Borealis Dance

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Who We Are

In 2008 Danielle Ricci and dancers founded Borealis Dance in Austin, Texas.  In 2013 the dance company transitioned to Minneapolis bringing local dancers and artists together. As we enter our fourth season in fall of 2016, we look forward to the partnerships and collaborations this year will bring.



Borealis Dance’s mission is to make the art of dance more accessible to the community by finding new ways to look at our world and reflecting modern life through the art of movement while collaborating with artists in the community to bring a sense of camaraderie among different art forms.


In the spirit of integrating new ideas into everyday life, we strive to relate to and inspire our audience on an emotional, intellectual and spiritual level as you experience, dance that moves you.

Danielle Ricci, Artistic Director

Danielle received her BFA in dance performance from University of California, Irvine in 2006 and a Master of Arts in Arts and Cultural Management from St. Mary's University in 2014 and an MFA in Choreography at Jacksonville University in 2018. She has studied The Ailey School in New York City as part of their Certificate in Dance Program and has danced professionally in California, Minnesota, and Texas performing with Loretta Livingston and Dancers, Austin Classical Ballet, and Austin City Ballet. Danielle has also performed on stage with members of Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, and Minnesota Dance Theatre. She is head of the ballet and modern dance programs at Turning Pointe Dance Studio and also is director of the after-school theatre program at Northeast Middle School in Minneapolis. Her work has been recognized as the Frontera Fringe Festival in Austin, TX as being "Best of the Festival" in 2010 and 2012. 


Stephanie Eichman

Stephanie has studied dance for numerous years within central Minnesota including St. Cloud State’s Repertory Dance Theater, Company Northcrest and the Minnesota Dance Ensemble. She has trained with many different teachers including Debra Leigh, Nadine Studiar-Maiers, April Sellers, and Tracy Vacura. She has choreographed musicals for Troupe Theater, Actor’s Playhouse and most recently for The Deer Camp Troupe. Stephanie choreographed and danced with the Minnesota Dance Ensemble from 2005 to 2012 and was the Executive Director from 2008 to 2012. This is Stephanie's fifth season with Borealis Dance and she is thrilled to be a part of such wonderful group.                                


Joshua Engebretson

Joshua has been dancing his whole life. He has traveled around the country performing in New York, LA, Vegas, the Houston area and of course Minneapolis his home town. He has performed with Poetry in Motion Dance Company and Atomic Lotus Dance Company, and with a site specific dance company called Global Site Performances. Joshua is excited to continue his professional career with his fourth season with Borealis Dance.

Jennifer James

Originally from Sioux Falls, SD, Jennifer was trained and taught dance at Main Stage Ballet and Dance Academy. In May of 2011, she graduated from Minnesota State University – Mankato with a BS in Dance and Sports Medicine. While there she had the privilege to perform works by choreographers such as Alan Sener, Gabe Masson, Mary Fitzgerald along with many others. Upon graduation she worked with The Ordway in their productions of “Cinderella” as well as Breaking Boundaries and Threads Dance Project. Jennifer is also a Pure Barre instructor in St Louis Park, MN and teaches dance at Dance Express in Mankato, MN where she was recently named Artistic Director. This is Jennifer's fourth season with Borealis Dance and she is thrilled and honored to be apart of the company.

Sara Karimi

A native of Milwaukee, Wi, Sara began her training with the Milwaukee Ballet School and Company. Expanding into jazz, tap and modern, she has performed for artists including Valerie Madonia, Caroline Richardson, Jennifer Kayle, Alan Sener and George de la Pena.  Sara graduated from University of Iowa with a BFA in Dance and BA in English, and continued her training at Joffrey Ballet, Bates Dance Festival and Colorado Dance Festival. She has been a company member and toured regionally and nationally with several dance companies including 10,000 Feet and Kayle & Co. Upon moving to the Twin Cities, she has collaborated and performed with local artists and currently teaches dance at several studios around the metro area. Sara is super pumped to celebrate her fifth season with Borealis Dance and work with such lovely people!


Troy Lerum

Troy has been a ballroom dance instructor for since 1999. He has background in Ballet and African Caribbean dance, as well as close knowledge of body movement from his training for a degree in Exercise Science from Concordia University. This is Troy's third season with Borealis Dance.

Katie Luu

Katie received her B.S. in Dance, as well as a Nutrition minor, from Minnesota State University, Mankato. She has been dancing for over 15 years, loves working with children and teaches Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop and Modern technique. Katie has worked with artists such as Morgan Thorson, Alan Sener, Gabriel Masson and is currently a company member of “Sole 2 Soul Dance Conversion” and “MSHE Productions.” This is Katie's fifth season with Borealis Dance.

Sophia Cecile Pimsler 

Sophia began her training at Ballet Arts Minnesota and has extensively trained in ballet, modern, gaga, and contemporary dance. After graduating from Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Sophia completed her Bachelors of Science in Dance with a minor in Alcohol & Drug Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Sophia holds a Masters of Arts from Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Marriage & Family Therapy. Sophia has performed with companies including GloATL (GA) and Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater. Her choreography has been commissioned for Threads Dance Project, Alternative Motion Project, and Borealis Dance. 


In addition to dance, Sophia is a Therapist at Rum River Counseling. 


Carrie Smith

Carrie has been dancing and performing since she was three. While earning a BFA in Dance and a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa, Carrie eagerly studied various techniques and styles of dance and theater. She has been fortunate to study with George de la Pena, Deanna Carter, Charlotte Adams, Alan Sener, Dan Stark and Carla Flink, Additionally, she has trained at MDT/DI, Zenon Dance, Joffrey Ballet New York City, and the Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts. She has enjoyed the opportunity to work with local artists including Michael Mathew Ferrell, Gary Gisselman, Mathew Janczewski, Randy Winkler, Mallory Dykema, and Jeffery Peterson.  

She is always grateful to her family for supporting her art, and is thrilled to be dancing with Borealis Dance!   

2017-18 Apprentices


Alejandra Gallegos
Karley Odella
Julienne Xiaaj

Advisory Board of Directors

Jennifer Ferrell

Stephanie Eichman

Michael McKay

Michael Ricci

William White

Borealis Dance is an Incubator Project of 

Springboard for the Arts.