Company

Founder/President & Artistic Director 

Devyn Duex, Founder/President & Artistic Director for Nebula Dance Lab, has an eclectic background performing extensively in the United States as a dancer/actress/singer on stage and in film/TV. Prior to moving to Santa Barbara, CA in 2003 Devyn has performed with the James Sewell Ballet, Straw Hat Players, The Pittsburgh Playhouse, Cabrillo Music Theater, Buena Vida Productions, Universal Pictures, American Entertainment, Moorhead State University, Cabrillo Music Theater, Skits Outreach Company, and more! With her prior dance company Universal Dance based in LA she performed at over 200 events in 2 years; performing in several major US cities as well as Mexico. As a choreographer, Devyn has had the opportunity to work with the Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh Playhouse Junior, Straw Hat Players, and Fargo Elementary School choreographing for the Theater.  She also choreographed a work while performing as a company member of Troupe Allegro at Moorhead State University. Since moving to Santa Barbara in 2003, Devyn has dedicated her energy to modern dance, working with Motion Theater Dance Company, SonneBlauma Danscz Theater, and independent choreographers: Marcos Duran "Coma 4", Heather Shea "Between Silences", and Nicole Helton "As We Are". Her new work “Release” was debuted in 2008 & 2009 in collaboration with the Fusion Dance Company’s show Intertwine and Daughter of Zion Dance Company's show Je' Taime, and recently reworked into a six section piece debuted under Nebula, as its fourth original new work ‘Sand Into Glass’ in 2012. Devyn holds a BA in Theater Arts- Musical Theater from Point Park University and an MBA/MKT degree from the University of Phoenix. She is a member of SAG and AFTRA.

 

 Assistant Rehearsal Director & Resident Choreographer

Emily Tatomer, (Assistant Rehearsal Director) began dancing at the age of eight in Livermore, California. While in the Bay Area, she danced for New Urban Dance Company under the direction of John Butterfield.  As a student at the University of California at Santa Barbara, she was awarded the scholarship and First Place Corwin award for Choreography.  After she graduated with high honors with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Anthropology from UCSB in 2002, she moved to New York City where she trained with Teri and Oliver Steele, Daniel Charon and others. She returned to the west coast in February 2005 and began dancing with Benita Bike's DanceArt with whom she performed for two seasons throughout the Los Angeles area and toured to Boston, MA.  Since returning to Santa Barbara, Emily has been a member of Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, the company in residency at UCSB directed by Jerry Pearson, for six seasons.  With the company she has toured to San Francisco, Ireland, Wales, China and South Korea. Locally she has performed in and choreographed for Santa Barbara Dance Alliance's New Works concerts, Cybil Gilbertson's Nectar, and danced for Robin Bisio. As a resident choreographer for NEBULA, Emily created two original works for NEBULA repertory which were debuted in 2012 at Center Stage Theater, 'Take the Bull by the Horns' and 'Snapshots'. 


Meghan  Morelli, (Acting Rehearsal Director) was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she took her first dance class at age 3, and hasn't stopped dancing since. She completed her post-graduate education with a minor in dance at California Polytechnic State University, and hopes to someday return to school to earn a MFA in dance. While at Cal Poly, Meghan danced and choreographed with the Orchesis Dance Company, for which she received several awards: The Sonia Sandoval Memorial Award for her passion in dance, The Moon Ja Minn and Paul T. Suhr Most Deserving Dance Student Award, for her dedication to the company, and the The Tomczac-Carter Award for her outstanding performances. Meghan danced alongside some of the greatest collegiate choreographers and dancers on the west cost at The American College Dance Festival during her senior year. After graduation she danced with Variable Velocity Performance Group under the direction of Diana Stanton and Jude Clark Warnisher in San Luis Obispo. Meghan is a new resident of the Santa Barbara area, where she teaches so many great young dancers at Studio B in Carpinteria. She is blessed to have this opportunity to dance with Nebula Dance Lab and join their creative collaboration.




 Resident Choreographer- 2013 Season

 Brooke Hughes MeltonChoreographer, received her BA in Dance from UC, Irvine in 2003 and her MFA in Choreography from the University of Arizona in May of 2010. Brooke began her dance career at 16, dancing with State Street Ballet and Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera in Santa Barbara, California. Additionally she has danced with AWOL Dance Collective (an aerial modern dance company) in Portland OR.Her work has been selected numerous times for performance at the Regional Dance America Conferences. She was selected for a Choreographic grant from the Dance Coalition of Oregon, and her work was selected for performance at the “National Dancing Under the Stars Choreography Competition,” where she was a finalist.  Brooke has presented her research on Dance Non-Profit Organizations at the National Dance Education Organization Conference in Towson, Maryland. That same year she was elected to serve on the board of the NDEO as the National Student Representative from 2008-2010. In October of 2009, Brooke received the “Outstanding Creative Achievement Award” at the University of Arizona Honors Convocation. In January of 2010, Brooke produced and choreographed an evening of dance to benefit The Academy for Cancer Wellness.  Additionally her work has been performed by Airealistic Circus and Flying, AWOL Dance Collective, State Street Ballet Young Dancers, UA Dance Ensemble, Paso Robles Chamber Ballet, Pacific University Dance Ensemble, Pima Community College, Grand Canyon University, was featured in an Echo Helstrom Music Video and featured at Fundraisers and Corporate Events in California, Arizona and Oregon. Brooke has studied and worked in film and video in Europe and the U.S. and has enjoyed incorporating film and multimedia into her work in dance. For the past two years Brooke worked on faculty at Pima Community College, and has been working with Opening Minds through the Arts as a Dance Artist in the area of arts integration.  She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Nebula Dance Lab creating new original works for their professional company repertory.

 Dancers- 2013 Season 

Weslie Chinggraduated with high honors from UC Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance.  While at UCSB she was a Regent's Scholar; member of the Provost's Honors Council and the UCSB Student Dance Company; the recipient of the Sparrow scholarship for summer study, ArtsBridge scholarship for community arts outreach, Undergraduate Reseach Award for her departmental Honor's Project, and Corwin Award for choreography; and represented UCSB at the American College Dance Festival.  Upon graduation she began teaching, performing and choreographing in the Orange County and Los Angeles area. She has been on faculty at the Academy for the Performing Arts Magnet High School, the Huntington Beach Community Education Program and the Regina Klenjoski Dance Company Community Program, and has performed in her own work, with Karin Jensen's Mandala DanceWorks, and Benita Bike's Dance Art, with whom she toured to Gdynia, Poland and Boston, Massachusetts. Since returning to Santa Barbara in 2007, Weslie has performed locally with Heather Carney Shea, Devyn Duex, Stephen Kelly, Emily Wheeler, and Misa Kelly's SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre, with whom she will be touring to New York, New York in February.


 

Kaita Lepore Mrazek, received degrees in Dance and Psychology from University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Her works, “Beneath the Surface” and “To See with Two Eyes, To Seek with One Heart” were both selected for the Afterimages student dance concerts in 2004 and 2005. Following her graduation, she went to Thailand under The Thailand Project to help develop a dance program for children who had been victims of human trafficking. Upon moving to Santa Barbara, she performed both nationally and internationally as a company member with the SonneBlauma Dancz Company.  In 2011 she made her choreographic debut, “Face Value”, to the Santa Barbara community after her work was selected for the Kinesis Dance Concert. In 2007, she became a certified Pilates instructor through Body Arts and Science International, and has worked closely with BASI faculty member, Sarah Bertucelli, hosting certification courses since 2008.  She constantly strives to learn more about the body--most recently, she and her new husband spent their honeymoon in a 200-hour Joyful Yoga teacher training in Costa Rica.   She is currently dancing with Nebula Dance Lab (www.nebuladancelab.org) and Robin Bisio in Santa Barbara.



Megan Butala, started dancing with Caravan Dance Studio in Palmdale, CA when she was three years old. Joining the studio's student company allowed more performance opportunities that fed her developing passion for dance. Upon graduating high school, Megan attended California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. In her time there she danced with Orchesis Dance Company, the university dance company, from 2007 to 2012 and was an Administrative Arts Intern for them from 2009-2011. She also danced with Variable Velocity Performance Group of San Luis Obispo, CA from 2010-2012. In between rehearsals and performances, she graduated Cum Laude with a BS in Materials Engineering. In September 2012 Megan relocated to Santa Barbara to join the Materials graduate program University of California, Santa Barbara and joined Nebula Dance Lab in January 2013. She is both thankful and thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in dance performance and outreach and, especially, to share her passion for dance with fellow company members and the community. 



Megan  Ragland, is a senior at University of California and plans to complete her double major in Dance and Zoology this June. She began dancing at the age of three and has never stopped. Her primary training, prior to university, was at Deane Dance Center and the School of Sacramento Ballet in her hometown Sacramento, California. She has also attended summer intensives around the country including Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. Megan is currently a member of the UCSB Dance Company where she has the honor of performing works by Jose Limon, Donald McKayle, and Nancy Colahan. Some of her performance highlights include roles with the Sacramento Ballet, under the direction of Ron Cunningham and Carinne Binda, in Balanchine's 'Rodeo', Cunningham's 'Bolero', and 11 years performing in 'The Nutcracker'. She also performs with E:Motion Dance Ensemble in Sacramento, under the direction of Sunny Mitchell with past roles in 'Allegro Passionato' and 'The Rocky Horror Show'. After graduating in June, Megan plans to continue dancing and eventually go back to school for nursing or physical therapy. 



Genevieve Hand, is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara as of June of 2013 with a B.F.A. in Dance and B.A. in Physical Anthropology. A California native, she began her training in ballet, jazz, and tap at a small studio in her home town. She later went on to study at various schools such as City Ballet of San Francisco and Contra Costa Ballet of Walnut Creek. She has attended several summer intensives including Alonzo King's LINES Ballet, City Ballet, and Boston Ballet. She was accepted into the dance program at UCSB in 2009 and has since studied modern dance and ballet technique with professors such as Nancy Colahan, Christopher Pilafian, and more. She joined Nebula Dance Lab in 2013. 








 Carisa Caroll (understudy), grew up in Santa Barbara training with Montecito School of Ballet from the age of 7 through high school. While attending Santa Barbara City College she continued dancing as a guest artist for Montecito School of Ballet performing many lead roles as well as attending dance classes at the college. In the summer of 2010 Carisa had the privilege of being asked to dance as a guest artist for Carrie Diamonds Ballet Santa Barbara in a work that was performed in San Mateo, CA in conjunction with Peninsula Ballet Theatre. Carisa took the 2011-2012 season off to get married and started back up again by attending State Street Ballet's month-long summer intensive in 2012. From there she was offered a trainee position and was given many roles in all their works, most of all Nutcracker. This season she has decided to continue training under several local teachers and perform as a guest artist.



Michelle Lynch, was born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico where she studied dance with Susan Baker-Dillingham of New Mexico Dance Theater. During the summers she also trained at programs in California, Vermont, and New York before moving to California for college. She graduated in the spring of 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her time at UCSB she choreographed It’s Not Your Head, It’s Me and co-produced an honors project, Roots. As a member of the UCSB Student Dance Company, Michelle had the opportunity to perform works by Nancy Colahan, Valerie Huston, Mira Kingsley, and Jennifer Muller’s pivotal work Speeds. She toured with the company to throughout California, Italy, and New York. She also received the Patricia Sparrow Scholarship and the Tonia Shimin Award for Excellence and Promise in the Field of Dance. Michelle continues to live in Santa Barbara to study and dance, and will soon move to New York.







Costume Designers 

Anaya Cullen, Costume Designer, designs and creates costumes for dance, theater, opera, and independent films. Clients/projects include: State Street Ballet (CA), Peter Pucci’s Dream on By (NYC/CA), Jennifer Muller / The Works (NYC), American Musical and Dramatic Academy Los Angeles (CA), Santa Barbara Dance Theater (CA), UCSB Dance and Theater Department (CA), Chautauqua Dance Company (NY), Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum (CA), Santa Barbara Art Museum Nights! (CA), Aspen Opera Theater Center (CO), Robin Bisio Films (CA), Sentient Films (CA), Santa Barbara Dance Institute (CA), Bird Tribe Collective (CA), SonneBlauma Danscz Theatre (CA), Treignac Project (France), & Catsi Dans (Turkey).  Awards and residencies include Artmonk-in-Residence with the Art Monastery Project, Italy, 2012, Creative Resident at Parsons Paris School of Art + Design, 2010 and recipient of the Santa Barbara Fiber Arts Guild’s 2010 LaVelle Ure Memorial Educational Grant. Anaya is thrilled to be designing for and collaborating with Nebula Dance Lab! 


Lighting Designers

Spencer Michaels, Lighting Designer, is a fourth year student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and has been a part of the Theater and Dance community since his first year attending the school. He has designed for two dance shows previously in 2012 and 2013, and was just recently the Light Designer for Stage Left's Production of The Little Mermaid and Michael Morgan’s The People’s Voice Odyssey Project. This is Spencer's third experience as light designer for a dance show and is very enthusiastic to be a new member of the Nebula Dance Company team. He is profoundly thankful for the encouragement and support so lovingly provided by his incredible parents George and Robin Michaels and hopes you enjoy the company’s latest work. 





Video & Choreography 

Erin Martinez,  graduated with her BA in dance and art studio from UC Santa Barbara where she received department awards of distinction, departmental Honor's Project, and the Patricia Sparrow Award. Upon graduation Erin worked as a collaborative artist with Nugent Dance at Calarts. While living in New York, Erin worked with Lux Dance in New York City performing at Cunningham Studio, Triskelion Arts, and BAC. Erin danced with several choreographers and featured her choreographic work at the Cunningham Studio and Baryshnikov Arts Center. Erin has recently danced and choreographed locally for the DoZ Dance company, State Street Ballet, Emily Wheeler, UCSB dance company, Dance Unlimited, NECTAR, and the Santa Barbara Dance Alliance New Works Concert. She is a certified Pilates instructor through Body Arts and Science International and is currently exploring art through interactive media. Erin is thrilled to be working and collaborating with Nebula Dance Lab. 

 Dancers- Past Seasons

Lindsay Slavik, is from Orange County, California and currently resides in Santa Barbara. She has recently received her B.F.A. in dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Lindsay has trained with the Joffrey Ballet School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company.  During her education at UCSB she has trained under Christopher Pilafian, Nancy Colahan, Mira Kingsley and Valerie Huston.  She recently has toured in the UCSB Student Company to Italy, New York and all over Southern California performing New York choreographer, Jennifer Muller’s Speeds Project (1974) that was funded by an American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, along with five other faculty pieces. Her choreographic works at UCSB, Unveiled and It Is Finished, have sparked her inner passion to create works as well.  Lindsay has won various scholarships including the Alice Condodina UCSB Performance Scholarship as well as the Tonia Shimin Excellence and Promise in the Field Scholarship.  Currently Lindsay is dancing with Nebula Dance Lab Company, working to receive her pilates certification through BASI and creating an original theater piece with the kids from Isla Vista Teens Center, Nuestro Voz. 



 

Sarah Shouse, graduated Cum Laude from Cal State Fullerton with her BA in Dance, where she was the valedictorian of her graduating class. In her senior year at Fullerton, she was chosen to go to the American College Dance Festival in Bellingham, Washington. Sarah’s passion for modern dance was inspired and nurtured by Fullerton faculty: Gladys Kares, Barbara Arms, Debra Noble, Robin Kish, and Robin Johnson. Sarah received additional training under Betty Jones, Fritz Ludin, and Nina Watt at the Limon west coast workshop hosted by Mills College in Oakland, California. Upon graduation, Sarah was invited to attend The Ailey School in New York City where she studied with Ana Marie Forsyth and Matthew Rushing. Returning to the Los Angeles area, Sarah began dancing with Benita Bike’s Dance Art. While in residence for two seasons with Dance Art she performed in and around the Los Angeles area and toured to Boston. Now living back on the central coast, Sarah has performed with the award winning CORE Dance Company under the direction of Zheila Pouraghabagher.  Sarah’s choreographic works “Allt Breytt” and “Restore” were most recently seen as a part of Allan Hancock College’s, Dance Spectrum 2011 and Dimensions in Dance 2011. Sarah is thrilled to have this opportunity to perform with Nebula Dance Lab.

 


Tara Stewart, graduated with a BFA in Dance from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2008. While a student, she performed locally with the UCSB Student Dance Company as well as internationally alongside Santa Barbara Dance Theater on their tour of China. She was awarded the Patricia Sparrow Scholarship for summer study, and co-directed the Senior Dance Honors Project, Skintight Stories. Upon finishing her degree, Tara moved to Albuquerque, NM, where she became a repertory dancer for Keshet Dance Company. As a member of Keshet, she also taught dance in a variety of social outreach programs, teaching elementary students in the Title One Homeless Project, as well as juvenile delinquents in the Youth Diagnostic Development Center. In 2011, Tara received her second baccalaureate degree in biology from the College of Creative Studies at UCSB. She now works as a field and laboratory technician for UCSB’s Ecological Parasitology lab and plans to apply to PhD programs in the fall. Tara is excited to be working with Nebula Dance Lab and happy to have finally fulfilled her dream of becoming a dancing biologist. 




Bahtia Bilow, she's as homegrown as they get!  She danced with Ellen Schipper, Santa Barbara Ballet Center, UCSB, and State Street Ballet!  She has trained with Boston Ballet, Houston Ballet, Charleston Dance Theatre, and State Street Ballet's summer intensives on full scholarship for most!  After school Bahtia went on to work for Columbia City Ballet for two years as a corps de ballet member but she missed Santa Barbara so she returned to California for the 2001 season of State Street Ballet, where she continued to work until 2004.  Since 2004 Bahtia has been on an extended break but is thrilled to be back training and dancing as a Company dancer for Nebula Dance Lab.






 Denise Woods, a native of Southern California, has extensively studied ballet and various forms of dance for 20 years. Her training began at Californai Dance Theatre with Kim Masseli, Nader Hamed, and Stanley Holden. She then went on to pursue her dream of dancing through college and received her B.A in Communications and minor in Dance as an honorable mention undergraduate from Cal State University of Long Beach. Soon after college, she returned to California Dance Theatre as a guest artist in their Pacific Festival Ballet Theatre with featured roles in contemporary works such as Heaven and Hell and Mary Poppins. Craving a taste of the big city she moved on to N.Y.C., dancing Peter and the Wolf at Avery Fischer Hall, and working with choreographer Lonne Moretton in Ballet Builders. Upon returning to California in 2006 she began a two year partnership with Carrie Diamond's Ballet Santa Barbara (BSB). In addition to performing with BSB, she collaborated and performed with Nicole Helton in Santa Barbara's New Works and in Devyn Duex's work, Release, in the Fusion Dance Company showcase. Now residing in Los Angeles, Denise finds deep freedom and expression through dance, and in teaching she shares the peace it brings to her life. 

Nicole Helton, received her BFA in Dance from UC Santa Barbara. Trained in ballet, jazz, modern, aerial and contemporary dance, Nicole has created numerous works for the stage including Collide (2005) and As We Are (2008), and diSjoiNT (2009) featured in NEW WORKS. She has danced professionally with Indiana Dance Theater, Daughter of Zion Dance Company, and Ballet Santa Barbara. Nicole currently teaches dance at SB Dance Arts and for Fusion Dance Company. She also choreographs and performs independently.

 

 

Ashley Kira Kohler, began her training at Dance Unlimited in Oceanside, California at the age of 13. She studied Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Lyrical under the direction of multiple instructors including Tessandra Chavez, Eddie Barcello, and her mother Robin Kohler. In addition to her studies at Dance Unlimites, Ashley was highly involved in the Dance program at El Camino High School. She was an Advanced Dance Club Leader for two years as well as Captain of the El Camino Dance Team her senior year. After high school Ashley moved to Goleta where she recently received her BA in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara. She continues to study several styles of dance, as she has been a principal dancer of Fusion Dance Company for over two years under the direction of Kara Stewart.

 

Kate Doherty, a Senior at UC Santa Barbara, has had a passion for dance since the age of four.  She is trained in jazz, modern, ballet, musical theatre jazz and lyrical. Prior to her studies at UC Santa Barbara Kate danced with the California Dance Theatre for seven years and her high school dance team in Thousand Oaks winning numerous 1st place awards regionally, nationally, and internationally. She has performed at the Civic Arts Plaza as well as danced a role in the ballet The Nutcracker. Additionally she has trained at the Edge studio in Los Angeles and won medals at the Los Angeles Dance Force competition. Currently, Kate is dancing with Santa Barbara's Fusion Dance Company, performing at local functions including Santa Barbara Dance Alliance's annual show BASSH.  She also works with Everybody Dance Now! teaching Hip Hop to Santa Barbara's underprivileged youth.



Past Season Collaborators

 Andrew Schmedake- is a graduating senior in University California Santa Barbara's design program. Having previously worked as an assistant lighting designer to the department's productions of Hamlet and She Stoops to Conquer and as associate lighting designer for Cloud Nine, he is overjoyed to bring his work to Center Saage. Prior credits include dance lighting designs for the dance pieces What Did She Do Wrong?, Minutos, (Chican@) Pieces of Our People, I Made These Trees with Deep Roots, and Crumbs at the Bottom. 


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