Celia Fushille

Celia Fushille

Artistic Director

Celia Fushille has served as Artistic Director of Smuin Contemporary Ballet since 2007. From 2008-2014 she also served as Executive Director of the company. A founding member of Smuin Ballet and its principal dancer for more than 12 years, Fushille worked closely with company founder Michael Smuin. In a performing career spanning 25 years, Fushille appeared on stages in the U.S. and Europe, on television and in film. As Artistic Director, Fushille has created her own vision for the company while maintaining Michael Smuin’s legacy. She has expanded the repertoire of the company by commissioning 18 world premieres and including the work of renowned choreographers. Increasing the company’s stability and place in the arts community of San Francisco, she realized a 10-year goal with the company’s move into its permanent home in 2019. For the last decade Fushille has been part of the national discussion addressing diversity, equity and inclusion among leaders of U.S. dance companies. Fushille sits on the board of Dance/USA and is chair of the Artistic Directors’ Council for Member Companies with budgets of $3 million and greater. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree (summa cum laude) from Saint Mary’s College of California.

Lori Laqua

Lori Laqua

Managing Director

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.

Amy London

Ballet Master

Amy London received her training in her hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, from Karen Alwin and Shauna Bereska. She danced with Hartford Ballet, Diablo Ballet, and Smuin Ballet. Her favorite Smuin roles included: Eternal Idol, Q.a.V. and Hearts Suite. She has served on faculty for schools throughout the Bay Area and as Artistic Coordinator at Marin Ballet, where she has choreographed more than 20 works. As Smuin’s Ballet Master, she enjoys preserving Michael Smuin’s legacy, as well as collaborating with and being the caretaker of the works of Val Caniparoli, Trey McIntyre, Amy Seiwert, Ma Cong, Helen Pickett, Adam Hougland, Choo-San Goh, and Jiří Kylián.


JoEllen Arntz

Company Manager

Jo Ellen Arntz moved to San Francisco after receiving her BFA in dance from Creighton University (Omaha, Nebraska). She danced with San Francisco Ballet from 1981-1991 and has been teaching dance in the Bay Area since 1977, recently celebrating 20 years on faculty at Marin Dance Theater. She began at Smuin as Wardrobe Supervisor in 1996 and became Company Manager shortly thereafter. Working with Michael Smuin at San Francisco Ballet and later his own company prepared her for the multiple hats she wears in the organization today.

Ellen Gaintner

Special Projects Manager

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.

Deb Glazer

Development Director

Deb Glazer has been involved in the dance and the arts for as long as she can remember and has worked with nonprofits for more than 25 years. In her role as Development Director, she loves working with and getting to know Smuin’s generous patrons and donors. She is committed to personalizing each individual’s experience and making them feel as important and appreciated as they are. Deb holds a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M. Ed. from Harvard University.

Sasha Martin

Development Manager

Having completed an MA in Sociocultural Anthropology & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, Sasha Martin bridges the academic world with a lifelong passion for creative and artistic expression. A native to California, she graduated from UC Berkeley and continues to become a part of the Bay Area community by joining the team at Smuin Contemporary Ballet.

Jason Narin

Patron Services Manager

Jason Narin has been working in live entertainment by assisting patrons with their ticketing needs since 2001, most recently with San Francisco Ballet. Originally from Southern California, he has found a home in the Bay Area after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley and plans to continue to explore his passion for the performing arts.


Vincent Avery

Wardrobe Assistant

Kathryn T. Graham

Production Director & Stage Manager

KT Graham joined Smuin Ballet in 1997 after working as Production Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for Lewitzky Dance Company in Los Angeles, as well as Technical & Lighting Director for Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C. with whom she toured extensively both nationally and internationally. She also engages in freelance projects and has particularly enjoyed serving as Production Stage Manager for Amy Seiwert’s Imagery, Dances from the Heart benefits for The Richmond/Ermet AIDS Foundation, and for the National Dance USA showcase in 2012.
Michael Oesch
Lighting Director

Michael Oesch

Lighting Designer

Michael Oesch is a lighting designer for dance, theatre, opera, musicals, and film. Since joining Smuin Ballet in 2004, he has designed the lighting for world premieres including The Christmas Ballet, Tutto Eccetto il Lavandino, Oh, Inverted World, Fly Me to the Moon, Bluegrass/Slyde, Symphony of Psalms, Jazzin’, Through, Obrigado Brazil, Schubert Scherzo, and Been Through Diamonds, among others. He has also designed lighting for other companies in the Bay Area including The Magic Theatre, SF Playhouse, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, 13th Floor Dance, Pacific Coast Repertory Theatre, Trinity Lyric Opera, the West Wave Dance Festival, the Douglas Morrison Theatre, El Teatro Campesino, Theatre Artaud, Solano College Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Sacramento Theatre Company and New Conservatory Theatre Center. His lighting designs have been repeatedly nominated for Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards.