Rebekah Brown – FOUNDER/DIRECTOR
Rebekah was born in the small town of Ashland, OH and spent 10 years at Opus II Dance Studio, where she fell in love with dancing and then figured out she liked being in charge – so she started choreographing. Opus II gave her something she’d never had before – a sense of belonging and a passion that needed to be fueled. After high school, she moved to Buffalo, NY and received her BFA in Dance from the State University of New York at Buffalo and pioneered a study abroad program with the University of Chichester in England. Returning to studying in 2011, Rebekah moved across the country to pursue her MFA in Dance at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Since graduating, she taught dance and worked in administrative capacities in the Bay Area but made the move to sunny San Diego about five years ago. She has taught and choreographed for over 15 years, drawing inspiration from her training in ballet, modern, contemporary, and jazz. Rebekah is the co-curator for Fresh Dances with colleague Emily Miller and works with Ian Isles to curate ArtMOVES, the dance stage at ArtWalk San Diego. In addition, she is a choreographer, performer, and cast manager for the Theater & Dance Ministry at Awaken Church. Rebekah is overwhelmingly excited to have a small dance company that challenges her and has given her the chance to meet some amazing artists. She looks forward to any new opportunities for H2O!
Sara K. Blodgett
Grateful to have fallen into a dance career, Sara is living her passion and is currently active in the San Diego dance scene. She has performed with Jean Isaac’s San Diego Dance Theatre on projects including Trolley Dances (2010, 2011, 2012), Young Choreographers Showcase (2012, 2013, 2017), and The Magee House Project (2013). In 2012 she danced in Mojalet’s Progressive Steps and for Sadie Weinberg in Arts Alive on the Coastal Rail Trail. Sara presented choreography at the Encinitas Arts Festival (2013, 2014) and SDDT’s Studio Showcase in May 2013. She worked with NYC award-winning choreographer Tamara Saari performing at The Fringe Festival 2014. In 2016 Sara performed in Brianna Pilkinton’s full-length site specific project #thescreensbetweenus in conjunction with Malashock Dance. Also in 2016 she danced for Emily Miller’s ‘Get Down/Pick Up’ company as part of Art Walk Leucadia. In addition to performing, Sara is passionate about sharing her art. She spends her spare time dancing in the kitchen with her son Aiden.
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 where she performed in original works with the professional company. She attended summer 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. She completed her BA in Dance at UCSD and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2014, where she was recognized as a Muir Scholar and awarded The Leandra Smith Memorial Dance Scholarship.
Alex Ebalo (they, them) is a genderqueer Filipinx artist with a diverse set of experiences in varying dance forms. They received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from UCSD. They have had the opportunities to perform in San Diego with organizations such as Culture Shock San Diego, SeaWorld San Diego, and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. They are committed to using community programs and politically informed art as a vehicle to advance the exploration and advocacy of movement history and culture.
Sammy Gerraty is thrilled to be dancing in her first season with H2O! Growing up, she studied pre-professional ballet under Gonzales Espinosa and Alexi Zubiria before attending UCSB’s BFA program, where she joined the UCSB Dance Company her senior year and toured Europe with repertoire by Jacqulyn Buglisi, Monica Bill Barnes, Jose Limon, and UCSB faculty. She graduated with honors for her thesis piece about vanishing ecosystems, and continues to create work about grief and loss on both a personal and planetary scale in hopes that art can help her form an understanding of herself and others in the face of tragedy.
Cathlin Houle grew up in the world of ballet, training with Erin Duclos at To The Pointe Ballet, and performing lead roles in many classical works. She had the fortune to travel to Scotland with Burklyn Ballet to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and attended UCLA where she was exposed to many contemporary works from international dance companies. Cathlin now loves trying every style of dance possible, but especially enjoys contemporary movement which she began when she joined H2O Dance Company in 2017.
Danielle, a San Diego native, received her earliest dance education at her local Recreation Center in Clairemont. She had her first recital at the Casa del Prado in Balboa Park. Later as a student at SDSCPA she studied Ballet, Tap and Jazz with Aida Anderson and Cynthia Morales. After high school Danielle trained with Zvi Gotheiner at City Center in New York and was a company dancer with Nina Buisson Contemporary Movement. As a scholarship student at Broadway Dance Center Danielle studied Ballet with Peter Scabel, and Contemporary/Jazz with Salim Gauwloos (Slam). Since returning to San Diego Danielle has been fortunate to perform with local companies: IsadoraNOW, Get Down/Pick Up, and Continuum Dance Project. Theatre credits include: Spamalot, Jesus Christ Superstar and Matilda. Choreography credits include Fun Home and Every Christmas Story Ever Told. As a certified Teaching Artist she works with Memory Care residents and active seniors. In addition to being an H2O company member, Danielle is currently choreographing RENT for Patio Playhouse, and will perform choreography by Mitchum Todd in the upcoming Live Arts Fest! Danielle lives in Carlsbad with her wonderful husband and 2 amazing kids and is grateful for their support.
Brianna (sounds like banana) Pilkinton can be described by the following titles: Wife, Mom, Environmental Scientist, Dancer, Choreographer, Self-Made Thousandaire, and Epic Multitasker. She earned a BS in General Biology from San Diego State University and works full time in the environmental consulting industry. She has been fortunate to have choreographed and danced professionally in our San Diego community for the last 14 years. She is the founder of a project-based modern dance collective, Accipiterdance.com, and is inspired by creating work that reflects the parallels and conflicts between the natural world and our human world. Brianna has danced as a guest artist with many local dance companies and independent choreographers including; Isadora Now, Bottled Light Dance Theater, GetDown/PickUp Company, Malashock Dance, Lara Segura, Tamara Saari Dance, Ion Theatre, San Diego Dance Theater, and H2O Dance Company.
Leigh took her first ballet class at age eight and was hooked! She studied ballet and jazz at her studio in Bakersfield, CA and danced in so many Nutcrackers that she can no longer celebrate Christmas without hearing something by Tchaikovsky. By age 15, she was teaching ballet and jazz and by 17 she was choreographing for her studio. In college, Leigh danced ballet and modern and while studying for her degree in Biology. After college, Leigh took a hiatus from dance while she taught marine biology camps for kids, SCUBA classes both locally and abroad, and worked in the biotech industry. After having her first child, Leigh began teaching dance and fitness classes, was the coordinator for Expressions, the YMCA dance team, and began dancing and performing with H2O. She loves working with the amazing San Diego dance community!
Luci’s passion for dancing started as a child when she started her ballet training with Felicity Cunningham in Las Vegas. After moving to San Diego at age 10, Luci continued her dance training with Kathy Roach at Fine Pointe Ballet Studio. There she has had many opportunities to dance, teach and choreograph dance. Luci graduated with a BA in Dance from University of California, San Diego in Spring of 2019. While at UCSD, Luci has enjoyed exploring many different dance styles such as contemporary, improvisation, jazz, hip hop, and tap. Since graduating, she has continued as a company member with H2O, teaches dance regularly, is a Work Study student with San Diego Dance Theater, and hopes to continue her career in dance with more opportunities to perform, choreograph, and teach dance in many capacities.
Shannon cultivated her passion for the arts in the Bay Area, attaining a BA in Dance at SFSU and MFA in Performance and Choreography at Mills College. She has gratefully performed in works by Cathleen McCarthy, Paco Gomez, Byron Seddens, Ori Flomin, Shinichi Iova-Koga, and Sheldon Smith. Currently, Shannon works as a Video Production Coordinator for SmartShoot while producing new works for her WIDE EYED (wE.) project.
Rachel Torres graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in Literature with Honors and a minor in Dance, performing in works by Liam Clancy, Allyson Green, and Yolande Snaith during her time there. Upon graduation, Rachel began taking classes and working with independent artists in the San Diego community. She has had the pleasure of performing works by several local choreographers including John Malashock, Jean Isaacs, Sadie Weinberg, Debi Toth, Lara Segura, Erica Buechner, Brianna Pilkinton, Lavina Rich, and Erin Tracy. Rachel has performed as a guest artist with San Diego Dance Theater and was a company dancer with the Malashock Dance Company from 2016-2020. Currently, Rachel teaches Modern at the Malashock Dance School and is so happy to be working with Fresh Congress Dance and H2O Dance Company!
Anita Von Kalinowski
Anita was born and raised in Chile. From an early age and to this day she has always enjoyed learning different styles of dance such as Ballet, Modern Dance, Contemporary Dance, and Latin Ballroom. Anita loves to share the joy of dance. She has a degree in Physical Education from the university of Playa Ancha. She studied in the Department of Contemporary Dance (Graham and Leeder technique) at the Conservatorio Hizidor Handler in Vina del Mar Chile. She was a dancer for the Contemporary Dance Company Creadanza for more than 7 years where she participated in various exhibitions and dance festivals throughout Chile. Through her love of dance she always looked to improve and learn in which she regularly attended different dance seminars/workshops such as: Danzalborde (Chile), Erre que Erre (Spain), and SDC (Australia). She is the Mom of Lucca (a Dinosaur lover!) and Gianni and Donatella (two amazing/sweet tuxedo cats!). [Photo: Julia Daria]
PAST COLLABORATORS – MANY THANKS!
Ashley Akhavan, Blake Bailey, Brandon Bailey, Kimbra Brazeal, Keryn Breiterman-Loader, Casey Flores, Jessica Goodburn, Maya Haines, Genevieve Hand, Rachel Holdt, Joe Holmes, Maggie Hurd, Ian Isles, Ana Mendoza, Kassandra Meza, Erica Pinigis, Molly Schwartz, Sophie Stanley, Caitlin Sullivan, Ashley Tan, Korey Van Hoy