Follow Your Heart
Teria Morada – Principal
Teria Morada comes from a creative, musical family and started dancing at age 3. Singing came into her life in her teens. Singing, dancing & choreographing became more serious when she relocated to Los Angeles in 2002. After performing in places like China, Ireland, Puerto Rico and many more countries, Teria eventually moved to Guadalajara, Mexico in 2014 for a contract but ended up cutting it short and moved to her hometown of Toronto due to a family emergency and another contract…”Follow your Heart”. Teria is former 2 time Jr. Canadian Rhythmic Champion and continues to teach and choreograph in the sport from youngsters to Olympic team members. She is also a multiple time Latin Dance champion most recently receiving the highest honour of the “Pure Inspiration Award” in (the open style/19+ category) and the “Caliente Award” (created in her honour) at the 2015 Niagara Falls Inspire Dance Challenge. She has choreographed for several shows and dance companies such as the Bellydance Superstars, (Art of Belly dance tour), Bollywood Invasion (the short film), Mouln Rouge and Alma del fuego shows, Bohemia Dance Co., Karmargraphy,The BellyTwins, Famous Stage, and Los Rumberos dance company, all based in Los Angeles. From Toronto, Evolution Dance Theatre, Strickly Salsa, Salsallstars, Salsamba, Caliente, Tropicana Queens, Sahab Habibi, Rhythm and Roots, Tropicana, Snow and the list goes on. Teria’s song” Takin Me Higher” appears in the Follow your Heart Show and can be downloaded on Itunes amongst her other latin music tracks. She sang her song to represent Canada and also the USA in a Niagara Falls concert series for the Pan Am Games 2015 and also choreographed and danced with her dance company Azucar Picante Ent. with 10 dancers and live band Sol de Cuba representing Cuba at this event as well.
Muhammad (Mohamad) HAIEK – Principal
Mohamad Haiek is a graduate of the Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts in Damascus, Syria. He began his dance career in 1997, joining the cast of the Enana Dance Theatre where he received training for the professional stage. As a veteran of the theatre, Mohamad danced in over 12 productions spanning over 500 performances in Asia, North America, Europe and Africa. Before moving to Canada in 2011, Mohamad began his teaching career with the United Nations’ dance program. He has since worked with the Arabic Culture Club of Ontario as a dance instructor and choreographer. Mohamad is very pleased to be dancing in his first show with Evolution Dance Theatre.
Nada Humsi – Principal
Originally, Nada is from Syria, she is considered a pioneer in avant-garde and experimental theatre in the Arab world. She came to Canada in 1999. In 2005, she established Salameh Theatre Troop in Mississauga. In 2008, Nada moved to Kitchener to join The Multicultural Theatre/MT Space. She has since participated in most of that company’s productions, including Occupy Spring, Body 13 and The Last 15 Seconds directed by Majdi Bou-Matar.
Nada is the artistic director of Kitchener-Waterloo Arab Canadian Theatre/KW-ACT. She wrote and directed My Name Is Dakhel Faraj and A Story from Baghdad حكاية بغدادية , the life story of a refugee in Kitchener. Internationally, Nada has won five prizes as best actor, performer and scriptwriter (Syria, Tunisia, Japan and India).
It is the first time for Nada to work with Evolution Dance Theatre, she wishes all the best to Follow Your Heart.
Brittany Cope – Principal
Brittany is thrilled to be joining Evolution Dance Theatre for the first time. She is a proud graduate of the University of Windsor’s Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting Program and has trained with Stratford’s Summer Program, the SITI Company and the International Michael Chekhov Association to name a few. Her training began as a kid working with CharActors Theatre Troupe and City Youth Players first as a performer and then a teacher. It was through this program that Brittany found her need to explore this craft and continue her studies at University. Since graduating, Brittany has been busy producing her one woman show, Mission Magnet, across Ontario. Written, directed and performed by Brittany, this play dives into the story of a military doctor serving in Afghanistan while her son is dying in Canada. She has recently begun to bring it to medical schools to share with the students. She looks forward to continuing to develop this show and produce it at more venues. Recent credits include: Curved with the New Ideas Festival, Once on this Island with City Youth Players, Scenes from my Dock! with Muskoka Theatre Project and This Play Wins with The Shaker Secessionists. Upcoming credits include working with Theatre Baddeck in Cape Breton Island this summer! “It has never been a question for me that I would work in this industry, everyone else always questions me, but I have never questioned myself. It is what I know, and what I want to know more about. And that endless curiosity is the most intriguing thing in the world!”
Natayu Mildenberger – Principal
Natayu has been training and performing throughout Europe in places such as: Germany, Italy, Switzerland, France and Portugal. He has worked and studied with many top artists such as: Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden from New York’s Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Daniel Ezralow, Jason Berrent and Joshua Zehner from Cirque du Soleil’s original ‘Kooza’ Edgar Zendejas, Arnold Spor, Gizella Witkowsky, Margarita Smirnova and Zygmunt Biegaji.
Nathalie Tedrick – Principal
Nathalie grew up in the theatre and has always had a passion for performing. She started taking dance classes at age five and trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Belly Dance. At age seven she began studying Shakespeare and was a principal actor with the Avalon Players Shakespeare company in Sonoma, CA. She later furthered her acting training in Los Angeles studios with Deborah Aquila, Cliff Osmond, Brian Reise, and Warner Laughlin. Along with her theatrical experience, Nathalie has been a lead and principal actor for many US National and International Commercials as well as short films. She toured internationally for seven years with Miles Copeland’s Bellydance Superstars and has performed and taught Belly Dance across the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Her dancing has been featured on PBS, BBC, ABC, national and international commercials as well as various music videos. Nathalie was honored to perform Belly Dance with Thievery Corporation during their West Coast tour in 2015. Nathalie both teaches and performs regularly in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is privileged to share her art with the world.
Arya Landers – Principal
Arya Landers is a current student completing her Bachelor of Honors degree in drama and English at York University. She began her acting career in 2014, under the private tutelage of Canadian award winning actor, Shannon Lawson. She has since worked with international Canadian tenor and stage performer, Dustin Hiles and received coaching from Toronto’s Shakespeare in Action’s artistic director, Michael Kelly. Receiving training for the professional stage and film camera work, Arya has competed in the 2014 Ottawa University’s Shakespeare Competition, appeared in a national PSA, and has completed several actor roles on film. Follow Your Heart is Arya Lander’s official Toronto theatre scene debut and she is elated to be joining the cast of Evolution Dance theatre for the very first time.
Inka Veronika Strobl
Inka’s love for dance began at a very early age. She grew up in the artistic ambience of a her mother’s Bellydance studio in Germany where international instructors like Momo Kadous, Shahrazad, Magdy El-Leisy and Raqia Hassan came to teach and perform. By the age of four, she had already begun attending ballet classes and has given her first solo performance. Next to studying several movement styles like flamenco, jazz & african dance, yoga and contact improvisation, she accompanies her mother to Egypt to meet and learn from popular teachers like Dina, Mahmoud Reda and Souhair Zaki at the “Ahlan Wa Sahlan” festival in Cairo. She wins the “Halimba Best Newcomer Award” at the age of 18 in Germany. Inka decided to follow her passion by acquiring a professional dance education at the international “Iwanson School of Contemporary Dance” in Munich and received her diploma in professional contemporary dance in July 2010. She moves to Canada to realize her dream of working as a self-employed dancer and joins the “Bellydance Superstars” in 2010 as a principal dancer. Following her spirit to travel, she performs and teaches all around the globe with various groups like the Oriental fusion group Ethereal Tribal (Montreal), the South American music group The Imbayakunas (Dubai, Global Village Festival) and the world music group Yemadas (India/Portugal).
Kristen is a Toronto-based dancer, singer, actor, choreographer and a graduate of York University’s BFA Dance program with Specialized Honours. Selected theatre credits: Featured Dancer in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Deputy in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Fritzie in Cabaret, Alice in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Featured Dancer in The Producers and Reefer Madness, choreography for Cabaret and Side By Side By Sondheim. Some of her latest film works include the role of Kim in James Franco’s film Blood Theater, Bellydancer in the short film Could Be, Brazilian Samba Dancer in the 2015 Pan American Games Opening Ceremony with Cirque du Soleil , and Featured Dancer in David Record’s music video Closer and in commercials for Toyota and Sonica. Kristen is a current company member of Lua Shayenne & Co. and you can see her performing with them at Fall for Dance North at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in October.
Myriam Farger completed her professional dance training at the program of The School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 1999. Establishing herself in Montréal in 2000, she started working with stimulating independent choreographers. Presently an active member of numerous companies, she performs regularly at important corporate events throughout Montréal and Québec. She continuously nurtures her passion for dance through her studies, such as Argentinian Tango, Capoeira, Samba No Pé, Silvestre Technic and Qi-Gong. Myriam danced with speciﬁc groups such as the Newton Moraes Dance Company in Toronto, and with Bourane, Marie-Claude Rodrigue and Maria Lité Danse, in Montréal. She has also enjoyed teaching as an assistant in social dances at the Milton-Parc Recreation Association from 2007 to 2010. She studied social dances with her partner, Gilfred Bynoe in 2011. As a choreographer, she loves the fusion of distinct dance styles and channeling into the presence. In June 2007, she performed Solitude, a piece by Carmen Ruize at Théâtre Lachapelle. Her performances as a Passista have earned her the respect of Québec’s Brazilian community. She performs in multiple venues in Montréal, such as the restaurants Le Senzala, Al Sultan, Le Milsa and Buffet Bravo. Myriam consistently appears in various television and movie productions.
María Fernanda Cárdenas aka Maryfer
Maryfer is an international bellydancer born in Guadalajara, Mexico. She is a passionate and deep artist that focuses in producing meaningful and emotional journeys through her dance and choreographies. Her work has been described as inspiring, astonishing and always creative; a not easy to forget performer. She started bellydancing in 1997 in Mexico under the tutelage of Rita Millan, in 2006 Maryfer is invited by Yazmina Ramzy to join her internationally renowned Arabesque Dance Company as a full time dancer and instructor in Toronto, where she quickly became a sought after performer and instructor. She appeared in various Arabesque Dance Company´s stage productions and joined their 2010 tour of Western Canada. Maryfer continually toured the world as performer, workshop instructor and dance judge and has been invited to perform and teach in Argentina, Ecuador, USA, Spain, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Canada and Mexico. She has had the honour to teach and share with women of more than 20 different nationalities. She believes each dancer has their own and unique voice through which must represent their art, thus her passion is to create and teach powerful workshops that focuses in the integral development of the dancers and produce a positive transformation in their artistic and personal path. Maryfer is the owner and director of the High Bellydance Pro Certification in Mexico since 2013. Maryfer is a passionate and heartful artist who lives her dreams and loves to empower others as well to share her love for life and dance around the world and is honoured to have been invited to perform as part of the international cast at Evolution Dance Theatre´s latest production “Follow Your Heart”.
Anasma Vuong is a Versatile Artist: Dancer, Choreographer, Singer, Comedian. To her, “dance is an expression of the soul in motion.” She has performed in several companies: Oriental Dance, Modern Jazz, Hip hop, Contemporary, Theater… International master teacher, performer and choreographer of the Oriental dance Fusion scene, she has been invited over 40 countries, featured on multiple DVDs and CDs since 2006. Her degrees include : E.A.T in Contemporary Dance, Ashtanga Vinyasa RYT-200 recognized by the Yoga Alliance, Fly Yoga teacher training, Edhec Business School of Management. Founder of de World Citizen Dance School & Productions, she has produced and directed various shows and projects («1984…Now»…), Co-director: New York Theatrical Bellydance Conference & International Urban Bellydance Collective. She released her first album as a singer and song writer («Chance is back» on iTunes, « ocean Elevation » music video…).
Melissa Hart is a vibrant, established performing artist from Toronto. With over a decade of experience as competitive figure skater paralleled with her education in Classical Ballet and Contemporary dance, and passion for Street and Latin dance styles, she has a widened vocabulary and brings a unique perspective to the stage. With a BFA Degree in Dance, from York University, Melissa has established her own contemporary company called “SaMel Tanz” and is a member of Toronto’s all female Hip Hop Dance Crew DEUCEnDIP. CREDITS: WE DAY, Canada’s Walk of Fame, World Pride, Glastonbury Music Festival, Wireless UK Music Festival, APTN’s Aboriginal Day Live Festival, Jason Derulo (MuchMusic Video Awards), Black Thought of the Legendary Roots Crew (Manifesto Festival), Dragonette (Cavalade of Lights). While she has many TV appearances under her belt, Melissa takes the most pride in being an arts educator for youth outreach programs. Working with Just BGRAPHIC and UNITY Charity, Melissa has taught many workshops across Toronto and the GTA, inspiring, welcoming and sharing with students the art of dance and self-expression.
Emily’s experience as a choreographer, dancer and instructor spans internationally over the last decade. After training under ballet mistresses from The Goh Ballet and The Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Emily went on to receive her B.F.A in Performance Dance from Ryerson University. Upon graduation, she was immediately launched into the commercial world, and has worked and performed with Sting, The Weeknd, Drake, Hedley, Kardinal Offishall, Naughty by Nature, Mia Martina, Karl Wolf, Sugarhill Gang, The Raptors Dance Pak, MuchMusic and YTV, to name a few. Her dance adventures have taken Emily all over the world, including to China, Dubai, Qatar, and all throughout the USA. Emily cast, choreographed and danced in two full length original works that toured throughout Dubai. She also choreographed the official City of Toronto’s Tree Lighting Ceremony, a record production that drew in over 8000 spectators.
Emily is a high demand instructor known for her versatility, attention to detail, knowledge and authentic passion for Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Salsa and Hip Hop. She travels all over Canada and the United States adjudicating, setting choreography, and instructing workshops for hundreds of dancers annually. Emily recently taught and Mc-Ed at the Toronto Dance Teacher Expo. Emily’s dedication to dance and art is evident on and off the stage. Her ultimate goal is to pass on her passion and knowledge to up and coming artists!
Kranti is the Artistic director of Al-lala Dance Group. After Moving to Canada, Kranti held his passion to carry out his culture and folklore and enjoy it with both his Middle Eastern and Western audiences alike. Kranti travels extensively attending and conducting workshops. He is always looking for the unique experience in dance. His performances, not only represent the authentic Arab and Middle Eastern culture, but also the spirit, strength and energy of a pure true being. Dancing for Kranti is a state of meditation where he disappears and nothing is there except the DANCE. Kranti’s passion for dance goes back to the early 1980s, where he was a member of his village’s folklore dance group. He then joined several other dance-theatre companies performing and touring across the Middle East and the Arab World. In 2000, Kranti joined Caracalla – the Arab World’s most celebrated and prestigious dance company .He was trained, performed and toured with Caracalla where he refined his techniques in both the Lebanese folklore and modern dance and the fusion between the two-Caracalla’s innovative signature style.
Kranti fused his Middle Eastern folk dance style with modern and martial arts techniques carefully without dropping the value and the beauty of each. In Canada he participated and performed with Arabesque Dance Company and orchestra in their productions (Noor 2011, Jamra 2012 ,Sawah 2014). He has been directing ,training , performing and representing the Lebanese and Arab communities in several festivals and multicultural celebrations including Carassauga, since 2006. Along with Al-lala group dancers and drummers he has performed the cultural traditional Zaffeh shows in a large number of weddings and events in Canada and outside Canada too. Al-lala is a group of dancers and drummers who carry in them the true spirit of the Lebanese and Middle Eastern Folklore.
Having graduated from University of Campinas in Brazil (UNICAMP), Milena received professional training in many dance styles: ballet, modern, jazz, contemporary, afro-brazilian, popular (character),tap, flamenco and hip-hop. In 2007 she worked as a dancer in the show “Brazilian Ecological Symphony” in Cuba. The following year Milena was the choreographer and technical assistant of children musical “Sítio do Picapau Amarelo”. From 2009 to April 2013 she performed (acting, singing and dancing) on the following Broadway musicals in Brazil: “The Beauty and The Beast” directed by Jacqueline Dunnley and musical supervision of Paul and Christ (2009); “The King and I” directed by Jorge Takla and Tânia Nardini (2010); “Mamma Mia” directed by Robert Maqueen, Janete Rothermel and David Holcenberg (2011); “The Addams Family” directed by Jerry Zaks, choreographer Sérgio Trujillo and Dontee Kiehn (2012-2013). Currently, works as a choreographer at EMCEA (School of Arts Campinas -SP -Brazil) Posgraduate studies in Social Education from University Center Salesiano of São Paulo in Brazil (UNISAL). Milena is an Art-educator on Program of integration and development for children and teens (PRODECAD, 2001-2003), Social-educator on Project Route Recreate: child and adolescent free from sexual exploration (CEPROMM, 2004-2006) and a teacher of art on Municipal High School of São Paulo in Brazil (2010-2013).
Samantha Schleese is a Toronto based, professional dance artist trained in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Acrobatics, Salsa, even American Ballroom Styles. With over 15 years of dance experience, Samantha is not only an avid dancer in the community but also teaches and choreographs works across Canada and throughout the GTA. Samantha has danced and toured throughout the UK with MAP Dance Company. There, she has worked under such artists as Saju Hari, Kiera Martin, Detta Howe, Yael Flexor, Lila Dance, Matteo Fargion and the late great Nigel Charnock (DV8). During her tour, Samantha completed her Masters in Performance Dance specializing in Contemporary dance. Samantha has also completed BFA in Dance from York University alongside dancing with the YorkU Hip Hop Team Stylewize.
Samantha is now a part of an all female Hip Hop crew DEUCEnDIP. With the crew, Samantha has danced for events such as Pride, Unity, Unplugged and Canada’s Walk of Fame Festivals, WEDAY, Bazaar, and TeenzFav Music Awards and much more. Other credits include, Samsung, Mirror Awards (Lenny Len), Rusk Hair Show (Edz Gyamfi), Bud light Sensation Concert (Rogers Centre, Shawn Bracke), IOGO, and CP24 Breakfast Television (Ryan Scheel). She also made appearances in music videos by WEDAY “We Turn it Up,” and The Airplane Boys “Some Say”. Samantha has also worked with such companies as Pratibha Arts, ABS Crew and Gadfly. Samantha continues to work and train to establish her craft specializing in Hip Hop, Contemporary dance. Samantha has also recently established her own Contemporary dance company, fusing her versatile background in collaboration with Melissa Hart which they premiered their first show last October at DanceMakers.
Pierre Khoury is a Middle Eastern dancer who was able carve out a place of choice for himself in the world of oriental dance in Montreal and Quebec. Having first confirmed his potential at a young age by winning a collegial talent competition ‘’Cegep en spectacles’’, this dancer of Syrian background began his training in classical dance, and then became a professional in oriental dance. He currently specializes in Syrian/Lebanese dabke (folklore), raqs sharqi and whirling. As he acquired solid foundations with mentor Khadija Jabiry, his charisma, technique and showmanship earned him a great reputation. Pierre continues to train with Egyptian masters. In 2010, he was a featured dancer of the Theatrical Bellydance conference of New York and International Bellydance Conference of Canada in Toronto. In 2011, he launched the monthly evening shows ”Belly Dance With a Twist”, of which he also became the artistic director. Pierre Khoury continues to pursue his passion as a dancer, choreographer and coach. Being a psychology teacher at University of Montreal, he uses his psychology training in dance coaching. He was recently featured as a judge for the oriental dance competition of Festival Accès Asie in 2016 taking place in Montreal for the third consecutive year.
Create – Love – Inspire
Kaylan has over 25 years of formal training and performance experience in over 26 different forms, techniques and styles of dance including Classical Ballet (RAD), Contemporary Dance, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, International and American Ballroom and Latin (Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Cha Cha, Swing, Samba, Quickstep, Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing), Brazilian Samba, Afro Cuban Dance, Kathak, Bollywood and Pop Latin Dance. Kaylan has won multiple awards for her performances and choreography in regional, national and international competitive arenas spanning these various disciplines throughout her career. As a teacher and choreographer Kaylan has developed a uniquely effective methodology to aid every student in achieving ease, confidence and excellence on the dance floor. Her students range from 18 months to 76 years of age, and from complete beginner to title-holding competitive and professional level dancers. Kaylan conducts a productive, high energy working environment while crafting stunning visual presentations. She is known favorably for her leadership, humor, clear thinking and ability to bring the best out of her dancers and colleagues. She folds herself into the creative process, consistently endeavoring such that the best possible product is delivered on time, with precision. Through experience, Kaylan has learned how to positively thrive in high pressure environments, adores challenge, and is constantly seeking to educate herself, improving and diversifying her skills set. You can hear her say to her students: “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU CAN DO UNTIL YOU DO IT.” This attitude of action, embracing and venturing into new facets of industry, ability, art, life, is something she lives and teaches passionately and authentically each day.
Born in Collingwood, Ontario, Angela Beauchesne trained at Sean Boutilier Academy of Dance, The Dance Place, and Canada’s Ballet Jörgen, training extensively in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, and pas de deux. Her passion for dance led her to continue her education where she graduated with a BFA in Performance Dance with honours from Ryerson University. Within her professional dance career, she has performed in the opening ceremony of the 2015 Pan Am Games by Cirque Du Soleil and renowned choreographer Luther Brown, FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola, the Official Tree Lighting Ceremony in Dundas Square, and many other shows. She has also toured internationally to Dubai on contemporary contracts with Creativiva. As a company member of TDC Entertainment, Angela performs at special events such as charity galas, corporate events, award ceremonies, and weddings. In addition, she has toured with an outreach program that brings musical theatre to those with disabilities. Angela loves teaching children and engaging their imagination through storytelling, singing, and dance. Her experience includes singing and dancing at children’s parties for Rogers Communications, McDonald’s, and Home Depot. Angela is very passionate and has several years experience in teaching various forms of dance to all levels, both professionally and recreationally.
Sherrilyn Billger is an award winning fusion dancer from Philadelphia, USA. She has performed across the country and in Europe in multiple dance forms, including bellydance, tap, jazz, modern, and West African. She has nearly 30 years of training, and has studied with Ariel Weiss Holyst, Shelly Oliver, Karen Dearborn, Sara Semonis, Jimmy Payne, Jr., Kaeshi Chai, Elisheva, Tamalyn Dallal, Artemis Mourat, Hadia, and many other outstanding master teachers. Performance highlights include being a featured dancer for Muhlenberg College’s performance of The Pajama Game, receiving the People’s Choice Award in a Bellydancer USA Competition, being a featured performer in Leyla Jouvana’s European Oriental Dance Festival in Germany, appearing in Stars and Stripes, starring in Tanya Picard’s theatrical dance production of Medea, and performing with Bellyqueen in their production of Journey Along the Silk Road. Sherrilyn currently performs fusion dance as a soloist and with Philly Follies. She is also one of the leaders of PURE Philadelphia. Sherrilyn is a Registered Yoga Teacher and holds a PhD in Economics, specializing in labor issues and econometric analysis.
Ahmed Salah Moneka
Ahmed Salah Moneka was born in Baghdad, Iraq, where grew up in a creative, loving, and supportive family. He studied Theatre at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Theoretical Acting from the University of Baghdad. After acting in live theatre for 7 years, Ahmed became the first black television presenter in Iraq for a popular television show, Mizan Ramadan in 2010. He then moved to film and acted in critically acclaimed and award winning short and feature-length films, many of which have been screened at leading international film festivals including Cannes Film Festival,Venice Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival.
Much of Ahmed’s work focuses on the issues of human rights and freedom in his native Iraq. In 2014, Ahmed starred in the short film The Society. Through its heart-wrenching story and gripping performances, the film exposes the ongoing indignity and danger that homosexuals in Iraq regularly experience. As a result of his performance and involvement in the film, Ahmed received serious threats and was unable to return to Iraq after his film was screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. He remained in Toronto and is now working to become a Canadian citizen. His current projects include performing vocals and drums with a multicultural folk band,Moskitto Bar, with French accordionist Tangi Ropars and Ukranian cimbalon player Yura Rafalui, and he is also conducting a series of workshops in Toronto on traditional Iraqi music, called “The Moneka Monologues.”
Irmana Se danced since she was a little girl. Her first professional dance experience started at AURA Dance Theatre, a theatre of contemporary dance in Lithuania. Irmana was part of Nexx Level Dance Company, also known as Chris Clarke Choreography, where she performed hip hop, contemporary, burlesque and heels pieces. She was part of four dance theatre shows, appeared as a backup dancer for an artist, performed at Bazaar and three times at Fever After Dark. Her most memorable piece was at Bazaar. It was a high school scene and she was blown away by the music mix prepared for this piece. Irmana was also part of Badass Babes Toronto first season and performed at their show. She have danced in Karl Wolf and Fito Blanko music video. Recently, Irmana have performed at a fashion show. She greatly enjoys going at the Underground Dance Centre. She teaches hip hop and will start teaching heels classes at Army of Sass in Newmarket from September.
Dreyer Garcia originally from Cuba has been dancing since the age of 12. He has studied all Cuban rhythms including Afro-Cuban dance. His professional dance career began in 2002 in Havana, Cuba as part of a dance company called The American Theatre which performed regularly in theatres, nightclubs and on television. In 2006, Dreyser traveled to Italy to teach and perform at the Salsa World Festival as well as taught and performed in Ecuador and Nicaragua. In 2008, Dreyser began working for a hotel in Cayo Largo Del Sur, Cuba, performing 14 different shows each week and teaching Cuban dance styles daily. In 2012, he moved to Toronto and now teaches Afro Cuban rhythms, Cuban Salsa/Casino Rueda, and Bachata at Steps Dance Studio. In 2015, with the students of Steps Dance Studio, Dreyser choreographed a Casino Rueda routine which was performed at the Toronto Salsa Congress in 2015, as well as afro-cuban at Toronto’s Pan Am Games, danced the Waltz in atelevision series 11.22.63 starring James Franco and represented Cuba and Canada in 2 different shows for Pan Am Games right on Niagara Falls with Azucar Picante Ent. Dance is Dreyser’s passion and he looks forward to new experiences.
One of Irmana’s favorite quotes is by Martha Graham “Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.”
One of Irmana’s favorite quotes is by Martha Graham “Movement never lies. It is a barometer telling the state of the soul’s weather to all who can read it.”
Anne Beal aka Anabee
Anabee has been studying and performing Middle Eastern Dance for the past twelve years. Her dance is routed in traditional Egyptian/Turkish style. She hosts a local monthly event with live music and a variety of dancers. Plus she is a featured Belly Dancer once a month in Cambridge, MA. She has also danced regularly with the troupe Vadalna out of Boston and Naya’s Trance from Portland. Anabee has recently started experimenting performing with Mask and Theatrical Dance. Combining these two techniques she is able to explore new emotions and paths that she was not able to share with traditional Belly Dance.
Miguel Eridsson Gutierrez Cendales
Miguel was born on January 6 in Colombia. At age 6, Miguel leaped into the world of dance and Folkloric dance by taking classes and participating in various events in Colombia. At 19 he was part of the Ballet Folklorico for 8 years, under the direction of Fabio Ricardo Perez and represented Colombia at the International Folklore Festival in Mexico and later in Ecuador, and the Orchid Festival in Peru. From an early age he developed a taste for Colombian folklore dance. Because of violence in Colombia, his parents, Alice and Miguel Angel Gutierrez Cendales, were assassinated, a fact that has proven very hard for him and his family.
Miguel is a director, choreographer and a dancer of modern, ballet, contemporary, jazz, Afro and folkloric dances. He worked in several dance schools in Colombia until he was able to start his own dance company called Ballet Folklorico Del Meta, and has now been working tirelessly for the last few years to make it one of the best dance companies in the country. They have over 120 people including dancers, choreographers and musicians leaving the country representing Colombia in important festivals in the world such as a national tour of Mexico, the International Festival Hilando The World Customers and Traditions in Mexico, 15th Beijing International Tourism Festival in China, China Luoyang International Cultural Tourism Festival in China, and Mondial des Cultures Drummonville in Canada.
In 2015 Miguel came to Canada and now lives in Sherbrooke, Quebec and is a student of Cegep (French). He is currently teaching dance classes for children and adults every weekend.
Armen Melkonian began dancing at the age of 7 in Aleppo ,Syria . His commitment and love for performing arts persuaded him to challenge himself by joining Hamazkayin Sartarabad dance group which helped him prefect his talents and learn many different cultural dances under renowned instructors Bedros Gharibian, Hagop Markarian and Hovig Khachigian. His focus was on Armenian, Arabic, Russian, Moldavian, Greek and Ukrainian. While with Sartarabad dance group he has had the opportunity to travel to Jordan, Greece, Lebanon and all over Syria for various dance competitions. Striving for more he joined Uno Dance Group from 2011-2013 where he expanded his repertoire for(of) dancing, learning variations of Jazz, hip-hop, and contemporary ballet. In 2013 he moved to Lebanon where he joined Knar Hamazkayin dance group.
In 2015 he moved to Canada and joined Hamazkayin Erepuni Dance group where he practices everyday improving and enhancing his dance and performance skills and loving it.
Thanks to my parents, friends, and family, without them I wouldn’t be where I am. Growing up in Windsor, dancing started at 13 years old, with a jazz class. I’ve danced for multiple companies, and artists (Ariana Grande, Nick Jonas, Jason Derulo, etc). Performing for audiences from my mom, to the world stage, taking me across the globe. In September 2014 I injured myself, putting my career on hold and almost completely ending it, but with love and support I pushed through. Performance is my passion it’s at the core of my existence, and I’m always happy to share that with you.
Soraya Lozano is an energetic and versatile dancer, instructor and choreographer. She is the founder and artistic director of Inspiracion Latina Dance Company and Estampa Peruana Ent. She has been passionate about dance since the age of five, when she started performing with the Meninos Band in Peru. She has been involved in fitness, dance and the performing arts her entire life and has extensive training in gymnastics, fitness, Brazilian, Peruvian, Ballroom, Belly and Latin dances. Soraya was a member of the dance company Peru Danza, Son Atento Band, Circo de Mil Oficios, Danca Brasil, Steps Dance Company, Tropicaliente Latin Dancers, DivaGirl, Cairo Ala Nar and Circus Entertainment. She performed at the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games Closing Ceremony as well as very well known dance congresses and festivals in Peru, Bermuda, Montreal, Puerto Rico, New York, Niagara Falls and Toronto.
Jivan Stepanian was born in Toronto in 1989 and began his musical education with piano lessons in elementary school. At Mary Ward C.S.S., he was a percussionist and trombonist in the school bands going on tour performing for audiences in Central Europe. In 2005, his passion for music and strong Armenian spirit inspired him to learn the duduk under private instruction by George Arut, followed by the shvi and zurna. With this experience, he is now the musical director of the Horovel Armenian Folk Ensemble playing traditional Armenian music at various events/concerts. At York University, Jivan had the position of 1st trombone in the York Wind Symphony, the York Symphony Orchestra and the York Jazz Orchestra, graduating with a major in Music and a Bachelor of Education. He has been teaching high school music in the TCDSB since then and shares his passion of music with his students.
Audrey Gaussiran, a Montreal native, is passionate about dance in all of its forms. She studied at the Conservatoire de danse de Montréal and has traveled to Brazil, Cuba, New York and Spain to pursue her craft. Some of her professional experiences include: the musical Sherazade (Canada & France), Best of Broadway (Canada, USA & Egypt), La Traviata (Ottawa), the Montreal Fringe Festival and the Montreal Jazz Festival. She has won competitions in both Salsa (Montreal, 2005) and Bellydance (Germany, 2011). Since 2012, she has been mostly working as a full-time dancer for DJD (Decidedly Jazz Danceworks) in Calgary, a pillar of jazz dance in Canada. As a choreographer, she loves the fusion of different styles of dance and has created over 30 pieces covering all genres. Audrey continuously seeks to present meaningful work to her audiences.
Juan Mendoza’s passion for the performing arts was ignited the moment he experienced his first play, Oliver Twist, at the Avon Theatre in Stratford, Ontario. As a result, Juan’s acting career began in early 2005, when he undertook his breakout debut role in Guys & Dolls. Over the last decade, Juan Mendoza graced the stage in numerous productions, such as Zap and A Typically A Typical Day, as well as appeared in several national commercials. He has since commenced coaching with Canadian award winning actor, Shannon Lawson. Juan Mendoza is delighted to be joining the cast of Evolution Dance Theatre for the very first time.
Aimee Leblanc couldn’t believe her luck when Evolution Dance Theatre put out a call for a pregnant bellydancer! Aimee had earned her degree in theatre from York University before turning to the wonderful world of bellydance. A former apprentice with Arabesque Dance Company, Aimee has appeared with them on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, at BMO Field to perform a half time show, as well as many other events. Aimee has since spent over two years dancing at The Sultan’s Tent in downtown Toronto, before taking a temporary break (for obvious reasons!).Aimee has taught and performed in various venues in and around Toronto and Calgary, and is now enjoying her experience dancing (with her plus one) with such a talented group of artists!
Raymond was born in Toronto, Canada and was a member of the Afro-Latino Dance Company. There he trained in Afro-Cuban, Brazilian Samba, Cabaret, Rumba, and performed for multiple corporate and fundraising events. His creativity and passion has awarded him the opportunity to choreograph for a variety of emerging artists and established festivals such as; DansEncore, Dance Ontario, fFIDADance Festival, Hector Hernandez, and Lexi Tellings. Most recently, he has performed at the 2015 Much Music Video Awards for Nick Jonas and Jason Derulo.
Jabbar Al Janabi – Associate Director
Taroub is an accomplished soloist and troupe member of Habeeba Hobeika Egyptian Dance Company.Taroub is a performer of Egyptian oriental and folkloric dance style, as well as hip hop and a music artist, singer, song writer. She studied with Egyptian masters Raqia Hassan and Randa Kamel in Cairo Egypt. Taroub has performed in dance and cultural festivals, music videos, corporate events, prestigious fundraising galas, Middle Eastern restaurants, weddings, private and public functions across the city, nationally and internationally.
Kate Musin – Rehearsal Director
Originally from Israel, Kate Musin began her training in rhythmic gymnastics and ballet. She continued her training in Toronto joining the national team of Canada winning all overall best achievements. At fifteen, she pursued aesthetic group gymnastics and represented Canada in two world cups in Spain as well as world championships in Bulgaria and Estonia. Kate has been choreographing for the Toronto Aspirals provincial team since 2012. Currently she is in her final year of studying in the performance dance program at Ryerson University. As a part of her program, Kate performed in “Kudelka meets Ryerson Dances” choreographed by James Kudelka as well as “Cinderella” produced by Peggy Shannon. She choreographed and showcased two of her own pieces “Route to dance” and “Ascendance” as a part of Enchoreo and Choreographic works. Other projects she took part in include: “Douleur” New Voices Festival, “Her” Inverse and “In between” Soul Pepper theater.