Logan Frances Kruger

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Logan Frances Kruger became the Company's Rehearsal Director in 2017. She has been a member of the Limón Dance Company since 2009, performing feature roles in the works by José Limón, Jiří Kylián, Rodrigo Pederneiras, and Kate Weare. Kruger hails from Atlanta, GA, trained with Annette Lewis and Pamala Jones-Malave, and received B.F.A. from The Julliard School. She has performed in theaters across five continents, working with choreographers such as Adam H. Weinert, Jonah Bokaer, with the company Shen Wei Dance Artists, and with Damian Woetzel's DEMO. As a teacher, Kriger has worked with students of all ages and levels in North and South America, Europe, and Africa, and is currently on faculty at the Limón Institute. Kruger also acts as a reconstructor of Limón dances and has stages works for the Limón Institute's Professional Studies Program, DanceWave, and the Vail International Dance Festival. 

(photo by Christopher Jones)

Isabelle Frame


Isabelle Frame originally began her dance studies at Beckley Dance Theatre in West Virginia. She continued her training in Durham, North Carolina with the Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts under the direction of the Boleyn Willis-Zeger where she started in countless storybook ballets.   Isabelle was also excepted to attend summer training programs at the procedures American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Arizona. She has performed as the corps de ballet with Charlotte Ballet Company and received leading roles with the Charlotte Ballet Academy. Her favorite ballet roles include Polly and Pineapple Poll, Wendy in Peter Pan, and the title role in Cinderella and a Little Mermaid. She also has studied and performed a variety of contemporary repertory rooted in the research Shaga and the Gaga Movement Language as well as William Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies Unser the direction of ShaLeigh Comerford, Artistic Director of ShaLeigh Dance Works, where she is currently a company member.

Kalito Luna

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Kalito Luna is a senior at Duke University majoring in Public Policy. He began dancing in high school where his love for the art quickly grew. While at Duke, he has taken the opportunity to learn from amazing Professors Barbara Dickenson, Andrea Woods-Valdez, Nina Wheeler, and Ava Vinesett. While focusing on Modern Dance, he has enjoyed exploring African and Jazz Dance. He is a member of Nakisai, Duke’s premier African Dance Ensemble, where he has had the opportunity to choreograph and perform at many major on-campus events. He has learned from Mrs. Avis Hatcher-Puzzo for a short time in high school and is excited for this opportunity to do so again.

Randi Osetek

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Randi Osetek was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and trained in Chicago, Illinois and Green Bay, Wisconsin before accepting a full scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Ms. Osetek completed her training with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where she performed regularly with the company.   Ms. Osetek joined Carolina Ballet in 2002 as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to Soloist in 2008.  Ms. Osetek has made guest appearances throughout the United States and toured China as a Soloist with Carolina Ballet.  Ms. Osetek credits her love of dance to a few special teachers including Timothy Josephs and Jane Meredith at the Green Bay School of Dance, and Susan Pilarre and Suki Schorer at the School of American Ballet.  Ms. Osetek enjoys travel, the beach, everything Disney, designer shoes, and the Green Bay Packers.


Antonio Fini

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Antonio Fini is an Italian born modern dancer, choreographer, and director. Antonio has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, Kosovo Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Boca Ballet Theatre, Mare Nostrum Elements, and Michael Mao Dance, with whom he has performed as principal dancer since 2011. In 2011, he created Alto Jonio Dance Festival in Villapiana, Calabria to provide exceptional dancers in Italy the opportunity to perform with established companies in New York. In 2013, Antonioexpanded his vision by founding the Italian International Dance Award, which recognizes phenomenal Italian and international dancers for their accomplishments. In 2014 Alto Jonio was transformed into Fini Dance Festival with the mission of establishing greater connections between dancers in New York and Italy. The festivals have been listed as one of the top summer dance festivals in the United States (Dance Informa) and Europe (Ballet 2000). Furthering his mission to unite the international dance community, Antonio has developed a dance competition and mentorship program for television called The Audition. Distributed in partnership with Delta Star Pictures, the show will premiere in 2018 on Amazon Prime.

For expanded bio please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Fini

Jacquelyn Batten

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Originally from Salisbury, NC, Jacquelyn “Jackie” Batten is a dancer/choreographer interested in Afrocentric movement and rhythms and how the two create the perfect marriage on stage.  Her diverse movement background plays a large part in her movement studies and interests. In addition to training in ballet, modern techniques such as Cunningham and Safety Release, traditional West and South African dance, and specializing in jazz funk/hip hop, she also has a background in stepping, cheerleading and musical theatre. Jacquelyn has been fortunate enough to display her knowledge in various works, such as, the Piedmont Player’s production of “CHICAGO”, works by School of Dance faculty members BJ Sullivan and Maurice Watson, various concept videos, and on multiple stages and events around the Triad, including the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC.

  Jackie is currently an undergraduate at UNC Greensboro studying Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor in Arts Administration. She has also had the privilege of studying abroad at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, where she trained in Safety Release, Horton, traditional South African dance cultures, and ballet.  Jacquelyn was also fortunate enough to be apart of two performance works during her short time at UCT. She will be presenting her thesis work “afro-” in April of 2018 and will be graduating December of that same year. After completing her degree at UNC Greensboro, Jacquelyn plans on teaching, training, and performing in the Greensboro and surrounding areas until she makes the artist's’ pilgrimage to New York City to continue pursuing a career in movement and arts business in the gallery realm.

Corinne Canavarro

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Corinne Canavarro is a graduate of NCSU and holds BS degrees in both Chemistry and Environmental Technology & Management. She began her dance journey in the public school system where she was fortunate to have several dedicated dance teachers who encouraged her to continue learning. While at NCSU she was a member of the Panoramic Dance Project under the direction of Tara Mullins where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers Lavender D. Burris, Baba Chuck Davis, Willie Hinton, and Autumn Mist Belk. She also participated and choreographed for several student dance groups on campus. Her training includes ballet, modern (Horton technique), jazz, improvisation techniques, and Latin dance. Corinne attended the American Dance Festival six-week school in 2014 and has worked with Code f.a.d. Company (Autumn Mist Belk). She has been a member of Koffee Dance Company since 2012 and is currently a member of Mambo Dinamico. In addition to working full time in the pharmaceutical industry, she is also active in the hip hop community.

Mychal Keels

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Sumter, South Carolina native Mychal Keels is a Political Science graduate of North Carolina Central University. Despite his major he has acquired an immense love for dance, exploring a myriad of styles and concentrations in the process. Only beginning dance four years ago, he has grown leaps and bounds having an understanding of jazz, ballet, hip-hop and contemporary, but specializes in Horton Modern technique. Mychal has taught master classes and set pieces on many schools in the NC area including Hillside High School, Longleaf School of the Arts, Durham School of the Arts, and Fayetteville State University. Mychal was able to participate in the American Dance Festival where he performed in Charles Anderson’s repertory piece as well as trained with former Frankfurt Ballet principal dancer Elizabeth Corbett. Mychal has been a member of Koffee Dance Company since 2014.

Justin Williams

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Justin Williams is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a degree in Mass Communication. However, even though he is busy shaping the world of media, his love for dance has caused him to dive head first into the art form. After taking a long break from dance, he began working in the world of musical theatre where he found his love for dancing again. Since then he has become adept in the styles of hip hop, jazz, Modern Horton technique, and contemporary. Justin was also able to participate in the American Dance Festival (2017) where he was blessed to take part in the Bill T. Jones repertory under Shayla-vie Jenkins. He has also been able to study with former principal dancer of the Frankfurt Ballet, Elizabeth Corbett. Justin has also been able to set pieces on Durham School of the Arts and teach master classes at Hillside High School, Longleaf School of the Arts, and Fayetteville State University. Beyond dance, Justin is an avid photographer, videographer, and graphic designer. Justin has been a member of Koffee Dance Company since 2014.

Clayton Barrier


M. Clayton Barrier is a native of Durham, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina Central University.  While in college, he took every opportunity to be involved in fitness and dance. Most recently, he is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher for various dance organizations and an up-and-coming local dance company. In addition to being a theater, dance, and physical education/health teacher at a public college prep charter school, Clayton is  trained in various yoga practices through YogaFit. Currently, he teaches yoga and barre in various locations around the Triangle.  Additionally, he teaches ballet and jazz for adults. Clayton prides himself in meeting his students at their level, raising the bar, and serving as support to reaching that goal.  His no-nonsense approach has a number of dancers and athletes who train under him independently.

Avis Hatcher Puzzo


Avis Hatcher Puzzo, founder/choreographer of  Koffee Dance Company

Avis Hatcher Puzzo, is known regionally for her work as a choreographer for numerous dance venues and musicals however in August 2012, she founded her own dance/theater company, Koffee Dance Company (KDC), which premiered in March 2013, at North Carolina School of Math and Science in Durham.

An NC resident since 2008, this Connecticut-native holds a BA in Dance/Theater from Trinity College, an MFA in Theater Arts and Dance from Case Western Reserve University, and a MS in Higher Education from Capella University.  Previously having trained and performed in New England, New York and the Midwest, her choreographic emphasis is in Horton, Cunningham and Graham modern dance techniques as well as jazz, hip-hop cultural and contemporary movement styles.   Avis has developed a hybrid dance style which incorporates the grace of Ailey based modern (Horton) with highly rhythmic and athletic gestures. Studying at Ailey, in addition to Garth Fagan, Ned Williams, and Elisa Monte she founded Wette Paint Dance Theater, in Connecticut a contemporary dance and theater company which toured the east coast.

Winner of the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual award 2013, Avis most recently performed with Ronald K. Brown / Evidence Dance Company & Community Dancers of Durham for the ADF LifeTime Achievement Award Concert and is also the Associate professor of dance/theater at Fayetteville State University.


Vania Clairborne

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Vania Claiborne is from Charlotte, NC by way of Boston, MA. She holds her BFA in Dance Choreography and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a student she studied Contemporary, African, Jazz, Safety Release, and Ballet under the tutelage of B.J Sullivan, Janet Lilly, Robin Gee, Justin Tornow, and more. There she has performed multiple works including in Standing Tall by Yoav Kador, Conversations by Nathan Trice, Rubrics of Lace by Christal Brown. She has performed on various stages including the Kennedy Center and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a Choreographer she has set works on JOYEMOVEMENT dance company and on students in the Forsyth county school system. As an Administrator she has served the national and international dance community through the 2018 American Dance Festival, and while there presented the solo Opportunity Cost, at an informal showing. Choreographically, Vania interested in the intersection faith and ethics, “I have learned to kiss the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages.”- Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Justin Tornow

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Justin Tornow is a North Carolina native, currently based in Durham, NC. She is the artistic director of COMPANY, a producer of the local artist series PROMPTS, and a co-founder and -organizer with Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA.) Justin’s work is often collaborative and inter-disciplinary, partnering with composers, musicians, film and video artists, and visual artists. Her projects have been presented by CAM-Raleigh, Tanzart Atelier in Germany, 21c Hotel and Museum, UGA Dancz Center for New Music, The UNC Process Series, the SaxOpen Festival in Strasbourg, France, UGA-Cortona in Cortona, Italy, DUMBO Dance Festival, WAXworks, CoolNY Festival, Philly Fringe, and the NC Dance Festival. In 2010, Justin received an MFA in Choreography from UNC-Greensboro; she lived and worked in NYC from 2010-2013, and relocated to Durham, NC in June 2013. Justin served as artist-in-residence at Tanzart Atelier in Kirschau, Germany in Fall/Winter 2017. She is faculty at the American Dance Festival Summer Dance Intensive teaching composition and Cunningham-based technique courses, and serves as part-time dance faculty at UNC-Greensboro and Elon University, teaching studio courses in technique, composition, and repertory. Additionally, Justin is a Merce Cunningham dance research fellow for the New York Public Library this Fall/Winter 2018-2019.

Emily Arocho

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Emily Arocho is 25 years old from Reidsville, NC. Her dance career started when she was 3 years old at Academy of Dance. She attended University of North Carolina of Greensboro where she studied in Dance Education for 4 years. She is currently teaching dance and coaching cheerleading at Shelby Middle School in Shelby, NC. She enjoys hanging with friends and her husband in her free time.

Matthew Rock


Matthew Rock was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina on July 8th, 1992. Matthew first started in the arts with training in music and theatre, playing a medley of instruments and acting in an array of plays. The art of dance was soon added to the list by taking ballroom dance lessons in 2008, followed by Summer training of ballet at Taylor Dance in 2009, and transferred to Terpsichore in 2010, where he trained in ballet, contemporary, and jazz technique. In 2011, he attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, majoring in BFA dance performance and choreography. Matthew began studying a myriad of genres of dance more in depth, such as, African, ballet, ballroom, contemporary, improvisation, jazz, and choreography. After graduating in 2014, he relocated to Washington D.C. to further pursue his career in dance and the performing arts. Dancing with companies such as ArasDance, Jane Franklin Dance, and Light Switch Dance Theatre, and under the instruction of various renowned dance artists, he has performed in a myriad of venues and theatres throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. He has also choreographed his own works for various festivals and events along the East coast, providing different insights and perspectives on current societal events and human experiences through athleticism and artistry. He is also artistic director of MARO Movement and had dabbled in dance journalism as an active concert reviewer in D.C. Through choreographing, performing, teaching, and writing, Matthew hopes to continue to grow and expand his knowledge as an artist, sharing his experiences and voice through a movement medium and promoting social change.

Aparna Pisharody


Aparna Pisharody (Greensboro NC) is an active performer, teacher and choreographer of Indian Classical Dance - Bharatanatyam. Growing up in Mumbai (India), Aparna was introduced to Bharatanatyam at a very young age. She continues to nurture her passion for Bharatanatyam under Sathvikaa Shankar (A senior disciple of world renowned artist Smt. Anita Guha). Understanding the compelling nature of Bharatanatyam and how it connects one to the divinity within themselves is an exhilarating and ongoing journey for her. To move the audience through the presentation of this ancient art form is an inspiration for her. Aparna has performed at various prestigious events within India and the US. Her performances reflect her devotion to this spiritual artform and they never fail to evoke an emotional experience in the spectators.

Aparna founded Svasti School of Dance in 2013 to impart devotion to Bharatanatyam in all students with the hope that they make it a meaningful part of their lives. She loves to teach because every class is a learning experience for her. She grows artistically and spiritually with every student, every day. Being able to encourage, challenge, and develop passion in the next generation is a sadhana (spiritual prayer) for her. She strives to teach Bharatanatyam through a traditional curriculum, and rigorous practice. Through it all she encourages creativity and humility. Svasti School of Dance performances are held all over the Triad area raising money for Temples, Flood Relief and various charitable organizations. The ultimate wish is that physical and spiritual discipline required on this artistic voyage will guide all to success in every pursuit of their life.

Ballet Masterclasses with Pedro Ruiz


When: June 3rd, 2018

Where: 417 Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587

Time: 1:15-2:45pm


When: June 5th, 2018

Where: 1002 Durham Road #300, Wake Forest, NC 27587

Time: 6:00-7:30pm


Cost: $20 cash per student (collected at the door)

Registration: to register please email info@wakeforestdancefestival.org

DON’T MISS THESE TWO OPPORTUNITIES to study with the celebrated dancer and choreographer Pedro Ruiz! Presented by Wake Forest Dance Festival and hosted by Destiny Dance Institute (6/3/18) and Wake Forest Academy of Fine Arts (6/5/18) the masterclasses will focus on Ballet Technique for students ages 13 and up. SPACE IS LIMITED!

Pedro Ruiz was trained in his native country, Cuba and in Venezuela, Mr. Ruiz choreographed three celebrated ballets while a principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico for twenty-one years. Choreography credits include: The Joffrey Ballet, Luna Negra, New Jersey Ballet, The Tribeca PA C, The Jacob's Pillow Festival, The Marymount College, the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program, Ailey’s Spring Celebration and Summer Sizzler concerts. He is on the dance faculty of Marymount College, the staff of The Ailey School and Scarsdale Ballet. Awards include: the Bessie Award, the Choo-San Goh Award, The Cuban Artist’s Fund, and The Joyce Foundation Award to create a new work for The Joffrey. Mr. Ruiz has performed at the White House and was profiled nationally on PBS’s In the Life.

For extended bio please visit: https://www.wakeforestdancefestival.org/blog/2018/5/3/pedro-ruiz

Absent Bloom

When: May 27, 2018

Where: E. Carroll Joyner Park's Performance Garden

Time: 3:30PM


Join us for the premiere of Absent Bloom! This new work was developed in choreographic collaboration by the dancers Brianna Cooper, Kaitlin Clow, and Masha Dashkina Maddux. Together with musician and composer Dallas Brown, Absent Bloom was brought to life through exploratory improvisation combining music and dance. 

In Absent Bloom the first hopeful hint of spring is captured in movement. The piece calls to memory the moment when winter’s harsh edges are starting to melt away and soft, delicate new life is beginning to blossom. 



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BraindDance(c) Interactive Performance


When: May 13, 2018

Where: E. Carroll Joyner Park (Performance Garden)

Time: 3:30-4:00pm


Come join us this Mother's Day at 3:30pm, prior to Six Sundays in Spring Concert, for a FAMILY FRIENDLY, FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC performance at Joyner Park's Performance Garden. Jody Fabso Cassell will lead you in BrainDance(c) developed by Anne Green Gilbert who was awarded the highest teaching award by the American Dance Festival in 2016.  BrainDance (c) is a way to move the body to wire the brain to become focused, energized, and prepared to meet the challenges of the day.  It is a fun and easy way to reduce stress and become capable of responding rather than reacting to people and events during the day.  It can be performed by all ages, either standing or seated. Come join! Jody will also lead a short demonstration in how a dance is built.
This performance is interactive with whomever wants to participate.

This event is sponsored by Wake Forest Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival.

Pedro Ruiz


Artistic Director/ Choreographer / Teacher / Dancer

Pedro Ruiz is a celebrated choreographer and dancer who was born and trained in Cuba, and later in Venezuela before coming to the US.  During his 21-year career with Ballet Hispanico as principal dancer, Ruiz choreographed three critically acclaimed ballets for the company — Club Havana (the company’s signature piece), Guajira and Cecilia. As a dancer,  Ruiz was distinguished with a Bessie Award, the New York Dance World’s highest honor.

Choreography credits include: Fire Island Dancers Responding to AIDS Dance Festival, Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance, Ballet Contemporaneo de Camagüey Cuba, Danza de Contemporanea de Cuba Havana, Danza del Alma Santa Clara Cuba, National Ballet School of Cuba, Ballet de Camagüey Cuba, The Joffrey Ballet, Luna Negra, The New Jersey Ballet, The Tribeca Performing Arts Center, The Jacob's Pillow Festival, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Opus Dance Theater, Nimbus Dance Works, the Italian international gala "Notte di Stelle," Il Piccolo Teatro dell’Opera, Alvin Ailey Summer Sizzler and Ailey Spring Concerts, Marymount Manhattan College, Ulster Ballet Company, President George Bush’s Birthday celebration, 50th Anniversary Gala of Goya with Tito Puente, and The Boston Conservatory. National television appearances include the CBS Sunday Morning Show, NBC’s “Hispanics Today,” “The Hispanic Heritage Awards,” a PBS “In The Life” series profile Pas de Deux, and WNET/13 documentary, Pedro Ruiz: Coming Home — an hour-long, Emmy-nominated film about Ruiz’s return to Cuba and his 2011 collaboration with the national Cuban dance company Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. For additional information on “Pedro Ruiz: Coming Home”, click here. Ruiz is on the dance faculty of Marymount College, the staff of The Ailey School, a master-class teacher of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Pace University, Complexion Contemporary Ballet and Resident Artistic Director of the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter. He has also taught master classes and performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Central and South America.In February 2010, Mr. Ruiz created “The Windows Project,” a groundbreaking endeavor celebrating the art of dance as a cultural bridge between the U.S. and Cuba. After 30 years Ruiz returned to his native land and was commissioned to create an original work, Horizonte, for Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, thus becoming the first Cuban-American ever to set a dance work on this national company. Horizonte had its world premiere in January 2011 at Teatro Mella in Havana. When Danza Contemporanea toured the U.S. in May 2011, Horizonte was featured in the company’s repertoire.In January 2012, Ruiz premiered his second commission for a Cuban dance company, El Camino, performed by Danza del Alma at Teatro Caridad in Santa Clara, Cuba. On March 17 of that year, Ruiz headlined the annual gala for The New Jersey Ballet with a new work, So Proudly We Hail — a fist-time collaboration between The New Jersey Ballet and the West Point Military Band.In 2013, Pedro Ruiz was commissioned to create a new collaboration with Ballet Contemporaneo Endedans of Camaguey, Cuba. Moments in the Wind premiered on January 24, 2014, at Teatro Principal in Camageuy as a part of a year-long series of cultural events planned to celebrate the beautiful colonial city’s 500th anniversary; and Moments in the Wind premiered to critical acclaim in Havana at Teatro Marti on July 18, 2014. On May 24, 2015, Ruiz premiered a new ballet in the Havana Biennial with principal dancer from Ballet Nacional de Cuba, Viengsay Valdes, as well as dancers from the school of the Ballet Nacional de Cuba. In November 2014, Ruiz was officially appointed Associate artistic Director of Ballet Contemporaneo Endedans of Camagüey Cuba. In 2015/2016, Ruiz’s highly successful ballet, Club Havana was featured in Lincoln Center at the Movies: Great American Dance. And Ruiz’s celebrated poetic duet, Lasting Embrace, premiered in the US in July 2016 at the Dancers Responding to AIDS Dance Festival on Fire Island and at Marymount Manhattan College.

Awards include: The Bessie Award, the Choo-San Goh Award, The Cuban Artist’s Fund, The Joyce Foundation Award and The American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba. The FBI honored Ruiz for his Public Service during Hispanic Heritage Month Mr. Ruiz has performed at the White House for several presidents.