Founding Members

Emily Withenbury – Project Manager / Founding ZiRu Dance Member

Emily Withenbury grew up in Illinois and has been a part of the Bay Area dance community since she moved to San Francisco in 2006. Emily trained with the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Alonzo King LINES Ballet School, the University of Illinois, and members of the Joffrey Ballet. She holds bachelor’s degrees in English and speech communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Emily has performed the work of Christian Burns, Levy Dance, Kara Davis, Liu Yi Feng, Scott Putman, RAWdance, Sunny Shen and Inochi Dance Project. In 2009, she worked extensively with choreographer Christian Burns on improvisational studies and developing a practice for real time choreography. Emily held the position of Manager of Alonzo King LINES Ballet School 2006-2010. She has toured to China four times with ZiRu Dance, enjoying the diversity of culture, food, and landscape the country provides. In December 2011 she presented her own choreography in Beijing at a Works-In-Progress showing. In summer 2013 she represented the company in Europe on a Solo Exchange in The Netherlands and at Impulstanz in Vienna, Austria. 

Vincent Chavez – Founding ZiRu Dance Member
Vincent Chavez was born in Albuquerque, NM, where he raised livestock, rode and broke horses with his Dad. At age 17 he began his pre-professional training. Receiving dance education from Dance Theatre Southwest, Ballet Hispanico, Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre and the LINES Ballet Training Program. From this training, education and experience, Vincent resides in the Bay Area as a freelance Dance Artist- Dancing, teaching and choreographing . Having the opportunity to dance and collaborate with many different projects. Company experience includes New Mexico Ballet Company (2003-07), Nevada Ballet Theatre (2007-2011), Robert Moses' Kin (2012-present), ZiRu Dance (2012-present) and Oakland Ballet Company (2013-present).
Miche Wong – Founding ZiRu Dance Member (Since 2010)
A native Bay Area dancer, Miche Wong graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from UC Santa Barbara. In 2013, Miche began working with The Guangdong Modern Dance Company, Mainland China’s premiere modern dance company, that toured throughout Europe, Australia, the Middle East and China with highly-acclaimed performances. Her own choreographic works have been presented for Chinese and Bay Area audiences in international dance festivals and local San Francisco venues. Miche continues her craft as a freelance dance artist with ZiRu Dance, Garrett and Moulton Productions and LevyDance. You can find her teaching and choreographing for the LINES Ballet training program and other studios and companies throughout California.
Shaylen Keller – Former Founding Member / Dancer - 2014

Shaylen Keller has a BFA in dance performance from Chapman University and has danced for boogiezone Breed oc/la, and Funkanometry sf. She has shown pieces in Pulse, Monster Ball, Chapman’s Spring Showcase, and the Sock Hop 3. Shaylen also produced and directed “Dancers for Hope”, a breast cancer benefit featuring top choreographers. Shaylen loves to share dance, and has taught for various art programs for the past nine years all over the West Coast.

Karen Lin – Former Founding Member / Program Manager - 2014

Karen Lin holds a Bachelors degree in Fiber Science and Apparel Design from Cornell University. She currently works at VIPStore, a fashion e-commerce business in China, as a Buyer in their Los Angeles branch. She has experience working in a wedding couture store in their design department. She also participated as a designer in the Cornell annual fashion show twice as well as designed costumes for short films. In 2008, she received a Barbara L. Kuhlman Foundation scholarship and was funded for her study in sustainability and fiber arts. Besides designing costumes she composes music, produces music videos and, for three years, was the pianist for Anything Goes COrnell Musical Theatre Troupe. As Cultural Chair of the Cornell Taiwanese American Society, she produced their annual cultural show her senior year. During that time, she also started a step team for her Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority in Cornell. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Karen moved to Taiwan to attend middle school and high school at Taipei American School. From her experiences of living in both Taiwan and the United States, fusion between the East and West cultures is something she would like to see more of and is excited to help ZiRu Productions achieve their goal through Tiger Hip Hop/Tiger Motion™.

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