Contemporary Dance Company
Portland - Oregon
Founded in 2016, push/FOLD is the Portland-based contemporary dance company led by founder and artistic director Samuel Hobbs. Both independently and publicly funded, the vision of push/FOLD is: “Community power through arts education and interaction, support, and advocacy.” push/FOLD’s mission is to promote health and art through training and educational opportunities with masterclasses, workshops, and performances.
As a performance-focused arts organization, push/FOLD produces original athletic dance performance and evening-length productions, performing in numerous regional and local dance festivals, and setting work on professional artists and companies within the Northwest. push/FOLD’s performance work is marked by intelligent use of floor-work entwined with the strength and beauty of sculpturesque partnering and balletic technique, integrating athletic movement, original music, and minimalistic visual design.
push/FOLD's ongoing promotion of arts education includes student outreach performances and artist-talks during our productions, and mentorship of various emerging Portland choreographers. To help address issues of equity, enhance the diversification of art within Portland, and help develop platforms for upward mobility for dance-artists, push/FOLD created the Union PDX - Festival of Contemporary Dance and the ‘Portland Dance Community Award’ program.
push/FOLD is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Samuel Hobbs was a university track athlete before his exposure to dance in 2004. He studied on scholarship at Western Oregon University, Long Beach Ballet, and the American Dance Festival in Classical Ballet and Contemporary Modern Dance; graduating in 2007 with a degree in the Visual and Performing Arts—Dance, Art, and Music.
Samuel’s professional career spans leading roles in ballet and contemporary dance productions, nationally and internationally; performing with Lauren Edson, Lindsey Matheis, and Éowyn Emerald & Dancers, Minh Tran & Co. and BodyVox of Portland, OR, and Rainbow Dance Theatre of Monmouth, OR; performing twice at the World Expositions in Nagoya, Japan, and Shanghai, China. Samuel has taught both nationally and internationally as an instructor of contemporary movement and partnering. His choreographed works have been performed throughout the Pacific Northwest. Following a series of choreographic successes in Portland, OR, Samuel formed push/FOLD in 2015.
Samuel’s choreographed works, set to original sound scores of his own, are acknowledged for their immersive athleticism and utilization of momentum-based choreography. His approach, called ‘Visceral Movement Theory ™’ (VMT), is rooted in the kinesiology of our organs and fuses Samuel’s training in Classical Ballet and Contemporary Modern Dance with his athletic background. VMT forms the backbone of push/FOLD’s athletic style of movement.
Samuel currently resides in Portland, OR as Artistic Director, Composer-Choreographer, Dancer, and Instructor, working outside of dance as a Manual Therapist, and Software Developer.
Holly Shaw was born and raised in Northern California, where she began her dance training at the age of seven in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz. Turning her focus to Ballet in High School, Holly began performing with Crockett-Deane Ballet, and Sacramento Ballet, studying on scholarship at the Houston Ballet Academy during the summer of 2005.
In 2006, Holly began attending the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where she performed internationally with the resident company Utah Ballet, and began her professional career in 2007 as a guest-artist with Aspen-Santa Fe Ballet. Holly graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Ballet with an emphasis in Performance and Teaching in 2010.
After graduation, Holly moved to Portland, Oregon to continue her professional career, performing nationally, and internationally, with BodyVox, and Éowyn Emerald & Dancers; and regionally with skinner|kirk DANCE ENSEMBLE. In 2015 Holly began working with push/FOLD, where she continues to perform as a main company member, and is an integral part of the administration as Managing Director.
Outside of dance, Holly works as a STOTT Pilates Instructor-Trainer.
A native of Vancouver, Washington, Briley Jozwiak started dancing at age four, spending her youth studying ballet, tap, jazz, and modern dance. She spent summers training at Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Oregon Ballet Theatre, and finally, Atlanta Ballet where she began her professional career in 2010; performing works by Twyla Tharp, Christopher Wheeldon, and Helen Pickett. In 2013, Briley became a company member with Nevada Ballet Theatre before taking the position of Soloist with Ballet Tucson in 2014.
In 2015, Briley returned to the Pacific Northwest to expand her boundaries in dance and performance continuing her professional career with push/Fold and The Holding Project. Her life outside of dance includes modeling, acting and teaching STOTT Pilates.
Liane Burns received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Chapman University, and spent a year in post graduate studies in Jerusalem, Israel while apprenticing with Israeli Amir Kolben Dance Company. She has performed and created work as a company member and collaborator with San Francisco based companies FACT/SF and Detour Dance, along with other independent artists; and created work in Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Israel, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia and Macedonia.
Liane moved to Portland, Oregon in 2018, and is thriving as a performing artist and personal trainer. This is Liane’s first season working with push/FOLD.
Ashley Morton was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, studying Ballet at Chicago Ballet Arts and various summer programs throughout the United States. After high school, Ashley expanded her formal dance training, studying on scholarship under the Lou Conte Dance Studio’s Scholarship Program, and performed professionally in Ruth Paige’s Nutcracker and other small Chicago projects. In 2015, Ashley was accepted to Alonzo King’s LINES’s Ballet Training Program in San Francisco, California, where she lived for a year before moving to Portland, Oregon.
Ashley currently teaches dance and performs as an independent artist within Portland. This is Ashley’s first season working with push/FOLD.
push/FOLD is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Board of Directors
- Samuel Hobbs — push/FOLD
- Holly Shaw — Elevated Movement
- James T. Dunn — The Barnett Firm LLC