Click to read bios.
Jenny Hegarty is in her 6th season with Dance Now Miami. Her early training began at the Kathryn Barnett School of Dance in Red Bank, NJ, and then continued at the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble and the Harkness Youth Ballet, both under the direction of Nancy Turano. She received a BFA in Dance Performance from Marymount Manhattan College and has had the opportunity of working with and performing in works by David Parsons, Stephen Petronio, Robert Battle, Johannes Wieland, Eduardo Vilaro, Jason McDole and Kyle Amhed-Bukhari, along with being selected to perform at the Metropolitan Opera House in the Kirov Ballet's production of Sleeping Beauty. Jenny has worked with multiple companies in NY, NJ, and Florida including DeXdance, Heritage Dance Project, Florida Grand Ballet, Gehring Dancetheatre and RIOULT. She has collaborated in local projects including FashionPerForm (Art Basel), Miami Open Stage, and The Haunted Ballet in Coconut Grove. Some of her favorite theater and production credits include Chicago, On the Town (Stage Door), Cabaret, Cirque du Monde and Ballroom South Beach Style (Kevin Black Productions).
Jenny is on faculty at TAME Dance Academy and the Interlochen Summer Arts Program, on staff at VIP Dance Competition and Convention, and privately coaches students in the tri-county area. Previously, Jenny was a rehearsal assistant at the Joffrey Ballet School's Contemporary Program in Los Angeles and worked as a dance facilitator among clients with varying levels of communicative and physical ability within the Arts Access program at the Matheny School and Hospital in Peapack, NJ. She is grateful to be with Dance Now for another season.
Harold Micheal Berry, is a Miami native, who began his training at the Thomas Amour Youth Ballet under the direction of Ruth Wisen. He continued his training in high school at the New World School of the Arts, then went onto study with the Virginia School of Arts under the direction of Tyrone Brooks and Adam Sage. Following graduation, Harold continued his dance career training with Boston Ballet’s Trainee Program. After a year with Boston Ballet, Harold set forth as a performer on cruise lines including NCL, Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney Cruise, and Princess Cruises, while also attending many summer dance programs with DTH, SAB, Boston Ballet, Julliard, etc. Now back in Miami, he is excited to be dancing his first season with Dance NOW!.
Jose Brooks was born and raised in Louisville, KY. He started dancing at the age of 16 beginning with hip hop, and after two years, continued training in modern, ballet, contemporary and jazz. Jose worked as a dancer the AlterEgo Dance Crew, and danced backup for lil’ Mama in Chicago at the W.O.D. (World Of Dance). Jose auditioned twice for So You Think You Can Dance, first in 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia, and again in 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee, both times making it to final rounds locally. In Memphis, the artistic director of the Patti Rutland Jazz Dance company invited him join her company as a principal dancer. Brooks danced for 3 years with Patti Rutland, training, performing, and enjoying the experience of teaching over 1,600 kids per week through their elementary school outreach program. Jose moved to Miami in 2016 to pursue his professional career and currently teaches at In Motion Performing Arts Center. He is excited for his first season with Dance NOW! Miami! His personal motto is: I.M.I. (Inspire,Motivate,Impact).
Amy Deer, of Milford, MA, began her dance training at the age of 4 at Dance Works Academy. While there she studied various dance disciplines including ballet, tap, modern, jazz and musical theater. She then continued to focus on ballet with Cathy Hazeltine Fallon at Patricia Brosnihan Dance Center and Studio Ballet of Hudson and attended the Joffrey Ballet NYC summer intensive. A graduate from Mercyhurst University, Amy holds a B.A. in Dance and an Arts Administration minor. While there she studied with Tauna Hunter, Michael Gleason, C. Noelle Partusch, Christine Hay, Lesley Bories-Scalise, and Mark and Solveig Santillano. She has performance experience with groups such as Mercyhurst Ballet Theater, Lake Erie Ballet, Ballet Concerto of Ft. Worth, TX and The Mercyhurst Dancers and most recently with BoSoma Dance Company.
Amy is very excited to start her fourth season with Dance NOW! and thanks her family and friends for all of their support.
Allyn Ginns Ayers
Allyn is excited to return to Dance NOW! for her fourth season. She grew up in Sacramento, California, where she trained in classical ballet with former Royal Ballet dancer Pamela Hayes. She graduated from Barnard College in 2009, where she received a BA, cum laude, in Economic History with a Dance minor. While at Barnard, Allyn trained with Allegra Kent (NYCB), Robert La Fosse (NYCB/ABT), Cynthia Anderson (ABT/Joffrey), and Katie Glasner (Twyla Tharp Dance). While in law school at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., Allyn was a member of Gin Dance Company in its inaugural season under the direction of Shu-Chen Cuff.
In addition her work in dance, Allyn is an attorney admitted to practice in New York and Florida. She currently coordinates the legal services program at Cannonball, a non-profit arts organization, providing legal information and pro bono attorney referrals to artists in Florida.
Benicka Grant is honored to be in her second season with Dance NOW! Born in Miami, Benicka began her dance training at age 6 performing at Henry E.S. Reeves Elementary School. At age 8, she began training with Linda Agyopong, performing with Community Book and Theater Company and at age 10, she began training with United Dancers of Miami, currently known as Diva Arts Dance Studio. Benicka was accepted into New World School of the Arts and also trained with the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet. Benicka attended college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and has studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theater of Harlem. She has studied under Shannon Haynes, Tyrell Rolle, Trenard Mobley, Peter London, Robert Battle, Ruth Weisen, Lara Murphy, Bambi Anderson, Leslie Peck, Shelley Berg, Myra Woodruff, and Millicent Johnnie and others. Some of Benicka’s favorite theater and production credits include performing with Iluminate from “Americas Got Talent”, Six Flags over Texas, Cirque Dreams, and performing as the featured dancer in Lin Manuel’s In The Heights.
Benicka has taught ballet at Studio 74 in Ft. Worth, Texas and is currently the ballet teacher for Lyte On Your Feet Dance Company where she is training students ages 4-16.
“Great Dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion”
A Miami, FL native, Joel Mays began dancing at the age of 17 at the Academy of Arts and Minds in Coconut Grove, Florida. There he studied Ballet, Jazz and Modern dance under Karin Bejerano and Hannah Baumgarten and with the Dance NOW! World Dance Summer Intensive with Diego Salterini and others. A New World School of the Arts Graduate from the B.F.A Program, Joel has performed works from choreographers including Robert Battle, Gerard Ebitz, Sean Curran, Darshan Bhuller and Anabelle – Lopez Ochoa. Joel has performed with Stephanie Fuentes and the Haunted Ballet. This is his first season with Dance NOW! Miami.
Sonny Shiu is a Chinese-American who was born in Visalia, California but moved to Miami, Florida when he was 3. He started dancing at the age of 20 when he took interest in breakdancing, then decided to sign up for a modern class at Broward College. He loved what he was doing and continued his studies, signing up for Ballet as well. At the age of 21 he was accepted into New World School of the Arts for dance where he graduated in April of 2017 with his BFA in dance. Sonny has furthered his ballet training at intensives such as Charlotte Ballet and Alonzo King Lines Ballet where he received scholarships as well as at Complexions Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and recently the Paul Taylor school. This will be his first season with Dance NOW! Miami.
Luke is a graduate of California State University of Long Beach (CSULB), where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2009. During his time at Long Beach, he had the privilege to perform works by Twyla Tharp, River North Chicago Dance Company, Motion/Tribe Dance Company and many of the faculty members at CSULB. He was also a member of Body Current Dance, a guest artist with San Pedro Ballet and a performer at Disneyland. Luke has performed internationally with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines and Norwegian Cruise Lines. He also has had the privilege to perform in the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center in The Donkey Show: A Midsummer Night’s Disco. Luke became a member of Dance NOW! Miami in 2012.
During his second season, he was honored to be the first recipient of the John Beadel Fellowship for the 2013-2014 season. Also, he performed The Light Rain Pas de Deux choreographed by the founder of the Joffrey Ballet Gerald Arpino.
Outside of the company, you may have seen him in a production by Kevin Black Productions or more recently as Artistic Director of TAME Dance Academy. Luke is excited to be back for his fifth season with the company!
Deja N. Darbonne was born and raised in Fairfield, CA, where she began dancing at the age of four at Center Stage Ballet Academy under the direction of her mother Anita Hope. At the age of fourteen, Ms. Darbonne broadened her knowledge of dance and continued learning about herself as an artist.
Deja is now a graduate from New World School of the Arts College in Miami, FL, where she received her Bachelors in Fine Arts from University of Florida. During this time, Darbonne has had the privilege of dancing the works of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, Keelan Whitmore, Robert Battle, Eduardo Vilaro, Ana Gonzales, Gerard Ebitz, Peter London, Justin Rapaport, and many more. Darbonne has attended numerous summer dance intensives such as Alonzo King Lines Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and San Francisco City Ballet. In recognition of her academic excellence and scholarly achievement, Darbonne was awarded the Miami-Dade College Honors Dance award in 2015. Currently, she is a professional dancer for Peter London Global Dance Company and an Apprentice with Dance Now Miami in Miami, Florida.
Teddy began his dance training at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Performing Arts in Hartford, CT. He furthered his training in New York City at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance and the School of American Ballet. Teddy has a BFA in Dance & Education from the University of Florida at New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. Following graduation, Teddy ventured to Taiwan where he performed works by Paul Taylor and international Taiwanese choreographer Ya Ting Chang of Taipei. Locally, he has taken the stage upon The Adrienne Arsht Center, The Colony Theater, The Olympia Theater and The Broward Center for the Performing Arts, while performing works by Florida Grand Opera, Miami Contemporary Dance Company, Florida Grand Ballet, Atma Dance Company, Next Step Dance Company, Donald McCale, Paul Taylor, Ray Sullivan and Merce Cunningham. Teddy has been a featured principal dancer and associate choreographer for Kevin Black Productions since 2005, performing in production shows across the continent. In 2015, Teddy was honored to share the stage with the talented cast of A Chorus Line in a regional production at the Stage Door Theater. Most recently, he served as assistant producer, choreographer and soloist in Crystal Peattie's original masterpiece The Haunted Ballet. For years Teddy had traveled the world dancing for Royal Caribbean, Saga and Norwegian Cruise Lines. In 2010, he furthered his movement education by receiving his Pilates certification from the Equinox Pilates Institute. He has been teaching young artists since 2006 in dance studios both locally and internationally. He has also been a guest instructor at Bridgeprep Academy of Arts Minds (BAAM) in Coconut Grove since 2012. In 2015, he co-founded TAME Dance Academy, a performing arts academy dedicated to teaching quality dance and mentoring talented artists.
Isvel Bello was born in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1987, and is a contemporary dancer. He is a graduate of the National School of Dance and the Higher Institute of Art in Havana. He performed with the Compañía Danza Espiral de Matanzas and Malpaso Dance Company based in Havana. He has participated in several festivals such as The III Dance Biennial Caribbean in Martinique, World Festival of Solos and Duets in Venezuela, International Ballet Festival of Havana, Luminato Arts Festival in Toronto and at the Jacobs Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts, among others. He has worked with American choreographers Ron K. Brown and Trey McIntyre.
Larry comes to Miami by way of Ohio but his living experiences also include Australia and the Marshall Islands. He moved to Florida in 1987 to attend the University of Miami where he received his BFA in Fine Arts.
In 1991, Larry started Chidsey Graphics, a freelance design studio that handles all forms of design including print, web and photography. He has worked with many clients locally, nationally and internationally.
Visit his web site at chidseygraphics.com.
Bruce Brown, B.A.
Lighting & Set Design
Bruce hails from Michigan, where he received a B.A. in Theatre Directing and Design from Michigan State University. He first encountered the unique challenges of lighting for dance while on the faculty of the Interlochen Arts Academy. In 1998, Bruce accepted the position of Artistic Director for Dillard Center of the Arts in Fort Lauderdale, where he supervised the design and construction of the new 124,000 square foot educational arts facility. Bruce lit Dance Now’s Streaming, ...Miles and Miles..., Suite 305, AMERICA[america], Donne: Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Lovers and Secondary Colors for which he received critical acclaim. After nearly 33 years at Dillard, Bruce will retire from education to focus full-time on a career in Stage Management and Lighting Design.
Composer & Musician
Federico Bonacossa is a composer and classical guitarist based in Miami Florida. He studied classical guitar at the Conservatorio Statale G. P. da Palestrina in Italy before moving to the U.S. He holds a master’s degree for the Peabody Conservatory and a doctorate from the University of Miami in classical guitar performance. He also holds a master’s degree in music composition from Florida International University where he studied composition and electronic music.
His recent work as a composer explores various forms of interaction between live performers and the computer, the relationship between pitch and rhythm, and the transcription of spontaneous vocal gestures with the aid of the computer. He is currently working on a series of pieces for solo instrument and live processing. He has been collaborating with Dance Now Miami! since 2010.
As a performer he is involved in promoting new music for guitar, especially works that feature electronics. He is also a member of the Miami Guitar Trio.
Recent experiences include performances at the Subtropics Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival, New Music Miami Festival, Compositum Musicae Novae, USF New Music Festival, Electronic Music Midwest Festival in Kansas City, Contemplum symposium in Philadelphia, Kendall Sound Arts, 12 Nights Electro-acoustic Series, the Miami World Music Festival, the Miami Dade College On Stage Series, the Miami International Guitar Festival, Guitar Sarasota, the Miami Bach Society, the State College of Florida, the Bass Museum of Art, the Scuola Civica di Musica in Olbia, Italy, the Sephardic Jewish Synagogue in Lima, Peru, and a live concert for WLRN. He is adjunct professor at Miami Dade College, and Florida International University.
You can visit his website at www.federicobonacossa.com.