Nikki Albert, from Green Township, New Jersey, graduated cum laude from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance, as well as an additional major in Communication. At MGSA she received the Hanya Holm Scholarship, which recognizes outstanding work by a BFA in dance. She was a member of University DanceWorks touring company as well as the assistant director to Keith Thompson. During her dance education, Nikki worked with choreographers Jennifer Muller, Inbal Pinto, Talia Beck, John Evans and Jeff Friedman. After graduating, Nikki started working with Donna Scro and has been with Freespace Dance ever since. She has also performed professionally with Nimbus Danceworks, NS Danza, Connolly and Co., Graham Lustig, Bat Abbit, and Avianna Perez.
Stephanie Beauchamp is a dance artist based in Jersey City, NJ. In addition to Freespace, she also performs with Accidental Movement and in her own work. She has created choreography for modern and ballet companies, independent artists, theater, opera, and school groups all across the country. Stephanie has been teaching dance and somatics for over 25 years, holding teaching positions at New Jersey City University, Raritan Valley Community College, The Mill Ballet School, the Jersey City Board of Education, and Texas Woman’s University, for which she was twice nominated for Who's Who Among America's Teachers. She received her M.F.A. from Texas Woman's University and her B.F.A. from The University of Texas at Austin.
Hannah Castoro, from Wayne, New Jersey, started dancing for Freespace Dance Company in August 2015. She graduated Cum Laude from Montclair State University in May 2015 with a BFA in Dance and received the "Outstanding Performer Award" from the dance department upon graduation. During her time at Montclair State, she had the opportunity to perform works by choreographers such as Earl Mosley, Christian Von Howard, Francesca Harper, Larry Keigwin, Doug Varone, Jose Limon, and May O'Donnel while studying under Lori Katterhenry, Elizabeth McPherson, Nancy Lushington, Lynne Grossman, and Lonne Moretton. For the past 7 years she has been teaching her love of dance at a local dance studio to students from ages 2-18. She most recently began teaching dance in public schools with Freespace through the Dance To Learn Program for Dance New Jersey and has also volunteered as a teacher for the Dance Academy at her church. She is currently attending New York University to obtain her Masters in Dance Education and certification in Ballet Pedagogy from American Ballet Theatre. She is beyond grateful for the many influential people that have crossed her path and for the opportunities she is blessed to be a part of.
Omni Kitts-Ferrara is the proud owner of Yoga Montclair and Yoga Morristown, studios dedicated to sharing the empowering teachings of Tantric Philosophy and Alignment based Hatha Yoga. She is an ERYT-500 (with Yoga Alliance) trained by Vishali Varga at Yoga Mandali Montclair in 2004. Omni has trained in the Anusara® Yoga method for the past nine years and is grateful for its elegant set of alignment principles. She continues her studies in Tantric philosophy (specifically, Shrividya Shakta Tantrism) as taught by Prof. Douglas Brooks. She honors her past teachers and feels inspired each day by Vishali Varga, Desiree Rumbaugh, Noah Mazé and Hillary Cohen, amongst others. Omni graduated cum laude with a BFA in Dance from Montclair State University. She holds a 15 year professional dance career as the major foundation for her love of the body and enthusiasm as a Yoga teacher. Mrs. Kitts Ferrara is blessed with an incredible growing family and looks forward to all that is yet to come. Omni has a true commitment and fascination with the art of moving and her practice of Yoga only continues to deepen and enrich her life.
Andrew Kruep, originally from Belleville, IL, is a recent proud New Jersey resident! He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre, and has performed on the national tours of Elf (Ensemble 2013,2015) at The Kennedy Center and Madison Square Garden and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (LeFou). Other regional credits include shows at Fulton Theatre, Northern Stage, Stages St. Louis, Little Theatre on the Square, Skyline Theatre, and The Muny. He is very grateful for the opportunity to dance with Freespace again this season!
Bryan Matland is a graduate of Montclair State University where he earned a BFA degree in Acting while completing minors in both Dance and Musical Theatre. Other training includes 18 years of Tae Kwon Do, and 3 years of gymnastics. Post college credits include Dance, June 2002 – January 2004, September 2006 – present; Moe- Tion Dance Theater, 2008 – present; Norwegian Cruise Lines (dancer) February – October 2004; My One and Only (ensemble), national tour, February – April 2005; Six Flag’s Great Adventure, The Spirit of the Tiger (dancer), May – October 2005; The Giver (Asher), National Theater for Arts and Education, January – May 2006. Bryan would like to thank all his family and friends for their continued love and support!
Choreographer, Dancer, Teacher, and Solo Artist, Stephanie Nerbak is drawn to creating dance works that challenge her own status quo, privileging the process of dance-making. She considers live dance to contain power for both the performer and the viewer, and believes performance is an opportunity for initiating conversations with ourselves and each other. Ms. Nerbak’s n-Root Danceart was formed in 2016 as a result of those values. She is a recipient of a 2017 Individual Artist Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, and the 2017/2018 Jersey (new) Moves Emerging Choreographers Fellowship. In NJ Stephanie has shown her work through various venues and opportunities including Freespace Dance Company’s 40+, the County College of Morris, Your Move: NJ’s Modern Dance Festival, Centenary University’s Lackland Theatre, Bailar al Sol Dance Festival (Asbury Park), NJ Performing Arts Center (Victoria Theatre), and a choreographic residency with coLAB Arts (New Brunswick). Holding an MFA in Dance from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Dance Performance from Point Park University, she feels fortunate to have experienced a diverse formal education. Over the years she has danced with companies such as Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre (Los Angeles), Donna Sternberg & Dancers (Santa Monica), and toured for five years with the West Virginia Dance Company. She has also had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Molissa Fenley, Carli Marineck, Naomi Goldberg Haas, and Jodi Melnick. Currently, Stephanie is on faculty at the County College of Morris, through which she has also presented her choreography at the American College Dance Association’s Northeastern Conference. She looks forward to continuing to create and share dynamically engaging dances, while being enriched with the inspiration of her students and colleagues.
Shawn Rawls grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. At sixteen he attended Cleveland School of the Arts and began dancing with the Y.A.R.D (Youth At Risk Dancing) an award winning program helping youths develop an artistic voice and U.D.C (Urban Dance Collective). Shawn is now a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer in New York City. Shawn has performed with over a dozen shows and dance companies throughout the United States and abroad including Pilobolus, the Aluminum Show, Ad Deum, Monster Energy Drink and the Roots, Culture Shock, the Roxey Ballet, Chicago Dance Crash, Tygo Ballets, K-Theory, Son Kiss’d Hip Hop Contemporary and the Chicago Lyric Opera.
As a freelance choreographer for more than seven years, he recently won the first round of NYCXYZ choreography competition and placed runner up in the final round. Shawn Rawls's choreography has been featured on Dancing Wheels and the Roxey Ballet. Shawn Rawls's works has also been seen in NYC10 festival, and he recently presented an evening length piece at the Houston Fringe Festival. Shawn is the founder and artistic director of Emotions Physical Theatre, a dance company that performs in New York and around the United States.
Leslie Smolen Wuebben is from Buffalo N.Y. where she began her early dance training with Maris Battaglia at The American Academy of Ballet. Through her high school years she spent her summers at various ballet intensives including New York State Summer School of the Arts, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chautauqua Institute, and The Hartford Ballet. She also trained at the Riga Ballet School in Latvia as part of An international exchange of dancers and teachers. She went on to study and perform with The Hartford Ballet. Leslie’;s career then moved into the world of classical modern dance. She worked as a soloist and ensemble member for nine seasons at Pick of the Crop Dance in Buffalo N.Y. There she performed the works of Elaine Gardner, Peter Pucci, David Parsons, Colin Connor, Nicholas Rodriguez, Gail Gilbert and Jessica Lang. She also performed in New York City with Mary Anthony Dance Theatre, Kun Yang Lin/Dancers, Racoco Dance, and various other freelance dance projects. Leslie is a ABT Certified Teacher who has successfully completed the ABT Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through level five. She has been teaching ballet to young dancers in New Jersey for the past several years. Leslie is currently teaching at Starz Performing Arts Academy in East Rutherford. When not in the dance studio, you will find Leslie in a yoga studio taking her daily class or with her 3 children and husband, who help make her world a great place!
Melissa Wolfe Rosebro, originally from Baltimore, Maryland, moved to New York in 1997 to dance professionally. She has performed, taught, and choreographed with many companies and organizations over the years, not only in NYC but in multiple locations around the world, with the likes of Karen Katrinic, Lynn Simonson, Max Stone, Ray Leaper, Beth Goheen, Irene Dowd, Jason Parsons, and Wes Veldink. In 2008, she founded Common Art Mutual Passion, (CAMP) an intensive workshop for elite pre-professional dancers from across the US, Canada, and beyond. Early in her career, Melissa’s desire to keep her dancer’s body healthy led her to the study and practice of Pilates, and she achieved full certification in 2001. She has since continued advanced training with many master instructors, and added, since 2004, the study of musculoskeletal anatomy and neuromuscular therapies under master anatomist, Irene Dowd. Melissa uses this specialized knowledge, combined with Pilates inspired techniques, to inform her dancing, her teaching, and her choreography.