2019 MFA Cohort

Christopher Alloways-Ramsey

Christopher Alloways-Ramsey

Christopher Alloways-Ramsey graduated cum laude, Harvard University, June 2003. He has danced professionally for Boston Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet West, BalletMet Columbus and Alabama Ballet. As a student, Christopher received the majority of his classical training from Mira Popovitch and Dame Sonia Arova. Subsequently, he trained on full merit scholarships at The Kirov Academy, School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Christopher graduated from high school at (Universty of) North Carolina School of the Arts. As a guest artist with regional ballet companies around the US, Christopher's repertory includes Siegfried in Swan Lake, The Prince in Sleeping Beauty, Sugar Plum Cavalier in Nutcracker, Albrecht in Giselle, Paris in Romeo and Juliet, The Blue Boy in Les Patineurs, and Monotones 1. Christopher's Balanchine repertoire includes Concerto Barocco, Western Symphony, Symphony in C, Rubies and the Third Theme pas de deux from The Four Temperaments. Mr. Alloways-Ramsey has also performed roles in the ballets of 20th-Century masters Cranko, Van Dantzig, and Jose Limon. As an educator, Christopher was previously on the faculty at Boston Arts Academy, American Academy of Ballet, Boston Youth Moves, Boston Ballet and Boston Conservatory. He has taught company classes for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre while they were on tour in Cape Town and Complexions Contemporary Ballet when they toured to Boston. Christopher was a 2013 recipient of National Artists Teacher Fellowship Award. From April 2014 until June 2016, Christopher was the Ballet Master for Cape Dance Company and Head of the Classical Ballet Department at Cape Academy of Performing Arts, in Cape Town, South Africa. During his tenure, he was responsible for creating and implementing the Professional Track School for 9-18-year-old students, a dedicated Men's Program, and a full-time tertiary program for classical ballet majors. Christopher was the teacher and coach of 2016 South African International Ballet Competition Gold Medalist, Neline Theron. Mr. Alloways-Ramsey is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® National Training Curriculum Teacher Training Intensive in PrePrimary through Level 5.

Stephanie Bauger

Stephanie Bauger

Stephanie Bauger (Dominican Republic/Argentina) studied first classical ballet in the Dominican Republic before obtaining a scholarship for the Escuela Nacional de Ballet in Cuba where she studied for a period of three years. She graduated with honors in 2000 and was accepted at Ballet Nacional de Cuba, under the direction of Alicia Alonso. Stephanie subsequently joined Ballet Argentino in 2001, directed by the famous Argentinean dancer Julio Bocca, where she danced for 7 years and where she was partnered many times by Julio Bocca himself. She performed works by Mauricio Wainrot, Oscar Araiz, Ana Maria Stekelman, Jose Limon, Martha Graham, Mauro Bigonzzeti, Balanchine, Chet Walker, Alberto Mendez, William Alcala, Lidia Segni, Twyla Tharp, Alvin Ailey. Since 2009, Stephanie has been a principal dancer at Ballet Nacional Dominicano where she has worked with choreographers such as Alberto Méndez, Carlos Veitía, Antonio Gómez, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Anna Maria Stekelman, and others. Besides her responsibilities as a dancer, she also worked as a Ballet Master, subdirector and artistic assistant of the director of the Ballet Nacional Dominicano. Stephanie has been assisting choreographer Annabelle Lopez Ochoa on the works that she has created for Ballet Nacional Dominicano, Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Atlanta Ballet and Ballet Hispanico of NYC. She also has created the pre-professional program from the Escuela Nacional de Danza where she regularly teaches ballet to the 5th year. She works as a ballet master in the Contemporary National Dance Company directed by Marianela Boan. Currently she is studying the MFA program in Choreography at Jacksonville University.

Jimmy Bechara

Jimmy Bechara

Jimmy Bechara was born in 1987 and started dancing at Al-Sarab Alternative Dance School when he was 3 years old. He, in parallel, began to take gymnastics when he was 5 years old at Buddha Club. He obtained his dance degree in 2005 and continued to study in the teaching program until he obtained his teaching diploma. He graduated in 2008 from Balamand University with a BA in physical education. He is currently a member of Al-Sarab Alternative Dance Company as well as a teacher and teaching coordinator at Al-Sarab Alternative Dance School. He has been in several Sarab performances, both nationally and internationally, since 2002. He participated in six International Dance Day Festivals as a performer and since 2012 as an instructor. He Choreographed the 1st vertical dancing show in Lebanon and the middle east through a combined show between USJ, AL-Sarab Alternative Company and X-Ploriders. He is currently teaching a modern dance at the Lebanese American University.

James L. Boyd III

James L. Boyd III

James L. Boyd III is an artist born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured and entertained the world with the knowledge of ten (10) professional styles of dance under his belt. James is a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate and received his B.F.A from SUNY Purchase College in 2010 in Dance and Choreography. Since graduation he performed with Elton John, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, and Bruce Springsteen. James was a guest artist with the hit dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance” and a semi-finalist on the well-known show, “America’s Got Talent”. While performing around the world, entertaining in 30 countries and over 80 cities with the Bad Boys of Dance and Bad Boys of Ballet, he shared the stage with greats such as Misty Copeland, Joseph Gatti and Rasta Thomas. James strives to be successful in dance, business and on behalf of his community. He produced his first dance show for Northeast Florida in 2012 titled, “Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet”. James’ passion for community most notably is demonstrated through his recently incorporated not-for-profit endeavor known as Art In Flight Inc. As Founder and CEO, he activated its mission in 2016 and begun fundraising in addition to and outside the Cultural Council on behalf of arts agencies throughout Greater Jacksonville. Art in Flight’s mission is to enhance the development and sustainability of arts organizations in Northeast Florida in order to educate our citizens, increase arts appreciation and support, foster an arts rich culture and, in turn, help grow Jacksonville into a nationally beloved, thought-leading city. James L. Boyd III continues gaining experience to only share with others. James is currently obtaining his Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) with Jacksonville University. It’s only a matter of time before James is the Master of his own voice. In addition to building Art in Flight, James is an international faculty member for the Manhattan Dance Project, a former Artist In Residence at Jacksonville University, a Trustee level member of the JAX Chamber, currently serving two local arts boards including Players By The Sea and the JIA Arts Commission and blessed to be a new faculty member for Troy University.

Kimberly Davagian

Kimberly Davagian

Kim comes from Massachusetts where she trained at the Boston Ballet for several years before being introduced to and falling in love with modern dance at Bates Dance Festival. After a year studying dance at Florida State University, Kim transferred to Fordham/Ailey. Upon graduation, she danced for Heidi Latsky Dance, a Bill T. Jones former company member, before relocating to Los Angeles. After teaching and performing in and around the Los Angeles area, Kim moved to Colorado to take an artistic director role at a dance conservatory in Colorado Springs. Kim danced professionally with Ormao Dance Company while in Colorado, and began teaching at the collegiate level at both University of Colorado at Colorado Springs as well as Pikes Peak Community College. She also became certified to teach yoga at Corepower, and taught many styles there before applying to graduate school. Kim serves as ballet director at Synergy Dance Academy and a guest artist for Ormao Dance Company in Colorado while continuing to teach ballet, Horton-based modern, composition and yoga in Los Angeles. She is currently enrolled in her second semester at Jacksonville University pursuing her MFA in dance choreography.

Junichi Fukuda

Junichi Fukuda

Junichi Fukuda holds a BFA in Dance from the Boston Conservatory and has been a member of Ballet Tech/NY, Oakland Ballet, Smuin Ballet/SF, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the New York Baroque Dance Company, Nejla Yatkin’s NY2 Dance, Buglisi Dance Theatre and Peridance Contemporary Dance Company where he was featured in numerous principal roles. Back in New England, Junichi became a member of Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre while he maintains his choreographic journey. Junichi was the recipient of the 2012 S&R Washington Award and the Dance Place’s 2012 New Releases Choreographer Commission. His choreography has been presented at 18MASDANZA in Spain, Dance St. Louis’ The Spring to Dance Festival, DanceNow at Joe’s Pub Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival and Bates Dance Festival. The Washington Post says “Fukuda knew exactly what he was doing here: creating a work of easeful harmony...bringing to mind freedom and flight…The real credit was due to Fukuda’s modest, tasteful proposal.” Junichi formed his company “Fukudance” as a vehicle to continue his artistic journey from dancer to choreographer and director. Junichi has been awarded Emerging Choreographer residency from Bates Dance Festival, CATALYSTS Artist residency from the Dance Complex, and Rehearsal and Retreat Fellowship from Boston Dance Alliance as well as receiving grants from Somerville Arts Council, New England Foundation for the Arts, Boston Cultural Council, and Fidelity Charitable Foundation. He currently co-produces an ongoing performance event “the Second Eye” with 3S Artspace (3sarts.org). His future choreographic engagement includes a new work at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, collaboration with Atlantic Guitar Quartet, and various events at the Dance Complex.

Blanca Huertas-Agnew

Blanca Huertas-Agnew

Blanca Huertas-Agnew began her training in Puerto Rico at Ballet Contemporáneo with her mother Blanca Cortés. At early age became member of Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico and performed classical repertoire such as Swan Lake, Don Quixote, Romeo & Juliet, Giselle and Nutcracker. She joined Ballets de San Juan and as Principal Soloist performed many George Balanchine choreographies such as Apollo, Who Cares?, Valse Fantasie, Rubies, Serenade, and Concerto Barroco. Blanca is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 8 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also an ABT® Affiliate Teacher. An ABT® Affiliate Teacher is a level of distinction for ABT® Certified Teachers that successfully presented their students for examinations. Her students have been accepted to programs such as American Ballet Theater Young Dancer Program, The Cuban Classical Summer Intensive at The School of Ballet Hispánico, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet Summer Program, The School of Pennsylvania Ballet, and Ellison Summer Intensive. Blanca was the founder and Artistic Director of Pennsylvania Ballet Arts. Blanca also has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Temple University, concentration Risk Management & Insurance. She received the Howard Gilman Fellowship Award at Jacksonville University.

Paula Johnson

Paula Johnson

Dancer, educator, choreographer, Paula was born in Vancouver, Canada. She has studied all different types of dance but her first love is ballet. Paula studied dance at Ryerson Polytechnic University in Toronto and Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. As a dance educator, she has had many opportunities to explore choreography in all different styles including hip hop and breakdancing. Collaborating with the teachers in her district, they run a non–profit organization which runs competitions and other events for their students. Having taught internationally, she has developed a love of travel. Finding inspiration during travel adventures, while exploring urban jungles and surfing new beaches, she looks forward to creating more choreographic adventures and opportunities at home and abroad.

Daniella Kaiser

Daniella Kaiser

A native of both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, PA, Danielle Kaiser holds a B.A. in dance as well as a B.A. in secondary education mathematics from Mercyhurst College; having received recognitions such as the Mercyhurst Egan Scholarship as well as the Etoile Leadership Award. She has had the opportunity to study with Tauna Hunter, Michael Gleason, Christina Hay, Noelle Partusch, Mark and Solveig Santillano, and Nathaniel Johnson; with opportunities to work closely with artists such as Elena Estanol, Bill Evans, Erin Tisdale, Momix Dance Company, Pilobulus, and Valerie Valentine, appearing onstage with the The Mercyhurst Dancers, the American College Dance Festival, and the Erie Dance Consortium. In addition, Danielle was a dancer for the Mercyhurst Dance Team (under the direction of Stacey Garrastazu) and was a company member of SoMar Dance Works as well as a dancer for the Erie Bayhawks AAA NBA dance team. Danielle worked professionally for Princess Cruise Lines as a dancer, aerialist, and assistant company performance manager aboard the Dawn, Emerald, and Grand Princess vessels, performing 9-12 month contracts for four years. Danielle currently serves as administrative assistant to the Department of Dance at Mercyhurst University and advisor to the Mercyhurst University Dance Club. In addition, she is the Mercyhurst University Dance Team Coach, ballet instructor and advisor for Little Dance Studio in Erie, PA as well as ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and hip hop instructor for Erie Dance Conservatory. She holds the position of Rehearsal Director for Erie Contemporary Ballet Theatre. Danielle’s choreography has been featured aboard the Dawn Princess with Princess Cruise Lines, at the Northeast Regional Dance America, Mercyhurst University Dance Department, Cleveland Ballet Conservatory, Erie Contemporary Ballet Theatre, and Erie Dance Theatre. Thrilled to be pursuing her MFA in Choreography with research into contemporary practices, Danielle currently serves as the JUMFA cohort of 2019 administrative liaison and cohort coordinator.

Glenn Morgan

Glenn Morgan

Dance and art may be a genetic disposition. Glenn Morgan comes from a line of dancers and artists and spent his adolescent years dancing, playing music, and learning many visual art techniques. Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma but raised in Richmond, Virginia where Glenn had a healthy dose of dance from the early age of 4 years old while dancing with his mother Jessica Morgan, MSedu (dance). This began a life of dance that included dancing at his mother’s studio Jessica Morgan School of Dance, Richmond Ballet, and summer arts camps at Virginia School of the Arts, North Carolina School of the Arts, and the Governors School of Virginia summer arts program at University of Richmond. Glenn attended Arizona State University on a dance scholarship for his undergraduate degree. While in Arizona he danced with Dance Arizona Repertory Theatre, Ballet Jude, The Beat Jazz Company, and would return to Virginia in the summers to dance with Richmond Ballet, Concert Ballet of Virginia, and Pulse Dance Company. While attending Arizona State University Glenn found another passion in Kinesiology and pursued his interdisciplinary degree in both Dance and Kinesiology. Glenn went on to receive his Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dance and Kinesiology. After pursuing his new passion Glenn wanted to combine the two and discover the connections and opportunities for Dance and Kinesiology. Glenn pursued his Masters of Science in Dance Science from Laban Dance Centre in London (Trinity Laban Conservatory). While attending Laban he danced in numerous MFA choreography performances and was employed by the university as a Dance Science Lab Technician. Since returning to the states Glenn has settled in Jacksonville, FL where he has danced with Kate Gamble and was a founding member and Artistic/Executive Director of Braided Light Dance Project. Glenn has instructed as an Adjunct Faculty at Florida State College at Jacksonville, Douglas Anderson High School for the Arts, LaVilla Middle School for the Arts, several dance studios and programs within Jacksonville, and is currently Adjunct Faculty at Jacksonville University. Glenn is a fitness specialist as a Clinical Personal Trainer, Pilates mat and reformer instructor, certified GYROKINESIS® instructor, TRX Functional Trainer, and holds numerous certificates and certifications in fitness and wellness. Currently, Glenn is pursuing his MFA in Dance Choreography from Jacksonville University to gain artistic knowledge and further pursue his passion for dance.

Angela P. Cubillan Arteritano

Angela P. Cubillan ArteritanoAngela Arteritano was born a Maracaibo, Venezuela. She began her dance studies at the early age of three, in classical Ballet and Jazz. At the age of fifteen, she was already teaching and choreographing at the ballet company "Majestic ballet" in her native Maracaibo.She travels constantly for workshops, classes, and various participations in important festivals of flamenco. She has directed and choreographed numerous shows, as well as developed various educational programs. Her work has been presented in stages like such as The Miramar Cultural Center in Miami, Florida, The Bayou Theater in Houston, Texas, and "Teatro Baralt" in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Her collaborations include experimentations with the visual arts and other forms in efforts to establish a foundation frothy study of contemporary Flamenco. Angela works as a freelance choreographer and research artist, traveling for collaborations with dance companies around the US, teaching workshops, and presenting her work

Amber Golden

Amber Golden

Amber A. Golden, Ph.D. is an independent scholar, life-long dancer, and emerging choreographer who has focused her training on the folkloric dances of West African (Senegal-Gambia) and the African Diaspora as well as the Umfundalai Contemporary African Technique. With a professional background in Family Relations (Ph.D.), Community Psychology (M.S.), and culturally responsive program evaluation, she is developing an Arts-Based research practice to promote a culture of health and further her social science research agenda. She has a particular interest in the youth transition into adulthood, family dynamics, and enhancing the personal, family, and community conditions that support health and well-being.

She has had a diverse background through teaching, therapy, and culturally responsive program evaluation in research, community, and corporate settings. However, she keeps being pulled back to the healing and expressive power of dance and aims to integrate her academic training (Ph.D. in Family Relations and M.S. in Community Psychology) into youth, family, and community development programming.

20 years of learning the history and performing dances from the African Diaspora have facilitated her own personal development. She has come to believe that the body holds more information that we cognitively process and dance can be used to access that information for increased self-awareness and self-understanding. Her work is rooted in the ability of the arts to facilitate intra- and inter-personal exploration as well as delve into and open the door for productive discussions on difficult/stigmatized topics.

Amber currently performs with Soul in Motion African Drum Dance based just outside of Washington, DC. She engages in collaborative projects and performances with other local artists and is an M'Singha Wuti level Umfundalai instructor. Amber is the mother of two active teenagers and a young adult and is also a support for her beautiful octogenarian mom. She loves listening to audiobooks, nature walks, trail runs, swimming, and live concerts.

Elizabeth Hartwell

Elizabeth Hartwell

Ms. Elizabeth Hartwell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance Instruction through the University Without Walls program at Northeastern Illinois University. She is an advanced Franklin Method® Movement Educator. Currently, she is an adjunct teacher and choreographer at Central Methodist University and a ballet mistress for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet in Columbia, Missouri. During the nine years prior, Ms. Hartwell worked at Stephens College as a fulltime faculty Instructor of Classical Ballet, and later on as Artistic Director of the Stephens Summer Dance intensive program and coordinator of the Bachelor in Fine Arts in Dance degree program.

 Previously, she was the Louisville Ballet School Director from 2004 to 2008, following a long tenure as a principal dancer with the Louisville Ballet. Concurrently, she served as Artistic Director of the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble, an honor company with the Southeastern Ballet Association. From 1996 to 2004, she served on the faculty of the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts and the Louisville Ballet School. Early on, Hartwell was a member of the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet and Chicago Ballet companies, and a ballet soloist with the Cincinnati Opera, from 1987-1995. She received the 2004 Kentucky Governor’s Award for Artist of the Year, for her lifetime achievements in the arts.

Andrienne N. Hicks

Andrienne N. Hicks

Upon high school graduation in 2006, Adrienne Hicks entered the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Her freshman year, she was one of only two female dancers chosen to dance in guest choreographer Sean Curran’s piece for the Fordham/Ailey Fall BFA performance showcase.

Contacted during her sophomore year by Chancellor Jack Hawkins of Troy University in Alabama, Adrienne agreed to help charter the university’s first dance program.  Since transferring to Troy University on scholarship, Adrienne has been instrumental in bringing dance to the Troy University campus. Under her leadership, the Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble, which began with 6 of Alabama’s best dancers, all of whom Adrienne herself was influential in recruiting has grown to 23. In 2009, Adrienne joined Adrienne Canterna’s Pretty Girls of Dance and, during the summer of this same year, worked as Canterna’s understudy for Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys of Dance in their performance of Rock the Ballet, an experience which prepared her for much of how to develop TDRE into the company it is today.  

An additional and noteworthy achievement of Adrienne’s was working with Chancellor Hawkins, the Confucius Institute, and the College of Communication and Fine Arts, to organize and help direct an hour long performance which TDRE toured to universities in Beijing and Hebei, China in the summer of 2010. During this tour, Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble performed in The People’s Great Hall, the only dance troupe to have ever done so. Adrienne’s direction and example has not only helped TDRE to become a respected company but has given her a deep appreciation for the work that goes into building anything from the ground up, and she is most proud to have played such a crucial role in TDRE’s beginning.

Graduating Summa Cum Laude on May 6, 2011, Adrienne moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she signed with Xcel Talent Agency.  She became a member of Project 7 Contemporay Dance Company, danced in The Dreamworks Shrektacular, and began her 3 year journey with famed America’s Got Talent group, iLuminate . During her time with iLuminate, Adrienne has performed in the Six Flags Over Georgia show, performed several world tours and starred in, as well as, lead the cast as dance captain, in iLuminate’s two separate off broadway shows, Artist of Light and iLuminate. In February of 2015, Adrienne rejoined Bad Boys of Dance in their show Romeo and Juliet, where she played the nurse. Adrienne is currently getting her MFA in Choreography and continuing to perform and teach around the world. So far, dance has taken her to over 15 countries and 5 continents!

Mika Massey

Mika Massey

Mika Deslongchamps Massey hails fro Tucson, AZ where she has spent the past eleven years actively engaged in the local and national performing arts community.  She has taught at various institutions ranging from recreational to professional and acted both as faculty member and guest instructor. Her choreography is in demand throughout the nation.  With experience in collaborate work re-developing performing arts organization, directing a professional non profit dance company and being resident choreographer of theater and opera companies; Ms. Massey's expansive skill set is honed to the world of dance rather than a singular aspect.  She has worked rigorously to bridge the technical excellence dancers strive to gain between styles of dance, to develop movement curriculum that enhances and trains the technical and artistic performer, and to continuously bring dance into other communities.

Ms. Massey has been training in circus arts, specifically that of aerial silks, for the past 4 years under the tutelage of Kelsey Erickson.  Together they developed the innovative Circus for Dancers program, uniting their two specialties into an integrated program that cross trains dancers and icrcus artists.  She has also spent time in residency with the Southern Arizona Network for Down Syndrome (SANDS), teaching movement classes for children and adults with down syndrome and lecturing on the importance of such movement integration. Additional projects include directing the drama program at Civano Community schools, choreographing full length musicals for Desert Christian High School and partnerships with local and national organizations such as the American Cancer Society.

Ms. Massey is currently on faculty at Ballet Rincon as the director of jazz programs, instructor of tap and ballet, and classical ballet choreographer.  She is also a certified Progressing Ballet Technique teacher. Ms. Massey is also an ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primany through Level 3 of the ABT National Training Curriculum.   

Joel Ortiz Vazquez

Joel Ortiz Vazquez

His interest in dancing began at age 8 when he began performing in different special presentations at school. He joined the talent agency Nailda Hernández where he participated in several ads for television. For the year 2001, he traveled to Mexico and had the opportunity to work with one of the largest productions in Mexico, "Producciones Belinda", where he visited several countries working as a production assistant. Over time, the production offered to work directly with the choreographic montage of the artist, internationally including Puerto Rico. After 2 years working in the production, Joel JD Ortiz entered one of the most recognized dance academies in Puerto Rico (Dance Machine), where he was granted a scholarship for a year and a half taking dance classes. He met one of the company's dancers (Delinmari Rivera), where they participated together in presentations such as recitals, television spots, and special events.

In 2006 they decided to start their own dance school promoting cinematography, dance, and acting. They worked on their first production, together called "School of Dance Tour" visiting different towns throughout the country. The musical work was based on urban culture where he presented different situations of daily life that included overcoming, family and general situations that lived high school youth.

In 2008 they decided to move the dance academy to a much larger space where they expanded their curriculum offering other classes with Theater, different styles of dance, Acting, Modeling, and Musical Theater. They made a non-profit trip to different states including the State of Washington, teaching classes to youth and children from different churches and communities (2009). Expanding their services to the State of Laredo Texas where they created different musical theater projects impacting more than 50,000 people in that state. (Come for a toy 2010).

In 2011 an interesting and innovative proposal was created where they integrated their cinematography and Musical Theater curriculum into the Public and Private Education System. Apart from the regular classes that students had to take, dancing, cinematography, music, and acting were integrated into evaluation standards that were based on the basic subjects of the students. In 2012 it was reviewed as an innovative proposal by one of the most important newspapers in the country (Primera Hora) thus creating the first educational proposal of Musical Theater in the country. In 2014 he studied his Bachelor in Dance at the University of the Sacred Heart, formalizing and combining the academic and all her experience in dance. In turn, they continued to expand their services until 2017 in 10 schools around the country, managing to work with some Government Agencies of the Law Enforcement, integrating a prevention plan within their cinematographic scenes, working with the school community, teachers, parents, and public and private organizations.

Chiara L. Santiago

Chiara L. Santiago

Chiara Santiago, best known as Kiara Pita. She is the President of “Yo Prefiero Sonreír” Foundation, where she produces events and plays at the main Fine Arts Centers in Puerto Rico such as "Se Busca un Super Heroe", "The Passion Music & Dance Experience", "Un Niño Todo Cambiará" among others and also choreographs from a solo to 90 dancers at the same time in the scenario. She’ve been trained in the major national dance schools (Secular as Christian) and Performing Arts. Her studies are a bachelor’s in Dance at the Sacred Heart University and is about to finish her master's in Choreography with the University of Jacksonville. At the international level, she has also trained in major academies of New York (BDC, Alvin Ailey, Steps, etc.) in addition to accredited studies at the Annual Teacher Workshop in New York, Dance Teachers Programs at the Conservatory of Music, and different certifications as a teacher including Cuballet, among others.

She has participated as a dancer with the Symphonic Orchestra, and the Philharmonic of PR also joined in “Caperucita Roja,” The Nutcracker, The Pharaoh Daughter, Sylvia, Le Corsaire of BNPR, among others. She directs the Mishkjá Technical School of Worship Arts and where ministers are raised in spiritual, technical and theoretical knowledge, integrating traditional dance and different styles such as modern, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, aerial, contemporary between others. Her passion is to use arts and dance as a means of expression, able to reach the heart of people with messages that contribute to our society, both spiritual and emotional. At the moment she also teaches Ballet, Jazz and Contemporary at her studio and offers workshops inside and outside the island.

Marien Y. Tort

Marien Y. Tort

Yadira Tort is a Puerto Rican body/movement 'curiositeer'.  She is fascinated with movement in all of the facets of the spectrum.  She believes that everything is in motion, in constant evolution and change as observed in Nature.  Doby mechanisms and (inter) connection is a constant quest in her life and career. At present, she is developing a project for teenagers in Cedin Laboratory School that engages students in the knowledge of body anatomy, movement, space, social, and 'creative awareness'.

Her interest in pursuing a masters degree in choreography is to keep her quest in learning of herself and others through movement, emotions, spirit, and energy.  And to learn more about community, how the interactions of the human behavior affect the way we live as a social network, to do research about other artists worldwide with similar concerns, and to expand her knowledge and help her students grow.

Yadira graduated with a Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus. Focusing on Individualized Studies, she created an independent degree moving through different fields, to fulfill her quest for knowledge in an interdisciplinary way.  The fields included Multimedia (photography, painting, drawing, design), Body Consciousness/Experimental Movement, Philosophy, Literature, Science and Social Science.

Additionally, she studied Martial Arts: Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Capoeira and trained as a Yoga instructor in Yogic Arts, a blend of yoga and martial arts, Samadhi Yoga Method and Aerial Yoga. She also studied Improvisational Movement, Contact Improv, and Authentic Movement and has never stopped studying the body and self since she discovered the connection between mind, feelings, sensations and how to express herself through movement as a way of healing self and relation without verbal communication.  She is a teacher of Creative Movement for kids, and Body Consciousness for teenagers and adults.

Naporn Wattanakasaem

Naporn Wattanakasaem

Naporn Wattanakasaem was born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand. She graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting from Chulalongkorn University in 2007. In 2009, Naporn decided to leave her accountant career behind to follow her passion for dance, which she has been trained since she was 4. She pursued her dance study in the United States and completed the Bachelor of Arts in dance from University of North Carolina, Greensboro in 2013. During 4-year of living in the States, Naporn danced for Michele Funderberk, Janet Lily, Larry Lavender and she was the original casts of Helen Simoneau’s Paper Wings, performed at American Dance Festival 2012. She also studied the safety release technique with BJ Sullivan and other contemporary dance techniques including at Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, and Doug Varone and Dancers Company.

After the graduation, Naporn came back to Bangkok and joined Bangkok City Ballet as a choreographer, dancer, and instructor. She performed both contemporary dance and ballet for the company such as “i to i” (2014), a contemporary work by Aditep Buanoi, performed at “City of Dance” concert in Bangkok and the M1 Contact Contemporary Dance Festival, Singapore. Naporn also choreographed many works for the company including “Rather Be”(2014), “Fourth Dimension”(2015), “Initiation”(2016), “Norm”(2016), and “Silent”(2017). Not only dancing and choreographing, Naporn also did the dance films such as “Dance+Film+SiteSpecific Project”(2015) and “Mystified”(2012) which was selected to present at the American College Dance Festival Association 2013 and the Salt Lake 2013 Screendance Festival. During 5 years at Bangkok City Ballet, Naporn has developed her contemporary dance training based on floorwork and  Safety Release technique. In 2018, Naporn received the best choreography award for her work, “Silent” from the ATOD International Dance Competition 2018 in Bangkok. In the same year, she was also nominated as a shortlisted candidate for the Women of the Future, Southeast Asia, Award 2018 in the Arts and Culture category.