Hilary Thomas grew up in Pasadena and trained with The Pasadena Dance Theatre under the direction of Philip and Charles Fuller and Cynthia Young. She earned degrees in dance and psychology from Santa Clara University and continued her dance training with the Joffrey Ballet. Hilary also danced with Western Ballet in Mountain View and Benita Bike’s DanceArt Company in Los Angeles . In 1999 Hilary created Lineage Dance, a contemporary dance company dedicated to raising support and awareness for nonprofit organizations and to making the arts accessible to all. Since that time, Lineage Dance has presented over 300 performances and raised nearly $200,000 dollars for charitable, educational and nonprofit organizations across the country. In 2010 the company opened the Lineage Performing Arts Center in Old Pasadena as a community hub designed to encourage community awareness through the arts. Hilary has earned various awards for her artistic work in the community: the Beverly Hills Outlook selected her as one of top choreographers of 2004 and 2005, she received the “Gold Crown Award” from thePasadena Arts Council in 2006, and was nominated by “THE” Magazine as one ofPasadena’s top 50 creative artists in 2011.
Caterina Mercante (Associate Director) started dancing at the age of 3. She began her training in ballet and jazz with Sabrina and Suzanne Childers in the San Francisco Bay Area. She continued training and performing in Italy with Gruppo Stabile Udinese, under the direction of Elisabetta Ceron and Antonella Cumin, where she was introduced to contemporary ballet and modern dance. From 1996-2000 she trained in jazz, modern, tap and ballet with Fran Atlas-Lara, David Popalisky, and Audrey King. In June 2000 she received a B.A. in Theatre Arts with emphasis in Dance and a B.A. in Italian Literature from Santa Clara University. Caterina has been teaching dance at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada since 2002, and has been dancing with Lineage Dance since 2000. In 2005 Caterina became the Associate Director of Lineage Dance and remains 1 of the 2 founding members still dancing with the company. In 2007 to date she is the coordinator the Pasadena Dance Festival.
Michelle was born in Baltimore, MD. She began studying dance at the age of 6 at the Sudbrook Arts Center. She later attended the Baltimore School for the Arts under the direction of Norma Pera. At this high school she had the opportunity to work with many guest choreographers including Hinton Battle, Mireille Briane, Ron Cunningham, and Lisa de Ribere. While in Baltimore, Michelle performed with Annapolis Ballet, Baltimore Ballet and Harbor City Ballet. She later continued her studies at the S.U.N.Y Purchase Conservatory. Her professors included Rosanna Seravalli, Bettijane Sills, and Gayle Young. The highlight of those four years for her was her Senior thesis performance in which Alan Barnes of The Frankfurt Ballet created a new work on her entitled “KiKisdu.” In 2001 after moving to Los Angeles Michelle danced with Meh-Tropolis Dance Theater for three years, under the direction of Sarah Harkness. Michelle has been a member of Lineage Dance since 2007.
Molly, a native of Elgin, IL, graduated with a BFA in dance from Western Michigan University, magna cum laude. She has performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. with Philadanco Dance Company, the Dance Theater Workshop in New York City, and her choreography was selected to appear in Western Michigan University’s Winter Concert of Dance in 2005. She performed as a dancer and aerial artist for Royal Caribbean International touring Asia and the Caribbean, and served as an assistant rehearsal director to Dianne McIntyre at the American Dance Festival at Duke University. In Los Angeles, Molly has performed with Winifred R. Harris’ Between Lines, Faux Pas Dance Company, Intersection Dance Project and Ptero Dance Theatre. Molly’s Los Angeles choreographic debut, “Damn the Man” was nominated for a Lester Horton Award, and she currently heads the dance program at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada. Molly joined Lineage dance in 2010.
Ericalynn Priolo was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in South Florida. She received her early training at Dreyfoos School of the Arts and attended various dance programs such as Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, the Ailey Extension International Dance Exchange and Dance Makers Choreographic workshop in Toronto, Canada. Ericalynn recieved her BFA in Dance from New World School of the Arts, Miami, Florida. Here she was able to perform works choreographed by Peter London, Gerard Ebitz, Darshan Bhuller and Robert Battle. Priolo was also honored to perform Robert Battles “Battlefield” in the Czech Republic and Peter London’s “Frida” in Puerto Rico. Since moving to Los Angeles, Ericalynn Priolo is a company member with Lineage Dance, Datugan Dance Theater and choreographed her own work in the Mix Match Dance Festival. She is so grateful to be a part of Lineage family.
Teya Wolvington began dancing at the age of twelve when she moved from Portland, Oregon to Santa Fe, New Mexico. After training in both ballet and modern for six years, she attended the Modern Dance Department at the University of Utah. Upon receiving a B.F.A. in 2005, she moved to Los Angeles and has been dancing professionally ever since. She started dancing for Lineage in 2008 and has thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it! She is truly honored to be part of the Lineage family.
Tara Mosier-Coker began her formal training at the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts where she studied with Jean-Marie Martz. She went on to dance with Evergreen City Ballet under the direction of Wade Walthall. She received her B.F.A. at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. While there, she trained with Debrah Wolf, Pat Hon and Wade Madsen, as well as many guest artists. Since receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Seattle at Cornish College of the Arts, Tara was a member of Benita Bike’s DanceArt Company for three seasons and has been dancing with Lineage since 2002.
Meghann Fowler was born and raised in Gleneden Beach, Oregon. She was a company member with Pacific Dance Ensemble in Newport, Oregon for eight years. Meghann graduated with a BFA in Dance and a BS in Communications from Stephens College in Columbia, MO. Upon graduation, Meghann moved to New York City where she worked in commercial production and performed with a variety of modern dance companies at venues such as the Joyce Soho and St. Marks Church. Meghann moved to Los Angeles in 2004 and has continued to work in TV and dance. This is Meghann’s first season with Lineage Dance.
Kristin Brown studied with the School of American Ballet in New York City and the Houston Ballet in Houston, Texas, where she became a company member. Kristin was a winner in the National Arts Competition in dance and a finalist for Presidential Scholar in the Arts. Kristin continues to pursue her passion for dance in Los Angeles. She performed with the Yorke Dance Project for five years, including engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the LA Dance Invitational. She is a graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology where she received a degree in industrial engineering. Kristin currently works as a Resort Producer with Walt Disney Imagineering. This is Kristin’s first season with Lineage Dance.
Danielle Pigneri began her dance training at The Hirschl School of Dance Arts in Anaheim, California. She went on to perform and later teach at the academy for the next fifteen years. In addition, she holds a BFA in Dance from Chapman University. It was there she had the honor of working with several distinguished teachers and choreographers, such as Jennifer Backhaus, Tiffany Billings, Nancy Dickson-Lewis, Molly Lynch, Dale Merrill, Cyrus Parker-Jeannette and Larry Rosenberg. In 2005 she was presented with the Outstanding Performance Award for her work in Tiffany Billings’ “To High Hopes”.
Danielle has served two seasons as the assistant choreographer for the annual Glory of Christmas, held each year at the Crystal Cathedral. She is currently the assistant dance director at Laguna Beach High School where she teaches classes in classical ballet and contemporary dance. This is Danielle’s first season performing with Lineage Dance.