About

The members of Mesilla Valley Dance Collective

Who We Are

Mesilla Valley Dance Collective is a Las Cruces-based, non-profit, community dance collective dedicated to creating performance and choreography opportunities for community members who might not otherwise get to perform and choreograph. Members’ dance backgrounds vary from new-comers to dance, to life-long dancers with college degrees in the art form.

The Collective’s members create and perform original choreography, and work collaboratively to showcase their work in two major shows each year—Dancing in the Desert Dance Festival, and an original show centered on telling a narrative through dance—as well as a number of community events (view our upcoming events).

Established in 2012 when founding member Jessica Trembly was approached to develop original choreography for a local music video, the Collective had just three members when it began. Today, the Collective has expanded both in size and programming, but has stayed true to the original vision set forth by Jessica at its founding, seeking to recruit dancers who might not otherwise have many opportunities to perform: teens and adults just starting out, full-time workers, and other dancers facing circumstances that might make it difficult for them to participate in more traditional dance companies. Also, those who are simply creative and want an outlet to dance and work collaboratively with others with similar passions. Mesilla Valley Dance Collective is dedicated to creating a safe, collaborative space where all are welcome.

Our Members

Andrea SeversonAndrea Severson

Collective Member since 2014

Andrea Severson has been dancing since the age of 9, first at Southwest Fitness Center, then Michelle’s Dance Academy, and finally at Mesilla Valley Dance. Most recently, she played the role of the Red Queen in Mesilla Valley Dance’s production of “Through the Looking Glass” in December of 2015. She is also Vice President of Enchantment Historical Productions, a performance history group founded to entertain and educate the public with historical dramatizations. Off stage, she has a MA in history from NMSU, and is currently working on a PhD in history at UTEP where she also works as a lecturer.

Janessa PlayerJanessa Player

Collective Member since 2017

Janessa is originally from North Richland Hills, TX and is currently a 5th grade teacher at Tularosa Intermediate School. She has been dancing in some capacity for most of her life. In her youth she danced in the North Texas area with Rhythm Nation Dance Company, collaborating performances with Ballet Arlington and Six Flags over Texas. At Texas A&M University she was an officer for another collaborative dance organization, Dance Arts Society, and participated in much of the dance department’s programming. Most recently she directed McConnell Air Force Base’s Youth Dance Program from 2008-2014. She has coached middle school and high school cheer, and works to promote and incorporate the fine arts within the public school system. She has sponsored Tularosa Intermediate School’s theater program for the past three years. This is her first year with Mesilla Valley Dance Collective.

Leslie Simpkins

Leslie Simpkins

Collective Member since 2014

Leslie Simpkins began dancing at Kathy Busby’s School of Dance in Alamogordo, NM when she was 3 years old—where she learned the basics of tap, jazz, and ballet. When she was 7 years old she and her family moved to Las Cruces and she began dancing at Michelle’s Dance Studio. There she furthered her dance education with an emphasis on ballet and was involved in the semi-annual studio performances until her freshman year of high school. Unfortunately a recurring knee injury forced her to put her dancing life on hold and it was not until 2005 that she began dancing again through ballet classes at New Mexico State University, but again her knee forced her to stop dancing. After healing, and with a renewed love of dance she sought out the studio of Jessica Trembly, Mesilla Valley Dance in 2013. The next year she joined Mesilla Valley Dance Collective and has performed, produced, choreographed, and artistically directed semi-annual performances in collaboration with the other talented members of MVD.

Melody Hagaman–BurnsMelody HagamanBurns

Collective Member since 2017

Melody grew up in Silver City, NM where she fell in love with tap and jazz dance in elementary school. For financial reasons, she was unable to continue with dance past elementary school; she only recently rekindled her passion for dance and joined Mesilla Valley Dance Collective in April 2017. In addition to dancing, Melody also enjoys singing with Celestial Sounds Choir, Enchantment Historical Productions, and Studio A-440. She is an alumna of New Mexico State University and Walden University and works as a computer science teacher at Centennial High School. She has won several teaching awards, including the 2017 Golden Apple Excellence in Teaching Award, and she also spends her time as a professional development leader, training teachers across the country in educational best-practices and strategies for supporting underrepresented groups in science and technology.

Miranda Williams

Miranda Williams

Collective Member since 2015

Miranda had brief flirtations with ballet in preschool and again in her junior year of high school. But it wasn’t until she was 25 that she started actively seeking out dance classes. After a year of attending classes under Jessica Trembly—who owned and operated Mesilla Valley Dance—she was invited to join the Mesilla Valley Dance Collective as an understudy. She performed in four company pieces and one solo as the White Rabbit in the Collective’s 2015 performance: Through the Looking Glass (and she has been hooked ever since). When she isn’t dancing, Miranda works as a graphic designer in the employ of St. Clair Winery, and does freelance work for local clientele such as Badass Mountain Music Festival, Asombro Institute and the folk band Gleewood. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 2011 with a BFA in Communication Design.

Morgan CorbettMorgan Corbett

Collective Member since 2017

Morgan started dancing as a freshman in high school in Nashville, TN where she grew up. She was actively involved in her high school dance program as well as a dance studio. She was trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary and modern. She moved to Las Cruces in 2017 to attend New Mexico State University. While she searched for studios to get involved with she found Mesilla Vallet Dance Collective. Morgan is currently studying education in college but plans on studying dance and one day dreams of owning her own studio. When Morgan isn’t dancing, working, or in class, she loves practicing yoga and DIYing everything (she lives on Pinterest).

Morgan Rivera

Morgan Rivera

Collective Member since 2014

Morgan Rivera grew up in Roswell, NM where she started dancing at the age of 5.  She danced at a local studio for 11 years and performed in yearly recitals.  She was also on the Goddard High School Rockettes Dance Team for 2 years.  She went to college at the University of New Mexico where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance.  She also has a Masters’ in Education.  Morgan is a third grade teacher at Highland Elementary in Las Cruces.  Along with dancing, Morgan is a fitness instructor.  She has been dancing with Mesilla Valley Dance Collective since 2014 and has recently become the Creative Director of the collective.

Rachel Goodman

Rachel Goodman

Collective Member since 2013

Rachel began her training in Houston, TX at Banbury School of Dance under Suzanne Banbury and Lori Borzilla. While in high school, she performed and competed in her high school dance company. Rachel received her minor in dance at Texas A&M University. While in college, she performed with Em Su Dance Company. She was also a member of the Nu Delta Alpha dance honor society. She trained under Christine Bergeron, and took master classes at many an American College Dance Festival. After graduation and moving to El Paso, Rachel performed with Cor Ignis Dance Company. Rachel is very excited to be dancing with Mesilla Valley Dance Collective and enjoys the creative process with her fellow dancers.

Stephanie BeauregardStephanie Beauregard

Collective Member since 2017

Stephanie grew up in Las Cruces, NM. She started gymnastics as a fifth grader and went on to cheer at Sierra Middle school for two years, Onate High School for two years, and for NMSU for four years. Stephanie suffers from Rheumatiod disease and was wheelchair bound a few years ago, but keeping active keeps off flairs. This is her first year with Mesilla Valley Dance Collective but she has always loved performing and dancing. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and a Master’s of Science in Education. Stephanie is a chemistry teacher at Las Cruces High School and an assistant cheer coach for New Mexico State University.

tiana_headshotTiana Potter

Collective Member since 2013

Tiana Potter is seventeen years old and has been dancing for four years. She loves dancing among other things like makeup, music, and art, and is always looking to explore new kinds of dance and improve on what she already knows. During her time dancing with Mesilla Valley Dance Collective she feels she has grown so much as not only a dancer, but a person. Art, overall, is what she loves the most, and dance is definitely a type of art. She is still in high school, but hopes to pursue some sort of career in art whether it be painting, makeup, drawing, or anything of that sort. She loves all of these things and they have helped her grow throughout life and will probably continue to do so.

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