South Shore Dance Alliance

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Support SSDA

SUPPORT South Shore Dance Alliance


To donate by mail, make your check payable to South Shore Dance Alliance and mail to: South Shore Dance Alliance, 201 N. Griffith Blvd., Griffith, IN 46319.


Make a secure, online contribution to the South Shore Dance Alliance via PayPal by clicking the button below: 


Ellen Szarleta


Interim Director of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Urban and Regional Excellence, Associate Professor in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. Ellen has focused her work on facilitating and supporting collaborative initiatives that improve the region’s quality of life including economic, cultural and environmental collaborations.  She holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural  Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a J.D. from the University of Iowa.

Michal Davis


B.A. Social Services Indiana University. Dance instructor at the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts from 1986 - 2013. Studied ballet, modern, and jazz at Indiana University, ballet at The Ruth Page Dance Center, Horton and Graham technique at Joseph Holmes in Chicago. 

Larry Brewer

Executive Director and Founder South Shore Dance Alliance

B.S. Communications/Sociology St. Joseph College Calumet. Studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and West African Dance at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana and Dance Theater of Harlem, The Alvin Ailey School, and the Chuck Davis African American Dance Company in New York. Since 2000, he has been a full-time dance instructor at the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Gary, teaching ballet, modern dance (Horton Technique), jazz, and West African dance. Brewer recently received the Quality of Life Council Sustainability Award (2009) and was an Education 2010 finalist in the College Mentors for Kids: Inspire/Power of Mentoring Awards.



South Shore Dance Alliance is designated as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.


SSDA gratefully acknowledges the generous support of many organizations and individuals, the John S. and James L. Knight Donor Advised Fund administered by the Legacy Foundation; South Shore Arts with support from the Indiana Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency; LOK Wishing Tree Foundation; Unity Foundation of LaPorte County; Sheila Fortune Foundation; Kappa, Kappa, Kappa; Miller Community Fund; Accucraft Imaging; Office of Community and School Partnerships Indiana University Bloomington; The Dean and Barbara White Foundation; Bauer Latoza Studios; and Lee Construction, Inc.



Advisors to the BOARD

Teshezia M. George, MPA

Director of New Generation Youth & Family Services

B.S., Continuing Studies, MPA Public Management, Indiana University. Teshezia is a devoted wife, mother of four children and guardian of her nephew, which range in age from 7 to 20. Teshezia has been an avid parent volunteer for her kids’ schools, and many sports and performing arts activities for the last 16 years, and has held five board positions through the years. She has worked in the social services field working with youth and families for the last 18 years, and is currently working on her MSW degree. Teshezia is proud to finally have a dancer at SSDA, after two generations of singers and musicians were family attributes.

Peggy Glennie

B.A., Valparaiso University (Speech and Drama), M.A., Purdue University Calumet (Communication). Peggy is a licensed teacher for grades 9-12 in Speech, Theatre and English and has taught at Indiana University Northwest and Purdue University North Central as well as Crown Point, Highland and Munster high schools. She was a reading specialist at Wadsworth Elementary School in Griffith. Peggy has directed the musicals West Side Story and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat for Highland Parks Department Summer Theatre Program and will be directing The Runner Stumbles (fall 2015) for Genesius Guild in Hammond. She also plays clarinet and writes the narration for Highland Community Band concerts. She is author of two books (The Isle of Iona and Everybody Loves Amy, under the pseudonym of Paula Evans) and former copy editor/page designer for the Post-Tribune.

Angela C. Johnson

Detrice Smith Richardson

Kathy Rueskin

Manager, Griffith Central Market

After devoting nearly two decades to her family and home, Kathy had turned her attention and talents outward. She is dedicated to helping students enrich their math skills. She donates much of her time to community projects, in particular the development and ongoing management of Griffith Central Market. She directs her creativity toward projects that influence positive change, promote diversity, and create enriching experiences for young people.

Nancy Niequist Schoon

Marketing Director, South Shore Dance Alliance

Founder and Creative Director, Creatives for Good

B.S. Business (Marketing/Advertising) Indiana University. Former Sr. Creative Director, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, and owner of Creatives for Good, a creative partner for small and startup nonprofits, and Miller Beach Creative, a freelance design company in Gary. Nancy manages print, social, and online communications for SSDA. Email her at

Anna Toledo 

General Manager, Mi Tierra, Griffith, IN

B.S. in Industrial Engineering Technology, Purdue University

Having served as one of the head volunteers at Indiana Youth Ballet, Anna now serves as a parent representative to the SSDA board and as the SSDA office manager. Her daughters, Jesse and Magdalena, dance with SSDA. Email Anna at

Roger Jeffrey

Creative Director, Subtle Changes/Principal Dancer, Metropolitan Opera Ballet

Roger C. Jeffrey was born in New York City where he began his training at Bernice Johnson Cultural Arts Center. A graduate of Performing Arts High School, he received his B.F.A. from The Juilliard School. Jeffrey performed in the companies of Bernice Johnson, Martial Roumain, Kevin Iega Jeff, Twyla Tharp, Lar Lubovitch, Zvi Gotheiner and with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s White Oak Dance Project.  

Martha C. Bohn

Professor Emeritus, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University

Martha has served on many advisory boards for scientific societies, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and was President of the Society for Neural Therapy and Repair and the Chicago Chapter for the Society for Neuroscience. She is co-founder of the biotechnology company MedGenesis Therapeutix. She holds a Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Connecticut.

Nina Turner

Employment Specialist/Facilitator, Workforce Development Services

B.S., Continuing Studies, Indiana University Northwest. Experienced in instructional design, curriculum development and teaching job training and readiness skills to diverse populations in the community, Nina has also been involved in dance and the arts for many years.

Eric Dean Spruth

B.S., M.S., Art Therapy, School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Eric is an art therapist with the Cook County Bureau of Mental Health, and former professor at the Adler School of Professional Psychology Art Therapy program, His nonprofit foundation, Sacred Transformations, works with the art therapy/tattoo augmentation process. 

South Shore Dance Alliance