Sarah Hixon is a choreographer, dance educator, and performer. She holds a BFA in Dance from George Mason University where she received the faculty award for "Excellence in Choreography." She also holds an MFA from The Ohio State University where she focused on choreographic techniques, studying with Bebe Miller, Susan Rethorst, Vera Blaine, John Giffin, and Vicki Uris. She has trained with The Washington Ballet, The Princeton Ballet, The Milwaukee Ballet, and others.
Ms. Hixon has over 25 years of experience as a performer, and 15 years as a dance educator. She has taught for OSU, American College Dance Festival, BalletMet, Wittenburg University, New Albany Ballet Company, Dublin Dance Center, Columbus City Ballet, & the OhioDance Festival among others. She has recently performed her original choreographic work for the Wexner Center for the Arts, GroundShare Arts Alliance, The National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, and several public school districts in central Ohio.
Dancer, Rehearsal Director
Victoria Alesi is originally from Arlington Heights, IL, and grew up dancing at McDonald Dance Academy under direction of Linda McDonald. She graduated from The Ohio State University in 2016 with a BFA in Dance, a BA in World Economics and Business, and a minor in Spanish. Victoria has been a company member and instructor with Hixon Dance since 2018, and currently serves as Rehearsal Director.
Victoria has trained at NDI New Mexico Teaching-Excellence and has continued to choreograph and teach in Columbus and Chicago. Beyond dance, Victoria is the Development Associate for Huckleberry House. She is also a Columbus Foundation Summer Fellow and a YWCA Leadership for Social Change alumni.
Jacob Reed began composing at the Durham School of the Arts. He received his Bachelors of Music Education, and Masters degrees in both Music Composition and Music Theory from the Ohio State University. During his time there, he received numerous commissions from both musicians and choreographers to create new music. His electroacoustic work "Five Sculptures in Sound" was selected for the 2007 Spark Festival.
He was the recipient of an Emerging Artist Fellowship from the OSU Arts Initiative, and an evening of his work was presented by the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington. In 2011, he released "Songs of Dusk" - a CD of original jazz arrangements and compositions. Recently, he was commissioned to create a new work for the Columbus Bicentennial celebration "Finding Time." He currently works professionally as a music educator, free-lance composer, jazz drummer, and dance accompanist. His jazz trio frequently plays at venues throughout central Ohio.
Dancer, Teaching Artist
Julia Ayau is a freelance choreographer, yoga and meditation teacher, and professional dancer performing with Hixon Dance Company and as an Odissi classical Indian dance soloist. She began her education in Virginia studying dance, drama, and music before earning her BFA in Dance Research and Choreography at The Ohio State University. She has trained in ballet, contemporary, urban/hip-hop, Jazz funk, modern, and classical Odissi Indian dance, and has studied performance techniques at Millennium Dance Complex, dance composition under Doug Varone, and classical performance under Guru Paushali Mukherjee and Kaustavi Sarkar. She has also performed with Jimmy Ortiz in San Jose, Costa Rica, under Guru Paushali Mukherjee in Kolkata, India, and at the televised 2018 Gospel Superfest Awards. She currently teaches and performs with various groups, choreographs for videos and events, and teaches at multiple yoga studios throughout the greater Columbus area.
Dancer, Teaching Artist
Dancer, Teaching Artist
Alicia Hann began her dance training at Dublin Dance Center, and pursued her study of modern dance at Ohio University where she received a BFA in modern dance performance and choreography. She is a choreographer and performer for The Movement Mission, a nonprofit that raises money for melanoma research, providing unique opportunities to develop work and collaborate with women in all walks of life. She is also a Dancing Mindfulness Facilitator, certified through The Institute for Creative Mindfulness and Mindful Ohio. She was introduced to the practice by trauma therapist, Dr. Jamie Marich. Dancing Mindfulness is a form of conscious dance which incorporates meditation, improvisation, music, and community. Alicia has had the privilege of facilitating at Amethyst Inc, a treatment center which helps recovering drug and alcohol dependent women and their families. Alicia is currently dancing in Columbus with CoMo (Columbus Modern Dance Company) and Hixon Dance as well as freelancing. She has worked with various choreographers from around the country. Notably, Miki Orihari, principal dancer from the Martha Graham Company in a reconstruction of Graham’s early works ‘Heretic’. She has also worked with Kelsey Bartman of Texture Contemporary Ballet, Hannah Williamson of MamLuft&Co. Dance, and was a guest artist for Alexandra Bodnarchuk’s ‘Something Pretty’ premiering at the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburg. She currently teaches dance at Dublin Dance Center.
Originally from Chicago, Danielle began her dance training at the age of 5. She went on to pursue a B.F.A. in Dance and Minor in Education from The Ohio State University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Distinction in Dance. While at OSU, she performed in works by Ann Sofie Clemmensen, Crystal Michelle Perkins, and Edward Taketa. Additionally, Danielle has spent two summers at American Dance Festival where she performed in work by Ronald K. Brown. Throughout her years at OSU, Danielle not only deepened her love of the art form, but also developed a passion for social change, leadership, and activism. Her Senior thesis involved the creation of a weekly dance class for sexual violence survivors. She currently teaches over 100 students in the Columbus area at various dance studios and elementary schools. In all her work, Danielle aims to bring positivity to others and she believes that dance has the power to heal, strengthen, and bring people together.
Rachael Riggs Leyva
Rachael Riggs Leyva is a dance notator, educator, scholar, and performer. She has taught for Denison University, The Ohio State University, and CATCOisKids, and presented research at CORD/SDHS, Dance Studies Association, International Council of Kinetography Laban, and Trinity/LABAN. She earned a PhD in Dance and Literacy Studies, and an MFA in Dance Documentation from The Ohio State University. Her favorite performances include the role of “Caller” in Trisha Brown’s Sololos (directed by Abigail Yager), The Magic Flute (Project Opera Manhattan), and Within the Interstice (Hixon Dance). She currently serves as Education Director for the Company.
Dancer, Teaching Artist
Jasmine Shafley grew up dancing from a young age in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois. Since graduating high school and dancing for Marjorie Jones School of Dance's competitive team, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Dance and a minor in Somatic Studies from Ohio University. While in school, she performed in works such as Leslie Dworkin's "Rise" and Nathan Andary's "The weight of square" as well as numerous student works. Jasmine has taught Yoga and Pilates courses for Ohio University, taught ballet at Factory Street Studio in Athens, OH, participated in Now & Next Mentoring project in Boone NC, and attended The Movement Project's summer professional intensive in Cleveland, OH. As an early childhood educator, Jasmine currently teaches our youngest dancers.
Morgan McFarlan McGee
Morgan McFarlan is a native of Oak Harbor, OH and began her dance training there at Class “A” Studio of Performing Arts. Under the direction of Mrs. Violet Fox and Ms. Paula Fox-Ferguson, she studied ballet, jazz, tap, gymnastics, and Irish step dancing for 14 years. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Wright State University. There she performed in many student, faculty, and guest artist pieces, including four winter faculty concerts, Cabaret (dance captain), and several Arts Galas. She also choreographed for the main stage production of As You Like It. Her senior piece was selected to be performed at the American College Dance Festival. She has taught dance in Florida, South Carolina, and Ohio and is a licensed massage therapist. She has been with Hixon Dance since 2009.
Rachael Wieczorek is a dancer, choreographer, and collaborator. She grew up in Carol Stream, Illinois dancing at Millennium Dance Center. Rachael continued her training at Ball State University where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance, graduating summa cum laude. There, she worked closely with Sidra Bell to create an evening length work alongside her company, as well as performing in a brand new ballet developed through a student immersive project. After graduation she moved to Indianapolis, IN where she joined Crossroads Dance Indy and danced for regional choreographers in various freelance projects. Recent credits include: Celebration Yuletide (Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra), Becoming Mary (RAD Fest 2019), and The Compilation (Columbus Arts Festival). Through experience and self exploration, Rachael found inspiration with pedestrian movement that allows her to create a physical movement vocabulary that explores dynamic intensities and diverse textural capacities of movement.