|Kira Anderson (Daye, China) began her training at Kozlov Dance Academy in northern New Jersey. After participating in The Youth America Grand Prix, she received a scholarship to The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Jr. School at American Ballet Theatre. Kira has also danced with Petrov Dance Academy and Manhattan Youth Ballet. Kira is a junior at Goucher College and this is her first performance with Ashani Dances.|
|Shanice L. Mason (Suffolk, VA) began her formal training at The Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA under the direction of Deborah Thorpe and Todd Rosenlieb. Shanice graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.F.A in Dance and Choreography and a minor in Business. At VCU she performed works by Martha Curtis, Melanie Richards, Autumn Proctor-Waddell, Eric Rivera, Christian von Howard, Maria Bauman and Doug Varone.
Shanice has presented her choreography at the American College Dance Association’s Mid-Atlantic Conference and her research related to Venu$ at the first annual Student Research Forum presented by VCU’s Department of Dance & Choreography. This is Shanice’s first performance with Ashani Dances.
|LaTeisha Melvin (Baltimore, MD) began her dance training at the Baltimore School for the Arts. She received her B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University where she performed works by Nathan Trice, Christian Von Howard and Kristen Sudekis.
Notably, in 2011, LaTeisha was awarded a gold medal in dance and choreography for the NAACP Act-So competition in Baltimore, MD. Additionally, she has studies at the American Academy of Ballet, Peabody Conservatory, American Dance Festival and the Houston Metropolitan Dance Theatre. This is LaTeisha’s first performance with Ashani Dances.
|Tarik Darrel O’Meally (Queens, NY) earned his B.F.A in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University where he performed works by Nathan Trice, Stephanie Martinez, Autumn Proctor, Christian von Howard, Martha Curtis, and Scott Putman. He also performed with companies such as Malaya Works, Johnnie Mercer & The Red Project, Amaranth Contemporary Dance and Melder Dance.
Tarik is a three time, full scholarship recipient of the American Dance Festival where he has worked and performed with Jenifer Nugent, Sara Procopio, Charles Anderson, and T. Lang.
Tarik is a company member of the Marvin Gaye Dance Project choreographed by Vincent Thomas and this is his second performance with Ashani Dances.
|Babette DeLafayette Pendleton (Baltimore, MD) is a choreographer, visual artist, curator and creative entrepreneur who founded the art production company, The Pendleton House. She also currently runs the Seattle art space, New Tomorrow. Babette recently collaborated with visual artist John Marc Powell to create Activated Environments. She began her dance training at Baltimore School for the Arts and continued them at Nutmeg Conservatory for Ballet. Babette later studied at Alonzo King Lines Ballet/BFA program before graduating with a BFA from Cornish College of the Arts. Her creative work has been presented at Velocity, On The Boards, Cornish College Gallery & Playhouse, 12th Avenue Arts, LoveCityLove, Hedreen Gallery, Steel Gallery at Gage, LxWxH Gallery, Composition Gallery (Portland), Northwest Film Forum, Decibel Music Festival (Seattle) and High Zero Music Festival (Baltimore). Babette is a founding member of Ashani Dances.|
|Kelton Roth (Cass City, MI) began his formal dance training at Interlochen Arts Academy under the direction of Mark Borchelt. During his time at Interlochen he worked with members of Martha Graham Dance Company, Garth Fagan Dance, Battle Works and MOMIX. Kelton continued his education at Cornish College of the Arts where he worked with Janet Eilber, Robert Battle and Patricia Lent. After receiving his BFA, Kelton relocated to Chicago where he danced with Mordine and Company Dance Theater. Kelton is a founding member of Ashani Dances.|
|Victoria Awkward (Marketing & Public Relations Co-coordinator) is a Visual and Performance Arts Education major at Goucher College. Her research in dance includes teaching, choreographing and photography. Victoria has also worked as a dance administrator for the Dance Complex in Boston, MA and in fundraising for Goucher’s dance board. This is her first collaboration with ASHANI DANCES|
|Michayla Kelly (Marketing & Public Relations Co-coordinator) is a BA candidate in Dance and Mathematics at Goucher College, where she is the coordinator for the annual Sophia Kurek Dance-A-Thon and a performer with Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble. This is Michayla’s first project with ASHANI DANCES.|
|Eliza Malecki (Stage Manager) is a Dance major and Education minor at Goucher College where she has serves as a stage manager for Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble. Eliza looks forward to collaborating on her first professional production with ASHANI DANCES.|
|Julia Piper (Costume Manager) is a BA candidate in Dance and Environmental Studies with a concentration in Society at Goucher College where she also serves as the costume manager for the dance program. This is her first collaboration with ASHANI DANCES.|
|Johnaye Kendrick (composer, singer) received a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University. During her time at Western Michigan, she received a Down Beat Student Music Award as an Outstanding Jazz Vocalist, and was featured on an honors recital with pianist Fred Hersch. She was a featured soloist in a piece composed and directed by legendary bassist Rufus Reid for the International Society of Bassists Conference.
Johnaye was accepted to the prestigious Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, a Graduate program which focuses on jazz performance and composition. While attending the Thelonious Monk Institute, she worked with many jazz legends, including Terence Blanchard, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkel, and Brian Blade. She received a Masters Degree in Jazz Studies from Loyola University, and an Artist’s Diploma from the Thelonious Monk Institute.
After graduating from the Institute, Johnaye was immediately hired by trumpeter Nicholas Payton. In addition to her extensive touring with the Nicholas Payton SEXTET, Johnaye is also the featured vocalist with the Ellis Marsalis Quartet and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. The Orchestra won a Grammy® Award in the 2009 “Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album” category for their latest release, Book 1 on which she is featured.
Johnaye resides in Seattle, WA. and is an Assistant Professor of Jazz Voice at Cornish College of the Arts.
|Rebecca Blackwell is currently pursing a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts where she discovered her passion for dance production under the tutelage of Meg Fox. She has been a stage manager and lighting designer in Seattle for the past four years, as well as working as a “Floating Technician” for the American Dance Festival. Rebecca has worked locally at On the Boards, Broadway Performance Hall, Washington Hall, and Velocity Dance Center.|
|Meg Fox (lighting) has been designing lights for dance and theatre for over 20 years. In Seattle, she has worked with every major modern choreographer and company. Although her first love is dance-based work, she has also designed lights for many of the major houses in Seattle along with many new performance works. She has toured nationally and abroad with Urban Bush Women and The Pat Graney Company, among others. Her work has also been commissioned by the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and by Sonia Dawkins for the Pacific Northwest Ballet.|
|William Hayes is a composer and guitarist currently based in Seattle, Washington. As a composer of acoustic and electronic music, he involves himself with a variety of musicians around the country and has had works performed by the Seattle Chamber Players, the Corigliano Quartet, Trio Pardalote, St. Helens Quartet, the Jim Knapp Orchestra and many others. As a performer and improviser, he also works collaboratively with composers Ryan Jobes and Benjamin Marx. Hayes frequently collaborates with artists in producing pieces for film and dance, including visual artists Christopher Walsh and Jordan Rundle, choreographers Iyun Harrison, Matt Drews, Babette McGeady, and is resident composer with the Pendleton House. He is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, where he studied composition with Wayne Horvitz and Jarrad Powell.|
|Joseph Lambert (photographer/videographer) is a local Seattle photographer and videographer who specializes in live performance capture. His passion for both film and theater helps to create his own style and aesthetic. A background in acting and technical theater gives Joseph a perspective for Headshot, Portrait and Live Performance photography that catches the eye and conveys emotion. For more information visit JazzyPhoto.com.|
|Ben Morrow was raised in Boise, ID where his musical studies and training began. After graduating from the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music he moved to Seattle with roots/rock band Zingara. While in Seattle he has performed in a wide variety of musical environments, ranging from concert percussion with the Bellevue Philharmonic and Rainier Symphony to working as a dance accompanist for Cornish College of the Arts. He has also performed as a drummer with many different groups in Seattle’s vibrant independent music scene, in styles ranging from jazz, folk, country and theater to Beatles tribute bands and martial arts demonstrations. Mr. Morrow has toured the Pacific Northwest, Alaska and Canada with Zingara and has traveled throughout Mexico and the Caribbean as a jazz musician for Carnival Cruise Lines with the Cardinal Hamilton Trio. As a soloist he performed with the Washington/Idaho Symphony as winner of their 2002 Young Artist Competition. Mr. Morrow has taught percussion at Music Works NW, the Sitka Fine Arts Camp, and Des Moines Elementary. He currently teaches private drum lessons in the Seattle area. http://www.benjaminmorrow.com|
|Lindsay Wolfe (video - Orange County, CA) started her dance training at Idyllwild Arts Academy and went on to further her studies at Cornish College of the Arts. She has danced works by Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Marius Petipa, Ronald E. Brown, Sean Greene, Deborah Brockus, Patrick Frantz, Lilian Barbeido, Stephanie Gilliland, and Courtney Giannone
Lindsay directs and edits dance on camera. Her films have been screened in IV São Carlos Videodance Festival (Brazil), FEDAME (Mexico), FRAME Research 2010 (Brazil), Festival International de Vidéo Danse de Bourgogne (France), Next Dance Cinema Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA), Frameworks (NYC, NY), NapoliDanza (Italy), STREB Motion in Media (NYC, NY), Big Screen Project (NYC, NY) and Private Screening at Dance New Amsterdam (NYC, NY). She is a frequent collaborator with Courtney Giannone. Lindsay is also certified in the GYROTONIC EXPANSION SYSTEM®.