2019 Mentees

Ben Levine brings over a decade of experience to his role as the Producing Director of Extreme Lengths Productions; Director of Production/Technical Director at Dance Place in Washington DC; and Production Manager at the National Performance Network. In addition, he is a freelance lighting, scenic, and projection designer. 

In 2012, Ben was named “Best Up-For-Anything Technical Director” by Washington City Paper. He has served as a judge for the Helen Hayes Awards. In 2016 he conceived and produced the Kitchen Sink Fest, a mega-collaborative one-minute dance extravaganza featuring DC’s 22 most daring dance makers. In 2017, Ben created and produced the Momentum Series, nine movement-based installation works, which engaged audiences in a series of dream-like environments. Also in 2017, Ben was awarded a Sister Cities grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) which enabled him to travel to Pretoria, South Africa to collaborate with Usuthu Arts Productions for a performance at the South African State Theater. In 2018, he created and produced Filament, a three-week exhibition featuring live music, installation art, and dance performance. 

Additional recent awards have included the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Arts Fellowship (2018, 2019), DCCAH project grant (2018, 2019), and Anacostia Arts Center Performing Arts Incubator Artist in Residence (2019). Ben holds degrees in Theater Arts and Mathematics from Drew University. 

Chenay Newton is an Arts Administrator with a passion for dance and arts education.  Born and raised in Gloucester, Virginia, Chenay went on to earn her B.A. from the University of Virginia in 2012.  There she studied American Studies, African American Studies, and Dance.  Upon graduating, Chenay remained in Charlottesville and began her career in the non-profit sector, working with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Virginia, Piedmont Family YMCA, and Charlottesville Abundant Life Ministries.

Chenay moved to Houston, Texas to pursue a career specifically in the arts, beginning with earning her M.A. in Arts Leadership from the University of Houston.  During her time in the graduate program, Chenay worked with Houston Ballet and the Children’s Museum of Houston.  Since completing her master’s degree, Chenay has continued to work with Houston Ballet in Administration and Marketing and Public Relations. In her current role as Education Marketing and PR Coordinator, she focuses primarily on Houston Ballet Academy and Education & Community Engagement programs.  Chenay has also served as a mentor for Big Brothers, Big Sisters and is a member of the Houston Ballet Guild.

David Mack has a decade of experience serving some of Los Angeles' most adventurous dance, opera and theatre organizations.  Currently Executive Director of Invertigo Dance Theatre, Mack has served as Strategic Director of Heidi Duckler Dance, General Manager and Managing Director of The Industry, and Managing Director of Watts Village Theater Company.  In addition, he has consulted for many Southern California arts and arts service organizations, including: the City of West Hollywood Arts Division, Center Theatre Group, L.A. Dance Project, DIAVOLO | Architecture in Motion, Ate9 Dance Company, the Dance Resource Center, and MULTIPLEX Dance.

As a volunteer, Mack has served as Chairman of the Board of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas' Empowerment Congress Arts & Culture Committee, on the Boards of the Theatrical Producer's League of Los Angeles and Dance Resource Center, as a member of Dance/USA's 2018 annual conference Host Committee in Los Angeles, and on Ate9 Dance Company's Advisory Council.  Mack is currently on the Black Arts @ WAA Committee for Western Arts Alliance's 2019 annual conference in Los Angeles.

Genevieve Carson is a director, choreographer, dancer, and educator originally from Juneau, Alaska who now resides in Los Angeles.  She is currently the Artistic Director of LA Contemporary Dance Company (LACDC).  Genevieve’s work has spanned across North America, the Philippines, Argentina, Sweden and New Zealand.   She has worked extensively as a choreographer and director in both the commercial and concert dance worlds.   Her work is often focused on the human condition.  She approaches her dancers as unique individuals in each process, aiming to expose the distinctive vulnerabilities, quirks, and beautiful idiosyncrasies that each performer possesses, while challenging them and pushing them out of their comfort zone. Her work has been commissioned and produced by the US Embassies of Buenos Aires and Auckland, ODC Theater, The Luckman Fine Arts Complex, UC Santa Barbara, the LA Convention Center, Musco Center for the Arts, Coachella Valley Repertory Theater, UC Irvine, the Mall of Asia Arena, Dance Camera West, Laguna Dance Festival, and the Standard Hotel. Her award-winning dance film work has been screened at a multitude of festivals, including Cannes Film Festival and Mexico City Videodance Festival.  Her commercial choreographic collaborations include Foster the People, Earth Harp Collective (for Super Bowl XLIX), Funny or Die, Adult Swim and Comedy Central.  Additional commercial credits include the Emmys, Samsung, BENCH, Cotton On, TEDx, Saks 5th Avenue, Hikvision USA and music videos for Justin Bieber, Active Child, Blood Orange, and French pop artist TESS. As a dancer, she has had the honor of working with LACDC, String Theory Productions, AXIOM, Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide, kDub Dance, The Big Show Company, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, and Pappas and Dancers.  With a strong passion for cultivating a healthy and nurturing environment for the next generation of dance artists, Genevieve dedicates much of her time to teaching and mentoring young dancers and choreographers through training programs and workshops.  This year, she established LA Contemporary Choreography Lab, a program designed to provide aspiring choreographers the opportunity to workshop new material with professional dancers in an intimate environment with one-on-one mentorship.  She has been a guest lecturer and instructor at Chapman University, Cal Arts, Cal State Long Beach, UC Santa Barbara, University of Auckland, University of the Philippines, and Peridance Studios in NYC. Additionally, she has been on faculty at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) since 2012, where she teaches technique and composition classes and directs concerts.  Genevieve graduated Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University.

Hillary Kooistra is a Brooklyn-based arts administrator committed to finding diverse avenues for infrastructural and communal support for those working in the dance field. She is the General Manager of A.I.M, the dance company under Artistic Direction of Kyle Abraham, where she began working as the Company Manager in 2015. She has toured internationally with the company and manages the New York City office, working closely with the Artistic and Executive Directors to orchestrate A.I.M’s programmatic and strategic initiatives. 

Hillary has managed and consulted on career-building projects with artists and companies such as Ambika Raina; Caleb Teicher & Co; and Grind Arts Company, a non-profit theatrical production company where she currently serves as Managing Director. She has held previous administrative positions with Lucinda Childs Dance, the Trisha Brown Dance Company, Eva Dean Dance, University Musical Society, Dance Place, and American Ballet Theatre. 

Trained as a dance and theatre performer, Hillary earned her BFA in Dance from the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance in 2015, where she received the Suzanne H. Butch Scholarship and graduated with the Earl V. Moore Award for Achievement in Dance. As a dance artist, she has performed works by Richard Alston, Amy Chavasse, Shannon Gillen, Andrea Miller, Peter Sparling, and Robin Wilson; and has served as rehearsal assistant to members of the Richard Alston Dance Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, and Gallim. 

Kai Hazelwood is a passionate and experienced choreographer, performer, educator, producer and presenter. Her training includes 6 years at the San Francisco Ballet School, summer programs at Dance Theater of Harlem and Alvin Ailey, and training at the Kirov Ballet in Saint Petersburg, Russia. After a contract with the Oakland Ballet Company, Kai relocated to Los Angeles to complete her BFA at UCLA.

She left her 4 year post as faculty and then Dance Outreach Coordinator at AMDA College & Conservatory in January 2016 to refocus on her artistic career, beginning with a guest choreographer post with Martz Contemporary Dance Company in Barcelona Spain. Kai then went on to tour with Axis Dance Company before returning to Los Angeles to continue her own choreographic and performing work.

Back in LA she signed with Go 2 Talent Agency as a dance artist, and became the Resident Choreographer for Theatre Dybbuk. In 2017 Kai was selected as an Arts Omi International Arts Center Choreographic Resident, produced the 2nd evening of her own choreography and showed work in the Black Choreographer’s Festival in San Francisco.

She is a 2018 Artist in Residence for The City of Los Angeles’ Cultural Affairs Department, was invited to Jacob’s Pillow as part of the National Presenter’s Forum, and is the Artistic Director of Good Trouble Makers and Downtown Dance & Movement, a state of the art dance facility offering classes, rehearsal, and performance space in Downtown Los Angeles. Kai is also co-organizer of AmBi LA an over 3,000 person strong social and support group for bi+ people, on the steering committee for the 2019 Western Arts Alliance Conference, and a scholarship and grant review panelist for the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs.

Kai has also been a dedicated dance educator for over 10 years. Aside from specializing in teaching contemporary, ballet, improvisation, composition and dance literacy, Kai is Vice President and Co-Teacher ofThe Hall Method, a unique muscle conditioning program reconfiguring classic pilates reformer exercises to standing exercises utilizing therabands, foam rollers, and balls. The Hall Method has been presented at The International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, and is supported by members of the US Olympic Medical Team.

Katerina (Katie) Wong is a choreographer, performing artist, administrator, and arts advocate originally from New Jersey and based in San Francisco, California. Katie’s creative explorations are rooted in her love of culture, communication, and collaboration, a direct reflection of her mixed heritage as a first generation, Chinese-American, Jewish artist. Her works often feature layered sound scores or video installations, which generate complex storytelling experiences that welcome community dialogue and debate.

In September 2018, Katie became the first Associate Artistic Director of RAWdance, a San Francisco-based contemporary dance company, which celebrated its 15th anniversary this year. She will step into the role of Co-Artistic Director of the company in the summer of 2019. She is excited to expand the company’s vision of its future, as well as continue their work within the community, including their bi-annual pay-what-you-can intimate and acclaimed salon, the CONCEPT series.

Katie attended Princeton University and graduated cum laude with a degree in cultural anthropology and a certificate in Dance and East Asian Studies. As a member of the San Francisco dance community, Katie has had the pleasure of performing with RAWdance, Printz Dance Project, LEVYdance, PUSH Dance Company, Concept o4, and the San Francisco Symphony, among others. Described as an “impressive feat” and “fiercely physicalized” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Katie’s choreography has been presented throughout the Bay Area in venues including Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Z Space, ODC Theater, CounterPulse, Fort Mason, Dance Mission Theater, Piano Fight, The Cutting Ball Theater, and Yerba Buena Gardens. She choreographed two evening-length works with dance theatre company Brickabrack from 2012-2014, was the Resident Choreographer of PUSH Dance Company from 2014-2016, and was the JuMP Commissioned Choreographer for FACT/SF in 2016.

Katie is committed to seeking new ways to make dance engaging and accessible to wider audiences. In 2016, she worked as a movement and industry consultant for a new mobile dance game app called Jounce. From 2017-2018, her work was commissioned by the California Academy of Sciences to be presented at their after-hours event, NightLife. In the fall of 2017, Katie created the first dance work presented by Pop-Up Magazine, a live literary magazine, which toured to 6-cities throughout the nation, culminating in a performance at Lincoln Center. 

Katie’s passion for advancing the field of dance extends beyond her artistry. Her dedication to arts administration and marketing is exemplified by her five-year tenure at Alonzo King LINES Ballet. As the LINES Ballet Training Program Coordinator, she enthusiastically supported the growth and shaping of young pre-professional artists. As Digital Strategist, she re-envisioned the organization’s social media and online presence, emphasizing the importance of accessibility, trust, and storytelling. She continues to support various art institutions throughout the Bay Area in their digital engagement efforts. www.katerinawong.com

Kimberly Pereira is the Education Coordinator for Charlotte Ballet. She is responsible for the planning and coordination of Sensory Friendly Performances, Middle & High School Dance Festival, Educational Theater Performances, Lecture Demonstrations, Residencies and Behind-the-Scenes Tours.

She supports the Charlotte Ballet Reach program, which is a three-year scholarship dance program that makes beginning level, quality dance training accessible to students who demonstrate a natural talent for movement and the potential to be trained in dance. The program affords children the opportunity to access quality dance training in their neighborhoods.

Kimberly realized her passion for arts administration in college and the impact she could have on communities supporting artists, faculty, students and local organizations. Upon completion of her BFA, she took an internship with Lois Welk and soon after became the Education Coordinator at Jacob’s Pillow. While at Jacob’s Pillow she coordinated The School & Intern application process, five School professional advancement programs and JACOB’S PILLOW CURRICIULUM IN MOTION® program in K-12 classrooms.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY she began her training at Ms. M’s Dance Center. Upon realizing her love for the art, Kimberly continued her training at The Ailey School, Limón, Broadway Dance Center, Garth Fagan Dance and with the late John M. Goring. She has performed the works of Bill Evans, Limón, Sean Curran, Christopher Walker, Rain Sadkane and Clyde Alafiju Morgan. She holds a BFA in Dance from The College at Brockport (SUNY) and was awarded the Rose L. Strasser Service Award for creativity and leadership.

In keeping with her dedication to the community Kimberly has also served the department of the Army as a family liaison in Germany. She is passionate about providing accessible arts education and continues to make strides in the field through her work in arts administration and teaching. For the past year Kimberly has taken part in EMCArts New Pathways for the Arts Program, Incubating Innovation which has focused on discovering ways for nonprofit organizations to place emphasis on innovation with adaptive change.

Omar Ingram is an advocate, enthusiast, friend and patron of the arts from Atlanta, Georgia. With his work mostly focused on theater and dance, he is dedicated to championing programming and policies that are authentically diverse and show culture organically. Before assuming the role of Programs Director for the International Association of Blacks in Dance (IABD), he worked extensively as the association’s Production Manager of their annual conference and festival. Omar has experience in company management, general management, production management, and stage management for projects and companies of varying sizes. With experience in both the commercial and not-for-profit arts sectors, he has worked for iconic companies (The Public Theater, STOMP/NYC, Woolly Mammoth Theater Company) and living legends (Debbie Allen, George Faison, and Phylicia Rashad). Omar is a graduate of Howard University with a BFA in Musical Theater, and minor in Arts Administration. When he is not working, he enjoys exploring new countries, beaches and cooking.