Dancers that graduate from the MA and MFA program in the Mills College Dance Department are beneficiaries of a wonderfully rich two-year period of study that nurtures an artist's unique vision while providing each dancer a great array of skills to master both the creative and intellectual elements of the art form.
With such skills, Mills graduates go on to have successful and varied careers. Some join companies or launch their own troupes. Others secure teaching positions at colleges and universities, or start their own studios. Still others enter the arts as grantors or curators, and some mold their newly-acquired range of skills into multifaceted careers that span artistic disciplines.
Among our luminaries are Trisha Brown ('54) who revolutionized the language of the body and the expression of internal and external life through her liquidy style and philosophical explorations; Molissa Fenley ('75), the first choreographer to receive the coveted Rome Prize and a choreographer who has injected high-velocity movement and extensive duration into performance; Zimbabwe-born Nora Chipaumire ('00 and '02) who continues to challenge the stereotypes of the black female body and national identity; and Patricia Reedy ('00), who is one of the leading national dance pedagogues and director of Luna Dance Institute.
If you are a graduate of one of our programs, please share your story with us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on to learn more about our grads.
Bianca Brzezinski is an award winning dance artist in the Bay Area. She founded Opal Street Dance Improvisation Theater in 2010, a psychosomatic approach to conscious evolution through movement.
Read more »
Janet Das is a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She received her MFA in performance and choreography from Mills College and has gone on to dance professionally for many companies and choreographers. Read more »
Alyce Finwall has been making dances since 1994, developing a uniquely creative and theatrical style, noted for having an “impressive and accomplished choreographic symphony” by the SF Examiner and a “fierce fluidity in performance and a brooding surrealism in the choreography” by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Read more »
Sonsherée Giles is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume designer, born in New Orleans, LA. She relocated to Oakland, CA to attend Mills College where she received her MFA in performance/choreography.
Photo credit: Christine Fu
Read more »
Marcus Hayes is an Associate Professor of Dance and Director of the Dance program at Austin Peay State University, focusing on dance techniques, dance history and choreography.Read more »
Penny Hutchinson, a native of Seattle, attended the Juilliard School. She was a founding member of the Mark Morris Dance Group, 1980-1992 and was in Brussels from 1988-1991, when MMDG was in residence at Theatre de la Monnaie. Read more »
Pauline Jennings is the co-Artistic Director of DOUBLE VISION, a company that creates experimental performances for dance, music, and video that embody the changing landscape of contemporary culture. Read more »
Nancy Lyons began dancing as a child in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she first studied ballet then caught the "modern" bug through the inspiration of Elizabeth Waters, former lead dancer with Hanya Holm. Read more »
Jochelle Perena hails from a tiny island in the Puget Sound where she grew up watching the choreography of birds in flight and trees in windstorms. Read more »
Patricia Reedy is the Director of Teaching & Learning at Luna Dance Institute. Since founding Luna in 1992, Reedy has been responsible for designing and evaluating all program components. Read more »
Mary Sano, director of the Mary Sano Studio of Duncan Dancing, is a protégée of Mignon Garland, who founded the Isadora Duncan Heritage Society (IDHS) in San Francisco. Read more »
Paulette Sears created over fifty dances seen in New York at Joyce Soho as part of the DancenowFest, the Cunningham Studio, Symphony Space, PS 122, and Ohio Theater; in New Jersey at George Street Playhouse, Westminster Choir College, Rider University, and Mill Hill Playhouse, and abroad in Rio de Janeiro. Read more »
Nancy Spainer is a choreographer, director, writer, creator of spontaneous performance events, filmmaker, and teacher of performance creation. She bridges the gap between many artistic disciplines to create, what she has coined, Performance Inventions. Read more »
Rebecca Wilson is a dancer, choreographer and teacher of Contemporary and Modern dance, ballet and Pilates. In 2007 she earned her MFA with an emphasis in Choreography and Performance from Mills College. Read more »