Iman Bowman is a performer/instructor based in Washington, DC. She’s a member of both Revolutionary Motion and Incandescent Entertainment based in the area. Specializing in hoop and fan techniques and melding dance with these, she has taught conceptual classes at studios and festivals along the east coast.
Yolanda Coppedge was born and raised in Washington, DC in 1972. She has one son who became a published author of 3 books at 9 years old. Yolanda is a former teacher of young children from infants to 5 years old, with 20 years experience under her belt. TEACHING is her PASSION! She loves children and people. When Yolanda's mother passed away in 2009 due to diabetes complications, she decided that's when she needed to honor her mother's wishes and make a change in her weight. She joined Z-GoGo now Da Go-Go Fitness and soon became an instructor for them. It was a struggle for 5 years until she found an exercise that she loved and the weight just started falling off. Because of that she was inspired to get licensed in ZUMBA, ZUMBA KIDS/KIDS JR. and Zumbini, and start her own fitness business to help adults and children lose weight, get fit and live healthier lives. The name No Obesity Family Fitness, LLC came from her own experience of being obese and not ever going back to being obese anymore! Her main target is children because there are so many obese young children from the ages 3- 15 years old and she wants to teach families how to eat healthier and get fit together. Yolanda currently teaches dance fitness year around at daycares, schools, Boys & Girls clubs, YMCA’s, summer camps, aftercares, etc. She also, does all kinds of events for adults and children. Her advice is to follow your passion, write down all your ideas, and pursue them. If you feel discouraged keep going because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t let your age stop you from doing what you dream. In the words of her son, “You’re never too young to anything!”
Ava Delasanta received her BA in Dance Performance from Rhode Island College in 2015. After graduating college, Ava performed with Providence Ballet Theater and taught youth dance classes throughout RI and MA. She directed an after school dance program at North Smithfield High School for six years. In 2017, she was awarded the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Choreography Fellowship. Ava moved to the DMV area in August after accepting a position as Production Associate at Dance Place. Besides teaching creative movement and pre-ballet at Dance Loft, she teaches ballet and tap at Dance Place as well as other outreach classes throughout the DMV area.
Sona Kharatian of Yerevan, Armenia, danced with with Orlando Ballet, the Trey McIntyre Project and Copenhagen International Ballet under direction of Alexander Kolpin, and was a guest artist with ARKA Ballet under the direction of Roudolf Kharatian. She began her ballet training at the Choreographic Institute in Yerevan, and later studied at the Kirov Academy of Ballet and The Washington School of Ballet. Kharatian has performed works by George Balanchine, Mark Morris, Twyla Tharp, Paul Taylor, Choo San Goh, Antony Tudor, Septime Webre, Nacho Duato, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Christopher Wheeldon, Trey McIntyre, Nicolo Fonte, Alexei Ratmansky, Roudolf Kharatian, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Hans van Manen, Edwaard Liang and Alejandro Cerrudo, among others. Featured roles include Juliet in Romeo + Juliet, Myrtha in Giselle, Myrtle in The Great Gatsby, Carmen in Carmen, the Red Queen in ALICE (in wonderland) and Lady Brett Ashley in Hemingway: The Sun Also Rises, among others. Kharatian is a two-time recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Award.
Rachel Luebbert is a dance artist, choreographer, and teacher from Colorado. Rachel graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance with Honors, a B.A. in Spanish, and a minor in Business from the University of Utah. She has worked at Jacob’s Pillow to develop community engagement programs and to advocate for greater access to dance. She has performed in the Performing Dance Company (Salt Lake) in works by Daniel Clifton, Stephen Koester, and Luc Vanier. Rachel received the Utah Fine Arts Fees Grant to travel and perform Tectonic by Sharee Lane and Juan Carlos Claudio (2016) in Berlin and then to teach dance in Panama through the Movement Exchange Program (2017). Rachel has taught modern dance, ballet, jazz, creative movement, and improvisation to people and children of all ages. As a choreographer, Rachel produced an evening length show New Year (2017) based on her research of embodying coming-of age narratives through text and movement.
Alvaro Palau is from Cali, Colombia and received his training at the Colombian Ballet Institute as well as workshops in Cuba, in New York with David Howard, and at the Houston School of Ballet. Mr. Palau danced with The Washington Ballet for 10 years, National Ballet of Venezuela for two years and the Cali Ballet in his native Colombia for two years. Mr. Palau toured internationally with all three companies in addition to dancing in festivals such as the Havana Festival in Cuba; Festivals in Rome and Florence in Italy; the Umbrella Festival in South Africa; the International Festival in Miami, Florida; the AIDS Foundation in Austin, Texas; and performances at the White House and in the Memorial Day show in Washington, D.C. Awards include 1st prize Arts Competition in Colombia and Best Classical Dancer at Casa del Artista in Venezuela. His repertoire includes classical and contemporary ballets choreographed by numerous artists including Balanchine, Forsythe, Duato, Tudor, Mark Morris and Tharp. More recently he has been featured in productions of the Washington National Opera, Colorado Opera, two short films by Jennifer Schwed, Carmen Tango with the Pan American Symphony Orchestra, and Bowen McCauley Dance Company. He has performed and choreographed works for Gala Hispanic Theatre, Source Theater Idomeneo, and DanceLoft on 14th. Mr. Palau has taught numerous ballet outreach programs and summer workshops throughout the metropolitan area. He is currently dancing with Dana Tai Soon Burgess and teaching at Séber Method Academy as well as Catholic University of America. He is the founder and director of Washington Dance DC.
Florian is a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer who has worked extensively across three continents. Mr. Rouiller has an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, where he choreographed and performed the original productions Profondeur Inconnue and Wave while continuing extensive performance with local dance companies outside the university. Mr. Rouiller began his dance career with training at the prestigious John Cranko School in Stuttgart with a BFA, and performed with the Stuttgart Ballet in productions such as Sleeping Beauty and Giselle. Upon immigrating to the United States, he danced with Merce Cunningham Dance Company as an apprentice, Ohio Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Ballet International Eldar Aliev, Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas and Ballet Contemporanea de Caracas in Venezuela, as well as Goteborg Ballet in Sweden. Performing soloist and principal roles and working with choreographers such as Alonzo King, Jiri Kylian, Simon Dow, Robert North, Jorma Uotinen , Jean-Paul Comelin ,Lynne Taylor Corbett to name a few….He has also performed with many companies throughout the United States and taught extensively, including at the Kirov Academy in Washington DC, the Washington Ballet School, City Dance Ensemble, and other schools throughout the Washington DC area. In the DC area, he has performed with City Dance Ensemble, Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Lucy Bowen McCauley, Karen Reedy. His piece Fragments was at the finals in the 2010 Korean Ballet competition and his Female solo Verge just won the 3 prizes at YAGP competition in 2013. He also won a 3prizes in the Men division 2015 at YAGP. Mr. Rouiller is currently teaching and choreographing in the DC area. This year he is teaching at Coppin State University, Baltimore Community College and Montgomery College. Fall 2013 Resident artist at UMBC. Currently he is working at Baltimore School of the Arts, UMBC, Ballet Royale Institute of Maryland and Coppin State University. Also he was a guest teacher at Towson University and David Elkins College. Summer 2015 Kirov academy in DC.
Katie Sopoci Drake
Katie Sopoci Drake, MFA, GL-CMA is a Washington D.C. based professional dancer, choreographer and teacher specializing in Laban-based contemporary dance. Katie's choreography has been performed by Momentum Dance Company, Wild Space Dance Company, The Florentine Opera, Lawrence University Opera, Miami Dade College and many more. As a core member of Mountain Empire Performance Collective, her distance collaborations have been performed from New York to Oregon. As a performer, Sopoci Drake is described as a "sinuous, animal presence of great power" (Third Coast Digest, 6/12). She has had a national performing career with Mountain Empire Performance Collective, RebollarDance, Mordine and Company Dance Theater, Wild Space Dance Company, and Rosy Simas Danse.
Katie has held teaching positions at the University of Maryland College Park, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Nova Southeastern University, Miami Dade College, Carthage College, and Lawrence University. Her work on technology and distance collaboration has been published by the Journal of Dance Education, and her research into Laban’s space and effort affinities was presented at the 2015 NDEO conference and 2015 Conference on Teaching Somatics-Based Dance. This research resulted in the evening-length show Spacetime Suite, funded by a 2016 Dance Metro DC Presentation Grant. For 2018-2019 season info, visit katiesopocidrake.weebly.com.
Kimberly Thompson started her pre- professional training at The Frederick School of Classical Ballet under the direction of Joyce Morrison and then continued at The Maryland Youth Ballet with Michelle Lees. She also attended summer programs at Princeton Dance Theater with Suzan Jaffe and The Orlando Ballet School on scholarship. Ms. Thompson was selected to participate in The Kennedy Center Ballet master Class Series for all four years of high school and had the opportunity to perform “Serenade” with The Suzanne Farrell Ballet. While a trainee with The Orlando Ballet, Ms. Thompson competed at the American Dance Competition in 2013 and placed in both Senior Division Classical and Contemporary categories. In 2014, she had the pleasure of performing as the principle ballet dancer in the show ,“Miracles”, choreographed by Christopher D’Ambosie at Busch Gardens Williamsburg. She has also danced for Virginia National Ballet, Ivy Chow Movement Project and has guested at various schools in the Maryland area. Ms. Thompson currently dances with Connect the Dots Dance Company and Moveius Contemporary Ballet as well as teaching at the Washington School of Ballet.