Adriane Brayton, Born in Boston, attended the Boston Arts Academy and Connecticut College, where she received BAs in Biological Sciences and Dance. Adriane is the Co-Artistic Director of Continuum Dance Project, which received the 2017 Winter Residency from The Boston Center for the Arts. She has performed the works of Jose Limon, Pedro Ruiz, Nathan Trice, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Nicholas Leichter, Colleen Thomas, Laura Dean, David Dorfman, Lisa Race, Heidi Henderson, Shani Collins, and Kyle Abraham. Her work has been performed in the This/that show (Cambridge MA), at Emerson College (Boston, MA), Bates Dance Festival (Lewiston, ME), The Sanctuary Theater (Cambridge, MA), Tufts University (Medford, MA), Third Life Studios (Somerville, MA), The Museum of Science (Boston, MA), The Dance Complex (Cambridge, MA), Green Street Studios (Cambridge, MA), Boston Center for The Arts (Boston, MA) and Boston University (Boston, MA). In 2017 she completed a 3 year guest artist residency for the Expansive Meanings and Makings in Art Science Project in partnership with the The National Science Foundation. Adriane’s professional credits include Beheard.world, Weberdance, and Continuum Dance Project. She is a Licensed Massage Therapist (LMT), a United States Pilates Association Certified Instructor, and a GYROKINESIS® Method Certified Instructor.
Haissan Booth’s first major influences came from his then idol Sir David Vaughan, Haissan was welcomed as a member of Sir David Vaughan’s Hip-Hop dance troop. Where he street performed with the troop and had the opportunity to perform at the Apollo Theater in New York City. By age fifteen Haissan, began his formal dance training at the Boston Arts Academy, where his true passion for the art of dance had evolved. training in Classical ballet, Modern, Jazz, and West African dance. Haissan was offered numerous Scholarship Awards such as American Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, performing in various works from The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Continuo by Balanchine and Psalm/Mazurkas by José Limon. In 2014 Haissan traveled to Mexico City Cholula for ArcDanz summer intensive on full scholarship and became ambassador of the United States after performing in the Museo Soumaya. After graduating from the Boston Arts Academy, Mr. Booth furthered his dance education at The Hartt School of the University of Hartford. Haissan’s professional credits include Gate City Ballet, StreetHype, Beheard.world, and BoSoma Dance Company. Haissan Booth joined Mystique Illusions Dance Theatre in 2016 and Continuum Dance Project in 2018.
Fernadina Chan was the founding artistic dean and chair of the dance department of Boston Arts Academy. She has taught at English High School and at the State University of New York in Binghamton. After retiring from BPS, Ms. Chan founded “Continuum Dance Project” as a laboratory for choreography with BAA alumni in 2013, and was awarded the 2017 Boston Center for the Arts Choreographer Residency. She received her B.A. in Physics from Southern Illinois University; M.A. in Dance from the University of Illinois; and M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education as a Conant Fellow. She is a certified GYROKINESIS® and GYROTONIC® teacher. Ms. Chan has received numerous awards: most notably “Distinguished Arts Educator in Dance” from Massachusetts Alliance for Arts Education in 1999; Teacher of the Year from the International Network of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education in 2005; Boston Educator of the Year in 2011, and 2013 Dance Champion from Boston Dance Alliance. She was also awarded a Surdna Arts Teacher Fellowship in 2001 and a Fund for Teachers grant in 2012. As an artist, Ms. Chan’s performance and choreographic credits include television, film and stage in Hong Kong, the US, and Canada. She founded and directed the East/West Dance Theater in 1977 until 1988. Mandala Folk Dance Ensemble and the MJT Dance Company have performed her works. Ms. Chan and her partner Jen-Jen Lin was commissioned by Dance Umbrella to create a new work for 1993’s “Boston Moves.” Her recent works including the commission of Vision for New England College of Optometry and Jia Zi created during her BAA Artist Teacher fellowship focus on experimentation with technology. Collaborating with composer Lisa Bielawa, her last project “Collective Melodies in Fragments” for BAA’s 2012 Benefit Gala blends virtual and real in an unconventional space.
Elizabeth Epsen is a dancer, collaborative artist, and teacher in the Boston area. She received her early training at Ballet Arts in Tucson, AZ, and then completed her pre-professional training at Canada’s National Ballet School and the San Francisco Ballet School (SFBS), while also attending summer programs at Exploring Ballet with Suzanne Farrell at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and the School of American Ballet. While at SFBS, Elizabeth performed professionally in corps de ballet roles with the San Fransisco Ballet under Helgi Tomasson. As a dancer and performer in the Boston area, Elizabeth has worked with choreographers Anna Myer/Anna Myer and Dancers, Nicole Pierce/EgoArt, Inc., Chavi Bansal/Vimoksha, Continuum Dance Project, Adrienne Hawkins, and Adriane Brayton/Brayton Dance, among others, and has performed at major dance venues in Boston. She has also collaborated with viola and saxophone duo Patchtax to create interdisciplinary film and performance experiences. As a teacher, Elizabeth has been teaching ballet at Harvard University since February 2018. She has also been a guest teacher at Tufts University, The Dance Complex, and Green Street Studios.
Mayra Hernandez was born and raised in Boston where she began dancing at a young age. Mayra’s training led her to Boston Arts Academy where her growth as an artist started and further continued at Smith College. It was in college that Mayra realized that her calling in life was to engage the community through movement and arts education. After graduating from Smith with two Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and Sociology, Mayra returned to Boston. She began her professional dance career as a member of Fly by Night Dance Theatre, eventually leading her to work with BoSoma Dance Company, Continuum Dance Project and Beheard.world. Throughout Mayra’s dance career she has had the opportunity to work with world renown, influential choreographers such as Paul Taylor, Mark Morris, Ronald K. Brown and many others. After tending to her need to dance professionally, Mayra decided to focus on her teaching career, while exploring ways to give back to her community. Mayra first started teaching dance in and around Boston at local community centers, dance schools and afterschool programs. Mayra’s work in the community eventually lead her to become the Director of Dance at Brookline High School, where she currently serves the needs of dancers and future choreographers. Mayra is a registered yoga teacher (RYT) who uses movement as means for her students to listen to their bodies, move with intention, accept change, and cultivate a deep sense of gratitude for life. Mayra’s innate love for the arts has inspired her to pursue her M. Ed. in Community Arts at Lesley University. At Lesley she is exploring movement as a vehicle to expand the role of the arts to be a connective force between individuals and communities. Mayra is thrilled to be dancing in Continuum Dance Project along side a fierce group of dancers led by influential choreographers.
Mary Ellen Liacos was raised in New Hampshire and began her dance training with New England Civic Ballet, New Hampshire School of Ballet and New England School of Dance, as well as studying under Lara Little. She then moved to Boston and trained at Boston Arts Academy in high school. After graduating, she furthered her dance training at the Boston Conservatory as well as Columbia College. She feels privileged to have studied with incredible dance educators, including Olivier Besson, Fernadina Chan, Leslie Koval, Liz Lapuh, Daniel McCusker, Tommy Neblett, Diane Noya, Jennifer Scanlon, Donna Silva, Adriana Suarez , Jimmy, Vierra and Leslie Woodies, among many others. She grew as a dancer through programs such as Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, RiverNorth Dance Company, Boston Dance Company and Thodos Dance. She also has been fortunate enough to have performed works choreographed by Adriane Brayton, Fernadina Chan, Sean Curran, Joe Gonzales, Jose Limon, Perdo Ruiz, Nathan Trice, Jimmy Vierra, and many others. She has taught ballet and creative movement at Boston Arts Academy and at Spontaneous Celebrations. She currently dances with Beheard.world and Continuum Dance Project. Mary Ellen is Studio Director of Smartbody Movement and a USPA Authentic Pilates teacher.
Noelle Patten, a native Bostonian, graduated from Boston Art Academy in 2006 as a dance major. There she had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Nathan Trice, Pedro Ruiz, Sean Curran and Marianne Harkless. Studying under the direction of Fernadina Chan, William McLaughlin and Sheryl Thomas, she fell in love with choreographing and performing. Noelle continued her education at Marymount Manhattan College, earning a B.F.A in Modern Dance in May 2010. While attending MMC, she was a member of the Marymount Manhattan Dance Company and worked with Take Dance, Edgar Zendajas, David Parsons, Robert Battle and Katherine Duke. After graduating, Noelle continued to dance in New York City, working with Nathan Trice Rituals as a guest artist, and Athena Reich as a backup dancer. She has choreographed for SparrowTree Theatre Company in Brooklyn, NY. Noelle was also featured in Athena Reich’s music video ‘The Logical Song’ and had the opportunity of performing the piece live at the OUTMusic Awards in New York City. Last year, Noelle was a company member in Impact Dance Companies third season. Currently, She is a teaching artist at Boston Arts Academy (BAA) through the Alumni Creative Corps at the Center for Arts in Education; and is a company member in Jazz Inc Dance. This past Spring she became the first recipient of ChanDance Choreographic Fellowship to create a new work on BAA students.
Ronnie Terrel Thomas started as a young promising student at the Boston Arts Academy under the watchful eyes of ballet teacher Cosmin Marculetiu. Thomas was offered numerous scholarships from The Boston Conservatory, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. At the age of 16 Thomas was featured in The American Ballet Theater production of Giselle, shortly after he had the amazing opportunity to share the stage with Mikhail Baryshnikov and his company, White Oak Dance Project in the featured piece Past Forward. By age 18, Thomas had performed with such companies as Jose Mateo Ballet Theater, The Hybrid Movement Company, Quixotic Fusion Performance Ensemble, and Anna Myer and Dancers. As an aerialist, Ronnie has performed with the Hybrid Movement Company, Vance Garrett Productions and Rudy Benda Productions. He also has performed breakdance with the NYC Tranzformerz Breakdance Crew. He choreographed and has collaborated on dance, aerial and body2body works with the Hybrid Movement Company since 2009. In 2014 Thomas was invited to work in Europe with Teatrul De Balet Sibiu, Romania. Not only was he exposed to new choreographers but challenged as an artist to refine his technique and style in Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker, and Don Q. In 2015 Thomas returned to the United States as a choreographer, freelance dancer, and guest teacher to start and direct Mystique Illusions Dance Theatre.