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Take a moment to learn a little about those who have donated their time and talents to Let The Elephants Dance. All the artists below will either be gracing the stage themselves and/or have created work to be performed on Saturday October 19th 2019 . 

Kahvontay Willis-Slaughter:
Unapologetic Dance Collective

@unapologeticdancecollective

Kahvontay is a Toronto-based dance artist. He is known for his expressive performance quality, captivating stage presence, and risk-taking physicality. He graduated dance school with Centennial College under the Artistic Direction of Celestine Eagle, as well as a inclusively mentoring under dance artist, Ming-Bo Lam. Kahvontay has had the pleasure of training under George Jones Jr. in his performance training company “The Vibe Exclusive.” His love & passion for dance grows so much each day, being able share that with Toronto is such a blessing because there’s such beauty & talent in this city. Which is why Kahvontay decided to create a collective of Toronto dance artists: 

Unapologetic Dance Collective.

Brelene Laskoski

@brelene11

Brelene Laskoski was initially a gymnast, began dancing at the age of 14 at Canterbury Arts High School before joining the competitive team at Leeming Danceworks Inc. After graduating she continued her dance career in Toronto where she worked with several prominent artists including Ryan Lee, Jasmyn Fyffe, Danni Grossman, Jen Dallas, and Darryl Tracy.  Trained in ballet, jazz, Graham, Horton, Limon, hip hop, contemporary, and improvisation. She has performed in Rooted Contemporary Dance Showcase, Dancer’s Give Back, Young Creators Challenge, and various other projects. In addition, Laskoski’s choreography has been featured in Choreographer’s Ball Toronto, Fever After Dark, and Young Creators Challenge, where she placed second overall. In 2018, Laskoski was proud to present her 15 minute piece, “Canary in a Coal Mine” at the Toronto event Escapade produced by Signature Dance, Inc. Laskoski is excited to present her new work for Let The Elephants Dance. 

Matthew Morales

@_matthewmorales

Matthew is an emerging dancer, choreographer, and instructor in the Toronto urban dance scene. Coming from Markham, he began dancing with VYbE Dance Company and has continued to train in styles including hip hop, popping, locking, whaacking, house, and urban choreography. Since then, he has worked with groups including The Toronto Raptors North Side Crew, The Male Initiative (Toronto), The Industry Toronto, and Vie Division (McMaster University). Currently, Matthew works with The Dance Institute teaching faculty (Markham) and the VYbE Dance Studio teaching faculty (Markham), striving to inspire dancers of all ages to discover more about themselves and to work hard towards their goals.

Lianne Tammi

@liannetammi

Lianne is a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer based out of Toronto. She has recently performed in FAME with Just For Laughs in Montreal. She has also performed for artists including Keshia Chanté and Blake McGrath. She is recognized for her work ethic, versatility and performance quality. She is an honours graduate of the Performance Dance program at Ryerson University, where she received extensive training in technical disciplines including ballet, contemporary and jazz. Upon her graduation, she has been training and teaching a variety of more commercial disciplines such as jazz funk, hip hop and heels. Lianne is currently on faculty at the industry’s leading studios:  The Underground Dance Centre, Dance Life X and Joy of Dance Centre. She often travels to LA and NYC to pursue her training and further her career. Hardworking, creative and enthusiastic, she is always striving to learn something new and pass it on to her many students across the country. 

Indiana Mehta

@indianamehta

Born in Mumbai, trained in Indian Classical/Folk and Western dance forms (Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Hip Hop and more) Indiana was the first Indian to graduate from Laine Theatre Arts, UK with a National Diploma in Performing Arts (Level 6). She also gained her DDI in ISTD Ballet and Modern. Indiana is always on top of her training and continues to take classes at Millennium Dance Complex (She is awarded the Work Study Program) and Metro Movement. 

Indiana has taught and performed in Toronto, London (UK) and India. 

Her credits include Anze Skrube, Dragon Talent Group, Colors TV, BBC India, Sony Music, Dharma productions and more. She made her Bollywood debut in 2015 starring the role of a dance teacher in the movie ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushki’ (directed by Karan Johar and Dharma Productions). 

Her cultural collaboration for arts and artist is what makes her stand out. She has always believed in ‘Dance has no boundaries’ and continues to work towards it. Indiana moved to Toronto in May 2018 and she currently works as a dancer, performer, choreographer, teacher & actor. 

Aaron Aquino & Nicole Rosove:
Run The Flex

 @runtheflex 

Aaron and Nicole are a Toronto-based dynamic choreography and performing duo who combine their knowledge of a wide variety of dance genres to create and share in the classroom and on stage. Their credits include Billie Eilish, Lupe Fiasco, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Nuit Blanche, Umbrella Academy, Grand Army, World of Dance, World Pride, TIFF, Goldwell and Hershey’s Canada. Aaron and Nicole are both on faculty at the Underground Dance Centre, and travel locally and internationally to teach workshops. The pair recently taught at DuboForce, a one-week performing arts intensive in Monterrey, Mexico. In 2017, Aaron and Nicole founded RUN THE FLEX, a dance company that makes hip hop dance accessible to all. They offer 6-week hip hop dance programs for adults from beginner to intermediate level, private lessons, and also run a year-round training company, called Black Ops. RUN THE FLEX is rooted in the belief, that when given the right tools, anyone can dance. It is never too late to start. Their signature 6-week programs will get you busting a move, working up a sweat and building confidence all within a supportive community.   www.runtheflex.com. 

Jordan Sterling

@jorgore444 / @huckleberrymumble

Jordan Sterling is a poet and writer based out of Toronto. Attending the University of Toronto for Health Science, he quickly realized his passion wasn’t with helping people in the field of medicine, but instead with his words. An advocate for mental health from the beginning as both an ally and someone who struggles with it himself, he slowly cut his teeth on the poetry circuit by attending open mic sessions and eventually graduating to poetry slam competitions.

Kyra Mastro

@kyramastro

Kyra is a pop fusion artist from Toronto. After ten years of songwriting, she is finally proud of where her evolution has brought her. Kyra experiments with different styles such as jazz, r&b, pop, and hip hop while still being influenced by her classical and musical theatre background. She just released a song in produced by Sony Music called “Storm” which you can find on Apple Music, and Spotify. Kyra is excited to share her experience with the world, while continuously learning from those around her.

Johnny Tran

@johnnyboytran

Johnny graduated from Etobicoke School of the Arts with a dance major, then went to Ryerson University graduating with a BscN. Currently, he is working as a registered nurse in mental health. Johnny plans to continue to advocate for the importance of mental health. That being said, they are very grateful to share their love for both dance and mental health on stage at Let The Elephants Dance. Johnny is so honored and excited to be part of this years annual fundraising gala.

Sarah Hoekstra

@sarahhoekstrachoreography 

Sarah has been immersed in the dance industry since the age of 5. Sarah trained in Kitchener, Ontario in various dance forms including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Acro and Hip Hop. Some of Sarah’s credits include WCDSB’s production of 42nd Street, Machtech commercials featured on CTV, Call Me Fitz on HBO, and more. Sarah started teaching and choreographing at the ripe age of 15, and has since been recognized year after year for her innovative, and inspiring choreography. Sarah frequently guest teaches at studios throughout Ontario and is known for her inspiring and challenging combo classes. Today Sarah is a member of multiple professional organizations involving dance and performing. Sarah has been training dancers and choreographing at Premier Dance Academy in Waterloo for the past seven years.  Sarah has also been the creative director and founder of dance programs for students in New Minas, Nova Scotia. Sarah’s powerful love and passion for dance and choreography continues to grow every year.  

Jessica Mannara:

D'air Dance Collective

@jmannara_choreography

With hard work and determination, Jessica is pursuing her childhood dream to share her love of dance as a studio director, dance educator, and choreographer. D’Air Dance Collective was founded in 2015 when Jessica was only 22 yrs old, attending her 4th year at York University. DDC started as a pre-professional training program for emerging artists, where they worked 6 months out of the year and performed full length productions. Jessica’s passion for dance grew into opening a studio where children of all ages come to share their love for dance, in a safe learning environment. It is Jessica’s mission to help shape each child not only as a dancer but the whole person

Erin Jacobson & Jessica Ford

@erjakey / @jessicaford.art 

Jessica Ford began developing her unique style at the age of 4 at top studios in the GTA. She gained a strong technical foundation at Performing Dance Arts and Joanne Chapmans School of Dance. Throughout her dance career, Jessica has always been known for her intense, yet gentle quality of movement and her ability to connect with a non-dancer audience. Jessica is the founder and artistic director of Kalos:The Program; a contemporary training program aimed to bridge the gap between commercial and concert dance. 3 years ago, Jessica signed a partnership between Kalos and CAMH to help raise money for mental health research and treatment. 100% of proceeds from her training program as well as any of her personal contracted events, go to charity. She has choreographed in such events as Toronto Kids Fashion Week, The Industry Night, A Night to Celebrate HER, Fever After Dark, The Choreographers' Ball, Hot In Heels: High Society, Raise the Rhythm Fundraiser, 1234, Dark Dance Showcase, OIP Company Showcase, Let The Elephants Dance, Bazaar and Ray D'ance Gala among many others.
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Erin is a versatile dancer with many years of training and experience. Starting her life of dance 18 years ago at a very young age, Erin is now pursuing life as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. Erin has performed in various Toronto based shows from Fever After Dark to Toronto’s Industry Night. Erin has also appeared as a dancer in a Mini TV Series starring James Franco. Taking part in Centennial College’s Dance Performance program helped escalate her career- Erin is now teaching weekly at the Underground Dance Centre as well as teaching full time at Dance Sensation Inc. Erin is thrilled to be a part of the Let the Elephants Dance show for her second year in a row.  

Giulia Guadagni

@_giuliaguadagni

Giulia started dancing in Italy when she was 3 years old and never stopped. She is currently a choreographer and assistant captain for the McMaster Competitive Dance Team. Giulia is a very passionate dancer and has always been better at expressing herself through movement. Mental health awareness is a cause that holds a very special place in Giulia’s heart and she can’t wait to share her story with you. 

Teniya Brooks

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Teniya started dancing at the age of 8 years old initially as a ballet and jazz dancer, it wasn’t until 10 years later when she would find herself in love with Hip Hop. Fresh out of high school, she took the plunge into dance and hasn't looked back since. Through commitment and vigorous training Teniya has proven time and time again that she is a force to be reckoned with and has been able to share her talents not only on stage, but commercially as well through Kotex Canada, Special K Canada, MMVAS, WEDay and in 2020, Disney Zombies 2.  

What draws Teniya the most to the art of dance is how much it can make her feel whole, and how everyday, every year is a new year to learn something new about the world and herself. Also, using dance as a platform to communicate offers a plethora of reasons to put her own work out. Everything always has to come from a real place, and although it is scary, there is no real way to express and bring a level of understanding to her own work without the truth. To be able to share and take part of a gift such as dance keeps her leveled, and looking forward to the future, which includes working with youth to find their own passion within any art.

Kiriana Stanton

@kirianastanton

Bio's coming soon ... 

Photo credit for the above belongs to:

Alvin Collantes, Juan Jose Granda, Andrew Johnson, Marie Claude Lapointe,Edwin (SV Photography), Keen & Posh Photography, Eddy Huyhn, Zak Ristivojevic& Tim Leyes