Ramon Ramos Alayo
Ramon Ramos Alayo is known and respected throughout the Bay Area as a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and as the artistic director of the Alayo Dance Company. He began his dance life at age eleven in Santiago de Cuba, and went on to recieve his master's degree in contemporary and folkloric dance and dance education from the National School of the Arts in Havana. He was the principal dancer in Danza del Caribe and the Narcisco Medina Contemporary Dance Company, and has performed throughout Cuba, Europe, Canada, Belize, and the U.S. In 1997 Ramon moved to the U.S. and began his professional career in the Bay Area. He has performed with a number of the Bay Area's most respected choreographers, such as Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, and Zaccho Dance Theater, and is currently a member of Robert Moses' Kin. Ramon teaches Cuban popular dance, Afro-Cuban Modern dance and children's movement classes at a number of dance schools. In 2003 he founded CubaCaribe, an organization which promotes Cuban cultural and artistic programs and produces Cuba Camp, an annual summer dance camp. His own company, the Alayo Dance Company is known for its unique fusion of Afro-Cuban modern, folkloric, and popular dance presented theatrically.
Susana Arenas began her artistry in dance at age twelve, studying at La Casa de Cultura in Matanzas, Cuba. Her professional career began when she moved to Havana and joined various popular, folkloric and theater dance troupes including Tierra Virgen, Alafia Ire, Oche Olorun, Oba wemilere, Ban Rarra and Oriki. She was the female soloist for Raices Profundas, Cuba's foremost folkloric dance company. Since moving to the U.S. in 1998, she has continued performing, choreographing and teaching in the Bay Area. She has taught at the Katherine Dunham technique seminar and at Humboldt State University's Afro-Cuban workshop. She is the artistic director of performance groups including Sandunga Cubana, Omo Olorun, and Raices Cubanas. Most recently she traveled to Mexico to choreograph and dance in a new project entitled Jarocho by the producer of Riverdance, Richard Neon.
Aramis Pazos is a rising star in the Bay area's Afro-Cuban dance community. Aramis has been dancing professionally for 18 years, and graduated from the National School of the Arts in Havana, Cuba with a dance degree in 1991, and specializes in both modern and folkloric dance. As a professional dancer in Cuba he performed with the Conjunto Folklorico National and Danza National de Cuba. He also toured throughout Europe and Mexico with Ballet de Tropicana. For the last 8 years he has also been choreographing musicals and cabaret shows, and continues to do so in the Bay Area with his company Latin Cabaret Productions.
Chimene Pollard is a choreographer, improviser, performer, and teacher. She graduated from UC San Diego where she studied communication theories. In the past 7 years she has been honored to dance with Katherine Davis, aerial artist Terry Sendgraff, Anne Bluethenthal & Dancers, and Strong Current Dance Company, with whom her solo in "Awaken" earned her the Soloists Award from DanceRep SF, Vision Series Festival.
Chimene has been teaching for 6 years and holds weekly modern dance classes at Dance Mission Theater and Rhythm & Motion in San Francisco. Four years ago Chimene began an informal dance company setting for many students who expressed a desire to create and perform. The Collaborative Performance Troupe, as it is now called, continues to create each year, presenting works at local venues such as Dance Mission Theater, ODC and the Cowell Theater.
David has been teaching Hip Hop for more than ten years all over California. He has worked with many well-known Bay Area choreographers, including Alan Frias, Jesse Santos, Micaya, Ronnie Reddick, Cory Action and Culture Shock. His group, BODYslanguage, which he founded with his wife Elizabeth, has performed at the San Francisco Hip Hop Dance Festival since 1997. David recently completed a Master's degree in education from Stanford University.
"I firmly believe it's time that hip hop dancers understand that single style dancing has passed. We are at the dawn of a new era...combining all styles, even incorporating trendy dance moves, is a must to make old and new styles as one." --Skorpio 3/17/04 Home