6 FEET / 6 SOLOS  is a new program from The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts responding to COVID-19 and how this year created an environment for isolation; necessitating connection in ways we’ve never experienced before. As a hub for dance in the Twin Cities, The Cowles Center aims to provide opportunities for artists of all styles, ages, backgrounds, and abilities. Through this application-based initiative, six artists were invited to continue to create, perform, and be financially compensated for their artistry. 

As part of their involvement with the program, each artist was given a $500 stipend; a professional photoshoot with local Twin Cities photographer, Isabel Fajardo; and free rehearsal space at The Cowles Center.

All six solos will be performed in person at The Cowles Center on Wednesday, September 23, and will also be streamed virtually the following Wednesday, September 30. The in-person performance will be for a small, socially-distanced audience in the TEK BOX Theater. Audience members will be seated in a circle, six feet apart from one another and the performers. Masks are required.

The Cowles Center acknowledges that dance is a powerful response tool and hopes 6 FEET / 6 SOLOS can be a platform for artists to find healing and reflection, especially on the topics of isolation and connection, through movement. 50% of total ticket revenue will be donated to BlackTableArts, a nonprofit organization chosen by the 6 FEET / 6 SOLOSartists. BlackTableArts is an arts-based organization located in Minnesota who gives access to "quality, art-based programs that center education, social justice, and artistic development to uplift black lives." Their mission is "to raise volume in black life through the arts and organize toward livable futures to see cooperative communities become sustainable through the arts." To learn more about BlackTableArts and the work they’re doing in the community, please visit: https://www.blacktablearts.com/


Tickets for both performances will open on September 15, 2020 at 10am CST.

September 23, 7pm - In-Person Performance General Admission (seats limited): $25

September 30, 7pm - Virtual Performance followed by Q&A with Artists Household Admission: $25

Get your tickets here


Amanda Sachs (she/her/hers)

Amanda Sachs, currently based in Minneapolis, MN has spent the last three years of her professional career as a company member of TU Dance (under the direction of Toni Pierce-Sands). In her time with the company, she has acquired new repertoire by Marcus J Willis and Stefanie Batten Bland, while also performing notable works such as “Walking with Pearl: Africa Diaries” by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, “Night Creature” by Alvin Ailey, and the solo work “Witness” by Alvin Ailey. In addition, Amanda was one of the founding dancers of “Come Through” - an evening length collaboration between TU Dance and the Grammy award-winning band, Bon Iver. 

Prior to joining TU Dance, Amanda danced with The Francesca Harper Project in New York City. Under Ms. Harper’s direction, Amanda performed at locations such as the Joyce Theatre and Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as having had the honor to perform an improvisational solo at Bryant Park. Amanda also served as assistant to Ms. Harper’s choreographic residencies with Dance Theatre of Harlem and TU Dance.

Additional credits include the Metamorphosis International Dance Residency under the direction of Iratxe Ansa and Igor Bacovich, and traveling to Beijing, Shanghai, and Barcelona for month long choreographic residencies and performances.

Originally from New Jersey, her training began at The Academy of Dance Arts in Red Bank, New Jersey under the direction of Jennifer James Church and later Nicolas and Shayne Mishoe. She continued her training in San Francisco, California at the Alonzo King Lines Training Program. By the completion of the program, Amanda had performed works by Iratxe Ansa, Sidra Bell, Maurya Kerr, Gregory Dawson, Erik Wagner, Kara Davis, Keelan Whitmore, and Sandrine Cassini as well as excerpts of Alonzo King’s "Rasa" and "Ocean."

Ayumi H. Shafer (she/her/hers)

Ayumi Shafer is an educator, choreographer, and mover who has been active in Minnesota since 2013. Originally from California, Shafer has been teaching for over 14 years in various cities including, Los Angeles, San Francisco (BA, San Francisco State University 2009), Eugene (MFA, University of Oregon 2013), and Minneapolis. As she continues to teach in both public and private institutions, Shafer has focused on collaborations within her work. Finding ways to highlight other local artists in not only dance, but other art disciplines. Shafer has produced and directed work for concert stages, gallery showings, site-specific performances, and film. In 2014, Shafer co-founded DanceBARN Collective, a nonprofit organization that brings dance to rural communities. In Shafer and her co-director's vision, DanceBARN has been committed to building community engagement, fostering collaborations, and providing support for dance artists. Enthusiastic about sharing dance with all members of her communities, Shafer has organized events and workshops for people with all types of experiences, from novice to professional.

Melissa Clark (she/her/hers)

Originally from Gary, Indiana, Melissa Clark began studying dance at the age of two and teaching at fourteen. She is the founder of COHORTS Collective, a collective for artists that create opportunities for artists to stage, perform, contribute, and expand artistically through cross-genre collaboration. She is a recipient of the 2020 McKnight Dancer Fellow. As a Diasporic artist, she travels both domestically and internationally to research the anthropological roots of traditional dance and rhythms, and the influence of historical events on the evolution of dance and culture in the Diaspora. Her specific interests focus on identifying and promoting cross-cultural intersections in dance and arts aesthetics, musicality, historical content, and curative elements. Melissa’s background includes Afro –Brazilian Contemporary, Afro –Cuban, Ballet, Capoeira, Chicago House and Footwork, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Modern, Samba, Tap, Traditional Haitian Dance, as well as traditional West African Dance from Ghana, Guinea, and Mali.

Roxane Wallace (she/her/hers)

Dancer, choreographer, performer, and instructor Roxane Wallace has been active in the Twin Cities and beyond for over 25 years.  She has been recognized with a Minnesota Sage Award for Outstanding Performer and as a McKnight Artist Fellow in Dance.  She was seen nationally and internationally as a principal artist with SPDT for 15 years and as a member of Paula Mann's Time Track Productions for 6 years.  She also performed in works by Meredith Monk ( Quarry, Mercy), Vincent Mantsoe (Kutu), Marciano Silva Dos Santos (Motiro), Shawn McConneloug (She Captains) and many others as well as creating her own socially conscious works.  As a teaching artist, she facilitates classes and workshops and creates original choreography for all ages in schools, universities, and community organizations. Currently, she provides inspiration and training through the VocalEssence "WITNESS" program, the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, and as an instructor for Zenon Dance School.

Tyreis Adriel Hunte (he/him/his/they/them)

Tyreis Adriel Hunte is a 20-year-old performer- choreographer born and raised in a multicultural society of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. In his earlier years in this South American nation, his main exposure to dance culture was well rounded, originally a hip-hop dancer he was exposed to modern, latin and many other cultural genres from the diverse people of his country. Tyreis was a dedicated soul to the stage, earning awards in national festivals in dance and drama. At the age of 16, he completed his Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate having a focus on the performing arts. Later that year, he was offered a scholarship to study the International Baccalaureate at the United World College campus in Changshu China. Having lived in China for three years Tyreis has had exposure to many cultural movements of the East Asian country such as tai chi and lion dance, performing in dance ensembles, musical theater and Chinese opera for audiences in regional cultural dance shows and special guests of local and international guests such as Suzhou’s “Foreigners Got Talent” and the royal family of Norway. He is currently a rising sophomore double majoring in Dance and Psychology at the St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota where he is a member of the dance department’s company working with professors.

Vie Boheme (she/her/hers)

Vie Boheme is a Motown native, blossomed creatively in Pittsburgh and refined in Minneapolis. She is a multimodal artist; a dancer, singer, and choreographer. She brings athletic agility to her vocal performance by singing and dancing in unison, eliminating the boundary between the visual and audio experience. Her sound is a fusion of Soul, Funk, Jazz, R&B, and Pop. Her lyrics mix vulnerability with an authenticity that beautifully snaps the listener back to reality.

She is a former vocal artist, choreographer, and co-creative director for Stokley Williams, frontman of Mint Condition gone solo. She is also a former dance artist with Camille A. Brown & Dancers, TU Dance, and a founding member of The August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble (Top 25 to Watch, Dance Magazine, 2012). She has choreographed and performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, The Guthrie Theater with The Moving Company and she has also choreographed for The Children's Theater in Minneapolis, MN. While with The August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble she traveled with The US Embassy to teach and perform in Suriname in South America. Vie was trained at Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts and The Ailey School. Over the course of her career, she performed the works of Kyle Abraham, Gregory Dolbashian, Dwight Rhoden, Uri Sands, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and Sidra Bell. She is also a soul, funk, jazz vocalist, and has opened for international acts Little Dragon, Bilal, and J*Davey.

Vie is also a recent speaker for TedxMinneapolis an extension of the Ted, a global initiative about ideas worth spreading. Her talk is titled ‘Is Performing Art Worth the Struggle?’. 

She is also a Vinyasa yoga instructor with her own signature teaching philosophy, CoreKinetics Yoga. It’s a rigorous yoga practice that uses core strength and engagement as the base to reach and radiate energy from all points in the body and seamlessly linking breath and movement as a means to access a state of meditation. This practice is the basis of her performance experience.




Program questions can be directed to Elyse Chambers at echambers@thecowlescenter.org