles Contemporary Dance (founding dancer, TX). She has served on the dance faculties of Texas Christian University, Booker T Washington HSPVA, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Sam Houston State University, and she currently teaches emerging artists at Houston’s HSPVA and San Jacinto College. Additionally, Mabus has presented her own choreography in festivals and residencies, such as Dumbo Dance Festival, Cool/NY Festival, Interlochen Arts Academy, UT/Dallas, Omega Dance Company, Elle Danceworks and at the historic Wynne Home and Arts Center. She was the 2015 Rice University Dance Artist in Residence, one of Noble Motion Dance’s 2016 Next Step Series emerging artists, and is proud to be presenting work this year through the Dance Gallery Festival and other regional festivals. Mabus received her BFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University and her MFA from Sam Houston State University, and she is also a 500-hour certified yoga instructor.


Felicia Thomas

Photo by Lynn Lane

Photo by Lynn Lane

Felicia Thomas obtained her B.A. in Dance and English from Sam Houston State University. Following graduation, she began training in Horton technique and danced professionally for Second Generation Dance Company and Urban Souls Dance Company.  While performing modern dance, she received an opportunity to perform with Kucheza Ngoma African Dance Company and began training in and performing West African, Caribbean Folk, and Dance Hall. Felicia continued exploring various movements of the African Diaspora and began exploring Brazilian folk movement, as well as performing for 2 years with a Houston-area Samba company. Presently, she looks for connections within the dances of the African diaspora such as Brazil, Cuba, and Haiti, and continues to work on fusing modern dance with these movements and their spiritual elements. Felicia feels grateful to have presented original choreography in Dance Source Houston’s Barnstorm Dance Fest and the Houston Fringe Festival’s Anything Goes.  She has also presented choreography in a collaborative effort at Houston Fringe Festival, Dancing the African Diaspora Conference at Duke University (North Carolina) and Know Your Roots Festival (New York).
Heather vonReichbauer

Photo by Amy Smith

Photo by Amy Smith

Heather vonReichbauer is a choreographer, educator, and Artistic Director of Bones and Memory Dance. An avid reader, vonReichbauer is inspired by the written word and aims to weave literary and allegorical elements into a visual tapestry of movement and music, connecting the audience to the work on a physical and emotional level. Her work has been presented at {254} Dance-Fest, Houston Fringe Festival, Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center, Rice University, Houston Community College, Venturing Out, American Dance Festival’s Acts to Follow, ArtsMash, NC Dance Alliance, Greensboro Fringe Festival, Catawba College, and Greensboro College. An experienced educator, Heather has served on the faculties of Rice University, Catawba College, Greensboro College, Elon University, and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has been a guest choreographer for dance and musical theater for Rice University Department of Visual and Dramatic Arts, Houston Community College, FrenetiCore Dance, The Drama Center at City Arts, and several high school drama productions. Heather holds an MFA in Choreography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in Dance from Coker College. Heather frequently collaborates with her amazing musician husband, William vonReichbauer. She currently resides in Houston, TX with her husband and two very feisty cats.

AIR Partners

CORE Performance Company

Celebrating its 36th Season, CORE, an award-winning contemporary dance organization, creates, performs, and presents compelling and distinctive original dance that ignite the creative spirit and foster cultural conversations. For over three decades, CORE has initiated and supported innovation, collaboration, artistic risk-taking and sustainable art making in dance.

CORE was co-founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas by Sue Schroeder and Kathy Russell. Five years later, the organization added Atlanta, Georgia as a second home base, and now cultivates dance awareness and education in both cities, as well as throughout the country and around the world. CORE is organized around three initiatives: CORE Performs, CORE Presents and CORE Connects. CORE Performance Company, the professional contemporary dance company of CORE, is internationally recognized for the physical and emotional range of its Dance Artists, as well as its innovative and compelling work.


METdance is a multi-functional dance organization that excels at entertaining and captivating audiences, instilling a passion and excitement for dance in its students, training the talented youth of Houston and preparing them for careers in dance performance, and inspiring children through the art of dance.   For the past 20 years, METdance has been dedicated to enriching the communities of Houston while developing a nationally recognized concert dance company.   Through its Founder and Executive Director, Michelle Smith, Artistic Director, Marlana Doyle, and Associate Director, Joe Celej, METdance has become a leader in diversity and vitality of arts presentation and instruction, and aims to continue serving the populace of Houston as well as representing the City of Houston and its dance community across the nation and abroad.

The METdance Center offers both children’s and adult programs where anyone can enjoy the artistic and physical benefits of dance in a vast range of genres and modalities regardless of age or experience level.  The METdance center currently serves over 1,000 students per week while providing a much needed home/space for many other local arts organizations.  The MET too youth company, also based at the METdance center, provides young dancers with an intense program focused on preparing them for dance programs at universities and a professional career in dance performance; MET too alumni have achieved the highest levels of success with many attending top level arts institutions like the Juilliard School.

Hunter Dance Center

Hunter Dance Center provides exceptional dance training from the ground up for absolute beginners to experienced professionals in our beautiful 9000 square foot home in the Heights.  A love of dance and movement in all its forms is fostered by a faculty of dance artists who are actively involved in the creative field. Creative classes for preschoolers, a rigorous pre-professional program for aspiring young dancers, open dance classes for teens and adults, martial arts, yoga, Pilates, barre and dance related fitness classes can all be found inside our four state of the art studios.

Hunter Dance Center is home to the professional dance theater company Open Dance Project whose season of world-class dance theater performance is developed and rehearsed at Hunter. Open Dance Project company members teach throughout our levels and programs, bringing their expertise and passion to the public and training the next generation of innovative dance artists in Houston.

The Pilot on Navigation
The Pilot on Navigation is a black box theater facility managed and operated by FrenetiCore, a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization with the mission to transform and empower communities through innovative dance, theater, and visual art. Located in the heart of Houston’s historic East End, the Pilot facility also includes an 80-foot exhibition hall, a dance studio, and outdoor pavilion. FrenetiCore produces three to four professional dance concerts each year at its East End home, in addition to the annual Houston Fringe Festival and numerous productions underwritten by the organization’s space grant program. 

About Dance Source Houston

Dance Source Houston is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to creating audiences and appreciation for contemporary dance in Houston and beyond. Dance Source Houston publishes The Dance Card – Houston dance event listings and The Dance DiSH online magazine. Dance Source also presents Barnstorm Dance Fest, a two-week showcase style. With a membership of over 100 dance companies and independent artists, Dance Source Houston continues to develop programs and opportunities to respond to the needs of the local dance community. These activities are supported in part by a grant from The City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Houston Endowment, Inc., and The Heimbinder Family Foundation.


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