Hailing from Maysville, Kentucky, Calvin Thomas received foundational training at the Otto M. Budig Academy of Cincinnati Ballet. He has supplemented his studies at Boston Ballet School, The School of American Ballet, Ballet Austin Academy, and The School of Oregon Ballet Theatre. His career began with the Cincinnati Ballet and Ballet Austin. Since moving to the Bay Area in 2011 he has performed with Company C Contemporary Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, Oakland Ballet Company, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, Kiandanda Dance Theater, Mark Foehringer Dance Project, Garrett Moulton Productions and ODC Dance. His repertoire includes works by Thang Dao, Gregory Dawson, Yuri Zhukov, and Maurice Causey among others. When not dancing he still enjoys time in the studio sharing knowledge and teaching the next generation of dancers. He has recently developed a passion for coaching from the inspiration of his mentor, Shannon Bresnahan.
“Performance is about making people think, feel, contemplate, and embrace ‘being.’ My intention as a performer is to share my experiences as a human being, dancer, healer, and a woman. I build my physical practices from improvisational scores that tap into the active imagination and stem from the emotional, sensorial, and physical sense of the experience itself.”
Sarah Lisette Chiesa is an interdisciplinary artist and performer originally from upstate New York and currently located in San Francisco, California. She has lived and worked in the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Venezuela. She attended North Carolina School of the Arts for High School, received a BFA from SUNY Purchase College in 2004, a Postgraduate in Choreography from the Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance SEAD in 2014, and received her MFA from University of Washington in 2020. She has studied marble carving and body casting at the Canossa Scuola di Scultura in Reggio Emilia Italy in 2016, which has become an important component of her work as a maker. Sarah was a full-time company member with Shen Wei Dance Arts in New York for many years and continues to perform as a guest artist with this group. As a freelance dancer she has worked with artists such as Kazuko Hirabayashi, Sidra Bell, Noemie LaFrance, Tania Perez-Salas, Stefan Dreher, Hubert Lepka, Yang Jiang, Franca Ferarri, Brian Brooks, Daniel Charon, and AVID Seattle based improvisation group. As an interdisciplinary artist she has collaborated with filmmakers, designers, photographers, and musicians such as Dom Bouffard, John Mattuizzi, Jacopo Foggini, Yuval Avital, Pier Giorgio Casotti, Mario Vighi, Luciano Bosi, Fabrizio Orsi. She has presented her artwork in places such as Springboard Danse Festival (Montreal), Duo Emergence Gallery and Dumbo Dance Festival, The Widow Jane Mine (New York), Centro Cultural de la Florida (Santiago, Chile), Republic Theater (Salzburg), Spazio Gerra, Teatro San Prospero , Rimini Live Festival, Mutty Gallery, and Centro Studio Archivio Museo CSAC (Italy), 1Shanthiroad Gallery (Bangalore), Meany Studio Theater , Oxbow Gallery, ASUW Shell house, and Design in Public AIA Festival (Seattle). As an educator she has taught in institutions such as Aterballetto, Balletto Toscano, Nuovo Balletto Classico, and CIMD Milano (Italy), Shen Wei Dance Arts (NYC), Shoonya Center for Somatic Arts and School of Performing Arts (Bangalore, India), University of California at (Santa Barbara, CA), University of Washington and Velocity Center (WA), and Roco Dance Mill Valley (CA).
Instagram page @imbody_arts
Erin Yen is a freelance professional dancer, and emergent choreographer currently residing in San Mateo, CA. Since moving to the Bay Area to be closer to extended family, she has danced with RAWdance, FACT/SF, and Alyssandra Katherine Dance, at venues such as CounterPulse, Glenn Park, and the Green Room. Erin holds a BFA with Distinction in Dance from the Ohio State University. She is fluent in Laban Movement Analysis, and she was the first to Labanotate work from acclaimed choreographer Doug Varone. She has additionally performed works by artists such as Ohad Naharin, Bebe Miller, and Johannes Weiland, and she has danced with Alvin Ailey and BalletMet.
Rachel Garcia is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher born and raised in Reno, Nevada where she started performing and competing at a young age. Throughout her adolescence, she frequently trained in Los Angeles under several choreographers in the commercial dance industry. To further her education, she moved to the Bay to attend Saint Mary’s College of California where she graduated with a B.A. in Sociology and Dance. In college, Rachel choreographed “Interstellar Realm” which was chosen to represent SMC at the American College Dance Association which was then nominated for Jacob’s Pillow, and received special honors in choreography. Upon graduating, as a dancer and collaborative artist she has had the opportunity to dance with Stranger Lover Dreamer, Visceral Roots Dance Company, Bliss Dance Company, West Edge Opera, mBody, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, and INQ, among others. Rachel currently teaches at Full Out Studios and St. Ignatius College Preparatory. She has worked as an administrator for Full Out Studios over the past few years and has had the incredible pleasure of teaching skillshops, directing, launching events, and fundraising for several social justice organizations/communities.
Kyle is an Educator, Choreographer, and Performing Artist with a focus on contemporary and hip hop dance. They continue to contribute over a decade’s worth of work to their hometown, San Francisco, and the greater Bay Area. They direct their own company, Call It Art, and teach at city dance studios, Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet, Nor Cal Dance Arts, and In the Groove Studios. In addition, they teach in schools ranging from elementary to university level through SFartsED and the HEART with LINES program.
BA in Dance, SF State
Funk Beyond Control
Groove Against the Machine
Kristin Damrow Company
PUSH Dance Company
Sarah Bush Dance Project
Tammy Johnson is a dancer, producer, culture keeper, writer, equity consultant and godmother extraordinaire. Johnson directed living wage, welfare rights, public education and election campaigns as community organizer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She spent a decade at Race Forward as a national organizer, trainer, writer, and policy analyst. Johnson co-produced the television special Colorlines: Race and Economic Recovery with LinkTV, , and has written for the Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, and Colorlines.com. She was also the curator of creativesinplace.org, a listening project and digital platform that features the stories of Bay Area artists and their work. Johnson specializes in raks baladi, also known as Egyptian style belly dance. Johnson and Etang Inyang performed as Raks Africa, and co-directed Girls Raks Bellydance and Body Image Program. Tammy Johnson is the director of Project Aiwa which celebrates the culture and people of North Africa. The Oakland based Johnson embraces work that is healing and gives her joy.