We are getting close to releasing our top 10 favorite photos from our new series “Grace,” but for now, here is a preview of the 7th and 8th of our amazing friends that we have photographed this summer at Elmwood Cemetery for our upcoming series about grace, the celebration of life, and living for today.
Noelia Warnette is originally from New York City where as an adult she studied with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, but she now calls Memphis home and has spent her time here dancing with the Grizzlies, teaching dance to all ages, and performing and choreographing on numerous theatrical stages across the city. Most recently, she became certified as a yoga instructor, saying “Yoga is a very intimate form for me because I had to learn how to calm my mind down and be still.” Now, when teaching yoga Noelia loves the give and take between student and teacher. “That exchange of energy always takes me to my happy place.” In terms of her own music interests, Noelia was a child of the 80s and loves R&B and old-school hip hop, with artists like Culture Club, Duran Duran, Madonna, Whitney Houston, SWV, New Edition, Jodecie, Heavy D and the Boys, and Shai at the top of her playlists. Noelia is a passionate person who takes in everyone she meets and does all she can to learn from them to continue bettering herself. She once met and worked with actress Jada Pinkett-Smith who explained her, “that you really have to know your craft, want to do it, and study it often. There is no break. To get better and to do better is to keep working.” Noelia is ALWAYS working. And it shows.
Louisa Koeppel is also a life-long dancer and a native Memphian who currently teaches dance at Hutchison School and is an artistic member of the Memphis modern dance staple Project:Motion. When not in motion, she finds her happy place at home with her husband Adam and son Felix, taking dance classes (always learning), and interestingly enough – on the second night of a show that has opened well. (We love that unusually specific choice!) “But my struggles also live in these places sometimes, making the happy times even sweeter.” Louisa is rooted in Memphis, yes, but she is well-traveled, having been through Europe, studied theatre and dance in Italy, and also a resident of New York City, where she produced underground solo work and “waited the hell out of some tables.” When asked what she is particularly proud of, Louisa said “Facilitating ‘aha’ moments in students. Creating original work. Reinventing myself, finding those bootstraps. Staying optimistic. Making a career in the dance world. Finding joy in lighting design. Collaboration. My happy happy marriage to Adam Remsen. My life long connection with friends and family near and far. Felix. Felix. Felix.” Louisa is so very giving and you can see it in her every move.
Please keep an eye out on the next 4 people in our Grace series and at the end we will post our favorite choices of everyone’s photos as the actual series release! #findmemphis