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Artistic Director

Abigail Hosein is a choreographer, teacher, dancer, and the artistic director of ahdanco, the modern dance company she founded  in 2002.  Her work has been presented and commissioned by various companies, universities, and high schools throughout the Bay Area.  Teaching for over 15 years, currently at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Hosein has also served on faculty at Santa Clara University and College Prep High School. Additionally, she serves as Administrative Director at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center. She holds her MFA in Performance and Choreography from Mills College and has performed locally for Dance Repertory/San Francisco, Hudson Dance, Barely Complete Productions, and Rogelio Lopez & Dancers.

Oona Wong-Danders

Current Dancers

Lauren Baines

Lauren Baines received both a B.A. and a B.S. from Santa Clara University, triple majoring in Theatre Arts (Dance Emphasis), Art History, and Psychology. She has presented her own work throughout the Bay Area and have performed with many local choreographers and companies including Claire Calalo, Abigail Hosein (ahdanco), David Popalisky and Bih-tau Sung (Dancing Sun). She has also studied with, and presented the work of, other choreographers/companies, including Joe Goode, Erika Chong Shuch, Anna Halprin, Cheryl Chaddick and the José Limón Dance Company. Lauren teaches dance around the South Bay, and works as the Assistant Artistic Director for the Cardboard Box Theatre Project and formerly as the Project Manager for Education; Artistic Programs at the Montalvo Arts Center. She earned an MFA in Dance from Mills College in 2015, and is the Artistic Director of Lauren Baines Dance/Theatre.

Photo by Robert Schultze

Jessica DeLeon

Jessica de Leon graduated from Santa Clara University with a B.A. in Theatre, Dance Emphasis and a B.S. in Political Science and received her Juris Doctorate from Golden Gate University, School of Law with a Certificate in Intellectual Property. Jessica has had the privilege of performing works by esteemed choreographers such as Joe Goode, Angela Demmel, David Popalisky, Rebecca Gilbert, Claire Calalo, and Lauren Baines. Jessica is currently the Executive Director of for change dance collective. She is honored to be a part of ahdanco and work with her mentor and friend, Abigail Hosein. 

Photo by Douglas Berry

Rebecca Gilbert

Rebecca graduated with a BA in dance from Mills College and has performed with various Bay Area choreographers including little seismic dance company, RAW dance and Dance Ceres. She has produced her own work at CounterPulse and Works in the Works and had a residency at the Garage in SF that culminated in an evening length piece, After August.  Rebecca is currently the Director of Education and Outreach at Throckmorton Theatre and choreographs for youth theatre production in the Bay Area. She is thrilled to be one of the original Ahdanco members, performing in her 15th year with the company! While not dancing, Rebecca enjoys the company of her little firecracker toddler, life partner and two naughty kitties.

Leah Kahn trained at Kent State University and Columbia College Chicago, and has performed all around the Midwest, in Israel, and in the Bay Area. In Chicago, she performed, taught and choreographed for the HouseHold Arts Collective and Tikvah Company of Artists. While living in Jerusalem, she danced for "Merhav Mechol" (Dance space) directed by Miriam Engel. She has also worked with David Dorfman, Juan Estrada, Bridgman/Packer Dance, Tommy Parlon, Yossi T’mim and performed in a reconstruction of Duet Swan Lake by Mats Ek under the direction of Sergey Shamota. Since moving to the Bay Area, she has produced and performed her own work, as well as danced for Nina Haft & Company, Rogelio Lopez & Dancers, and ahdanco. 

Erin Kohout

Erin Kohout earned her BFA from SUNY Purchase. She has had the privilege of working with Cori Kresge, Generation Goat Rocket, Peaches, D Montalvo, Oliver Steele, Copious Dance Theater, and Rogelio Lopez, among others. She is currently working on her own choreographic project entitled "The Moving Room." 

Katie Kruger

Katie Kruger graduated with a dance degree from the Universtiy of California, Santa Barbara. She has had the pleasure of dancing for such choreographers as Donald McKayle, Pickle Family Circus, Patricia Banchik Kinesis, Tammy Cheney, Paufve Dance, Rogelio Lopez, Nancy Karp, and ahdanco. She has taught extensively in both public and private schools and centers throughout the Bay Area and is currently the director of the Shawl-Anderson Youth Program.

Edmer Lazaro

Edmer started dancing at 16. His interests in dance and the movement sciences led him to pursue dance and kinesiology studies at California State University, Hayward. Additionally, he holds a doctorate in physical therapy and practices in the areas of orthopedics and neurology. He also uses this knowledge to educate young dancers on movement awareness, anatomy, biomechanics, and injury prevention. He has performed with Nina Haft and Company, with Rogelio Lopez and Dancers, Dandelion Dancetheater, and now with ahdanco.

Jeanette Male

Jeanette Male is a San Francisco native who began her dance training at City College of San Francisco. She then went on to study at Arte XXI: Escuela de Danza in Buenos Aires, and at the Graham School of Contemporary Dance in New York. After receiving her BFA in Dance (Magna Cum Laude) from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Jeanette relocated to Oakland, CA were she received her MFA in Dance at Mills College. She has performed with the Mills Repertory Company, CCSF Repertory Company, Ishika Seth and Dancers, BadMarMar (Seattle, WA), WaxPoet(s) (SF, CA), and most recently with Sarah Bush Dance Project (Oakland, CA). Her choreographic work has been presented at the Brava Theater (SF), Noh Space (SF), The Garage (SF), and during the BOOST Festival (Seattle). Currently, Jeanette teaches full time with the CCSF Dance Department and is Program Coordinator. She is excited and honored to be apart of the AHDANCO 2018.

Andrew Merrell

Andrew received his education at CSU Long Beach with a BA in Dance, and at Saint Mary's College with a MFA in Dance Creative Practice. He has been dancing professionally since 2008 for companies including: Keith Johnson and Dancers, Holly Johnston's Ledges and Bones Nina Haft and Company, Abigail Hosein’s ahdanco, Davalos dance, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Rogelio Lopez & Dancers, and Paufve | dance. Andrew currently teaches contemporary modern dance technique and theory at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, Saint Mary's College, San Jose State University, and Sonoma State University.

Mechelle Tunstall

Mechelle Tunstall began dancing at the University of Houston and has trained at the Laban Center in London. In Houston and Arizona she has worked with Becky Valls, Jennifer Wood (SUCHU), Psophonia Dance Company, Teresa Chapman, Toni Leago Valle, Douglas Dunn, Travesty Dance Group, ZUZI! Dance Company, and Vault. She is currently performing with Paufve|Dance and ahdanco.

Oona Wong- Danders

Oona Wong-Danders is a Bay Area native, born in San Francisco and raised in Oakland. She received her early training at Berkeley Ballet Theater, Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, The College Preparatory School with Stefani Berger, and at the ODC/ Teen Program, as well as worked with numerous choreographers and artists in the area over the years. She completed her B.A. in Dance at San Francisco State University, where she was accepted as ODC/Dance's Student Apprentice and performed as a guest artist in their 2015 home season. She has also performed work by Brenda Way, KT Nelson, Kimi Okada, Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, Cathleen McCarthy, Amy Foley, Raissa Simpson, Katerina Wong and Nol Simone. In addition to ahdanco, she is also dancing with ka·nei·see | collective, Ayana Yonesaka, Quicksilver Dance and is a part of Garrett + Moulton Productions’ Movement Choir. If she were not so in love with dance, Oona would most like to live in Tokyo and open up an eco-friendly flower shop!

Leah Kahn

Dancers: previous/on hiatus

Rebecca Johnson started her modern dance training on the East Coast in 1985 with Moving West Dance Company and went on to earn a dual BA in Dance and English Literature from Rutgers University. She completed her Master of Education degree from the University of New Hampshire in 2001. Rebecca performs with Nina Haft & Company, Paufve Dance, Dana Lawton Dances, Rogelio Lopez and joined ahdanco in 2014. Rebecca is the Executive Director of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center.

Michaela Leslie-Rule is an interdisciplinary artist and social scientist who focuses on art and social change. As a dancer and actor she has performed and taught in the US, Africa and Europe. Michaela earned a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Masters degrees in Public Health and Public Affairs from the University of Washington.

Amanda Whitehead grew up in The Washington Ballet school and company, and received her BA from Princeton University. She teaches ballet and modern dance for all ages at Shawl-Anderson and teaches movement in classrooms at Washington Elementary School.  She currently performs with ahdanco, FACT/SF, and previously with Nina Haft & Company, Tammy Cheney & Mo Miner.

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