Led by artistic director Erica Pinigis, Scratch Dance makes, locally sources, and collaborates on all elements of each production: costumes, sound/music, makeup, design, movement, art, inspiration, location, site, funding, promotion, and more. We make everything with our very own hands, feet, and the sweat of our brows in small batches from the most RRR sources and resources. We reduce artistic as well as tangible waste; re-using, re-purposing, and recycling to invent, create, and innovate everything surrounding and involving our dances. Through that “from scratch” effort, we strive to engage in and enhance the world we all live in, a world that needs and thrives on the creative abundance that dance can provide.

Scratch Dance’s work isn’t just wholesome to make, it’s original and delicious to consume. We can scratch the itch that you didn’t even know you had. We want to fill your ears and nostrils, create a feast for your eyes, and draw your physical sensations to the surface; giving you, our audience and community, a fully embodied experience of dance that you can’t help but savor, digest, and take home in your memory to enrich you.

Get to know the Scratch Dance Collaborating Artists:


Alyssa Jendusa grew up in Stone Bank, Wisconsin. Her early training was at the Milwaukee Ballet School where she attended their summer intensive program and performed original works by a variety of choreographers including Karl Von Rabenau, Nadia Thompson, and Denis Malinkine. Alyssa then went on to receive her BA in dance from Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. There she performed original contemporary works by the likes of Judith Leifer-Bentz and Nicholas Petrov. Alyssa currently dances with Kanopy Dance Company and Scratch Dance where she has had the pleasure of performing original works by Lisa Thurrell, Robert Cleary, Martin Lofsnes, and Erica Pinigis.

Emily Shelton is from Cincinnati, OH where she trained at the Otto M Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet. She received her BA in dance and BS in physics from Case Western Reserve University, where she performed works by Larry Keigwin, Mark Morris, and Pascal Rioult. Additionally, she attended summer programs at BalletMet Columbus, Interlochen Center for the Arts, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Mark Morris Dance Group, and Paul Taylor Dance Company. She performed with Verb Ballets and Ohio Dance Theatre in their production of “The Nutcracker” in December 2015 and is currently a dancer in Kanopy Dance Company. She is excited to work with Scratch Dance

Rachel Tobin started with dance classes once a week in high school. After spending two years with UNO’s The Moving Company, Rachel auditioned for and was accepted into the dance program at UNL.  She graduated in May 2013 with a B.A. in Dance and English. That summer she relocated to San Diego where she apprenticed with The PGK Dance Project Too. She relocated to Wisconsin in the summer of 2015, and is currently dancing with Kanopy II and Scratch Dance.

NicholasNicholas Vasilakes is a man of many hidden skills. Driven by a compulsive scientific curiosity, (most likely a result of looking up to Spock as a child) Nicholas loves discovering how things work, which leads to learning how to do it from scratch. In that vein, Nicholas has taught himself how to operate light boards, build and program computers, play the saxophone, flute, and clarinet, lindy-hop, fix cars, brew beer and cider, make wine, roast coffee beans, stay alive in the wilderness back country, and help his partner Erica stay sane.

Sarah Nesler Wolf completed her BFA in dance from UW-Milwaukee. She danced one season with Danceworks Performance Company in Milwaukee and then joined Kanopy Dance Company in Madison, WI, in 2010, and is excited to be experiencing her first show with Scratch dance!


Past Scratch Collaborators:

Harper Addison, originally from Atlanta, GA received her BS from Davidson College and her MFA from Florida State University. She currently lives in San Francisco, CA where she dances for Scratch Dance and Copious Dance Theater. As a dancer and choreographer, Harper also enjoys building her artistic life from scratch drawing from the fields of design, film, and textiles. This is her first season with Scratch Dance. You can find out more about Harper at


Deanna Bangs is a budding Bay Area sock puppet creator. With a background in dance, she is only just beginning to scratch the surface of this playful art.



Keryn Dance photo Keryn Breiterman-Loader was born in Melbourne, Australia and grew up in Miami Beach, FL where she trained at the Miami City Ballet School and attended summer programs at ABT and the Joffrey Ballet. In 2013 she graduated from Stanford University with degrees in Psychology and Dance. Keryn dances with Alma Esperanza Cunningham Movement and has danced with the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble, Garret+Moulton Productions, Ultimate Alliance, and with Hannah Rose through RAW at the Garage. Keryn teaches a meditation based Compassion Cultivation Training Program developed by CCARE at Stanford. Additionally, she writes coaching messages for a fitness App called Lark. Keryn is excited to bear witness to the creation of Scratch Dance and loves creating with such lovely and talented artists!

RebekahBrownScratchRebekah Brown Rebekah Brown is originally from the small town of Ashland, Ohio. She started dancing at age seven at Opus II Dance Studio where she received training in ballet, modern, jazz, and tap. After high school, she attended the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, where she graduated summa cum laude in 2010 with a BFA in Dance Performance. Rebekah returned to studying at Mills College in Oakland, CA where she graduated in 2013 with her MFA in Dance Performance. She continues to make her own work and has also taught at a few studios in the Bay Area. She is a former member of the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble and a founding member of Scratch Dance Company. You can learn more about Rebekah at

Emmeline Gonzalez-Beban is a dance artist based in Berkeley, CA. In May of 2014, she received a B.F.A. in Dance from The Ohio State University, and subsequently returned to the Bay Area to immerse herself in the dance scene as a performer, creator, and teacher. Emmeline is a 2015 Artist-In-Residence at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center for her collaborative project Mudanza Discorde, which creates experimental dance works fusing Ballet Folklórico with Contemporary/Modern Dance. Besides dancing with Scratch, she currently performs with Bay Area choreographers such as Liz Boubion (Piñata Dance Collective) and Cherie Hill (IrieDance).

JessicaGoodburnScratchJessica Goodburn began her dance training at a small studio in Missoula, Montana, and went on to receive a BA in Dance at the University of Oregon. She took a break from dancing when she graduated and sought other avenues of physical and artistic expression, leading her to partner acrobatics. Following a move to California in 2011, Jessica helped to found a circus arts collective and performed at various Bay Area festivals with the group, including San Jose’s First Friday and SubZero and San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Night. When not dancing, Jessica teaches Pilates at a studio in Los Altos

DanshavingeditDan Gottwald  is an instrument builder, sculptor, sound artist and composer. His work focuses largely on social, tactile and temporary experiences. He is the director of the Analogous Ensemble and founding partner of Civic Harmony, both interactive musical experiments. For more information please visit


Maya Haines is interested in ideas of communication, connectedness, feminism, politics of identity, and subcultures. She enjoys making art collaboratively, constantly, intentionally, accidentally, fiercely and honestly. She believes dance is the most powerful embodied way in which communities can simultaneously celebrate individual differences as well as the universal human experience.

MaggieHurdScratchMaggie Hurd was born and raised in Milpitas, California and in 2012 she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a strong believer in the idea that all experiences attribute to the uniqueness of each person’s moving body. Her scratch talents include baking, jewelry making, beer brewing, and dance making. She is excited to be starting her Doctorate in Physical Therapy this Summer 2015!
kimpicKim Ip resides from New Zealand, Hawai’i, and California. Receiving her B.A. in dance from Mills College, she trained with Sheldon Smith, Shinichi Iova-Koga, Molissa Fenley, Yukie Fujimoto, and Wanjiru Kamuyu. She has had the privilege to show and perform her choreography at ACDFA. More recently she is working on an evening length piece in addition to collaborating with a slew of electronic musicians. She is honoured to be working with Scratch Dance.

emily Emily Jones is a performer based in Oakland, CA. She studied dance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under the direction of Summer Lee Rhatigan, and is currently working toward a BA in Performance Art at St. Mary’s college. She has performed with Scratch Dance, Project Thrust, Burns/Work, Chirstine Cali & Co., and Alyce Finwall Dance Theatre. Emily is also a certified Pilates Instructor. She enjoys sharing her interest and passion for movement with others.

IMG_3129Gretchen Jude was born and raised in the wild state of Idaho. A performing artist, she has also been heard in Oregon, Tennessee, New York, California, London, Japan, South Korea, and Finland, with such venerable artists as Kazue Sawai, Willie Winant, Keith Rowe, and Christian Wolff. Improvisatory interaction with her immediate environment forms the core of Gretchen’s musical practice. More about Gretchen’s many skills and her extensive experience can be found at

NatalieNelsonScratch1Natalie Nelson
‘s love of movement began at the early age of five when her Mother placed Natalie in her first ballet class. Like many little girls, it didn’t take her long to realize that her dream was to be a professional ballet dancer! Natalie trained in classical ballet throughout high school and received her BA in Dance with a minor in Exercise & Health Science from UC Santa Barbara. Natalie is currently pursuing her full STOTT PILATES® training and aspires for every person to discover their love of movement and health. She hopes that she can be part of that journey for each individual who participates in her class.

ericlumberjackeditEric Marquez is a freelance illustrator originally from Park City, UT. He moved to San Francisco to attend the Academy of Art University where he earned his BFA in Illustration.

Adrienne Swan Adrienne Swan graduated from Mills with a B.A. in Dance. She is blessed to live in the Bay Area where she practices reciprocal creation within a variety of communities. She dances to reach further into humanity, beauty, radical truth, information sharing, awareness, social change, herstory, the land, laughter, and healing. You can find out more about Adrienne’s work at

Ashleyedit Ashley Yee is a aspiring dancer from Mililani, HI. She began dancing at 3 years old at the Rosalie Woodson Dance Academy where she discovered her passion for performing and creating. Ashley is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, hula, and hip-hop, of which modern is her favorite because of its endless possibilities. When creating dance she often works conceptually, to embody abstract ideas. Art pieces that intrigue her often serve as sources for her movement, taking shapes, colors, and themes out of transforming them into movement. She values teaching styles that emphasize the importance of tailoring dance to your own body instead of forcing your body to do something that it is not meant to do. She believes that dance should celebrate the differences in everyone’s bodies instead of shame those who may not have a body that may be typically understood as “ideal” for dance. By acknowledging our differences, we can learn to problem solve and create new and beautiful ways of moving.

We want you to get involved! Here’s what you can do:
  • spread the word! Tell everyone you know about Scratch Dance and bring them with you to events
  • join the Scratch Dance email list
  • “like” the Scratch Dance facebook page to stay up to date on our activities
  • watch this video put together with footage from a recent rehearsal
  • read Erica Pinigis’s Artist Statement

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