Making Dance Accessible to All

ABOUT
Mojalet

Mojalet Dance Collective is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company that performs with a passion to share the beauty of expression through movement and artistic collaborations. The work performed by the professional company varies from large ensemble work to intimate duets and solos using strong elements of design, musicality, and athletic movement. Themes range from abstract, to the intimacy in relationships, and the pure beauty of movement.

OUR HISTORY

Mojalet Dance Collective was founded in 1991 by three North San Diego County Artists, Faith Jensen-Ismay, Mary Neuru, and Linda Zambrano: three educators in dance working in college establishments; they found a need to provide opportunities for dancers, choreographers and other artists post graduation. Mojalet continues to serve as a platform for established and emerging performers and artists to share their work.

After more than a decade of creating work,  Mojalet formally filed for non-profit status in 2003, with Faith Jensen-Ismay taking charge as Artistic Director. Mojalet performs domestically and internationally with a major focus on collaborating with other artists to developing new work. 

Since the inception of Mojalet, the company has worked and performed in schools through Young Audiences of San Diego (YA), educating and inspiring our youth. A major goal of Mojalet is to reach out to communities and make the work accessible with a major focus to offer opportunities to dancers and artists to develop their craft outside an academic environment.

In 2008, Mojalet Dance Collective opened The Vine Theater, Mojalet’s Place for The Arts, a small black box theater located on the grounds at the Bernardo Winery in Rancho Bernardo. This new endeavor allowed the company to produce not only our own work, but also present a wide variety of artists ranging from dance, music, poetry, storytelling, theater, and more. With the opening of the Theater in 2008, Mojalet also started our Summer Series at the Vine offering 8-10 consecutive weekends of live performances to over 50 different choreographers and hundreds of dancers, while developing new patrons for the arts.   

Over the past 25 years, Mojalet has been successful in following our mission to find opportunities to collaborate with other artists and schools throughout the county, as well as develop our international partnerships. You can join the Mojalet family by attending one of our events, make a financial contribution, or become a volunteer.  We welcome and appreciate your involvement.

 

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

FAITH JENSEN-ISMAY

Faith Jensen-Ismay has an extensive history as a dancer, teacher, and choreographer  working throughout the entire county of San Diego and beyond. She is a founding Director of Mojalet (in 1991) with Mary Neuru, and Linda Zambrano; she became the Artistic Director in 1997, presenting her work and performing in Mexico, Switzerland, London, France, and Germany, as well as the East and West Coasts. Currently, Faith is part of the dance faculty at Mesa College and offers classes through Mojalet Dance Collective in Rancho Bernardo at "The Vine",  and Arts for Learning San Diego a Young Audiences affiliate.

Moonlighting from 2007-2011, she served as the choreographer for The Jumpitz -  a performing group offering children's entertainment through stories, songs, and dance, While working with The Jumpitz, she created choreography for over 30 music videos for DVD's, with several  aired on Nick Jr., Armed Forces Network, HD Network and more. She also split her time traveling Domestically and Internationally with the group; in 2010 and 2011, she toured as the Choreographer, and Live Performance Director with AFE Tours presenting performances for military families in  England, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece.

Her professional performing career began in the 1986-1987 season with Three's Company and Dancers under the direction of Jean Isaacs, Nancy Mc Caleb and Betzi Roe Weinburg; with them she was able to tour in Europe, Mexico and domestically.  Faith worked for 3's Company/ Isaacs McCaleb & Dancers for 11 years, then continued with McCaleb Dance for an 1.5 years, and Jean Isaacs' San Diego Dance Theatre until August 2005.  While with San Diego Dance Theatre, she had the opportunity to perform works by Jean Isaacs, Christopher Pilafian, Mary Anthony, Monica Bill Barnes, Rui Horta, Kevin Wynn, Marco Antonio Silva, Jeffery Gerodias, Gabriel Masson, Yolanda Snaith, and more.

As a choreographer, Faith had created work for Mojalet Dance Collective, The University Dance Company at SDSU,  UCSD Faculty Dance, Palomar, Mesa and Grossmont College Faculty Concerts,  "Beyond Therapy" at The Old Globe Theater, Northern California Dance Conservatory, The PGK Dance Project, The Jumpitz, and more. 

Before transferring to SDSU, where she develop a performing career working with artists such as Patricia Sandback, Melissa Nunn, she received her Associates in the Arts Degree from  Palomar Community College where she was adjunct faculty from 1988 to 2005. She has so served as a adjunct faculty for the University of California San Diego 1995-2005, SDSU from 1997-2009, SD Mesa College 2011 to present, and guest adjunct for San Diego City College, Mira Mar College, and recently Grossmont College.   Faith holds a Lifetime Teaching Credential for California Community Colleges. 

She has also had the opportunity to teach for CAPHERD and served as the Artist in Residence in 1992, and faculty in 1990, 1994, 1995 and 2005.  Additional past teaching includes the  Academy of Performing Arts, Isaacs / McCaleb and Dancers , San Diego Dance Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, Arts in Education, and for Young Audiences of San Diego. Since 1985, Faith has held residencies at many high schools and primary schools throughout San Diego County impacting thousands of children; she strives to make dance accessible to all ages, socio-economic backgrounds, and people with varied physical abilities. 

Throughout her career, she has had the rich opportunities to perform works by Jean Isaacs, Nancy McCaleb, Patricia Sandback,  Joe Goode, Betzi Roe, Patricia Rincon, Gabriel Masson,  Mary Neuru, Melissa Nunn, Ellen Segal, Albert Reed, Jan Justice, Greg Lizenbury, Shawn Womac, Rich Burrows, Bill De Young, Terri Shipman, Terry Wilson, Terry Sprague, Katie Stevinson, Allyson Green, Bradley Lundburg, Margaret Marshall, Peter Kalivas, Albert Reed,  Jeffery Gerodias and others.

Over the past 30 years, her training has been influenced by many great artists that have done extensive workshops here in San Diego, with special thanks to Riza Steinburg from the Limon Company, who greatly influenced her work.

 

Meet our Board

 

Rhonda Fisher

President

RHONDA FISHER received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Secondary Education from Arizona State University in 1990. She continued to dance and teach for several years after graduating but decided to change careers and received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University in 1998. She has been a nurse specializing in the surgical field for 16 years and is currently the coordinator for the Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement program well as the Infection Control Program at an outpatient surgical center. After many years of being out of the dance community she is now able to balance both her career as a nurse with her passion for dance through the wonderful opportunities given to her by Faith Jensen-Ismay and the Mojalet family.

Janet Alvis

Treasurer

JANET ALVIS has had a passion for dance since she was a young child, and has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Contemporary Dance. In addition to pursuing her love for the arts, Janet has a career in dentistry, managing the business side of a successful dental practice in Alpine. Her focus includes the management of a team of dental professionals, human resources, managing the financials for the dental practice, as well as the marketing and advertising for the practice to develop long-term growth. Janet is passionate about working with the Mojalet Company and & Core Group as a dancer, and now as a Board member to help facilitate the many Outreach opportunities to members of the community of all ages and diversity.

Lauren Luhmann

​ Secretary & *2016 STAR Award Winner

LAUREN LUHMANN holds a B.S. in Bioengineering and a minor in Music from University of California, San Diego, and an M.A. in Biomechanics from San Diego State University. She began her professional career working in the medical device industry managing domestic and international regulatory affairs. In 2005, she transitioned to a career in the legal field, and obtained a paralegal certificate from University of San Diego. She has since been with Latham & Watkins LLP, providing a lead paralegal role in support of complex, high-stakes environmental and general civil matters in a variety of jurisdictions. Lauren is grateful to Faith for the amazing opportunities she has been offered as a dancer, and delighted to utilize her professional experience to help support Mojalet’s mission and expanding in-reach and out-reach programs.

Christine Sionne

​ Board Member / Former President 2003-2016

CHRISTINE SIONNE has danced as a hobby for most of her adult life, performing for and training with Faith for many of those years. While still dancing, she received her Certificate in Direct Marketing through the SD DMA Assn. She has developed and implemented marketing communication strategies for business to business channels for over 20 years.
She was honored as the Mojalet, 2004 Star Honoree sponsored by SD Performing Arts League. And, credits being a board member for Mojalet as providing challenges, opportunities and successes that she never dreamed possible. The opportunity to help develop such a wonderful organization and watch it grow and blossom has been an honor and a wonderful way to stay in touch with her dance family!

Sharon Kearin

Board Member

SHARON KEARIN has a Masters in Dance Performance and Education from Indiana University and for the past 20 years has been teaching and performing. She is co-founder of a fitness, health, dance and physical therapy facility in North County called Personally Fit. She also directs and dances in Soulscape Dance which is a  Christian dance company that performs praise and worship dance located at the Soulscape Movement Center @ The Rancho Bernardo Winery.
http://www.soulscapedance.com/

Deborah Anne Heyer

Board Member

DEBORAH ANNE HEYER was Born in Ontario, Canada. With her BA Business Degree from Brock University, St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada she worked 6 Years in Sales/Marketing Print Media for Southam Publishing. Her interests then moved her to receive a BA Degree in Science/Physical Therapy from Chicago Medical School/Finch Health Sciences.  She currently is a Physical Therapist at Tri-City Medical Center offering her services since 1995. She has been married over 15 yrs to Shane, and is the mother of two children: Miranda and Harrison.

Christina Rousseau

Board Member

CHRISTINA ROUSSEAU has been dancing all her life. She has trained with Faith Jensen-Ismay at Palomar College and Sue Gilson at Georgia’s School of Dance. Aside from dancing, Christina works as part of the Mike Rousseau Real Estate Team with her husband. “I enjoy being part of the Mojalet family. Faith inspires us to be the best we can be.”

Secretary

Rick Joyce

Board Member

RICK  JOYCE was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. He graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.  After a brief period working for the General Electric Computer Department in Phoenix, Arizona, Rick entered the U. S. Navy. During his 20 year career as a U.S. Navy officer, Rick served as a submarine officer and subsequently as an engineering duty office, specializing in submarine repair and submarine electronic systems development and maintenance. Rick also earned Master’s degrees in Electronics Engineering and Management from the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. After leaving the Navy, Rick spent 14 years in industry, working as an engineer and project manager for small defense contractors. In 2001 Rick started his own IT consulting business, which he continues to pursue. Rick has been supporting Mojalet for many years. His daughter Lauren is a long-time dancer in the Mojalet Core Group and a member and secretary of the Mojalet Board of Directors. Besides serving as a member of the Mojalet Board of Directors, Rick serves as the administrator for Mojalet’s Office 365 IT services.

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The Vine Theater  @ The Bernardo Winery     13330 Paseo Del Verano N.  San Diego, Ca. 92128     858-243-1402         

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