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.
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.
PAOLA GHIDINI (ITALY/AMSTERDAM)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Kibrea Carmichael (Baltimore, Maryland) began studying dance with the Tench Tilghman Triumph Dancers at her local elementary school. She was accepted into the Baltimore School for the Arts Twigs program, where she received her early training. She progressed to the Baltimore School for the Arts where she studied under Norma Pera, Samantha Ordaz, Debra Robinson, Anton Wilson, Dmitri Malikov, Paula LeVere, and Sandy Lacy. Ms. Carmichael has performed ballets such as The Nutcracker with Barry Hughson, Hansel and Gretel with Samantha Ordaz and Serenade with Debra Wenger. She is a proud alumni of The Ailey School where she studied in the Certificate Program, and is a former member of the Ailey Student Performance Group. Kibrea has performed in pieces choreographed by Alvin Ailey, Jon Ole Olstad, Darrell Moultrie, Loni Landon, Amy Gardner, Clifton Brown, Mariana Taragano, Earl Mosley, Arthur Pita and many more. Ms. Carmichael played a conglomeration of roles in Arthur Pita’s dance play “The Tenant” for The Joyce Theater Productions composed by Frank Moon and starring
ABT soloist James Whiteside and Cassandra Trenary. Kibrea played the lead woman (Bride) in Close to Love dance film directed and produced by Daisy Zhou and choreographed by Amy Gardner. Kibrea has in appeared in GAP, Vogue Spain, St. John Knit and Thousand Fell commercials and ads. Recently, she’s had the opportunity to perform in Marc Jacobs NYFW Fashion Show.
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.