Ashley Harrison, originally a farm girl from Paris MO, got her start as a tot sewing costumes for her barn cats. After perfecting this particular brand of feline torture she went on to earn her degree in fashion and theatrical design from Stephens College. Since then she has been designing for various productions of dance, theatre, and film as well as holding positions in costume shops as a patternmaker, cutter/draper, and shop foreman. In 2008 she helped start the Kansas-City based children's theatre company Bellenwhistle Productions, which went on to create an original production of Alice in Wonderland that preformed at the Off Center Theatre and the Nelson Atkins Museum. Currently, Ashley is on her 5th year as a patternmaker and designer for the talented competition dancers at the Columbia Preforming Arts Center and spends her summers as the costume shop manager and designer at the Okoboji Summer Theatre. She also teaches beginning sewing at Stephens College as an adjunct professor and on Saturday nights you can see her hosting at the lovely and local Sycamore Restaurant. This is Ashley's first venture into the realm of belly dance costumes and she is very excited to be working with such an amazing group of women as the Moon Belly Dancers!
Nicole Hawkins-Beasley is the Resident Costume Designer for TRYPS Institute at Stephens College. She holds a BFA/Technical Theatre-Costume from Missouri Valley College. She has designed for TRYPS, Stephens College Dance and Theatre Department, Battle High School, Columbia College. Nicole has been assistant designer for the Straw Hat Players, Moorhead Minnesota as well as seasonal costume staff at Columbia Performing Arts Center. She has worked as Costume Consultant for MOON Dance Company. She has worked as Wardrobe Mistress for MU Concert Series, Lyceum Theatre, Chautauqua New York and Stages St. Louis. Nicole is also the director of the T.H.R.E.A.D.S. Costume Academy at TRYPS Institute.
Jennifer Luchau is a largely self-taught seamstress who loves to dance. Her first design work was for her middle school production of The Wizard of Oz at the age of 14. Since then, she has done costumes for the stage productions of Tom Sawyer, Sabrina Fair, and The King and I. Jennifer also creates original costumes for Candace Grossman’s solo shows. For this production, Jennifer has created the costumes for the dance pieces entitled Demon and War. Jennifer would like to thank Kandice Grossman and Nicole Beasley for giving her this amazing opportunity, and for their friendship. She would also like to thank Sharon Hanson for her assistance with the manufacturing of the pieces for the Mother Nature performance. Jennifer is a manager at JoAnn Fabrics, and would like to invite you to stop by anytime for assistance with your own costuming needs!
Lisa Carlos’ love of sewing began nearly 40 years ago, with the gift of a new Singer sewing machine (one that she still uses today), and a summer filled with sewing classes. From designing American Girl doll clothes for her granddaughters, to quilt tops, baby bedding to wedding dresses, she loves to create items with character and function; letting the recipients personality and use be her guide. She enjoys exploring color, texture and drape to keep her work fresh and exciting. Born with a love for all things arts and crafts, she also enjoys paper quilling, making jewelry, crochet, and occasionally turning her kitchen into a laboratory for making bath and body products. Lisa also has a passion for belly dance, and draws from her own experiences as a previous Moon Belly Ensemble dancer to create unique costumes that blend expression and function for the performers.
Jessica Hawk grew up surrounded by the arts, although she has pursued science as a career. She received a degree in Physical Anthropology from UM-Columbia with an emphasis on forensic science. Currently she is employed as assistant lab supervisor for the diagnostic molecular biology lab division of IDEXX Bioresearch. She has been a member of the CoMo Derby dames since 2007 and serves as League President on the Executive Board. She has formal training in oil painting, and has dabbled in 3D paper art since childhood. In her non-derby time she enjoys painting, crafting, drinking wine, pole fitness, and reading with, not to, her cats. She is honored to have been invited to be part of such dynamic woman-centered artistic project.
Ella Folkerts is a 20 year old Columbia native, who has been heavily involved with the theater scene for almost a decade now. She graduated from cosmetology school in April of this year, and is currently working at Red the Salon here in town. She enjoys spending time with her family and her boyfriend, watching Netflix and eating lots of unhealthy snacks.
WT Bryan grew up on a farm in mid-Missouri and is a lover of mother nature. He has more than 15 years experience in construction and woodworking and is the owner of Against the Grain Woodworking, based in Columbia, MO.
This blog is designed to provide information about Moon Belly and MOON dance company happenings. At times, it becomes an open journal of our various theatrical explorations. At other times, it serves as a source of education on belly dance culture and history.