MEET THE COMPANY
The North Star Dance Company laid down its roots 5 years ago in November 2016 with their premier performance of original works on the North Star Theater Stage in Cordova, Alaska. The company’s founding members have all but 2 graduated joined by 5 more debuting members.
The company has had the pleasure of working with acclaimed artist, Katherine Kramer, who created a piece specifically for the company in March 2017. In March 2019, these dancers had the unique opportunity to set pieces to music by the Alaskan band, The Super Saturated Sugar Strings, to collaborate with them as well as perform their work LIVE with the band. Also last spring, the company exchanged choreography with Dance Momentum, an Anchorage based dance company. Plus, the company dancers got to learn from Okaidja Afroso, visiting guest artist from Portland, who shared his African dance and music heritage and collaborated with both Dance Momentum and the Super Saturated Sugar Strings along with our dancers!
The company staged its own production in February 2020, Incrementum, highlighting four graduating dancers.
Despite COVID, the company has managed to create and share space to work on pieces to share with the community. Performances in the winter and spring of 2021 were limited and we are looking forward to performing to the greater general public this December 2021.
Serena Herschleb, 17
Graduating Senior Founding Company Member
I was born in Cordova. I have been dancing since I was in the womb. I have taken a class at the NYC Broadway Dance Center and I love contortion. In the future, I want to teach young dancers throughout high school. I also want to go to a performing arts school and then go into some sort of job where I can perform and inspire others.
I dance because dance makes me feel so full and I get to inspire young dancers and entertain the community of Cordova. Dance also makes me feel special. My advice to younger dancers is to do things that make you smile and enjoy life even more. Dance is a wonderful activity to stick with because it keeps people healthy; it touches a lot of things and helps with connecting socially.
Being in the North Star Dance Company, we have so much freedom. It really gives everyone a chance to express ourselves and create. I have choreographed several solo dances and this December marks the premier of two of my group pieces.
Grace Collins, 16
I was born in Palmer, Alaska and have been dancing for 9 years. Dancing is like fun, energetic meditation. When I dance, I feel the music and nothing else. It just takes my mind off of other things. I’d like to tell younger dancers that you should commit, try hard and don’t ever give up even when it’s hard. Stick with dancing and get to know your dance mates. I like photography and I love tater tots so much! In the future, I want to travel and go to college and get my pilot’s license.
Together with the North Star Dance Company we laugh and talk and become better friends. The group is entertaining and supportive.
Morgan DeLaet, 13
Morgan was born in Marquette, Michigan and when she was 4 years old she lived in Ketchikan, Alaska, where she danced with the Ketchikan Theater Ballet. She has attended 7 different dance studios! We are so pleased to have her join our group of company dancers here in Cordova while her family is stationed here through the US Coast Guard.
Here’s what Morgan has to say about dance: “I dance because it’s a way I can express myself and let all my feelings out. When I dance, I feel free and that I can just feel and connect to the music.”
She’d like to tell younger dancers to continue dancing if they love it and if it brings them joy. She says, “Remember that all dancers are in different levels and the more that you stretch and practice, the better you’ll become.”
She sees herself graduating from high school, going to college, and being a dance teacher on the side.
Hyrum Fish, 13
Hyrum was born in Mobile, Alabama. Before moving to Cordova with the Coast Guard, he lived in Coos Bay and Seattle, WA. Hyrum started dancing when he was 8 with the Pacific Northwest Ballet. He had the experience of being recruited, auditioning, and performing with them!
When he dances, he says he’s not bored. Hyrum really enjoys music and we love his professionalism and attention to detail he brings to the group.
Ari Dawn Jeppson-Bolin, 13
Ari was born in Anchorage. She began dancing when she was 3 years old. Here’s what she says about dance: “I dance because I feel free and alive. When I dance, I am able to express myself and feel free in movements.”
She’d like to tell younger dancers that no matter how hard it can get, you just need to persevere. “Dance is something you will never want to give up on.”
Her future plans include going to veterinary school so she can open a clinic in Cordova for pets to come in any day.
Victoria Nothstine, 13
Victoria has been dancing at Current Rhythms since she was 3 years old. She says, “I dance because it has always been my dream. Unlike other things in my life, dance is more than just a hobby. When I wake up, I feel excited to express myself in dance. I set goals to accomplish. I know that I am free to show feelings with my body and to feel myself!”
She would like to tell younger dancers to, “NEVER GIVE UP!” She says to follow your heart in dance and be you!
She is super excited to have a trip to Paris planned in the future, which she’s going to take with her mom, sister, and friends. It’s 7 years from now, but she’s still looking forward to it. Maybe she’ll got to the Royal Opera House and see some ballet?!
Morgan Saiget, 14
Morgan was born in Hood River, Oregon and started dancing when she was 6 years old.
She says, “I dance because it’s very freeing. I don’t like to be on stage or the center of attention unless I’m dancing.”
She’d like to tell younger dancers to “let loose and be yourself because no one can judge you when you dance.”
In the future, she sees herself starting a non-profit, playing piano, or dancing in a big ballet or dance company.