*Denotes Member of the Touring Team
Shayna Bjerke* (Associate Artistic Director)
Shayna began dancing at age three in her hometown of Onalaska, WI. She studied ballet, modern, jazz, tap, hip-hop, and belly dancing at Marilyn School of Dance. It was during her time there that she had the opportunity to perform and take class in Russia as part of an exchange program. After high school she continued her training while attending Millikin University in Decatur, IL, where she met Tiffany. Upon graduation, Shayna moved to Chicago where she has performed for independent choreographers at various festivals including SoleStance, Dance Chicago, Bonesbare, Elgin Ties, Elgin Fringe, Chicago Fringe, Going Dutch, Detroit Dance City, and Rebound Dance. She has had the privilege of dancing with and choreographing for Innervation Dance Cooperative, Matter Dance Chicago, and Renegade Dance Architects (of Chicago). Shayna is looking forward to a fantastic fourth season with Tiffany Lawson Dance.
Elise Ellen Ericksen* (Rehearsal Director)
Elise earned a BFA in dance performance and a minor in psychology at East Carolina University in 2013. Born and raised in Chicago, she has gotten to take intensives with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, River North Dance Chicago, and Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Since moving back to Chicago, she has danced with Renegade Dance Architects (of Chicago) and Subconscious Development Motion Project. She is glad to be back for another season with Tiffany Lawson Dance!
Tiffany Lawson began her training with the Louisville Ballet. where she danced in a number of ballets including the Nutcracker, Cinderella, Giselle, and Firebird. She trained at University of Louisville Dance Theatre, South East Regional Ballet Association Conferences, Regional Dance America Conferences, and Governor’s School for the Arts.
She earned her BFA from Millikin University, with a Theatre major (Acting Emphasis) and minors in Dance and Spanish. At Millikin, Tiffany choreographed a number of main stage productions including Tartuffe (the opera), Marat Sade, Arkansaw Bear, and HamletMachine. She was selected as Senior Company Choreographer, premiering new works on the University's dance company. Notably, she was also President of the Alpha Psi Omega fraternity (of theatre & dance). Following University, Tiffany toured with Prairie Fire Theatre for four seasons, working as an actor, director and choreographer.
Since setting roots in Chicago, Tiffany has worked with dozens of companies and productions including but not limited to Innervation Dance Company (where she served as touring and outreach coordinator as well as choreographer) and Renegade Dance Architects (of Chicago). While dancing with Renegade Dance Architects (of Chicago) Tiffany has served as Ballet Mistress to the Apprentices as well as the company's touring manager and choreographer. Her choreography on the Renegades has been performed at Dance Chicago's Choreographer's Showcase (choreographer of the year nominee 2012) as well as in the Detroit City Dance Festival.
Her choreographic output has ranged from musicals to dance concerts. Tiffany choreographed Murder of Crows at Live Bait Theatre, the nationwide premiere of 365 Plays, 365 Days by Susan Lorie Parks at the Chicago Cultural Center, Solestance Dance Festival at Ruth Page Dance Center and the Vittum Theater, Collaborations Artists' Festival at Bailwick, and So You Think You Can Dance: Gatorade/SYTYCD Event in Chicago. Tiffany was one of ten Chicago choreographers selected to present at Hard Rock Cafe. She has worked with Stage Door Fine Arts’ Spring Awakening at Stage 773 and choreographed HAIR at Theatre Wit. She has choreographed a number of Shakespeare plays including the Taming of the Shrew for the Shakespeare in the Parks Series. Most recently, Tiffany choreographed for Jeff nominated company Interrobang Theatre’s play, Speaking in Tongues, at Theatre Wit.
"Music is a blessing to dancers as dancers are blessings to musicians; the compatibility is two fold. One is for the other, deservingly so. Music moves your soul. The soul moves your body."