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BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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LAURA MARLIN

Co-Chair

Laura Marlin is a Teaching Artist, Director, and Playwright; teaching children with Cal Shakes, Word for Word, and Berkeley Playhouse. Her two musicals (written with Phil Gorman), “Bravado” and “Becoming Robin Hood” have been produced by Berkeley Playhouse KidStage to great acclaim. Laura has danced at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center since 2001, and has had the good fortune to perform locally with Nina Haft and Co; Randee Paufve; Dana Lawton; Rogelio Lopez; Ruth Botchan; and Lisa Tenorio. Laura has a Masters in Education from Bank Street; she joined the SADC board in 2011.

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SUHAILA SALIMPOUR

Vice Chair

Suhaila Salimpour is a second-generation belly dancer from the SWANA region (Southwest Asia and North Africa), renowned as a pioneer in her field. The visionary behind the first certification program & pedagogy in belly dance, Suhaila introduced a revolutionary methodology for both performance and instruction that has inspired a global community of dancers to approach the art form with dedication and depth.

 

Suhaila directs the global Salimpour School of Dance, preserving the heritage and values of her mother, Jamila Salimpour, while expanding its reach through licensed instructors worldwide and an extensive online instructional platform. She continues to inspire students through in-person classes, workshops, lectures, and performances around the world. In addition to her artistic endeavors, Salimpour is committed to academic pursuits, having completed her BA in Performing Arts in 2024 and currently pursuing an MFA in Dance at Saint Mary’s College of California. 

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EMMA SCHAIN

Secretary

Emma Schain is a dancer, choreographer, and the founder of Superbloom Learning, a talent development consultancy. Prior to launching Superbloom Learning, Emma built and led multiple Learning and Development teams at startups, where she focused on leadership development, change management, culture strategy, and workforce training. Emma began her career in K12 public education as a high school teacher, administrator, and teacher development coach. She holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Stanford’s Graduate School of Education and a BA in American Studies from Cornell University, where she also participated in the dance program. Emma grew up in Berkeley and studied dance at Berkeley High School, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Dancing Grounds in New Orleans, and ODC. She currently lives in San Francisco. 

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SNOWFLAKE ARIZMENDI-CALVERT

Board Memeber

Snowflake Arizmendi-Calvert (she/her) is a Yaqui and Tzotzil Two-Spirit artist, celebrated as a dancer, drag performer, event host, entrepreneur, and filmmaker. Her artistry serves as a platform for political, social, and cultural activism, notably within the LGBTQ+ community. With leadership roles at Groundswell Institute/QUIL and the Yaquis of Southern California, Snowflake demonstrates unwavering commitment to advocacy. Her career spans diverse experiences, from principal ballet dancer to hosting fundraisers and collaborating with esteemed organizations like BAAITS Powwow. Internationally recognized for her dance talent, Snowflake also nurtured budding talents as owner of The Dance Zone Studio. As president of Queers United for Intersectional Liberation, she furthered LGBTQ+ advocacy. Currently, Snowflake co-produces Seeds and Sequins and collaborates with The TRY Project, while contributing to The Queering Dance Festival’s Steering Committee. Additionally, her filmmaking endeavors include co-producing, writing, and acting in the short-film "Chaac + Yum." Through her vibrant artistry, activism, and dedication, Snowflake Arizmendi-Calvert champions inclusivity and leaves an indelible mark on the performing arts landscape.

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SHAUNNA VELLA

Co-Chair

Shaunna Vella is a choreographer, performer, teacher and activist that has created work in the Bay Area for over 20 years. As a queer femme artist based in Oakland, her performance work and academic scholarship is an interdisciplinary praxis of queer performance, dance and embodiment, performance studies, and building performance as community ritual. She has been teaching at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center since 2004, and continues to collaborate with wonderful artists and teachers from around the world, many of which have been in proximity to SADC. 

 

She is the Program Director for LEAP (Liberal Education for Arts Professionals) and is an Associate Professor in the Performing Arts at Saint Mary’s College of California where she teaches courses such as Dance and Social Justice, Art and Activism and Intercultural Choreography, as well as movement technique and production. Shaunna is the co-founder of Vella & Merrell Dance, and was recently nominated by The Isadora Duncan Dance Awards Committee for an Outstanding Performance Award for the Company in 2019.  Shaunna holds an MFA in Dance from Saint Mary’s College of California.

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BONNIE LAU

Treasurer

Bonnie Lau is an entrepreneur, 2x founder, and a curious creative known for challenging conventional assumptions and fostering innovation through combinatorial play, combining seemingly unrelated elements to make something new. Her diverse background spans consumer products, operations, and top-tier management consulting, with a specialization in US tax. 

 

As a board member, Bonnie aims to leverage her entrepreneurial spirit and proven track record of driving sales and fundraising to advance SADC’s mission and expanding dance’s transformative reach. Bonnie holds a BA in Business Administration from Seattle University and is an inactive CPA in CA and WA states.

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VINITI MAHBUBANI

Board Member

Viniti is a Finance professional working with a private software company in the Bay Area, where she has lived for the past 15 years. During her childhood in Hong Kong, Viniti studied Bharatanatyam, a classical Indian dance form that originated in southern India.  She participated in various dance competitions and dance performances, which taught her the importance of having a dance community, engaging with fellow dancers, and learning how to perform in public.  Public performance through dance gave her the confidence to continue her work in the arts when she shifted from dance to theater and stage acting.  Viniti hopes to bring her love for the performing arts, as well as her background in Consulting and Finance, to benefit SADC as a member of its Board.  Viniti has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Madras, India and a Master of Business Administration from IESE Business School, Spain. 

Board Bios

JOIN THE BOARD

Board

The SADC Board actively supports the life and future of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.  We are devoted to a dance center that provides a noncompetitive, inclusive and supportive community for dancers and dancemakers, with diversity, racial equality, and justice as our guiding principles.  We welcome fresh voices, new energy, multiple points of view, and people of all backgrounds, cultures, and races with a strong commitment to our mission, vision, and values.

In its official capacity, the Board of Directors governs and holds fiduciary responsibility for SADC. The primary means of governance are:

  • Developing, reflecting, and maintaining the Mission, Vision, Values of Shawl-Anderson and its history. 

  • Setting policy and providing direction for the organization by establishing a multi-year strategic plan, approval of the annual budget and monitoring financial performance.

  • Donor outreach and development of both major gifts and community-based support.

  • Developing and adopting policies/programs that broaden and address racial diversity and inclusiveness, and ensure equity.

  • Hiring and overseeing the Executive Director and Artistic Director.
     

To apply please complete this form. If you are interested in learning more about a Board role, please contact board@shawl-anderson.org

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