These are various dance projects and performances in which I have participated.  Many of them are from my classes as a dance student at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.  Some of them are just fun side projects I volunteered for in the local Denver community.  Enjoy!


Jealous (Retro 80’s routine performed with the Denver Diamond Dolls!)

This performance was my debut as a member of the Denver Diamond Dolls dance troupe!  I was so nervous!  Fortunately, it seemed to turn out okay.  It had been a goal of mine to dance with a well known local dance team, and this time I got that opportunity.  I would love to dance with them again sometime, but for now, I must prioritize some other things.

Check out the Denver Diamond Dolls at

Performing dancers:  Reese Dewey, Britt Ney, Q Chris Sumner, & Dana Yost

Choreographed by Melissa Mullins

Performed at the Mercury Cafe in Denver, CO.

Butterfly (バタフライ)

This performance was a project I created for my dance improvisation class.  We needed to come up with a style of dance that had certain parameters, but was not choreographed.  I chose to create a Japanese theme for my dance improvisation because my other Major degree program was Japanese.  I took some simple dance movements I had learned through a Japanese ensemble class as well as from my experiences living in Okinawa while I was in the military, and I fused them together in a random order that was not planned.  Most Japanese dances tell a story or revolve around some kind of daily life imagery.  My dance does not tell a story, but simply meshes parts of those stories together in a spontaneous order.  I do hope it is not considered culturally insensitive to create an improvised dance such as this, but it turned out quite well I think, and everyone seemed to like it.  I hope my Japanese friends like it too!

I chose the song “Butterfly” off of a Japanese album I purchased in Okinawa, Japan, sung by an artist named Kaera.

Performed by Dana Yost at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

Dirty Painting

This is a fun project for which I volunteered. An art student needed to do a final project for her class and advertised to the dance department that she would like dancers who would like to dance with paint! What she had in mind was to cover the dancers with different colors of paint and have them dance on a large canvass. She wanted to have this art performed in various styles of dance. She gathered enough dancers to represent a total of five styles of dance; Modern, Flamenco Fusion, Contact Improvisation, Hip Hop/B-Boy, & Swing. I, of course, performed Swing with my dance partner, Blair Daniel. It was quite a challenge! That canvass was really slippery with paint and made it difficult to keep our footing!

We chose an electro-swing song called, “Old Records” by Jamie Berry.

Performed at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

The Middle Way

This was an interesting dance performance for me. It basically combined contemporary/modern dance with aerial dance and told a Buddhist story. It’s a bit hard to pick up on the story plot without knowing the background I think, but I’ll explain.

The music was composed by Aidan Patrick Cook, who is Buddhist and wanted to create a Buddhist piece to perform for his class project. He asked one of the dance MFA students who does aerial dancing to choreograph a performance to tell the story behind his music. I had just started learning aerial dance, so I jumped at the opportunity to use it!

The story is about the young Buddha (forgot his original name off hand…) before he became enlightened. The center column of fabric represents a tree which Buddha sits beneath to meditate. While trying to meditate, he is visited by mischievous spirits that try to distract him, mock him and torment him. These spirits dance around him not letting him meditate in peace. Eventually through the course of the dance, the young Buddha finds his inner peace and is able to block out the spirits’ taunting and stay focused. The spirits eventually leave him alone and end their mocking behavior with one last elaborate display from the far sides. The end.

Original Composition by Aidan Cook
Choreography by Sonya Smith with the dancers
Performed by Michelle Bernier, Alex Carlson, Lily Minkowitz, Ally Thompson and Dana Yost.

Performed at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

Aerial Improvisation

This was a beginning Aerial Dance class and for this performance I was told to improvise movement to music using the floor, the trapeze and all the space in between.  I think I did okay, for a beginner!

Performed by Dana Yost at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.

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