began her early dance training in Caracas, Venezuela where she earned government scholarships to study at the Boston Ballet. She was also invited by the Harkness Ballet youth company to work with Eleanor D’Antuono. In 2005, she was honored with a grant award from University of San Francisco to study pedagogy in Cuba.
Acedo performed the classical repertoire in Venezuela at the Ballet Teresa Carreño, and shared the stage with Rudolf Nureyev, Fernando Bujones and Julio Boca. In 1982 she joined Ballet Nuevo Mundo de Caracas, a contemporary ballet company and became a principal dancer, working with celebrated choreographers such as Judith Jamison, Ulises Dove, John Butler, Gustavo Mallajoli, Elisa Monte, Paulo Denubila, Dennis Nahat, Choo San Goh, and Donald Mackayle, among others.
Graciela has performed at prestigious theaters worldwide and in the United States, she has danced with the Boston and Oakland Ballets, and has been a guest artist with the Margaret Wingrove Dance Company, the Pacific Dance Theater of San Francisco, the Western Ballet, Peninsula Ballet Theater, Princeton Ballet and others.
She has taught at Oakland Ballet, the University of Nebraska, Diablo Ballet, Shawl Anderson, Pacific Ballet, Teen Dance Company, Ballet San Jose, and Marin Ballet, San Francisco Dance Center and was Assistant director of the Summer programs at Pacific Dance Theater of San Francisco. From 1998 to 2003, Ms. Acedo was Associate Director of Western Ballet and has guest taught at Americas Ballet in Florida, Venezuela and Costa Rica. She currently teaches at the University of San Francisco, Berkeley Ballet, Ayako Ballet School, Diablo Ballet pre-professional program, Dance Attack and the San Francisco School of the Arts (SOTA)
is "dynamic, fluid and gutsy"; just some of the words used to describe Brilhante's brilliant work. She brings a fresh and innovative approach to the world of Jazz and shows a unique ability to merge and update various elements, creating her own trademark style in the process.
These talents have recently earned her a nomination for the Theatre L.A. Ovation Award for Choreography. Ms. Brilhante has also received the Dance Masters of America Choreographer’s Award and the Robbi Award for Choreography. Her acclaim reaches internationally to the Jazz workshop, Die Werkstatt, in Dusseldorf Germany, where she continues to be invited as a guest artist. Her success in transferring her love of dance through teaching is evidenced by a flock of loyal students, both in her studio classes in the San Francisco Bay Area and at numerous workshops, master classes and camps throughout the world.
Ms. Brilhante boasts a long and impressive resume of choreographic and performance achievements, spanning the diverse media of stage, film, television and video. Her contributions continue to enrich the dance world.
has been a Company Pianist for the San Francisco Ballet for 9 years. Previously, she played for dance and theater companies in America and Europe, including San Francisco Ballet and Stadttheater Bern. In addition, she has many years of experience performing as a solo artist, composing for electronic instruments and symphony orchestra, and teaching dance and music workshops. Lucy is also an Apple software developer, focusing on educational apps expressing the relationship of dance with music.
branded the “e.e. cummings of ballet” by The Huffington Post, is a San Francisco based choreographer and dance educator. Payne Bradley began choreographing in 2010 and founded the San Francisco based The Milissa Payne Project the same year. In 2011, Payne Bradley’s The Game is Afoot was chosen as a semi-finalist for the Company C Contemporary Ballet’s New Commission Project. The Milissa Payne Project’s Revolve was awarded Best Whirling Dervish in the Best of San Francisco 2013 by SF Weekly. Payne Bradley was also awarded by BayAreaDanceWatch & SAFEhouse for the Performing Arts as the Bay Area’s Best Choreographer (Contemporary Ballet) 2012.
She has set work on New York Theatre Ballet, Dance Theatre of San Francisco, Bay Pointe Ballet, ODC Theater’s Music Moves Festival and the West Wave Dance Festival.
Payne Bradley began her professional career in 2005 with The Oakland Ballet under the direction of Ronn Guidi. She is an Artist in Residence at the Ruth Asawa San Francisco School of the Arts, SOTA and part of the teaching staff at the Contra Costa Ballet School. Payne Bradley is a graduate with Honors from Saint Mary’s College of California in the Liberal Education for the Arts (LEAP) program, and is also a recent graduate with Honors from Saint Mary’s College of California with a MFA in Dance: Creative Practice.
is a choreographer and film maker based in San Francisco. Originally from Boulder, Co. she holds an M.F.A. in Dance Performance & Choreography from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts (2011). She studied at NYU on a full scholarship Dean's Fellowship and was honored with the position of Graduate Student Assistant in Film for Dance. While in New York, Claudia had the privilege of performing the works of Trisha Brown, Gus Solomons Jr, Patricia Hoffbauer and Kay Cummings. In 2011 she taught choreography and technique at NYU for the Future Dancers and Dance Makers High School program.
Claudia did her undergraduate studies in dance at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she graduated with honors. While in San Francisco, Claudia has studied under Janice Garrett, Mary Carbonara, Hope Mohr and Augusta Moore among others. She has performed professionally as a member of ABD Productions (04-06) and Dance Ceres (04-09)
Claudia was a co-founder of Vispo Dance, (2004-2009) and founded The Anata Project in 2011. Her work has been presented at Z Space, ODC, Dance Mission Theater, The West Wave Dance Festival, SPF7, 111 Minna Gallery, The Garage, Judson Memorial Church (NYC), NYU, DanceNow’s Joe’s Pub, The Atlas Theater, LaMama’s Ellen Stewart Theater, The Wave Rising Series, Danny Studios, and The Dairy Center For The Arts, (Boulder, Co). Claudia currently teaches choreography at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in San Francisco. For more information on the company please visit, www.theanataproject.org.
took his first tap class at the tender age of 11, where he soon fell in love with the toe tapping sounds and expressive movements. It didn’t take long for him to realize that dance would be an integral part of his life for years to come.
An Asawa SOTA alumnus, Chris studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Afro-Haitian, under the direct tutelage of Elvia Marta, where he discovered a deeper understanding of dance, allowing him to explore his vulnerability. He then experimented with the art of choreography finding new forms of communication that enabled him to express his thoughts and feelings through movement. Chris went on to establish The Dance Company of San Francisco. Taking on the role of Artistic Director he desired to create an alternative environment for passionate dancers to explore the art of dance. While valuing constant growth and self-discovery, Chris consistently challenges his dancers to exceed their perceived capabilities. Chris is a recipient of a Jazz Dance World Congress Bronze Medal and his work has been a finalist at the Capezio A.C.E. Awards. Many of his students have attended prestigious universities as well as appeared on Broadway and in television shows such as Cirque Du Soleil, West Side Story, Wicked and So You Think You Can Dance. Chris can be seen touring the nation regularly with the National Dance Convention ADRENALINE and is regularly sought out to teach and choreograph both domestically and abroad. He is also the owner and director of THE DANCE SESSIONS, an organization dedicated to the personal and artistic growth of the next generation of dancers. Chris is thrilled to able to share with you what he loves so much.