Micha Scott

Artistic Director

Micha Scott has performed on stages around the world as a 13-year senior member of the renowned Garth Fagan Dance. Ms. Scott was a  teacher at the Garth Fagan Dance School in Rochester, NY, and has taught master classes and workshops for the company worldwide. While in the company she performed leading roles in many of Mr. Fagan’s works, including ‘From Before’, ‘Collage For Romie’, 'Transition/Translation' and the seminal collaboration with trumpeter / composer Wynton Marsalis, ‘Griot New York’. She has been featured in Essence, Time Magazine, and Dance Magazine, and as a soloist in the PBS televised series Dance In America.

Ms. Scott currently lives in Santa Cruz, CA and is deeply involved in the dance community there. She is Artistic Director at Tannery World Dance & Cultural Center (since 2011), resident choreographer at Mountain School (since 2008), she is a lead teacher in Tandy Beal’s in-school residency dance program ArtSmart (since 2016). and a dance instructor at Dancenter (since 2008). Over the past 11 years she has also taught at Motion Pacific, Steps, No Limits, International Academy of Dance, Kirby School, Mount Madonna School, Monterey High School, Seaside High School, Cabrillo College, and has held the position of lecturer in dance at Santa Clara University (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015), the University of California at Santa Cruz (2012), and at the State University of New York at Brockport (2000). She has showcased her choreography in a family show titled ‘MICHA SCOTT DANCES’ and is Artistic Director of Empire Dance Company.

photo by Devi Pride

Cat Willis

Founder/ Executive Director

Cat Willis is the Founder and Executive Director of the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center located in Santa Cruz/San Francisco Bay Area. She is originally from Rochester, N.Y., where she began her dance education with Garth Fagan Dance, with whom she studied extensively for six years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance from SUNY Brockport. Cat has served on the Arts Council of Santa Cruz Grants Advisory Committee, the Arts Council of Santa Cruz grants panel, and County Park Friends Advisory Committee. She received the 2014 Gail Rich Award for her excellence in arts leadership in Santa Cruz County. Her cross cultural studies and work in the dance arts have led her to West Africa, and Jamaica where she lectures at the Edna Manley School of Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. 

Cat's dedication to Racial Justice and Equity spans a lifetime of education, community organizing, and activism through the platform of arts and culture. She was the 418 Project’s 2009 Artist in Residence and the Theatre Bay Area’s CA$H grant recipient in dance for her evening-length dance production Diaspora, Food for Thought: Roots, Ritual, Re-imagined; an exploration of ancestral wisdom, racial trauma, and a re-imagined Black Diaspora in the American experience. She is a founding member of the Santa Cruz County Black Coalition for Justice and Racial Equity and is founding director of the Black Health Matters Initiative alongside community partners; County Park Friends, United Way of, NAACP Santa Cruz Chapter, Blended Bridge, and the SCC Black Coalition for Justice and Racial Equity. She currently sits on the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County RISE Together leadership circle and the Santa Cruz County's Commission on Anti-Racism, Economic & Social (CARES) Justice.

photo by Devi Pride

Angela Chambers

Development Director, Programming Manager

Angela Chambers, an Oakland native, raised in Berkeley, spent most of her youth performing Musical Theater. Introduced to formal and contemporary training upon moving to Santa Cruz to attend UCSC, Angela has had the privilege to develop and expand her knowledge of (and relationship with) dance not only as an art form, but as a tool for personal growth and even as a catalyst for social change. At UCSC, Angela performed, directed and choreographed in many student and faculty-led productions; after graduating in 2014 with a BA in Intensive Psychology and Dance, Angela continues to work as a performer and choreographer within the Santa Cruz dance community and furthers her training through residencies and intensives – most recently with Shannon Mather, A.I.M, and Garth Fagan Dance. Alongside performing, Angela spends most of the season teaching at the Tannery World Dance and Cultural Center and Motion Pacific. When not dancing, Angela pursues her passion for elevating and supporting youth development and community activation as a Y.P.A.D certified Health and Wellness teacher and as the Development Director/Programs Manager at TWDCC. Angela is also currently the Project Manager for the Black Health Matters Initiative and serves on the advisory panel. To this end, Angela is actively finding new ways to engage her dedication to community organizing, youth empowerment, and the performing arts.

Lisa Brenner

Facilities & Operations Manager

Lisa is thrilled to be a part of the TWDCC team. Her interest in arts facilitation weaves through stage management to internships at the Wooster Group and Dixon Place in New York, performances and collaborations in Santa Cruz and New York, and a string of Civic Liberal Arts and Humanities Fellowships aimed to bolster arts education and to foster nontraditional modes of collaboration between artistic collectives. Alongside her work at TWDCC, they can be spotted in local performances and dance classes.

photo by Crystal Birns

Emily Moran

Graphic Designer & Administrative Assistant

Emily Moran has been a member of TWDCC staff as an In-house Graphic Designer and Administrative Assistant since 2019. She is a TWDCC alumni and was of the first graduating class of TWDCC Company dancers. She is an aspiring ballet dancer, having attended intensive courses at Oklahoma City Ballet, Joffrey Academy, Bolshoi Ballet, and the Vaganova Ballet Academy.

Luna HighJohn-Bey

TWDCC/ Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative Curator/Culture Bearer

Luna HighJohn-Bey is an Indigenous Spiritualist and healer whose found their calling and home in Santa Cruz County. Combining her passion for equity and community, she seeks to create sacred spaces for our most impacted communities.

Selah Scott

Youth/Facilities Support Staff

Selah Scott is a member of TWDCC’s Support Staff, and as an alumni loves helping cultivate a positive studio culture. As a high school student with a passion for social justice and language, she aims to study American Sign Language interpreting after graduation.

Violet Forbes

Youth/Facilities Support Staff

Bio: Violet Forbes is a TWDCC graduate and a current student at Cabrillo College. This past year she taught elementary dance at Mount Madonna School, as well as being a TA at TWDCC. She loves to tell stories through movement and looks forward to creating a new story with the dancers.

Alyssa Woodbury

Youth/Facilities Support Staff

Alyssa is a theater artist, mover, and budding Santa Cruz arts community member. They studied acting, directing, and playwriting as an Original Works major at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. They’re interested in exploring the healing, expressive, and connective qualities of collaborative theater making. Having roots in community children’s theater, Alyssa is passionate about supporting performing arts opportunities for youth and is excited to be part of the TWDCC team! Current movement practices include juggling/clown, yoga, and attending classes at Santa Cruz Movement.

Eva Diop

Youth/Facilities Support Staff
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