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Kele Arms Crossed.jpg


is a French-American artist born in New York City, N.Y. he began his dance training in Austin, Texas before further pursuing his studies at the Royal Ballet School in London. Upon his graduation he went on to join Nederlands Dans Theater II in 2019 and NDT I in 2022. As a dancer, Kele was a 2017 YoungArts Silver Medalist and has had the privilege of working with and performing works by choreographers such as Jiri Kyliàn, Crystal Pite, Hans van Manen, Ohad Naharin, Sharon Eyal, Paul Lightfoot and Sol León, Marco Goecke, and Johan Inger, among others. As a creator, Kele is a recipient of the Lynn Seymour Award and was awarded the first prize in the Ursula Moreton choreographic competition during his time in London. His works have been performed on the Royal Opera House stage and he has participated in the past three editions of NDT’s annual production of Switch. Kele is deeply curious about adaptation and the ways in which things evolve, modify and /or censor themselves in order to survive in an environment – he wonders about the different ways imagery can evoke the interior and exterior experience of both viewer and performer. How this intersects with sensitivity, the subconscious, and the play with rhythm and time, serves as a basis of his movement practice as well as a driving force behind his approach to creation.



is a dancer and choreographer based in the DMV & NYC. He holds a BA in Dance from UMBC. As a senior in college, his choreography was designated an American College Dance Association Gala Finalist and he received the Outstanding Senior in Choreography and Dance award. He furthered his education by attending training programs with dance companies in Chicago. NYC, LA, Portland, and Tel Aviv. In 2017, Ryan premiered his company, Pacing Bodies’ first evening length show funded by Earl and Darielle Linehan.  Ryan was featured on national television on Season 14 of So You Think You Can Dance. He performed with MADBOOTS DANCE company in various projects and performances at Gibney Dance, New York Live Arts, and the Joyce Theater. He has danced for Project 44 Dance Company and Priore Dance based in D.C. Ryan was a background dancer for the music video Moons by Micah McLaurin. Recently, he set work for Peabody Dance Conservatory. Howard County Dance Company and Jane Franklin Dance Company. He most recently was a featured dancer in a second evening-length work for Haus of Pvmnt Dance Company at Abrons Art Center in NYC. 




began her dance training under the direction of her mother, Susan Joines. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Kelly Continued her dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts under the direction of Brenda Daniels. Upon graduation, she took her dance education to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City, where she studied with Davis Robertson and Brian McSween and became a member of the Joffrey Ballet Touring Company. In 2009, she received the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Award for dance and was a ballet finalist for the National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts. In 2012, she joined Complexions Contemporary Ballet. In 2014, she debuted as a solo artist in Cirque de Soleil’s The Beatles LOVE in Las Vegas. She has been featured in publications such as the New York Times, Dance Informa Magazine, and Dance Magazine. In 2017, she returned to Complexions Contemporary Ballet as a company member. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Maryland, adjudicates and teaches for nationally touring dance competitions, and is an Integrative Health Coach and barre instructor.



is a native of Nassau, Bahamas and holds both a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and Master of Fine Arts degree from Temple University. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at UMBC and continues to work as a freelance dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. As a Master Teacher of the Umfundaldi technique, she has taught at various institutions, festivals and intensives, both nationally and internationally. She has trained and performed with notable artists and professional dance companies including Tabanka African and Caribbean peoples Dance Ensemble, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, Philadanco! The Philadelphia Dance Company, Urban Bush Women, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Rennie Harris Puremovement, The Katherine Dunman Seminar, and The American Dance Festival, to name a few. Her work has been presented nationally and internationally, most recently at Deeply Rooted’s 2023 Intensive, the 2020 37th Annual Maryland Choreographers Showcase, where she received the Audience Choice Award for her choreography, and the 2019 International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference. She was also the 2015-2016 recipient of the Ellen Forman Memorial Award. Shaness is excited about sharing space with the wonderful artists and movers who will be a part of ASCEND!

Masterclass faculty information will be available in June.

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