BDT’s work strives to connect our human experiences through thought and movement. This creative vision has led the company to create stories on stage, either from a work of literature, a current event, or drawing from personal experiences. In the studio, Artistic Director Danielle Ricci, works with dancers to create an inclusive community as they explore and discover how to communicate stories, thoughts, and feelings through movement. BDT strives to create work that audiences can personally relate to by creating connections that act as a catalyst for conversation and change.

the company

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artistic director

Danielle Ricci is an educator, choreographer, director, and dancer. She received her BFA in Dance Performance from University of California, Irvine in 2006 under direction of Donald McKayle. In 2014 she graduated with an MA in Arts and Cultural Management from St. Mary's University of Minnesota and earned an MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University in 2018. She has studied at The Ailey School in New York City as part of their Certificate in Dance Program studying with Milton Myers, Tracy Inman, Nancy Turano, and Sharon Wong. Danielle has danced professionally in California, Texas, and Minnesota performing with Loretta Livingston and Dancers, Austin Classical Ballet, Austin City Ballet, and Alternative Motion Project. She has also performed on stage with members of Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, James Sewell Ballet, and Minnesota Dance Theatre.

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dance artist

Stephanie Eichman 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 sixth season with Borealis Dance Theatre and she is thrilled to be a part of such wonderful group.

dance artist

Joshua Engebretson 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 in his fourth season with Borealis Dance Theatre.

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dance artist

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 sixth season with Borealis Dance and work with such lovely people!

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dance artist

Troy Lerum 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 fourth season with Borealis Dance Theatre.

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dance artist

Kelli Miles is a Minneapolis-based dancer, teacher, choreographer and arts administrator. Her training began at Central Wisconsin School of Ballet, where her passion led her to attend Interlochen Arts Academy during high school. Throughout this time she has had the delight of training with Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, TU Dance, Alonzo King LINES Contemporary Ballet and most recently, Nashville's premiere contemporary dance company New Dialect and DanceWorks Chicago. Kelli graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BFA in Dance and minor in Leadership this previous spring after having spent a final semester dancing in Israel, currently one of the world's leading hubs for contemporary dance. She has created numerous works of her own, as well as performed works by nationally-renowned artists: Joanie Smith, Martha Graham, Angharad Davies, Uri Sands, Mathew Prescott, Ohad Naharin and Anne-Rene Petrarca. Kelli finds joy, strength and inspiration in this art form in its ability to evoke visceral empathy and intellectual conversation.


Dance Artist

Carrie S.M. Smith is originally from the Twin Cities, and has been involved with the dance and theatre community since moving back in 2010. Carrie has worked and studied with MDT/DI, Zenon Dance, Joffrey Ballet NYC, Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts, Arena Dances, and Artistry. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a BFA in Dance and a BA in Theatre Arts and graduated with a Masters of Education in Dance and Theatre Arts from the University of MN. Carrie runs the dance program at Anthony Middle School in Minneapolis. As always, she is grateful to her husband and family for continually supporting her and is honored to be dancing with Borealis Dance Theatre where art, social justice, and community connect.