Where Are They Now: New York Edition
A Q&A with TRDance alum Diane Meck about a busy life of auditions and new adventures in NYC. Also, a listing of all the alumni who have been a part of eleven years of TRDance and Virginia Ballet Theatre.
How long and when did you dance with TRD?
DM: Two years, from 2014-2016.
What is your favorite memory from your time with TRD?
DM: Aww, this is hard! I guess I’d say performing in our 10th anniversary concert—it was so special and the gala wasn’t too shabby either!
Tell us about your life these days in NYC.
DM: My husband, dog, and I live in Brooklyn—we love it! I have two side jobs that are pretty flexible and allow me the ability to audition and take class during the day. This means I’m usually out of the house (read: little NYC apartment) for 12–15 hours a day! I’ve auditioned for all sorts of things, but I’m focused primarily on musical theatre. I’ve had a few projects here and there since moving up last summer. My favorite so far was dancing in a big collaborative music and dance production with ALMA NYC, which traced the history of jazz.
What do you think would surprise your younger self about your current life?
DM: Ha! Most things, I think. I’ll go with the amount of walking I do each day :)
What is your favorite thing about living in New York?
DM: Everything? My husband Cody and I have both dreamed about living here for so long! I love the diversity, culture, and buzzing energy.
Do you have a favorite experience of the last few years?
DM: Well…a few months ago, I shared a laugh with Ben Stiller (because I’m awkward) and then directed him toward the restroom. Lol! #onlyinNYC #myclaimtofame
We asked our alums to tell us what they’ve been up to since they left TRD and VBT.
To be included in this list in progress, please send any alumni information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VBT:2000-2004, TRD: 2004-2007
Upon leaving TRD, Abigail went on to earn her Master’s Degree in nonprofit administration from Winthrop University. She currently runs a private foundation, the VoLo Foundation, in Jupiter, Florida, and stays connected to the dance community through her adjunct teaching opportunities and work as associate to the director of the Regional High School Dance Festival.
I moved to Denver, Colorado, and pursued a master’s degree in sport and performance psychology from the University of Denver. I just graduated in June, but throughout my time there, I continued dancing and teaching. I also began working at an Eating Recovery Center while in school. I am excited to figure out what my next steps are going to be!
I live in Raleigh, North Carolina, with my wife and five-year-old daughter. This will be my fourth season with Carolina Ballet as a dancer in the corps. In addition, I choreograph and teach with local studios.
I danced for TRD for nine years, and I am currently the editor-in-chief of Slice Literary Magazine as well as a writer and SAT tutor. My socks rarely match.
Since leaving the company I have moved to Atlanta. I’ve danced with a couple of companies and been featured in various projects like the TV show Atlanta as well as worked as choreographer and creative director for a lot of music videos, stage plays, and TV scenes. I also teach a lot now and have been requested to teach in the Virgin Islands. I have choreographed for colleges and universities and high schools.
My time with TRD taught me a lot that I use everyday, and I’m so thankful to all the dancers, Todd, Lorraine, Ricardo, and all the staff for taking a chance on me, helping me in some of my worst times in life, and giving me a real chance at this career I’m constantly growing in. I’m also working on pursuing my degree in dance education.
I had my son Rownan in October of 2015 and am loving life as a stay-at-home mom. Matthew and I are expecting our second child in January of 2018. I have been delving into new ways of working out and gotten rid of our TV, which has brought a new appreciation for looking out the window at clouds and listening to the wind. Patience and explanations are in constant use at my house with our growing boy. Life is ever changing!
I recently relocated to Indianapolis after an injury and foot surgery. I am currently teaching for a local Indianapolis dance studio and Kids Dance Outreach. Kids Dance Outreach is a local nonprofit that travels to the surrounding public and magnet schools and teaches dance to underserved kids.
I danced with Todd from the company’s first season, for ten years. Since then, I had a son on September 10, 2014, became fully certified in the Classical Pilates Method, and started teaching dance and Pilates at the Governor’s School for the Arts!
I have been pursuing graduate school for dance/movement therapy in Chicago. I work at a cool dance store here as well as work with the community as a graduate assistant!
Shelby Lynn Joyce
TRD: summer 2006 and 2013-2014
I have relocated to Santa Barbra, California. In Santa Barbara I have been a member of Santa Barbara Dance Theater under the direction of Christopher Pilafian and am currently a member of Weslie Ching Dance. I am a resident choreographer at Santa Barbara City College Dance Collective, and I’m on the faculty at the State Street Ballet youth dance program.
I moved to NYC where I’m pursuing dance and theatre! My favorite performance so far was with ALMA NYC, working with lots of musicians and other dancers to create an original production about the history of jazz. Find out more at dianemeck.com.
Louisa Chapman Mejeur
I had my choreography presented at Jacob’s Pillow in June with the Berkshire Choreography Project, and I recently moved to Boston with my husband to dance with Festival Ballet Providence as a company member.
Meredith Fages Proskin
VBT: 2002-2004, TRD, 2004-2007
Meredith Fages has performed with Armitage Gone! Dance, Alexandra Beller, Monica Bill Barnes/Waterwell, Wally Cardona, David Hallberg and Francesco Vezzoli, Deborah Hay, Mana Kawamura, Heidi Latsky Dance, Motley Dance, Jimena Paz, Laura Peterson Choreography, Becky Radway, Sarah Skaggs, Steeledance, Palissimo/Pavel Zustiak, Mitzi Adams, Eidolon Ballet, Helen Heineman, Todd Rosenlieb Dance, Kim Whittam, and Virginia Ballet Theatre. She has summited Kilimanjaro, appeared in the New York Times Sunday Styles spread, and bakes the occasional wedding cake. She was born in Charleston, South Carolina, and graduated from Columbia University with a pre-medical concentration in English. Meredith is the proud mother of Graham Sterling Proskin, born July 2014.
Emma Faith Raker
I’ve been teaching dance and choreographing throughout the Hampton Roads area and Pennsylvania. This year I will also be teaching Pilates, yoga, and Barre classes. I am in my final year at ministry/life coaching school, and I have traveling and speaking engagements lined up throughout this next year.
TRD/VBT: 2011, 2013-2015
I am now living in NYC and dancing for Heidi Latsky Dance.
Lauren is dancing for fun and teaching at the Governor’s School for the Arts. She has a sweet three-year-old girl and a baby boy on the way!
Cheyenne Strauser (Collins)
Since moving from Virginia I have danced with CORE Contemporary Dance in Folsom, California. I also teach at the studio Leighton Dance Project.
I am now working as a Nondestructive Tester for Newport News Shipbuilding, and I’m still teaching dance when I can. I’m also still taking class in my free time and performing when opportunities arise.
I recently relocated to Cleveland to dance with The Dancing Wheels Company.
I have had two beautiful children since I left the dance company. I have become the care giver to my special needs daughter who has Rett syndrome. I still teach Pilates and dance occasionally at GSA and TRDance. I am currently working on my yoga certificate at Breathe yoga studio this fall.
TRD: 2004-2011, VBT, 2000-2004
I’m currently teaching ballet, pointe, and Pilates at the TRD Center, the Governor’s School for the Arts, and Performance Pilates.
Bellamy Eure Zydron
Before her time with TRD, Bellamy toured nationally and internationally with PHILADANCO for three years. As she transitioned from the stage and back into the classroom, Bellamy continues to judge, teach, and choreograph on many competition circuits and at the National High School Dance Festival. Bellamy, featured in Dance Magazine, stresses the importance of educating dancers on the business aspect of dance. She earned her MBA from Old Dominion University and currently serves on the City of Suffolk’s Fine Arts Commission. She hopes to repay the performing arts community for all the support and opportunities she has experienced.