She has also been part of the national discussion addressing the dearth of female leaders among U.S. dance companies and participated in the Glass Slipper Ceiling Symposium, a national panel moderated by Anna Kisselgoff, former dance critic of The New York Times.
Lori Laqua joins Smuin following five years as Executive Director at Z Space, where she guided the organization through significant growth in programming and budget. Over the course of her 20 years at ODC, Laqua played a major role in the institution’s transformation. As Managing Director, she also served as project manager for the design and construction of the ODC Dance Commons and the ODC Theater. Laqua holds a Ph.D. (ABD) and a MArch in Architectural History from the University of Virginia, and a MA in Art History from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Katherine Nauman brings over 20 years of experience as a dance artist and administrator to the Smuin team. Katherine served as Rehearsal and Engagement Director for AXIS Dance Company, Director of the Alonzo King LINES Dance Center and General Manager for SOULSKIN Dance. Prior to moving to the Bay Area she trained, performed at taught in NYC, where she graduated from The Ailey School. Katherine teaches the Horton Technique for LINES Ballet BFA at Dominican University of CA.
Alicia Tos, a native of Buffalo, New York, coordinates institutional giving and general development support as Development Manager. Before joining Smuin, she worked at Lar Lubovitch Dance Company and Garth Fagan Dance in New York.
Originally from the Bay Area, Ellen Gaintner worked at Nashville Ballet and San Angelo Civic Ballet before joining Smuin as Special Projects Manager. A classically trained ballet dancer, she was a member of Nashville Ballet 2 from 2008-2010.