Season Four Dancers (2013-2014)

Marilyn Alvarenga-Gaxiola
Marilyn Alvarenga-Gaxiola was introduced to the world of dance at East Anchorage High's Contempo, with which she danced for three years. During her freshman year at the UAA, Marilyn became a member of UAA's Dance Ensemble where she dove into modern dance under choreographer Brian Jeffery. She is thrilled to be back for her third season with the dazzling and brilliant dance company PULSE.
David Chapa Jr.
David is a Theatre & Dance senior at UAA, graduating this spring. David has been on UAA Dance Ensemble since 2012. In that time, he has performed in numerous productions as a dancer, actor, and served as President of the UAA Dance Club. He is currently applying his skills as a lighting designer to several artistic ventures and is thrilled to be dancing with Pulse.
Rachel Droege
Rachel Droege is a dancer: lover, dreamer, thinker. Influenced by the extraordinary as well as the conventional, modern dance encapsulates her immense passion for life. She has danced with the company for three seasons and has had the pleasure of working closely with talented dancers, many of whom have trained in a range of different styles. She plans to continue to create emotive and theatrical pieces with Pulse for years to come.
Sam Franklin
Samuel Franklin is a long time resident dancer from Alaska, with his original training starting at age three at Alaska Dance Theatre. He performed with the ADT Company for four years, with Momentum Dance Collective for two seasons, and is currently studying biomechanics at UAA with hopes of integrating machines and humans in a comprehensive manner. He is very excited to be dancing for Pulse this season!
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Joyce Mayer
As a long time member of Anchorage's dance community, Joyce Mayer is truly excited to close her third performing season with Pulse Dance Company. The unique opportunities, diverse creative challenges, and the beautiful synergy that happens among this amazing group of dancers feed her soul. She looks forward to another adrenaline-filled year with the company and its supporters.
Cady Lynn O'Brien-Jenkins
A long time Alaskan, Cady Lynn Jenkins has trained in Sitka, Juneau and Anchorage, AK. Mrs. Jenkins is a former member of the UAA Dance Ensemble, a graduate of the Laban Dance Conservatory in London and holds a diploma in dance studies. She has performed and taught all over the world, including Alaska, England, and Korea. Cady Lynn is now the proud mother of Magdalena.
Cara Mazurek
Cara Mazurek joins Pulse after 7 years as a principal dancer for Peninsula Artists in Motion. She began her training at a young age under theatrical and jazz based instruction. Her professional credits include performances for opening acts for country music artists of Brooks and Dunn, Trace Adkins, and Lonestar. Cara embraces all forms of artistic expression. She is an interior designer at ECI/Hyer and artist (painter) with works across Southcentral.
Grace Olendorff
Grace is a born and raised Alaskan who's been dancing since age six. She received training in ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and hip hop at Vergine’s Dance Studio in Soldotna. She has participated in annual intensives, workshops, and competitions throughout the United States including Dance Excellence, NYCDA, 5678 Showtime, and Spotlight Dance Cup. Grace is a dance instructor/choreographer at Dance Dynamics in Eagle River and owns local coffee shop Jammin' Java.
Regina Pilkus
Originally from Metro Detroit, Michigan, Regina began her early dance training under the direction of Laurie Papovich & Julie Merkel, both members of the Cecchetti Counsel of America. Regina danced competitively and began instructing dance in 1999, becoming a highly credited teacher for almost 15 years. Regina moved to Alaska in 2008 and has continued teaching, choreographing and performing dance all over the Anchorage area.
This is Regina's first season with Pulse Dance Company.
Jena Poppin
Jena fell in love with dance at Vergine’s Dance Studio by age six and has trained in everything from ballet and jazz to tap since. As a member of Vergine’s Junior Company, she traveled and performed competitively. Jena began student teaching by age 15 and continued on to study at ASU, where she majored in dance education and performed with ASU’s hip hop coalition. She currently teaches all over Anchorage and offers Contemporary Jazz at Studio Pulse.
Madeline Scarinzi
Originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania, Madeline has evolved as a dancer through the study of Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Grand Finale. Other inspirations include singing, songwriting, art and traveling. Now residing in Anchorage, Alaska, Madeline is elated to continue her evolution with Pulse Dance Company.
Alyssa Taylor
Alyssa Taylor began her dance training under Alice Bassler-Sullivan with Alaska Dance Theatre. She performed numerous works as a member of ADT’s student company and attended multiple summer dance intensives. She continued her dance studies at Texas Christian University as a contemporary and modern dance major until taking a brief detour to become a registered nurse. Alyssa is elated to be returning for her second season with PULSE.
Clara Underwood
Originally from Paris, Texas, Clara Underwood is happy and excited to be living and growing in Alaska with Pulse Dance Company. Holding her B.A. in Dance from Belhaven University, she has studied a myriad of dance and movement disciplines in Texas, Mississippi, Maine and Alaska including Chamberlain Ballet, Ballet Austin and Bates Dance Festival. She loves storytelling, treading commonalities between art disciplines and exploring the ways bodies reflect the world around and within.
Whitney Rickards Wilde
Whitney Rickards Wilde first trained in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz in Juneau, AK. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in French and a Minor in Dance from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, before moving to San Francisco, CA, where she worked most notably with choreographers Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton. Whitney is thrilled to bring her experience back to Alaska as a member of Pulse Dance Company and an instructor at Studio Pulse.
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Stephanie Wonchala

Cassidy Davis

Cady Lynn O'Brien-Jenkins

Michael Carlson

Pia Wonchala

Alice Bassler Sullivan; Guest Artist
Alice began studying dance in Anchorage. She earned a BFA from the University of Utah and performed with Ballet West and Minnesota Ballet. She led Alaska Dance Theatre to unprecedented achievements as its Founding Artistic Director. Alice was honored with the Mayors Arts Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010 and awarded a Rasmuson Individual Artist Award in 2013. She currently directs DanceArts Alaska and Eagle River Ballet, and teaches for Anchorage Ballet, UAA and Studio Pulse.
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