ChoreoNova
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Davida Rae received her early dance training at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance in Columbia, S.C. There she joined Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet as an apprentice and trained personally with Ms. Ann Brodie.  

She also appeared as Wit in Sleeping Beauty and performed in Hansel and Gretel and multiple productions of The Nutcracker. Further, she appeared in several presentations by Columbia City Ballet, including Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker

Ms. Rae attended The Walnut Hill School Summer Program as the youngest ever admitted at the time.  She continued her dance training in Boston with David Drummond and then in Fort Lauderdale with Mindy Garz, as well as the Magda Auñon School of Ballet. 

After graduating high school, her father’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease halted her pursuit of a career as a ballerina until it was too late to go back.  Instead, after his death she returned to academics and completed an A.S. in Fashion Design magna cum laude from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale.  She won several awards for her designs. 

In 2007, she moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend Carnegie Mellon University. She won the Senior Leadership Recognition Award upon graduation. She holds a B.S. in Physics with both University and College Research Honors.  She has been awarded five competitive research grants and served as co-author on a journal publication.

While completing this last degree, Ms. Rae started choreographing formally with the Carnegie Performing Arts Center of Carnegie, PA and rediscovered her true passion. Since then she has produced 19 diverse pieces for dancers from Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, and Point Park Conservatory of the Performing Arts; and for professionals from the U.S. and overseas from August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, the Ailey School Certificate Program, the Joffrey Trainee Program, the Charlottesville Ballet, and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, to name a few. Her work has been featured in three annual showcases of the Carnegie Performing Arts Center, culminating in the Emerging New Choreographer Award in June 2012. She has studied dance composition privately with Nicolas Petrov, founder of Point Park Conservatory of the Performing Arts and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Ms. Rae produced, directed, and choreographed all of Darkness & Light: An Evening of Music and Dance.  This production was held at the Kresge Theater of Carnegie Mellon University in April 2012.  The six world premiere dance pieces asked existential questions, such as: If you don’t slit your throat due to life’s negative twists and turns, how do you go forward?” Building on this body of work, Ms. Rae founded ChoreoNova® in September 2012 to take the examination of life already evident in her earlier work further and continue to empower people.  She is currently the company’s Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.  

ChoreoNova® is a nonprofit professional contemporary dance company. Due to her unique background as both an artist and a scientist, her dual perspective permeates the company; its works fuse art and science together seamlessly. Now in its eighth season, the company displays combinations of various diverse dance styles plus natural movement in films, live performances, and interdisciplinary transmedia works. It has expanded regionally and toured in NY, PA, and VA.

Matthew Brueggeman, IT

Matthew Brueggeman is our one-man IT Department. He holds a B.S. in both Information Systems Technology and Administration of Justice from Pennsylvania State University at New Kensington.  He has worked for three local firms: MITO Insulation, Inc., Vericheck, and Kencove Farm Fence Supplies, in various webmaster and network administrator positions.  He has also been a freelance website designer, including creating sites for Stone Decor Group and Lazarus Support Services.

Chuck Tyler, SMM

Chuck Tyler is our social media manager.  He is the CEO and founder of Millennium Ventures, LLC, a private consulting firm specializing in volunteer management, fundraising, and public relations.  He has served as a political campaign consultant for Pennsylvania State Representative Wheatley, as well as for candidates in New Mexico and Los Angeles.  He also assisted President Obama’s campaign as a branch manager. Additional past projects included securing corporate sponsorships for minor league baseball teams, serving as a facilitator for NewPolitics.org, and volunteering with the Los Angeles Film Festival and with Operation Free for veterans’ advocacy.  He is presently a Corps Member Coach for Organizing Corps 2020, director of Development for Minority Veterans of America, and a volunteer online mentor for Veterati.  Chuck joined forces with ChoreoNova® in January 2015.

Nicolas Petrov is an internationally acclaimed dancer, choreographer, and artistic director with more than 50 years of experience.  After graduating from the Yugoslavian State Academy with a degree in dance, Mr. Petrov became a member of the Opera Ballet of Belgrade.  Later, he went to Paris to study with Olga Preobrajenska and joined the Ballet de France.  

After touring Europe, he began a three-year engagement with Theatre D’Art du Ballet as First Dancer and toured the Middle and Far East.  He became the leading dancer for Leonide Massine, performing with Milorad Miskovitch, Duska Sifnios, Paolo Bortoluzzi, and Carla Fracci.  He went on to dance, choreograph, and produce for the French television station ORTF.  

Concurrently, he worked with Massine in ballets such as The Nutcracker, The Three-Cornered Hat, Beau Danube, and La Boutique Fantasque.  He also performed the choreography of Jean Guelis, Dick Sanders, and Milko Sparemblek. In addition, he formed his own dance company, Ballet Petrov, which toured throughout Europe.

In 1967, Mr. Petrov took over the direction and development of the Pittsburgh Playhouse Ballet Department and subsequently launched the dance program at Point Park University.  He simultaneously launched the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, where he served as Co-Artistic Director for the next 10 years.  Mr. Petrov has choreographed more than 100 ballets, eight of which are full-length productions, including Romeo and Juliet, The Prince of Pagodas, Maria Sabina, Steel Symphony, and Americana R.F.D.  He served as the permanent choreographer for the Pittsburgh Opera; Director of the Dance Division of Fine, Applied, and Performing Arts at Point Park University, and founded the American Dance Ensemble of Point Park.  He is now retired.

A Pittsburgh native, Ken began ballet training at the age of eleven.  He joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) in 1977, was promoted to soloist in 1980, and by 1982 was a principal dancer.  Upon leaving PBT in 1986, he held a position of principal dancer with Ballet West, then Dallas Ballet Company, and also guested frequently with other American and overseas companies.

He has since served as: Artistic Director of Ballet Orlando; Artistic Director of Performing Arts at La Roche College; Vice President for Dance for the Pennsylvania State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance; Ballet Master for the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School; and Artistic Director for the Cyber and Performing Arts Academy of Ambridge Area High School.  He founded several festivals including: the Royal Dance Festival in Orlando; Fete de la Danse at La Roche; and most recently, Dances at a Gathering.  He has choreographed Cinderella for the Metropolitan Ballet of San Diego and many other original ballets for several American companies, taught master classes, and coached dancers for various roles.  He has received the Madison Award from Who’s Who in America, the Dictionary of Distinguished Leadership in the Arts Community Award, etc. 

He established a Bachelor of Arts Degree for Performing Arts in Dance at La Roche College in 1996 and while there also developed a public school dance arts program, Resource Education Arts Development for Youths (R.E.A.D.Y.)   Ken then joined the University of Pennsylvania faculty (2000-2003), where he designed and helped implement a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance.  Most recently, he has created an Associate of Arts Degree in Dance Education at the Community College of Beaver County, so that dancers can begin to earn college credit during their last two years of high school.  In his spare time, he volunteers for the Bradford Woods Rapid Intervention Crew, rescuing firefighters who get trapped in burning buildings.

Rona Sayetta, Director

Rona Sayetta serves as CFO for the company and also sits on its board. She has assisted in the conception, planning, direction, and costuming of 13 previous art events, including the full-length show and multiple dance film shoots. She holds five degrees, including an M.D. and a Master’s in Governmental Administration. Her 10-year federal government career included supervising a research branch of the National Center for Health Statistics and initiating and running several collaborative projects. She has extensive experience with writing scientific grants, including measuring, reporting, and presenting their outcomes. She has published 25 journal articles and books involving original research and statistical analysis, plus a memoir. Now a retired physician, she owned and operated a successful psychiatry practice, as well as a silk floral design firm, in Boca Raton, FL, for a decade.

Iona Newell received her early training at Pittsburgh Youth Ballet. She 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. Iona has performed a wide range of choreography, including classics like Don Quixote and Giselle; George Balanchine’s Serenade, and contemporary works by Johanne Jakhelln, Deanna Carter, Mathew Keefe, Dominic Walsh, and Domingo Rubio. 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. She retired from Ballet Quad Cities in 2009 and returned to Pittsburgh to attend school full time near her family. Iona graduated summa cum laude from Chatham University in 2011 with a B.F.A. in Creative Writing. She was a founding member of our company when it was known as eMotionCo Dance. Since 2003, she has also enjoyed working with individuals who have intellectual disabilities. Iona is currently employed by Mercy Behavioral Health. She continues to write and dance and also practices yoga.

Morgan Veldhuizen is a Point Park University graduate with a B.A. in Dance, concentrating in modern. There she was instructed by Garfield Lemonius, Jason McDole, Judith Leifer-Bentz, Doug Bentz, Reuben Graciani, and Kiesha Lalama White; and took master classes with Troy Powell and Desmond Richardson. She appeared in Terence Marling’s “Hubbart Street: Fatum Inflictum” and Raphael Xavier’s “Side Street Walk.” She also trained at the Broadway Theatre Project under the instruction of Debra McWaters and Herman Payne.

During her time in Pittsburgh, Morgan focused much of her energy on choreography and composition. Her most notable choreography projects have included: “Isn’t it Tactile?” (Student Choreographers Project), “Enjoy Your Worries” (Student Choreographers Project), “No Bad Dreams, No Paranoia” (Point Park University Showcase), and “Joyas” (Point Park University Showcase). She characterizes her work as animated, dynamic, provocative, and alluring. Most recently, her work “Magic Dyke” was featured at 3Play at Fresh Oysters Performance Research in Minneapolis, MN. Morgan’s additional special skills include: improvisation, yoga, Pilates, rollerblading, ice skating, the worm, jump rope, and hand-to-hand stage combat.

Morgan’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, She has also performed featured roles in FameThe Wizard of OzGypsy, and The Nutcracker.

Nicole Greenland trained at the New Paltz School of Ballet in NY with Lisa and Peter Naumann. As a member of the New Paltz Ballet Theatre, Nicole danced Demi-Flowers and several other roles in The Nutcracker. She also performed in The Firebird and Coppelia. Nicole moved to Pittsburgh in 2005. She has since appeared with the Carnegie Performing Arts Center in The Nutcracker and Mary Poppins. In 2012, she was featured in Davida Rae’s Darkness & Light: An Evening of Music and Dance. Nicole received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Duquesne University and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh. She then served as a geriatric social worker at LIFE Beaver County nd is presently a social worker with Fairmont Clinic in Pittsburgh.

Kerra Alexander started dancing in Anderson, IN at age 3 and has been fortunate enough to continue exploring her passion ever since. She began her training at the Anderson Young Ballet Theater with Laura Alonso and Trinette Singleton, among others. In 2007, Kerra graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh with a B.A. in both modern dance and ballet. While there, she performed works by Doug Varone, Lisa de Ribere, Alan Hineline, Nicolas Petrov, Mark Taylor, and others, including being featured in several soloist roles. She also received the honor of appearing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in a student choreography piece through the biennial American College Dance Festival Association’s National Festival.

Kerra now resides in Pittsburgh, where she has had much success professionally. She has danced for 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. 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.

Kerra regularly performs with Madhouse Productions and also teaches ballet for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School and Reign Dance Productions, owned by Abby Lee Miller. In addition, she lends her expertise to leading master classes throughout the Midwest and judging dance competitions.

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

Melissa L. Tyler embarked on her performing career after very extensive and eclectic training in ballet, jazz, modern, African dance, tap, ballroom, and acting. 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, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Upon graduating, Melissa danced with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble in Denver and was promoted to principal dancer. She then was featured by Washington Reflections Dance Company in D.C.; Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company in Kansas City, MO; and the August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble in Pittsburgh, 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).

Luna Shen began her dance training at Dancin’ Feet under Marcy Hall, Kimberly Lang, Cheryl Reitz, and George Hurley. After graduating high school in 2013, she attended The University of Chicago. She graduated in 2017 with a B.A. in Economics and Mathematics. While there, she performed with student companies UBallet in multiple full-length ballets, Rhythmic Bodies in Motion in contemporary solos as well as corps roles in West African, Slavic, and Chinese dances, and the South Asian Student Association. She also appeared in Kia’s Smith’s “Unhinged” at the Chicago Home Theatre Festival. She served as both choreographer and financial director for Rhythmic Bodies in Motion, a student dance company, for three years.

Luna is currently on a two-year rotation with the Federal Reserve Bank in Richmond, VA. She continues taking dance classes with the Richmond Ballet and Dogtown Dance Theatre and performing with various freelance Richmond choreographers, including Desmin Taylor.

Jessica Israel began her dance training in 1995 at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville in North Carolina. While studying jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, tap, acro, and musical theater, she also participated in various dance competitions such as Jump and New York City Dance Alliance. After graduating high school in 2008, she enrolled in The Ailey School in New York City and completed its certificate program in 2011. There she studied ballet, jazz, Horton and Graham, tap, partnering, composition, and dance theater; and performed works by Darrell Moultrie, Francesca Harper, Ursula Payne, and David Parker.

Since graduating from The Ailey School, 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 and the Victory Dance Project with Amy Jordan. While living in Eilat, Israel, for seven months, Jessica performed in Wow Show by Tevet Productions. She has also been in several different flash mobs, including one for the U. S. National Basketball Association.
Jessica is currently teaching as an assistant at The Ailey School’s Junior Division and First Steps Program and at Dianna Petty’s Dance Source. She is also continuing to work as a freelance artist and dance cardio instructor in New York City.

Stephanie Hrabar began her training at the Carnegie Performing Arts Center (CPAC) in Carnegie, PA, where she studied until heading off to college, ultimately becoming a preschool-age dance teacher and rehearsal director. While there, she performed with resident company Ballet Forte. 

In 2017, Stephanie graduated 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. While there, she trained in ballet, modern, and West African dance forms and performed with resident company Goucher Repertory Dance Ensemble. In the summers, she volunteered with Dance for Parkinson’s in Pittsburgh as a dance therapist assistant and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in the same-day surgery ward. She also participated in Goucher’s Study Abroad Dance Program in Edinburgh, Scotland. As a senior, she was awarded The Friends of Goucher Dance Prize for Outstanding Achievement in the Major.

Upon graduating, Stephanie returned to Pittsburgh. She served as Therapy Technician at The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh for almost two years and is presently studying for her Doctors of Physical Therapy at the University of Pittsburgh.

Jessica Hillier Clevenger

Jessica Hillier (née Clevenger) is a native of St. Thomas, Pennsylvania. She graduated magna cum laude from Slippery Rock University (SRU) in Slippery Rock, PA, in 2014 with a B.A. in Dance and a minor in Spanish. At SRU, she had many opportunities to perform on and off campus, including at fall and winter concerts, faculty and guest artist concerts, 60 X 60 concerts, senior synthesis concerts, the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education Arts Festival, and the Sri Venkateswara Temple in Pittsburgh. She also choreographed for several concerts in addition to performing. Jessica had the opportunity to work with guest artists James Washington and Mark Santillano and with SRU faculty members Ursula Payne and Nora Ambrosio. Additionally, she served as co-event coordinator of Sigma Rho Delta (the dance honorary society).

Apart from SRU, Jessica attended the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, in the summer of 2013. In 2014 she participated in SRU graduate Shelley Collock’s group piece, “Escape Proof,” at the American College Dance Festival Association held at Ohio State University and was chosen to perform in the Gala Concert. Most recently, she performed in Prima Theatre’s production of Big Fish: The Musical, directed by Mitch Nugent.
Jessica is the dance instructor for the elementary and high school divisions at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, PA; a featured member of NetCo Dance Company in Lancaster, PA; and also a member of Barefoot Dance Company, which creates site-specific works. She has also served as dance instructor at McCann’s School of Dance in Hummelstown, PA and the Silver Spring Dance Conservatory in Columbia, PA.

Please visit her website at http://jmclev2010.wix.com/jessica-clevenger

Image copyright Candice Kaminski

Originally from Raleigh, NC, Corry Ethridge graduated in 2014 from Skidmore College 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 was featured in the November 2013 issue of Dance Magazine.  In North Carolina, Corry danced for Martha Connerton Kinetic Works and played a role in Theatre Raleigh’s original production of The Wolf. Since moving to New York City in 2015, Corry has worked for Hanna Q Dance Company, Gotham Dance Theatre, and ELSCO Dance Company.  He has also danced for the Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line and is excited to be back on dry land taking on new projects

Raymond Ejiofor holds a Master of Public Health Policy degree from the University of Southern California and is a recipient of the prestigious Gates Millennium Fellowship. He also graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, with a B.S. in Decision Science and a double minor in Engineering Studies and in Technology and Policy. He began his dance training under Judith Rhodes Calgaro in Arlington, VA. While balancing academics and artistry, Raymond has worked with various choreographers, including Daniel Ezralow, Aszure Barton, Lula Washington, Sidra Bell, Camille A. Brown, Kyle Abraham, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Cindera Che, Nina McNeely, Bryan Arias, Christopher Huggins, and Robert Battle. Some of his performance credits include Audi | Shanghai, Toshiba International Industrial, Samsung, Apple, Beijing Dance Festival, Springboard Danse Montreal, SummerStage NYC, Jazz Dance World Congress, and Pittsburgh Opera. Raymond has also danced for famous music artists such as Pharrell Williams, Little Boots, Gerard Way, The Acid, Moullinex, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Daft Punk.

Raymond 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. He currently collaborates with various companies such as Lula Washington Dance Theater, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, Kevin Williamson Dance, Pony Box Dance Theater, MOVEMENTmovement, and Oui Danse.

As a teaching artist, he has been a faculty member/master class instructor at a number of studios and universities in Los Angeles and the greater Pittsburgh region, such as the University of Southern California, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, Laura Lynn’s School of Dance, Hill Dance Academy Theater (HDAT), Camino Nuevo Charter Schools, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Morgantown Dance, Abby Lee Dance Company, Candy Apples Dance Studio, and the Sweat Spot. A dynamic supporter of the arts, Raymond also serves on the Board of Directors for HDAT in Pittsburgh, PA.

Abigail Dias presently resides in NYC, 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 NYC for four consecutive seasons.

Abigail Dias began her dance training studying primarily jazz at the Academy of Artistic Performance in Agawam, MA, under Brittany Locke and Nancy Locke. She graduated in 2016 from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, studying both musical theater and dance.

Jacquelyn Buckmaster-Wright

Organizations:  Attack Theatre Pittsburgh, PA, Las Vegas (NV) Guest Performances, H2O in Pittsburgh (Danielle Pavlik), Bally’s Solid Gold Soul (Las Vegas), Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, , NAACP scholarship.

Jacquelyn Buckmaster-Wright currently teaches for Attack Theatre’s school program in Pittsburgh, PA and occasionally guests with dance companies and shows back home in Las Vegas, NV. She has performed with contemporary dance company H2O in Pittsburgh (led by Danielle Pavlik) and in Bally’s Solid Gold Soul in Las Vegas.

Originally from Las Vegas, Nevada, Jacquelyn began training in ballet at Nevada Ballet Theatre at the age of seven. After graduating from performing arts high school Las Vegas Academy in dance and theatre, Jacquelyn pursued a B.A. in Dance with a concentration in modern from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, graduating in 2016. While there, she won an NAACP scholarship and performed pieces by Mark Morris, Terence Marling, Rubén Graciani, Raphael Xavier, Dan Karasik, and Mariah McCleod.

Brian M. Boller

A 2010 graduate of Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY, Brian majored in theater arts, including comedy and improv. Moving to Chicago, IL, he also began training in dance forms at The Joel Hall Center as a workshop student in 2009 and performed as a Second Company Member there from 2010-2013. Brian’s dance training included ballet, jazz, modern (Graham and Horton), hip-hop, and contemporary styles. He is also experienced in Michael Chekov’s Movement Training Technique and stage combat (both hand-to-hand and by sword).

Brian’s performances have included appearing at the Music and Movement Festival at the Auditorium Theater in 2013, Authentic at Victory Gardens Theater in 2012, “I Believe in Radiance” at Victory Gardens Theater in 2011, “Pulse” at the Athenaeum Theater in 2010, and in ten plays. He has danced multiple choreographic works by Joel Hall, James Morrow, Anne Marie Loesch, Duwane Pendarvis, Jarret Kelly, and William Gill. Brian is currently a teaching artist with Chicago Danztheatre Ensemble and a dancer with Joel Hall Dancers.

Trevor C. Miles

Image copyright Mark Simpson

Trevor C. Miles is a self-taught dancer originally from Clairton, PA. He currently tours as a solo dancer and also dances with the DANA Movement Ensemble in Pittsburgh, PA, where he now resides. Trevor has instructed hundreds of youth in Pittsburgh’s local schools, YMCA classes, and community master classes. He was awarded the NAACP Community Service Award in 2013 for his teaching work.

Trevor has developed a unique style of dance, a hybrid of modern and hip-hop, that really resonates with his audiences. In the fall of 2014, he founded the Trevor C. Dance Collective (TCDC), a youth dance company. Before disbanding, TCDC was the resident company of the Father Ryan Arts Center in McKees Rocks. PA, and performed at the Benedum Center with Mary Mary, the Kelly Strayhorn Theater, and the University of Pittsburgh.

Nadine Azoulay

Nadine Azoulay is a freelance dancer, certified yoga instructor, and dance instructor for NCSY Camp Maor, a NY-based program for Orthodox Jewish girls. Nadine has performed with several noted professional companies. She was a founding member of Intersections Dance Collective in New York City, a member of The Pink Tutu Ballet in New York City and its former rehearsal director, a member of Marie-Christine Giordano Dance Company in New York City, and a former member of the Latin Ballet of Virginia. She has also danced for the Jillian Davis Dance Project at Princeton University’s Up and Coming Choreographers’ Competition and performed in the annual New York City Dance Parade for five consecutive years.

Nadine began dancing when she was 3 and a half years old. Born in Virginia, she received her early dance training at: the School of Dance in Ottawa, Ontario; the Royal Netherlands Conservatory in The Hague; The Rotterdam Contemporary School for Dance; and the Washington School of Ballet’s Release Time Program. She performed in multiple productions with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in Canada and the Washington Ballet in Washington, D.C.

After finishing high school, Nadine earned a B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). While there, she appeared in Dance Now shows, “Move” by Chris Burnside, the Student Concert as a soloist, and multiple Salon’s. During her time in Virginia, Nadine also became a company member of the Latin Ballet of Virginia. She danced in numerous works, including Carnaval and Legend of the Poinsettia. As a rising college senior, Nadine studied at the Accademia Dell’Arte’s summer program in Tuscany, Italy.

Nadine’s solo creation, “Barre,” was featured in VCU’s En Route and her solo “Among Debris” was shown at BalaSole Dance Company’s Showcase at the Baryshnikov Arts Center in New York City. Next she embarked consecutively on two more choreography projects, “Harvest,” and “Escaping Alcatraz,”, for National Choreography Month (NACHMO). “Harvest” was presented at the Mark Morris Dance Center and at The Wired Arts Festival, both in New York.

Davida Rae received her early dance training at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance in Columbia, S.C. There she joined Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet as an apprentice and trained personally with Ms. Ann Brodie.

She also appeared as Wit in Sleeping Beauty and performed in Hansel and Gretel and multiple productions of The Nutcracker. Further, she appeared in several presentations by Columbia City Ballet, including Peter and the Wolf and The Nutcracker.

Ms. Rae attended The Walnut Hill School Summer Program as the youngest ever admitted at the time. She continued her dance training in Boston with David Drummond and then in Fort Lauderdale with Mindy Garz, as well as the Magda Auñon School of Ballet.

After graduating high school, her father’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s disease halted her pursuit of a career as a ballerina until it was too late to go back. Instead, after his death she returned to academics and completed an A.S. in Fashion Design magna cum laude from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She won several awards for her designs.
In 2007, she moved to Pittsburgh, PA to attend Carnegie Mellon University. She won the Senior Leadership Recognition Award upon graduation. She holds a B.S. in Physics with both University and College Research Honors. She has been awarded five competitive research grants and served as co-author on a journal publication.

While completing this last degree, Ms. Rae started choreographing formally with the Carnegie Performing Arts Center of Carnegie, PA and rediscovered her true passion. Since then she has produced 19 diverse pieces for dancers from Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, and Point Park Conservatory of the Performing Arts; and for professionals from the U.S. and overseas from August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, the Ailey School Certificate Program, the Joffrey Trainee Program, the Charlottesville Ballet, and the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp, to name a few. Her work has been featured in three annual showcases of the Carnegie Performing Arts Center, culminating in the Emerging New Choreographer Award in June 2012. She has studied dance composition privately with Nicolas Petrov, founder of Point Park Conservatory of the Performing Arts and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Ms. Rae produced, directed, and choreographed all of Darkness & Light: An Evening of Music and Dance. This production was held at the Kresge Theater of Carnegie Mellon University in April 2012. The six world premiere dance pieces asked existential questions, such as: If you don’t slit your throat due to life’s negative twists and turns, how do you go forward?” Building on this body of work, Ms. Rae founded ChoreoNova® in September 2012 to take the examination of life already evident in her earlier work further and continue to empower people. She is currently the company’s Artistic Director and Resident Choreographer.

ChoreoNova® is a nonprofit professional contemporary dance company. Due to her unique background as both an artist and a scientist, her dual perspective permeates the company; its works fuse art and science together seamlessly. Now in its eighth season, the company displays combinations of various diverse dance styles plus natural movement in films, live performances, and interdisciplinary transmedia works. It has expanded regionally and toured in NY, PA, and VA.

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