Thank you for visiting the Kinetic Evolutions biography page.  Here's where you can read about all of the 
wonderful dancers & collaborating artists currently working with Kinetic Evolutions Dance Company. 
- Sarah LaRose-Holland

Sarah LaRose-Holland is the Artistic Director of Kinetic Evolutions Dance Company, a contemporary dance company formed in 2006 that performs virtuosic, dynamic and emotionally engaging work. Sarah began her dance career in Florida and relocated to Minneapolis in the mid-90s. Sarah’s focus in her professional career has been in modern and contemporary dance.

For 10 years, Sarah
produced the Kinetic Kitchen dance series where she presented regional choreographers at the Mounds Theatre, Varsity Theater, Old Arizona Center for Performing Arts and Patrick's Cabaret. As a performer, Sarah has thoroughly enjoyed many wonderful opportunities to dance and create with the Christopher Watson Dance Company since 1996.  She also worked as Assistant Director for CWDC for several years.  From 2012 through 2017, Sarah had a blast collaborating with renowned musician Butch Thompson on numerous performance projects. Sarah & Butch teamed up for the first time in 2012 at the Cedar Cultural Center.  In 2013, she Butch Thompson collaborated to produce Destination Twin Cities.  Butch won the 2013 SAGE Award for Design for his work on the Destination Twin Cities performances.  Sarah & Butch partnered again in February 2015 to present Captured Currents (bodies of water).  For their 2015 performance, they collaborated with renowned nature photographer Craig Blacklock to incorporate some of his wonderful nature photos into their show.  "Working with Butch Thompson, Craig Blacklock and the dancers of Kinetic Evolutions Dance Company has been a wonderful journey, and I can't wait to share their convergence of art in this production." - Sarah  In 2017, Sarah and Butch created Resilience and premiered this new work in Saint Louis, MO at The Sun Theatre then in Minneapolis at the JSB TekBox as part of a dance exchange with Karlovsky & Company Dance, Directed by Dawn Karlovsky.  In 2019, Sarah traveled to Los Angeles, California to perform with Doris Ressl and Dawn Karlovsky at California State University Dominguez Hills as a guest artist in the faculty concert.  This was a wonderful opportunity to dance with long time friends and fellow choreographers alongside faculty, other guest artists and students from the university.

Sarah has enjoyed every opportunity to work with many talented teachers, choreographers and dance companies throughout her career and very much appreciates every opportunity she's been given.  Sarah has danced with: Kinetic Evolutions (Artistic Director), Christopher Watson Dance Company (Assistant Director), Zenon Dance Company, Sam Costas 10,000 Dances, Erin Thompson & Byron Richard’s 45 Chartreuse, Jeffrey Peterson Dance, Bryan Gerber’s Aurora Dance, Bill Hebson's Zero Gravity Dance, Demetrius Klein's Klein Dance, the City Children’s Nutcracker, Ballet CoLaboratory for their Nutcracker in Wonderland, the Kona Kai Island Dancers, and Dance Alive!  Sarah has performed for several choreographers including:  Tina Anderson, Kenneth Balint, Jeanne Bochette, Alyce Bochette, Rusti Brandman, Trisha Brown, Donald Byrd, Jane Carrington, Brian Chung, Brad Garner, Heidi Geier, Gerry Girouard, Sarah Gordan, Renee Guittar, Austin Hartel, Sarah Hauss, Becky Heist, Carol Huncik, Sarah Jabar, Jennifer Johannesen, Myron Johnson, Dawn Karlovsky, Patricia Kenny, Jennifer Mack, Christine Maginnis, Donald McKayle, John Munger, Leslie Neal, Kelly Nipper, David Parsons, Gretchen Pick, Stuart Pimsler, Marc Platt, Stacy Pottinger, Anna Preston, Doris Ressl, Ric Rose, Isabel Garcia-Rose, Una Setia, Amy Slater, Winona Sorensen, Wil Swanson, Maria Tierney, Morgan Thorson, Larry Lee Vanhorne, and David Wick.

Collaborator - Musician

Butch Thompson is one of the most prominent musicians in traditional jazz. Born in Marine-on-St. Croix, he was playing Christmas carols on his mother’s upright piano by age three, and began lessons at six. He picked up the clarinet in high school and led his first jazz group, “Shirt Thompson and His Sleeves,” as a senior. He began his professional career at age 16 in Minnesota, and two years later was visiting New Orleans frequently to learn from veteran musicians like clarinetist George Lewis. He played American and European festivals during the 1960s and ‘70s and began his solo recording career in 1966. In 1974, he joined the staff as the house pianist of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion, an association that continues to the present. In addition to extensive touring (he has traveled the world from Cairo to Tokyo) as a soloist and with his trio and 8-piece Jazz Originals Band, he finds time to write and teach. His writing has appeared in various magazines including DownBeat and The Mississippi Rag, and among his teaching credits are residencies at the American University in Cairo and the New England Conservatory of Music. His recordings include the Grammy-winning Doc Cheatham and Nicholas Payton on the Verve label and a long-running solo series on Daring Records of Boston. In 2013, Butch won a Sage Award for Outstanding Design for his musical compositions in Destination Twin Cities.


Sarah Hauss is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher who has been living and working in the Twin Cities for the last 20 years. She has an MFA in dance from the University of Colorado and has danced and choreographed in New York, California, and Oregon as well. Her work has been supported over the years by Red Eye Collaborations, the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. She was a founding member of Paula Mann Dance and Artistic Director of Riverbend Dance Arts from 1993-1999.

Hauss has danced with Gomez Dance Group since 1998 and with Kinetic Evolutions since 2010. She and Sarah LaRose-Holland performed in each other’s dances in the late 90’s and both dancers enjoy the opportunity to work together once again. Sarah has also worked with Third Rabbit Dance Ensemble, Interstate Dance Collective, Gerry Girouard and the Christopher Watson Dance Company. She teaches dance at Gustavus Adolphus.

Samantha Heggem is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher from the suburbs of the Twin Cities. She attended Gustavus Adolphus College where she received her B.A. in Dance in the spring of 2017. Since then, she has had the opportunity to perform and co-choreograph in two shows produced by the Minneapolis Ballet Dancers as well as a collaborative show produced by Sixteen Feet. She also performed alongside the inspiring Arbeit Opera Theatre and University Opera Theatre in The Consul.
Samantha had the immense pleasure of co-directing, performing, and choreographing for her first Fringe Festival in 2018 with ...and company. She currently spends her time teaching through the dance program at Plymouth Creek Center, rehearsing with Kinetic Evolutions, Ray Terrill Dance Group and creating new works.

Photos by Annie Galloway Creative

Catlin Murphy is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and studied dance at the Alvin Ailey School from 2nd grade through high school. At Vassar College, she was a member of the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre and majored in computer science. Since moving to Minnesota to work at Target's Technology Headquarters, she has performed in works by Non Edwards, Erinn Liebhard, Becky Heist, Sarah LaRose-Holland, Christopher Watson and Marciano Silva dos Santos.

Hai Dang Nguyen received his Bachelor of Arts from The College of Wooster in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology with a minor in Dance and Choreography. He went on to receive his Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics from the University of Minnesota. He completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and recently returned to the University of Minnesota Medical School as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacology.

Outside of his scientific endeavors, he is actively involved in the dance community and has created his own works whenever possible. Hai Dang has shown his own choreography at ACDFA, various dance theater venues in Minneapolis and Urbanity Next series in Boston. In Minneapolis, Minnesota, he has performed in works created by Danielle-Robinson Prater, Deborah Thayer, Cathy Wright, Matthew Smith, Julie Warder, Jim Lieberthal. He was a company member of the Kinetic Evolutions Dance Company under the direction of Sarah LaRose-Holland from 2009 to 2012 and rejoined the company in 2020. During his time in Boston, Massachusetts, he performed works with Jasmine Dancers’ Company, Weber Dance and Vimoksha Dance. He was a company member with Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion where he performed in numerous productions in New England areas such as “The House of Accumulated Beauties” and “Small Visitations in a Near Empty Room” at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, “Significant Others: Dances for Family, Friends and Lovers” at Boston Center for the Arts and at the Theater at Gibney 280 in New York City, and the yearly tradition production of the “Funny Uncle Cabaret and Nut/Cracked” in Boston and Cambridge.

Alys Ayumi Ogura is a Twin Cities-based dancer/multidisciplinary performing artist. She started her dance training as a child under the guidance of the famed Mika Kurosawa, the late godmother of Japanese contemporary dance. Her theater training was part of her BA in Theater Studies from Westmar University, IA. Ogura was a semifinalist for the 2018 20/20 Artist Fellowship managed by The Springboard for the Arts and supported through the Bush Foundation. She is also an alumni of the 2017/2018 Arts Organizing Institute Fellowship through the Pangea World Theater’s Lake Street Arts!, a part of NEA’s Our Town grant.

Ogura has worked locally with a variety of talents, such as Pramila Vasudevan’s Aniccha Arts, Emily Johnson/Catalyst, Hauser Dance, Live Action Set, Melissa Birch, Emily Gastineau, Marylee Hardenbergh, Anna Marie Shogren, Vanessa Voskuil and Laurie Van Wieren. Ogura has worked nationally and internationally with the AXIS Dance Company (CA), Karlovsky & Dance Company (MO), Sandrine Harris (CT), Company Blue (Italy) and Kata Juhasz (Hungry).

Her own choreography has been performed at the Walker Art Center’s Choreographers’ Evening, at the 9 x 22 Dance Lab at Bryant Lake Bowl and at the Inbox@Art Box Choreographers’ evening curated by Sarah Hauss. Her theatrical/movement short pieces have also been shown at the Funny Theater Festival by Raw Sugar, the Ragamala Dance Company’s Ode to Navarathri Festival, Landmark Center, Toot Suite curated by Eric Larson and 3 Play curated by Charles Campbell’s Skewed Visions. Two of her improvisational pieces were featured at the Future Interstates series, curated by the BodyCartography Project and Hijack in 2017, and again by Hijack in 2019. Ogura just produced “Still Happening Now,” as a curator and performer for artists who can improvise their music and movement as a part of Good Night at the Southern Series at the Southern Theater.

Ogura is currently an ensemble member at the April Sellers Dance Collective and part of a residency to create a new work, RUMBLE STRIPS, scheduled to premiere in January 2021. She is also working with Pam Gleason’s MotionArt for its new show, in addition to working with Kinetic Evolutions Dance Company.

Jenny Sung
has been professionally dancing, choreographing and teaching in the Twin Cities for over 15 years. Dance has taken Jenny to packed theaters in New York and Minnesota, orphanages in Romania, mega churches throughout the Midwest, Women’s Prisons inspiring the inmates, and outdoor parks working with refugees and youth. She is the Artistic Director and Founder of One Dance Company, and she is a founding member of Kinetic Evolutions Dance Company directed by Sarah LaRose-Holland.

John Surber is a professional dance artist and teacher out of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. John graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College with a B.A. in Dance in May of 2017. He was trained primarily in modern under the tutelage of Melissa Rolnick, Michele Rusinko, Sarah Hauss, and Jill Patterson while also dabbling in the areas of Jazz and HipHop. Since graduating, John has performed with 16 Feet, Rhythmically Speaking, the Minnesota Fringe Festival, Arbeit Opera Theatre and Christopher Watson Dance Company (CWDC). Currently John is still working with CWDC as well as Kinetic Evolutions and teaching at Reflections Dance Academy in Shakopee. When he's not dancing/teaching, John enjoys lifting heavy things and trying new foods.

History of company dancers

Current company members:

  • Sarah LaRose-Holland (Artistic Director and founding company member) 2006 - present
  • Jenny Sung (founding company member) 2006 - present
  • Sarah Hauss 2010 - present
  • Hai Dang Nguyen 2009 - 2012 & 2020 - present
  • Catlin Murphy 2014 - present
  • Alys Ayumi Ogura 2015 - present
  • John Surber 2018 - present
  • Samantha Heggem 2019 - present

Kinetic Evolutions thanks the following former company members for their past commitment to the dance company. 

Former company members include:

  • Una Setia (founding company member) 2006 - 2012
  • Bryan Gerber (founding company member) 2006 - 2009
  • Kristin Grohs Blatzheim (founding company member) 2006 & 2011
  • Jeffrey Peterson 2007
  • Lindsay Anderson 2008 - 2009
  • Stacy Pottinger 2008 - 2009 & 2011
  • Megan Bridges 2009 - 2011
  • Catherine Decker 2009 - 2011
  • Kayla Schiltgen 2009 - 2011
  • John Munger 2011
  • Zeb Henderson Shreve 2011
  • Ashleigh Penrod 2011
  • Jordan Klitzke 2012
  • Calder O'Doubhlain (apprentice) 2012 - 2013
  • Sarah Jabar 2012 - 2013
  • Renee Guittar 2012 - 2013
  • Jennifer Glaws 2012 - 2013
  • Ashley Narum 2012 - 2015
  • Kasono Mwanza 2013
  • Jennifer Pray 2014 - 2015
  • Amy Trayers 2014 - 2017
  • Johnny Bates 2014 - 2019

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