board of directors
The Rosin Box Project is always seeking voices to add to our team. If you are a passionate arts advocate with legal, accounting, administrative, or event planning expertise, please email Thom Dancy at Thom@therosinboxproject.com to discuss joining our Board of Directors.
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Rebekah Brown is a dance professional and the director of H2O Dance Company, a contemporary modern dance company founded in 2015 (h2odance.com). She received her BFA in Dance from SUNY Buffalo and her MFA in Choreography from Mills College. She has taught and choreographed for 15 years, drawing inspiration from her training in ballet, modern, and jazz. She is the Operations Manager and a Teaching Artist for San Diego Dance Theater. In addition, she is the co-curator for Fresh Dances with colleague Emily Miller and works with Ian Isles to curate ArtMOVES, the dance stage at ArtWalk San Diego. In her free time, Rebekah enjoys painting, going country line dancing, and taking naps.
After earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Catherine Cheng obtained her osteopathic medical degree at Midwestern University in Glendale, AZ. She completed her Family Medicine Residency at UCSD and has been working as a primary care physician at Kaiser Permanente since 2009.
After a brief dalliance in dance as a child, she only seriously stumbled into the world of ballet 8 years ago after attending a friend’s adult summer intensive performance. Not long afterward, she became a ballet student herself and has been passionate about the art form ever since. She credits her teachers at City Ballet of San Diego and the Lynch Dance Institute by providing her instruction and experiences that have contributed to her personal growth well beyond the dance studio. She is continuously inspired by the commitment and work required of professional dancers in that elusive pursuit of artistic perfection. As such, she is extremely excited to be in a position to support the unique choreographic voices within San Diego through The Rosin Box and strongly believes in the additional community outreach mission of this nonprofit organization.
Ryan Field is Microbiologist and has spent the past 15 years working in a diverse range of science industry settings—settings ranging from education, research, and the private sector. He is currently performing Quality Control Microbiology here in San Diego, CA for biotech companies under regulatory guidelines or standards such as: FDA, ISO, EPA, USP, and CLIA.
Ryan’s previous non-profit experience ties heavily with Education Outreach. He has spent time with facilities such as the Museum of Arts and Science and Saturday-at-the-Sea program in Tallahassee, FL. He is a patron of the arts and enjoys looking through the lens where art and science intersect.
Theodore McCombs has been an enthusiastic supporter of the San Diego arts community since seeing his first opera as an undergraduate at U.C. San Diego. After law school at U.C. Berkeley, he practiced commercial litigation at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP in New York City. In New York, he served on the Board of Directors of the Anti-Violence Project, a nonprofit empowering LGBTQ+ communities to end all forms of violence. And with the help of that city's incredible ballet scene, he developed his passion for dance as an artistic and expressive medium. From 2014-2018, he served the State of Colorado as an Assistant Attorney General, protecting vulnerable children, defending social services programs, and advising the State Board of Human Services as its general counsel. Returning to San Diego in 2018, he joined the California Attorney General's office as an environmental lawyer. He is a published writer as well, with his fiction appearing in national magazines and anthologies.
As a storyteller himself, Ted is fascinated by dance's power to connect emotionally to audiences without language--or rather, with a physical language that each dancer creates anew. He was thrilled to play host and emcee for the Rosin Box Project's 2019 season and is excited to share future seasons with San Diego as the Rosin Box Project's Founding Board Chair. He lives in Hillcrest with his partner, dancer Rony Lenis, and their beloved cat, Kamala.
Ashley McQueen, Founder/Artistic Director of Smashworks Dance, is a New York City-based performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She holds a BFA in Dance from Webster University and an MFA in Dance from Hollins University. She currently directs and choreographs for Smashworks Dance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dance company focused on women's empowerment through performance and leads the Smashworks Dance/Girl Scouts of Greater New York Education Outreach Partnership. She performs as a company member with Amanda Selwyn Dance Theatre, and teaches for Notes In Motion Education Outreach. She is a proud Founding Board member of The Rosin Box Project, a nonprofit dance company based in San Diego. Hailed as “a dancer with the grace of a ballerina, the groundedness of an Isadora acolyte, and the impetuous musicality of someone who dances because she must” (Oberon’s Grove), McQueen has worked with choreographers such as Shawn T. Bible, Maurya Kerr, Jennifer Medina, Christine Knoblauch-O'Neal, Jennifer Huffman-Olivas, Omar Olivas, James Robey, Uri Sands, Amanda Selwyn, Michael Uthoff and Paris Wilcox; and performed as a company member with ShawnBibleDanceCo (NYC), Common Thread Contemporary Dance (STL), and Arova Contemporary Ballet (AL).
Her choreography has been commissioned by organizations such as Peridance Youth Ensemble, Hamilton College, Minnesota Ballet, Big Muddy Dance Company, Arova Contemporary Ballet, Alabama Dance Theatre, Lake Arts Project, and Southern Danceworks; and presented at festivals such as Dance St. Louis Spring to Dance, Midwest RADFest, NYC Transit Museum (PLATFORM), Westfest Dance, St. Louis National Dance Week, RDA Serba Festivals, and American College Dance Festival. She was twice invited by ANNONYArts to independently choreograph and direct two evening-length concerts and was named a Kranzberg Exhibition Series Guest Artist, where she choreographed Laune, a site-specific dance performance on rideable lawn mowers for Laumeier Sculpture Park. The work culminated in a film installation, Harmony in 3, by Zlatko Cosic that remained on exhibition through February 2016. For four years, she and co-collaborator Thom Dancy have choreographed/performed with Lake Arts Project Milwaukee, including War Words Dance - in partnership with Feast of Crispian and Bright Hill Press (with generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts).
Former professional dancer, Caitlin Sullivan, began studying dance intensively under Alyce Keaggy-Brinkmann and Victoria Vargas in her hometown of Spring Grove, Illinois. There she enjoyed many performing opportunities through Illinois Youth Dance Theatre and was able to perform with talented guest artists from the Joffrey and Milwaukee Ballet Companies. As a student, she performed with fusion dance company, Chicago Dance Crash. She also studied nationally and internationally with San Francisco Ballet, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and in Berlin at ArtOf, an offshoot of Dresden Semperoper and the Forsyth Company. After graduating from high school early, Caitlin joined the trainee program of the Joffrey Ballet where she performed locally in Chicago and toured with the main company, performing in Ashton’s Cinderella in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Caitlin later joined Milwaukee Ballet II under the direction of Rolando Yanes. In Milwaukee, Caitlin met TRBP’s, now, Managing Director, Thomas Dancy. After a season with MBII, Caitlin joined the San Diego Ballet but returned to Milwaukee frequently, eventually joining Dancy’s NomadicLIMBS, A Dance Collective. Caitlin filled several roles with NomadicLIMBS including dancer, marketing assistant, and member of the development committee.
Returning to San Diego Ballet after a season with Columbia Classical Ballet in South Carolina, Caitlin took the reigns of their dancer-produced show, Dance Gallery, for two seasons. Caitlin served as coordinator, director, choreographer, and producer for the show, also introducing Thomas Dancy as a choreographer to the San Diego dance community.
After retiring from dance in 2017, Caitlin graduated from Southern New Hampshire University and became a Pilates instructor, completing a 500-hour training program and mentorship under a second-generation teacher, Jennie Rathke. She now teaches at Studio Flo Pilates and at her own studio, Graceflow Pilates. She is passionate about sharing Pilates with the underserved dance community and helping anyone heal through the power of Pilates.
Samuel Topazio is an Applications Analyst for Scripps Health who has been a lifetime advocate of both local arts and local entrepreneurs. He has worked diligently in the non-profit healthcare industry for the last seven years. In that time, he has worked in both the information technology and financial analysis departments. His goal has been to advise senior management on strategic initiatives by providing up-to-date data and industry trends. Samuel spent time in Guatemala working with non-governmental organizations (NGO) and local non-profits to improve both the local culture and economy. There he was called upon in order to help local entrepreneurs sort out their businesses and devise plans for marketing, budgeting, and supply chain management.
He is a project management and analytics enthusiast with academic training from the business schools of both the University of Connecticut and Boston University. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management with a concentration in Entrepreneurship from the University of Connecticut as well as a Master’s in Business with a concentration in Strategy & Innovation from Boston University. While attending Boston University he was a co-founder of the Strategy & Innovation Graduate Association to help students identify their future paths. Samuel also holds several certifications which include a Green Belt Certification in Lean Six Sigma and the following Epic Electronic Medical Records Software Certifications: Customer Relationship Management Certification, Eligibility & Enrollment Certification, and Claims & Contracts certification.
John Velasco started dancing at the age of 10 in San Diego at the Naismith Academy of Scottish Highland Dancing. He competed nationally and internationally winning numerous championships. He started his ballet training with the California Ballet Principal Xavier Hicks and Wayne Davis and furthered his ballet studies at University of California, Irvine where he majored in classical Greek and Latin Language.
After college John worked in the field of Human Resources for San Diego companies such as Qualcomm and Ace Parking. He made the jump to professional ballet dance in 2012 with the California Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet. In his first year John won Dancer of Year of the California Ballet. During his time at the company John has danced many classical and modern productions of the company’s repertoire including Maxine Mahon’s Nutcracker and Thor Sutowski’s Swan Lake. Additionally, John served as the Community Engagement and Social Media Manager of the company, working with local groups and populations to ensure the broadest stroke of the classical dance performance medium in the city.
John completed a certificate in nonprofit management at Harvard University in 2018 in Cambridge, MA. He also serves as a Visitor Experience associate at the Timken Museum of Art. His passion is arts administration and dance education. This is John’s first time serving on a nonprofit board. In his spare time, he is also a passionate classical musician playing flute, piano and guitar and enjoys singing.
2020-21 Advisory Board Members
Ryan Beck, Judy Berman Silbert, Khamla Somphanh, Polly Toledo
The Rosin Box Project is currently seeking new Board Members with fundraising, accounting, and administrative backgrounds. Please view our Board Information Packet below and message Managing Director Thom Dancy at Thom@therosinboxproject.com with any queries. Thank you!