Kira Anderson began her training at Kozlov Dance Academy. She trained at Irene Folkine School of Dance, Petrov Ballet, and Manhattan Youth Ballet. In 2008 Kira participated in the Youth America Grand Prix and was awarded a scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. She has dance professionally with Alberta Ballet and the second company of BalletMet.
Charity Broussard attended the Flint School of Performing Arts and upon graduation she enrolled at Goucher College (B.A. ‘17) as a recipient of the Fine and Performing Arts Scholarship in Dance. While studying at Goucher, Charity worked with several choreographers including Milton Myers, Gabrielle Lamb, Christian Von Howard, and Iquail Shaheed. She was also a founding member of Goucher’s Dancers of Color Coalition. Charity has danced professionally with Ballet Ashani and Ballethnic Dance Company of Atlanta.
Ryan Burns received his early training from Jim Kolb and Cindy Pecca Dolan at the Orange County School of the Arts, where he performed in works by Liz Imperio and Diavolo Dance Company. He continued his studies at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle where he performed work by Salt Horse and Marlo Martin. Ryan is a graduate of London Contemporary Dance School where he received a B.A. in Contemporary Dance. While living in London, Ryan performed works by The Richard Alston Dance Company, Victor Quijada of Rubberband Dance, Dane Hurst, Merce Cunningham, and a solo choreographed by Francis Hickman in the historic Victoria and Albert Museum as a part of Salon Outre’s V&A Late series. Upon receiving his degree, Ryan taught workshops across the U.K and Europe until returning to the USA.
Thomas Davis is a dancer, choreographer, and HIV advocate. He attended AMDA College and Conservatory of the Arts (AMDA) where he received a BFA in Dance Theater. Thomas danced with Lula Washington Dance Theater for 5 years and also performed with Lucent Dossier and Project 21. He teaches Tap at Lula Washington Dance Theater and AMDA, and his creative research brings together his work as a dancer, choreographer and HIV advocate. Thomas is the founder and artistic director of The Catharsis Project.
Marc Avon Evans is a singer/songwriter who has been writing and performing for more than 20 years. A native of Baltimore, Marc was born into music, yet amazingly, this son of a painter & jazz saxophonist didn’t discover his talent until studying Chemistry at Morgan State University. As a member of the world-renowned Morgan State University Choir, Marc discovered his love for music. In 1993, Evans formed a band and covered jazz, funk, rock, pop, & soul. That year he began writing and recording songs he would later release on the compilation The First Seven Years, a soulful collection of rhythm & blues songs capturing his life & love experiences. In 2004, while working as a session vocalist for Code Red Recordings, Marc wrote the single The Way You Love Me, a soulful house tune that has become a standard in the genre. After capturing the attention of Simon Dunmore, CEO of Defected Records UK, he recorded and released the full album The Way You Love Me in the fall of 2008 and the 2-disc Deluxe Edition in the fall of 2009. Independently, Evans also released both Live & Acoustic and Intervention in 2009 on his label VOR Music Group. He now pursues his writing and music full time performing in the US, Europe, Asia, and the Netherlands.
Dan Fine is a Production Designer (sets & props) based in Los Angeles, CA. He has designed for music videos, commercials, multiple YouTube series, and TV pilots. He has a diverse portfolio, ranging from children’s content to crime scenes. With his extensive kit, and a can-do attitude, Dan is eager to continue his work building sets and creating worlds.
William Hayes is a Seattle based multi-instrumentalist and composer. He performs as a solo artist, creates original music and sound design for film, dance, theater and contributes to various projects as a guitarist and improviser. William is a collaborator and guitarist with the Seattle bands Newaxeyes and Research and has performed guitar on multiple projects with producer Randall Dunn, including the score to Panos Cosmatos' film “Mandy” by the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, Myrkur's album Mareridt, which won Metal Hammer Golden Gods Award for 2018 Album of the Year; and Newaxeyes‘ debut LP Black Fax. He has worked with composers Wayne Horvitz, Hanna Benn, Nat Evans, John Teske, Heather Bentley; filmmakers Jacob Rosen, Jessa Carter; choreographer Babette Pendleton; and has toured internationally as keyboardist for Wolves in the Throne Room, and live guitarist for Kate Wallich’s Industrial Ballet with composer/producer Johnny Goss. William received a Bachelor of Music in classical composition from Cornish College of the Arts, where he studied under composers Wayne Horvitz and Jarrad Powell.
Hsuan-Kuang Hsieh is a multidisciplinary artist and video projection designer, born and raised in Taiwan, currently living and working in Los Angeles. Drawing from a background in photography and theatrical performance, her practice highlights the audience’s experience by framing the act of viewing as an action. She integrates emerging media, performance, installation, experimental film, puppetry and hybrid forms of photo sculpture and text to create live, time-based experiences for her viewers. She has also been cooperating with both national and international performing artists, musicians, choreographers and filmmakers to create visual story for live performance.
Hsuan-Kuang's work has been shown in both national and international venues, ranging from theaters and festivals to galleries and museums. She holds her MFA in Interactive Media for Performance and Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts.
Alessa Meni (Stage Manager) is a Los Angeles based arts administrator. She worked at American Ballet Theatre and Steps on Broadway in New York City before relocating to LA to work with The Colburn School and Ballet Ashani. Alessa graduated cum laude from Goucher College with a BA in Dance and a minor in Communications.
Ben Morrow is a graduate of the University of Idaho’s Lionel Hampton School of Music and later 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 is in the band of the Broadway national Tour of Come From Away.
Thomas O’Neal began his dance training at Betty Spooner School of Dance under the direction of Mike Jordan, as well as with Camille’s Dance Edge under the direction of Camille Palmer and Dawn Griffith. He has also trained at Milwaukee Ballet and danced choreography by Mia Michaels, Salt Horse, and Wade Madsen. Thomas earned his BFA from Cornish College of the Arts.
Julie Opiel serves as company manager, rehearsal director, and dancer for Ballet Ashani. She has danced professionally with Ballet Memphis, where she performed in classical and contemporary repertoire by Steven McMahon, Julie Niekrasz, Trey McIntyre, and Karl Condon among others. Julie holds a BFA in Dance from Webster University and an MFA in Performance and Choreography from Florida State University (FSU). She has presented work at WAXworks (NYC), The Mad River Valley Performance Platform (VT), and FSU. Julie has choreographed for Tallahassee Ballet, Ballet Memphis’s Interiorworks series, Racine + Southern Dance Exchange (Memphis, TN), and Imagine Dance Project (St. Louis, MO).
Sam Picart began his dance training in urban street styles at the age of fifteen and, at the age of eighteen, studied ballet with his aunt, Jennifer Picart-Branner - formerly of the Frankfurt Ballet. Sam received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornish College of the Arts and was the chosen winner of Ellen's Dance Off competition where he was a featured guest on the show. He has also worked with notable choreographers such as Mandy Moore, Camille A Brown, Victor Quijada and Iyun Ashani Harrison. Sam is a choreographer and has created work for the Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences, Cornish Summer Dance Program, the Seattle International Dance Festival, and Full Tilt. In addition to teaching in dance studios throughout the Pacific Northwest, he teaches nationally for Showstopper Dance based in Myrtle Beach. Sam is a founding member of Ballet Ashani.
Lindsay Fisher Viatori has worked primarily in New York City where she danced with Helen Simoneau Danse (rehearsal director), Nathan Trice/RITUALS, Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company, Collective Body/ Dance Lab, Ellen Cornfield, Daniel Charon, Camille A. Brown, Ayo Jackson, Brenda Daniels, Sean Sullivan, Steve Rooks, Sidra Bell and VIA Dance Collaborative (founding member). Lindsay has also performed works by Twyla Tharp, Jirí Kylián, Lucinda Childs, Christopher Williams, Ton Simons, Beth Gill, Esther Baker-Tarpaga, Tatiana Baganova, Jennifer Kayle, Charlotte Adams, Simoné Ferro and Miguel Gutierrez among others. She has performed in Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera’s West Side Story and North Shore Music Theater’s Victor/Victoria. Lindsay’s film credits include Lead Arabian in Robert Lindgren’s The Nutcracker (PBS/UNC-TV), feature film Across the Universe (directed by Julie Taymore and choreography by Daniel Ezralow), and music video Pieces of You by The Hot Seconds.Lindsay’s choreography has been presented at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, St. Mark's Church and University Settlement as well as commissioned for SUNY Fredonia, VIA Dance Collaborative, Point Park University, and Slippery Rock University. She received her BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2002 where she was the recipient of the prestigious Sarah Graham Kenan Endowed Fellowship of Excellence. Lindsay received her MFA in Choreography from the University of Iowa in 2014 as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and as the first recipient of the Strategic Initiative Fellowship recognizing excellence in her field. She was awarded a Community Supported Artist Grant through the New Hazlett Theater and presented an evening of her work in April 2017, which also received grants from the Heinz Endowments and the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council. She is the co-founder and co-director of FORGE Summer Dance Intensive, hosted at Slippery Rock University. Lindsay is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Slippery Rock University and serves as the Ballet Specialist.
Louis Williams Jr is a dancer, aerialist and actor. He is a graduate of Webster University (BFA) and studied at The Ailey School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. Louis’ theater credits include Luminario Ballet, Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Showstoppers, Kinky Boots, Sweet Charity, Catch Me If You Can, Elf, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Hairspray, A Chorus Line, Lythgoe Family Pantos, and principal soloist in La Traviata, Aida, and Rinaldo.Louis’ film credits include Netflix’s The Prom, The Aerialist, Last Show of the Showmen starring Ben Vereen. His television work includes Showtime’s Penny Dreadful and City of Angels. Louis has danced with several musical artists including Christina Aguilera, Demi Lovato, Fergie, Idina Menzel, Billy Porter, Hugh Jackman, Neon Trees, Ariana Savalas, Ben Vereen, and the 2018 Billboard Awards.