Best Advice to Young Dancers
"If you round off all your corners to "fit in", you'll wind up losing your edge. Nurture your quirks. They are what sets you aside from the rest."
Favorite Thing about an NYCDA Weekend?
“The hustle, the non-stop movement, and the exchange of the most valuable commodity - inspiration.”
Dana was born in Aurora, Colorado, and studied many styles of dance at Michelle Latimer Dance Academy. She was a past NYCDA Regional Outstanding Dancer, and at age 18 moved to Los Angeles to follow her dreams. In little time, Dana found herself working in contemporary companies, commercials (Target, Verizon, Southwest, Amazon Prime to name a few), for every artist from Hozier to Justin Beiber, in movies (La La Land, Vice, Shrek, Trolls and more), and on three world tours with Justin Timberlake.
In addition to her bright and vivacious energy matched only by the Sun itself, what sets Dana aside from the rest is her bizarre yet refined style and diverse skill set. Her love of old school street styles is matched only by an appetite for the new. When she isn't on camera, she is behind it experimenting with new technology from motion capture to 360 video/ photography and VR to drones. When she isn't onstage or on screen, she is in the studio coaching and refining performance techniques. Her broad reach into acting, improv comedy, and even mime training gives her an unmatched understanding of character movement and storytelling. She recently co-created a master class series called "Mime Technique for Dance", and is becoming one of the most in demand movement coaches to top actors and recording artists alike.
Dana’s stage performances are too many to list, recently, and most notably, she completed her third world tour with Justin Timberlake, and accompanied him in front of the biggest audience a performer could ask for, the Super Bowl Halftime Show. She has graced the stage of every other award show from the Oscars and the Grammys to the MTV VMAs. Dana has also contributed choreography for the live performances of Miley Cyrus, Anthony Ramos, Joe Jonas, and The Backstreet Boys.
Dancing in the opening scene of La La Land was a career highlight for Dana (and the 20 other dancers that made that magical scene come to life). She is also featured in JT and The Tennessee Kids’ Netflix Original, the director's edit of Vice, Charlie Wilson’s War, and she is the movement behind the animation for Fiona in Shrek 4 and several Dreamworks' Trolls! On the smaller screen, you can spot her in episodes of Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, Dancing with the Stars, and she was a guest choreographer on Season 7 of So You Think You Can Dance.
In the summer of 2019, Dana was a part of the knockout choreography team responsible for bringing Lin Manuel-Miranda's Broadway smash "In the Heights" to the big screen. Dana has been a part of JT’s creative team since 2007, and recently contributed choreography companies like American Airlines, Master Card and CVS as well as for Broadway star Anthony Ramos, Miley Cyrus, Joe Jonas, 2 Chainz & Kendrick Lamar with Robin Thicke, and Vance Joy.
Dana also makes up one third of the wildly original and imaginative group “The Seaweed Sisters” adored and admired by a wide range of audiences from toddlers and their parents perusing YouTube, to the screens of the Cascadia International Women’s Film Festival. Drawing from her 13 years of work as a dance instructor, Dana started the “The Bureau of Nonverbal Communication” to investigate and exercise dance on a conceptual level. In 2015, Dana got GoPro's attention for her 365 consecutive daily videos on Instagram (@danadaners), and also established a relationship with 360 camera company Ricoh as an influencer.
Dana is based in LA, where she pops up to teach master classes at Millennium Dance Complex, Movement Lifestyle, and Kinjaz Dojo. She also loves teaching at Broadway Dance Center and Steps when in NY, and has been featured in several other workshops in Canada, Australia, Europe, Japan, and all over the United States. You can also find her online with CLI!