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Kinetic Works Board of Directors

We are a small but committed board with diverse backgrounds including current and former dance professionals,

real estate, media and technology and government service.


Our Board serves to advise Company Director, Martha Connerton in setting program plans,

developing fundraising methods, overseeing company mission, reviewing and approving annual budget plans.

Board Roster


Board Chair/Treasurer

Cathy Friedenreich

Ret. US Census Bureau

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Social Media

Grissell Allegria

Helen Adams Real Estate


Emily J. Morgan

Director of Dance

Colorado State University


Elizabeth Russo

Retired, IT Programmer 

and Project Manager

Education Advisor

Kyle Shawell

Dance Educator

Charlotte East Language Academy

and Charlotte Ballet

Our Stories

Hi, I am Grissell Alegria

My husband and I have two beautiful kids and we live in Davidson, NC.

I am a real estate agent with Helen Adams Realty. I enjoy learning about other cultures by travel and exploring the world. 


Dance has been an integral part of my life since my youth. I graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts and pursued a career as a modern dancer, performing with companies in New York City and Washington DC  My dedication to this art form has driven me to stay connected to the dance community in Charlotte.


In 2019, I had the opportunity to perform with Martha Connerton/Kinetic Works in "Still the Voice". My positive experience left me asking, “How can I continue to contribute to Kinetic Works?” I have achieved this by gladly serving on the Board of Directors. I have deep respect for Martha as a lifelong professional dancer, choreographer, mentor and teacher.  I gladly serve and support her in any way possible. 


Since joining the Kinetic Works Board in 2019, I have learned about the inner workings of a dance company that reaches audiences of all ages through  virtual and in-person educational school programs, professional concert performances, pre-professional training workshops, video projects, and even a children’s dance along book. 


I look forward too many more years of contributing. 


 Hello, I am Kyle Garrison Shawell.   


I am a CMS Dance Educator for K-5 at Charlotte East Language Academy and Jazz Instructor at Charlotte Ballet Academy.  I hold a BA in Choreography and Performance from UNC Charlotte .  


When not teaching, I love to stay at home reading, watching a movie, or cooking.


As a dance educator, I appreciate what Kinetic Works does in the field of Arts in Education. The KINETIKIDS Residencies and KINETYX Active Learning performances teach core curriculum; Math, Science, Language Arts and Social Studies through dance.


While working on my degree I danced with KINETYX Ensemble and trained as a teaching artist for KINETIKids Residencies.  This opened my eyes to how students can learn academics through the lens of dance.   It is what excites me most about Kinetic Works.  


I was most impressed during the COVID pandemic with how Martha quickly and pro-actively jumped into the virtual world to create residencies and archival videos of educational and concert performances.   It kept Kinetic Works active in peoples minds and in classrooms all over North and South Carolina.


I joined the Board of Directors in 2020 and I am still learning about the company. Martha’s work with developing community partnerships and socially aware programming are vital to Charlotte’s cultural scene.


In all my years in the Charlotte community as a choreographer, educator, and dancer, there is nothing like this company.

The future is very bright for Kinetic Works. 


 Hi, I am Emily Morgan.   


I am Director of Dance at Colorado State University in Fort Collins and a full-time PhD student in dance at Texas Woman's University. 


I have been a dancer for most of my life and have had the pleasure of teaching and performing nationally and internationally. I hold a BA in dance from Denison University in Ohio and an MFA in dance from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.  


When I can, I love to cook, walk my rescue dog, Tessa, and hike and camp with my partner. 


I joined Kinetic Works Board because I believe this is valuable work which I saw first-hand as a company member.  I performed in the KINETYX Ensemble touring the Carolinas, and I saw the clear impact on students. It was often a deeply moving experience.   I also got to create a new work with Martha, performing in The Seasons Ballet and Hermanas del Corazon. It was exciting to feel my voice was valued in the creative process. 


I am most excited about what Kinetic Works does with community projects like Moving Stories/Changing Lives, a partnership with Changed Choices of Charlotte that followed the life journeys of four formerly incarcerated women.  Using this work as a model, I invited Martha to co-teach a class on Dance in the Community with me at Winthrop University.  It was powerful experience for our students and for me as a co-presenter.  I look forward to seeing more projects like this.  


Through my time on the board, I have learned about all the work that goes into every activity the company does. I had a sense of that as a dancer, but it is much more than I thought!


I encourage everyone to support Kinetic Works; it is a company committed to impactful dance work.


My name is Elizabeth Russo.


My husband and I moved to Charlotte in 2006, after raising our two daughters in Chatham, New Jersey. We love Charlotte's rich art scene. We enjoy spending time with our grandchildren in Charlotte and our daughter in Manhattan


I am a retired IT worker on large financial systems, and later on smaller business systems.  I worked for Intel as a telecommunications support engineer, and learned more about telecommunications encoding than I ever thought I would. 


After moving to Charlotte, I worked as a project manager until my retirement in 2013. One of my co-workers was taking classes at Open Door Studios, and her good reviews made me want to start dancing again.  It is via Open Door adult classes that I met Martha Connerton. 


I was invited to join the Kinetic Works board in the spring of 2020. When invited, I didn’t know a lot about the company. And there has been so much to learn. Martha is a virtual powerhouse in promoting dance. I find her choreography to be extremely creative, and her staging is constantly fun to watch. Her works always show me something new. She has created an entire educational series that uses dance to teach math, science, language arts and multi-cultural lessons. 


Kinetic Works is committed to bringing dance into the community, and readily partners with other arts organizations and creative individuals. This spirit of outreach, coupled with Martha’s broad talent, is what excites me most about the company. As a board member, I hope that I can further the success of the Kinetic Works mission.

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