Amrita Dance Company

Amrita Dancers

Julie Palk Marques CLMA, CMT

Julie began her dance career as a small child, as a student of ballet. She studied jazz, ballet and modern dance into her teens until discovering the inner silence and rigors of Aikido, Tai Chi Chuan and Chi Gung. After apprenticing herself to Jane Golden for six years, she set sail to live, teach, study and perform classical Nepalese and Indian dance. This rich experience provided Julie with a canvas of expression emanating from her inner to outer being.She continues to study Odissi Indian Dance with Sri Vishnu Tattva Das. In 2001 Julie infused her life experiences to found Amrita Dance Company. With her unique artist flair, she is setting the stage a glow with the rich, exotic, and playful Bollywood style. As artistic director, Julie choreographs, teaches and performs with the Amrita. She currently offers dance and Somatic movement classes along with Eastern bodywork in her healing arts studio in San Francisco and Santa Rosa.

Joy Andrea Schoffer

Joy has been performing since the age of 4, beginning her career with classical ballet for 16 years. Inspired by her passion and love for dance, she moved to Ohio where she studied modern dance, ballet, and African dance at Kent State University. She lived in Cleveland, OH.,studying and performing with a flamenco dance company for two years. Recognizing the therapeutic value of movement and dance, she went on to study Dance Therapy. Joy has since created various therapeutic dance programs for children and teens with disabilities. In 2004, her heart and her spirit led her to California where she was fortunate to meet and join the beautiful and amazing women of Amrita Dance Company. Currently, she is working for the state of California as a Recreation Therapist, implementing various forms of dance Therapy for adults with disabilities.

Ileana Champlain

Ileana Champlain has been performing since the age of 5. She has worked professionally as an actress both on screen and on stage. Her diverse dance background includes; Modern, Jazz, Congolese, Afro. Brazilian, Middle Eastern and traditional Nepalese. She is currently studying Odissi, the oldest Indian sacred temple dance with Vishnu Tattva Das. In 1993, Ileana’s passion for Eastern philosophies led her to India to study yoga. She currently teaches an empowering and enriching weekly yoga classes in Sebastopol, and is enrolled in an Ayurvedic practitioner program. Ileana has been dancing with Amrita for four years and loves Bollywood, as it encompasses and unifies many dance styles. When not teaching or dancing, Ileana can be found playing with her husband, son and Siberian husky.

Kaci Tippton

Kaci's love of dance began at the ripe young age of six when she started learning classical ballet. Her first performance was a duet with her brother where he was a mule and she was a bluebird. With her parents always close by her side, she jumped right into the "dancing lifestyle" and soon her bun-headed pals were sisters for life. Kaci has performed professionally with numerous companies including Grass Roots Political Dance Theater and continues to choreograph with her unique artistic flair. She is pursuing a career as a Nurse-Midwife with plans to travel around the world delivering babies. She is currently the founder of Green Living Non- Toxic House and Carpet Cleaning Company. She also loves to eat with friends, skateboard, clean houses, run wild, play, see live music, relax, and ponder the universe.

Amanda Ashkar

Amanda Ashkar is no stranger to the stage, having performed professionally, with community theaters and educational institutes for the last 23 years. She holds a Bachelors degree in Theatre from San Francisco State University and has performed in San Francisco with The New Conservatory Theatre, Luna Sea Theatre, Theatre Rhino, and Mission Cultural Center. Amanda was fortunate to study intensively with the world famous belly dancer Suhaila Salimpour. She performed around the North Bay for four seasons with Grassroots Movement Political Dance Theatre Company. In 2002, Amrita opened Amanda's eyes and heart to traditional Nepalese folk dance, Indian and Nepalese Sacred Spiritual dances and Bollywood. Amanda feels honored by her many artistic opportunities, and for her connection with Amrita. Not only is Amrita a dance company, it is a family of women empowering one another through the sacred ritual of dance. They her sisters that she loves and cherishes!

Trinity Ava

Trinity’s journey of dance began in Los Angles, CA at the age of 15 with classical ballet and modern dance. Addicted to movement, she skipped to New York at 18 to attend SUNY Purchase BFA dance program to study with many of the greats including Martha Graham, Jose Limon and the cutting edge choreographers of the day. She packed her dance bags for Europe at 20 to begin a professional career in contemporary dance based in the Netherlands where she performed internationally for 5 years. A hippie dancer, herbalist and world sojourner at heart, she continues to find herself rooted in the practice of herbalism & Ayurveda. Currently based in Sebastopol, CA she is the National Sales and Education Director for OM Organics/Organic India, an organic herbal company based in Boulder CO. and Northern India. Trinity is honored to be a member Amrita and to be infused with the spirit of movement.