DGY FACULTY

PEIJU CHIEN-POTT — GRAHAM TECHNIQUE- Taiwan

Kristen Holleyman is an internationally award-winning choreographer, dancer, soloist and embodied arts filmmaker who travels globally to exhibit her work and collaborate with influential contemporary choreographic voices while exploring themes of eco-consciousness, sustainability, cultural inclusion, women’s empowerment, improvised choreographic structures, able-ism, mental health and transformation on momentary, personal, global and historical scales.

She is currently an M.F.A. candidate in choreography with an emphasis in film and culture at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where she teaches courses such as experimental contemporary dance and ballet. Supported by her background in Secondary Education (Colorado State Certified Teacher) and Spanish (B.A. University of Colorado, Boulder), she reaches diverse populations.

Integrating seemingly disparate movement forms into a united expression is one of Kristen’s fortés. From experimental contemporary movement, to hip hop elements, to partnering, to storytelling, to collaborating with African and other native traditional dance artists, she weaves together imaginative, embodied expressions of our shared human experience and our relationship with our natural word, while recognizing, honoring, and paying respect to each movement form and its associated culture. 

DARREL "FRIIDOM" DUNN — EPIIC MOVEMENT:
STORYTELLING & MOVEMENT PHILOSOPHY- USA

Friidom graduated from The University of Texas at Dallas with a degree in Arts and Technology, coupled with his degree; he has pioneered a movement & philosophy known as Epiic; performed often with cinematic scores and soundscapes. Upon graduating, he took Epiic and his creative mindset to Los Angeles, CA. With a 10-years combined experience in front and behind the camera, stage events, live concerts, artists, and more. Friidom's work is on it's way to revolutionizing the world of movement, visual arts, and entertainment.

FRIIDOM'S CLASS: Epiic is a philosophy, which is expressed as a style of movement designed to awaken the artist within us all. We all live in a highly stimulated and

noisy world, so in quiet moments we ask ourselves questions of great importance: what are we, where do we come from, where are we going, and who are we striving to be? Epiic believes that in order to answer these questions, one must look within. Epiic also believes that anyone can be great, possess the qualities of an artist, and become inspired to create their own movement.

However, that movement must come from deep inside-- the pressures of life's expectations, the truths we accept, created by

society, and cemented in our own minds. True artistry and genius does not only come from “The Greats” alone, it also lives within the “Everyday Hero.” Through the use of orchestral & cinematic scores, improvised movement, and acting/theatre techniques, cast and audience are encouraged to connect with their inner child through art instillations and captivating performances. The challenge: “Live Free, Be Epic.”

Described as “one of the greatest living modern dancers” and “the most dramatically daring & physically chameleon-esque Graham dancer of her generation,” PeiJu Chien-Pott is an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance artist & one of our newest instructors joining the team. Principal dancer for Martha Graham, PeiJu has taught for major institutions including Duke University, Martha Graham Dance School, School of Nimbus, Taipei National University of the Arts, Ballet Forte, Rutgers, Zhengzhou Institute of Technology & more.

www.peijuchienpott.org

ASHLEY MENESTRINA
USA- EXPERIMENTAL CONTEMPORARY IMPROVISATION

Ashley Menestrina is a freelance artist performing her own work around the world. She graduated with a BA in dance from Point Park University. Her self-choreographed solo, Always a Creature has been seen at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, the CURRENT SESSIONS’, Peridance’s Salvatore Capezio Theater, Center for Performance Research, and the 14th Street Y. Her second solo work, The Human Condition: Absent Presence premiered at The Martha Graham Theater in NYC in April 2018 and has been performed at festivals in New York City, Los Angeles, Turkey, Mexico City, Portugal, and Israel, taking home 3rd place at the International Choreography Competition in Jerusalem. Her newest work, Combative Echoes, was selected to premier in Germany at the 24th International Solo-Dance-Thetare Festival Stuttgart in March 2020.

LADY BEAST — STREET STYLES & FREESTYLE FORMS- USA

Lady Beast has represented the dance art form of Popping for the past 14 years. She’s performed with Snoop Dogg on the Queen Latifah show, opened up for Jay - Z, Slick Rick, Ciara & T.I. Lady Beast built her name within the Popping battle scene, winning competitions such as Ladies of Hip Hop, Book of Styles and one of the first females to reach the Popping finals at Hip Hop International. Lady Beast is currently on Hulu with Amy Schumer in the “ I feel pretty” movie.

KRISTEN HOLLEYMAN

USA- CONTEMPORARY, FLOORWORK + GYROKINESIS

PAOLA GHIDINI (AMSTERDAM) — ZENA-ROMMETT FLOOR-BARRE & BALLET

Paola has been training in dance since a young age, gaining her studies in Italy and abroad. She danced professionally in several companies and theatre productions, and since 2014 embarked on a freelancer career in the Netherlands as dancer and teacher.

 

A selection of her professional experiences:

 

Dancer of the Theatre ensemble of Mein Schiff 5 - Tui Cruises; Dancer in the movie De Dirigent; guest dancer in Alice in Winter Wonderland by De Dutch Don’t Dance Division; dancer in the company by Isabelle Beernaert; dancer for the opera Il Viaggio a Reim atHet Dutch National Opera & Ballet, dancer in the company S83 Physical Theatre; dancer in the Musical In Viaggio Verso Broadway.

 

Paola currently teaches in Amsterdam at Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten (AHK); Chassé Dance Studios; DiA Junior Company and she often invited as guest teacher in the Netherlands and abroad. In her is visible a natural predisposition for teaching; she keeps herself always updated with the latest research in dance and body science, she a promoter of safety and health in the dance community and shows great ability in understanding and helping the students in their technical and artistic growth.

Zoe Map — Film Production & Urban Essence Dance- Italy

Zoe is an Italian born dancer and award-winning artist, with expertise in a variety of dance styles, specializing in street dancing, hip hop foundation, and modern jazz. Starting at the age of 6, she was trained professionally by Maria Grazia Fulvi, Antonella Ascani, Cristian Ruiz, Cristiano Buzzi, and many other Italian bboys dancers and dance teachers. She continued her studies in New York City under Eric Negron, Javier Madrid, Akim Funk Buddha, Brian Green, and Ejoe. Her work is an exploration of street and contemporary styles, which she combines to create new visual and emotional expressions. Zoe has been recently selected to Best Walk NYC innovative upcoming series; also she was part of Dancitecture, an experimental dance installations performance by Kimberly Tate, at Insitu Dance Festival and Hip Hop Holiday with Akim F.B. at BAM in NY. Zoe currently resides in Brooklyn, where she continues to cultivate and expand her craft, making videos, curating events and by collaborating with musicians and other artists as well as in solo performance.

https://www.instagram.com/zoemap/

SANDRA KLUGE — TAP PERCUSSIONIST- USA

SANDRA KLUGE is a tap percussionist born in Germany, based in Brooklyn, and performing and teaching internationally. The tap shoes are her instrument. Sandra is deconstructing the classic tap vocabulary in order to be a full band member, rather than just the cherry on top. Her performance highlights include Thomas Marek's show NOLA, the Tap Dance Days festival, Swiss Tap Days, Düsseldorf Photo Weekend, Symphony Space, LaGuardia PAC, Judson Church, Piano's, The Duke on 42nd St, Basilica Hudson, and many more. Sandra has been invited to teach at renowned facilities such as tanzhaus nrw,  tap club, and Spoke The Hub, and to be a teaching artist in residence at Thomas Marek's Studio Footprints.

 

She also accompanies yoga classes, using sand and tap percussion, keys, vocals, and other ambient sounds to weave sound carpets full of warmth and tranquility. Sandra is an alumna of the Art Omi Music Fellowship Program. She was first introduced to tap at the age of 10 by her Mom. In the following years, she studied with greats such as Barbara Duffy, Sebastian Weber, Pia Neises, Derick Grant, and Heather Cornell, to only name a few. She has been part of Tap City's Pre-Professional Program twice, once with Michelle Dorrance, and once with Sarah Petronio, and graduated from Daniel Luka's tap apprenticeship S.O.N.T.I. with magna cum laude.

TADHI ALAWI — POWER YOGA- Tanzania

Alawi Saidi (*April 1994), known as Tadhi is a Tanzanian Performing Artist, Choreographer and Yoga-instructor. He is the co-founder and director of Nantea Dance Company.

So far Tadhi Alawi collaborated with several International companies and choreographers including: XU Huang Huang Company China (2012), Nora Chipaumire Company USA (2013), Panta Rei Dance Theatre Norway (2014), Anjorombala Madagascar (2015), Johnny Autin (2017), Johannes Wieland Germany (2018), Black Box Dance Company Denmark (2015 and 2018) and Kampnagel Theater Hamburg Germany (2019), Cooperative Maura Moralese and B12 (2020). Tadhi’s vision is to portray different forms of beauty through arts as a mean of creating a positive impact and contributing to the development of Tanzanias arts scene and communities.

AARON GREGORY — GROOVE & FLOW

USA

Native of Omaha, NE, Aaron Derell began dancing at 16. Learning from movies and music videos, he taught himself Hip Hop, experimented with his own moves and developed a love for Hip Hop Dance. He later joined the ARISE Step and Dance Ministry, while attending Morehouse College. He began his technical training in Ballet, West African Dance, Modern, and Composition at Spelman College. After graduation, He went on to earn his Masters in Dance Education from NYU. 

 

Aaron has taught Hip Hop dance to all ages from The Midwest to the East Coast. He's worked for the Alvin Ailey Arts in Education Program, 92nd Street Y, Harlem School of the Arts, the YMCA, Dance 411, Fitness Clubs and Dozens of Inner City schools. He added Dance Fitness to his belt, and recently started his own dance business, Love to Groove Movement School, LLC! Aaron believes his purpose is simply to Love people through Dance! 

AKO ANDO — FEMME STYLE

JAPAN

Ako is from Japan and earned her MA in Dance Education from NYU. She
trained in Hip Hop, Waacking, Street Jazz, Hula, and Japanese Classical
Dance. She has choreographed and performed in various venues in NYC with
her dance crew and as a backup dancer. She has taught in Long Island and
New York City such as Summer Dance Intensives at NYU, Peridance for
children, and at Pizarts Dance Intensive in Harlem. Ako is excited to share her
passion for dance, and thank her family and friends for their love and support.

CHRIS ANDREWS — HIP HOP EXPLORATION- USA

Starting at age 15, Chris began dancing in his high school's dance company and attended a studio for more training. After graduating high school, he became a battle dancer with Deadly Venom Crew(DVC)/ Kombine Stylez Crew(KSC) and also started to teach at studios along the east coast. Went on to work with music artist like Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Imagine Dragons, Foster the People, Khalid, FKA Twigs and Ruff Endz, being Top 30 on two seasons of  'So You Think You Can Dance'. Now he's pursuing being a professional Dancer/Choreographer , being now signed to a agency, Movement Talent Agency(MTA). Chris has appeared on several commercials/ads, been assisting choreographers such as Christopher Scott, Luther Brown, On the DL, also choreographed for Paula Abdul, Gwen Stefani, NINE PERCENT, and SYTYCD. Look out for him in the new " In the Heights" movie, set to come out in summer 2020. 

Inclusion & Diversity

Code of Conduct

AKO CHOREO 9/18

Essential Eligibility Criteria

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