HNM Dance Company

biography

Artistic Director/Choreographer
Anh Nguyen is a dance artist from Canada.  Currently he is residence choreographer of HNM Dance Company and collaborating with other innovative artists and organizations on multi-disciplinary projects for the 2016/2017 arts season.  Anh makes regular guest appearances with other progressive dance companies, symphony orchestras, art galleries, festivals and universities; including Dancetheatre David Earle, Danny Grossman Dance Company, American Ballet Theatre, Dance Nonce, Detroit Dance Collective, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and Michigan Opera Theatre.  In recognition for his contribution to artistic and cultural life, Anh was given the Mayor's Award of Excellence for Outstanding Artist.  Anh's choreography and compositions have been presented internationally by various dance and music ensembles.  The Globe and Mail writes, "Nguyen's complex, energetic crisscross diagonals and clean, economical, athletic movements are as elegant as they are refreshing... brilliant stage pictures... the ability to build very interesting dances..."  The Courier-Journal describes Anh's choreography as, "PURE PLEASURE".


Artistic Associate/Dancer
Katie Mecher-Williams is a native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  She is currently the artistic associate and dancer of HNM Dance Company.  Katie is a graduate of the 'Theatre Dance' program at Ryerson University in Toronto (1989).  She has trained at the Minsk Choreographic School in Russia, with Toronto Dance Theatre, and with Ottawa's Le Groupe de la Place Royale.  Katie has worked with a number of dance companies and has enjoyed both performing and participating in educational programming.  Katie shares her love of the artform with the students of the musical theatre program at St. Clair College.  She also works with the "Learning Through the Arts" program where she facilitates public school students in establishing dance as their voice and as a means of interpretation.


Dancer/Instructor
Diana Fleming – Dancing more years than she can remember, Diana began her terpsichorean journey as a ballet student of Jack Bickle.  As an adult, she was introduced to modern, jazz and country western dance and took numerous classes and workshops in these genres in Canada and the United States.  She has performed with the Windsor Light Opera, University Dancers and HNM Dance Company.  She has also been involved with dance as a board member of Gina Lori Riley Dance Enterprises and the University Dance Series and has taught social dance at the University of Windsor.


Dancer/Instructor
Shanti Guirao is originally from stockton, california where she started her early training and danced with sacramento ballet.  She received her BFA in dance performance from SMU in Dallas, TX., and upon graduating moved to new york city where she spent the last eleven years.  She danced for Radio City Productions, Nai Ni Chen, Taylor II, David Grenke, Dario Vaccarro Dance Theatre, and Battleworks Dance Company.  She also spent time teaching for city centers outreach program for inner city schools.  She has performed throughout north america as well as abroad.  She moved to Windsor in june '09, and is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful company.


Dancer
Hanni Hedgecock started dance training in the mid 1950's at the Staedtische Theatre in Mainz, Germany with Lothar Hoefgen while working as a technician at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry.  Later she took classes at the Jutta Ludewig Dance School where she had her first performance experience.  Coming to Windsor in 1961 she studied Ceccetti Method ballet with Jack Bickle and achieved the National Ballet Exam Level Four.  In her private life she raised two daughters, and with her husband Nigel and four friends, founded the Early Music Ensemble of Windsor.  For many years, they had regular rehearsals and occasional performances in Windsor and Essex County.  She also took courses and workshops with the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners and eventually received her OHS Master Weaver Certificate.  For seven years she taught textile courses at St. Clair College in Windsor and Chatham.  She never stopped dancing though, and in 2002 she joned HNM Dance Company to continue her study of modern dance and ballet. 


Dancer/Meditation Instructor
Sarah McCullough received early training in ballet with Madelyn Weingarden, and then promptly forgot that any kind of dancing other than dance-floor booty-shaking existed until attending a Contact Improv class with HNM.  Modern dance foundations quickly followed, and now she is fortunate and grateful to learn and grow within HNM’s dance community.  When not dancing, Sarah is a Registered Massage Therapist and enjoys focusing treatment on movement habits and the patterns they form within the connective tissue of the body.  Collaborating with this talented and generous group of dancers is an exciting and personal way to approach these same patterns.


Dancer
Patricia Morneau is what could be called a late bloomer when it comes to dance—she took her first modern class with HNM hesitantly at forty years of age, attending with one of her daughters hoping to spark an interest in dance.  Almost eleven years later, she is still taking classes (daughter had moved on to other activities!) and loving every minute of it.  In her “other life”, Patricia obtained her Master of Social Work and has been employed with the Greater Essex County District School Board since 1990 after working for a number of social service agencies.  She is actively involved in social justice initiatives locally.  Being able to perform with HNM is truly living a dream.  She is grateful for the encouragement, laughter, patience and friendship offered by everyone in the company and all who attend classes.


Dancer/Instructor
Mary Jo Mullins... 


Dancer
Marie Ouellette-Noel is a 'true Essex County' girl.  She has been working in a local hospital as a registered nurse since 1988.  Dancing, however, is where her true passion lies.  At a young age Marie began studying Cecchetti ballet under the instruction of Madelyn Weingarden at the Dance Studio and Academie St. Cecile.  After trying different genres of dance she discovered her love of modern/contemporary dance, contact improv and yoga.  She has been dancing with HNM for many years now and is thankful for the opportunity to perform with the company.  It is a priceless gift.


Dancer/Instructor

Taisa Petruk holds a BFA (Honours) in Dance (specializing in Dance Science) from York University, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Resources Management from George Brown College, and is a fully certified Conditioning-with-Imagery (C-I) Training™ Teacher.  She completed her Cecchetti examinations, to the Intermediate Level, under the tutelage of Anne-Marie Pilon-Gerdun, the Ontario Representative of the Cecchetti Society of Canada.  During her career, Taisa has had the opportunity to perform, work and study with some of Canada’s most renowned choreographers, teachers and dance institutions including Donna Krasnow, Luther Brown/DoDat, Steve Bolton/Bluprint Crew, Tracey Norman, Jesse Dell, Derek Sangster, HNM Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre and Canada’s National Ballet School.


Dancer/Pilates Instructor
Jen Redmile was gratefully introduced to HNM last winter after years of trying to find a dance environment that suited her as an adult returning to dance after a long hiatus.  Jen began ballet at the age of four in Burlington at the Patricia Bradshaw Dance Academy but ventured away as a teen.  As an adult Jen has experience as a Pilates instructor, with weight training and running among other fitness pursuits, but none have challenged her mind-body connection as much as dancing with HNM.  So fortunate to be learning and laughing alongside an amazing group in the HNM Dance Company.  In her 'day job' Jen can be found at the Greater Essex County District School Board working as a Specialist Teacher of students who are blind and visually impaired.


Dancer
Erin Ward began dancing in her late teens under the tutelage of Deanna Clatworthy.  After taking every class and workshop she could get her hands on for a couple years, Erin took a break from dance to earn an Honours Specialization in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.  After completing her degree, Erin has worked as a freelance writer producing both fiction and non-fiction for a number of local publications.  Throughout it all Erin's passion for dance has remained strong and after a long search for a way back in, Erin feels privileged to have the opportunity to dance and grow with the unique and talented dancers of the HNM Dance Company.