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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Guest Artists

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2014-2015 Guest Artists

Allison Doughty Marquesen

Allison is a proud Twin Cities native. A diverse performer, Allison’s stage experience ranges from principal ballet roles to dancing alongside comic Louie Anderson in musical theater review. After spending years training and performing in New York City and Chicago, she returned to Minneapolis to continue her performing career, and earn her BFA in Dance at the University of Minnesota. Locally, Allison was a founding member and principal dancer of the Saint Paul City Ballet Company from 2007-14, and served as Interim Artistic Director in 2012/13. She has also been a soloist with Eclectic Edge Ensemble, a Minneapolis-based jazz company, since 2006. 

As a dance educator, Allison is blessed to have taught and choreographed both nationally and internationally. In 2010, she spent 8 months working with the Chiang Mai Ballet, and was honored by the U.S. Consulate in Thailand for her choreographic work. In addition to being adjunct faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato since January 2014, she also currently teaches in the Twin Cities.

In 2013, Allison completed an MA in Holistic Health Studies from St. Catherine University. She balances her time spent in the dance studio with her work as a holistic nutrition and health coach, and has a passion for working with dancers and other inspired movers to create balance and wellness through whole foods and other holistic modalities. She will be teaching Beginning and Intermediate Ballet classes.


The Beat

Giselle Mejia

Giselle Mejia began learning traditional dances of Latin America from her family of Ecuador and by literally standing on the toes of her father the "Salsa King." She followed her heart through rigorous training at Larkin Dance Studio of Maplewood, MN and pursued a career in dance performance after earning her BFA from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance in New York. 

After traveling internationally to perform in styles of Jazz, Tap, Modern, Latin, Contemporary and Hip Hop, she co-founded Curio Dance to fulfill her purpose as an Artistic Director and Choreographer, most recently establishing Team iLuminate, as seen on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. She continues to curate and direct the show Drop The Mic, an all-styles dance production, which is in it’s 5th season at the The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts. Giselle recently returned from performing in New York City in the off-broadway "iLuminate." She will teach Tap and Beginning Jazz classes as an adjunct faculty at Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Penelope Freeh (past guest artist)

Penelope Freeh is a St. Paul-based dancer, choreographer, teacher and writer.

She received a 2012 Minnesota State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant, enabling her to choreograph and produce Slippery Fish at the Southern Theater, September 28–30, 2012. This project has her collaborating with local composer Jocelyn Hagen and performing with New York-based dancer Patrick Corbin. Joining them are soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw and MN Orchestra violist Sam Bergman.

In 2010 she won a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Choreographers and a SAGE Award for outstanding Performer. Previous awards include a McKnight Artist Fellowship for Dancers (1998), a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship (1998) and two Career Opportunity Grants (1999, 2001) and a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant (2001).

Penelope danced for James Sewell Ballet (JSB) for 17 years, serving as Artistic Associate from 2007–11.

Her choreography has been commissioned by: JSB, MN Orchestra, 3-Legged Race, the Walker Art Center/Southern Theater’s Momentum, the Weisman Art Museum, MN Ballet, Skylark Opera and Russia’s Link Vostok Dance Festival among others. She has twice been presented by NYC’s Ballet Builders. Residencies include: MANCC: the Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography on the campus of Florida State University, Minnesota Dance Lab (Regional Dance Development Initiative) at the College of St. Benedict, St. Catherine University, Carleton College, the University of MN, the Reif Center, St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and Perpich Center for Arts Education.

She is affiliate faculty at the University of Minnesota and summer faculty at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Michigan. She is a Walker Art Center blogger for Dance and has published several essays on In May of 2008 she was featured in and wrote the “Why I Dance” column for Dance Magazine.

Larry Yazzie
A past Andreas Guest Artist, fancy dancer Larry Yazzie

Francis Kofi
Another past Andreas Guest Artist, Francis Kofi