Meet the Company

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Kim Martinez  |  Artistic Director

Originally from the Twin Cities, Kim was born into a family of entertainers and dance instructors. She has spent her 40+ year career performing, teaching and nurturing the talent of young people here in the Twin Cities Area. She has taught master classes in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Tokyo. She considers her special talent is that of recognizing and developing talent in others, and thrives on seeing the best being brought out of young, dedicated performers.

 

Amber Keeley

Amber has been a ballet teacher and choreographer all over the Twin Cities since 1993. Her performing career includes local and national dance companies such as Minnesota Dance Theatre, Minnesota Ballet Academy, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet Arts MN and Out on a Limb Dance Company. In addition, she has worked with the Moscow Ballet and has taught ballet in Tokyo, Japan. Amber has been School Director and company member of Out on a Limb since it’s debut in 2001. Amber is a ballet coach for state and national award-winning high school and collegiate dance teams.

 

Sara Martinez

Sara has been a company member with Out on a Limb since the beginning and has enjoyed performing and teaching over the years. Sara's favorite styles of dance are musical theater and ballet, but her favorite style to teach is tap. Sara is currently working on her PhD at the University of Minnesota.

 

 

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David Bensussan

David is an actor and dancer. He has been performing on stage since kindergarten (where he debuted as a potato latke) and loved it ever since. A dancer since the age of 12, he has been a part of Out on a Limb from day one and is one of the original company members. His favorite roles include Bill Sykes in Oliver, Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and Orin in Little Shop of Horrors. David’s favorite audience is the at-risk and underserved school children who we serve and perform for through the outreach program. Outside of his performing life, he is a devoted husband and father (of Out on a Limb dancers!).

 

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Jeremy Bensussan

Jeremy is a proud native of the Twin Cities. He began his professional career with Out on a Limb Dance Company in 2001 and earned his BFA in Dance from the University of Minnesota in 2010. Locally, Jeremy has danced with the MN Opera, Minnesota Dance Theater, Flying Foot Forum, Keane Sense of Rhythm, Eclectic Edge Ensemble, Christopher Watson Dance Company, and others. New York dance credits include Dusan Tynek Dance Company and The Bang Group. Regional musical theater credits include Fiddler on the Roof (New York), 9 to 5 (Ohio), Annie Get Your Gun (Wisconsin), and CATS (Rhode Island).

 

     

 

 

 

Allie Causin

Allie has been studying dance since 1992 and has been teaching ballet since 2002. She has been performing all across the Twin Cities since 1999 including with the Russian Moscow Ballet, the MN Dance Festival, the MN Fringe Festival, and at many different Renaissance Festivals across the country. Allie has been dancing and performing with OOAL since it opened in 2001. When she isn’t dancing or working, she trades in her legs for a mermaid tail to perform and swim around the country as Lyrique the Mermaid! The best part of dance for her is when all the hard work, time, and effort pay off performing on stage, becoming completely enveloped in the moment. "There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them."  -Vicki Baum

 

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Allison Hall

A dancer since the age of 3, Allison grew up studying ballet at St. Croix Ballet Academy in Stillwater, MN. In 2005, she discovered Out on a Limb, fell in love with these wonderful people and dove in head first, broadening her training to jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theater and tap. Allison loves performing as an Out on a Limb company member throughout the year and adores her amazing students whom she has the privilege of teaching. When she's not teaching or dancing, Allison is a freelance graphic designer in the Twin Cities.

 

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Heather Bensussan

Heather has been dancing in the Twin Cities for 27 years. She has been a part of Out on a Limb since 2007 and has been a dance instructor for the past 8 years. Her favorite Out on a Limb productions she has been a part of include Mary Poppins and Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory, among others. Heather has a daughter who is now an Out on a Limb dancer, too!

 

 

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Kathryn Schroeder

Kathryn has been dancing since the age of 5 began dancing at Out on a Limb at age 12. As a student, Kathryn loved the supportive atmosphere at Limb, and she strives to create an engaging, creative environment for all of her wonderful students. When she's not dancing, Kathryn is a graphic designer in the Twin Cities. 

 

 

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Lauren Shea

Lauren has been dancing since she was 6 years-old and has been with Out on a Limb since its inception in 2001. Her training includes Midwest Youth Dance Theater, Virginia Luoma Dance Studio and Out on a Limb. Lauren has had the opportunity to perform with the Russian Moscow Ballet, the MN Fringe Festival and the MN Dance Festival. Lauren became a company member in 2012 following Out on a Limb’s summer production of Little Shop of Horrors, when she played Seymour, her favorite role to date! She is currently working full time planning events and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business.
 

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Marley Richman

Marley grew up with a love of performing; dancing, singing, and acting for as long as she can remember. She received her dance training at Virginia Luoma Dance Studio, Keane on Dance, and Out on a Limb. Marley is a graduate of the University of Minnesota's College of Design, and is also a dance instructor at White Bear Dance Center in White Bear Lake, MN. Marley loves sharing the studio and the stage with all of Out on a Limb’s creative and passionate dancers.

 

BRIANNA LEWIS

Brianna has always had a passion for dance. Although she was a late bloomer starting dance at the age of 12, previously she was a competitive gymnast with a passion for performing floor routines, which led her to the OOAL family. Bri has a passion for making a difference and feels she can utilize that passion and be herself at OOAL. Her daughter Mari is now a PAE dancer and dances wherever she goes. OOAL is her second family and she could not imagine her life without them!


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Joy McBrien

Joy comes to Out on a Limb with 12 years of dancing experience, specializing in contemporary and tap performance. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Joy is a global learner who gets excited about social justice, women’s rights, and creating solutions. She is thrilled to have recently joined the Out on a Limb community.

 

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Cara Lahti

Cara has been dancing with Out on a Limb since 2003. She graduated in 2014 from the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists where she trained in both musical theater and dance. Currently, she is a student at the University of Minnesota, where she is exploring her passion for both the arts and social change. Past dance opportunities for Cara have included training with companies such as the Moscow Ballet, the Martha Graham Company, Shapiro and Smith, La Escuela de Danza Margartia Fernandez, and Black Label Movement.

 

ALLIE HAMMEL

Allie has been dancing since the age of 2 and has been dancing with Out on a Limb since it opened in 2001. Allie took a brief break from dance for college and her career but could not stay away for long. She loves all forms of dance but musical theater and jazz are her favorites. She is currently working full time at a medical device company in the Twin Cities.

 

LINDSEY KING

Lindsey has studied many forms of dance, including ballet, modern, jazz, character, and African dance. Lindsey attended Washington University in St. Louis, where she minored in ballet, performed works by guest artists, and choreographed for a Student Showcase. Lindsey has taught dance classes at the Chautauqua School of Dance, a summer intensive program, and currently teaches ballet at St. Croix Ballet Academy.

 

Heather Brockman

Heather Brockman has been dancing since the sweet age of seven. Originally from Colorado, she is a graduate of Macalester College. Heather had the privilege of studying, dancing and performing with the Ballet of the Dolls company for nearly 20 years. She is grateful, now, to be a member of the Out On a Limb company and loves sharing the stage with so many young and talented performers. As always, she thanks her husband John and her girl gang for their constant love and support.

 

 

Apprentices to the Company

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Elisabeth Murphy

Since childhood, Elisabeth has trained in dance at a variety of studios in the Twin Cities area. She has been with Out on a Limb since 2006, taking classes as part of the training program. She is excited to continue her journey as an apprentice to the company! Elisabeth graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, MN in May 2013. She is currently employed as a Physical Therapist working with adults and children of all ages. In addition, Elisabeth teaches Strength and Conditioning classes for the dancers in the training program at Out on a Limb.

 

GABRIEL BLACKBURN

Since birth, Gabriel has been a Groover. At a very young age he was introduced to “Billy Elliot,” and after seeing his reaction, his parents had enough sense to put him into dance. He joined Out On A Limb in 2002, at the age of five, and found his passion. Now dance is as much apart of Gabriel as the hair on his head or the smile on his face. Gabriel became an apprentice of Out On A Limb during early 2014, and now trains in hopes to one day surpass his mentors Austin, Kevin, Jeremy and Joe.

 

KARISSA GIBSON

Karissa started dancing at OOAL when they first opened their doors. She went on to the University of MN where she graduated with a BA in Sociology. Though she was no longer taking classes her heart never left the company. From technique and wisdom taught through OOAL’s mission, passion, and encouragement carried out by the staff, Karissa was able to implement the same passion through choreography she taught the youth and adult praise dance ministries at church. Enrolling her daughter Nevaeh at OOAL jump started Karissa’s motivation to enroll herself again!

 

GABBI JOHNSON

Since her first class at Out on a Limb at five years old, Gabbi has fallen in love with dance and Limb. After assistant teaching for six years, she began teaching her own class and could not be happier. The constant support and love from friends and teachers encourages her to continue growing as a dancer and as a person. Performance weeks are Gabbi's favorite times of the year, her favorite shows have been Peter Pan in 2014 and La Sylphide in 2013.

 

Madison Palmer

Madison is thrilled to be a teacher at Out on a Limb as well as an Apprentice to the Company. At the age of five, Madison first discovered her love of dance and it has continued to thrive within the Limb community. Madison loves all forms of dance and believes in a broad education taking every opportunity to expand her abilities by incorporating related areas of aerial arts, martial arts, and musical theater. She is currently in school at St. Paul Conservatory for the Performing Artist and plans to pursue a career in dance. 

 

AMANDA PETERSON

Dance has been an essential part of Amanda’s life for over seventeen years. Growing up, she danced competitively for Dance Tech Studios, and was a member of both her high school and college dance teams. After graduating college, she joined the Limb family—a wonderful group of individuals who, like herself, have a passion for dance and a desire to instill that passion within others. She cannot wait to see what is in store for her dancing future as she continues to grow and challenge her abilities. Outside of dance, Amanda loves volunteering, traveling, and doing anything that screams ADVENTURE!

 

CLARE PODVIN

Clare has been dancing since the age of three. Since a young age, she knew dance was something that would always be part of her life. She is thrilled to be an apprentice to the company at Out on a Limb! Clare's favorite styles of dance include contemporary, jazz and hip hop .She can't to be a part of all of the future OOAL shows!

 

Gianni LaPanta

Dance has been a huge part of Gianni’s life. She has been dancing since she was 3, but didn’t come to Out on a limb until she was 6. She absolutely loves the atmosphere and all of her friends. They are more like family than friends. Her favorite role of all time has been an Evil Stepsister in Cinderella. Her favorite shows have been Little Shop of Horrors in 2012 and Cinderella in 2015.