Hollis Bartlett, Chair
Dancer, Doug Varone and Dancers
Hollis was born in Barrington, IL and began dancing at a young age. His love of performing stuck with him as his family moved to Cape Cod, MA before he began high school. In May 2010 Hollis graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance. Since graduation he has had the pleasure of working with Doug Varone and Dancers, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Adam Barruch, and the Metropolitan Opera.
Alexander Leslie Thompson, Vice-Chair
Associate Artist Program Manager, New York Live Arts | Dancer
Alexander is a dancer, choreographer, musician, administrator, and recent transplant to New York City by way of his hometown in Kansas City, Missouri. Trained as a musician, he stumbled upon the movement arts at Bard College in upstate New York where he began his dance training under the tutelage of such dance educators as Leslie Arlette Boyce, Peggy Florin, Maria Simpson, Jean Churchill, Aileen Passloff, Lenore Latimer, and Amii LeGendre. Under the department’s partnership with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company he benefited from the insight and mentorship of Leah Cox, and studied with current and former members of the BTJ/AZ Company. He earned a B.A. in Music Composition and Dance in 2010, and went on to study at Bates Dance Festival as well as with members of Doug Varone and Dancers at their Winter and Summer workshops. He has performed in works by Amii LeGendre, Alex Springer and Xan Burley’s the Median Movement, and Olase Freeman, and has written the occasional piece of dance criticism. He currently works as the Associate Artist Program Manager at New York Live Arts striving to find ways to provide much needed services to dance artists in New York City.
Denae Hannah, Treasurer
Denae Hannah, a native of Fort Worth, Texas, is a performance artist, social entrepreneur, and founder & CEO of Denae Movement Theatre. Denae Movement Theatre seeks to spark conversations on culture through the development of performance pieces that employ satire and the physical collision of pop culture with high art. She received her B.A. in Drama from Stanford University and M.F.A. in Performance & Choreography from Florida State University. Ms. Hannah is the former Associate Director of Programs & Development of Urban Bush Women and currently teaches Simonson dance technique at Dance New Amsterdam. She is a member of the DanceNYC Junior Committee and also serves on the board of Sweet Enuff, a youth outreach organization committed to diabetes and obesity prevention through dancing and health coaching. Ms. Hannah is a 2012 EMERGENYC artist with New York University’s Hemispheric Institute for Performance & Politics and a 2012-2013 Commissioned Artist at Stanford University.
Erica Frankel began taking dance classes and playing soccer at age 3. By age 5 she quit soccer (after kicking the ball to the other team “because they wanted it more” and winning ‘Best Singer on the Field’), and told her parents that she wanted to grow up to be a “multi-talented artist.” She is now a dancer and performer in New York City. Erica’s training includes North Carolina School of the Arts, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance, and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she performed works by Silas Reiner, Jessica Lang, Gus Solomons, Jr., and Trisha Brown. Since graduating with her BFA, Erica has danced on stage, screen, and museum floor with rockstar artists Meredith Monk, Yina Ng, expandance, VaBang! Dance Company, Ilana Webber, Naomi Goldberg Haas, ETCH Dance Company, Belinda He, and many others. Erica is on the Artists Board of National Choreography Month (Nachmo) – your yearly choreographic kick in the pants. She’s also an experiential Jewish educator and the Manager of Student Life at NYU’s Bronfman Center for Jewish Student Life. Erica is working towards her Master’s Degree from NYU’s Gallatin School for Individualized Study and has recently received two grants to study contemporary dance in Israel. www.ericafrankel.com, @ericafrankel
Michele Kumi Baer
Michele is a multicultural dancer, choreographer, arts advocate, and administrator. Her dance studies and performances have comprised of hiphop, house, West African (Guinea and Mali), Haitian, Afro-Brazilian and Afro-fusion dance traditions. When she choreographs, her work is oftentimes a melange of these. Michele was first exposed to dance from the African diaspora at Brown University, where she became a Teaching Assistant in the Mande/West African dance course and traveled to Bamako, Mali twice to study and conduct research. After graduation, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where expanded her studies and performed with Tania Santiago in Aguas da Bahia, with Joti Singh in Duniya Dance and Drum Company, and with an Oakland-based Afro-fusion dance collective called Mistura Linha. Also in the Bay, she worked with dance organizations Dancers’ Group and World Arts West and taught an Afro-Urban Dance class in Oakland. Since March 2013 she has been living, working, and dancing in New York City, and she is now an M.A. Candidate in Arts Administration at Columbia University.
Mariana Castañeda-Lopez is dancer, educator, and a born and bred Detroiter. She studied philosophy and dance, with concentrations in dance science and dance therapy, at Goucher College in Baltimore, MD. Since re-rooting on the East Coast, Mariana has shifted focus from direct service in youth arts programming at a variety of organizations to an administrative role at a local charter school. Mariana is constantly trying out new ways to integrate movement and dance into contexts other than performance. One such experiment Mariana has been involved with is the Movement//Movement Practice Space at the Allied Media Conference – an annual, national conference of media, arts and social justice minded people coming together to build a more just and creative world. Mariana dabbles in a variety of dance forms but currently is performing contemporary dance with influence form the African Diaspora as a company member of Moving Spirits, Inc.
Virginia is a dancer, advocate and public relations/communications professional in New York City. Originally from Maryland, Virginia graduated from Cornell University in 2010 with a double major in Dance and Economics. She completed her honors thesis in dance – writing on dance in popular film as well as producing and directing a site-specific performance. Since graduating, Virginia has worked in the Corporate Practice at Burson-Marsteller, a global Public Relations agency in Manhattan. She has worked for clients across a range of sectors and industries, specializing in corporate reputation, internal communications and media relations. Previously, she interned at the American Dance Festival in Marketing and Communications.
Assistant House Manager, Joyce Theater
Elmes Gomez is an arts administrator born and raised in Queens, New York. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Purchase College and has experience working with organizations such as the Joffrey Ballet School, New York State Council on the Arts, and the former Joyce SoHo. In his current position as the Assistant House Manager of the Joyce Theater, Elmes enjoys the opportunity to interact daily with the dance community. Elmes joined The Dance/NYC Junior committee in 2013.
Brighid Greene, a native to the golden state, is a New York based dance artist. She’s been on stages from Incubator Arts Project to Invisible Dog, in series from Performa 11 to CATCH takes the Catskills at Mount Tremper Arts, in music videos for various Brooklyn bands, and has worked with Katie Rose McLaughlin, Alissa Horowitz, Benn Rasmussen, Dan O’Neil, Joshua Gelb, Katie Brook, and ANIMALS Performance Group. Currently, she is performing in the 2012 New York Times Critic’s Pick immersive theater experience Then She Fell. She champions for dance by serving on the Dance/NYC Junior Committee and manages communications at Dance Films Association. Brighid graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance, a double major in Religious Studies, and as a recipient of the J.S. Seidman Award. More about her other projects – www.brighidgreene.com
Charles Gushue is a dance artist, educator and administrator living in Bushwick, Brooklyn. He currently dances for A+S Works, and serves on the advisory board for their yearly community dance festival in Hornell, NY, A+S Works ‘on the farm’. He’s currently creating new work for the company Rebecca M Sproul and the Imaginary Monsters. His work has previously appeared in San Francisco at ODC/theater, The Garage, and West Wave among other venues, in NY at Triskelion and The Cobra Club, and Summer Stages at Concord Academy. He works full time managing the front desk at Mark Morris Dance Center.
John Hoobyar, Bessies Liaison
John Hoobyar is a Brooklyn-based performing artist and dance advocate. John currently dances in the work of choreographer Sarah Michelson and has guest performed with artists including Alexandra Beller Dances, Compagnie Olivier Dubois, The Space We Make, Bradley Teal Ellis, Melissa Marotto, and the Tiffany Mills Company. As an administrator, John manages fiscal sponsorship programming at Pentacle. He has also contributed to the growth and development of arts organizations including the French Institute Alliance Française, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Bates Dance Festival, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and 100 Grand Dance. John holds a B.A. in French Literature and Dance from Goucher College.
Alejandra E. Ianonne
Artist. Philosopher. Educator.
Alejandra is a dancer, philosopher, and educator who lives and works in New York City. A cum laude graduate of the Fordham University/Ailey School B.F.A. program, she has had the honor of dancing works by various choreographers, including Take Ueyama, Jacqulyn Buglisi, Neil Ieremia, and Donna Salgado. These days, you can catch her performing as the “Columbus Circle Ballerina” in The Ride, a 2013 Drama Desk Nominee for Unique Theatrical Experience. She on faculty in The Ailey School’s Junior Division, and is an adjunct lecturer at The City College of New York, where she teaches philosophy.
Sydnie is a New York City-based dancer, choreographer and educator. She presents her choreography with her Harlem-based company Sydnie L. Mosley Dances. As an artist-activist, Mosley is interested in creative work that is both artistically sound and socially aware. Her 2012 evening length choreography, The Window Sex Project, and its creative process, are a model for dance-activism. With it, she uses movement to respond to the sexual harassment of women in public places. It is with this work that Mosley became the inaugural Alumnae Fellow with the Barnard Center for Research on Women during the 2011-2012 academic year – a position that allowed her to deepen her artistic work with the resources of the academy. In 2013, she was selected to be a Create Change Fellow with The Laundromat Project, an opportunity that allows her deepen her artistic practice in community. Her work has most notably been presented in the Chen Dance Center newsteps, as a part of the NYFA Boot Camp Arts Festival at Joyce SoHo, Movement Research at Judson Church, Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX), Barnard College, Penn State, Cornell University.
As a dance educator, Mosley was selected to develop Dance in the City, Barnard College’s first summer dance intensive for high school students. In addition, she works as a teaching artist for the Grosvenor House YMCA and the DreamYard Preparatory School. She most recently performed with Brooklyn Ballet and INSPIRIT, an all female collaborative dance company. She earned her MFA in Dance with an emphasis on Choreography from the University of Iowa (2009). She is also an alumna of Barnard College at Columbia University (2007), where she earned her BA in Dance and Africana Studies.
Community Action Manager, Gibney Dance Center
Yasemin Ozumerzifon’s passion for performing arts started at the age of six when she took her first dance class. After successfully completing K – Elementary grades from Royal Academy of Ballet, London, she moved to United States, where she studied dance and psychology at Connecticut College. After graduation, in order to combine her two passions she enrolled in the Developmental Psychology M.A. program at Columbia University and focused on creativity and human development. She was simultaneously a research assistant for a study that evaluated Guggenheim Museum’s “Learning Through Art” program. She also worked as an apprentice at the New Victory Theater, where she created a School Tool™, a resource guide based on the NYC blueprint and state standards. Currently, as the Community Action Manager at Gibney Dance, she is proud to be part of a program that brings movement to domestic violence survivors, a resource guide based on the NYC blueprint and state standards. Currently, as the Community Action Manager at Gibney Dance, she is proud to be part of a program that brings movement to domestic violence survivors., a resource guide based on the NYC blueprint and state standards. Currently, as the Community Action Manager at Gibney Dance, she is proud to be part of a program that brings movement to domestic violence survivors.
Alexandra is a choreographer, dancer and arts administrator from Paris, France. After graduating from the George Washington University, in DC, with a BA in Dance and Art History with honors, she moved to New York to work for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater as their Group Sales Coordinator and is now an Medical Associate at the Harkness Center For Dance Injuries at the NYU Langone Hospital For Joint Diseases and Assistant choreographer Luciana Achugar with her company management.
Alexandra is also a member of Movement of the People Dance Company and Amy Jacobus Projects with which she has performed at the Flea, in Figment Project on Governor’s Island,at University Settlement, Gibney Dance, the Suite Summer Festival and as part of the Check Us Out Festival. She has also performed at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, within the Velocity DC Dance Festival, at the Dorothy Betts Theater in DC and at Bushwick Open Studios in pieces by Willy Dorner, Iquail Shaheed, Michael Thomas Leon and Lucianna Achugar. Alexandra has showcased her own work in Washington, DC, Santiago, Chile as well as in New York as part of the Dance Film Association screenings, the Living Gallery, Triskelion Arts, The Space at Movement Research, the Secret Theater and at the House of Scandinavia. She has most recently choreographed a music video for Chinese punk band Re-TROS and has had her dance film on the rite of spring posted on NPR’s blog. She was a recipient of the Maida Withers Dance Construction Company Award for Innovation in Dance as well as a Luther Rice research fellow to study dance in Berlin, Germany. This year she is the Junior Committee’s Communications Coordinator and you can read her dance criticism and dancer health columns in the blog DIY Dancer.
Kaley is a choreographer, modern dancer, dance teacher, and licensed New York State Real Estate Salesperson. She holds her BFA in Dance from Florida State University. Originally from Ketchum, Idaho, she moved to New York City in 2011. Her choreographic work investigates the human experience with sensitivity and explores the kinetic architecture and intrinsic communication between bodies in space. Her work has been presented at The Boston Conservatory, Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre at Florida State University, Niagara Bar in the Lower East Side, at Movement Research’s Open Showings, Dixon Place in the Under Exposed Series, Gibney Dance Center, and at The Built on Stilts Festival in Martha’s Vineyard MA and In-Sight Dance Company’s Suite Summer Festival. As a performer, she currently works for Leanne Schmidt / Schmidt & Company and Megan Sipe / Dancing Fish. She also is an apprentice with the dance/theater company Treehouse Shakers. She is currently on modern faculty at Steffi NossenSchool of Dance. Kaley views art as a constant, vibrant dialogue. She uses dance, choreography, and film as means of expressing her ideas as well as presenting an environment for other people’s ideas to join, converse, and influence each other. She is thrilled to be continuing as a member of DanceNYC’s Junior Committee for her 3rd year! kaleypruitt.wordpress.com
Mercedes Searer is a Brooklyn based dancer, choreographer and freelance arts administrator. She received her MFA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College and her BA in modern dance from The Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park College. Since arriving in New York in 2009 Mercedes has had the pleasure of dancing for Elizabeth Streb, Lucinda Childs, Deganit Shemy and Twyla Tharp. She currently is in process with Peter Kyle, Sara Rudner, Jody Oberfelder and Macklin Kowal. Mercedes’ choreography has been performed at the Andy Warhol Museum, The Children’s Museum, and Bellefield Hall, all in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work has also been featured in New York City at the Solar One Dance Series, Green Space’s Taking Root Series and WaxWorks.
Administrative Coordinator, Creative Capital
Raina is an arts administrator, advocate and strategist, specializing in contemporary performance research, artist-entrepreneurship, and archival/legacy practices. She is currently the Administrative Coordinator at Creative Capital, where she manages and supports operational, development and programming initiatives. She is also an independent grant writer, and an active member of Dance/NYC’s Junior Committee, a volunteer organization that promotes advocacy and sustainability for the NYC dance community.
Prior to Creative Capital, she worked at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mead Art Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Museum for African Art. As a scholar in performance history and post-structuralism, Raina’s research investigates conflations of time and memory, embodiment and spectatorship, and beauty and aesthetics. Specifically, she is interested in the body as a site of resistance. Through the arts, she looks critically into the various aspects of identity, spirituality, ritual, and healing as they relate to storytelling in the African diaspora. Raina received her BA in Art and the History of Art from Amherst College.
Dancer, Educator, Arts Manager.
After 15 years of Chinese dance training in Wuhan, China, Ling came to the U.S. in 2002 and has performed at the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institute, Harman Center for the Arts, Chinese Embassy among other venues and festivals. Also trained as a contemporary dancer, Ling has danced with Nejla Yatkin/NY2Dance, Arts United of Washington, and Maryland Dance Ensemble. Ling currently teaches dance through China Institute, Flushing Town Hall, and Washington Performing Arts Society. As an arts manager, Ling worked as a program officer at the Asian Cultural Council and an intern at the Kennedy Center. She has also consulted various cultural exchange projects in both China and U.S. for China Arts and Entertainment Group, Guangdong Dance Festival, National Dance Institute, and New York University. Dance/USA Journal and Dancer Magazine have published her research papers. Ling holds an M.A. in arts administration from Columbia University, and a B.A. in dance and intercultural performing arts from the University of Maryland-College Park. Visit Ling’s website at: www.ling-tang.com
Nehemoyia Young is a Brooklyn based performing artist and choreographer. She received her BA from Spelman College where she began dancing professionally for T. Lang Dance, an urban contemporary company in Atlanta, GA. She is currently project based and has had the opportunity to perform with Liberation Dance Theatre, Love Making Dances, Tendayi Kuumba, DecaDance Theatre, Tremor Collective, and Denae Dance Theatre. With a strong belief in the unifying power of artistic expression, Nehemoyia demonstrates a commitment to creative collaboration across disciplines, combining her talents with poets, actors, and various musicians in and around NYC. Her work was most recently presented at the Tank and The Irondale Theatre in Brooklyn. Nehemoyia is an employee at New York Live Arts and serves on the 2013-2014 Dance NYC Junior Committee.