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


Director of the Indiana University Northwest Center for Urban and Regional Excellence, 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. 

Melli Hoppe

Vice President

Melli Hoppe is a Nationally Credentialed Teaching Artist with Young Audiences Arts for Learning. She has a B.A. in Dance from Columbia College in Chicago, a MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College in Vermont, and received a Teaching Artist Certificate from Teachers College at Columbia University. She was the Artistic Director of Susurrus, an Indianapolis based not-for-profit performance group, from 1993-2013.


Stephanie Dowel






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


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.


Briana Arthur



Janet Givens


Kenneth Karlstedt


Joice Kelly


Akilia McCain


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. Nancy manages print, social, and online communications for SSDA. Email her at








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.


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.


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.

South Shore Dance Alliance