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2023-2024 Guest Artists In Residence

Michelle Manzanales

2024 Cecil H. and Ida green Honors Chair

Michelle Manzanales is a choreographer, dedicated dance educator of 30 years, and co-founder of the Latinx Dance Educators Alliance. The Director of Ballet Hispánico’s School of Dance since December of 2016, Michelle previously led the organization’s professional company as Rehearsal Director & Artistic Associate for seven seasons. Ms. Manzanales is committed to creating an environment where all students are inspired to explore movement, feel supported in their individual dance journeys, and draw meaningful connections between dance and their lives.

Manzanales has co-presented at the New York State Dance Educators Association, ARTs + Change, and the National Dance Education Organization conferences, “Questioning TODO: A Latinx Inquiry of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy”, a direct response to the historical and continued exclusion of Latinx contributions and experiences in the dance field. A current faculty member of the Ballet Hispánico School of Dance, she has also served on the faculties of the University of Houston, Rice University, Lou Conte Dance Studio (former Home of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago), and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Center. She has been a guest artist for the Professional Work Sessions at STEPS on Broadway, the Joyce Master Class Series at Gibney, the Taylor School, New Orleans Ballet Association, the Puerto Rico Classical Dance Competition, Generation Dance Festival Houston, Artisan Ballet Company, Regional Dance America, Festival de Danza Cordoba-Youth America Grand Prix, Houston’s Kinder High School for the Performing & Visual Arts, along with numerous other dance studios, schools, and college dance programs nationwide and internationally.

A member of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, Michelle has served on the National Association of Schools of Dance’s (NASD) Committee on Ethics, juror for the Nebraska Arts Council – Individual Artist Fellowships, a panelist for Dance/NYC’s #ArtistsAreNecessaryWorkers Facebook Live Series: Arts Educators Leading the Charge, adjudicator for the Independent Study in Choreography Showing for Ailey’s BFA program, and was honored to be part of a round table planning dialogue supporting Carnegie Hall’s education project ‘All Together: A Global Ode to Joy.’ Ms. Manzanales is currently on the selection panel for 92Y’s Future Dance Festival for emerging choreographers and was a past panelist for Ballet Hispánico’s Instituto Coreográfico and the Houston Arts Alliance grants program.

Her current choreography commissions set to premiere in Spring 2022 include new works for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Oregon Ballet Theater, and Montclair State University. Her choreography for Ballet Hispánico, Con Brazos Abiertos, described as a “savvy but deeply sincere meditation on her Mexican American background” (-Marina Harss, New York Times) and “an exceptional, heart-tugging beauty” (LA Times), premiered in 2017, and has since toured worldwide to critical acclaim including its feature at New York City Center’s 2018 Fall for Dance Festival. CautivadX, a dance film she choreographed, edited, and directed for Noche Unidos, A Ballet Hispánico Night of Dance and Unity was presented in June 2020. If by Chance… which she created for the Jerome Robbins Dance Division at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts 75th Anniversary Gala in December 2019, “unspooled dreamily atop and between the tables” (-Courtney Escoyne, Dance Magazine).

Other acclaimed works by Manzanales include her 2010 homage to Frida Kahlo, Paloma Querida, which was hailed a “visual masterpiece” by Lucia Mauro of the Chicago Tribune and was described by the Chicago Sun-Times as a “gorgeously designed, richly hallucinatory, multi-faceted vision of the artist.” Her 2007 choreography for Luna Negra Dance Theater, entitled Sugar in the Raw (Azucar Cruda), was applauded by the Chicago Sun-Times as “a staggering, beautiful, accomplished new work.” Five of her works have been recognized by the American College Dance Festival, of which two were presented at the Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), for their National Gala; Pour Me Out in 2006 and The Letting Go in 2008. Manzanales’ choreography has also been presented by Texas Contemporary Weekend (Houston, TX), Spring to Dance (St. Louis, MO), Festival de Danza Córdoba (Veracruz, Mexico), Capital Fringe Festival (Washington D.C), and Fort Worth Dance Festival (Fort Worth, TX).


Adesola Akinleye

ADESOLA AKINLEYE (She/They) is a choreographer and artist-scholar and co-artistic director of DancingStrong Movement Lab. Adesola is an Assistant Professor in the Dance Division at Texas Woman’s University. Adesola have been an Affiliate Researcher, MIT, Arts Culture and Technology, and is a Visiting Artist at the Center for Art, Science and Technology at MIT, and a Theatrum Mundi Fellow. Their career began as a dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem Workshop Ensemble (USA) later working in UK Companies such as Green Candle and Carol Straker Dance Company. Over the past twenty years, Adesola has created dance works ranging from live performance that is often site-specific and involves a cross-section of the community to dance films, installations, and texts. Adesola’s work is characterized by an interest in voicing people’s lived experiences in Places through creative moving portraiture. A key aspect of Adesola’s process is the artistry of opening creative practices to everyone from ballerinas to architects to people in low-wage employment to performances for young audiences. Adesola’s recent works include a site-specific commission from The Hayward Gallery, South bank Centre London to create dance for The Hop by Jyll Bradley, and The Frieze Festival a commission for Regent’s Park, London in summer 2023. In 2023 Siobhan Davis Dance commissioned the digital archiving of Adesola’s 2007 work, Truth and Transparency launched March 2024. Adesola received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for her current work with dance performance and augmented reality (AR) called Space+Digital+Dance. Adesola’s writing creations include the editing and curation of the anthology (re:)claiming ballet (2021), Intellect books. Also, the monograph, Dance, Architecture and Engineering: Dance in Dialogue, Bloomsbury (2021) which is part of the Society for Dance Research, In conversation series and was included on the MIT Summer Reading List 2021. Adesola’s most recent book Navigations: scoring the moment was published by Theatrum Mundi in 2022. For more about Adesola please visit


Kevin Thomas

KEVIN THOMAS began his dance training with Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec in Montreal, Canada, and has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet and the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) in New York City.  He joined DTH in 1995 and was promoted to principal dancer in 1999. With DTH, Mr. Thomas’ credits include leading roles in The Prodigal Son, Dialogues, The Four Temperaments, Othello, Adrian (Angel on Earth), A Song for Dead Warriors, Troy Games, Equuis and Dougla.  He has performed leading roles in numerous ballets including, The Nutcracker, Tarantella, Agon, Who Cares, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote, Consort Lessons, and Aureole. Mr. Thomas has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet in London, Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York and Fleming Flindt and Peter Schaufuss in Denmark. He has also appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera. In 2006, Mr. Thomas co-founded Collage Dance Collective, a Memphis-based contemporary ballet company recently named a “Southern Cultural Treasure” by South Arts and Ford Foundation. In addition to serving as its artistic director and an integral choreographic voice, Mr. Thomas is also a highly sought-after guest choreographer creating works for Nashville Ballet, Opera Memphis, Hattiloo Repertory Theatre, Flint Institute of Music, University of Utah, and The University of Memphis to name a few. From 2017 – 2018, Mr. Thomas also served as a National Visiting Fellow at the School of American Ballet.


Nycole Ray

A Detroit native, Nycole Ray graduated from The California Institute of the Arts with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in dance.  She received additional training at the California State Summer School of the Arts, Wayne State University, and as an exchange student at the London Contemporary Dance School in England.  Mrs. Ray has performed with Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Bruce Wood Dance, Walt Disney World Entertainment, Christopher and Friends directed by Christopher L. Huggins, the Lula Washington Dance Theater, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and the Zadonu African Dance Company. She has worked with noted choreographers such as Donald McKayle, Dianne McIntyre, Christopher L. Huggins, Alonzo King, Donald Byrd, Bruce Wood®, Rennie Harris and Camille A. Brown.  Nycole is the 2013 recipient of the Natalie Skelton Award for Artistic Excellence and the 2011 Artful Dancewear Teachers Scholarship from the Dance Council of North Texas. She is also a certified Dunham Technique Instructor.  Nycole is a guest artist with Dallas Black Dance Theatre and is the  Director of DBDT’s Summer Intensive program and has served as a past rehearsal director for the Bruce Wood ® Dance Project, Assistant Rehearsal Director for Dallas Black Dance Theatre and the Director of Bloom, Dallas Black Dance Academy’s Performing Ensemble.  This is her 12th year as the Artistic Director of DBDT: Encore! and in 2021, Nycole has been named one of the “Women Who Make Dallas Great” by D Magazine. This marks her 27th season with Dallas Black Dance Theatre.


Kelly Ashton Todd

Photo by Stephanie Crousillat

Kelly Ashton Todd is a director, choreographer, performing artist, and environmental activist who makes work for both live theater and film. With a BFA in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University and a Master’s in Sustainability Leadership from Arizona State University, Kelly combines artistic prowess with a profound understanding of environmental issues. She performed with Sleep No More (2015-2022), graduated from the William Esper Acting Studio (2022), and has showcased her creations globally, earning accolades such as the Brooklyn Arts Council Grant, NYFA Fellowship in Choreography, Emerging Choreographer Springboard Danse Montreal 2022, and the Baryshnikov BAC Open Residency 2023. Kelly’s celebrated ‘Under Review’ film series has screened at over 20 national and international film festivals. In 2023, she shared her creations and was a panelist on climate change, female empowerment, and technology at the United Nations.


Sidra Bell

Umi Akiyoshi Photography

Sidra Bell is the founder of Sidra Bell Dance New York and a dancer, choreographer, and educator. She has been an artist in residence at University of Oklahoma (Brackett Distinguished Visiting Artist Chair), Visiting Lecturer and Artist in Residence at Harvard University, and an Adjunct Professor Barnard College. Bell received a BA in History from Yale and an MFA in Choreography from Purchase College. She is the founder of the award winning MODULE Laboratory. Bell has won several awards, notably a First Prize for Choreography at the Solo Tanz Theater Festival in Stuttgart, Germany, a National Dance Project Production Award from NEFA and Creative Capital Wild Futures Award. In 2017 Mayor Thomas Roach named February 3 “Sidra Bell Day” in White Plains, NY. Her work has been seen throughout the United States and in Denmark, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Turkey, Slovenia, Sweden, Germany, China, Canada, Aruba, Korea, Brazil, and Greece. Bell has created over 100 works notably for Nevada Ballet Theater, Nashville Ballet, BODYTRAFFIC, Ailey II, The Juilliard School, Whim W’Him, Boston Conservatory at Berklee College, River North Dance Chicago, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Sacramento Ballet, Boulder Ballet, among many others. She was the first Black female commissioned to create work for New York City Ballet where she created works for film and the Lincoln Center stage (Fall Fashion Gala 2021). She was nominated for a Bessie NY Dance & Performance Dance (Outstanding Choreographer) for SUSPENDED ANIMATION for New York City Ballet.

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Jamila Glass

Photo by Lee Gumbs

Jamila Glass is a creative working in dance, film, and television. A graduate of University of Southern California’s film school and a member of the Television Academy, she is the Artistic Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company (where she joined in 2005 as a founding member).  Her choreography work includes projects on Netflix, HBO, Hulu, BET, and PRADA and garnered mentions in NY Times, L.A. Times, Essence Magazine, Ebony Magazine, and Mashable. Performing credits include Netflix Original Mascots (Christopher Guest), American Horror Story, Paul McCartney, Colbie Caillat, Foster the People tour, Mastercard, American Apparel, Samsung, & Dancers Among Us (NY Times Best Seller). She has spent the last 10 years bridging the world of film and movement, directing and producing 20 dance films. @jamilaglass |


Francesca Dominguez

Photo by Becca Vision

Francesca Dominguez is a performing artist, educator, and choreographer in New York City, one of 15 certified Countertechnique teachers in the US and holds an MFA/Dance from Hunter College, where she was the recipient of the school-wide Shuster Award for Outstanding Master’s Thesis 2022. Francesca currently teaches Countertechnique as an adjunct professor at Barnard College, Columbia University. She also teaches at the Juilliard School, Gibney Dance, and Peridance Center. Francesca has learned from faculty at Hunter College, CSU Long Beach, and the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Training Program in addition to her intensive study of Countertechnique. She has danced professionally with Soluq Dance Theater, Manuel Vignoulle, Thomas Noone Dance, and Keith Johnson/Dancers, and began choreographing and producing her own work in 2020. Her sold-out, evening-length show, Galvanizing Steel was presented at Gibney/NYC, she has since presented work as part of the Doug Varone Devices Performance in 2022, and was recently awarded a grant and performance residency from The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL) to be performed in late September 2023.














Jamila Glass

Jamila Glass is a creative working in the realm of dance, film, and television. A graduate of University of Southern California’s film school and a member of the Television Academy, she is the Artistic Director of Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company and joined the company in 2005 as a founding member.  Her choreography work includes Dear White People (Netflix), Bad Hair (Hulu), Twenties (BET), The Beauty of Blackness (HBO) and a PRADA campaign.  Performing credits include Netflix’s Mascots (Christopher Guest), American Horror Story, Paul McCartney, Colbie Caillat, Foster the People Tour, American Apparel, Samsung, & the NY Times Best-Selling photography book Dancers Among Us. Additionally, she has spent the last 10 years bridging the world of film and movement, directing and producing 20 dance films. @jamilaglass |

Photo by Rick Proctor




William Isaac

William Isaac is an award-winning choreographer and dancer. His project-based company Kymera Dance is dedicated to making new work in the artistic discipline of dance, collaboration within other arts & entertainment fields and the development of future dance artists.  He has choreographed for the Ailey/Fordham University BFA program, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Hofstra University, The Juilliard School, UNCSA and Philadanco’s “Danco on Danco”. He has received a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award.




Jenelle Figgins

Jenelle Figgins is a dance artist and teacher. With an extensive career as a dancer, most notably as a member of Dance Theatre of Harlem and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Figgins has been recognized for her work by organizations such as the Princess Grace Foundation and Dance Magazine’s Top 25 to Watch. Figgins currently dances for Wideman Davis Dance and continues to teach and expand her choreographic process through research, collaboration and intuitive practices.



Photo by Jefry Andres White




Christian von Howard

Christian von Howard is the Artistic Director of the VON HOWARD PROJECT, a contemporary dance company based out of New York City. As an international artist, he has worked with many dance artists such as Doug Varone, Fernando Bujones, Douglas Becker, Germaul Barnes, Daniel Gwirtzman and various others. Christian is a Fulbright Specialist (2019-2021) and a NJ State Council of the Arts Choreographic Fellow (2006) and his choreography has been produced in various venues across the globe including Germany, Japan, Bulgaria, Colombia, Chile, South Korea and in the states at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts), Joyce SoHo, Dixon Place, the Ailey Citigroup Theater amongst others. His guest artist teaching/residency highlights include the American Dance Festival, Dance It! Festival (Bulgaria), Peridance Dance Center, and the Korean Dance Festival. Christian is a 2013/2014 recipient of the Distinguished Achievement in Teaching Award from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts where he was part of the teaching faculty in the Department of Dance & Choreography from 2008 to 2014. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Montclair State University and concurrently teaches at the Alvin Ailey School in NYC where he has been on faculty since 1998. Christian serves as the Northeast Regional Director of the American College Dance Association. He holds advanced degrees in Performance and Choreography from the School of Classical and Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University and from Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.


Richard A. Freeman Jr.

A native of Washington, D.C., Richard began his training with the District of Columbia Youth Ensemble and the Washington Ballet. He received additional training from Duke Ellington School of the Arts, as well as Virginia Commonwealth University. He danced professionally with Elisa Monte Dance, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Arts Unlimited, and Houston Grand Opera. Mr. Freeman has had the pleasure to perform in Operas/Musicals such as Casa Blanca, Brothers of the Knight, Dreams, Porgy and Bess, The WIZ and Rusalka. Some of his commercial credits include Mary Kay, Holiday Inn, and Chuck E. Chesse. Richard has choreographed works for the Atlanta Dance Connection, Texas Ballet Theater School, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, DBDT: Encore, Urban Souls Dance Company, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and I. M. Terrell Academy for STEM and VPA. Richard has been the resident choreographer for Dallas Black Dance Theatre as well as the ballet master for Spring Cypress Dance Center. He has performed works by world-renowned choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Talley Beatty, Ben Stevenson, Debbie Allen, Christopher Huggins, Nejla Y. Yatkin, Alonzo King and many others. Alongside performing, he also teaches master classes and workshops across the nation. Mr.Freeman is formerly the Artistic Assistant for Dallas Black Dance Theatre: ENCORE! but now is currently the Artistic Project Coordinator for DBDT. This is his 15th season with the company.

Bernard H. Gaddis

Founder and Artistic Director of Contemporary West Dance Theatre & Conservatory (CWDT) is the first professional contemporary dance company in the history of Nevada and is now celebrating its 16th year. Mr. Gaddis’ is also the first person of color to establish a major professional dance company in the state of Nevada. Bernard has choreographed over 32 ballets some of his works can be seen by various dance companies and universities and was recently chosen for the Jacob Pillow ACDA dance festival. Bernard’s dance studies began in Philadelphia at the High School for the Performing Arts, where he received numerous awards and scholarships; including a full scholarship to the prestigious Governor’s School for the Performing Arts, a school for gifted dance students. Mr. Gaddis has also received scholarships to Pennsylvania Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, Princeton Ballet, & The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Bernard’s first professional dance experience was with the Philadelphia dance company “Philadanco” under the direction of the renowned Joan Myers Brown. Bernard has since been a certified Master Horton and Ballet teacher that has been teaching for the past twenty years both nationally and internationally to many dancers in Universities and Professional companies.

Bernard became the Co-Founder, Artistic Director and Choreographer for Philadanco’s second performing company D2. Bernard has received numerous awards for his role as Artistic Director & Choreographer, most notably the prestigious award for Men Making a Difference in the city of Philadelphia presented to him by Senator Chakka Fattah and the Living the Dream award for community leadership and for helping solidify the arts here in Las Vegas.

A principal dancer with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bernard danced under the Directorship of the renowned Judith Jamison. Bernard joined the L.A. cast of The Broadway Musical The Lion King as a principal dancer and chorus singer. Mr. Gaddis was a Principal Artist for several Cirque Du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, performing as a Dancer, Choreographer and Dance Captain for one of the headlining acts in Zumanity and Mystere.

Bryn Cohn

Described as having “a brilliant mind” (Dance Enthusiast), Bryn Cohn is an award-winning choreographer and movement director whose work merges storytelling, rhythmic play and kinetic physical languages. She has been commissioned by BalletCollective (dancers of New York City Ballet), Repertory Dance Theatre, Los Angeles Ballet II, Big Muddy Dance Company, Missouri Contemporary Ballet, Backhaus Dance, Youth America Grand Prix, Jacksonville Dance Theater and Billy Bell’s Lunge Dance. Cohn has been hired for commercial, fashion and visual art projects with Louis Vuitton, Smartwater, Betsey Johnson, Artists & Fleas and Tribeca Art Night. Her choreography has been presented by Jacob’s Pillow, Danspace Project, Bryant Park, Hudson Valley Dance Festival, 92nd Street Y, Kaatsbaan International Dance Center, McCallum’s Choreography Competition and REDCAT Theater among others. Cohn was nominated for a Princess Grace Fellowship in Choreography. She was selected to participate in the New Directions Choreography Lab at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – a creative residency supported by the Ford Foundation. She has been in artistic residence at Cal State Fullerton, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, University of Minnesota Duluth, Stockton University, Texas Christian University, Roger Williams College, University at Buffalo and Grand Valley State University. Cohn received a BFA from CalArts and was honored as a distinguished alumna. She has an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a High Honors, Chancellor’s and Regent’s award recipient.

Peter Pucci

Peter Pucci is an award-winning choreographer and movement director who has worked extensively in contemporary dance, theater, ballet, and dance education.  A graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he was a principal dancer and rehearsal director with Pilobolus Dance Theatre for nine years, where he toured and taught worldwide.  He went on to form his own company, Peter Pucci Plus Dancers, in New York City. Peter’s work has been commissioned by the Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Arizona, Ballet Hispanico, Dance Theatre of Harlem. Colorado Ballet, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, and many other companies, both ballet and modern. He has also served as movement director for numerous theatrical productions.  Peter also has significant experience as a dance educator, including nine years as Artist-in-Residence at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, and seven years teaching at the Juilliard School of Drama.  Upcoming commissions include a new work for the New Mexico Ballet Company and a residency and new work at Texas Christian University’s School for Classical & Contemporary Dance.

Bridget L. Moore

Bridget L. Moore, a native of Dallas, TX is the Artistic Director of B. MOORE DANCE. Moore’s choreographic works provide both cultural and kinesthetic experiences rooted in African-American and global dance aesthetics. Her choreography is kinesthetically and technically challenging and at times period-specific, integrating historical and cultural perspectives through research and development. She has received choreographic commissions from TITAS, Ailey II, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, to name a few. In addition, Moore’s work has been presented at, Jacob’s Pillow-Inside/Out, Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre, Winspear Opera House, The Joyce Theater and Ailey Citigroup Theater, among others.

Stephanie Pizzo

Eisenhower Dance Detroit Artistic Director, Stephanie Pizzo joined the company as a founding member in 1991. At various points in her dance career with EDD, she served as Resident Choreographer, Associate Artistic Director, and Co-Artistic Director. Ms. Pizzo now leads the company into her 5th season as Artistic Director. Her focus involves collaborating with the highest quality national and international artists and creating strong ties within the Detroit Metro community through the art of dance.  Ms. Pizzo also believes in educational programming and youth mentorship as key tools to develop community connections. She works to use the art of contemporary dance both as a means to present beautiful, athletic, and engaging repertory and as a vehicle to reflect on and explore issues of social significance. Her work has been presented in Tel Aviv as part of Eisenhower Dance Detroit’s production of The Light Show, at international dance festivals in Poland, and most recently on the Inside/Out Stage at Jacob’s Pillow.

KT Nelson

KT NELSON (ODC Fellow) danced, choreographed, and with ODC Founder, Brenda Way directed the ODC/Dance Company from 1976-2021. She has been awarded the Isadora Duncan Award for Outstanding Performance, Sustained Achievement, and twice for Outstanding Choreography. She has collaborated with the Berkeley Symphony, Marcelo Zarvos, Joan Jeanrenaud, and Volti Vocal Ensemble. Her Dead Reckoning was presented at Jacobs Pillow and American Dance Platform at the Joyce Theater. (see Fighting Climate Change with Dance | KQED Arts). Her collaboration with Brenda Way, boulders, and bones, was presented at BAM’s Next Wave Festival. Path of Miracles is presently touring with a NEFA National Dance Production grant. Nelson choreographed and directed ODC’s Velveteen Rabbit, which has been an SF holiday tradition for the past 35 years.

Kara Wilkes

Kara Wilkes is a dance educator, choreographer, dancer, and filmmaker.  She most recently created works for Traverse City Dance Project, the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, and Santa Clara University.  For eighteen years, the Milwaukee native performed classical ballet and contemporary répertoire by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Twyla Tharp, Dwight Rhoden, Jacqulyn Buglisi, George Balanchine, Alonzo King, Lila York, and Nacho Duato; she danced such works with Milwaukee Ballet Company, Ballet Victor Ullate, Charlotte Ballet, and Alonzo King LINES Ballet. In 2019, Kara earned her MFA in Dance at Hollins University and joined the dance faculty at Wake Forest University; she later returned to LINES to serve as Ballet Master. Kara is currently a freelance artist and teacher based out of Berkeley, CA.

Joy Bollinger

Joy Bollinger is a distinguished choreographer, teacher, and répétiteur and has led Bruce Wood Dance since 2018. Bollinger is a veteran performer of the nationally acclaimed Fort Worth-based Bruce Wood Dance Company from 2002 to 2007 and a founding member of Bruce Wood Dance in 2010. She has performed in over 50 of Wood’s ballets. Hailed as the “poet of dance” by Margaret Putnam, Bollinger has created critically acclaimed works: Carved In Stone (2016), Hillside (2017), In My Your Head (2019), and Blue (2021). Carved In Stone was called the “single best dance in 2016 . . . deeply emotional and striking in its stillness” by Mark Lowry of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and “a dance for the ages” by Margaret Putnam of “Hillside goes for broke, swirling with the same kind of physical and emotional power that marked her stunning debut as a professional dance maker,” acclaimed Manny Mendoza of The Dallas Morning News. Bollinger is listed by D Magazine as “Women Who Make Dallas Great,” citing her choreography as “highly cerebral and intuitive.” Her work has recently expanded to film, collaborating with Broadway composer Joseph Thalken to create Life Interrupted (2020), presented on KERA’s Frame of Mind TV series. D Magazine has referred to her as “one of the most evocative and lyrical choreographers on our scene.”

Bryn Cohn

Bryn CohnBryn Cohn has presented work at Jacob’s Pillow, Danspace Project, Bryant Park, 92nd Street Y, and REDCAT Theater. She was nominated for a Princess Grace Fellowship and participated in the New Directions Choreography Lab at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Cohn has been commissioned by Louis Vuitton, Smartwater, BalletCollective, Repertory Dance Theatre, Los Angeles Ballet, Billy Bell’s Lunge Dance, Cal State Fullerton, and University at Buffalo among others. Cohn received a feature in Dance Teacher Magazine and is on faculty at AMDA College and Hussian College. She received a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Natalie Desch

Natalie DeschNatalie Desch, (Juilliard School, BFA and the University of Washington, MFA) performed for five seasons with the Limón Dance Company and eleven seasons with Doug Varone and Dancers in NYC. She has taught for summer programs around the country and internationally. Natalie has restaged and continues to research the works of José Limón, Doug Varone, Jirí Kylián, and Daniel Charon. Natalie joined the University of Utah as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2019.

Kurt Douglas

Kurt DouglasOriginally from Guyana, South America received his BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory and M.F.A. from Hollins University. He danced with the Limón Dance Company, Lar Lubovitch, Ballet Hispanico, and Azure Barton, among others. Associate Professor of Dance at the Boston Conservatory, he serves as director for Berklee’s Summer Dance Intensive. Kurt has been associated with Limón since 2001 and continues to represent the Limón Foundation through workshops, masterclasses, and reconstructions.

Ruben Gerding

Ruben GerdingA native of Kentucky, Rubén Gerding received his BFA from the University of Oklahoma and his MFA from Texas Christian University in Classical & Contemporary Dance. He is currently an assistant professor of Dance at Southeast Missouri State University.

Rubén danced for three seasons with the Eugene Ballet before joining Texas Ballet Theater. Rubén then danced with Metropolitan Classical Ballet in Arlington, TX. He has also danced in Casa Manaña musical theatre productions Damn Yankees and Beauty and the Beast and performed with Ballet Concerto, the Bruce Wood Dance Project, Avant Chamber Ballet, and other North Texas dance companies.

Rubén’s choreography has been performed at the ACDA Festivals in several regions, the Plano Dance Festival in North Texas, and at regional theatres in Missouri and North Texas.

Suzanne Haag

Suzanne HaagSuzanne Haag is the Resident Choreographer of Eugene Ballet (EB) and co-founder of the interactive performing group, #instaballet. Performance credits include the Hartford Ballet, Indianapolis Opera, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Ballet Idaho, and 15 seasons with EB. Suzanne holds a B.S. in Arts Administration and Dance from Butler University. Suzanne’s choreographic work for EB includes a post-apocalyptic version of The Firebird and a collaboration with the band, Pink Martini. She participated in the 2017 National Choreographer’s Initiative, was a 2017 and 2018 finalist in the McCallum Theatre’s Choreography Competition, is a 2019 recipient of the New York Choreographic Institute’s Commission Initiative award, and received the 2019 Oregon Arts Commission’s Joan Shipley Fellowship. More information about her work can be found at

Francesca Harper

Francesca HarperFrancesca Harper joined and performed soloist roles with Dance Theatre of Harlem and later became a Principal Artist in William Forsythe’s Ballet Frankfurt. Harper has choreographed for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Richmond Ballet, and others, including The Francesca Harper Project, founded in 2005 and touring internationally. A fellow at Urban Bush Women’s Choreographic Center, Harper served as a ballet consultant for the Oscar-winning film Black Swan and is currently engaged as Executive Producer with Sony Pictures on a series in development.

Gabrielle Lamb

Photo by Christopher GIglio

Gabrielle Lamb is a Princess Grace Award-winning choreographer based in NYC, where she directs Pigeonwing Dance. Her dances, infused with the rigor of classical ballet, strobe between puzzle-solving and the hedonic pleasure of pure movement.  She has created for both classical and contemporary companies and dance departments across North America, including American Ballet Theatre, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Ballet, Whim W’him (Seattle), Ballet Collective (NYC), Ballet Austin, Ballet Memphis, and the Sacramento, Milwaukee, and Kansas City Ballets.

Ms. Lamb has won choreographic competitions at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Milwaukee Ballet, as well as the Banff Centre’s Lee Award and a New York City Center Choreography Fellowship.  In 2018 she was Grand Prize Winner of the S&R Foundation’s Washington Award.

A native of Savannah, GA, she trained at the Boston Ballet School and was a longtime soloist at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.  In 2009 she was invited by Christopher Wheeldon to join his company Morphoses in NYC. Her performing repertoire also included new creations by Mauro Bigonzetti, Pontus Lidberg, and Shen Wei, as well as leading roles in existing works by Naharin, Balanchine, Kylian, and Duato. She was described by DANCE Magazine as, “a dancer of stunning clarity who illuminates the smallest details—qualities she brings to the dances she makes, too”.

She is currently a 3rd Year Trainee in the 4 Year Professional Training Program of the Feldenkrais Institute of NY.

Adam Barruch

Adam Barruch began his career as a young actor, performing professionally on Broadway and in film and television, working with prominent figures such as Tony Bennett, Jerry Herman and Susan Stroman. He later received dance training at LaGuardia High School for Music & Art and Performing Arts. After three years, he graduated early and was accepted into the dance department at The Juilliard School. As a dancer he has performed the works of Jiri Kylian, Ohad Naharin, Susan Marshall, Jose Limon, Daniele Dèsnoyers, and was a dancer with Sylvain Émard Danse in Montreal. He has also worked with The Margie Gillis Dance Foundation, performing and researching Conflict Transformation as part of The Legacy Project. Based in Brooklyn, Adam currently creates and performs work under the epithet of his own company, Anatomiae Occultii.

As a choreographer, Adam’s work has been presented at venues such as The Joyce Theater, New York Live Arts, City Center, NYU/ Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, The Juilliard School, The Baryshnikov Arts Center, Ailey-Citigroup Theater, The 92Y: Buttenweiser Hall, Jacob’s Pillow: Inside/Out, LaMaMa,The Cedar Lake Theater, Gina Gibney Dance Center, The Harris Theater, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The Cowles Center, The Yard on Martha’s Vineyard, Bates Dance Festival and Theatre Usine C in Montreal. He has also taught technique and repertory at Princeton University, The Boston Conservatory, The Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, Marymount Manhattan College, The Martha Graham School, The Hartt School, The Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, New York University, Hofstra University, West Virginia University, La Escuela Profesional de Danza de Mazatlán (EPDM), New Zealand School of Dance and The Hubbard Street Professional Training Program.

Adam Barruch was selected as a participant in the 2011 Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation New Directions Choreography Lab made possible by generous support from the Ford Foundation. Adam Barruch’s short-film collaboration with filmmaker Nel Shelby, Folie a Deux, was screened at the Dance On Camera Festival in Lincoln Center in 2012. In June 2013, Adam performed a full-length evening solo work, My Name is Adam, at Joe’s Pub commissioned by DanceNOW NYC, and was a recipient of a Late Stage Production Stipend from the Mertz Gilmore Foundation. In addition, he has also created works for companies such as The Limón Company, Ailey II, Keigwin + Company, Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company, River North Dance Chicago, BalletX, Whim W’Him Seattle Contemporary Dance, Graham II, GroundWorks Dance Theater, Minnesota Dance Theatre, The Gibney Dance Company, 10 Hairy Legs and Daniel Costa Dance, as well as for dance icons Margie Gillis and Miki Orihara. Adam has also choreographed two music videos for Tokyo based musical act mishmash* and created movement for Variety Worldwide, whose projects combine non-traditional theater with nightlife and dining.

Adam was the recipient of a 2014 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, which recognizes institutions and individuals for distinguished accomplishments and exceptional talent in the arts and sciences. In September 2015, Adam Barruch was the choreographer-in-residence at the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara, California as part of the 2015 DANCEworks Residency. Adam Barruch was an artist-in-residence at the 92Y Harkness Dance Center in 2016-2017. He is currently working on a new physical theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.

Darrell Grand Moultrie

Photo by Franklin Thompson

Darrell Grand Moultrie has established himself as one of America’s most diverse and sought-after choreographers and master teachers. A recipient of the Princess Grace Choreography Fellowship Award, he is one of the few choreographers simultaneously working in theatre, modern dance, ballet, and commercial dance.  This past spring, Moultrie had a premiere performed by The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre during their engagement at New York’s Lincoln Center.  Moutlrie has created and staged works for Colorado Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Ailey 2, Milwaukee Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Tulsa Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Smuin Ballet, Washington Ballet, and NBA Ballet in Japan.  Moultrie was selected by Grammy Award winning artist Beyoncé as a choreographer on her recording breaking “Mrs. Carter Show” world tour.  On stage, he has provide movement and choreography for Jeremy O. Harris’s new play Daddy, directed by Danya Taymor, Witness Uganda at American Repertory Theater directed by Tony Winner Diane Paulus, Sugar in Our Wounds at Manhattan Theatre Club, the Off Broadway musical Invisible Thread at Second Stage, Evita and Pride and Prejudice at Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and he has collaborated with Tony Award-winning hoofer Savion Glover. Moultrie also choreographed El Publico, a new opera at the world famous Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain directed by Robert Castro and Conducted by Robert Heras-Casado.  Moultrie is a proud New Yorker, born and raised in Harlem, and a graduate of P.S. 144, Laguardia High School, and The Juilliard School.

Elijah Alhadji Gibson

Founder and Artistic Director of Social Movement Contemporary Dance, based in Houston, Texas. Originally from San Diego, California, he attended the San Diego School for the Performing Arts. He later studied at Sam Houston State University under the direction of Dana Nicolay and received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee. Gibson danced with the world-renowned Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago where he toured nationally and internationally. Gibson has been on faculty at Shenandoah University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Sam Houston State University.


Rochelle Zide-Booth

Rochelle Zide-Booth has retired after a long career in ballet. She trained in Boston with Harriet Hoctor and E. Virginia Williams and then joined the fabled Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, signing her first contract on her 1 6th birthday and quickly rising to the rank of Soloist. After breaking her leg in a rehearsal on tour, and dancing on it for two weeks, she left the company. Then came a New York season with Jerome Robbins’ Ballets: USA and four years as Principal Dancer of The Jaffrey Ballet, where she danced ballerina roles in most of the repertoire, including Lisette in “La Fille Mal Gardee”; the title role in Thomas Andrew’s “Clarissa” and the leading role in Dirk Sanders’ “Yesterday’s Papers”, both of which were choreographed for her; the pas de deux from Bournonville’s “Flower Festival in Genzano” and from Act 1 of
“Giselle”; and the leads in Balanchine’s “Pas de Dix” and “Square Dance”. Another accident, this time detached retinas, made her decide to leave that company. Freelance work with a partner and symphony orchestras throughout the United States and as ballerina of America Dances and as Prima Ballerina of the New York City Opera Ballet followed. A new company was being formed for her by Walter Terry and Thomas Andrew when a third accident cut short her performing career at age 27.

The next phase of her career began immediately: Ballet Mistress of The Jaffrey and Boston Ballets, starting the Dance Program at St. Paul’s School in Concord NH, Artistic Director of the Netherlands Dance Theatre, Professor of Ballet at Adelphi University, Head of Ballet at The Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, teaching and staging residencies in South Korea, Israel and the Philippines, teaching on the faculty of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and Professor of Ballet, Men’s Ballet and Dance History at Butler University. As a Fulbright lecturer, Zide-Booth was the first American invited to be Artist in Residence at the Prague Conservatory of Dance and the Ballet of the National Theatre in the Czech Republic. While there, she also taught master classes at the Academy of Musical Arts in Prague, the Brno Ballet, the Brno Dance Conservatory, the Army Ballet Company and she helped to start an American-style conservatory of dance. She also staged one of her ballets for the Prague National Ballet. Next she was selected from an international search to be Artistic Director of the New Zealand School of Dance. Rochelle is a nine time adjudicator for the National Association of Regional Ballet (now Regional Dance America), including the first National Festival at the Jackson International Ballet Competition, and has choreographed some two dozen ballets. She is also a Certified Reconstructor at the Dance Notation Bureau. Dance Chronicle published some of the diaries from her Jaffrey years in 1 988 and she is listed in 2,000 Notable American Women, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in Entertainment, The International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women, Personalities of America, Who’s Who in the East and Jewish Women in America, an Historical Encyclopedia. Rochelle is now Professor Emerita of both Butler and Adelphi Universities. In 2014, she was honored to receive the CORPS de Ballet International Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in teaching Ballet in higher education.

Francisco Aviña

Francisco’s training started at Orange County High School of the Performing Arts and continued at Alvin Ailey.  He worked as a dancer in such projects as: Celine Dion’s A New Day at Caesars Palace,  Newsies-the Movie , Batman and Robin, Michael Jackson’s Sisterella, Fame L.A the TV series,The World Billboard Music Awards. He danced for Elton John, Bette Midler, Janet Jackson, and numerous corporate industrials such as Adidas, Canon, Nike, Reebok, Asics, Nintendo and Aveda. Moving to Chicago he began his company career with Hubbard Street 2 for 1 year, moving to River North  for 1 year, and subsequently into Hubbard Street for 3 seasons. He has also worked with  Lucky Push Production’s under the artistic of Julia Rhoads. His choreography credits include Giannai Versace fashion show in Singapore, 10th Annual American Choreography Awards in Los Angeles, Nickolodeon’s Kid’s Choice Awards with Justin Timberlake, three pieces for Hubbard Street 2 in which one he won a national choreography competition.

Working in Mexico City he choreographed  for TV Azteca Disney’s High School Musical La Seleccion  and Yo Mexico which was a multi media production celebrating the bicentennial anniversary of Mexico’s independence and the centennial anniversary of its revolution with more than 350 artists including dancers, aerialists and musicians. It was performed in the Zocalo at the foot of the National Palace and viewed by over 1.5 million people. He completed the first piece set on Danceworks Chicago entitled “Track 4” under the artistic direction of Julie Nakagawa. He has choreographed for Chicago dance companies such as Luna Negra, Thodos Dance, Ron de Jesus Dance and the Joffery’s second company. Francisco received the “Outstanding Choreography Award” at the Youth America Grand Prix competition.  Francisco is also the resident choreographer for “Digital 9″ in Shibuya Tokyo where he periodically sets new works for a cast of over 60 artists. Currently Francisco is the Artistic Director of Danza Tres in Mexico City, were he over see’s the artistic direction of large mass live event’s as well as television and theatre projects.