Meet the Artists

Danceworks Performance MKE

Christal Wagner – Artistic Director

Christal Wagner is a skilled visual artist versed in Movement, Choreography, Video and Photography. Upon receiving her BFA in dance from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee in 2007, she joined Danceworks Performance MKE and has performed in over 40 regular season shows with the company. She is an 8 time Jerry award recipient for her work in Musical Theatre and has choreographed for Skylight Music Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet II, Present music, and Danceworks Performance MKE. Christal is a cofounder of the music and dance trio Cadance Collective, co-creating pieces through processes where music and dance are worked on simultaneously through improvisational practices and original soundscapes. Her video work has been presented in collaboration with Danceworks Inc, Milwaukee Dance Theatre Network, Milwaukee Opera Theatre, UWM Dance, The Saint Kate Arts Hotel, The Cactus Club, and Li Chiao-Ping Dance, where she was a 2020 SEED Creation Fund grant recipient. In 2020, Christal Wagner became the Saint Kate Art Hotel’s FIRST artist in co-residence and their weekly resi-dancer. Christal’s mission is to support and elevate the voices of her community, collaborators, and fellow artists.

Katelyn Altmann

Katelyn Altmann (she/her) is a movement-based artist, choreographer, and improvisor currently residing in Milwaukee, WI. She received her BFA in Contemporary Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Peck School of the Arts (2019). During this time, Katelyn has collaborated with and performed in works of Joe Goode, Daniel Burkholder, Maria Gillespie, Esmé Boyce, Ishmael Huston-Jones, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Melanie George, among others. She is a current performance and collaborative artist with Wild Space Dance Company, Danceworks, and Hyperlocal MKE. Katelyn has presented both her solo and collaborative work throughout Milwaukee, at Seattle Festival for Dance Improvisation, American Collage Dance Association(ACDA), Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Bates Dance Festival/Gibney Connect NYC, and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters. During her time at UW-Milwaukee, Altmann received two Undergraduate Research Fellowships immersed in movement research under the mentorship of faculty member, Maria Gillespie. This is Katelyn’s fourth season with Danceworks Performance MKE.

Greta Jenkins

Greta Jenkins is a dance artist, choreographer, teacher, and personal trainer. She is brand new to the Milwaukee area and grew up dancing in northern Kentucky at MJM Studios and the Kentucky Center Governor’s school for the Arts. She received her BFA in dance performance from Ball State University. While at college, Greta became fascinated with combining the two worlds of artistry and athleticism to create authentic contemporary movement connections for the body and soul. Also in school, Greta had the opportunity to learn and perform the repertoire piece “Steps in the street” by the Martha Graham Dance Company. She also performed work by Chicago choreographer Jamey Meek and had the privilege to train and perform at the Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive in NYC. Greta has also performed in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Madison as a trainee with Waterstreet Dance MKE. This is Greta’s first season with Danceworks Performance MKE.

Nekea Leon

Nekea Leon is a Milwaukee based dancer and a native of the city. She began her love of dance at the age of 5 and continued her studies at her middle and high school. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee with her BA in dance in 2018. She has also performed with DanceCircus, Wild Space, and other community dance experiences.

 

 

 

Jessica Lueck

Jessica Lueck is a dancer currently based in Milwaukee, WI. Through the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she has attained two degrees, one in Dance Performance and Choreography and the other in Information System and Technology. Through the duration of her time at UWM, she has studied modern, ballet, jazz, improvisation, composition, Alexander technique, laban movement analysis, applied anatomy, and numerous other master classes. She has also performed in works created for several UW-Milwaukee Faculty Shows, working with Artists such as Emma Draves, Daniel Burkholder, Maria Gillespie, Deb Loewen, Parijat Desai and Dawn Springer. Jessica has also studied abroad in 2022 through the Centre national de la Danse in Paris, France. Before attending UWM, she has had training from the Milwaukee HighSchool of the Arts, where she studied modern, ballet, pointe and composition under Sandra Jordan and Dean Drews, with additional instructors such as Amie Ferrante and Petr Zahradníček assisting in her training. She has also had numerous Master classes during this period including Milwaukee Ballet and Alvin Ailey II Company and more. More recently, Jessica currently performs with Wildspace Company as a Freelance artist and has begun her first season with Danceworks Performance MKE.

Kaitlyn Moore

Kaitlyn Moore is a Milwaukee-based dancer, teacher, and choreographer. She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Spring of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in Journalism, Advertising, and Media Studies. She has a passion for both performance and teaching and is happy to be able to continue both in Milwaukee and surrounding areas. Kaitlyn has had the opportunity to perform with a variety of musical artists such as Bell Biv DeVoe, WebsterX, Riolanza, and more. Throughout her time at UW-Milwaukee, she had the opportunity to study under many talented professors and guest artists such as Mair Culbreth, Emma Draves, Caitlin Mahon, and she also had the opportunity to perform in a work presented by Cooperative Performance, choreographed and directed by Emily Elliott. Along with her training at UWM, Kaitlyn has trained with a variety of different companies, programs, and classes throughout Los Angeles, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Madison. Her passion for dance has allowed her to train in a wide array of styles which allows her to incorporate a variety of different elements and techniques into her dancing and teaching. Whether it is shown through performance or teaching, Kaitlyn enjoys sharing her love for dance with those around her, especially the next generation of artistic students.

Cuauhtli Ramirez Castro

Cuauhtli Ramirez Castro is a Mexican performing artist and dancer. He started his training at the University of Guanajuato, having a multidisciplinary approach, combining contemporary dance and acting techniques. He has trained and performed the work of Mexican choreographers such as Juan Caudillo, Sylvia Salomon, Claudia Badillo, and Selene Aguirre, and with theater directors such as David Eudave and Israel Araujo. He has performed at the International Cervantino Festival (2016) with the multidisciplinary play Todo Puede Ser directed by Horacio Almada, as well as the Guanajuato International Film Festival (2015) with the short film Azul directed by Charlie Zamora. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance Performance and Choreography (spring 2021). During his time in Milwaukee he has performed and collaborated in works of Maria Gillespie, Morgan Williams, Emma Draves, Bernard Brown, Caitlin Mahon, Joe Goode, Mair Culbreth, and Amanda Lee.

Ashley Ray Garcia

Danceworks is excited to welcome Ashley Ray Garcia to their first season with Danceworks Performance MKE! 

Tessa Ritchey

Tessa Ritchey (she/her) was born and raised in Walworth, Wisconsin, where she trained at The Dance Factory. She graduated from The University of Iowa in 2018 with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. While in College Tessa apprenticed for Dance in the Parks, in Chicago, where she was able to perform and help run the shows. Along with performance experience, she has had multiple of her own choreographic works produced by the university, one of which was selected to perform at the 2018 ACDA North Central Conference. After college, Tessa has had her work presented at the College of DuPage’s Choreographic Showcase, MADCO 2’s Dare To Dance, Trifecta’s A New Light, the Iowa Dance Festival, Emergence, SMUSH Moves Vol.7, Emergence, JELLO and MKE Fringe. Tessa has had the opportunity to choreograph on Alluvion, a Chicago Dance Company and will be premiering a new evening work on them this coming spring. This is Tessa’s first Season with Danceworks Performance MKE.

Isaac Jerin Robertson

Isaac Jerin Robertson, AKA Ivy, has been passionately involved in the art of dance and dance making for over 15 years. Robertson first started their training in post modern and Graham styles under the direction of Lisa Andrea Thurrell and Robert E. Cleary. Isaac Jerin also studied classical ballet at Madison Ballet under the direction of W. Earl Smith. Later, from 2010-2014, Robertson danced with Kanopy Dance Company for four seasons. They attended summer dance programs on scholarship at Pacific Northwest Ballet and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Isaac Jerin studied contemporary dance and choreography as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee from 2014-2017. Ivy received their Cosmetology license in 2018 and is now a Senior Stylist at Drybar Milwaukee in the third ward. Along with hair and dance, Robertson participates in drag performance at local bars around Milwaukee under the name ‘Ivy Wife’. This is Ivy’s third season with Danceworks Performance MKE.

Elisabeth Roskopf

Elisabeth Roskopf was born in South Korea and raised in Appleton, Wisconsin where she began dancing at the age of 6. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Piano and a minor in Dance. She is a company member of Danceworks Performance MKE, Li Chiao-Ping Dance, and a performance collaborator with Wild Space Dance Company. She has also performed with Marlene Skog Dance, the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project, Dawn Springer Dance Projects, Catey Ott Dance Collective, and Montauk Project [più mosso]. Since the spring of 2014, Elisabeth has performed in the Lake Arts Project, directed by Jennifer Miller and Karl von Rabenau formerly of the Milwaukee Ballet. Since 2013, she has choreographed and performed her solo works for the Danceworks DanceLAB Get It Out There concert series. In addition to her performing, she is also a ballet and contemporary teacher and choreographer in the Greater Milwaukee Area. Elisabeth will be partnering with Danceworks to co-present her Dance for Diversity, an annual screen-dance project series, that is made explicitly for Artists of Color to elevate their unique voices and share their stories of identity through dance-making and performance work. Identity is a part of who we are and who we are matters.

Maggie Seer

Maggie Seer (she/her) received her BFA in Dance from UW-Milwaukee in 2016. She has been a company member with Danceworks Performance MKE since 2017. She has performed with Skylight Music Theatre, Wild Space Dance Company, Hyperlocal MKE, the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project, among other local artists and groups. She has choreographed several times for the Danceworks DanceLAB Get It Out There concert series, and was selected as a presenting choreographer for the 2020 Danceworks’ Emerging Choreographers concert. She has choreographed musical theatre productions for numerous high schools in the Milwaukee-area, and sings with Master Singers of Milwaukee. During the day, Maggie works at the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra on the Advancement team. 

Halle Sivertson

Halle Sivertson is a Milwaukee-based dancer and photographer. She graduated from UW-Milwaukee in 2020 with a degree in Contemporary Dance Performance & Choreography and a minor in Art & Design. Through UWM, she has had the opportunity to create her own choreographic works, as well as collaborate with and perform in the works of many amazing artists, including Daniel Burkholder, Gina Laurenzi, Emma Draves, and Maria Gillespie. She studied as a UWM Undergraduate Research Fellow under the mentorship of Daniel Burkholder, as well as studied abroad in Brazil in 2019 researching dance and music. She is passionate about developing her own movement voice, as well as capturing that of others through photography.

Gabi Sustache

Gabi Sustache, a Milwaukee native, is a performer, choreographer, and dance educator. Shen is a recent graduate from UW-Milwaukee and received her Bachelors of Arts in dance from the program in Spring of 2020. In addition to being a member of Danceworks Performance MKE, she is also a company member with Danceworks On Tap, Danceworks’ resident tap dance company. Gabi enjoys performing with various Milwaukee-based hip hop crews, including S.A.I.N.T.S, and was recently a guest performer with the Gina Laurenzi Dance Project. Her choreography has been featured as part of Danceworks’ DanceLAB concert series Ignite: A Hip Hop Dance Experience from 2013-19, Get It Out There 2016-19, Milwaukee Bucks halftime performances, for several high school musical theatre productions in and around the Milwaukee area and was selected in 2019 to be adjudicated at the American College Dance Association’s North Central Conference. Gabi joined the Danceworks faculty in 2014 where she teaches studio classes. You can also find Gabi teaching in the community for the Danceworks Mad Hot Rhythm program in addition to other workshops and residency work.


Photos by Christal Wagner, Artistic Director

Want to see Danceworks Performance MKE in action? View their current performance season!