Meet Our Team
Executive Artistic Director
Terry Wilson has been performing, choreographing and teaching for over 32 years. Her dance career began the minute she met Jean Isaacs and she has performed over 50 dances created by Jean. She studied with her at San Diego State University and consequently began dancing for Three’s Company and Dancers in 1986. Terry then performed for Isaacs/McCaleb and Dancers for eight years before leaving to obtain her MFA in Dance from the University of Michigan. Following that, Ms. Wilson returned to San Diego to dance for Jean at San Diego Dance Theater, retiring from performing in 2003.
Highly valuing education, Terry earned a BS in Psychology from SDSU and an MFA in dance on full scholarship from the University of Michigan. She also is a professor at San Diego City College and lecturer at UCSD. Terry is deeply invested in the dance community in San Diego and hopes to create more opportunities for everyone to perform and enjoy movement.
Terry choreographed for the first two years of Trolley Dances, performed in the third event and was invited back to choreograph in the 2008, 2014 and 2018 “best of” Trolley Dance performances. After retiring from performing, she worked with Jean to create “Moving Stories,” a children’s program; became rehearsal director for company repertoire; and served on the Board of Directors for San Diego Dance Theater. She is also honored to have worked alongside Jean as Associate Artistic Director of San Diego Dance Theater for over a year and a half. As she moves into the Artistic Director position, Terry is excited to infuse the upcoming seasons with exciting new approaches to dance making, training and performance.
Director of Operations & Development
Alexa Lopez is a San Diego based dance artist that specializes in experimental choreography with an interest in improvisation as technique. Alexa holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration and Management. She has danced professionally for Rising Arts Fest, San Diego Safari Park and San Diego Trolley Dances.
Her works have been featured in NACHMO, San Diego City College, San Diego State University and numerous private special events. She is the first alumna to direct and self-produce a dance concert at San Diego City College and has recently been awarded the 2021 Virgil Yalong Quick Grant. Since graduating, she has debuted her career as an independent choreographer through the production of Foünd, an evening-length dance piece that embodies the emotions of victims of femicides.
She also works alongside San Diego Dance Theater, and is the Director of Team of Performers at Creative Dance Theatre where she helps cultivate the next generation’s creativity and dance education.
Education & Outreach Manager
Kayla is a lifelong lover and learner of various movement styles. She believes that dance has the power to ground us, to deepen our connection to ourselves & our communities, and to cultivate our senses of joy, play, & curiosity. In addition to being an enthusiastic student of dance, Kayla has several years of experience teaching, performing, and choreographing in styles such as Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, and Ballroom.
Kayla looks forward to the opportunity to share her love of dance with San Diego Dance Theater, and to take part in furthering the development of the many wonderful programs and classes that the organization offers to the community.
Maribel Durazo is a contemporary dance artist with a focus on production for and from the community. Born and raised in Tijuana MX, she founded La Silla Danza in 2009 and has worked with multiple cultural institutions to produce dance, theater and opera.
With Tijuana ́s Cultural Center (CECUT), she was in charge of the coordinating production of the International Dance Day (2013 – 2019), the National Theater Festival in 2015 and Tijuana’s International Dance Festival Cuerpos en Tránsito (2015-2019), where she created the volunteer program for dance students. In 2013, she founded "Cuerpitos" along with La Silla Danza a festival for young audiences aiming to include young people in contemporary dance, with the Artistic Society of Sinaloa she co-produced opera concerts in 2018 and 2019. As La Silla ́s Danza founder and director, Maribel has produced all of their creative processes, performances, tours, artistic residencies, social development projects and inclusivity endeavors in the community of Tijuana and San Diego. La Silla Danza is a collective made up of women dedicated to the performing art of contemporary dance in the city of Tijuana seeking to create community, audiences,appreciation and inclusivity in contemporary dance.
Zane Shrem-Besnoy is a composer, producer, and community organizer who began studying music and throwing concerts as a teenager. Completing a Certificate of Music Theory at Mesa College while in high school and finishing his degree in Composition at USD. His music has been featured in a ballet, two award-winning musicals, and experimental music happenings all around San Diego.
Zane has found success in bringing unique local music to all-ages crowds and currently books music at three San Diego venues. Recently, he has been pairing improvised dance and music for events at Department on El Cajon Blvd. He is excited to bring his diverse event experience to help facilitate the great work at San Diego Dance Theater.
Marketing & PR Manager
Adeja (they/them) found their passion for dance at an early age, studying tap, ballet, jazz, modern and pointe in their hometown of Medina, Ohio. In 2015, they joined the McKendree University Dance Ensemble while completing their bachelors degree in Political Science. From 2017-2019, they were a student choreographer for the ensemble, as well as the dance/color guard instructor at a local high school.
They recently received their Master of Arts in Communication Research from San Diego State University. Despite their passion and love for communication, their appreciation for dance comes from the ability to create stories without speaking a single word. Adeja is excited for the opportunity to continue their relationship with the art form at San Diego Dance Theater.
Adeja found their passion for dance at an early age, studying tap, ballet, jazz, modern and pointe in their hometown of Medina, Ohio. In 2015, they joined the McKendree University Dance Ensemble while completing their bachelors degree in Political Science. From 2017-2019, they were a student choreographer for the ensemble, as well as the dance/color guard instructor at a local high school. Currently, they are a graduate lecturer and student at San Diego State University, pursuing their Master's in Communication Research. Despite their passion and love for speaking, their appreciation for dance comes from the ability to create stories without speaking a single word. Adeja is excited for the opportunity to continue their relationship with the art form with the San Diego Dance Theater.
Social Media Coordinator
Isabel Desmet began her dance training at Jibe Studios in El Cajon when she was 13 years old, focusing mainly on jazz, contemporary, and hip hop dance. She fell in love with modern dance during her time at San Diego Mesa College and San Diego City College, where she had the opportunity to train with Blythe Barton, Faith Jensen-Ismay, and Daniel Marshall.
Isabel has a bachelor’s degree in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. At Berkeley, she trained in the dance department with Latanya Tigner in Horton and Talawa techniques, and James Graham in Gaga technique. In San Diego, she danced for Bite Dance Company and Mojalet Dance Collective. Now, in addition to dancing for San Diego Dance Theater, Isabel teaches jazz, modern, ballet, tap, and hip hop dance at Jibe Studios and occasionally choreographs her own work.