Celebrating 30+ years as an independent female in the performing arts world, Pew Arts & Heritage Dance Advance Awardee, Allison's experiences as dancer, rehearsal mistress, choreographer, director to producer show her ability to contribute to the performing arts world that she loves.
Miss Allison's MFA and BFA from Ashwood University, attended Philadelphia College for the Performing Arts (UARTS), U of MA at Amherst certificate in Arts Management. Additional professional training from Philadanco. In New York City, she trained at the Ailey School, Rod Rodgers Dance Company, the Performance Institute, and the Broadway Dance Center where she was awarded a scholarship. Her teachers included the best in the modern, jazz and tap dance arena, including; Frank Hatchett, Maurice Hines, Hinton Battle and Cecilia Marta.
Miss Allison trains students in modern (Horton, jazz and tap in Philadelphia and NJ area dance studios. Her youth repertoire and competition choreography has done well YAGP - Youth America Grand Prix, Starbound, All American Talent Awards and several local competitions.
Leilani Chirino started dancing at the age of three at the Conservatorio de las Artes de Conchita Espinosa, a Cuban arts academy in Havana. She later became a principal dancer for the company of Ada Linares, specializing in flamenco, ballet, and modern jazz. In college, she studied Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban modern dance. Afterwards, she worked on incorporating Cuban body movement to her contemporary and modern jazz pieces. Leilani’s focus is on mastering the control and isolation of particular muscles in the body, allowing students to take command of their body movements. She continues to perform professionally at major venues all over Philadelphia.
A Philadelphia native, Pam started a dance performance career in this city at the age of sixteen, when she joined Tap Team Two & Company, under the direction of Robert F. Burden, Jr. Throughout the next 22 years of her own performance, choreography, artistic direction and community arts leadership projects in Philadelphia, the work consistently leads back to percussive dance education. Sound Space Performing Arts is the outgrowth of her two decades in dance education, during which time she saw a consistent need for a dedicated space that preserved and advanced percussive dance forms.
A dance instructor since 1998, her first job as an 18-year-old teacher was leading the tap program at Chestnut Street Dance Academy (now Urban Movement Arts) in downtown Philadelphia. In the twenty years since then, she has honed her craft by leading hundreds of classes and directing performing arts programs, for people of all ages, at studios, recreation centers, universities, summer camps, public schools, private schools, festivals, conventions and more on the East Coast. A few of her notable dance education positions include: Villanova University, University of Pennsylvania, The Baldwin School, Abington Friends, Millennium Dance Complex Philadelphia, DEA Youth Dance Program, Charlottesville Department of Recreation, Millville School District, West Park Cultural Center and The Arc of Philadelphia.
Pam has been leading programs and outreach initiatives in the tap dance community since 2008. Ten years ago, she founded Philly Tap Teaser, which has now scaled into The Philadelphia Community Tap Project, a slate of educational and performance programs which are accessible to anyone the Philadelphia area. 2017 also saw the birth of The Philly Clicks, a traveling youth tap ensemble that trains at Sound Space Performing Arts. Due to her contributions in tap dance, she has been invited to speak on a variety of nationally-syndicated programs, including Articulate (WHYY) and The Arts Desk (WRTI), and she was recently recognized in the May 2017 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. Pam is the artistic director of Take It Away Dance, a touring company of tap dancers and musicians that continues to be presented by major venues in Philadelphia, New York and beyond. Pam's full professional, performance and teaching biography is at www.pamelahetherington.net.
Chania Garner trained at various dance studios in Philadelphia and Delaware and joined the Delaware Contemporary Dance Theater at age 21. Her favorite performance to date was when she had the honor of dancing at the International Association of Blacks in Dance conference and she has worked professionally with Anthony Burrell and Christopher Huggins. She greatly enjoys training and teaching the acrobatic arts and she is excited to join the faculty at SSPA!
Tyra is currently a third-year dance major at Temple University. In 2018, she competed in multiple rounds to win the coveted title of Mx. Everything. Tyra greatly enjoys teaching and continues to hone her craft at multiple dance studios in the Philadelphia area. She is the communications director for D2D: Dare To Dance, an all-styles dance team at Temple University.
Liliana Ruiz was raised in Mexico City in a Spanish culture-based home. She started dancing classical ballet at the age of six. Shortly thereafter, she began Classical Spanish dance and Flamenco. She was inspired by her family's deep-rooted passion for the arts. Ms. Ruiz reached her first dancing career achievements when she was 12 years old. She was already teaching ballet when her class was examined by the Royal Academy of Dance. Liliana got recognition for being the youngest dance instructor with excellent teaching results. When approaching her 13th birthday, she was asked to perform professionally in Culiacan Sinaloa (Mexico). Ever since, Liliana has been actively performing, choreographing and studying a diversity of dances, including flamenco. Her flamenco master teachers in Mexico include Chunny Amaya, Winny Amaya, Cristobal Reyes, Cristina Aguirre, and Mario Maya among others. Liliana studied classical Spanish Dance with Milagros and Pilar Rioja. Liliana Ruiz specializes in Classical Spanish with castanets, Folklore and Flamenco. Her notable dancing credits include performances in Carmen with opera singer Placido Domingo at the Auditorio Nacional in Mexico City, Premier Club with Julio Iglesias, Noches Españolas (Spanish Nights) with the “Poeta de Granada” (Granada Poet) Manuel Benitez Carrasco. Her experience allowed her to choreograph and participate in plays such as Cyrano de Bergerac by Roberto Sen and Don Juan Tenorio by Gonzalo Vega at the Teatro Helénico, Los poetas que hablan tan alto by Ricardo Brust at Teatro San Jerónimo, and El rey de los gorilas at the Teatro de los Insurgentes. Ms. Ruiz served as Artistic Director for the Centro Asturiano dance ensemble for ten years. This group performed at the magnificent Palacio de Bellas Artes, and had the honor to perform a few times for the King Juan Carlos I of Spain, his wife Queen Sofia, and Prince Felipe of Asturias. Liliana Ruiz taught at the Spanish Academy of Dance Rioja for a few years. She then created her own dance school/company Suspiro Español, which performed twice a year at the Teatro Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Suspiro Español was sold out at all performances. When Liliana moved to the United States in 2000, she joined the company New York Express, and performed throughout the New York Metropolitan area. Shortly after, Liliana started to dance with local companies and in theatres in NY and Philadelphia, such as the Cashama Theatre (Broadway), the Wilma Theater, the Painted Bride, the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, the Annenberg Center, and the Kimmel Center at the International Festival of the Arts. In the USA, Liliana continued her flamenco studies with masters such as Raquel Heredia, Rosario Toledo, Almudena Fernandez, Juana Amaya, Chiqui de Jerez, Antonio Hidalgo, Isabel Bayón, Angel Atienzo, Pilar Ortega, Manuela Rios, La Meira, and Inmaculada Ortega. Ms. Ruiz has performed Classical Spanish dances with the two-time Grammy Award-winning pianist Peter Nero and the Philly POP’s at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, as well as with the Atlantic Bay Symphony, the Pottstown Symphony, the Tulsa Symphony, and the NJ Patriots Symphony directed by Dan Spalding. In the near future, Liliana will be dancing in Carmen with the Virtuosi Orchestra of Philadelphia directed by Dan Spalding.
Liliana is presently the choreographer for the play Azul, under the direction of La Fábrica Theater Company.She also performs with the band La Revancha throughout the USA including NYC, Los Angeles, San Diego, Cleveland, and others.