Guest Artist Julio Cruz was born and raised in Hartford, CT where he received his training at the Kinsella Middle School for the Arts and the Greater Hartford Academy for the Arts High School. His early mentors were B-boys T!ger, Savage Henry and Poptart. He danced with Sonia Plumb Dance Company for the 2016-2017 season. He dances with three different crews United Outkast, FUNKY REBELlion and Kalligraphy.
Tessa Grunwald is a dance and theater graduate of Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York. While in college she had the privilege to attend Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Intensive on scholarship in Colorado. Since then, she has acquired a list of diverse performance credits carrying the privilege of dancing with companies and choreographers such as Lorelei Chang (dancEnlight), Peter Pucci Plus Dancers, Laura Glenn WORKS,Antonio Brown (Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane), Doug Elkins, Keith Saunders, and Nicholas Ross. Other professional accomplishments include national and international touring with Fisher Price, Disney, and Milestone Productions, and carrying out a supporting role in Finian’s Rainbow at the Ivoryton Playhouse, CT. She has also achieved choreography credits including: Spamalot, Cabaret, (Broadway World ‘Choreography’ nomination), Secret Garden(CHSMTA “Choreography’ nomination), Soar With Reading Magic Tree House National Tour, and The Giggle Bears, Chennai, India. Tessa currently works at Miss Porters School in Farmington, CT as their head dance instructor, and is thrilled to be dancing with Dimensional Dance.
Chloë Hood Knopf (Apprentice) studied and performed with the Hartt School Community Division Intensive Dance Program for 10 years. She won the Gold Medal, Junior Division, at the CT Classic 2012, and was awarded a full tuition scholarship to American Ballet Theatre, Orange Co., which she attended that summer. She has attended The Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, earning a merit scholarship in summer 2011. Knopf first performed in Dimensional Dance in 2014 at the Ted Hershey Dance Marathon. She is currently away at college at Roger Williams University and will join Dimensional Dance for its spring and summer seasons 2018.
Savana Jones (Apprentice) is a native of Hartford. At age eight she began her studies in dance at The Artist Collective doing African dance under the tutelage of Aca Lee Thompson. In 1995 she received a scholarship with Hartford City Ballet and continued her ballet studies. From that point on, she fell in love with dance and continued studying in many styles of dance including jazz, tap, hip-hop, modern, and social dancing. Graduating as a Dance Major from The Hartford Conservatory in 2009, is now a well-known dance instructor and choreographer in the Greater Hartford district. This is her first season with Dimensional Dance.
Sanda Lungu is originally from Chisinau, Moldova. She started dancing at age 6 in her native country at the ballet studio Soarele. At age 11, Sanda became a student at the Professional Ballet Academy of Chisinau. She joined the National Opera and Ballet Theatre of Moldova and danced with them for three years. After graduation she was invited by the Moscow Ballet Company to join them on tour and performed 56 Nutcracker in 2 months! She has also toured with the Crown of Russia Ballet. She just finished her second tour with The State of Russia Ballet performing the classics of Swan Lake, Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. Her favorite ballet is Romeo and Juliet but her favorite role is dancing as the Dying Swan. This is her first season dancing with Dimensional Dance.
Matisse Madden hails from Kauai and received her early training from Royal Ballet Kauai. She has performed to critical acclaim in both the United States and Europe. She has danced with Ballet West and Connecticut Ballet. Although Matisse is focusing on performing at present, she has a strong academic background. Matisse received her B.A. in Dance (Ballet emphasis) and B.S in Zoology from Brigham Young University, and her MFA from The University of Utah. Matisse is a visiting professor at Mt. Holyoke College, and is currently teaching the intermediate and advanced Ballet classes at Yale University. Matisse has performed the lead in Dimensional Dance’s Wyeth:Looking Beyond and Peaceable Kingdom about the painting by Edward Hicks. She been with Dimensional Dance since 2012.
Erica Maillet was born in Manchester, CT. She began dancing ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and contemporary at the age of 7, at Toriography Dance Center in Vernon, CT. Her favorite had always been ballet, and when she was 15 she started pre-professional training at the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet in Holyoke, MA. She danced professionally with Mystic Ballet in the 2015-2016 season. Since then she has been a teacher at Toriography Dance Center, Mystic Ballet School, and the Massachusetts Academy of Ballet. She is thrilled to be joining Dimensional Dance this season!
Guest Artist Henry Olivo was born in Fort Lauderdale, FL but moved to CT at the age of two. He studied Tae Kwon Do for 6 years and received his black belt from the Park’s US Taekwondo in Manchester, CT. Discovering hip hop while dancing in junior high school, he gradually transferred his love of movement from Tae Kwon Do to hip hop. Henry joined the Connecticut crew United Outkasts in 2012. He also formed his own hip hop crew, Defconn. This is his first season guesting with Dimensional Dance.
Allison Pearsall is currently the Director of Dance at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, CT and dances with Dimensional Dance Company under the direction of Ruth Lewis. Previously, Ms. Pearsall lived in Washington, D.C. while dancing professionally with the ClancyWorks Dance Company and performing in theaters across the U.S. and in London, England. She served as Program Coordinator and Lead Teaching Artist for ClancyWorks while growing the company’s education programs in K-12 schools and universities. She also taught for Towson University Community Dance Division and Dance Place in addition to serving on the board of directors for Capital Region of Educators in Dance Organization (CREDO). Allison has also had the pleasure of dancing at the Kennedy Center with VTDance and working with esteemed choreographers including Wayles Haynes, Stephanie Powell, Linda Denise Fisher-Harrell, Nai-Ni Chen, Catherine Horta Hayden, Dennis Price, and Sarah Fazio among others. She graduated summa cum laude from Towson University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Education and is certified to teach dance K-12. Allison currently lives on campus at Porter’s with her husband, Andrew, and two year old daughter, Adelyn. Allison has performed the modern dance role in Ruth Lewis’s Eras in Essence. This is her third season with Dimensional Dance.
Guest Artist T!ger: Hip Hop dancer T!ger joins Dimensional Dance dance history performances for the 2017-2018 season. Although born and raised in Hartford County, T!ger has Laotian heritage. He is self-taught but his breakdancing and teaching have taken him all over the United Stated, and across the world including Canada, France and Russia. He is the Puerto Rico Express Yourself 1 versus 1 Dance Champion (2016, 2017) and the Trinity International Hip-Hop Festival Champion(2015).
Elisa Wharton was born in West Virginia and started dancing at the age of three. She trained at Inwood Performing Arts and the Frederick School of Classical Ballet before leaving home to attend high school at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy for three years on scholarship. She spent two summers at North Carolina Dance Theatre and one at Boston Ballet’s summer program. Elisa earned her BFA , cum laude, in ballet at the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati. While there, she enjoyed dancing roles in Paquita, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, and Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht and Pas de Dix, as well as original works created by CCM faculty. She also choreographed two pieces that were chosen to be performed in the Choreographer’s Showcase at CCM. Additionally, Elisa performed as a guest artist in Dayton Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker. After college Elisa joined the Charlottesville Ballet. She was a company artist as well as choreographer for two years. In 2012 Elisa also performed and choreographed for concorDance Contemporary, a brand new contemporary company in Crozet Virginia. Elisa has performed the romantic ballet role in Ruth Lewis’s Eras in Essence. This is Elisa fourth season with Dimensional Dance.