2017 Company Members
Anna Foshee (Artistic Director) , graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in dance from the University of Alabama with a minor in Social Work. After UA, Anna joined Sanspointe Dance Company and has been working with the company since 2009. In January of 2015, she was named Artistic Director. Since 2015, Anna has led the company in three state tours, a site specific performance in collaboration with the metal arts residents at Sloss Furnace and co-directed SDC’s first dance for film, Things We Carry, that will release in spring of 2019. Anna is also an adjunct professor at UAB and Samford University where she teaches Jazz, and a teaching artist at The Dance Foundation. Anna resides in Bluff Park with her husband and two boys.
Sara Turney Wallace (Assistant Artistic Director) is from Toney, AL. She holds a BA in English and Dance from The University of Alabama. While at UA, she received the Edith Barnes Choreography Award and performed with the pre-professional company, Alabama Repertory Dance Theater, and the student-produced organization, Dance Alabama!. Sara is in her fourth season as a company member of Sanspointe Dance Company, where she regularly performs and choreographs. She was made the company’s Interim Artistic Director August, 2015 and now serves as the Assistant Artistic Director. She has been teaching with The Dance Foundation in Homewood, Alabama since 2012.
Meredith K. Cox, a native of Athens, Alabama, began dancing at age nine under the tutelage of Susan Fisher Nesbitt and Deborah Bailey. Upon graduating high school, she attended the University of Alabama receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Dance in 2009. While attending the university, she performed as a company member of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre and choreographed and performed for the student organized Dance Alabama. Meredith received the honor of the Edith Barnes Award for choreography during her time at Alabama. She has attended the American Dance Festival and participated in summer intensives with Margi Cole and the Florida Youth Ballet. Meredith last performed with Sanspointe in 2009 and is excited to be back with the company!
Michelle Knutson, native of Charlotte, North Carolina, graduated from the University of Alabama (UA) Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Dance and Minor in Psychology. While studying at UA, she was a member of the pre-professional company, Alabama Repertory Dance Theater and performed with the student-directed company Dance Alabama!. She received the Lou Wall Award from UA dance department faculty in 2000. Michelle’s professional training includes work with Celeste Miller, Paul Taylor Dance Company, American Dance Festival, and the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. Michelle served as the Upper School Program Coordinator, directed the Student Ensemble program, and performed with the school-touring program; “Math in Motion,” at The Dance Foundation from 2001 – 2007. Michelle was an inaugural recipient of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham’s Grants to Individual Artists Award in 2007. She Directed the Bumpus Middle School Dance Team from 2014 – 2016 and taught Dance and assisted with the Physical Education and Special Education departments at Trace Crossings Elementary School (TCES) from 2008 – 2017. While at Trace Crossings Elementary, Michelle wrote, applied for and received the Alabama Arts Education Initiative Grant for $25,000 that was awarded to TCES and served as Project Director for grant implementation and the creation of a Dance Lab. Currently she serves as Co-Director and teacher for the dance magnet department at Booker T. Washington Performing Arts high school in Montgomery, AL. Five-time winner of the Panoply Arts Festival’s Best Modern Choreography Award, she is the founding Artistic Director of Sanspointe Dance Company and currently serves as the President of the Board of Directors.
Ariana Pellegra grew up traveling the world as an army brat. Her foundation was paved at Alabama Dance Academy under the direction of Pamela Merkel. Ariana is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College with a B.A. in Dance (performance emphasis). Before transferring to BSC, she had the pleasure of training at Columbia College of Chicago where she studied under Margie Cole, Carrie Hanson, and Ariel Cisneros. She is a former dancer of Philadance!, the Philadelphia Dance Company. In 2013, she returned to Birmingham as a freelance artist. She performed in The Dream Showcase at WorkPlay with fellow Alabama Ballet dancers in “Release Me”, created by rising New York choreographer named Kendia Bennett. Ariana worked with Arova Contemporary Ballet and served as their Marketing Director before getting married in 2017. Ariana received her certification in Progressive Ballet Technique and teaches throughout the community. This is her first season at SDC.
Sara Pulmano is a recent graduate of Samford University where she studied Human Development and Dance. In her time at Samford, Sara was a member of the Samford Dance Company and performed with them for four years. This is Sara’s first year as a member of Sanspointe. She thanks all of her dance mentors, parents and husband for the support she has received over the years.
Sarah Smoot has been dancing with Sanspointe since the fall of 2016 and has performed in SDC works by Rae Speights, Anna Foshee, and Sara Wallace. Sarah’s early training in ballet, jazz, and lyrical was with the Alabama Dance Academy located in Hoover, under the direction of Pamela Merkel. While achieving a Bachelor of Arts at Sewanee: The University of the South, Sarah studied ballet, jazz, and modern, while also performing and choreographing a wide range of styles in the student dance organization Perpetual Motion. Sarah spent several summer and winter breaks training in intensives of Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, and Amy Marshall. While in seminary at Duke University Sarah fell in love with African dance, auditing classes and performing repertory by Ava LaVonne-Vinesett. Sarah is an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church, and she enjoys using dance in ministry through performance, teaching, and guided meditations. She lives in Tuscaloosa with her husband Tyler and their son James.
Justin Wallace (Music Director) graduated from UAB with a Bachelor’s in Music Technology and a specialization in percussion. He is the co-founder/director of Iron Giant Percussion, a contemporary quartet focused on bringing percussion music to a wider audience. Justin began working with Sanspointe Dance Company in 2009 as a company artist before becoming the company’s music director in 2011.