Ashlea Sovetts & Alexandria Nunweiler


Name: Ashlea Sovetts '13 & Alexandria Nunweiler '14
Residence: Myrtle Beach, S.C.; Boston, Mass.
Degree: B.F.A., Dance
Occupation: Dancers, choreographers, teachers, artists

Can you remember the exact moment your life changed forever? Ashlea Sovetts '13 and Alexandria Nunweiler '14 can.

The pair, who both majored in dance at Winthrop University, had the chance to perform at the American College Dance Festival under the direction of faculty member Meg Schriffen. The connections at that conference led to a summer abroad dancing and rooming together in Sorrento, Italy, at the Staibdance summer intensive.

“We performed ‘Stirrings of Consciousness,' choreographed by Meg [Schriffen], on the stage under the stars outside,” Sovetts said. “That summer was life-changing for both of us in a lot of ways and greatly contributed to our futures.”

Italy is far from the last time they have collaborated. Together, they received an Arts Project Support Grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission and additional grants from Alternate Roots, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the New England Foundation for the Arts to support their creative opportunities:

*Their work “10 Recalling-20”

*A new endeavor in Borseda, Italy, called “Le storie di Borseda” at the Rensing Center

*Performing in the inaugural Equinox Dance Festival in Greenville, South Carolina, and the Philadelphia Fringe Festival

*An original workshop, “From Interviews to Dancemaking,” in which they share their creative process, at the National Dance Education Organization conference, the Dance Studies Association conference and the World Dance Alliance Americas Assembly

“In all of our endeavors, we seek to bring together a community, which we felt was included in our Winthrop experience and still is a main focus of why we dance today,” they said. “We hope to share more experiences with the Winthrop community.”

Alexandria Nunweiler

Originally from Greenville, Nunweiler transferred to Winthrop for its “established in-state dance program” and smaller size, which she said resembled more of the college experience she desired.

“I liked the smaller class sizes, individualized attention and the fact that my college advisor was in my field of study and not in a different department,” she said.

After graduation, she moved to Charlotte and danced with groups such as THE MARK dance company and Martha Connerton's Kinetic Works and taught at studios. Looking for a new, international challenge, she enrolled at Hult International Business School, where she studied in both Boston and Shanghai, China. After graduating in 2017, she continued to dance on the side in more project-based work while also working in the corporate learning and development space.

“However, in 2020, as things changed for the world, I fully jumped back into dance performing and teaching in Boston, which I continue to do today,” she said. “Ashlea and I reconnected, which has fostered more work, performances and new opportunities.”

Ashlea Sovetts

The Myrtle Beach native said she knew from the moment she stepped on campus that she wanted to attend Winthrop.

“I was enthralled by the beautiful landscape and the warmth I felt from the professors and students I interacted with,” she said. “I was also impressed by the dance department and saw myself pursuing my education alongside individuals with like-minded interests and having more intimate settings for student-teacher relationships to flourish.”

Sovetts continued her higher education career at Texas Woman's University, earning an M.F.A. in dance. Inspired by her life-changing experience in Italy, she designed curriculum and programming for a dance program abroad and spent multiple consecutive summers partnering with Staibdance and Italian liaisons on study abroad opportunities.

“Through these memorable experiences, my goal is to build a program specific for dance majors to have an opportunity to study dance abroad, invest in another culture through community building and perform internationally,” she explained. “In addition to currently building an international dance program, I am living the life of a freelance dance artist, flowing in between different communities and traveling to different dance spaces.”

You can track their creative endeavors on Instagram at @nunweilertanz and @bemovedxashlea