Dance Fremont Board of Directors

Adrienne Blue, President

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As Dance Fremont's Board President, Adrienne's key mission for this young non-profit organization is focusing on equality, inclusion and exceptional dance instructions offered to all peoples. Working alongside our esteemed Artistic Director and board members, Adrienne is dedicated to ensuring robust leadership as Dance Fremont catapults its growth in the Seattle community.

Adrienne's connection with Dance Fremont began in 1996 when enrolling her four year old daughter at Fremont's new dance school. Dance Fremont's safe and inspiring environment cultivated her daughter with accomplished dance skills and a passion for the art of dance that continues today.

Karena Birk, Artistic Director

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Karena was born and raised in Seattle, and started taking creative dance at age 3 after insisting on dancing around the living room to Swan Lake every single evening. She received the majority of her dance training at the Cornish Preparatory Dance Program, as well as at the Richmond Ballet, and the University of Washington. She holds an MFA in Dance from The Ohio State University, and a BA in Classics from the University of Washington. Her MFA studies focused on pedagogy, dance performance, notation, and history, and she holds a Teaching Certification in Labanotation. Before directing Dance Fremont, she taught dance at many institutions including the University of Washington Bothell, Bainbridge Dance Center, Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, and Cornish Preparatory Dance. Her professional dance experience includes performing with the Colorado Ballet, Lehua Dance Theatre, ARC Dance, Catherine Cabeen-Hyphen, Redd Legg Dance, and Seattle Dance Project.

Karena believes in the value of dance as a source of inspiration, self-discovery, expression, and fulfillment for everyone who studies it. Every dance student deserves the respect of being given quality training and curriculum, and the integrity of dance education at Dance Fremont has long been an inspiration to Karena. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to support and continue the excellence that Vivian, Mary, and the Dance Fremont community have built.

Beth Fenkner

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Beth has had a long career in sales and marketing, having worked overseas and domestically in education, tech, and finance before settling in the dynamic world of Seattle Real Estate. She has always believed in contributing to the greater good, from Peace Corps to corporate days of service and various organizations in between. She was first introduced to Dance Fremont years ago through family friends and watched the impact it had on their daughter as she grew into a wonderful, strong, confident young adult. To Beth, Dance Fremont represents the perfect pairing of the arts and physical activity for both personal expression and overall health that is so important at all ages. She also strongly believes the opportunity to participate in such programs should be available to anyone and everyone in our community. She is honored to be on the Board and help to grow and expand the reach of Dance Fremont by building a greater awareness of the programs, opportunities, and value it offers to all in our community. She looks forward to welcoming you into the Dance Fremont family.  Beth Lives in Queen Anne with her young son, two cats and two quinea pigs.

Damian S. Pisanelli

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For the past twelve years, Damian has been a part of the Siemens Corporation account team for ConferenceDirect where he is the Director of Global Accounts. He has managed the global Strategic Meetings Management account for the past five years. In his role, he focused on client data including analysis of buying decisions by the meeting owners and how these decisions influence the buying power of a meeting's program. Damian has over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, beginning in commercial catering in Ohio, Colorado and Florida before moving into hotel operations. He spent over 10 years with Starwood Hotels & Resorts on both the Operations side as well as within the Sales and Marketing Division, and was Revenue Manager for the Pan Pacific Seattle. He has a B.A. in Anthropology from Kent State University.

Damian has a passion for travel and intercultural learning which has led to his volunteer work with AFS-USA for over 20 years. Damian was a member of the volunteer National Council for several years helping to oversee the management of the organizations volunteer base. He also served for seven years on the organizations Board of Directors which included time on the International Relations Committee, the Nominations Committee and the Finance Committee. He was also the AFS-USA liaison to Sentio, Inc a subsidiary of AFS International specializing in non-traditional exchange opportunities and exchange programs for adults. Damian has hosted ten exchange students over the years as result of his work with AFS-USA. Outside of work and volunteer duties, Damian enjoys good food and libations. Damian resides in Edmonds, Washington. He has two sons, a cat and in 2022 became a grandad.