About the Artists
Mojalet Company Dancers
ROBBY JOHNSON - Assistant to the Director
ROBBY JOHNSON, Assistant to the Director, is an actor, dancer, musician and scientist. He is a graduate of UCSD in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, with minors in both Dance and Theater. Robby has trained with a host of fantastic dance educators over the years including Jean Isaacs, Faith Jensen-Ismay, grace jun-mills, Peter Kalivas, Bradley Lundberg, Gabriel Masson, Christopher Pilafian and Terry Wilson to name a few. He has also had the pleasure of performing with Allyson Green, Betzi Roe, Erica Buechner, San Diego Dance Theater, Melissa Nunn, Patricia Rincon, Patricia Sandback, and Yolande Snaith. Robby works in neuroscience research, participates in music at his church, and even tries to cram in some acting on stage, film, or in a crowd of those seeking entertainment. He is currently enjoying his local and international adventures with Mojalet Dance Collective and has done so since 2005. Robby plays nicely with others, enjoys cooking, eating, traveling, and taking bubble baths.
LYNDSEY GEMMELL has been dancing with Mojalet since 2001 performing in Domestic and International Tours. She has been training with Faith Jensen-Ismay since 2000 currently serving as Assistant to The Director, and performs in Educational Outreach for Mojalet. She started with a predominant background in jazz and musical theatre performing in numerous local productions including Moonlight and Lawrence Welk Theaters. Lyndsey has enjoyed performing with Mojalet over the years and would like to thank Faith for affording her the opportunity to performing in a variety of projects: Europe Tours, Trolley Dances, and performing choreography by acclaimed artists such as Patricia Sandback and Betzi Roe. She resides in Oceanside with her husband, Brian, and three healthy boys, Jack, Elliott, Lewis and her daughter Scarlet. She is happiest when she is dreaming up her next creative endeavor and sharing her artistic passions with her children.
ALIA ISMAY was born in Poway California and has danced basically her whole life, but started official training around the age of 8 in the annual Summer Dancin' Workshop in Ramona; soon after she began taking workshops and adult company classes taught by her mom, Faith Jensen-Ismay. She has been training with Mojalet ever since and has been a vital performer for the Mojalet Senior Co. Alia has performed and toured in Switzerland and Germany with Mojalet and served the company as a teaching artist and choreographer for Eclectic Expression Dance Co. , Jamolet and Core Group. Alia received her Bachelor's degree in Journalism from San Diego State University in 2016, then moved to India for a year to do Public Relations work for an anti-human trafficking organization. In 2020, Alia spent a year in Lugano, Switzerland to earn a Masters of Science in International Management . She is excited to be back in the US and performing with Mojalet and balances her life as Director of Sales and Marketing for Sparrow Imports.
JASMYN HAMBLIN is a dancer, visual artist, choreographer, and teacher originally from Santa Rosa, California. She holds a BFA in Dance from Cal State University LongBeach, graduating with honors after transferring from San Diego Mesa College. Throughout her life, she has trained in contemporary, modern, jazz, ballet, improvisation, and musical theater, working with many incredible teachers including Faith Jensen-Ismay, Rosanna Tavarez (Countertechnique), Rebecca Lemme (Release), Rebecca Bryant (Improvisation), Keith Johnson, members of Pilobolus Nile H. Russel and Jordan Kriston, Donna Flournoy, Jan Ellis, Summer Brown (Limón), and Andrew Holmes. Jasmyn has performed internationally with Andre Delaroche for DanzARt festival in Italy and Rebecca Bryant for Joven Danza Universitaria Festival in Ecuador. In 2020, she continued to work with Bryant for the HHII Dance Festival in Santa Barbara. As a dance maker, her choreography has been performed by local dance artists, Core Group, the Mesa College Dance Department, and during her time at CSU Long Beach, where her work “Process” was selected to be adjudicated at the 2020 ACDA Baja Conference. She is the recipient of the Nicki Carano Scholarship from San Diego Mesa College and the Jamiesson-Pechstein College of the Arts Endowed Scholarship from Cal State Long Beach for her involvement in the dance community. She is currently teaching at the Vine Arts Village and performs throughout the Southern California area.
ALYSSA KINNEAR joined the Mojalet family in 2011. She has toured nationally and internationally with the company and performed in Mojalet's Educational Outreach programs. Alyssa is a native San Diegan who began her dance training with Lorna Diamond and Donna Flournoy studying ballet, tap, jazz, flamenco and regional Spanish dancing. Alyssa graduated from UC San Diego with a B.A. in Dance and went on to obtain her Doctor of Physical Therapy at University of Southern California. She recently became a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy. Alyssa is thrilled to be sharing her love of dance with her daughter, Coralie, who is performing with her in Mojalet's 30th Anniversary Concert.
KATHRYN MCLEAN first discovered her love of dance at a young age while growing up in the small town of Fallbrook, Ca. She began training with Faith Jensen-Ismay while a student at Palomar College and continued her journey in dance with Mojalet in 2001. Kathryn has had the privilege of performing works by artists Patricia Sandback and Betzi Roe throughout the years and is forever grateful for the many performance opportunities and global adventures with Mojalet. Kathryn is part of Mojalet's Educational Outreach programs performing for thousands of children each year. She currently teaches an Eclectic Expression class at The Vine Arts Village. When she is not dancing, Kathryn is busy raising her two children Juliette and James with her husband Jakob in Oceanside. Kathryn has a passion for the arts, horticulture and the outdoors and thrives on new adventures with her family!
NICOLE WOODING has been training in classical ballet since she was 4 years old. Her training includes San Diego Civic Youth Ballet for 14 years under Xavier Hicks and Penny Huffor and she performed roles such as Sugar Plum, Snow Queen, Dew Drop (Nutcracker) Evil Stepsister (Cinderella) Hippolyta (A Midsummer Night's Dream). Nicole has performed and choreographed with the Mesa College Dance Company from 2009-2014. Outside of SD, she preformed at the Detroit Opera House Theater with the American Ballet Theater for 3 summer seasons from 2004-200, and trained under Andre De La Roche and Rosy Loconte at DanzARt.srl in Bari, Italy in the 2015 summer season. Nicole works as a coach and ballet teacher for Emerald City Academy of Rhythmic Gymnastics (since 2010). She is currently working towards becoming a physical therapist assistant. Nicole began training with Faith Jensen-Ismay at Mesa college in 2012, and has been dancing with Core Group & Mojalet Dance Collective since 2014 and is so happy and in love with the wonderful dance environment it provides.
NEFTALI VALLE His full name is Neftali Valle, but you can call him Nef or Neft for short. Nef was born and raised in southern San Diego in Barrio Logan. He attended the University of California, San Diego and graduated with a BA in Ethnic Studies and Critical Gender Studies with a minor in Law and Society. He started his formal dance training after college at at San Diego Mesa Community College. He took hip hop, modern, jazz and ballet with instructors such as Donna Flournoy, Blythe Barton and of course Faith Jensen-Ismay. Faith started Nef in Core Group, the dance company in training, then proceeded to invite him to Mojalet. Nef has participated in Mojalet’s Educational Outreach Programs in which the company visits schools to teach children how they can incorporate dance into everyday activities and learning. Other dance related experiences include dancing at Culture Shock Dance Center in the Shock Army dance group led by Anthony Rodriguez as well as San Diego Dance Theatre’s Trolley Dances. Outside of dance, Nef works as a secretary for the County of San Diego during the week, and a barista at Peet’s Coffee & Tea on the weekend. Nef brings a lot of passion and commitment to the work he does and hopes to continue dancing for the rest of his life in any capacity, whether it be professionally or as a personal hobby.
CHRISTINA WURZ is originally from the Bronx, NY and started training at the Bronx Dance Theater. From there she attended the famous New York City High school of Performing Arts. She completed her formal dance education with a B.F.A. in dance at the University of Hartford, Hartt School in Connecticut; there she was trained by the world famous ballerina Alla Osipenko and Martha Graham protégé Peggy Lyman. Some of her accomplishments include Mojalet Core Group, Full Force Dance Theater, BalletNeo, San Diego Dance Theater, Terry Wilson and Dancers, Burklyn Ballet Theater, Dance Connecticut’s Touring Ensemble, New West Ballet Theater and West Coast Ballet Theater. Christina currently owns New West Ballet School in San Marcos where she directs classical ballet productions and trains the next generation of ballet dancers. Christina began training with Faith Jensen-Ismay in 2013 and performing with Mojalet in 2014 in the Rhythm Talk Swiss collaboration production, "On The Move".
Extended Co. Performers with Mojalet
ANDREW HOLMES has been dancing with Mojalet since 2008 and has loved every moment of it. He started his dance career when he was 16 at Valley Center High School where he took his first dance class from Tami Pluth. In 2012 he graduated as the Outstanding Dance Artist from San Diego State University with a BFA in Dance and went on to dance with Mojalet, Malashock Dance, Blythe Barton Dance, Khamla Sompanh and Two Thirds Sky in the UK. Andy currently works at VERVE Studios and is so excited to be back on stage with his Mojalet family.
MANDY LANGEN-KRAMP, a native San Diegan, graduated from CSU Long Beach with a BA in Dance in 1999 and from CSU San Marcos with her Secondary Teaching Credential in 2003. She feel in love with choreographing in high school and hasn't stopped choreographing and teaching dance since. She has choreographed and taught dance classes from San Diego to Los Angeles and has been the dance teacher at El Camino High School since 2004. She has danced professionally with Los Angeles Choreographers and Dancers, Notoriety, Inc. as well as with various independent artists and has been a member of the Mojalet family performing and training with Faith Jensen-Ismay and guest choreographers Patricia Sandback, and Betzi Roe since 2002. She feels so fortunate being able to continue to both teach and perform both locally and internationally. When she is not dancing, she enjoys going on adventures and traveling with world with her husband Kenny and children Emerson and Vienna.
Erica Buechner has had an extensive, professional dance career in San Diego. She has performed for many established companies, including Mojalet Dance Collective from 1999-2010, Eveoke Dance Theatre, IMAGOmoves, Wallpaper Performance Group, The PGK Project, Patricia Sandback and Dancers, Joe Alter Dance Group, among others. She has also produced and created work for various festivals and events, including Mojalet’s Summer Series at The Vine. In 2012, Erica presented her work in Konstanz, Germany alongside Mojalet Dance Collective and Czerner Dance. From 2011-2017 she co-produced youTurn Arts, an annual arts event that featured both local and national dance artists.
Erica attended San Diego State University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and obtained her MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival. In January of 2014, Erica was named by the San Diego Union-Tribune as an “Artist to Watch.” She was the recipient of the 2018/2019 Creative Catalyst Grant through the San Diego Foundation. She is currently the Dance Director at Francis Parker School, teaching grades 6-12. She also choreographs for the Drama Club. Erica is thrilled to be performing with Mojalet again and celebrating the amazing Art with Heart that Mojalet has created for 30 years.
SUE CASLAVA - Board Member
SUE CASLAVA graduated with a BA in Therapeutic Recreation and then an MA in Special Education with an emphasis in teaching the Visually Impaired. She also pursued her K-8 Multiple Subjects credential and then proceeded to teach in Poway Unified Schools from 1984 to 2017, instructing both visually impaired students ages 3 - 21 and later as a 1st grade teacher. She was a competitive gymnast through high school and college and then began dancing after graduating. Sue trained in modern dance almost exclusively with Faith Jensen-Ismay before becoming one of her original Mojalet Dancers, continuing to train and perform with the company for almost 25 years. She is honored to join the board and continue working with this vital organization in this new capacity.
DAVID NGUYEN, 25 years old, has been training and performing as a professional dancer for the past 5 years. David’s growing resume includes of a variety of prominent clients and organizations such as Seaworld San Diego, Seaworld San Antonio, Legoland California, APEX entertainment, Insomniac Entertainment, Rob the DJ, and Mojalet Dance Collective. David has served as choreographer/coach for San Diego Dancework and is currently an ensemble member of Culture Shock at the CS Training Academy.
VANESSA TIPON FIGUERO is so excited to perform with Mojalet again, in the same piece in which she was an original cast member over twenty years ago. She danced with numerous companies over the years including Patricia Rincon Dance Collective, LITVAKdance, San Diego Opera, Opera Pacific and many more! Vanessa is currently a physical therapist for Sharp HealthCare specializing in Women’s Pelvic Health and is working on an Evidence Based Practice Project to reduce pelvic floor injury during childbirth.
KEENA FIGUERO is beginning her second year of training with Mojalet. She is excited to perform with her Mom on the big stage!
DAVID HANLON has danced with Mojalet since 2000, thoroughly enjoying his experiences with Faith and the other dancers. He previously studied with Karol Lee, Terry Sprague, Yvonne Hargundiguy and Terry Wilson, and has performed works by Patricia Sandback, Allyson Green, Melissa Nunn, Yolande Snaith, Betzi Roe and Katie Stevenson-Nollet, among others. He has performed in Trolley Dances numerous times, and has had the fortune of dancing with Faith in Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, L.A. and Northern California. David holds a BA in History and Social Science from CSUSM, and an AA in Dance from Mira Costa College. He currently teaches Character Leadership and History/Special Education at Vista High School. When he is not dancing or teaching, David sings with his church choir, hangs out with his precious nephews and niece, takes lots of yoga, and volunteers with animal welfare organizations. He also loves to try to bake ala Martha Stewart!
CORALIE KINNEAR is a first grader who appeared in her first performance of The Nutcracker at 5 months old, competes in Irish dance, and cannot wait to be "Frolicking" with her Mom and Mojalet family!
Vienna loves to dance and play soccer. She is very excited to get to dance with her mom onstage for the first time.
Core Group Dance Company
ANTIONETTE ANTONIO Antonette "Toni" Antonio is a native San Diegan. She is Nurse Practitioner who received her Master’s degree in Nursing at Azusa Pacific University and her Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at San Diego State University. She has always enjoyed dance in her life, but she found her passion for it when she enrolled in the San Diego Mesa College dance department. She originally trained in hip hop and discovered she enjoyed learning many different genres of dance. It was during her time at Mesa college that Toni met Faith Jensen-Ismay. This is when she discovered her passion for modern dance. She continues to train in modern, hip hop and urban choreography and performs with both Core Group and Shock Army CSDC. She is grateful to Faith and Core group for the wonderful learning and dancing opportunities they have given her.
JANET ALVIS - Board Member
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 manages a dental practice in Alpine, is very active in her church, and enjoys time with her amazing family. Janet is passionate about working with the Mojalet Company and Core Group as a dancer, choreographer, and as a Board member to help facilitate the many Outreach opportunities to members of the community of all ages and diversity.
ALEJANDRO BARAJAS has been training and performing in Modern dance since 2018. He began training Modern with Faith Jensen-Ismay at San Diego Mesa College. He has since trained and performed with Rachel Catalano, Jean Isaacs, Blythe Barton, and Khamla Somphanh. He is currently very active in San Diego’s Salsa Community and HipHop Freestyle community. He is currently enrolled at San Diego State University as a Financial Services Major. He enjoys reading, playing the violin, and spending time with his girlfriend of 5 years, Norma. He hopes to grow with Mojalet and to develop choreography in the near future.
TRISHAA CAMP fell in love with dance at a very young age...I took ballet at the park and rec behind our local police station with my sister. Eventually she stopped going but the teacher didn't notice the difference in the new lil black child in her tap class. She continued to dance and train wherever she could. Trish danced with the high school team Rhythm in Motion at Mar Vista. This was where Trish met Faith for the first time! She continued to dance in college at SWC and City College. Trish gave up dancing at 23 to raise my 3 kids, but the love of dance didn't die. She tried out for the San Diego Chargers on a whim and cheered for a few years. Trishaa went back to school completed her degree in mathematics/physical education/dance. She has been a dance educator for over 20yrs and currently teaches at Scripps Ranch High School. This is Trish's 1st year officially joining core group and she is happy to share her art with you! Thank you o her 5 beautiful children supporting your dancer mom.
AMYLIN CANARIA grew up predominantly in San Diego with a love of the performing arts. In her youth she played the piano, flute, and percussion. She earned her BA in Theatre Arts with an emphasis in performance from California State University, Long Beach. It was during her third year that she took her very first dance class and fell in love with communicating and expressing through movement. Her training later extended to classes at Cypress College, Malashock and San Diego Mesa College where she eventually met Faith Jensen-Ismay. Her training includes ballet, jazz, tap, modern, some ballroom, and even less belly dance. I’m addition to Faith, she has trained with and/or performed works by Marie Hoffman, Colleen Shipkowski, Aulani Chun, Nancy Boskin-Mullen, Donna Flournoy, Traves Butterworth, Michael Mizerany, and Khamla Somphanh. Amylin enjoys the rehearsal process along with performing and looks forward to perfecting her craft.
RHONDA FISHER - Board President
RHONDA FISHER started dancing in Arizona where she grew up and received her BFA in Dance and Secondary Education from Arizona State University in 1990. She continued to dance for several years after graduating but decided to change careers and received her BS in Nursing from Arizona State University in 1998. 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.
RYAN LEE HARIS
RYAN LEE HARRIS didn’t find his passion for dancing until college while attending SDSU. He began as a freestyle dancer in hip hop and then joined and performed with Kruccial Element. He also has a background in ballroom dancing via Arthur Murray and Balboa Park Ballroom Dancers. Ryan Lee has been dancing with the Mojalet family since 2015. Though Faith was his first technique teacher years before that at SDSU (jazz), they would reconnect at Mesa College. Ryan Lee also enjoys choreographing and is blessed to have the mentorship of Faith Jensen-Ismay.
LAUREN LUHMANN - Board Secretary
LAUREN LUHMANN began dancing while an undergraduate at UC San Diego, taking classes in ballet and jazz. She continued taking classes following graduation, training in modern dance with Faith Jensen-Ismay at Palomar College from 1992-1998. After a nine-year hiatus, Lauren returned to dance with Faith as an original member of Mojalet's Core Group, and has also been an extended cast member in special projects with Mojalet. She has also served on Mojalet’s Board of Directors since 2014, and as Secretary since 2015. Lauren holds a BS in Bioengineering and a minor in Music from UC San Diego, an MA in Biomechanics from San Diego State University, and a Paralegal Certificate from University of San Diego. She began her professional career working in the medical device industry, but in 2005 transitioned to a career as a paralegal working in environmental law at a global law firm. Lauren is grateful to Faith for the incredible experiences she has been offered as a dancer, and for the wonderful Mojalet community that has become her second family. As a board member, she is delighted to utilize her professional skills to help support Mojalet’s mission.
Jamolet Dance Company
Amanda is a junior at Cathedral Catholic High School. She has been dancing for Mojalet for seven years and is very excited to be doing this performance. Her favorite dance performance is Winter Wonderland and she enjoys hanging out with the other dancers during class and in the summer workshops.