Diane began taking swing classes in 2010 in Philadelphia, where she studied Lindy Hop, Charleston and Balboa. Soon, she became inspired to explore other styles, such as Tango and Salsa. She loves Balboa in particular, for its elegance, intricate footwork, and emphasis on connection and is looking forward to introducing others to its unique style.
Born and raised in Assam, India, dancer Madhusmita Bora is co-artistic director of the Philadelphia-based Sattriya Dance Company. Trained in the classical Indian dance forms of Sattriya and Kathak, she made her debut as a dancer performing at her village temple before she turned four years old. Bora has presented work at major festivals and venues in the US and India. She is a recipient of grants from Leeway Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the Nritya Saradhi Award. In 2017, Bora received a Center grant to present Threads of History: Resurrection of a Textile, interpreting an ancient Indian tapestry, held in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, through dance and music performed by the Dancing Monks of Assam.
Robert F. Burden, Jr. is the founder and artistic director of Tap Team Two and Company, a Philadelphia tap company which has been in existence since 1992. Robert has performed and taught all over the world and was a teacher at the University of the Arts for over 20 years. He passes on the Philadelphia street hoofing style as well as the teachings and "etudes" of the late LaVaughn Robinson. He is a Philadelphia dance treasure.
Leilani Chirino started dancing at the age of three at the Conservatorio de las Artes de Conchita Espinosa, a Cuban arts academy started 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.
Inspired by her grandmother, who trained and danced professionally in New York City, Lee-Ann’s love for dance began at a young age. She grew up in Southern Maryland, where she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. Lee-Ann earned a Bachelor of Arts in Dance from the University of Maryland. She has danced professionally for the NBA’s Washington Wizards dance team for three seasons and performed with a modern dance company in Washington, DC. Upon moving to Philadelphia, Lee-Ann earned her MBA and works for a non-profit organization. She has been teaching dance for over 10 years. She specializes in jazz technique, ballet barre, and tap dancing instruction. Lee-Ann is also a Vinyasa Yoga Teacher (RYT 200), and looks forward to continuing her practice into yoga therapy in the future.
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 of instructing classes for kids and adults. Her dance teaching journey has led her to innumerable dance studios, public schools, private schools, summer camps, after school programs, tap festivals, conventions and more. Besides studio instruction, Pam has been a consistent and visible ambassador for tap in Philadelphia, for the past ten years. In 2007, she created and is now the Executive Director of The Philadelphia Community Tap Project, a free tap education institute open to kids and adults across Philadelphia that is housed at Sound Space Performing Arts. 2017 also saw the birth of The Philly Clicks, a traveling youth tap ensemble that trains at Sound Space Performing Arts. Pam is the artistic director of Take It Away Dance, a professional tap dance and jazz music company that continues to be presented by venues in Philadelphia, New York and beyond. Pam's full professional, performance and teaching biography is at www.pamelahetherington.net.
Lily Kind has been teaching partner dance for special occasions intermittently since 2005. She has taught wedding couples at Studio 665 in Boston and Towson Ballroom in Baltimore. Her love of Lindy Hop (swing dancing that started in Harlem in the 30s and 40's) as well as a career as contemporary dancer, choreographer, and dance writers has taken her all over the world. Lily's teaching style if both goofy and disciplined. Lily welcomes couples of all genders, body types, and sexual orientations. When preparing couples for a special occasion, Lily cares about steps and musicality, but not about routines. She relishes in showing partners how to enjoy dancing together for the rest of their lives. Lily will sometimes work with a co-teacher, Heather Houde, who is a bad ass. Inquire for pricing.
donia salem is a student of acclaimed Odissi Guru, Durga Charan Ranbir, and works closely with the virtuosic Rahul Acharya. Performances include Princeton University, Bard College, Kansas University, The FlynnSpace, Hatch with Birds on a Wire Dance Theater, The Sheen Center, Alvin Ailey, The Painted Bride, and the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts – with Rajika Puri as part of WMI's Dancing The Gods series. In addition to being a principal dancer and choreographer with Sakshi Productions – a neoclassical Odissi dance company, salem co-directs The Outlet Dance Project – an annual festival of women choreographers and filmmakers; is part of the Brown Girl in the Ring Collective, and was a founding member of Kalamandir Dance Company. In 2016 she was awarded a residency with Philadelphia-based arts organization, Swim Pony. Her written work can be found in Sukoon Magazine. donia's work is driven by a desire to investigate how identity and experience are informed by place, language, lineage, migration, history, family, and gender. Exploring points of intersection, shared existential borders, and the metaphoric, allegoric, and choreographic embodiment of transitions between traditions inspires and informs her life and practices. donia has her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College.
Paul has enjoyed sharing his passion for the history of swing dancing and jazz music in the city of Philadelphia for 19 years. He began dancing in Philadelphia in 1998. Six months after that, he was teaching in the city and, starting in 2000, he taught a weekly dance for 10 years providing instruction in charleston, lindy hop, and balboa. This event was called the Jazz Attic which was then changed to Jazz Attack. He also plays in several jazz bands in the Philadelphia area.
A New Orleans native, Amy began dancing at the age of three. The same year that she graduated from high school as class valedictorian, she was also named a semi-finalist for “Dance America Dancer of the Year.” Amy went on to study at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where she graduated with honors, obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a focus in Ballet Performance. During her years at UArts, Amy had the opportunity to work with many choreographers including Kun-Yang Lin, Scott Jovovich, Anastasia Babayeva, Sara Procopio, Helen Simoneau, and many more. It was also during this time that she began her flamenco education with Anna and Tito Rubio. She now regularly travels to Spain to further her flamenco studies at schools such as the Fundación de Arte Flamenco Cristina Heeren in Sevilla, Amor De Dios in Madrid, and Estudio de Baile Flamenco de Chiqui de Jerez, studying with maestros Milagros Menjibar, Javier Latorre, Antonio Hidalgo, Domingo Ortega, Inmaculada Ortega, Alfonso Losa among others. Over the years, she has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with esteemed flamenco artists such as Antonio Hidalgo, Sonia Olla, Ismael Fernandez, and Andres Heredia. Amy is currently working as a flamenco teaching artist and company member with both Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana in New York and Flamenco del Encuentro in Philadelphia.
Sanchel Brown is an international dancer/choreographer/actress originally from Baltimore, MD. She has obtained her B.F.A from Virginia Commonwealth and has extensively studied movement of the African Diaspora in Senegal, West Africa under the direction of Germaine Acogny at L’Ecole De Sable. Sanchel has had the honor to work with many choreographers such as Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Maria Bauman, Paloma Mcgregor, Jumatatu Poe, David Brick and many others. Her past performance credits include Urban Bush Women,”Black Nativity”, “The Kimmel Center’s Kinetic Tree Show”, “JAMAICA the Musical”, ”Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope”, “First World Theater’s Say He Had More Than A Dream”, and “Black Nativity”. She is a 2015 Barrymore Award nominee for Best Lead Actress in a Musical and winner for Best Ensemble for her outstanding performance as “Mary” in Theater Horizon’s production of “Black Nativity”. Her choreography credits include Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls”, New Freedom Theater’s “Black Nativity”, as well as her self-produced one woman show, “Ode to Black Wombman”. Her teaching engagements include Gibney Dance Center, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Dancing Grounds, New Freedom Theater and University City Arts League.