NOZOMI ARIAKE is originally from Japan. She began her modern ballet training at the Izumi Kawamura Dance Studio in Akita. She also studied jazz dance, theater dance and tap. From 2003 to 2012 she worked with Dance Avenue Studio S as a jazz dancer, performing on stages, cabarets and live house. During that time she taught dance classes and choreographed for the company and for the baton team. In 2013 Nozomi moved to New York and joined the Ballet Ensemble of Arts Cure Center in Queens. Recently she works with Saya Harada as the Long Island Ballet Theatre.
DYLAN BAKER is a New York City based dancer and choreographer. After growing up in the boondocks of Wisconsin and earning a BFA in Dance at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Dylan moved to NYC to pursue his dance career. Apart from creating his own works, Dylan can often be found dancing with David Parker and The Bang Group, Matthew Westerby Company, and of course here with Covenant Ballet Theater of Brooklyn. Mr. Baker is ecstatic to be dancing alongside such amazing students and artists here at Covenant!
REBECCAH HOPE BRANN trained at Covenant Dance Studio and received her Certificate of Dance from the Alvin Ailey School. She is currently a freelance dancer and founder of the HopeDanceNYC project, which has held three annual summer dance workshops on the West Coast. Rebeccah continues to work as a personal trainer and fitness instructor in the NYC area, teaches at CBTB Dance Academy and is a CBT teaching artist. She became a member of the former Covenant Dance Theatre in 1989 and became a principal dancer in 2001.
MANDY SAU-YI CHAN is originally from Hong Kong and received her BFA in Dance at The Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and her MFA in Dance at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She is a ballet instructor at CBTB Dance Academy, a registered Somatic Movement Therapist and Educator, a certified Pilates and Yoga teacher and a certified Holistic Health Counselor. She has worked in New York with Choreographer, Abby Man Yee Chan, Rosalind Newman, Mariana Berkerman Dance Company, Eva Dean Dance, Neville Dance Theatre and Matthew Westerby Company. Mandy joined the former Covenant Dance Theatre in 2004.
JESSICA M. HIGGINS is a native of North Carolina and received her dance training at Raleigh School of Ballet. She has attended Boston Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, NC Dance Theatre and Paul Taylor’s summer dance programs. Jessica graduated from Wright State University with a BFA in Dance while performing with Dayton Ballet. Since graduation, Jessica has danced with Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II, Verb Ballets, and trained with Philadanco’s first company. Since moving to NYC she has danced with Battleworks, Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre, Wylliam/Henry Contemporary Dance Company Forces of Nature, Ballet Noir, Genesis Dance Company, Von Ussar Danceworks, and The Berlin Wall Project. She is currently dancing with Buglisi Dance Theatre, Neville Dance Theatre, and is blessed in her third season with Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn.
SONIA JONES, M.A., is a freelance dance instructor, teaching artist and dancer in the greater NYC area. Sonia trained in Lancaster, PA under the direction of Carolyn Trythall, Senior Examiner of the Cecchetti Council of America, working with master teachers Raymond Lukens, Franco DeVita, Paul Sutherland & Brunilda Ruiz. She danced leading roles with Ballet Theatre of Lancaster and later branched into modern dance, teaching and choreographing. After moving to NYC in 2009, Sonia intensively studied ballet pedagogy at American Ballet Theatre as part of the NYU Dance Education M.A. program. She is currently on faculty teaching at Huntington Center for the Performing Arts, Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn and New York Generation, a performing arts outreach. Sonia has recently joined the faculty for the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre, children’s division. Additionally she is a teaching artist for Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers ® program and for Covenant Ballet Theatre’s Arts in Education programs. While in NYC she has danced with Atmosphere Dance Company and Saya Harada Dance Project. She is excited to be dancing with CBT as part of Nisei Project.
LAWRENCE LAM After a decade of dancing on stage, Lawrence is happy to be doing some character roles in a ballet. In fact, besides having performed "Old Nisei" in a prior presentation of Nisei, Lawrence was Dr. Coppelius in Delibes' Coppelia in a Hong Kong production. He loves acting on stage and welcomes the opportunity to perform with CBT one more time.
TANYA LYNN TROMBLY earned a BA in dance and business from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. She has performed and toured with several professional companies across the country, including Nothern Plains Ballet in Bismark, ND and Atlanta Festival Ballet in Atlanta, GA. Tanya has lived in New York City for over three years now where she has been a principal with Ballet Long Island, Neville Dance Theatre and recently joined CBT. She has enjoyed performing lead roles in ballets such as Midsummer Night's Dream, Cinderella, Alice in Wonderland, Firebird, Paquita, The Little Mermaid and The Nutcracker. She also works as a personal trainer at Serious Strength on the Upper West side.
KEI TSURUHARATANI is a dancer/singer/actor/educator, from Osaka Japan, working in New York. He has been trained by Toshimi Tani at Free Way Dance Studio in Osaka. Recently performed in Damn Yankees the Red Sox Version at Ogunquit Playhouse under Jeffry Denman's direction, in which he had play a featured role written for him, Benjiro. He also has been working with the Metropolitan Opera; Nixon in China (Marik Morris Choreo), Don Giovanni (Ben Wright Choreo), Les Troyens (Doug Varone Choreo), Turandot and Madama Butterfly. With Tania Perez Salas Compania de Danza, he has performed at Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico and Kennedy Center.His stage appearance goes world-wide; Pre Broadway Tryout Trip of Love ,TAKE (tahkeh) Dance Company Salaryman, Les Ballets Grandiva 2010 Asian tour, Shiki Theatre Company AIDA (Disney Musical), and more stages in Japan.
MATTHEW WESTERBY Matthew trained at Laban, London, graduating with a BA (Hons) in Dance Theatre. He performed with several UK-based choreographers before relocating to New York in 2005. He has performed with Nai-Ni Chen, Risa Jaroslow, Dusan Tynek, Tze Chun, Peter Kyle, Bronwen MacArthur, Sue Hogan and Jessica Gaynor, and with CBT for the past ten years. His choreographic credits include work for the Dancewave companies, Brass City Ballet, the Dance Department at Naugatuck Valley Community College, Covenant Ballet Theatre of Brooklyn and Evolve Dance Company. Matthew Westerby Company was formed in 2009, and has since been presented at venues around the tri-state area, including two New York City seasons at University Settlement (2011) and at the Hudson Guild Theatre (2014). They will be presented at Triskelion Arts as part of their 2014 fall season, and will return to lead Project Poetry Live!, a major arts-in-education initiative in Connecticut in partnership with Litchfield Performing Arts. He recently worked with Hudson Guild Theatre Company to create adaptations of two classic tales: The Sleeping Beauty (2012) and Romeo & Juliet (2014). Matthew works throughout the New York City area as a teaching artist for several organizations - Dreamyard, Dancewave, Hudson Guild & Covenant Ballet Theatre.