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.
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.
Current Guest Choreographer
Former Artistic Director
Jean Isaacs is a critically acclaimed, award-winning choreographer whose work has been presented in Switzerland, Germany, China, Mexico, Guatemala, Canada and Poland, as well as on both coasts of the US. In 2002, the Village Voice called her "a warm, witty, and wise choreographer," and the New York Times said of her dances, "They were intelligent dances danced by sharp, speedy dancers." Isaacs was the Artistic Director of the San Diego Dance Theater, the originator of the annual site-specific project Trolley Dances and the co-founder of the San Diego Dance Alliance, Three's Company and Dancers, and Isaacs/McCaleb & Dancers. Her work has been commissioned by the San Diego Opera, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Globe Theater, Goodman Theater, The San Diego Repertory Theater, the Berkeley Repertory Theater, Long Wharf Theater, and for the "New Wave" Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Isaacs collaborates frequently with numerous cross-border partners, creating the Festival of Mexican Contemporary Dance at San Diego State University and earned awards from UC Mexus, the US/Mexico Fund for Culture, Arts International, and the UC Civic Collaborative for this work. Recent awards have included the Craig Noel San Diego Theater Critics Award, the Bay Area Theater Critics Award, two California Arts Council Choreography Fellowships, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Sign-On San Diego Editors Award, the Distinguished Teaching Award at UC San Diego and the California Dance Educators Associate Artistic Award, and the DanceUSA / Irvine choreography fellowship. Jean Isaacs taught technique, choreography, and improvisation at the University of California, San Diego, Department of Theatre and Dance for 25 years.
She will continue as an honored choreographer for San Diego Dance Theater.
Finance, Education & Marketing Director
Erica Tarassoff was introduced to dance in 1991. She received her formal training from Evergreen City Ballet (ECB). Joining the company by age 12, she performed Clara of the Nutcracker, excerpts of Swan Lake and Mid Summer's Night Dream. At ECB, she explored varies dance styles such as, jazz, modern, African tribal, and character dance. At the age of 16, she joined a local Hip Hop group, ND MIX, and performed hip hop for KUBE93 radio station’s promotions, local concerts and summer festivals. She continued her training as adult in multiple states and countries, such as, Millennium Dance Studios in Los Angeles, Colorado Ballet of Denver, and Studio Harmonic in Paris France. In 2008, she began her teaching career in Valencia, Spain at a local gym. She continued to teach wherever she went, even as she migrated to San Diego in 2011.
Erica earned her associates degree in Small Business Accounting at San Diego City Community College. She quickly gained experience with a CPA firm downtown as an Executive Assistant. Then, she became a Financial Manager for a small landscape architecture firm. In 2014, she started her own dance studio, SD Dance with Me. SD Dance with Me offers classes for beginning dancers as young as 20 months to 10 years of age. It serves over 200 students a year and is now incorporated with San Diego Dance Theater's programming.
Her personal mission is to create sustainable dance programs that focus on personal development and community building.
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.