Core Members


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Shannon Pedigo Efteland

Shannon received her dance training at the Irma Witt O'Fallon School for the Dancer and at the University of Tennessee. During her studies to pursue a B.S. in Agriculture and M.S. in Microbiology, she found time for dance, including master classes with Momix, Ailey II and the American Repertory Ballet. She has performed with the Appalachian Ballet Jr. Company and the UT Dance Company and has performance and choreography credits with Circle Modern Dance and Momentum Dance Lab. For 20 years, Shannon has been teaching dance and movement classes in East Tennessee. A founding member of MDL, Shannon serves on the Board of Directors and continues to teach, perform, and choreograph for the company.

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Gururas Khalsa

Gururas Khalsa was born and raised in Knoxville, TN where she began dancing at age four at Dancer's Studio. After high school, she moved to Boston where she spent a year dancing with Green Street Studios under the tutelage of Marcus Schulkind. She received a Minor in Dance Performance from the University of Tennessee where she was a member of the UT Dance Company. She had the opportunity to perform works by renowned choreographers, including Nathan Trice, and four original pieces by Martha Graham. Gururas has been teaching and choreographing since age eighteen and joined MDL in 2014 where she has continued these endeavors as part of the Core Company.

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Jamie Kuntz

Jamie is an athlete with sporadic and varied dance training. Her first experience dancing was when she was 4 years old with a small, Israeli folk dance group. As she grew up, she cycled through international folk dancing, gymnastics, interpretive dance, modern, jazz, and ballet. During her middle and high school years, Jamie toured nationally and internationally as an original member of For Zion’s Sake children’s dance troupe. Later, she toured and performed as a young member of the Benote Tzion Israeli and International Dance team. While on tours, Jamie was often used as a core dancer in partnering companies and performed alongside professional dancers. After being away from dance for several years, Jamie was thrilled to find Momentum Dance Lab and joined the company in 2016. She is excited to be dancing as an adult and hopes to further grow and improve as an MDL member.

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Ashley Wagner

Ashley Wagner moved to Knoxville, TN from Illinois in 2007 and has been loving life in the South ever since. Her performance experience comes largely from the worlds of color guard and marching band. At age 11, Ashley began performing with indoor and outdoor color guard groups in Illinois, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Since 2007 she has enjoyed teaching various groups in all three states. She is also a core member of Circle Modern Dance in Knoxville, and loves teaching, choreographing, and studying all forms of modern dance. Ashley currently works for Oak Ridge City Schools.

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Brynn Yeager

Brynn Yeager is very excited to continue her life of dance as a member of Momentum Dance Lab (MDL). She has been dancing since she was seven years old and has been with MDL since 2013. Growing up in Knoxville, Brynn danced and performed with the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble at Dancer's Studio and the BOSS Dance Company at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. At UTK, Brynn studied community based mindfulness and meditation. Keeping dance creativity and movement at the forefront of her life, Brynn teaches at Riversong Dance Studio as well as choreographs and performs as a guest artist for other local dance companies.


Associate Artists


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Lisa Holden

Lisa has been dancing since she was in the womb. She grew up in Knoxville and trained with several wonderful instructors including Christian Addams, Jill Hollingsworth, and Ginger Mynatt. Despite being painfully shy, she discovered she could combine her love of dance and performing with the enjoyment of travel and seeing new places, from dance festivals in New Hampshire and Maine to a year at the Florida School of the Arts near St. Augustine to a trip to India. Lisa studied for two years at Temple University in Philadelphia under Philip Grosser and Hellmut Gottschild but returned to Knoxville to receive her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee. While at UT, she danced with Circle Modern Dance. After graduating, she spent many years in San Francisco where she danced with Yasmen Mehta, Joe Landini, Christine Cali, and Kate Corby. Lisa has been back in Knoxville since 2008 and is happy to have found Momentum Dance Lab.

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Maricela Magaña

Maricela Magaña began dancing at Dancer's Studio under the instruction of Irena Linn at age 5. Not long after she realized her love for dance, she joined the Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble. While with the Ensemble, Maricela had the opportunity to perform nationally and internationally. After graduating high school in 2014, she went to study dance at the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA. In 2015 Maricela decided to move back to Knoxville, TN. Still seeking to foster her love for dance, she auditioned for Momentum Dance Lab and has been with the company since 2016.

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Amanda mahde

Amanda Bolli has been dancing for over 30 years and enjoys traveling throughout the country teaching dance workshops and performing. Well versed in many international dance forms, Amanda blends elements from ancient folkloric dance and modern movement to create a seamless narrative for the audiences she engages. Amanda had the opportunity to train alongside MDL director Shannon Efteland when she was in high school and Shannon was in college.

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Darby O’Connor

Darby O’Connor has been an active member of the Knoxville dance community for many years. Her training began at a young age at Studio Arts for Dancers where she is now on faculty teaching modern and ballet since 2012 and as an administrative assistant since 2017. In 2004, Darby was a founding member of Studio Arts’ contemporary ballet company, GO! Contemporary Dance Works. Today, she works as a choreographer and guest artist for the company. In 2002, Darby began working with Circle Modern Dance (CMD) as a guest artist in their annual production of Modern Dance Primitive Light and has since become a core member, fulfilling administrative duties, while continuing to dance, choreograph and teach for the company. Darby studied dance at Middle Tennessee State University from 2010 to 2011, performing with MTSU Dance Theater. While at MTSU, she began working with Core Project Chicago, a professional company based in Chicago directed by Erin Rehberg. With Core Project Chicago, Darby toured and performed at many Fringe Festivals across the country during the summer of 2011. She worked with Core Project as Company Manager and Associate Artist until the organization dissolved in 2016. During the 2015-2017 seasons, Darby worked as a modern dance choreographer with the University of Tennessee Dance Society’s BOSS Dance Company. She joined Momentum Dance Lab in 2017. Darby attended the American Dance Festival (ADF) 2018 winter intensive and is looking forward to continued growth within the ADF culture.


Apprentices


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Emily Hampton

Emily discovered her love of dance in middle school. She took ballet, hip-hop, and tap for a few years, then took a hiatus through high school and college. In 2017, Emily took a leap and started taking lyrical dance at a local studio. After a great year of building lyrical technique and wondering why she ever stopped dancing, Emily ventured into modern dance and is grateful to be dancing with Momentum Dance Lab!

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Stephanie Miller

Stephanie, a Nashville native, began her dance training at the age of five. She completed her early dance training of tap, ballet, jazz, and modern under the direction of former Nikolais and Louis company member, Kaylee Cahoon, at Franklin School of Performing Arts. In 2017, Stephanie choreographed and had her work performed at Franklin School of Performing Art’s 25th Anniversary Dance Concert and the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project. Stephanie is now a student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and she is majoring in Kinesiology. She is thrilled to continue nurturing her love for modern dance with Momentum Dance Lab!

Kelli Hudson

Bio coming soon!