Our Stories

Shay Ishii 

As the Artistic Director of Shay Ishii Dance Company, Shay Ishii is realizing a vision of creating and performing dance with people whom she loves, trusts and respects. Her passion and vision for dance extends beyond performance to encompass exploring, choreographing and teaching movement. She has been teaching dance and Pilates for over fifteen years and holds an MFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University and a BS in Dance from Texas State University. Shay has spent the past six years studying and mentoring with Katherine Duke, Artistic Director and Principal Dancer for the Erick Hawkins Dance Company. She currently serves as an adjunct instructor and Publicity Coordinator for the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State University. Shay has performed with and choreographed for Opening Door Dance Theatre, The Creeps Dance Company and Ariel Dance Theatre. Her work has been presented in California, Nevada, Texas and Edinburgh, Scotland. In January of 2010, she debuted her choreography and SIDC in New York at the famed 92nd Street Y as a part of the Erick Hawkins Centennial Celebration. Shay has been invited to choreograph a new work honoring the influences of Erick Hawkins and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen for the 26th Annual Body Mind Centering Association Conference.   

Anna Antoniewicz  

Anna Antoniewicz started her love for modern dance by taking a class for P.E. credit at TSU. Little did she know that it would change her life so dramatically. Wonderful teachers and peers created a haven for artistic expression and dialogue. As she dances with Shay Ishii Dance Company, she is grateful for the comradery and continuous beauty of movement.

Kaysie Seitz-Brown 

Kaysie Seitz Brown graduated from TSU in 1998 and currently serves on the faculty in the Department of Theatre and Dance. Brown received her MFA in Dance Performance, Choreography and Pedagogy at Case Western Reserve University in 2001. While in Cleveland, she joined Antaeus Dance Company with whom she toured to the country of Estonia in the fall of 2001 for the company's international debut. In New York City, she choreographed and performed with the company Notes In Motion as well as with other choreographers and on her own at venues such as Fielday, WAXworks and Hatch Performance Series. Her choreography has been produced in Texas, Ohio, New Jersey, New York and Costa Rica.

Amanda McCorkle  

Amanda McCorkle has been dancing professionally in Austin for the past 9 years. She began studying dance at the age of 5 and has loved it ever since. She studied modern dance under Darla Johnson for four years and she has now studied the Hawkins technique for five years. Amanda has had the pleasure of dancing with many wonderful choreographers including Caroline Sutton-Clark, Sally Jacques, Andrea Ariel, Darla Johnson and Ashley Parker-Overton. In the fall of 2010, she embarked a new dance adventure to pursue her Master's Degree in Dance at Texas Woman's University. She has been a proud member of the Shay Ishii Modern Dance Company and treasures each moment she gets to spend with her dance family.  

Samantha M. Furry   

Samantha M. Furry is a two-time graduate from Texas State University in San Marcos. Samantha Furry earned degrees in both dance and marketing. For the last two and a half years, Samantha has worked for Quest, an IT managed services provider based in Sacramento. She remotely manages business development, digital marketing, and lead generation efforts with a Cracker Jack team. Samantha also volunteers for Women Communicators of Austin, founded in 1929 and claims over 250 members. In 2014, while serving on the board as Student Liaison, Samantha received the Anne Durrum Robinson Creative Initiative Award for her work developing the organization’s first Speed Mentoring event series, geared towards providing student members with professional guidance and feedback. Starting in June, Samantha will be back on the board as Volunteer Coordinator for the 2015-2016 term. She also performs with the Austin-based Shay Ishii Dance Company, is an avid hiker, and has daily adventures with her border collie named Henry.

Michelle Nance

Michelle Nance is a Professor and Director of Dance at Texas State University in San Marcos. She has enjoyed many years of making dance works collaboratively with colleagues and students, performing in the U.S. and abroad. Michelle has studied and taught the technique of Erick Hawkins extensively, and served as the Assistant School Director for the Erick Hawkins School of Dance in the mid-nineties. She also enjoys dabbling in improvisation, site-specific dance, somatic practices, and collaborations in screen dance. She holds a MFA from the University of Colorado-Boulder.


LeAnne Smith  

LeAnne Smith is a Professor of Dance at Texas State University and serves as Artistic Director of Opening Door Dance Theatre, founded with Karen Earl and Sandy Rodriguez in 1984.  A graduate of Case Western Reserve University, LeAnne has danced the works of Erick Hawkins, Louis Kavouras, Wendy Hambidge, Shay Ishii, Michelle Nance, and Kathryn Karipides, among others.  Her choreography has been presented throughout Texas and Ohio, in Chicago, Portland, Minneapolis, Washington DC, San Jose, Costa Rica, Edinburgh, Scotland, Giessen, Germany, Paris, France, and Athens, Greece. A recipient of the Texas State Presidential Award for Scholarly/Creative Activities, LeAnne recently served on the Academic Course Guide Manual Committee for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, as the Dance Liaison for the International Philosophy and Dance Symposium, and as host for the Body Mind Centering North American Conference.  In collaboration with the Erick Hawkins Dance Company, LeAnne works to maintain the Hawkins’ archives and supports collaborative efforts to produce Hawkins’ master works as part of a Hawkins West Legacy Project.