Redwood Raks Collective Board of Directors

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President

JULIE HAYES

Julie wants a world filled with love and hugs. A world where boys are encouraged to take dance as much as play soccer, girls are expected to fix things and speak their mind. A world that is peaceful, inclusive for all and where family and community are the pillars of society.  

Julie teaches 1st grade at a local elementary school and is pursuing a future in many things including more dance and writing. She can't get enough of gardening and dancing, and can never leave a nursery without plants nor a dance festival without new shoes. She's a sucker for huge Sunday breakfasts and escargot. 

Actually, she is slightly obsessed with the french culture, and spent 40 days there for her 38th birthday. She was voted "best hair" in high school, and if you catch her during a dance class, you'll be sure to agree. She moved to Humboldt when she was 19 and has never loved a place more. When she is not busy with her family and her passion for dance, you'll usually find her whipping up a new home project or community event. She is planning to release her first book in 2021 and will continue dancing for the rest of her life. 

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Vice President

CRAIG KURUMADA

Craig (he/him/his) has been a performer in dance, music, and theatre since his youth,  growing up in his hometown of Salt Lake City, Utah. He moved to Arcata in 1993 and co-founded the international folk band, Chubritza. The band is still going strong and will be playing publicly as soon as conditions permit.
Craig has degrees in linguistics and German from the University of Utah. He speaks English and German and has some competence in Spanish, Bulgarian, Mandarin and Japanese. He loves to learn new languages, music, and dance. His favorite dances and music stem from folk traditions, but not exclusively. He shared them often as a guest DJ on KHSU's "Ethnic Excursions" and "In the Tradition" radio programs. He has been involved in the Humboldt Country Writers for six years and has completed the National Novel Writing Month challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in a month, five times. Craig retired from HSU Departments of Math and Computer Science as an Administrative Coordinator  in 2016 and has been busy ever since. In addition to the Redwood Raks, he is on the board of the East European Folklife Center, the organization that runs the Balkan Music and Dance Workshops (Balkan Camp) in California and New York annually. He hopes to see the Arcata Creamery District become an energized art center for northern Humboldt.

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Treasurer

LINNEA MANDELL

Years ago, Linnea’s mother sewed a huge, billowing turquoise and yellow maternity clown suit so Linnea could join her parents dancing on Halloween. She loves to explain how Linnea and her brothers started with dance and music in-utero, and are still at it! Growing up, Linnea learned that family car trips are for group singing, and summer vacations are for attending dance and music camps. And in keeping with tradition, Linnea and her husband Craig became a couple 27 years ago at Balkan Music and Dance camp. 

Linnea studied classical music growing up, and began playing folk dance music in college. She performed for many years with the Northcountry International Folk Ensemble, and the Ballet Folklórico de Humboldt, and currently directs Chubritza International Folk Band. She is a retired teacher and curriculum specialist in arts education and English language development. Linnea believes that the arts are an essential and integral part of life, education, and human expression, and is committed to promoting arts opportunities for everyone.

When not playing music or dancing, Linnea enjoys reading, travel, studying languages and cultures, photography, sewing, making jewelry, real estate management and remodeling, and sitting in warm, sunny spots like a cat. Her all-time favorite foods are artichokes and avocados, and her hidden talent is riding a unicycle.

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Secretary

TAMRA JAMES

Tamra James loves to move. Running, jumping, climbing, swimming, she grew up chasing two older brothers and was out to prove she could do anything they could do.

Tamra moved to Humboldt County in 2011 to finish her degree in Kinesiology, Exercise Science. She graduated in 2014 and immediately got a manager position at what was at the time, Arcata Core Pilates. Tamra now is the owner of what was Arcata Core Pilates, now rebranded and renamed, called Movewell.

Movewell is a movement space that primarily offers Pilates and functional fitness group sessions and personal training sessions. Tamra has been a student of Redwood Raks since she arrived in Humboldt in 2011. She is honored and grateful to serve on the board with an amazing community of Redwood Raks.

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Building Coordinator

THOM BOSWELL

Thom Boswell has been an enthusiastic member of the local community participating in Kinetic Racing, volunteering with Humboldt CASA and in Monday Night Swing. He has produced a great Swing/Blues New Years dance party the last 2 years at Redwood Raks and hopes to keep that tradition going when it is safe to gather again. Dance has brought a lot of joy to his life, and he even tries to weave it into his Kinetic Racing passion.

His team, Swing Kids, is a dance-infused no drug/pot/alcohol team that frequently jumps off their sculpture and dances whenever possible. See their 2019 pageantry dance here, choreographed by Cailan Halliday:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quk75AEQ04E&list=UUoA6huHiUFtB_AAJfggb5Yw&index=20 

Thom is serving as Building Coordinator for Redwood Raks Collective and has been overseeing some beautiful projects at the space while dancing has been suspended, and is working on designing an outdoor dance / performance space out the back behind the Jade Studio. Thom brings a wealth of knowledge and skill and is always excited to welcome brand new people to expand their horizons and DANCE and do KINETICS. You can do both!

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Programming Chair

CAILAN HALLIDAY

Cailan believes dance will solve ALL of the world's problems, and he doesn't even think that's hyperbole. Getting everyone to dance? That may be the tricky bit... but he has made it his galactic mission to do his part before his time runs out on this planet. Cailan sees himself mostly as a Lindy Hopper (citing time constraints to learn other dances) but still loves to dance just about anything else. Some of Cailan's favorite activities include: listening to swing albums on repeat, looking at his next pair of dance shoes, and dancing (what did you think he was going to say?).

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Accounting

JACK LEWIS

Jack is passionate about movement and has been teaching Cuban dance in Arcata since 2011.  After a career in scientific research, he is overjoyed to find more time for dancing, kayaking, skiing, bicycling, hiking, and conditioning. When relaxing, he loves to challenge his brain with puzzles and word games. And when dead tired, you might find him watching Survivor reruns. Strongly herbivorous, his favorite foods are smoothies and carbs. He is grateful for the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in the Humboldt Bay Area and, concerned about the future of humanity and our planet we inhabit, he embraces the mantra "Think globally, act locally."  He has an affinity for Italian culture and language, and hopes to visit and dance with some of the great Cuban dance masters that live in Italy as well as Cuba

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Legal Chair

ALLISON VALENTINE

Allison is an Arcata native, HSU graduate, former restaurateur, and many other things. She spends most of her free time tending to her garden, obsessing over her pets, and experimenting with culinary projects. She danced in the North Country Fair Samba parade from 2009 through 2017 and looks forward to dancing in many more. She loves to travel, cook, and see live music. Currently working on her MBA, she plans to use the knowledge gained to help local small businesses flourish.

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Publicity Chair

DEBORAH KETELSEN

Deborah has been active dancing and performing in the Humboldt County Music and Dance scene since 1987! From Afro-Cuban, to Congolese and West African Dance styles to Brazilian, she feels she has almost grown up dancing at Redwood Raks (formally The Dancenter)! Deborah has choreographed, directed, designed costumes, and held the position as treasurer, for the Brazilian troupe Samba De Alegria, and she may just hold the local record for performing in the most Samba Parades at least 26! She recently retired from teaching African Dance at HSU after 13 beautiful years, however is still employed at HSU as a Media Production Specialist for the Center for Teaching and Learning.  Deborah’s other passions include gardening, learning about medicinal herbs, videography, photography, boating, cooking and snuggling with her cats!

Site Manager

SHOSHANNA

Shoshanna started Redwood Raks in 2008 just after the doors of The Dancenter closed in late 2007. She was honored to keep the tradition of a space serving as home to many local dance groups and classes. It has been a beautiful journey that now seems to have come to fruition as Redwood Raks Collective has been born and is now operating the two studios as a non-profit. Such a dream come true!

She grew up locally and danced at Humboldt Dance Academy, Dance Expressions, Studio of Dance Arts, North Coast Dance, The Dancenter and Humboldt State University.... almost everywhere! She currently is part time faculty in the HSU Dance Studies program, working with Arcata Main Street and with The Creamery District to support and promote our local businesses and artists, is pursuing a variety of creative projects including online performances and drive-by events, and is the acting Site Manager of Redwood Raks. She is happy to help new and established teachers and renters figure out the logistics needed to make their classes be successful. She is also doing whatever the Redwood Raks Collective board members need her to do to help the studio thrive. Go DANCE! :-)

© 2020 by Redwood Raks Collective

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