Ambassadors

Please welcome our 2021 Cohort of Ambassadors. These 11 dancers are leaders and innovators with 301 years combined experience in dance!!

Anjali Hursh

Titles: DJ Anjali

Styles of Dance: Bhangra, Giddha & Mujra inspired Bollywood

Years Dancing: 37

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Flamenco dancer

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

For me Brown / Asian / South Asian representation is not enough, we need working-class feminist voices from all communities represented.

Conrad Kaczor

TitlesDancer and Board Member of Heidi Duckler Dance NW and Filmmaker

Styles of Dance: Popping, House, Hip Hop

Years Dancing: 18

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Virtual Reality | VR/XR Artist

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

In street dance, I feel there needs to be awareness with sexual assault. It happens too often and it’s never addressed. And I feel and I dream of a cross connection with contemporary/modern scene and street dance scene. It be great to see a collaboration with the two with performances and mixing the worlds in any way.

Laura Cannon

TitlesFounder and Director of Pro Lab, a movement and performance laboratory. Choreographer and Performer.

Styles of Dance: I am a contemporary dancer who specializes in creating site-specific work - the site-specific nature of my work has led me to train in and perform a variety of aerial dance techniques as well.

Years Dancing: 40

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

I would like to make work with other dancers who really like to do contact work. I am DYING to collaborate with a filmmaker and also an improvisational musician of some kind. I have experience making dance on large installations and would love to connect with someone doing that. Really, collaborations are my jam and I would love to connect with any other artists who are serious about making new work.

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

 I would love to see even more collaboration between disciplines being supported in Portland’s dance community. As someone who has experienced leaving a performing career and community to start a family and then trying to rebuild, I am acutely aware of what it is like to have a lot to offer and not being able to find where to put it. My personal experience is just one of the many barriers that dancers can face when life becomes complicated. I have learned that rather than look for a place to fit, I could create my own container that would have room for me and others like me to bring their richness of life-experience to making dance.

Mianel Araujo

Titles: Performer

Styles of Dance: Mexican Folkloric Dance

Years Dancing: 6

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Pop artist, JLo 

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

I personally think that women should be recognized because women have to work twice as much to be recognized by society.

Thorey Mountain

Titles: Freelance jazz and tap teacher, Choreographer and Academic Tutor

Styles of Dance: Jazz dance, Tap dance, Dance history

Years Dancing: 65

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Filmmaker 

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

Although jazz dance encompasses many styles I feel that it is important that jazz dance classes have structure, and that students develop a strong understanding of technique, style, rhythm and musicality. It is essential that students are inspired to learn about, and understand, the roots and history of jazz dance and jazz music.

Lyric Lowe

Titles: Performer, Choreographer

Styles of Dance: Jazz, Hip Hop, African, Majorette, Modern

Years Dancing: 20

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

There is a need in the community to provide a safe space for youth of color to learn basic fundamentals of dance that isn’t offered on a performance arts school level. Portland only has one performance arts middle school and I believe it will be a great asset for children who connect with dance or the arts

Alicia Cutaia

Titles:Founder and Director of ARC in Movement, SAFE® BARRE certified coach, Choreographer, Freelance performer, Talent hire and coordination, show/event direction and production.

Styles of Dance: Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, Ballet (sometimes with fire), Aerial Harness. Along with all of that, I am one of four U.S. certified coaches in SAFE® BARRE, a technique that meets ballet with biomechanics.

Years Dancing: 33

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Founder and Director of ARC in Movement, SAFE® BARRE certified coach, Choreographer, Freelance performer, Talent hire and coordination, show/event direction and production.

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

Creating jobs for other artists be it circus performers, musicians, tech crew, etc. is a large part of my passion and commitment.

Robert Hilario

Titles: Dance Instructor

Styles of Dance: Casino (Cuban-style partner dancing). Casino can be danced as a group known as Rueda de Casino. Guanguanco Rumba.

Years Dancing: 15

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

I'd like to work with a hip-hop dancer, since a lot of Timba music is influenced by hip-hop, and R&B, among other genres. 

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

Unfortunately, Rueda de Casino in Portland has been mis-labeled as an "old person" or "easy" dance. High-level Casino can be as athletic and complex as other dynamic styles!

Melissa Rumsey

TitlesFreelance Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher, Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist, Dancer Strength and Flexibility Trainer

Styles of Dance: Commercial Contemporary and jazz

Years Dancing: 15

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Filmmaker! I love that dance is becoming more prevalent on film. I created a small dance on film project and I'd love to do more!

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

In addition to dancing and choreographing I specialize in dancer injury prevention and rehab, am a dancer strength and flexibility coach with a focus on competitive dancers and corrective exercise specialist and certified personal trainer. I am part of Portland chapter of the Bridge Dance Project which is creating a connection between dance medicine practitioners and the commercial/competitive dance world.

Kelly Koltiska + Amelia Unsicker

Titles: Co-Founders + Co-Directors Pathways Dance Company

Styles of Dance: Modern, Contemporary, Ballet, Jazz, Improvisation

Years Dancing: 27 + 28

What style of type of artist would it be a dream to collaborate with?

Musician, filmaker, photographer + multimedia artist

Where do you see a need in our community that you feel compelled to fill or address?

We see that our community needs to continue the work that has been started to make dance more accessible, inclusive, and welcoming for all those interested in dance. The community needs to keep working towards creating safe and fair workspaces.

2019 Ambassadors

Aphyna Zoe

Bevin Victoria

Barbara Lima

Kenya Marquez

Beth Whelan

Kelsey Leonard

Laura Blake

Brandy Guthery

Sitara Lones

Rebekah Wolfson Kilayko

Laura Onizuka - Committee Chair

2018 Ambassadors

Maria Tucker

Kathryn Harden

Angela Bryant

Zachary Carroll

Adrianna Audoma

Victoria Rose White

Alexander Dones

Jesus Rodales

Laura Onizuka - Committee Chair

2017 Ambassadors

Jack "Sir Cupcake" Stocklynn

Linda Austin

Elise Morris

Anne Mueller

Mizu Desierto

Yulia Arakelyan

Laura Onizuka

Rebecca Morse

Hannah Luckow

Tia Palomino - Committee Chair

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