Spinning Yarns Dance Collective’s mission is to explore fundamental human themes through movement, metaphor, and story. SYDC was founded by Susan Donham and Apryl Renee in 1998. Standing in the Current is our 12th annual home season. Spinning Yarns has both self-produced performances and co-produced shows with Right Brain Performancelab, Jenice Acosta Movers, and kelly kemp & dancers. The company has performed in showcases throughout the Bay Area, as well as the WestWave Dance Festival, Collaboration: Music and Dance, and the Goose Route Dance Festival in West Virginia.

Susan Donham’s choreography combines release and traditional modern techniques, interweaving a love of dance and storytelling. She received her M.A. in dance from American University in 1994 and has been creating work in the Bay Area since 1995. In addition to her choreographic work, Donham has performed for Eclipse Dance Theater, Khadra International Dance Theater, Right Brain Performancelab, Jenice Acosta Movers, and in the work of Apryl Seech, Marisa Pugliano, Jen Minore, and Joe Landini. She is currently a student at Starr King School for the Ministry, the Unitarian Universalist seminary in Berkeley, and working at UCSF Medical Center as a chaplain intern.

Robin Anderson received her MFA in dance performance with a focus on audience development from The Ohio State University in 2006. That same year she received the Kathryn Karipides Scholarship from the Cleveland Arts Prize, which gave her the opportunity to attend Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria to study with Benoit Lachambre and Ultima Vez company member Laura Aires. For over twelve years, Robin has performed, choreographed, taught and served in various arts administrative positions in Portland, Oregon; Columbus, Ohio and San Francisco. While in Columbus, she performed in numerous works of Bebe Miller’s and performed in an array of dance theatre works by Larry Keigwin, Michael Estanich, Melanie Bales and Kristin Hapke. In Portland, she performed in a variety of site specific works led by Linda K. Johnson, Tracy Broyles, and Greg Bielemeier. In addition to dancing for Spinning Yarns, Robin currently applies her passion of audience development to her work as Director of Alonzo King LINES Dance Center.

Helena Birecki has been moving to music (and silence) since her third Christmas when her parents put on a record of the Nutcracker and she lost all interest in the presents. Fortunately, she has been able to pursue movement as a career, intertwining teaching dance and Pilates with performance work. She is thrilled to be in her first season with Spinning Yarns. In addition to Spinning Yarns Dance Collective, Helena dances with kelly kemp & company and Karin Cabello-Moriarty, and apprentices with Lizz Roman and Dancers. She also has had the privilege of presenting her own choreography at events such as West Wave Dance Festival, Collaboration! Music and Dance, and the San Jose Choreographer's Project, and of dancing with High Release Dance, Shipp Dance Theatre, the Lively Foundation, DanceVisions, and Natasha Carlitz. She holds a BFA in dance from the University of Michigan.

Sierra Helvey grew up practicing ballet in Los Angles. Her feet were her greatest asset though she couldn’t keep her hair out of her face. Sierra studied dance at U.C. Berkeley while pursuing a B.A. in Art and Architecture. Sierra has been training in the Bay Area for the last five years. Currently Sierra is most interested in developing her skills in release, contact improvisation, Axis Syllabus and contemporary dance. She has also studied in Jamaica at the Edna Manley College, as well as the Nomadic College, and worked on dance projects with groups such as Intuit and New thrill parade, and photographer David Papus. She is interested in movement as a form of expression and freedom from self. This is the second season Sierra has been working with Spinning Yarns Dance Collective, and has greatly appreciated opportunity to engage with the evolving group, and work with Susan Donham's inspiring choreographic methods.

Kelly Kemp has been performing, creating and teaching dance for the past two decades or so. Her professional interests in Dance and Education enabled her to study and teach at studios, schools, universities and festivals throughout the States and abroad from 1994 to 2002. Along the way, she had the pleasure of dancing with a slew of colleagues, faculty and guest artists including Mark Taylor, Marta Renzi, David Dorfman, and Sean Curran. Kelly moved to the Bay Area eight years ago and has continued working with and performing for all sorts of independent artists and companies, currently Spinning Yarns Dance Collective, Flyaway Productions, Lizz Roman & Dancers, Sonya Smith, and Deb Slater Dance Theater. In addition to managing and directing her own company, Kelly is certified in Fleming Elastics and continues to teach ongoing dance classes and private sessions in butoh, release, and other post-modern forms throughout the area, including San Francisco School of the Arts, the University of San Francisco, and ODC. SYDC was the first in offering Kelly an ongoing performance contract; this is her fourth season with the company (yessss!), and she remains grateful to be part of Susan’s work, art and life.

Laura Marsh began her formal dance training at the age of 15 in Memphis, TN. She has a BFA in Theatre and Dance from University of Memphis. In Memphis, Laura danced with Project: Motion, a modern dance company, and was a member of Professor Chameleon’s Eccentric Medicine Show, a children’s theatre company. Since moving to San Francisco in 1998 she has performed with Megan Nicely and Company, Automatic Art, Nina Galin Music and Dance, and Flesh and Blood Mystery Theatre. Laura is currently working with Right Brain Performance Lab. Laura and teaching dance to children all over the Bay Area.

Sonya Smith loves movement, in all its forms, on the ground, in the air, and all the places in between. She is delighted to join these amazing artists for her first season with Spinning Yarns. Smith’s own choreography, presented in Portland, Kansas City, and San Francisco, often combines aerial apparatus, props, modern dance and contact improvisation. She is newly excited by creating movement for theater productions such as Vanguardian productions Truce and upcoming productions of Crowded Fire’s Forever Never Comes and Berkeley Playhouse’s Cinderella. As a performer she has been honored to work with incredible Bay Area artists including, Epiphany Productions, Project Bandaloop, Zaccho Dance Theater, Eat Cake Productions and most recently with Lizz Roman and Dancers, Dance Brigade’s Great Liberation Upon Hearing, and Berkeley Playhouse’s productions of Peter Pan and Singin’ in the Rain. Info about aerial classes and performances can be found at www.seesonya.com.

Annick Crawford (Composer) has been composing new works for various dance companies in San Francisco since 1999, including Landini Dance, Courage Group, Big Moves, and Spinning Yarns Dance Collective. She has scored films for the Don Edward’s San Francisco Bay Wildlife Refuge and the College of Notre Dame which brought her to the film scoring program at Berklee College of Music in Boston. Annick's music has been performed by the San Jose Chamber Orchestra led by Barbara Day Turner as well as the Laban Center for Contemporary Dance in London. (More information and sound clips can be found at www.musicannick.com.)

James Meyer (Costume Designer), originally from Syracuse, NY; BA Art History; MFA in Surface Pattern Design. Originally trained in modern dance and ballet, then performed for 11 years with various dance companies in Europe. After moving to the Bay Area in 1998, he has been developing his costuming work with companies such as Spinning Yarns Dance Collective, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Liss Fain and Dancers, Stacey Printz and the Printz Dance Project, Co. Chaddick, Janice Garrett and Dancers, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, USF, St. Mary's College, and others. jatka@earthlink.net