A.M. Collaborative 2020-21 Artists

Meet the participating artists of A.M. Collaborative 2020-21.

Click on a name below to jump to their bio!

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Photo credit: Greg Fior

Ania Bartelmus (she/her): @lacandelacompany @aniaflamenco

Ania Bartelmus, “La Candela”, is a flamenco dancer based in Atlanta, GA, and the Founder/Director of La Candela Company. She trained with Spain’s top flamenco artists during her 3 year stay in Sevilla. She has appeared in venues including Spanish tablaos, US venues, CBS program “Better Mornings Atlanta” and PBS program “This is Atlanta”. Ania performed as a soloist for Calo Gitano Flamenco Dance Company, and as a guest dancer with Berdole Flamenco, Julie Baggenstoss. Ania was a featured dancer in the music video “Kiss the Night” by Summer Azul, and principal dancer for David Maldonado’s flamenco symphony tour “Noche de Pasion”. In 2019 Ania was chosen as a finalist for the Flamenco Vivo Certamen USA competition. In 2020, Ania was commissioned to create choreography for the City of Atlanta’s project “Pandemic Atlanta”. As director of La Candela Company Ania collaborates with local musicians to create flamenco arrangements and flamenco fusion pieces, which she also produces.

Andie Knudson (she/her): @andieknudson

Andie was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio where she trained with Columbus DanceArts Academy and began her study and practice as a dance educator. In 2015 she moved to Jackson, MS to receive her BFA in Dance from Belhaven University, during which time she was awarded multiple accolades for her artistic growth and achievement. After graduating in 2019, Andie worked with Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival as a Video Documentation Intern to deepen her interest in the collaboration between dance and video arts. Since then, Andie has worked as a dance educator, freelance videographer, arts administrator, choreographer, and personal marketing consultant while continually refining her personal creative vision and practice. 

A. Raheim White (they/them): @arwhite7 @RahCrystals RahCrystals.com

Photo credit: Sofia Sturla

Creatrix, God/dess, Divine Embodiment, Mama A. Raheim White is an experience. Their passion for dance led them to earn their MFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and BFA from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, both in dance performance and choreography. As a healer, Raheim is a Reiki Master-Teacher, Akashic Record Reader, 200-hr Certified Yoga Instructor, and Social-Emotional Learning Facilitator. As the Founder and Creative Designer of RahCrystals, Mama Raheim handmakes crystal healing adornments designed with the individual in mind. Raheim’s intention is to help facilitate healing through movement, meditation, and mindfulness with love and joy.

In collaborating with HG, I investigated the understanding of my masculine energies and their relating-ship to my Divine Feminine embodiment coupled with pleasure. I am still discovering who I am as a Masc-of-centered being and how to feel in-powered in that realization. As I am most comfortable in my Divine Feminine embodiment, I used the energies of Hindu deity, Kali Ma, and Yoruba deity Yemaya, in order to activate the ferocity and war-like qualities of my feminine aspect to gain access to the masculine parts of me.

In this project I wrote about my connection to my masculinity, which is deeply interwoven with my Blackness.  Society reflects ideas of a particular kind of masculinity that black men are able to express versus their white counterpart. This soon brought up many questions about pleasure and what I find pleasurable in my body.

The project shifted throughout its duration, from focusing on masculine embodiment to the embodiment of pleasure to who I am and who I want to be. The final experience of these findings will be a combination of all these things as I’m learning how to be ALL OF ME ALL THE TIME.

These are a few musings that I have to share.

Questions: Who gets to decide what I like? What parts of me do I not like? Is that because of a projected point of view or a result of my own deductions? What are the agreements I’ve made with myself about who I can be/what I am allowed to express/what I can find joy in? Where do my active and passive sides merge? What do they have to show each other?

Catherine Messina (she/her): @katiekat_13 https://catherinemessina1.wixsite.com/dance

Catherine Messina, a graduate of Emory University, has been dancing for over 20 years. A scholarship recipient, she has studied at the Bates Dance Festival in Maine, staibdance Summer Intensive in Italy, and American Dance Festival and Bates Winter Intensives in New York. As an Atlanta based artist, she has worked with local choreographers Jessica Bertram, Greg Catellier, Sarah Hillmer, Jillian Mitchell, Jacquelyn Prtiz, George Staib, Helen Hale, and Kristin O’Neil as well as Mark Caserta, Niv Sheinfeld, Oren Laor, John McFall, and the Trisha Brown Dance Company. Additionally, she has performed at festivals including the Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, the Inman Park Festival, Off the Edge Festival, the American College Dance Association, and the Women in Dance Conference in Philadelphia, her hometown. As a choreographer, she has shown her work at festivals such as femmefest, play.risk.research, Immerse ATL Creates, Dance Canvas, Yes! Dance Festival, and Emory University as well as studios in Atlanta and Philadelphia. She is a recent recipient of a City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs Grant. Community work is vitally important to Catherine. She orchestrated the Fall for Fall Dance Festival, which brought thirty new works of community members and local companies to life in a traveling, outdoor dance festival in August 2020. This safely brought work and performance opportunities to the community in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic. She previous ran the Independent Artist Class Series, offering free, open classes in summer 2019, and a chance for choreographers to teach. She also has experience in arts administration, teaching, and technical production, and also creates websites. She currently dances with Atlanta based company Kit Modus and other independent artists. Read more at her website: https://catherinemessina1.wixsite.com/dance

Christina Venditti (she/her): @super_cv

Christina Venditti originally comes from Detroit, MI. She takes pride in choreographing for the competition programs at N-Step Dance Academy and Academy of Ballet. She is thrilled to contribute to the education of the next generation of dancers in Atlanta, GA. A born performer, Christina was a member of the Detroit Tigers’ DTE Energy Squad. Christina currently has a great focus on strength and conditioning for dancers, as well as safety in stretching. She encourages herself and her dancers to challenge themselves through improvisation.

Cynthia Church (she/her): @cynthia_church

Photo credit: Cam Attree

Frankie Mulinix (she/her):@vandellous @vibrancecenter @burningbonesphysicaltheatre https://frankiemulinix.com/

Frankie Mulinix (Vandellous) is a burlesque and butoh-based performance artist, emcee, producer, dramaturge, choreographer, director, intimacy choreographer, and teacher dedicated to supporting the development of creative communities, creative culture, and creative careers in Atlanta. As Vibrance: Centre for Voice and Movement, she works with actors and non-actors to develop skills in presence, voice, movement, and performance. Her specialties include working with transgender and non-binary clients, as well as teaching resilience and performance in high-pressure environments. Her theatre company, Burning Bones Physical Theatre, launched its first two shows in 2020, a butoh-based production of One for the Road and Too Far for Comfort, an original devised work created for Zoom. You can see her perform in Red Gyo Soh’s online show En:2021 which premiers online March 6th.

Frankie holds a BFA in Physical Theatre through Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, with a focus on writing, dramaturgy, directing, and multidisciplinary performance, and a Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of Queensland, specializing in LGBTIQ+ occupational justice, mental health, chronic pain, and neurology. Frankie is Certified Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework®, and holds an Associate Performer Diploma (ATCL) with Trinity College, London. She is trained in Reiki, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), Organic Intelligence, Knight Thompson Speechwork, and TIE’s Intimacy Choreography practices. She is a member of the Voice and Speech Trainer’s Association (VASTA).

Frankie formed United We Dance (UWD) to create performances throughout Brisbane to educate the public about justice issues impacting Australian LGBTIQ+ communities. Invited to perform at mental health day, UWD caused Occupational Therapy Australia to take a public stance recognizing this pressing health and justice issue. She codesigned a modified acrobatics program for children with cerebral palsy through the CPL Queensland. She has emceed and programmed several successful ongoing events in Australia including Alchemy, Bang on a Boa, Lost Movements, and Celebration of The Female Form.

Hannah Myers (she/her): https://vimeo.com/hannahmyerschoreography

Photo credit: Sean Lawler

Hannah Myers is a choreographer, teacher, video artist and classically trained dancer from Pullman, WA. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford in 2015 where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance & Pedagogy. Upon graduation Myers was commissioned by Sarah Nulsen, former dancer with Ballet Hartford, to create the short dance film, That’s Not What I Said, which received recognition from NACHMO Film Festival in New York City. The following year, Myers presented her solo work La Chica De Rojo at the 74th Annual International Choreographer’s Showcase at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland to favorable reviews. In August 2018, Myers returned to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh to perform a new solo work titled She Hits A Wall, a collaborative endeavor with Seattle based composer Douglas Taige McMahon. This work made its original debut at the the Martha Graham Studio Theater in New York City in May 2018 as part of NEXT@Graham, a choreography showcase curated by Tadej Brdnik, former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company.

In September 2018 Myers began producing her own shows and toured three cities with collaborative performances of BREAKOUT: A Series of Dances. This performance combined live music, video, interactive props and company dancers of The Hartford Dance Collective. The following year Myers produced and received local recognition for three additional performances in Washington and Idaho featuring: dance, music, video, drag, costume design, poetry, painting, sculpture, photography, interactive art installations and live theater. Myers also served as Co-Artistic Director of Graham Ballet Theater for four years during her post graduation years in Washington. Myers is now based in Atlanta, GA.

Photo credit: Leo Briggs

HG Gruebmeyer (he/him): @oatmilkbf @nationalpickup

HG Gruebmeyer graduated with a fiction degree from a college in the south. He likes vintage stores, big stained-glass windows, and Fast Car by Tracy Chapman. His poetry was selected for Pretty Owl’s Best of the Net in 2020 and he was named as one of Epiphany Magazine’s ‘Breakout 8’ for fiction. HG lives in Atlanta with his best friend and his cat Sophie.

Jacob Lavoie (he/him): @jcublavoie https://www.jacobdlavoie.com/

Jacob Lavoie is a maker, performance artist, and educator. As a maker Jacob has a special interest in exploring the extremes within human gesture and the avant-garde in his work. As a performance artist Jacob is interested in using his body as the primary vehicle for storytelling. He moves with heavy theatrical influences and characterization to fully embody every performance he gives. As an educator his instruction is highly structured and disciplined. Deliberate practice is the foundation of his pedagogy. 

Jacob is a company member with Sideways Contemporary Dance and a teaching artist with Forefront Arts. He works as a Stretch Coach with Kika Stretch Studios where he works with clients and through gentle assisted stretching, helps clients maintain youth and vitality with designed tension relief that aids in increased flexibility and overall wellness. Jacob has recently worked with Ballethnic Dance Co., Beacon Dance, Out Front Theatre Co., and ImmerseATL to name a few.

In 2020 Jacob presented two works-in-progress at Excuse the Art co-hosted by Fly On A Wall and The Windmill Arts Center and Breaking New Ground: New Dance at The Decatur Arts Festival hosted by Beacon Dance. He also began working on a film project which explores what we’ve said goodbye to due to the Covid-19 pandemic titled, Farewell Sonata.

Jacob graduated Summa Cum Laude from Keene State College in May 2019 with a B.A. in Theatre and Dance with dual concentrations in Dance: Choreography and Performance and Theatre Arts: Directing.

Jacob’s artistic research has been presented at Keene State College’s Academic Excellence Conference twice. Once in the form of an original modern dance work and the other through his direction of a short play by James Still. He is also a two time participant in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) Fellowship Program and a two time performer in the American College Dance Association’s New England Regional Conference. In May 2018 Jacob received the Julia McHale Redfern Memorial Prize for Excellence in the performing arts.

Jacob’s take on The Pandemic of Loneliness:

I was really interested in the idea of feeling alone but not physically being alone. This prompted exploration of movement with objects and animals in space. I also played with different lighting and sound scores to evoke different movements and emotions while improvising. Now more than ever I feel like everyone is feeling alone because of the Coronavirus Pandemic and our increased use of Social Media and online platforms like Zoom. 

Photo credit: Casey Gardner

Janie Young (she/her): @janielyoung https://www.facebook.com/janielyoung https://www.linkedin.com/in/janie-young-aa299016/ https://www.janie-young.com/

Janie Young is an Atlanta native and a veteran performer, teacher, and MAT award-winning choreographer in the Atlanta area. She holds a BA in Theatre & Performance Studies from KSU and is fascinated by storytelling in all forms, with a special interest in the intersection of movement and narrative. Her choreographic work in musical theatre is known for living in service to the story, and for emotive-driven natural movement. By day, Janie tells stories of a different sort as an internal communications manager at Cox Automotive. She lives in Decatur with her husband and two little boys. In her spare time, she reads tarot (and also plain old books). 

Artist Statement:

Through my work, I refute the idea of dance as an unapproachable medium—a closed-off, impenetrable world; performed only by those with a certain level of training or natural ability, appreciated only by those with the refined discernment of sommeliers and opera fanatics. As the evolution of street art, street fashion, and the entire history of music proves: we can make elevated art without being obscure.

My natural element is theatre performance, and I delight in working with “actors who move.” With a style marked by a strong sense of storytelling, and a collaborative approach to teaching, I strongly believe that every body is a dancer and every movement is story.  

My current inquiry is to explore heightened body language as a form of dance. Mehrabian’s formula says up to 55% of communication is non-verbal body language, in terms of feelings and attitudes. That leaves a lot of room for purely physical expression.

Janie’s approach to The Pandemic of Loneliness: I’m fascinated by loneliness as a feeling vs. actual reality. Isolation is one aspect of loneliness, but it’s really only the tip of the iceberg. It’s more about lack of connection. After all, it’s possible to be surrounded by people–even living with them–and still feel totally alone. Another aspect that we discussed but didn’t have the space for in this project, is loneliness in the digital age. For example, how you’ll see multiple people together but all on their devices, or how you can have thousands of followers but still feel like the only person who “gets” you is your dog. 

When I excavated my personal experience with loneliness for this project, I discovered it’s more about feeling alien–somehow apart and misunderstood by others. That’s why I chose to pair repetitive, automaton-like motion with pedestrian events (such as chores), to highlight how lonely it is to feel totally off track, like a machine trying to live “normally,” taking one step at a time and ending up nowhere. 
Loneliness also lives in the space between where and what we are currently, and where we want to be, or where we think we should be. The dance sequence in the dark–which is 100% improv and kept deliberately “rough”–is about being disconnected from not only the community and other artists due to physical, real-world circumstances (i.e. the pandemic), but how that reality leads to disconnection from my own body and from myself as an artist. It’s as if I am a rough draft of myself, hoping the final proof will feel “real” enough to connect with others.

Jenn Klammer (she/her): @jennklam

Photo credit: Andie Knudson

Jenn Klammer is an Atlanta based creative, movement artist, and educator. She has received her Bachelor’s in Fine Arts from the University of Florida. During her undergraduate experience, she has presented work at UF’s Annual Research Symposium, was understudy for Jose Limon’s The Traitor, and performed internationally at the Florence Dance Festival in Florence, Italy. In 2019, Jenn moved to Atlanta and has worked with various artists in the area including Room to Move Dance and ALA Dance. She is currently a dance instructor at Legacy Dance Centre and The Studio Atlanta Dance, where she finds intense passion and humanity in as an educator, as well as serving as Committee chair for DanceATL’s Community Committee. Her work has been presented at Dance Canvas’ Palette Project, Fall for Fall Dance Festival, and The Mediums Collective’s Play. Risk. Research. Jenn’s work seeks to explores the body, mind, and soul connection of one’s physical and mental spirit and how it manifests and translates into the greater world around us.

Jenna Latham (she/her): @jennvious

Photo credit: J. Anderson

Jessica Brooke Anderson (she/her): @and.jessica @cassidy.newday

Jessica Brooke Anderson is a cross-disciplinary artist born and raised in, and now returned to, Atlanta. She received her MFA in Sculpture from the University of Tennessee (2013) and her undergraduate degree from Guilford College (2007). She has an international exhibition record that includes shows in Italy, Finland, Australia, and England, along with national and international art residencies. Jessica’s work centers around research into collections of invisible evidence; sounds that can never be extracted, marks that can never be translated, measurements that can never be seen. She uses her studio practice to create environments that invite viewers into these mysteries and to collectively explore questions that can never truly be answered. She has served as an Assistant Professor of Art and has a passion for interactive, cross-disciplinary art outreach. Jessica has been involved with several community practice projects here in Atlanta and is currently one of Hambidge Art Center’s Studio Residents with the Atlanta Cross-Pollination Art Lab. Recently, Jessica started a pandemic inspired curatorial project under the name Cassidy Newday, where she creates thematic sets of art in hopes of inspiring visual literacy and moments of connected conversation.

Kathryn Gutierrez (she/her): @kathryn_gutierrez

Photo credit: Grace Landefeld

Kathryn Gutierrez is from Tampa, FL, where she received her formal training from the Patel Conservatory Youth Ballet and Next Generation Ballet under the direction of Peter Stark, Philip Neal, and Kelly King. While training, she attended summer intensives at Orlando Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Saratoga Summer Dance Intensive, and Miami City Ballet.

Throughout her undergraduate career at the University of Florida, Kathryn performed works by JoAnna Mendl Shaw, Daniel Gwirtzman, Elizabeth Johnson, Isa Garcia-Rose, DZ Maciel, and Dante Puleio. Additionally, she also had the privilege of attending Hubbard Street Dance’s Pre-Professional Intensive where she learned works choreographed by Crystal Pite and Ohad Naharin, in addition to performing excerpts of works choreographed by Alejandro Cerrudo and Peter Chu.  Kathryn also attended USF’s Dance In Paris Program where she trained with Heidi Weiss, Julien Desplantez, Sylvie Olivier, LaMichael Leonard, Sarah Silverblatt-Buser, Asha Thomas, and Wanjiru Kamuyu. While in Paris, she also performed with DaPaPo, a Dance for Parkinson’s company. In the Fall of 2019, Kathryn performed Persistence of Time, choreographed by Dante Puleio at the Dumbo Dance Festival. Throughout her senior year, she also had the privilege of being the rehearsal assistant to Dante Puleio, where she was able to help set A Choreographic Offering, choreographed by José Limón, on students. In the Spring of 2020, Kathryn graduated Magna Cum Laude with her BFA in Dance.

She currently resides in Atlanta, GA where she is dancing, choreographing, and teaching. Most recently, she performed at the Fall For Fall Dance Festival in 2020. Kathryn is excited to be part of the diverse and inspiring Atlanta dance community and is appreciative of this opportunity to meet and collaborate with the incredible artists in AM Collaborative.

Keith Reeves (he/him): @bodies_in_motion_atl @keithjreeves

Photo credit:

Klayne Rolader (she/her): https://klaynerolader.com/ www.facebook.com/klayneroladerphoto


Klayne is an artist, a creative soul, and most of the time she uses a camera to express herself through photography and films. She loves telling stories through images because she can connect to different people and give them the opportunity to look at themselves. She’s a curious photographer, filmmaker, and photography mentor. Her inspiration comes from nature, dance, and observing what happens in the gap of an instant.
Her education includes a degree in Communication/Advertising, and Television Production; including many workshops, and researches on body movement, anthropology, , and psychology.

She presented her work in various venues in Recife, Brazil (her hometown), at King Plow Arts Center in Atlanta, and produced videos for Georgia Tech, MAD Festival, and dancers in Brazil and US.

I believe that art can bring a lot of healing to the world. Art helps us to find the beauty in the middle of all the chaos. It remind us how magical and rare life is. I was always a very curious person and always felt the need to express myself in a different way. I guess making art is the best way I found to do that.

Photo credit: Walter Apps

Leo Briggs (they/them): @lbriggsmoves https://laurabriggsmoves.com/

Laura (Leo) Briggs is an Atlanta-based dance artist. They received a B.A. in Dance & Movement Studies from Emory University in 2019. As a performer, Laura has worked with Nathan Griswold of Fly on a Wall, Okwae A. Miller and Artists, and Benji Stevenson. Their latest independent work, Search History, premiered at Fall for Fall Dance Festival in August 2020. A collaborative duet with artist Ethan Brasseaux, Search History investigates the uniquely queer experience of discovering one’s history and culture on the Internet.

Photo credit: L Browning Photography

Loren McFalls (she/her): @lorencatherine_ www.lorenmcfalls.com

Loren McFalls is a dancer and choreographer for both stage and film. She’s been dancing since she was 2 and a half when she got kicked out of preschool for climbing a bookshelf. Enrolling in ballet was a requirement for going back to the school program and probably the best thing that ever happened to her. Loren attended Drexel University on a dance performance scholarship where she was thrown into the Philadelphia artists’ community. After college she started a femme. artists’ collective in Philly to showcase awesome female-identifying folks. She produced and performed in dance performances for Philadelphia Fringe Festival as well as music showcases at her neighborhood watering hole and a recurring outdoor summer festival. She’s taught ballet classes since she was in high school and has choreographed for several music videos and short films. Recently moved back to ATL from LA, she’s excited to be immersed in a cool new arena of awesome movers.

Megan Long (she/her): @meganlongg28 https://longmegan28.wixsite.com/introspect

Photo credit: Carly Griffin

Megan Long is an Atlanta based dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She values creating movement that evokes a sense of self-awareness and personal discovery. Megan strives to connect deeply with the dancers she works with and the audiences they impact. She delves into ideas that push fellow artists to look within and search for what drives them as authentic human beings. She believes that in order to understand the world we live in, we must begin by understanding ourselves. 

Megan graduated Summa Cum Laude from Winthrop University with a BA in Dance & Psychology in 2017. After graduation, Megan found herself growing as a dancer, choreographer, and person in NYC working as an Intern and Training Fellow at Gibney. Megan currently resides in Atlanta, GA and is a company member with Sideways Contemporary Dance Company and a teacher at Atlanta Dance Central in Roswell, GA. She specializes in contemporary, tap, and jazz choreography. In addition to Megan’s professional life in Atlanta, she also serves as Artistic Director of Little Broadway Studio based in Western North Carolina. On the weekends, you can find Megan traveling to competitive studios throughout the southeast to set choreography or working backstage with Applause Talent connecting with dancers throughout the US. Most recently, Megan designed a summer intensive for pre-professional dancers known as “introspect” in 2019 that pushes the creative mind to think deeply about our own motivations, intentions, and desires. She brought the same mentality to her and Jenna Latham’s AM Collaborative process and she is so grateful for the opportunity this platform has given to so many artists. 

Michael Boatright (he/him): http://www.michaelboatright.com https://www.facebook.com/michaelboatrightphotography

Photo credit: Michael Boatright

Storytelling is my passion. Throughout my life, I have constantly sought to explore innovative ways of telling the human story by utilizing traditional and emerging digital visual, audio and print technologies and creating commercial techniques that allow magic to flourish. Most recently, I have been telling the story of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Atlanta performing arts community through my Dark Houses Atlanta Project, making and publishing photographs of 33 of Atlanta’s dark theaters.

My relationship with photography began at age 12, when my dad, a professional photographer for many years, taught me camera and darkroom techniques. In the early 1990’s, working for IBM, I began experimenting with and developing techniques in digital multimedia storytelling, using emerging A/V hardware and software and Internet technologies. With IBM I led multimedia projects for the 1994 Lillehammer and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Disney’s Epcot Center, the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Masters Tournament and the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since 2000, I have worked on digital media projects for the British Broadcasting Company and AT&T, opening my own photography studio in 2014.

Music, Dance and Theater are my passion. My professional portfolio includes work for DramaTech Theater, Theatrical Outfit, Out of Hand Theater, the Sideways Contemporary Dance Company, Gwinnett Ballet, Bodies In Motion Dance Company and professional work for many Atlanta musicians and groups. My Fine Art Projects include landscape photography on four continents and abstract impressions of real-life subjects. Corporate clients include the J. Walter Thompson Agency, Atlanta Regional Commission, Georgia Institute of Technology and many Atlanta small businesses.

From 35 years in corporate technology management, I learned the value that professional certification brings to my customers, who can expect from me a solid baseline of experience, creativity and technical expertise in creating the images important to their needs.

Based in the Metro Atlanta Area, I specialize in People, Commercial and Fine Art Photography and my studio is located in the TULA Arts Center in Atlanta’s Buckhead Arts District. I serve as Ethics Chair on the Board of Directors of the Georgia PPA and as President of the SE Photographic Society (2 years), as a board member (8 years) and am sought-after as a competition judge by Atlanta area photography groups.

Pendu Malik (she/her): @pendudance @afro_sexy @afrosexypole

Photo credit: Wayne Elliot

Kishema “Pendu” Malik is a professional dancer, choreographer, instructor and educator with over 25 years in the entertaiment industry. She is very serious about training and making sure dancers have a solid strong foundation no matter what dance style is being taught. Pendu is known for her power and strength and she makes sure every class she teaches or choreography she sets will display these elements. Her main styles of choreography or teaching are Modern (Dunham and Horton), Jazz, West African and Afro Fusion (including her own style “Afro Sexy”, West African, Jazz and Burlesque fusion). Pendu is originally from New York City and has trained with some of the best in New York City including Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Steps on Broadway, Djenba Mouflet, Youseff Kombassa, Robin Dunn and so many more. She has also lived in Florida and Los Angeles and has danced with many companies, artists and tours including Marat Daukayev, Debbie Allen, Summer Jam with Mya and Ashanit, Stevie Wonder, NIKE, WNBA/NBA All-Star games and more. Since moving to Las Vegas some of her positions of work have included being a principal performer in Cirque Du Soleil’s Beatles LOVE, being one of the choreographers for Cirque Du Soleil’s One Drop production, “Amanzi”, being a dancer/aeralist on Royal Carribean Cruise Line, being a freelancer for many corporates, dancing for artists such as Demi Lovato, Paul McCartney and Debbie Gibson. She is also member of Molodi Stepping Ensemble, a pole dancer/instructor at Aerial Athletica, an instructor/choreographer Nevada Ballet, Dance Connection, Don Mirault’s Theatre Preparatory Arts Program (TAPS). Now a resident of Atlanta, GA, she is bringing her expertise into that sector of the industry and excited for her new journey.

She is also internationally known as a choreographer/instructor and her services have been used in many conventions, circus schools, dance schools, shows and videos worldwide in countries such as Brazil, Sweden, Peru, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Ghana and others. Pendu wants to be known for her unique style of always fusing West African dance with any style of dance including her own Afro sexy, which has premeired six times on the Las Vegas strip and has now expanded a branch in Atlanta.

Lastly, Pendu is also a kinesiology and fitness specialist who holds a BS Bioengineering and a M.S. in Kinesiology and has presented at international conferences such as IADMS (International Association of Dance Medicine and Science) in Singapore in 2012 and applies her knowledge to all of her dance classes.

Raven Crosby (she/her): @ravenichole.c

Photo credit: Ric Douglas

Raven is a dancer and choreographer based in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been dancing since the age of five but deeply developed a passion for the art form at age 16. Technically trained in multiple genres, Raven’s passion for choreography has been her primary focus for the past four years. Her first piece “Will” debuted at her highschool in 2017 followed by two more works (“Beyond What’s Known” & “Leave Me Alone”). In her works, she tends to combine multiple dance genres and commonly explores juxtaposition. Currently, Raven is studying dance and movement studies at Emory University and will obtain her bachelor of science in environmental science in the spring of 2022.

Photo credit: René Nesbit

René Nesbit (she/her): @canicolornowstudios @through.deep.waters @cherish.dance http://www.canicolornowstudios.com/

René is the founder and operator of Can I Color Now Studios. She believes that creativity is powerful and that it can change and unite the world. In addition to teaching and choreographing dance, René is also a poet and a painter. You can find her first book of poetry here (Amazon Link) and more of her artwork and adventures here (Can I Color Now Studios)