Brenna McCarthy

What moves me? Dappled sunlight on the mountains, fields of fresh cut grass, large empty spaces, laughter with friends and family, kindness and giving support, music with a strong beat and poetic lyrics, and intentionally making time and space for creative expression.


Brenna began dancing ballet with Pat Sims at Ballet Barre in Fairbanks, and then followed Mrs. Sims to Mo Holland Dance Studio where she started tap and jazz lessons along with ballet. Eventually, Mrs. Sims began her own studio called Northland Dance, and Brenna followed her there as well. Northland Dance provided opportunities in studying multiple styles of dance and theater as well as opportunities to work with various local and international instructors. Brenna’s introduction to Modern and Contemporary styles of dance came with her yearly involvement with the Fairbanks Summer Fine Arts Camp and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival from 1994-2001. In 1999 she also attended the Summer Dance Lab at Whitman College, and in 2000, Northland Dance began taking dancers to Dance Excellence in Los Angeles, CA giving them the chance to have their performance and budding choreographic skills adjudicated. 

In 2001, Brenna moved to Seattle, WA to attend the Art Institute of Seattle where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design and Illustration. During her Freshman year Brenna took public ballet and modern classes at Pacific Northwest Ballet Company. There, she met Sonia Dawkins of SD Prism Dance Theatre and was invited to dance and perform with her company for a short period of time. By December of 2005, Brenna found herself living in Anchorage, AK. In 2007 she joined UAA’s New Dances for the first time. Between 2007 and 2014 Brenna became a Massage Therapist and an Aunt, both of which created opportunities for change and growth. In 2015, she began taking ballet and modern classes at UAA on a regular basis. Brenna has since performed in UAA Dance in Performance 2016, and UAA New Dances 2017. 2019 brings new adventures and challenges and Brenna embarks on new parenthood. Brenna joined Momentum Dance Collective in 2017/2018 and has enjoyed growing as an artist and a human amongst these brilliantly creative dancers.