Mountain Contemporary Dance Arts Staff

Our Dance Staff sets us Apart

The teachers at Mountain Dance is one of the things that sets us apart. Our faculty is committed to providing experiential learning, strong technical training and cultivating a love of dance for all MCDA students. Each of our instructors has notable experience in their area of expertise and each of them continues to train and/or perform within the Denver Metro Area.

Summer Templin Culp - MCDA Director

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Kaitlyn McMorran - MADE Student Company Director

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Sarah Casey

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Alison Fletcher

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Francesca Narvaes - apprentice teacher

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Jillian Olson

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Alexa Olson - apprentice teacher

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Kshitija Saturdekar

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Samantha Scovel

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Part Time/Guest/Alumni Instructors

Mimi Ferrie

is a Colorado dance artist that has been performing, teaching and choreographing for over a decade. Mimi graduated with her BFA in Dance from the University of Colorado in Boulder, in 2007. She has performed with several local dance companies including Impact Dance, Louder Than Words Dance Theatre, BOOM, New Breed and Wild Heart. Mimi has presented her choreography with New Visions Dance Festival, Denver Independent Choreographers Project, and most recently for Fort Collins Children’s Theatre and Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop. Mimi currently serves as the Executive Director of Wild Heart Dance, as well as “mama” to her two children.

Mimi has been a student or teacher at Mountain Kids for over 30 years! Her dance training includes styles such as jazz, ballet, tap, modern, creative movement, lyrical, as well as African, hip hop, contact improvisation, and Afro Cuban. Mimi enjoys working at MCDA/Mountain Kids because not only skill but self confidence, creativity, and community are priorities. She enjoys helping students learn about body awareness, enriching their creative expression, and building a lifelong love for physical activity and the arts.

Vanessa Gerhards

As a young girl in Germany, she took immediately to weekly creative, ballet, and tap dance classes. At ten, she was chosen to attend Ballet Boarding School. She stayed through high school, perfecting her technique with the rigorous study of French and Russian classical ballet, in addition to classes in Jazz, Modern, Musical Theater and Flamenco styles.
As a young adult, Gerhards took a break from dance to study Fashion Engineering and obtain a Business degree, but was irresistibly drawn back to teaching and choreography. In Boulder since 2002, she has taught at various dance schools. She has choreographed for concerts, musicals, summer camps, and five productions of the CU opera, in which she also performed.
“I love whoever wants to dance”, explains Vanessa about her passion for teaching non-competitive dance for all ages and levels. She teaches her classes with energy and joy, delighting in students’ discovery of the mind – body connection. She believes that every one is a creative being with the ability to express emotions without words. In dance, “we are the canvas and the brush!”. In presenting children in costume, on stage, she realizes that she is creating lifelong memories, as well as completing a project which began with an idea, and ended with a production. Her adult students tell her that dance class is the highlight of their week! They describe being exhilarated, rejuvenated, energized for whatever life brings. Try one of Vanessa’s classes, and feel the joy!

Jen Archer

Jen Fagan Archer, a Florida native, has been dancing since she could walk. Her diverse training includes studies with world-renowned dance professionals like Gary Lund, Augusto Soledade, Anjali Austin, Christina Noel, Ramazon Bapov, Gerri Houlihan, Mary Wohl-Haan, Hannah Kahn, and Jacob Mora. She has been commissioned in the US and abroad to teach and choreograph for stage and film and has performed with Leslie Merrill, Hannah Kahn Dance Company, Peekaboo Sole Productions, Georgia Dance Theatre, Concepts in Motion, Louder Than Words and her very own Ascential Dance Theatre Colorado. She identifies as a ‘community artist’ and has enjoyed the privilege of performing Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Etude and Liz Lerman’s Bobcat Ballet.

Studying dance, music and theatre at Florida State University she sharpened her directing, producing and choreographing skills in the thriving Tallahassee arts community, while earning a BS in Anthropology and History and an AA in Nutrition and Fitness. Jen Archer is founder and curator of Ascential Dance in Colorado and teaches and choreographs all about the front range. She sings Bluegrass fusion music with her new band BabyWood HotBox as well as other local musicians and is the proud mama of her Prince Charming, Jeylin Livon Archer.


MCDA will be closed May 25-June2. Our summer schedule begins June 3rd!