UPside Collaborators 

Christy McNeil Chand has enjoyed life as a dancer since hairage three training at a studio just outside of Seattle. A recipient of a full scholarship granted by the Kreielsheimer Foundation, she studied at Cornish College of the Arts where she earned her B.F.A. in Dance. Her choreography has been commissioned by multiple universities, theatre companies, pageants, and the Sea Gals NFL cheerleaders. Performing credits include 17 years with Colorado’s Interweave Dance Theatre, and also Royal Caribbean International, Microsoft, Chamber Dance Company, and the Rudolf Nureyev Ballet Festival in Kazan, Russia. She has over 20 years of teaching experience and has been faculty for the internationally-known Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop since 2000. Christy holds an M.F.A. in Dance from University of Washington and is an associate professor at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo where she directs the Cal Poly Orchesis Dance Company. (Guest Choreographer ‘Family REunion’ for premier of ‘Family Album’ 2019)

12440265_10154195507592176_7148200739103205239_oMrDecember is a Folk-Stomp band from Sonoma County, CA, with Jimmy Horn on ukelele & banjo, Andy Tester on upright bass, Jesse Shantor on saxophone and Scott Knippelmeier on trombone. With over 80 original songs, Mr December has 4 albums including ‘Dust’ and ‘Molehair'(2018) that have been heard on the radio throughout California.  Blending sounds of old-time, rag, bluegrass, swing, country and folk, colored with a punk rock edge, MrDecember brings a unique flavor to the Sonoma County Roots/Americana scene.


Edsel Mac Head ShotEdsel Mac is a comedian, artist, educator and all around funny man. Born and raised in Sonoma County, the youngest of 5, Edsel’s love and passion for stand up started late nights, as a kid, sneaking into the living room while his parents watched Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor. Edsel memorized every bit, line by line, and would gather his friends around a large rock in the schoolyard and recite his favorite jokes, to his friends’ amazement. Edsel Mac honed his comedy skills on the back of the school bus, tearing into friends and foes alike, which later became the back of the Cal Rugby team bus as an undergrad at UC Berkeley, until eventually getting his first big break at the famed Purple Onion in San Francisco, CA. Edsel Mac claims to be nothing more than a mere story teller: weaving hysterical tales from teaching elementary school, stories about his mother and special-needs aunt chain-smoking marijuana and arguing, or merely about being Gay in a city that cherishes its tiny twinks when you’re “built like a White-Samoan.” The Godfather of SF Comedy Tony Sparks once stated: “I host a lot of shows and I get to see a lot of brand new talent and this guy [Edsel Mac] is my hero.”

folk musical instruments drawing setLeah JoyLeah Joy is a singer/songwriter and has been performing for 20 years. She works in the healing arts as an energy worker and sound healer. When she isn’t singing you can find her on the beach or playing cards with her ten year old daughter.’

director of Deyo Dances, is a dancer (Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Los Angeles Chamber Ballet, Dennis Wayne’s Dancers), teacher (New York City, St. Petersburg-Russia, Barcelona-Spain, Vail- Colorado, Chicago-Illinois, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo) and choreographer  (International Competition of Classical Choreography/Nouveau Festival International de Danse de Paris finalist, ART INSPIRES! individual artist’s grant recipient, plus site specific works performed in grocery stores, galleries and city streets across the globe.  (Guest Choreographers ‘Anatomy of Happiness’ 2017 with the piece ‘Ode to Joy’)
Ali BouzariAli Bouzari is a culinary scientist, author, educator, and co-founder of Pilot R+D, a culinary research and development company based in northern California. As a chef with a Ph.D. in food biochemistry, Ali has helped to lead the charge in changing the way we think about cooking by teaching and developing curriculum at top universities, from ivy league schools to the Culinary Institute of America, and collaborating with the country’s most innovative restaurants including Benu, Eleven Madison Park, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. His book, Ingredient: Unveiling the Essential Elements of Food, is out now. (Guest Speaker ‘Anatomy of Happiness’)

imgresXerxes Whitney is a dynamic speaker. He will inspire a breakthrough in your audience’s attitude and passion with his authentic message.Born with a mild form of cerebral palsy which affects muscle coordination, Xerxes has embraced his challenges and spiritedly encourages others to do so as well. He has a unique attitude which he applies to turning his ordeals into great opportunities. Fifteen years ago he faced considerable resistance attaining his dream job as a college tennis coach and pledged to himself not to let prejudice and discrimination get in his way. Looking for answers, Xerxes started writing and sharing his poetry about his internal and external challenges. And in 1999, Xerxes self-published his first book called “What’s Your Name?” He discovered that the more he shared about his vulnerabilities, the more he gained a sense of control and power over his life. He was owning his circumstance and life started to blossom.Xerxes was hired at Windsor Middle School in 2000 where he has taught physical education to more than 2,500 students. He spearheaded the building of a climbing wall at their gym and has been named Teacher of the Year and High School Tennis Coach of the Year in the Sonoma County League. He is an avid runner who has completed five marathons.  Xerxes’ presentation is honest, funny, and engaging. (Collaborator ‘Anatomy of Happiness 2017)


IMG_0370Leilana Pueliu has been dancing ever since she can remember. She was a competition dancer at S.S. Dance Express studio in Livermore, CA where she trained in ballet, tap, modern, jazz, and hip-hop. After taking a hiatus in her late-teens and early 20’s, Leilana returned to dance at the collegiate level. She’s danced at Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, danced and choreographed for the Santa Rosa Junior College Fall dance show, and was a member of the U.N.I.T. hip-hop performance crew. Currently, she attends Sonoma State where she’ll be dancing in their 2017 spring performance ‘Waiting in Seoul, Walking in Tokyo’ choreographed by members of the SF company Cali & Co. As an artist, Leilana loves to express herself through various modalities such as music, painting, drawing, crafts, and cooking. She teaches yoga throughout Sonoma County and will be graduating May 2017 with her Bachelor’s in Psychology.  Leilana has performed with UPside since 2015. (Guest performer and vocalist ‘Anatomy of Happiness’ 2017)

unnamedKeith and Shunya Anding…. Artists, life-coach, meditation guides, architects, nurturing souls. (Collaborator Wildlands Art residency 2016, ‘Anatomy of Happiness’ 2017)



IMG_4396Albert Casselhoff– Film Maker in Wildlands Art Residency 2016.

See Documentary on UPside Residency:


Tim Casson ( UK) Originally from Harrogate in Yorkshire, Tim trained at The BRIT School static1.squarespaceand Bird College before completing an MA in Contemporary Dance at London Contemporary Dance School. He has performed extensively for Jasmin Vardimon Company as well as for Nigel Charnock and Katie Green. He has also featured in various music videos, commercials and the movie ‘World War Z’.Tim regularly leads educational projects for Sadler’s Wells and other organisations, and has worked extensively with The National Youth Dance Company. Tim has been a Catalyst Artist at dancedigital, is currently an Associate Artist at Pavilion Dance South West, and created the World Record Breaking online performance project, ‘The Dance WE Made’.As well as directing Casson & Friends, Tim works extensively in education and also choreographs for stage, television and opera. (Tim Collaborated with UPside in ‘Projected Forest’ and ‘all.things.PAPER’ 2016)


Amanda Kreglow 
IMG_5232-2  Amanda trained in the Humphrey-Weidman technique of Contemporary Dance under Harriette Ann Gray. She studied at the Martha Graham School, and danced with Fred Mathews and Gary Masters in New York City. In Sonoma County, Amanda produced dance concerts for six years featuring the work of numerous local Contemporary Dance choreographers, including her own, in the “Amanda Kreglow Presents Dance By…” series. Her work was recently featured in TED Talks Live production filmed in New York City and will be part of their broadcast on PBS in the spring.(collaborator & Choreographer in ‘Chrysalis’2015 and ‘all.things.PAPER’ 2016)

Watta Ribas (Collaboration all.things.PAPER 2016) has danced and choreographed in the Bay Area and around the United States IMG_0134for the past 25 years.  After receiving a degree in dance from the University of California at Santa Cruz, she studied with Mark Morris, Joe Goode, Janice Garrett, Susan Klein, Romana Kryzanowska and Mercy Sidbury.  She also had the pleasure of dancing for Chris Black in the Potrzebie Dance Company and with Ken James in The Fellow Travelers Group in San Francisco.  Watta danced and choreographed for SoCo Dance Theater.  She recently premiered her latest site-specific work, “Subject to Change,” May/2013, at the Sebastopol Public Library.   Along with raising her 3 children, Watta currently teaches Pilates and runs her own studio, The Pilates Box, in Sebastopol, Ca.Watta stumbled upon the lovelies, Kate and Tanya of Upside Dance Company, Spring of 2013 performing in their premier of “Strum.”  WAtta choreographer , “Paper Odyssey” collaboration 2016.

Diana Stanton (Collaboration all.things.PAPER 2016) is an Associate Professor of Dance at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, CA, and she IMG_0506directs the Dance Program within the Theatre and Dance Department. She directed the program’s Orchesis Dance Company from 2009-2014 and has choreographed for Cal Poly Music department’s RSVP and Cal Poly Symphony.  Diana also is also the Co-Founder, Co-Artistic Director, and Administrative Director of Variable Velocity Performance Group in San Luis Obispo, CA. She created significant original choreography and multi-media dances with Variable Velocity the past 12 years. She received an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a B.A. in Dance from the University of California, Irvine. Her choreography has been presented professionally in many venues including: Jumpbrush Pacific Dance Convergence, San Luis Obispo, CA; Choreography Under the Stars at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert; UC Irvine; CU Boulder Boulder; Jazz Dance Workshop; Dancers for Life, a benefit for AIDS at Riverside Community College; Cal Poly; Allan Hancock College; the L.A. Open Festival; and several American College Dance Festivals throughout the U.S. In addition to teaching at Cal Poly, Diana has also taught classes and Master Classes at Riverside Community College, Allan Hancock College, PCPA, Cuesta College, CU Boulder and the Boulder Jazz Dance Workshop. She was a founding member and Artist for the first Jumpbrush Pacific Dance Convergence in San Luis Obispo, CA in 2010, and again for the festival in 2012 where she was a featured performer in Joe Goode’s “Excerpts from When Things Fall Apart.” Diana focuses on released athleticism, contact improvisation and inverted techniques in her teaching and choreography. (Choreographer ‘All.Things.Paper’ 2016′)

CylanDance2Cylan Schaffer… Film Maker, ‘Projected Forest’ and Petaluma Film Festival 2016.



998323_10151684833340977_375012121_nMark Growden… Composer, musician.  “Strum” 2014.