Artistic Director and founding member: Judith has earned an international reputation in the field of physically integrated dance. Upon taking over artistic leadership of the company in 1997, she began commissioning works by some of the nation’s best choreographers and launched Dance Access Education Program. Judith teaches and lectures at community organizations, schools, universities and conferences. Judith received the 2009 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award, KQED’s Local Hero and the Homer Avila danceAble awards in 2005. She also serves on the Board of Directors.
Associate Director, dancer, choreographer, teacher and costume designer: Sonsherée is originally from New Orleans and joined AXIS as a dancer in 2005. Her style is influenced by a dedication to yoga and running – with choreography that represents daily life experiences. She has taught contemporary dance throughout the country and received her MFA in performance/choreography from Mills. In 2008, Sonsherée received an Isadora Duncan Award. Most recently she was honored to receive a Homer Avila Award for Excellence in the field of Physically Integrated Dance.
Education Director: Annika relocated to California in early 2006 and joined AXIS in 2007. Originally from the Netherlands, she holds a major in sign languages and has worked on a variety of theater productions as a choreographer, director, and dance teacher with children of all ages. After receiving her MA in Dutch Language & Literature in 2002, she was employed as a research assistant and later as education director for a sign language institute.
Marketing/Administrative Associate: Christy relocated to California after graduating with a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She stumbled upon AXIS’s website prior to moving and was intrigued by the work. Over five years later she enjoys being a part of this unique company and the work they do. In addition to working for AXIS, she dances herself with paufve dance & Nina Haft & Company among others.
Interim Development & Marketing Manager: Laurie earned her undergraduate degree in Modern Dance at CSU Long Beach and then relocated to complete graduate study at Mills College. She studied Arts Administration through U.C. Berkeley and worked for nonprofit theaters for several years before developing a career in the for-profit sector helping companies to create and people to use technology to really make things easier. Most recently she happily returned to the nonprofit arena, working at TechSoup Global, a nonprofit focused on getting software and hardware donations to other nonprofits in the U.S. and internationally. Alongside her career pursuits, Laurie served four years on the Board for Robert Moses’ Kin Dance Company and three years with AXIS.
Board of Directors
Board President: Deirdre Spencer is a marketing graphic designer specializing who has worked with a wide range of clients, including visual effects companies, authors, cities, museums, schools and other non-profit organizations. Deirdre joined the AXIS Board in 2010, having created brochures and other promotional materials for AXIS’s Home Season Performances over two years on a volunteer basis. She currently is Senior Designer for Placemaking Group, a PR and Marketing firm in Oakland.
Vice President: Jan joined the AXIS board for the second time in 2012, after serving in the mid-1990′s. For almost 20 years, Jan has worked in the disability rights field as a lawyer and trainer, as well as the Executive Director of the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley. Jan currently serves as the Program Manager at Pacific ADA Center in Oakland. She hopes her skills and experience will assist AXIS with achievement of its vision for the future.
Secretary: Anne is a fiction and non-fiction author, lecturer and professor. Her short story collection, *Call Me Ahab*, published by the University of Nebraska Press, was awarded the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in fiction for 2008. She has been an AXIS board member since 2008.
Kerline joined the AXIS board in June 2013. She is an accomplished leader and social entrepreneur whose ideologies and unorthodox approach to entrepreneurship call people to self-actualize in a manner that cultivates concepts that sustain community. Most recently she has worked as Director of Development and Co-founder/Executive Director of NonProfit,MD. She has taken with her a unique ability to connect with the philanthropic world in a manner that fosters giving.
Rebecca joined the AXIS board in January of 2013, She is a freelance web designer and social media marketer that love all things creative and technical in the realm of web 2.0. Rebecca brings to AXIS a wealth of knowledge about disability rights and web accessibility and hopes spread AXIS message of empowerment and self expression.
John joined the AXIS Board in March of 2013. He is a marketing communications and development professional with 8+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector. John is currently the Assistant Director of Development at the Washington Hospital Healthcare Foundation. In his free time, John enjoys taking on the amature art projects, running and cooking.
Andrew joined the AXIS Board in January, 2013 by way of Chicago. He is a pharmaceutical executive with Durata Therapeutics, Inc., a hands-on Dad, a contemporary dance aficionado and an all-around people connector. Andrew brings to AXIS his broad network of connections and skills to further promote and advance the future state of AXIS Dance Company.
Friends of AXIS Committee
The Friends of AXIS Committee helps to create a sense of place and of community amongst AXIS many friends and supporters. The committee convenes to plan events that will encourage a robust audience base and individual donor support for AXIS ongoing dance performances and education programs for people with and without disabilities. The committee meets seven times annually. They will engage in any number of activities based on various committee member’s interests, time and resources. Opportunities will primarily include special event planning; solicitation of in-kind services and donations; and communication surrounding fundraising campaigns, performances and events. We are so grateful to the following friends and all they give on behalf of AXIS:
If you’re interested in serving on the AXIS Board of Directors please visit our Board Opportunities page for more information. If you’re interested in volunteering for the Friends of AXIS Committee, download more information and an application here.