J. BOUEY (apprentice) was born in Los Angeles, California and spent the majority of his life in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Arizona. J. began his training in contemporary dance at South Mountain High School's Dance Magnet program, and continued his training with the professional modern dance company, Scorpius Dance Theatre, which he was asked to join in 2012. With Scorpius Dance Theatre, J. has performed the lead male role in Lisa Starry's A Vampire Tale as Viktor, the vampire king, and performed internationally around Europe with that show and many other repertory work. J. also recently received his BFA in Dance from Arizona State University's Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in 2014.
JOVONNA PARKS is a Philadelphia native where she began her intense formal dance training in ballet, Horton and Graham techniques. She attended the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program under the direction of
Ana Marie Forsythe and graduated in 2012 with her BFA in dance. While in college she was a member of Ballet Hispanico's BHdos under Nicholas Villenueve. Upon graduation she was invited to perform with John-Mark Owens Presents... in Requiem. She has had the pleasure of working with and performing works by Mary Anthony, Camille A. Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Donald Mckayle, Hofesh Shector, Robert Battle, Jill Echo and many others. JoVonna has also had the extreme pleasure of working with Ty Jones and The Classical Theatre of Harlem in their productions of MacBeth (Soldier/Ensemble) and The Three Musketeers (Kitty/Ensemble). She also previously worked with Ballet Inc before joining EMD. Alongside dancing with EMD, JoVonna also enjoys teaching ballet and modern techniques in the New Jersey and greater New York area. Past studios include, CenterStage (East Brunswick), Brighton Ballet Theatre: School of Russian American Ballet, Essential Elements, and DreamMakers Performing Arts. She currently teaches at the Academy of Dance Arts in NJ and she also has the opportunity to be on faculty with the Police Athletic League of NYC! JoVonna is excited to start her fourth season with the company!
ALRICK A. THOMAS (dancer) was born and raised in Harlem, New York, where he began performing at the age of 9. During high school, he trained at The Harlem School of the Arts and The Alvin Ailey School on scholarship under the Fellowship Program. He then went to The University of the Arts and graduated with a BFA Ballet Performance Degree. Upon graduating, Thomas received “The Pennsylvania Ballet Choreographic Award" and "The Outstanding Achievement of Creativity Award.” Thomas has worked with various choreographers such as Heidi Cruz-Austin, Earl Mosley, Sidra Bell, Brice Mousset, Kyle Abraham, Kevin Wynn, Iquail Johnson, Ronen Koresh, Douglas Becker, and many more. He has also set works of choreography on The Pennsylvania Ballet second company which premiered at the annual 2013 Shut up and Dance Benefit; Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts; Harlem School of the Arts; CCPI Arts Program; and other various projects. Recently Thomas was awarded a grant for Harlem Stage's "Fund for New Work 2014" program, where he will be creating new works as well as dancing with Elisa Monte Dance.
THOMAS VARVARO (dancer) began his formal dance training with The Ailey School as a Junior Division student at age 11. He is a graduate of Fiorell H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Ars. Upon graduation Mr. Varvaro was awarded the Jacques d'AmboiseBallet scholarship. In addition, he has studied at The School of American Ballet, and The Joffrey Ballet School. In 2010, Mr. Varvaro attended The School at Jacob's Pillow's contemporary program. He was a member of Kazuko Hirabayashi Dance Theatre during the fall 2010 season and graduated from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program with dance honors in May of 2012. Mr. Varvaro was a member of Ailey 2 from 2011-2013. During Mr. Varvaro's time in Ailey 2 he had the opportunity to perform on So You Think You Can Dance Poland and Dancing With The Stars Bulgaria. Mr. Varvaro will be appearing as a dancer in an independent film entitled Life of An Actress to be released this fall.
WADE WATSON (Dancer) was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He’s had the passion to dance since he was a young child. He began his training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and modern as a freshman in high school under the direction of Marcella Jones. He also attended Long Island University for a year under the direction of Dana-Hash Campbell. After completing a year Wade went on to become a company member in Nimbus Dance Works under Samuel Pott in Jersey City, New Jersey. He has attended many summer intensives including New York Summer State School of the Arts, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Alpha Omega Theatrical Dance Company, and others. Wade endured most of his training at Creative Outlet Dance Theater of Brooklyn, and while training there (starting as a student turned company apprentice) he had the opportunity to perform and train in the Caribbean. Wade has had the opportunity to work with and perform works by Jamel Gaines, Jeroboam Bozeman, Bahiyah Sayeed Gaines, Desmond Richardson, Bradley Shelver, Jeffery Page, Alenka Cizmesija, Earl Mosely, Daniel Ulbrich/ NYCB Company members, and many others. Accompanying Wade’s love of dance, he enjoys fashion/styling, and photography. He currently works with Ballet Inc. This is Wade's first season with Elisa Monte Dance.
SCOTT WILLITS (Dancer) hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota where he began his training at Summit School of Dance. He attended the Ailey/Fordham program under the direction of Melanie Person and graduated with his BFA in dance. Scott has performed works by Matthew Rushing, Fernando Melo, Dwight Rhoden, Darrell Grande Moultrie, Earl Mosley, Norbert De La Cruz III, among others. In 2009, he received a youngARTS Merit award in modern dance from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts as well as the first place contemporary dance award at the Youth American Grand Prix. Professionally, Scott works for RudduR Dance and Earl Mosley’s Diversity of Dance in New York City. He also worked with Matthew Rushing in the creation process of “ODETTA” for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was part of the cast for Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera (NY). Scott has had the privilege to set Earl Mosley’s work on the Joffrey Ballet Concert Group and was selected as one of NJPAC’s 2016 Jersey (New) Moves! Emerging Choreographers. In addition to dancing Scott teaches modern at Soul Arts Academy and Dwana Smallwood’s Performing Arts Center in New York.
ROXANNE YOUNG (Dancer) a native of Denver, CO, trained at her mother's studio, Expressions of Dance and Arts Academy and at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School. She attended the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX where she was a member of the Repertory Dance Company I, which allowed her to perform repertoire works by choreographers including Robert Battle, Jessica Lang and Dwight Rhoden. In 2006, Ms. Young was a Semi- Finalist for the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts in Modern Dance, which was held in Miami, FL. After high school she continued her studies at the University of Utah, joining the Department of Modern Dance. While at the university, she was a member of the Performing Dance Company and a recipient of the Orchesis Membership Award. In 2010 she joined the Dallas Black Dance Theatre II, where she performed works by Nycole Ray, Christopher Huggins and Talley Beatty. Ms. Young joined the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble (CPRDE) as a member of the Second Company (Cleo II) and was promoted to the First Company after one season. During her three seasons with CPRDE, she had worked with choreographers such as Kun Yang Lin, Milton Myers, Jeanguy Saintus and Winifred Harris. Ms. Young is pleased to be an apprentice this season with Elisa Monte Dance.
Brynlie Helmich grew up and began dancing in Phoenix, Arizona. Upon finding a love for both commercial and concert dance, she pursued training in Los Angeles in an effort to further diversify her training. With training from the New York City Dance Alliance that consisted of time with choreographers such as Joe Lanteri and Suzi Taylor, Brynlie was awarded a scholarship to the Summer Study: Contemporary Intensive at Steps on Broadway. Her time dancing in the city through the program has lead her to Elisa Monte Dance.
Raised in Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania, Kaila Moses began her dance training at Kicks Academy of Dance under the direction of Kristin and John Davis. After high school, she moved to New York City to attend Fordham University and The Ailey School. In 2015, she graduated Magna Cum Laude and received her BFA in dance. During that time she performed works by notable artists such as Hope Boykin, William Forsythe, Martha Graham, Jessica Lang, Ray Mercer, and Nicholas Villeneuve among others. Following graduation, Kaila became a member of the Steps Repertory Ensemble in NYC for their 2015-2016 season. She has also toured with Jessica Taylor's DamageDance in Denver, CO. Kaila is very excited for her first season with Elisa Monte Dance.
Daniela Funicello (Dancer) is originally from Laurel Springs, New Jersey where she began dancing at the age of three with Debra DiNote. She then attended High School at Southern New Jersey Academy of the Performing Arts at GCIT where she graduated with dance honors. Daniela recently graduated with a BFA ballet concentration in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan. During her time in the program she had the opportunity to perform the works of Emery LeCrone, Aszure Barton, Paul Taylor, Alexandra Damiani, Pedro Ruiz, and Adam Baruch among other acclaimed choreographers. As a member of the Dance Company at Marymount she had the privilege of dancing at The Joyce Theater and was involved in outreach efforts in educating the youth on the importance of the arts. In 2016 Daniela joined Elisa Monte Dance as an apprentice and is thrilled to be returning for her second season as a company member with EMD!