Sunday, June 17, 2007

More About Shauna Noland

Blogging So You Think You Can Dance welcomes our first contributing blogger, Lord Cirque.

Shauna Noland and Unity Dance Ensemble by LordCirque

"Shauna is one of the most brilliant dancers that I've ever had the pleasure of working with. Her limits are endless and she astounds me time after time. She truly enjoys dance and has so much power in her movement. Her work ethic and kindness are genuine and inspiring."

~ Tessandra Chavez when asked about Shauna Noland's talent and abilities as a dancer.

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Shauna Noland had made the Top 20 on Season 3 of So You Think You Can Dance. I was even more surprised when I learned that she is now a member of a growing Jazz and Hip Hop company in Southern California that I’ve admired and followed extensively since I first saw them perform in the summer of 2004.

About two years ago, a friend of mine pointed her out to me as someone worth watching on the Hall of Fame site when she performed her solo to Hyperballad by Bjork. I was immediately hooked and knew she was one to watch.

A year later, I was once again even more impressed by her when she performed her new solo, State of Emergency at the same competition.

Earlier this year, Shauna met Tessandra Chavez while she was teaching on the LA Elite Convention circuit. Tessandra is instructor at the world famous EDGE, Debbie Reynolds, and Debbie Allen in Los Angeles, as well as the founder and artistic director of Unity Dance Ensemble, a company based in San Diego and Los Angeles. The San Diego company was founded in 1994, with their first show in 1997. In 2005, Tessie, as she is more commonly known, moved to LA and began Unity LA. Unity San Diego is more based in Contemporary and Lyrical choreography while Unity LA is based more in Hip Hop, but both companies perform all styles, often combining them within the same piece. Tessie’s choreography has won numerous awards, including a Silver Leo for her original work “Trance” at the 2004 World Jazz Dance Congress and an Honorable Mention for “Crazy” at the 2005 World Jazz Dance Congress. Tessie’s work is known for requiring a high level of technique, as well as a passion for dance, and a lot of power, strength, and endurance.

Shauna eventually became Tessie's assistant and a company member of Unity LA, where she has been working with choreographers Craig Holloman, David Ross, and Jaffar Smith, as well as Tessandra.

If fact, when Shauna auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance, she auditioned using a solo choreographed by Tessandra Chavez and was told by Shane Sparks “You’re a very powerful dancer and I could watch you all day.”

To learn more about Unity, visit their website

Included are some videos from Unity’s show “Red Carpet” and the junior companies show, Unity 2. Both were held in 2006.

“One Man’s Karma” choreography by Tessandra Chavez


“Vampires” choreography by Tessandra Chavez


“Only You” Concept by Sara Sepich. Choreography by Tessandra Chavez, Cecili Chadwick, Sheryl Diaz, Kristina Euperio, Sara Sepich, and Anjelica "Jeli" Wilson.


“Spread” by Craig Holloman

Hip Hop

If you are interested in seeing Unity Dance Ensemble perform live, they will be performing in San Diego, CA July 20th-July 22nd.

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