Meet Our Team
Lucy Wallace, Co-Founder
In 2007, Lucy Wallace, MA started teaching dance at Alchemy of Movement (AOM) in Boulder, CO. In 2010, she bought AOM, after receiving her master’s degree in Psychology. Her psychology background led to the birth of Dance To Be Free due to the therapeutic and cathartic quality of her teaching style.
In March of 2015, Lucy founded Dance To Be Free and formed a 501(c)3 along with her Board of Directors. Dance To Be Free’s mission is to share the healing power of dance with women in prison nationwide. Their program launched at the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility in July of 2015 and has grown into weekly classes and a teacher-training program in Pueblo, CO, NE, WA and AR. Over 100 inmates have been trained as dance teachers, giving them a tangible skill as they complete their sentences and return to their communities!
Lynn Heilig, Board Member
Lynn recently retired from a 30-year career with McKinsey and Company, a global management consulting firm, where she was responsible for the professional development of the firm’s 1800 knowledge professionals. Dance has been a lifelong passion of hers, and in recent years she has performed with a number of community dance troupes, including En Fuego Productions, Planet Motion, and One Big Yes. She is also committed to the empowerment of women and girls, and served on the board of directors for the YWCA of Boulder County, where she was chair of the building committee during the organization’s $2.5 million capital campaign in 2003-2005. Lynn is excited to combine these passions in supporting the work of Dance To Be Free.
Katherine Shoulders, Board Member
Katherine has 30 plus years of experience as a Health/Fitness Professional. Over the years she has taught group exercise classes, including Pilates, Yoga and Nia. For many years she was a personal trainer and program director. Katherine has a Masters of Science in Health/Fitness Management from American University. For the past 4 years, her focus has been on teaching workshops in the Denver area in the Foundation Training technique. As a native of Arkansas, Katherine knew she wanted to bring Dance To Be Free to Arkansas women’s prisons. Katherine has been instrumental in coordinating these efforts and is currently assisting with teacher training programs around the state.
Emily Horowitz, Board Member
Emily has worked in various capacities in the nonprofit sector for over 17 years, including program development, clinical supervision for therapeutic programs, and fundraising. Her work has targeted a wide spectrum of populations, including assisting in the creation of supportive housing for formerly homeless and low-income people, supporting and advocating for women impacted by domestic violence, and helping vulnerable children and their families heal from trauma and form healthy attachments. Most recently, Emily founded and served as Board President and Director for a nonprofit in upstate New York called Parenting Village. Emily is also a Licensed Professional Counselor at the Postpartum Wellness Center of Boulder with expertise in attachment, parent-child relationships, and trauma, and she teaches Soul Sweat classes in Boulder. Emily began dancing when she was 4 years old and never quite stopped. She has taken many forms of dance classes, including modern, ballet, tap, and West African. She is passionate about the healing power of dance and the use of dance as a means for therapeutic processing and empowerment. She is thrilled to serve on the board of Dance To Be Free and is inspired by their mission and the incredible work that they are doing on a national level.
Kirsten Vermulen, Board Member
Kirsten is Program Director for the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation (Leadership Foundation) where she oversees issues-based leadership development programs for business and civic leaders and partnership initiatives. The Leadership Foundation, an affiliate of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, is focused on preparing and connecting leaders from the business and civic communities to strengthen Colorado. For over 40 years, the Leadership Foundation has been creating unique learning experiences for leaders throughout their careers to gain the networks and knowledge to lead more effectively in their communities and inspire a better future for Colorado.
Prior to joining the Leadership Foundation, Kirsten served as the Director of Education and Member Programs for Housing Colorado, an education and advocacy organization advancing safe, decent and affordable housing for all Coloradans. She began her nonprofit career at the Colorado Chautauqua Association in Boulder, Colorado, managing membership services and donor development initiatives for the historic cultural institution.
Kirsten is a graduate of Ohio University (B.A. in English and Theater) and Northpark University (Master of Nonprofit Administration). She currently serves on the CLLARO (Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization), Dance To Be Free, and B:Civic board of directors and as chair of the Colorado Civic Health Network. Her past service includes the Human Services Network of Colorado board, Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver associate board, National Philanthropy Day in Colorado steering committee, and Mile High United Way literacy partner. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Scott. In their spare time, Kirsten and her husband lead an award-winning performance troupe that travels internationally promoting Denver’s reputation as a cultural hub.
Geri Mitchell-Brown, Board Member
Geri brings her love of dance and her experience in nonprofit/for-profit partnerships to fuel her energetic commitment to grow Dance To Be Free’s impact. She has led corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs at two companies, Polycom and Rally Software. She currently teaches the Certificate in CSR as faculty for the Center for Education on Social Responsibility at the CU Boulder Leeds School of Business. Geri also serves on the B Corp Colorado Board as Partnerships Chair and as a mentor for Watson Institute, an incubator for young social entrepreneurs from around the world.
Julia Buonanno, Board Member
Julia owned and managed the SouthSide Walnut for ten years in Boulder, CO. She started teaching dance at Alchemy of Movement in 2016 after the birth of her two sons. She brings her business savvy and passion to Dance To Be Free as she helps develop the curriculum and shape the vision and mission of DTBF!