Jamie is originally from North Carolina where he started his dance background in Liturgical Dance. He knew he was destined to create after starting his dance training at Western Carolina University where he performed with Asheville Ballet. He later transferred to Winthrop University in Rock Hill SC where he received his BA in Dance Performance and minor in Education. He continued his dance career performing in Joseph and the Amazing Techni-Colored Dream Coat at the Concord Community theatre, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Central Piedmont Community College. Dancing with companies Caroline Calouche & Company (Charlotte, NC), Annex Dance Company (Charleston, SC), and trained/apprenticed with Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company in New York City. Jamie is the co-founder and co-artistic director of the Drye/Marinaro Dance Company where he travels, performs, and sets work along the east coast. Jamie currently resides in New York City. TV credits include: The Wendy Williams show, GoodMorning America, The View, and Good Day NY. He continues to work as a choreographer, dance educator, dance fitness instructor, Manager, and Co-Director of FuSia Center For the Arts.
Francesca Marinaro is a resident of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and received herBA in Dance from DeSales University in 2008. She has worked with prominent artists such as Trinette Singleton, Sean Curran, Eddie Taketa, Lynne Mariani, Janet Peck, J.T. Jenkins, Kate Jewett of Shen Wei Dance Arts, and Nicole Wilcott. In 2008 she had the opportunity to study in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the Centro de Choreographico de Brazil. She has danced for Re-Cored Dance Company, Wilkes-barre, Pennsylvania, Annex Dance Company of Charleston, South Carolina & Angeline Wolfe of Bangor performing along the east coast. In 2011,Francesca established the FuSia Dance Center of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania offering dance education to students ages two to adult. It is also the home of FuSia Pre-Professional Dance Company, a non-profit performance based company for young aspiring dancers to gain the experience of a performer and become educated dance artists. In 2011, she became the co-artistic director of Drye/Marinaro Dance Company based out of NYC where she continues to share her love of choreography and work alongside incredibly talented artists and movers.
Carl Ponce Cubero (they/siya) is a first generation Filipinx American movement artist/creative, originally from California’s Central Valley, currently based out of New York City. Graduating from University of California, Irvine, they received their BFA in Dance Performance with a minor in Anthropology. While at university, they had the amazing honor and privilege of dancing under the late Donald McKayle. They have performed domestically and internationally with Ailey II from 2018-2020 and was a guest artist with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in the Spring of 2022. Carl Ponce has had the opportunity to dance works by Donald McKayle, Alvin Ailey, Aszure Barton, Lar Lubovitch, Andrea Miller, Rena Butler, and David Parsons.
Chieh’s bio Chieh Hsiung, Winner of the Breaking Glass Project 2015: The Emerging Female Choreographer “Under the Dining Table"at Alvin Ailey Theater, Audience Favorite work. Chieh has presented her choreography all across NYC. Concert TV series Movement instructor in Taiwan 2019-2020. Chieh graduated from the National Taiwan University Of Physical Education and Sports with a major in Modern Dance/Choreography and minor in Ballet/Folk Dance/Ballroom Dance/Street Dance. Chieh’s work demonstrates a variety of robust skills and training, though her priority is collaborating with visual artists and musicians from all backgrounds to create more compelling and immersive experiences. Choreographer of the Netflix fantasy-comedy drama "The Magician on the Skywalk” was the top winner at 2022’s Golden Bell Awards, taking home six awards, including best television series and best directing. Also choreographed as part of the Fish Leng 2016 World Tour at Lincoln Center. In 2017, Chieh was invited to perform in the 92Y Harkness Dance Center Big Mouth Asian Choreographer Festival, “Stand Of The Closing Door" Invited by The Taipei Economic and Culture Office In New York. She also produced and performed in “Redolent-T Production” at The Secret Theatre, a 40-minute choreography process, which sold out and met with great success. Other than showcasing her choreography skills, she performed off-Broadway in Women on Fire, as part of Soloist for Jchen Project AAPI Festival . Chieh was also invited by multiple festivals such as Queensboro Dance Festival, Queens Pride, Broadway in Bryant Park, Survivor NYFW in MOMA. Her latest work, titled “Islanders,” as resident artist at Cultural Lab, allowed freedom to produce and perform in a deep, Taiwanese cultural narrative around identity and longing.
Israel Harris is a Hipsanic, Latino American born in Guatemala and raised in Bellevue, WA. He is a Brooklyn-based freelance artist, dancer, choreographer, and instructor, and graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance and minors in Psychology and Hebrew and Judaic Studies. Israel had the pleasure of dancing abroad under the instruction of Judith-Sanchez Ruiz, Meg Stuart, Leila McMillan, Shahar Binyamini, and Bosmat Nossan, and is fortunate to have performed feature roles in works by Wayne McGregor and Ronald K. Brown/EVIDENCE. Israel has also danced in works by Lar Lubovitch, Ori Flomin, Luca Renzi, and Valeria Gonzales, performed with Eryc Taylor Dance, DanceAction, and the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, and assisted Sidra Bell during her creative process with the Second Avenue Dance Company in 2019. Israel joined Drye Marinaro Dance Company in 2020, is a company member with Seán Curran Company, is represented by the Movement Talent Agency, and can also be found working and consulting at the intersection of arts and advocacy.
Marion Helfenstein trained in her native France with Paris’ Opera soloist, then at the Conservatory of Lyon before moving to Paris, earning her Ballet Teaching Certificate and diversifying her training while dancing for international touring companies. In New York, Marion studied on scholarship at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, completing the Professional and Teaching Training Programs, and has since danced with Graham II, Kun-Yang-Lin/Dancers, BalaSole Dance Company, Heidi Latsky Dance, Regina Nejman & Company, Buglisi Dance Company, SarAika Movement Collective and was a former member of caitlin+dancer (now Stray Projects). She has been collaborating with Drye/Marinaro Dance Company since 2016 and takes part in project-based works, cross-pollinating visual installation, live musicians, physical theatre, improvisation, and on site-specific set-ups. Marion is also a Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner.
Mikalla grew up in South Florida, where she trained at the Florida School for Dance Education and Dreyfoos School of the Arts, working with artists including Troy Powell, Christopher Huggins, Elyse Borne, Solomon Dumas, and more. She then graduated from The Ailey School’s Certificate Program in 2021. With the Ailey Student Performance Group, she performed diverse choreography by Thang Dao, Davalois Fearon, Kyle Marshall, Amy Hall Garner, Brice Mousset, Francesca Harper, and Ronald K. Brown. As a New York-based freelance dancer, Mikalla has enjoyed engaging in film and live projects. Her performance credits include a dance film by Redha Medjellekh, a scene in Netflix’s "Hit and Run," the 2020 Holland Dance Festival, and Norte Maar’s CounterPointe 10. Alongside her performances, she interns at 92Y’s Spark Your Health/May Center’s Athletic Department and is on track to graduate from The University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education and Behavior in 2024. Thrilled to join the Drye Marinaro Dance Company, Mikalla looks forward to continued growth as an artist, performer, and advocate for community wellness.
Shizu Higa (she/they) is an Okinawan-Japanese American who was born in Tokyo and grew up in San Jose, CA as a new generation immigrant. While attaining a B.S. and M.A degree from Stanford University, she worked with Alex Ketley and Katie Faulkner. Notably she is proud of SOLI, a piece she starred in and co-choreographed to address racialized violence legalized through the U.S. incarceration system. The performance was created in conversation with Kenneth Reams, an inmate who has been on death row and solitary confinement in Arkansas for the past 28 years. We are living in an exciting time when institutions, including in dance, have a willingness to disrupt existing barriers that stand in the way of equitable access to the arts. Shizu hopes to work with other artists, equally excited to create pieces that allow us to imagine a more welcoming and beautiful reality.