Emory Friends of Dance Board of Directors

2016-2017 Friends of Dance Board of Directors:

Kate Balzer (President), Andrea J. Catchings, Lynne Clark, Alyson Goodman, Sheri Latham, Jennifer McCormick, Jessica Portugal, Rose Shields, Kendall Simpson (ex-officio, Treasurer/Secretary), Lori Teague (ex-officio)

Kate Balzer is the Development and Communications Coordinator for The Atlanta Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to being a catalyst for change in the lives of women and girls and to end generational poverty. A graduate of Monterey Institute of International Studies, she received her Master of Public Administration in International Management with a focus on international development and social change organizations. With over 10 years in the nonprofit sector, she is experienced in nonprofit management, volunteer management, event planning, and communications. Previous nonprofits include Several Dancers Core, Theatrical Outfit, Chicago Cares and Young Nonprofit Professional Network of Atlanta. Most recently, she completed the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management at Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Bilingual in English and Spanish, Kate earned her bachelor’s degree in international studies from Emory University.

Andrea J. Catchings is an Atlanta-based teacher/choreographer whose philosophy hinges on the notion that everyone has the ability to dance—and to connect through dance. Her teaching style—informed by years of training as a competitive gymnast, as well as a track and field athlete—focuses on strength conditioning, technical proficiency, and authentic self-expression. 

While pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Emory University, Andrea performed extensively with theEmory Dance Programand other student dance organizations.  She followed her passion for dance to Temple University where she earned a MFA in 2006.

Andrea is a former member of Full Radius Dance and has performed with other independent choreographers in Atlanta. She also served on faculty with Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education teaching Limon-based technique for beginner, intermediate/advanced, and pre-professional levels. With an emphasis on the creative process to foster a sense of permanence in the finished work, she strives to develop critical-thinking movers who are fully engaged in a meaningful, invigorating exchange of ideas.

Ms. Catchings currently serves on the performance committee for Eyedrum and is a professor at Atlanta Metropolitan State College. She continues to teach and choreograph for various dance studios, schools, festivals, and art events throughout the Southeast. 

Lynne Clark

Lynne Clark moved to Atlanta in 1997. She quickly fell in love with the city and all it had to offer. With her husband and daughter, she takes part in many different cultural activities.  Upon discovering the dance world, Lynne and her family fell head over heels with dance and its vibrant community. Soon the Clarks became hands-on volunteers for many local arts organizations, for both dance and theater. Lynne has actively participated in many recent and diverse productions such as Hidden Away (the Library at Night), Dearly Departures, and Terminus. In 2010, Lynne and her daughter attended their first Emory Dance event, and the rest, as they say, is history. Now, they attend as many Emory Dance events as possible. Lynne is delighted to be part of the Emory Friends of Dance Board of Directors.

Alyson Goodman is a board-certified pediatrician and medical epidemiologist who works for the CDC’s Obesity Prevention and Control Branch in the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. She received her BS at Emory University with concentrations in biology, environmental science, and dance. She studied medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine and also received a MPH in epidemiology from Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health in 2007. Dr. Goodman completed her residency training in general pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center, where she researched differences in healthcare access and quality for minority children. Since returning to Atlanta in 2010 for a research fellowship with the Epidemic Intelligence Service at CDC, Dr. Goodman works on population-level issues relating to child obesity, such as infant beverage intake, free drinking water access and tracking of child height and weight trends.

Sheri Latham trained and danced with the Atlanta Ballet for 10 years.  In addition to the Atlanta Ballet, Latham's studies included companies in New York and Paris.  She received a Bachelor of Science in dance education from Georgia State University. Sheri currently teaches all levels of ballet at Emory University.  She also serves on the Staibdance board of directors.


Jennifer McCormick began her interest in the performing arts at the age of 6 while attending her cousin’s dance recital and that interest hasn’t slowed down since.  Studying dance through college and beyond, Jennifer began her nonprofit administration career interning with such organizations as Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Dance Aspen, and the Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville, Florida.  Following the completion of a B.S. in Dance/Arts Administration at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jennifer transferred to Atlanta to pursue employment with Several Dancers Core.  During her time at SDC, Jennifer completed her MBA at Oglethorpe University where she graduated “With Distinction” and received the Faculty Award for Academic Achievement.  Jennifer’s career then moved into the world of higher education administration, working with institutions such as Columbia Theological Seminary, Emory University School of Medicine, and the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania, a regional branch campus of the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine.  Jennifer currently serves as the Accreditation and Assessment Coordinator in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at Georgia State University. 

Jennifer’s previous board experience includes serving eight terms on her homeowner’s association board of directors (seven as Secretary).  In 2016, Jennifer completed The Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s “Women on Board: Level 1.”  In her free time, Jennifer enjoys working in her yard, taking yoga classes, and spending time with her dog, Peanut.

Jessica Portugal is a native Chicagoan who graduated from Emory University in 2008. With a Bachelor of Business Administration and Minor in Dance and Movement Studies, she continues to blend her two passions by working as a Healthcare Consultant at Triage Consulting Group and dancing with Susan Eldridge's company, DENSE. Since graduating she has participated in the Staibdance Summer Intensive, Dances Made to Order, site specific work, and collaborated with other local Atlanta artists. Jessica is extremely excited to join the Emory Friends of Dance Board, and is honored to be working with such thoughtful and creative people.

Rose Shields received her BFA in Dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2007. She had the privilege to perform with UNCSA’s outreach program, The Open Dream Ensemble, a musical theater company bringing arts and education to kids all over the southeast. Rose was delighted to continue helping students be active learners through the use of arts and academic integration when she became a sub for three years in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Rose has been energized through performing with Brooks & Company Dance, Bubba Carr, Serenbe Playhouse, Young Audiences Woodruff Arts Center, The Imperial OPA Circus, and ELEMENT Acrobats. She currently is in her third season as a dance artist with CORE Performance Company. Being very energetic herself, Rose enjoys climbing trees, break dancing, and making use of all styles of dance and physical expression.