Sara Anderson is the co-founder and Director of Programs for Polaris. Originally from Minnesota, Sara received a BFA in Dance and Fine Art from Luther College in Decorah, IA. Trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz as well as Musical Theatre and Hip Hop, her dance career spans more than 20 years and has led her to dance with companies such as Bodyvox, Portland Opera, Opera Pacific, Minnesota Opera, Utah Opera, American Dance Theatre, Portand Musical Theatre Company, Broadway Rose Theatre Company, St. Claire & Company, Lakewood Musical Theatre Company and Dance CO-Motion. Aside from stage performances, she has appeared in several fitness videos, print advertisements, television commercials and a 32-episode season of the Body Shoppe television series. Additionally, she owns and operates SAgraphics, teaches classes, and resides in Portland with her longtime partner Robert Guitron and their daughter, Xena.
Brynn Hofer began her dance training at the age of 5 in Washington State under the direction of Isabelle Cook and Joe Hofer. Her parents being professional musicians, she grew up with music and dance always around her. Brynn attended Western Washington University and received a BFA in Dance. She graduated with honors and was the recipient of the outstanding graduate award. While in college she danced works through the WWU faculty and students, the Mt. Vernon Opera, and was also selected two years in a row, to perform a restaged work by the Liz Geering dance company, from New York. She currently teaches at the Portland school of Music and Dance, and is Pilates certified. Brynn and her husband Bill love being relocated in Portland and she is very excited, to be a part of the Polaris family!
Born in Barcelona, Spain, Gerard Regot started dancing while being in cinema college. He received a full scholarship to study dance at Estudi Anna Maleras and took workshops with Guido Tuveri (Art. Dir. Balletto di Sardignia), Risa Steinberg (Jose Limon), David Zambrano (flying low), among many others. He danced at Ballet Arts and Peridance Capezio Dance Center in NYC to then at the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company, Dance Journey and later the KCDC II on two new creations. Gerard currently enjoys dancing with Polaris Dance Theatre.
Jana Tripp received her early dance training in her hometown of Lakeland, Florida. She graduated with a BS in Psychology from Stetson University and an MFA in Dance from Florida State University. While a student, she taught dance classes for the Stetson Community School and non-majors courses for the FSU Dance Department. For the next four years, she served as the Director of Dance for the Marion County Center for the Arts at West Port High School in Ocala, Florida while performing with Mary Love Dance Projects and Falling Upward Dance Collective. After moving to Portland, she began dancing with Polaris and teaching as a STOTT Pilates certified instructor.
Melanie Verna began training in Graham Technique in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee where she toured as the youngest member of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble. She moved to the Midwest and received her primary ballet training at Minnesota Dance Theater with Lise Houlton, Marjorie Thompson and Gloria Govrin. She was a recipient of the Coca-Cola scholarship with American Ballet Theatre’s summer program and was awarded the Ailey Fellowship before choosing to take a professional contract with Minnesota Dance Theatre. Melanie danced for the company from 2003-2012 and became a principal artist in 2007 where she performed repertory by Houlton, Ashton, Tetley, Rhoden, Feld, Boykin and countless others. The last couple years she has freelanced, taught and choreographed in Seattle with various companies and musical productions while also touring internationally with Paris-based choreographer Johan Amselem. Melanie is thrilled to have found a dance home with Polaris and looks forward to continuing to evolve and grow as an artist with all her inspiring comrades.
Jessica Zoller received her MFA in dance while she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow in 2015 at the University of Oregon. She received her BFA in dance performance and choreography from Western Washington University in 2007. Jessica’s choreography and performance was recognized at the 2007 American College Dance Festival Gala Concert in Montana with, Tall Tales and Short Stories. Jessica also represented the University of Oregon at the Kennedy Center for the National College Dance Festival 2014; performing Rachel Winchester’s Girl Pool. Professionally she has performed with Pam Kuntz, Bellingham Repertory Dance Company, Portland Opera, Lane Hunter Dance, Lauren Edson, Wanderlust Circus, Pelu Theatre, and AWOL Dance Collective. Most recently, Jessica choreographed for Sojourn Theatre’s How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes at the Portland Playhouse and for Seattle, WA’s Relay Dance Collective.