“Female strength and solidarity” Lilia Prier Tisdale

Patrick Ziza

Of Rwandan heritage, Patrick Ziza is inspired by African culture, music and dance. His style embodies the raw, unrefined energy and expressive dynamism of dances originating in Central-East Africa, his skills range from traditional African dances, through contemporary to urban styles. 

Trained at Sunderland university dance graduate he is now an associate lecturer in Dance, for the same dance degree, teaching about and staging performances inspired by Alvin Ailley and Raphael Bonacella, Dance Preparation and Performance, Technical Bodies and ‘Dance & Me’. 

Performance experience includes “A Blighted Life” – created by Gavin Coward. The work explored the plight of sexual minorities across the globe, their resilience and affirmation of life and Gary Clarke’s ‘Into The Light’ for Hull UK City of Culture and Ella Mesma’s ‘Foreign Bodies’.

Hsing-Ya Wu

Born in Taiwan, Hsing Ya is an International Contemporary dancer. East and West training practices including Ballet, Modern, Gaga, Tai-Chi, Yoga & Belly dancing make her a diverse artist. She is also a choreographer and teacher.

Performance experience includes in Taiwan includes Feng Dance Theatre, Dance Forum Taipei Company, WC dance company. Since she came to UK in 2016, she has performed for Appetite Dance Productions and recently joined Ella Mesma Company.

Hsing Ya has also taken part in a Choreography Residency at Watermill Center, Long Island in New York, The American Dance Festival and The Taipei Artist Village.

Lianett Rodriguez Gonzalez

Born in La Habana, Cuba, Lia trained at the National School  of Art in Cuba (ENA), graduating in 2005 with a gold title. In 2006 she joined the National Company of Contemporary Dance in Cuba and has toured Internationally with them, as well as Havanna Rakatan and Balletronic.

As a dancer with the ability to act, she is also widely in demand for short films as well as commercial and musical videos. She loves to collaborate with artist of different disciplines and has worked professionally for various choreographers and companies in the UK. Lia is also an experienced teacher, rehearsal director and choreographer in her own right.

Azara Rowena Meghie

Azara Meghie is a black LGBTQI performer and over the last two years has been developing her solo practice where she fuses poetry with breakdancing. These two art forms have enabled her to truly express her identity and become the person she is today.

Her work as a black LGBTQI performer aims to identify the struggles she faces in trying to maintain her individuality, but also highlighting the cultural limitations, beliefs and society’s stereotypes that she does not adhere to.

Her first live solo performance I Am A Woman was created in Jamaica. She went on to collaborate with Kai Fi’ain, a superb filmmaker, to develop a video adaptation of the piece which screened at the BFI Flare Film Festival 2017. As well as the BFI, it has also screened at seven film festivals across London, Berlin and New York. She has just finished her second film Breaking Down my Trans-Lation.

Anna Alvarez Cabral


Anna Alvarez has been dancing since she was three years old studying The Royal Ballet method and continued her education in the performing arts through youth theatre groups and simultaneously training athletics.

Anna Alvarez continued her dance education with D.N.I Tango in Buenos Aires and later went onto study contemporary dance at The Faculdade de Dança Angel Vianna in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.

Anna Alvarez went onto work as an apprentice with Cia de Dança Deborah Colker in 2013 and to work in Brazil with the choreographers Gustavo Cirico, Frederico Paredes and Maira Maneschy. Anna moved to Israel in 2014 and performed with Vertigo Dance Company in Israel the pieces Vertigo 20 and Mana. Since returning to the UK, Alvarez has danced with choreographer Ella Mesma on the piece Ladylike and Orixás.

Anna also specializes in Latin Dance and is a Tango dancer currently performing with the Leandro Palou Tango Academy and the dancer Gonzalo Ferro. She accredits her love of movement to her Grandmother, Tango and Samba, her “first loves” and has danced with the Samba Schools Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel, Salgueiro and Estácio de Sá as well as London School of Samba in the UK.

Anna has been developing her own line of Tango Therapy and will be opening a Tango-Autism class in Brighton Hove from January 2018. Anna is currently being supported by the Arts Council England and The Garage to create her first extended work called ‘Where are my glasses’.

David Evans

Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand, David started dancing as a teenager while living in the U.S. Originally a bboy and salsero, David was introduced to contemporary dance in 2012 while working as a choreographer on Street Stories, a career development program run by the Royal Opera House and East London Dance. Since then, David has gone on to pursue a Graduate Diploma in Dance from Trinity Laban graduating in 2017 with distinction and being awarded the dance award and choreographer award. Since graduating David has become a company dancer for Ella Mesma Company. Other notable performances include Tate Britain Late at Tate: Speculate Series, The Rambert Building for Vintage Rambert, and the Bonnie Bird working with choreographer Rahel Vonmoos.

Gabriela Montgomery-Solano

025-just faceGabriela trained at London Contemporary Dance School where her main styles of dance were mainly focused on Contemporary dance and Ballet. She joined Tavaziva Dance Company as part of a Postgraduate Programme from 2012-2013 with whom she toured both in the UK and abroad. 

Since graduating she has been to Brazil (where she was born), to be trained in Afro-Brazilian Dance and Latin American styles such as Samba.

In more recent years, Gabriela has been teaching dance classes of various styles to students of all ages. She is also a keen choreographer, storyteller and flute player.

Throughout her dancing career Gabriela has been involved in many projects where she has been able to collaborate with musicians, designers, and film makers, and has taken part in major international festivals such as D.A.C.I. (in Brazil and Holland), Dance Umbrella (in London), the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Dance Encore Festival (in Canada).

Mariana Camiloti

Mariana is a London based dance artist born in Sao Paulo, Brazil. She trained at Cisne Negro Ballet School and in contemporary dance at University of Campinas, before completing her postgraduate diploma in performance with EDge Dance Company at London Contemporary Dance School in 2008. She has performed across the UK and internationally, both with companies such as Hagit Yakira Dance, Fevered Sleep, Clod Ensemble, Companhia de Dança do Norte (PT) and with independent artists including Wilkie Branson, Alex Howard, Gabriela Tropia, Simonetta Alessandri, Jia-Yu Corti, Annie Lok, Rachel Krische, Fillip Van Huffel and Jonathan Lunn.

A keen collaborator and improviser, Mariana has been involved in diverse projects comprising outdoor and site-specific productions. She takes part of anthologyofamess  – a collective rooted in improvisational engagements initiated together with Antonio de la Fe and Petra Soor. Recently, she was a guest choreographer for Alive Dance Company and in 2011 her work Cameo – A trio devised and performed alongside Riccardo Buscarini and Antonio de la Fe was a finalist of The Place Prize for Dance. Alongside performing and making, Mariana has led dance classes and workshops in Brazil and the UK and works as rehearsal assistant.

Rita Vilhena

Rita started at very young age as ballet, acrobatic gymnast, capoeira and folkloric afro-brazilian. She studied Dance at the University of Human Kinetics in Lisbon, Portugal. While studying  she  started training as a contemporary and commercial dancer in Portugal, Brazil and USA.

Rita worked as a professional dancer and actress in Portugal from 2004 to 2012 which included Move it, PMP, Angels of Dance, Lemon Entertainment, Morangos Com Açucar. She danced for the Open Ceremony of Guimaraes European Capital of Culture, Olympic Event in Pavilhão Atlantico, MadStunts, Nike, Brazilianarts (NYC), The Next Stage Project(NYC), Beach Park Resort(Brasil), Rock in Rio Lisboa. Rita teaches and performes capoeira internationally as a guest certified capoeira instructor.

In the UK she has danced for Ivan Blackstock, Guarini Dance Company, NuTempo, OiBrasil, Element arts, Brazilian Uk Academy, and Ella Mesma  Company as a principal dancer in “Orixas”. She was also involved in the R&D for Ladylike.

Alice Henry

Alice Henry is a highly expressive and engaging dancer and performance artist based in the North East. Alice graduated from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2015 with a first, and made Newcastle her home later that year. Since then Alice has been mentored and commissioned by Dance City to develop her creative practice as a maker and solo performer. Alice is an associate artist of performance collective State of Grace based in the North East and has worked with artists Neville Campbell, Joelene English and Ella Mesma.

Emma Houston

 Emma Houston aka Bgirl Shortbread is a versatile artist with a keen interest in all kinds of movement and choreography. Mostly known as a hip hop dancer and b-girl, Emma uses the contemporary training within her dance to create her own individual style of movement.

After gaining a first class honours contemporary dance degree from Trinity Laban’s conservatoire of music and dance she joined the Greenwich Dance team as an outreach teacher.

Most recently Emma has danced for the artist Years and Years, been Nickelodeon’s ‘Skills crew’ featured Breakdancer, represented Warner Brothers at the TV licensing awards as a performer and has presented her own work in Breakin Convention’s Open Art Surgery. Emma was also a featured artist in this year’s Freestyle Funk Forum (Breakin Convention 2016).

As a former member of Boadicea, an all female all styles crew, Emma reached the finals of Got To Dance, performed as a part of the Got To Dance Supercrew, been featured on Ashley Banjo’s secret street crew and performed on the main stage at Breakin Convention as well as nights such as Collabo and Move It.