Introducing the Rochester Ensemble of Dance Board Members
RED Artistic Director – Laura Watkins
Born and raised in West Des Moines, Iowa, Laura trained at School of Classical Ballet and Dance and performed with Ballet Des Moines in her youth. Her senior year of high school she attended the prestigious Walnut Hill School for the Arts as a Ballet major. Laura has earned a B.F.A. in Ballet and a Master’s of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism from the University of Utah. She spent 1 season as an Apprentice with American Midwest Ballet (formerly Ballet Nebraska), and has performed with Municipal Ballet Company and Mountain West Ballet. During summers, she trained at the School of American Ballet, Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Colorado Ballet, and Ballet Austin. Laura has danced lead and soloist roles including Swanhilda and Dawn in Coppelia, a lead in Ma Cong’s Passion There, Summer Fairy in Cinderella, and featured roles in La Bayadere and Swan Lake. She has performed abroad in Seoul, South Korea and Zaragoza, Spain.
Laura is an ABTⓇ Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABTⓇ Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABTⓇ National Training Curriculum. She is also certified in Progressing Ballet Technique and Group Fitness Instruction. Laura has spent the past 3 years producing, directing, and choreographing for various productions with Allegro School of Dance. She has also served as an Assistant Coach for the Mayo High School Dance Team.
Outside of dance and fitness, Laura enjoys working as the Office Manager at QW Furniture and as a Beautycounter Independent Consultant. Laura loves spending her time adventuring and relaxing with her Husband, Ryan, and their pets.
RED Founding Board Member – Amanda Moder, RDN, LN
Amanda Moder is a dancer, choreographer, registered dietitian, and published author. She currently works full-time as an inpatient cardiac dietitian. Amanda previously worked at the Kansas City Ballet School as a ballet and pointe instructor in the Academy division, also providing nutrition education and eating disorder prevention seminars for dancers. She has performed with The Pendleton Dance Project, VidaDance, and as a company member with Dramatic Truth Ballet Theatre. Amanda has performed nationally and internationally through Project Dance Paris (2016) and Project Dance NYC (2017, 2019). As a dietitian in the community setting, she has made over 20 live TV segment appearances on the KC morning show and previously authored a newspaper column called “Cart Smarts” in the Post Bulletin (Rochester). She is a contributing author for Brio Magazine (Focus on the Family) and INSight™ Magazine for Dance Studio Owners (MTJGD). In college, Amanda earned a minor in Dance and a minor in Biology along with her Bachelor of Science degree in Community and Medical Dietetics (nutrition). She is currently pursuing a Master of the Arts in Leadership through Wheaton College. Amanda is passionate about the art of dance and its power to deliver messages, tell stories, inspire depth, and affirm identity. She is extremely grateful for the gift of dance and looks forward to serving as a Board Member to help facilitate sharing dance and making it more accessible for the community of Rochester.