Department of Human Performance and Sport
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Leslie Merrill is a Lecturer in the Human Performance and Sport Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver and serves as a Co-Coordinator of the Dance Program. She enjoys teaching a range of dance courses in the HPS Department, including Dance Teaching Methods, Choreography, Interdisciplinary Performance, Dance History, Community-Based Dance, and Jazz, Modern, and Tap Technique.
Merrill holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Colorado and has been teaching dance for over 20 years. She has enjoyed performing with Haan Dances, Ascential Dance, the Cindy Brandle Dance Company, and Louder Than Words Dance Theatre, and dancing and choreographing for Interweave Dance Theatre. She currently performs and collaborates choreographically with the dance theatre company, Projekt Move. She has worked for the Colorado Dance Alliance as a writer and editor and has shared her research in conference presentations and publications. She has been fortunate to receive a variety of grants for her creative scholarship, in addition to numerous artist residencies and choreographic awards.
Merrill has been commissioned to collaborate in the creation of several dance films. In Colorado, she has had the opportunity to present her choreographic and video work extensively. Her work has been shown nationally as part of the American Dance Festival’s Dancing for the Camera Series, the Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival, the Holland Project, the Intangible Bodies Conference, and the TARLA Dance for Camera Festival. Internationally, her creative work has been presented in British Columbia, Mexico, and Germany. Her body of dance theatre and interdisciplinary performance work ranges from short pieces to evening-length concerts, and she has collaborated in the direction, production, and choreography of multiple original musicals.
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Nicole Predki has taught in the Human Performance and Sport Department at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 2010 and currently serves as a Co-Coordinator of the Dance Program. Nicole teaches because she believes that everyone can dance and create and strives to give students the confidence and tools to do both. She has an MFA in dance from the University of Colorado Boulder with a focus in somatics and multidisciplinary performance and graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Columbia University in NYC. Her focus in dance and science revolves around diverse applications of the creative process. Nicole’s movement style reflects her background with an eclectic mix of gesture and athleticism fed by her training in Horton, Graham and Cunningham techniques, as well as Ballet, Jazz and Aerial Dance.
Nicole has held a variety of administrative positions with over two decades of experience working in the arts and sciences. Her experience includes choreographing and producing collaborative multimedia productions as well as directing professional evening-length productions with casts of over 40. Her role in productions has encompassed everything from artistic direction to music editing, video editing, stage-managing, fundraising, aerial rigging, budgeting, marketing, and choreography. She served as Education Director and Marketing Coordinator for Frequent Flyers Productions, Marketing Assistant for Nancy Cranbourne's dance company "40 Women Over 40," and helped plan and execute events for EcoArts, a non-profit founded by Marda Kirn that organized art and science collaborations.
She was awarded the ATLAS Innovator Residency, ACE performance grant, Charlotte York Irey Award for talent in performance, choreography and teaching and a three-year Roser fellowship. Her choreography has been featured at the ATLAS Blackbox Theatre and produced by internationally renowned Frequent Flyers Productions.
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