People

Altogether, as an independent choreographer and now as ChoreoNova’s Artistic Director, Ms. Rae has conceived, planned, directed, and produced 26 art events (performances and screenings). 

Her work has been featured by the international DUMBO Dance Festival (Brooklyn, NY) and RAW: Natural Born Artist showcases (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia), national WomenArts’ SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day (Pittsburgh), regional festivals Dances at a Gathering (Ambridge, PA) and Dogtown Dance Theatre’s Informal Series (Richmond, VA), and Charlottesville Visual Storytellers’ Local Filmmaker Showcase, among others. 

She is a film grantee at the international level from the Open Meadows Foundation for “Coupled: Move In with Me” (2016) and at the national level from the Puffin Foundation, Ltd. for “Coupled” (2015) and a five-time grantee from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (2014-2019). 

In addition, she won a RAW Pittsburgh Performing Arts award (“Anticipation,” Pittsburgh’s first nondocumentary dance film) and was the runner-up for the Zelyonka Festival Residency (Ukraine, 2014).

Dancers

Pictured throughout this site:

Nadine Azoulay

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Company Member/Teaching Artist

Trevor C. Miles

Brian M. Boller

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Guest Dancer

Jacquelyn Buckmaster-Wright

Abigail Dias

Project Dancer

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Abigail Dias presently resides in New York City, where she dances with Salvatore LaRussa Dance Theater, Gwen Rakotovao Company, Bloodline Dance Theater, and Beth Soll and Company. In addition, she is a substitute teacher at the Mark Morris Dance Center. Abigail has performed in works by Gwen Rakotovao, Lamont Joseph and Melvin Blak, Nuo An, Salvatore LaRussa; and in Mary Seidman’s Grapefruits at various New York City venues, including St. Marks Church-In-The-Bowery, BAM Fisher, Lincoln Center, and Ailey Citigroup Theater, to name a few. She also performed in the famed Rockettes Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall in New York City for four consecutive seasons.

Not Pictured:
Emily Babin
Khaled Barghouthi
Lucas Gluekert-Blanchard
Jennifer Burstein
Kris Bowmaster
Jordan Celli
Wendie Charles
Glenna Clark
Carlos Chang
Amanda Deshano
Ryan Duncan
Christina Fleming
Kristi Gibilisco
Keith Hickey
Ventana Hofer
Tom Lever
Danielle Lyndsay
Desmond Malrey
Alyssa McIntyre
Aidyn Mills
Leila Mire
Sarai Gonzales Molina
Estefanie Morena
Julie Neveu
Kat Rodriguez
Devin Sweet
Luisa Torres
Michael T. Villella

Raymond Ejiofor

Project Dancer

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Raymond Ejiofor resides in Los Angeles, CA, and currently collaborates with various companies, including Lula Washington Dance Theater, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Kevin Williamson Dance, Pony Box Dance Theater, MOVEMENTmovement, and Oui Danse. Raymond has danced for artists such as Pharrell Williams, Little Boots, Gerard Way, The Acid, Moullinex, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Daft Punk. He joined the company of dance theater production PEARL, which premiered at Lincoln Center's David H. Koch Theater. Under the direction of Greed Reed-Jones, he was a founding member of the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, which was named "25 to Watch" in 2012 by Dance Magazine.  Additional performance credits include Audi|Shanghai, Toshiba International Industrial, Samsung, Apple, Beijing Dance FestivalSpringboard Danse MontrealSummerStage NYC, Jazz Dance World Congress, and Pittsburgh Opera. He holds a Master of Public Health Policy degree from the University of Southern California and a B.S. in Decision Science with a double minor in Engineering Studies and in Technology and Policy from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Jessica Hillier (Clevenger)

Project Dancer

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Jessica Hillier (n Clevenger) is a featured member of NetCo Dance Company in Lancaster, PA, and a member of Barefoot Dance Company, which creates site-specific works. She has also performed with Prima Theatre in its production of Big Fish: The Musical, directed by Mitch Nugent. She is the dance instructor for the elementary and high school divisions at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, PA. She graduated magna cum laude from Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, PA, in 2014 with a B.A. in Dance and a minor in Spanish. She resides in Hershey with her husband.

Image copyright Candice Kaminski

Stephanie Hrabar

Project Dancer

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Stephanie Hrabar is presently studying for her Doctorate in Physical Therapy and is also a LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopment Disabilities and Related Disorders) Trainee at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to that, she served as Therapy Technician at The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh for almost two years. Stephanie has performed with Goucher College’s Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble in Baltimore, MD, and Ballet Forte, resident company of the Carnegie Performing Arts Center in Carnegie, PA. She graduated in 2017 from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD, with a B.A. in Biology/Biological Sciences and a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Dance Science. As a senior, she was awarded The Friends of Goucher Dance Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Major.

Jessica Israel

Project Dancer

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Jessica Israel works as a freelance dance artist and dance cardio instructor in New York City. She is also a teaching assistant at The Ailey School’s Junior Division and First Steps Program and at Dianna Petty’s Dance Source. Jessica has freelanced in various projects, including: a segment on ABC’s Good Morning America, music videos by Hettie Barnhill, a Lantern Entertainment Bollywood feature film entitled ABCD, Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis’ “Downtown” music video, Amin Laboriel’s “Chocolate Banana” music video, The Lady Jenn’s “Last-EDM” music video, the Michael Anthony Collection at the Castle on the White Hill show at New York Fashion Week, and the Victory Dance Project with Amy Jordan. She has also been in several different flash mobs, including one for the U. S. National Basketball Association. She graduated from The Ailey School’s Certificate in Dance program in 2011.

Corry Ethridge

Project Dancer

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Corry Ethridge resides in New York City and has performed for multiple companies there, including Hanna Q Dance Company, Gotham Dance Theatre, and ELSCO Dance Company. Corry also danced for the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line, Martha Connerton Kinetic Works (North Carolina), and played a role in Theatre Raleigh’s original production of The Wolf in Raleigh, NC, his hometown. He graduated in 2014 from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, with a B.A. in Dance Performance/Choreography and Psychology.  He has performed works by Brian Brooks, Kevin Wynn, Dušan Týnek, and Rubén Graciani, among others, and has been featured in the November 2013 issue of Dance Magazine

Luna Shen

Guest Dancer

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Luna Shen is currently on a two-year rotation with the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, VA. She has performed with various freelance Richmond choreographers, including Desmin Taylor; companies UBallet and Rhythmic Bodies in Motion at The University of Chicago; and director Kia Smith’s production of “Unhinged” at the Chicago Home Theatre Festival. Luna graduated in 2017 from The University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics.

Melissa L. Tyler

Guest Dancer

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Melissa L. Tyler has performed extensively throughout the country and on the high seas. Melissa has danced with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in Denver, CO, where she was promoted to principal dancer; Washington Reflections Dance Company in Washington, D.C.; Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company in Kansas City, MO; and the now-defunct August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble in Pittsburgh, PA, which was named one of Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" in 2012. She also toured with Sesame Street Live as Ernie; and performed as aerialist, dancer, and/or dance captain on two cruise ships for the RWS/Holland America Line (2014-2016). While Melissa was earning her B.F.A. degree from Howard University (completed in 2008), she apprenticed in the summers at Evidence: A Dance Company in Brooklyn, NY; Dallas Black Dance Theatre in Dallas, TX; and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Melissa embarked on her performing career after very extensive and eclectic training in ballet, jazz, modern, African dance, tap, ballroom, and acting.

Maria Uriarte

Project Dancer

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Maria Uriarte is currently a freelance actor, singer, and dancer residing in New York City. She graduated in 2019 from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, studying both musical theater and dance. Maria trained at the Dance Center in Mexico City, Mexico. This studio features the Imperial Classical Ballet and Modern Stage (ballroom) curriculums as well as tap. She also trained in both character dance and Mexican folk dance.

Kerra Alexander

Former Company Member

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Kerra Alexander resides in Pittsburgh, PA, and has danced for Madhouse Productions, the Pillow Project, guested with Attack Theatre, appeared with Shana Simmons Dance, and was a founding member of the Staycee Pearl Dance Project, most recently appearing with the company in Octavia. Currently, she lends her expertise to leading master classes and judging dance competitions. Kerra also taught ballet for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Reign Dance Productions (owned by Abby Lee Miller). She has choreographed for the opening event of the very first Pittsburgh Fashion Week and co-choreographed a local production of the musical All Shook Up. She graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh with a B.A. in both modern dance and ballet in 2007.

Nicole Greenland

Founding Guest Dancer

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Nicole Greenland is presently a licensed clinical social worker at the Fairmont Clinic in Pittsburgh, PA, where she resides. Prior to that, she served as a geriatric social worker at LIFE Beaver County. In 2012, she was featured in Davida Rae’s Darkness & Light: An Evening of Music and Dance at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She also performed with the Carnegie Performing Arts Center in Carnegie, PA, in The Nutcracker and Mary Poppins. Nicole holds a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh and a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.  She trained at the New Paltz School of Ballet in New Paltz, NY, with Lisa and Peter Naumann. As a member of the New Paltz Ballet Theatre, Nicole danced in The Firebird, Coppelia, and The Nutcracker.

Morgan Veldhuizen

Former Company Member

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Morgan Veldhuizen’s professional credits include dancing with Alternative Motion Project in Minneapolis, performing in Module with Sidra Bell Dance New York, and guesting at The Dirty Ball with Attack Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA. She has also performed featured roles in FameThe Wizard of OzGypsy, and The Nutcracker. Her choreographic work “Magic Dyke” was featured at 3Play at Fresh Oysters Performance Research in Minneapolis, MN, where she now resides. Morgan is a Point Park University graduate with a B.A. in Dance, concentrating in modern. 

 

Iona Newell

Founding Company Member

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Iona Newell is a retired prima ballerina from the Quad Cities area of Illinois. Currently residing in Pittsburg, PA, Iona is employed by Mercy Behavioral Health, working with individuals who have intellectual disabilities. She was a founding member of our company when it was known as eMotionCo Dance. Iona danced professionally for twelve years: three with Louisville Ballet and nine with Ballet Quad Cities. She also spent six summers as a dancer and counselor for Burklyn Ballet Theatre in Vermont. She was featured in a number of soloist and principal roles with Ballet Quad Cities, among them Cinderella in Johanne Jakhelln’s production of Cinderella, Mina in Deanna Carter’s Dracula, and Juliet in Courtney Lyon’s restaging of Jakhelln's Romeo and Juliet in the 21st Century. Iona received her early training at Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. She graduated summa cum laude from Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA in 2011 with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing.

  • Ethan Main

    Ethan Main
  • David Main

    David D’Agostino has had more than a decade of experience in video production and editing and currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC. He is the owner and chief operator of Franker Films. In this capacity, he has edited “BFF” for ChoreoNova, including all post-production. He is also the director and producer of the feature-length documentary Arthur Knight Hammer, King of the Bears. David has traveled the world making documentaries. Most recently, he taught a course entitled Art of the Moving Image: Motion Picture Practice after graduating from Duke University in Durham, NC, with a M.F.A. in Experimental and Documentary Arts. David is currently: digital media editor for the Finding Freedom through Entrepreneurship — Durham's Black Wall Street exhibition at The Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity; guest lecturer/consultant for the Hank & Billye Suber Aaron Young Scholars Summer Research Institute; and projectionist for the Rubenstein Arts Center -- all at Duke. He previously served as adjunct instructor at Pittsburgh Filmmakers; multimedia producer for the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA; and art instructor at Gateway Arts. The latter was simultaneous with his first degrees, a B.A. in Fine and Studio Arts and a fifth-year certificate from the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts (under the auspices of Tufts University).

    David Main

Our Board of Directors

Davida Rae

President of the Board, CEO

Rona Syetta

CFO

Kenneth Nickel

Member

Nicolas Petrov

Member

Staff

Chuck Tyler

SMM

Matthew Brueggeman

IT