Prior to co-founding TU Dance, Minnesota native Toni Pierce-Sands performed with Minnesota Dance Theatre, Tanz Forum in Germany, Rick Odums in Paris, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, where she was a featured soloist in such signature pieces as Revelations, Cry and Rainbow Round My Shoulder. Her command of the Horton Technique has led to teaching posts throughout the United States and Europe. Toni directs programming and teaches classes at TU Dance Center in Saint Paul. She was a full-time core faculty member at the University of Minnesota for twenty years and also served as Director of University Dance Theatre. Toni has been featured in COSMOPOLITAN Germany and GQ publications, the American Express Alvin Ailey commercial and the Lester Horton Technique instructional DVD series. She has written columns for Dance Studio Life magazine on a variety of pedagogical approaches for modern dance. Toni was awarded a 2004 McKnight Artist Fellowship in Dance, named the Sage Awards’ “2011 Outstanding Dance Educator” and recognized with a 2013 Links Emerald Service Award for service in the arts. She was named as a 2015 USA Fellow, receiving the Knight Fellowship in Dance together with TU Dance co-founder Uri Sands. Toni was selected as a mentor for the 2018 Dance/USA Institute for Leadership Training and as a panelist for the 2018 Dance Miami Choreographers’ Program.