Sarah Louise Kristiansen - Artistic Director (DENMARK)

Sarah Louise is the founder of Making Dance Happen and shares her time between choreographing work and delivering projects with Making Dance Happen. 

Sarah Louise presents work that and travels between contemporary and ballet genres and celebrates craftsmanship and virtuosity.

In addition to holding a BA (Hons) in Dance from Kingston University, Sarah Louise has travelled the world dancing and has worked in prestigious venues including The Royal Albert Hall (London) The Kremlin Theatre (Moscow), the Gwangju Biennial (Gwangju, South Korea) and has completed further training at Millenium Dance Studios and EDGE Pac in Los Angeles.

In addition to choreographing, Sarah Louise is engaged with Move The World and has facilitated for the Jump! Foundation.


Peru 2018 - Participating Artist: Alice Oakley-Jones (UK)

Alice found her love of dance through her mother, a professional dancer who opened a Ballet school Alice attended from a young age. Continuing in her mothers footsteps, Alice undertook her training at The Royal Academy of Dance where she received a BA Honours Degree in Ballet Education. With a passion to perform, Alice continued her professional training privately with the inspiring ex Cuban national ballerina; Chilian Heredia. Upon graduation Alice also began teaching RAD ballet and contemporary classes at London Dance schools, evolving her dance teaching career as well as professional dancing career. Alice auditioned successfully for a year Internship with The London Ballet Company, and was later made a company Dancer, and more recently a soloist.
Alice has been dancing professionally for 4 years in a variety of classical and contemporary performances, from Theatre Productions to commercial work and private events. Some of her most recent work; performing as a lead role ‘Gerda’ in Fran Mangiacasale’s adaptation of ‘The Snow Queen’. Performing in the opening ceremony of Latitude music Festival 2017, and she will be featuring as a dancer in upcoming 2018 ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Film Biopic of Freddie Mercury.
Alice continues to set her sights on expanding her dance career overseas, as well as simultaneously developing her dance pedagogy which is greatly enriched by her own performing experience. Alice believes in the power of her art form to help people transcend situation and state of mind.


Peru 2018 - Participating Artist: Zaquia Mahler Salinas (USA)

Zaquia Mahler Salinas is a performer, dance maker, and teacher. After completing her BA in Dance with Honors from UC Santa Barbara, she returned to San Diego and has been a company member and teacher with Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater since 2013 where she has the opportunity to perform works by various choreographers, both in the theater and at site-specific events. She is committed to the evolution of her teaching and her artistry and recently earned her MFA in Dance: Creative Practice from Saint Mary’s College of California. As a choreographer, Zaquia has received awards and recognitions for dance works she has presented at events such as Kinesis Santa Barbara, World Cultures Program at San Diego City College, UC San Diego’s ArtPower!, SDDT’s Young Choreographer’s Showcase and Prize, San Diego International Fringe Festival, San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances, and 40 North Dance Film Festival. Currently, she is invested in sharing her most recent work, an immersive dance film experience the loneliest part of here is now.

Peru 2018 - Participating Artist: Elina Akhmetova (Germany/UK/Russia)

Elina was born in Moscow, and grew up in South Africa, Spain and the UK. She trained at Iwanson in Germany after gaining a BA (Hons) degree in Literature and Drama, and MA in Physical Theatre Practice from Royal Holloway University of London. She speaks 4 languages fluently, and having grown up around such a multiplicity of different cultures has given her a warm, open outlook towards the world.

As a freelancer she has worked with Willi Dorner, Yael Flexer, Mafalda Deville, Johanna Richter, Nyctolopic theatre and Union Dance, amongst others. In 2016 she toured with the group ‘artisnoexcuse’ to Dagarnir Nordic Festival held in the Faroe Islands, and to Toulouse with the group Zootrophic. As a choreographer her work has been presented in the UK, Italy, Germany, the Faroe Islands, winning first prize at the Danzafirenze competition in Florence, and winning ‘Best Performer – Dancer and Choreographer’ at the Fringe Report awards in London. Her most recent performance and touring experience has been with Jasmin Vardimon’s JV2, with whom she toured the UK, ending at Sadler’s Wells theatre in London 2017. She loves to work with a wide range of visual artists, and has done so in Germany and Italy, and at the Victoria & Albert Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London. She also has a passion for and continues ongoing study with the Axis Syllabus research community globally.

Elina loves to teach dance, movement and embodiment to dancers and non-dancers, most recently whilst raising funds for the Islington Refugee Centre, and as part of fundraising for the charity Help Refugees. Her work is collaborative, rooted in the exploratory edge between dance and theatre, and she believes everyone can dance. She is incredibly thrilled to be working with Making Dance Happen and Social Creativa in Peru in 2018!


Peru 2017 - Participating Artist: Ughetta Pratesi (ITALY)

Ughetta is originally from Italy. She completed her training in England at Laine Theatre Arts where she studied Ballet, Modern, Tap, Contemporary and Jazz, along with Musical Theatre, Drama and Singing, graduating with the National Diploma in Professional Dance, and went on to an extra year at Guilford School of Acting to gain a First Class BA (Hons) in Theatre.

She’s been working as a freelance dancer in London and Europe, being involved in dance projects and theatre productions that saw her performed in numerous venues and event (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Avignon Le Off , Brighton Fringe, Platform Theatre for Central Saint Martins, Robin Howard Theatre at The Place, RichMix and many more)music videos, short and feature films (Les Miserables, Universal).

Ughetta also worked as a dance teacher and choreographer,she started in Italy at Dance Theatre School of Jane Lawton and completed her teaching training at Laine with FDI ISTD in Ballet. She teaches in schools in and around London, both ballet, preparing students for exams, and jazz/musical theatre, preparing kids for local and west end shows. She’s gives classes of contemporary/jazz at Pineapple Dance Studios in Covent Garden and she’s guest teacher in various school in her native Italy, where she often returns to deliver summer schools and workshops in musical theatre and contemporary dance.

As a choreographer Ughetta has worked on theatre pieces, corporate events, music videos, short films and is currently working with City Academy Musical Theatre Companies on their Christmas Pantomime “Cinderella”,having previously choreographed “Fame, The musical”.

For the past two years she has been producing a summer dance event in Italy: “Luci e Ombre” (2015) and “Storie” (2016), inviting a group of European dance artists to her native town of Borgo San Lorenzo, Florence, for a week of workshops with local dance school students, ending in an evening of dance shorts.

Peru 2017 - Participating Artist : Vanessa Long (USA)

Vanessa Long is an American choreographer and educator noted for her theatrical style and activism work. She is a graduate of West Chester University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Theatre and Dance and a resident of New York City. She has choreographed a total of seventeen Off- Broadway shows over the course of two years along with several short films and music videos. For her short film “Dissolve” she worked in close collaboration with Kate Barker-Froyland (Director/Writer of “Song One” with Anne Hathaway) which went on to be shown in several film festivals around the world. In October 2014 she founded the Vanessa Long Dance Company based in NYC. The company performs three to six times a month in NYC and the Tri-State area. The VLDC is currently the resident dance company at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre and Resident Artists at Anita’s Way. They have received glowing reviews on their performances and received several features in magazines such as Dance Teacher Magazine, Broadway World, Yoga Magazine, Asana Magazine,New York Talent Magazine, and Kindred Spirit Magazine. In addition she is a dance educator at a local studio and runs a pre-professional company, Long 2. She is so excited to be working with Social Creative and Making Dance Happen!


Peru 2017 - Participating Artist: Irina Hüfner (GERMANY)

Irina Hüfner was born in 1989 in central Germany, where she started dancing at age four. She is trained in classical ballet, baroque dancing, modern and jazz dance. At age ten she decided to visit a high school with an intense focus on music, where she sang in an internationally touring choir. Due to the touring schedule, she visited countries like Sweden, Japan and China, where she got in contact with foreign cultures that sparked her interest.

In 2007 Irina has found a way to fuse her singing and dancing interests at the Hamburg School of Entertainment, where she graduated as a musical actress at age 21. Ever since she has performed as the lead character of the musical Cinderella at the Winterhuder Fährhaus (Hamburg), joined multiple short-films and stage productions, such as the opera Don Giovanni. In addition Irina created her own work, the one-woman show Alle Jahre wieder, which was presented for two consecutive years in her hometown of Blankenburg.

Since 2013 Irina studies at the Amsterdam Academy for Theatre and Dance. By the end of the academic year 2016/2017, she will have reached her bachelor’s degree as a dance teacher.

Peru 2016 - Participating Artist: Emily O'Shea (UNITED KINGDOM)

Emily was enchanted with the world of dance aged two after watching her first ballet, The Nutcracker, wanting nothing but to be able to dance with the prima ballerina Darcy Bussell. Since then her love of dance grew and continues to grow as she is exposed to many different genres and techniques. Specialising in Contemporary dance, Emily’s style is very technical due to her Ballet focused training at the Hammond School. Her training and performing in a wide variety of styles, including Jazz, Tap, Commercial, Latin, Irish and Spanish, adds another element to Emily’s movement quality. Living in London, Emily is currently dancing with Co_Motion in addition to working as a freelance performer and teacher. She continues to grow as an artist and enjoys developing with some of the best choreographers in London. “ I know I am on the right path and I am excited to see where Making Dance Happen will take me as an artist.”


Peru 2016/2017 - Project Assistant: Alexis Huarote Davila (PERU)

Alexis fist discovered dance in his fifth year of High School discovering that through dance he could express his emotions and feelings, strengths and weaknesses, joys and sorrows. As time went on he became very interested in urban culture, especially breakdance.  Alexis received training in theatre, ballet, contemporary and improvisation at Social Creativa before training at D1 Angeles dance school studying break dance and hip hop.  Alexis is the company founder of urban dance crew DUNAXS. He also teaches break dance at Social Creativa and is currently general coordinator for the NGO. “I am excited to be working with MDH as I want to continue to dance, do projects and train new talent”

Peru 2016 - Project Assistant: Maja Phillips (GERMANY)

Maja is a German volunteer who worked with Social Creative for a full year. She taught Ballet and Contemporary dance classes in Chincha Alta and the surrounding districts. A few years before coming to Peru, she started dancing to find a better connection to her body and a new way to express her creativity. “I am very exited to learn from everybody involved and see different groups of dancers coming together for Making Dance Happen”.