Originally from Norwell, Massachusetts, Liza is a junior at Brown University and has been dancing for 18 years. At the age of 13, she joined Dance Carousel Ensemble, a competitive dance team in Scituate, Massachusetts, where she performed and competed nation-wide in various styles including tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, and modern. At Brown, Liza has continued to pursue her passion for dance, both as an extracurricular activity and as an academic course of study. Liza was a member of New Works/ World Traditions Dance Company led by Michelle Bach-Coulibaly for two years, was a TA for the Mande West African Dance course, and is now a member of Dance Extension led by Julie Adams Strandberg. Liza is a double-concentrator in performance studies and English, and she plans to pursue a career in education. She is currently a guest artist/student mentor to eleventh grade dance majors at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts (TAPA), and she plans to continue her work at TAPA throughout her senior year. The arts have been an integral part of Liza’s education and identity, and in the future Liza hopes to share her passion for the arts with her students. She believes that all students should have the opportunity to use their imagination and express themselves artistically. Through an arts-integrated curriculum, Liza wants the students that she works with to feel that they have the power to influence change using their unique creative voices.
Aya joined Dance Extension in fall of 2015 and has enjoyed dancing, learning, growing, and performing with this company. Originally from Seattle, Washington, she was trained in ballet and modern dance in the Preparatory Program at Cornish College of the Arts. Aya loves the capacity of dance to bring people together, help us communicate with each other, and connect us to our bodies. She also works with refugee youth in Providence through BRYTE (Brown Refugee Youth Tutoring and Enrichment) and believes strongly in the power of youth.
Anna is a junior at Brown University pursuing a degree in neuroscience, but she’s passionate about dance and social justice. She doesn’t know where the intersection of these interests will land her, but the world has far too great a need for activism and she has far too great a love for dance for those not to be prominent features in her career. Her training prior to coming to college was in classical ballet at European School of Performing Arts in Ormond Beach, Florida. Upon joining Dance Extension her freshman year at Brown, she fell in love with modern dance and has shifted her focus nearly entirely to this. Dance has been a defining feature of her time at Brown, but when she’s not dancing or she also performs and teaches aerial silks and is the technical director of Brown Aerial Arts Society
Anjali is a concentrator in Hispanic studies and urban studies at Brown University. She has been a member of Extension since her sophomore year, and she graduates this May. She has also danced in two operas with Brown Opera Productions. Anjali’s previous dance training came from the Greenville Ballet School in Greenville, South Carolina. She has recently been contemplating how children and adults move through space differently in daily life and wishing that more people would skip, run around, and really interact with the spaces they inhabit.
Anays started her dance training at Orlando Ballet at the age of six. She later went on to train with Magaly Suarez in Pompano Beach, Florida. While Anays' main dance background is in classical ballet, she has been exploring modern dance as a member of Dance Extension. Anays is a senior studying chemical engineering at Brown University. In her spare time she is active in Brown University's chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, salsa dances, and enjoys time with family and friends.
Elena is a senior at Brown University studying engineering-physics. She began her dance training at age five at the Maryland Youth Ballet. In high school, she refocused her efforts towards modern and jazz at CityDance Conservatory, where she studied intensively under artists such as Jacqueline Akhmedova, Junichi Fukuda, and Christopher K. Morgan. Elena joined Julie Strandberg’s Dance Extension because of the company’s commitment to making masterworks accessible to dancers of all creeds. Elena is interested in exploring the intersection of dance and other forms of physical expression such as yoga, and will complete her 200-hour yoga teacher training this summer. After graduating this May, she will begin her studies at the University of Chicago as a PhD student in molecular engineering.
Claire has been dancing been dancing as long as she can remember. She learned exclusively ballet until the beginning of high school, where she was exposed to a much more diverse dance community. There isn’t one place she's danced her whole life, but the most wonderful and influential teacher she has worked with is Julie Hebb, who started the Dance Annex Studio in Kittery, Maine. Despite her love for the more classical forms of dance, it is her continued shift away from pure ballet that has kept her infatuated. It began with Saturday morning contemporary ballet classes and has spread to ballroom, swing, and an absolute love for contra dancing. She is so drawn to social dances, contra in particular, because of how accessible and community based they are. She shares, "Dance has always been a way for me to find and express joy and I am excited to share this with you."
Lindsay is a senior at Brown University, where she is concentrating in health and human biology with a focus on environmental health. She has been dancing with Extension for three years, and studied at the Washington School of Ballet in Washington, DC, and the CityDance Conservatory in Maryland before coming to Brown. At Brown, Lindsay has also worked with Professor Michelle Bach-Coulibaly to study Mande West African dance and on various multi-disciplinary, collaborative pieces with New Works company. Lindsay also plays the violin in a chamber music group at Brown. She loves and continues to dance for its beauty, challenges, community, and sense of tradition.
Julianna Lee Marino
Julianna is a sophomore at Brown University concentrating in anthropology. Hailing from New York City, she attended the Bronx High School of Science and danced at the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center in the Harkness Repertory Ensemble, where she performed works by Doug Varone, Trisha Brown, and Monica Bill Barnes, among others. She has also attended the Bates Dance Festival Young Dancer's Program, the Doug Varone Winter Workshop, and MPulse Summer Dance. Her movement style is heavily influenced by choreographers such as Doug Varone, David Dorfman, and Kyle Abraham. When not dancing, she enjoys aerial silks, reading, and knitting hats.
Ben is a first year at Brown University, with a possible concentration in environmental studies with a track in conservation science and policy or modern culture and media. Ben's interests span a wide range of areas, from cooking Asian cuisine to theater, and, of course, modern dance. Ben has not been dancing for too long; he began the winter of his sophomore year of high school. However, since then, Ben has choreographed seven pieces, performed in various student/alum/faculty-choreographed pieces, and he even took dance as a senior year elective. Ben considers himself extremely lucky to be a part of Dance Extension, especially since he is a first year, and loves being a part of the constantly challenging, encouraging, and unique community of dancers.
Elizabeth's dancing career started at age 11 when her mom forced her to start doing ballet to supplement—what she thought was her life passion—her competitive gymnastics career. Since then, her love for ballet has flourished first at the School of American Ballet (SAB) in New York City, and then at Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) in Toronto. More than anything, performance is what compels Elizabeth to keep dancing and throughout her training, she performed in numerous shows with New York City Ballet (both at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and Lincoln Center), the Metropolitan Opera, the Charlotte Ballet (at Chautauqua), as well as yearly school performances at SAB and NBS. She shares, "I dance because when I know a piece of choreography to the point where it departs the cerebral and becomes physical, it’s the only time I feel truly in the moment."
Halle has been dancing for 13 years. She attended the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston, where she studied ballet, modern dance, tap dance, musical theatre, jazz, dance composition, and improvisation. She also trained at Vitacca Dance Project, where she took ballet and pointe under Phillip Broomhead and modern dance under Kelly Ann Vitacca. She also has taught dance at Dance Expressions to younger children. In college, she dances in Extension, a modern dance repertory company and What’s on Tap, a student-run tap group. Outside of dance, she is concentrating in physics and is also a part of the Brown Band. For Halle, each movement of dance portrays a meaning, a feeling, or a story. This gives us a way to understand and empathize with anyone, even if we do not come from the same background.
Nia is a sophomore at Brown, originally from Tennessee. She has been studying dance since the age of five, training in styles including ballet and modern techniques. Before coming to Brown, she danced primarily with Ballet Tennessee, a company based in Chattanooga, under the artistic direction of Anna Baker Vancura, and Terpsichord Modern Dance Company at Girls Preparatory School, under the direction of Cathie Kasch and Laurel Zahrobsky. A few professional dance companies that she admires are Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Arch Dance Company, and Rioult Dance NY. At Brown, she is pursing degrees in both computer science and performance studies. Along with her desire to choreograph professionally in the future, she is interested in studying the intersections between technology and performance and the nuances of how they affect each other.
Anh is a junior at Brown University, currently earning a bachelor of arts in performance studies. He started dancing upon entering college, training in West African and modern dance with Michelle Bach-Coulibaly and Julie Strandberg. Since then, he has ventured into contemporary choreography and dance theory, studying extensively with Juliana May and Noémie Solomon, while participating in multiple dance festivals in New York City, Durham, and Boston. His current area of research deals with the denaturalization of sex, desire, and pleasure, as he is planning to pursue his honors thesis on Pornifying Dance.