Ashley Corey moved to Knoxville, TN from Illinois in 2007 and has been loving life in the South ever since. Her performance experience comes largely from the worlds of color guard and marching band. Since age 11, Ashley has been performing with indoor and outdoor color guard groups in Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Since 2007 she has enjoyed teaching various groups in all three states. She has spent three years as core member of Circle Modern Dance, and loves teaching, choreographing, and studying all forms of modern dance. Ashley currently teaches Economics and Personal Finance at West High School where she also works with their marching band.
Shannon Pedigo Efteland
Shannon received her dance training at the Irma Witt O'Fallon School for the Dancer and at the University of Tennessee. During her studies to pursue a B.S. in Agriculture and M.S. in Microbiology, she found time for dance class, including master classes with Momix, Ailey II and the American Repertory Ballet. She has performed with the Appalachian Ballet Jr. Company and the UT Dance Company and has performance and choreography credits with Circle Modern Dance and Momentum Dance Lab. Shannon has been teaching dance and movement classes in East Tennessee for 15 years. She is the Executive Director of Momentum Dance Lab and is a founding member of the company.
Gururas Khalsa was born and raised in Knoxville, TN where she began dancing at age four at Dancer's Studio. After high school, she moved to Boston where she spent a year dancing with Green Street Studios under the tutelage of Marcus Schulkind. She received a Minor in Dance Performance from the University of Tennessee where she was a member of the UT Dance Company. She had the opportunity to perform works by renowned chorographers, including Nathan Trice, and four original pieces by Martha Graham. Gururas has been teaching and choreographing since age eighteen, and has recently reengaged in performing endeavors after starting a family in 2009.
Brynn Yeager is very excited to be dancing with Momentum. She has been dancing with MDL since 2013. She has been dancing since she was seven and hopes continue for a long time. She has danced with the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble at Dancer's Studio and the Boss Dance Company. She is graduated from UTK studying community based mindfulness and meditation, and she teaches at Riversong Dance Studio. She loves dancing with MDL and is so excited to continue growing with the company.
Amanda Bolli has been dancing for over 30 years, and enjoys traveling throughout the country teaching dance workshops and performing. Well versed in many international dance forms she blends elements from ancient folkloric dance and modern movement to create a seamless narrative for the audiences she engages. Amanda had the opportunity to train alongside MDL director Shannon Efteland when she was in high school and Shannon was in college.
Lisa has been dancing since she was in the womb. She grew up in Knoxville and trained with several wonderful instructors including Christian Addams, Jill Hollingsworth and Ginger Mynatt. Despite being painfully shy, she discovered she could combine her love of dance and performing with the enjoyment of travel and seeing new places, from dance festivals in New Hamphshire and Maine to a year at the Florida School of the Arts near St.Augustine and a trip to India. Lisa studied for two years at Temple University in Philadelphia under Philip Grosser and Helmut Gottschild but returned to Knoxville to receive her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee. While at UT, she danced with Circle Modern Dance. After graduating she spent many years in San Francisco where she danced with Yasmen Mehta, Joe Landini, Christine Cali and Kate Corby. Lisa has been back in Knoxville since 2008 and is happy to have found Momentum Dance Lab.
Jamie is an athlete with sporadic and varied dance training. Her first experience dancing was when she was 4 years old with a small, Israeli folk dance group. As she grew up, she cycled through international folk dancing, gymnastics, interpretive dance, modern, jazz, and ballet. During her middle and high school years, Jamie toured nationally and internationally as an original member of For Zion’s Sake children’s dance troupe. Later, she toured and performed as a young member of the Benote Tzion Israeli and International Dance team. While on tours, Jamie was often used as a core dancer in partnering companies and performed alongside professional dancers. After being away from dance for a few years, Jamie was thrilled to find Momentum Dance Lab. She is excited to be dancing again and hopes to continue to grow and improve as an MDL member.
Maricela Magana started at Dancer's Studio under the instruction of Irena Linn at age 5. Not long after she realized her love for dance she joined the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble. While with the company, Maricela had the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally. After Graduating in 2014, she went to study dance at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. In 2015 Maricela decided to move back to Knoxville, TN. Still having a love for dance, she auditioned for Momentum Dance Lab in 2016 were she continues to dance today.
Jackie began her dance training when she was 3 years old at a small studio in her hometown, Hammonton, NJ. And she immediately realized that she wanted to make it a lifelong adventure. She grew up training at the Atlantic City Ballet Theater, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Point Park University and in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Dance program at the Ohio State University. She has worked with influential dance artists like Bebe Miller, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Vera J. Blaine, and Thomas Hauert. She has performed as an apprentice company member for the Pillow Project Dance Company in Pittsburgh, PA, and has served as a core member of Momentum Dance Lab for cumulatively 6 years. Jackie also serves on the Lab's Board of Directors and as video designer.
I am a dance artist who enjoys exploring the diverse genres of dance, often drawn to the observation of how cultural differences influence the interpretation of movement and music. Before I was introduced to the world of contemporary dance, I was a Chinese dancer who found myself having to destroy the common notion that Chinese dance was only about uniformity, ribbons and coy smiles. The training I received prior became key in affording me the versatility and bodily awareness needed to immerse myself in the contemporary world of creation. In my practice, I am passionate about providing collaborative environments where dancers feel inspired and open to creation and improvisation. As such, my body of work is often a reflection of self-discovery and an expression of my ideas projected through different lenses. As a recent transplant to Knoxville, I am excited to have found Momentum Dance Lab and look forward to creating many wonderful moments with the company.
Sammi began dancing at the early age of three at Dancer’s Studio in Knoxville, TN. She was a member of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble where she had the opportunity to perform works by world renowned choreographers including Randy Duncan from Chicago. She also danced at Studio Arts for Dancers in Knoxville, TN and Southern Crescent Academy of Dance in Atlanta, GA. In 2014, she was accepted into the Alvin Ailey American Dance School’s eight week summer intensive. Her senior year of high school, she won second overall at Starbound dance competition in Atlanta, GA. She is currently studying criminal justice and sociology at Maryville College and is employed by New Hope Child Advocacy Center. Sammi is very excited to begin her apprenticeship with Momentum Dance Lab!