COMPANY BIOS

Artistic Director | Assistant Director | Board of Directors | Dancers

Dancers:
 

  Jamir" Rimaj Robert Todd
Jamir is originally from Brazil.. Dance is Jamir's life inspiration for as long as he can remember. He learned the Hip Hop dance genre and credits dance with keeping him out of trouble. At the age of sixteen, Jamir began to do performances at CEG Dance Academy. He currently works for Eat Right Now which is a program that caters to children in schools teaching nutrition through dance. In the future, he would like to continue schooling, gain technique in more genres of dance and dreams of being part of a world renown dance company.

  Stephanie Vasta
Stephanie is a graduate of Penn State Abington where she earned a B.A. in Psychological and Social Sciences. During her years at Penn State she participated in the University's Dance Company as a dancer and student choreographer. After graduating she moved on to become one of the Company's Associate Directors. Stephanie teaches at Carol Ann's School of Dance and Stars Studio of Dance, where she has been dancing since the age of five, studying ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical and hip hop. She was a member of Stars' competition team. Stephanie has performed professionally around the country with New Vision Cirque and Dance Company, and with Philadelphia companys, Vada Dance Collective and with ContempraDance Theatre since 2004. She toured Poland with the ContempraDance Theatre in July 2006.

  Andrew D Thomas a.k.a. “Bboy Flash”
Andrew is from Philadelphia. “I have made my dreams come true dancing my heart out since I was a kid.” Andrew has worked with company's like Illstyle and Peace Productions, Rennie Harris Pure Movement, and Rennie Harris RHAW. He is now performing all over the world with the Philadelphia 76ers flight squad.

  Kathleen Kerner
Kathleen is originally from North Carolina. She graduated in May of 2007 from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a BFA degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. Kathleen was a member of Hoctor's Dance Caravan Company traveling around the United States performing and holding workshops. She was a member of the John Gamble Dance Theatre from 2004-2007, and performed with them in North Carolina Dance Festival and the Fringe Festival. In the fall of 2005 she spent six months studying dance at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, Australia. Along with dancing for Contempra Dance Theatre, Kathleen has been a member of Vada Dance Collective and Plasma Dance Theatre since January of 2009. She was also in the Philly Fringe Festival in September of 2008, dancing for Tammy Jean McMullin.

  Brittany Lynch
Brittany is a graduate of Illinois State University where she earned degrees in Dance Education and Earth and Space Science Education. Brittany was a member of Illinois State Dance Theatre. With this company she had the opportunity to work with artists such as Denise Vale, Sandra Kauffman, Jon Lehrer, Santo Scavuzzo, Joanna Rosenthal, Kim Neal Nofsinger, Randy Duncan, and Julie Tice. Her choreography has been performed at multiple American College Dance Festivals, BET’s show 106 & Park, and with Beyond Dance Company whom she is the Co-Director of. In addition to choreographing for Beyond Dance Co. she also performs for the company in Philadelphia. She is also performing in works by Chrissie Leech in the greater Philadelphia area as well as company member with ContempraDANCE Theatre Company. Brittany is very excited to be a teaching for ContempraDance School.

  Bilal Simpson
Bilal is a Charlotte, North Carolina Native who began dancing at the age of 10 formally at Fletcher School of Dance first studying Hip-Hop and secondly Ballet. In 2004 attended Northwest High School of the Arts with a focus of Ballet. Also in 2004 Bilal joined BB Dance Productions and afterwards Miss Donnas School of Dance where he began to compete at dance competitions. Bilal won several 1st overalls and platinum high scored awards and 4 titles. During High School Bilal began to dance professionally with the NBA and WNBA Dance Team. Shortly after, Bilal began to start his own journey exploring choreography and winning awards at several dance competitions and opened the door to choreographing throughout the state of North Carolina. In 2005 Bilal moved to Philadelphia, PA to attend University of the Arts where he studied Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Horton, Graham, Limon, Dunham and several other forms of dance. Shortly after relocating Bilal began to teach at Dshay Academy of Dance Arts which opened the door to several other opportunities; Teaching at Progressive Center for Dance; and Dance Workshops for studios such as Straight to the Pointe Dance Studio and Triplett Dance Academy. In 2009 Bilal joined Grace Dance Theater, a grass roots Dance Company that is Horton based and still currently resides there. Bilal became a resident choreographer for all the 3 company levels, GDT, GD2, and Training Company of Grace. Bilal has had the opportunity to work with prestigious choreographers and artists such as Mia Micheals, Abby Lee Miller, Dale Lamb, Dee Caspary, Travis Wall and Anthony Burrell.

  Daria Vartanian-Gibbs
Daria has been dancing since age 4 with her debut performance in ContempraDance Theatre's "Woman" as the daughter. She has trained in every aspect of dance including African and Body Percussion. Daria attended the Creative and Performing Arts School (CAPA) in Philadelphia during her freshman and sophomore years studying with LeDeva Davis, Michael Susten, Derrell Williams, Shawn Lamere Williams and Peter Sabasino. She began her training at ContempraDance Center and was a member of the ContempraYouth Dance Ensemble with Christa Campbell and Gail Vartanian. She performed in Disney World, Ladek Zdroj International Dance Festival in Poland as well as Schuylkill Valley Regional Dance Company's Nutcracker under the direction of Michelle Jones Wurtz. Daria was a dance major at Marin College in California and is a company member with the College of Marin Dance Company. She is currently furthering her studies in New York.

  Kristin Edwards
Kristin earned a BA in dance from Eastern University. While attending Eastern, she choreographed and performed in several pieces that represented the University at the American College Dance Festival Association. In 2011 Kristin produced a dance and music concert benefiting the Gahini Public Library in Rwanda, Africa. She teaches dance throughout the Philadelphia area and at ContempraDance Center.

  Eric Wood
Eric is from West Philadelphia where he was introduced to the hip hop dance culture at the age of 17. In 2011 he began dancing with Illstyle and Peace production touring for three years dancing hip hop and African. His experience with Illstyle company educated him in dance movement as well as the history of hip hop culture.

  Tia Di Pietro
From Northern New Jersey Tia is a 2012 graduate of DeSales University with a B.A. in Dance. Technically trained in ballet, modern, and jazz; She has created two original pieces that have been showcased in New York (Dance New Amsterdam), Pennsylvania (Emerging Choreographers Concert) and Wisconsin (ACDFA). Most recently, Tia was selected from a national group of candidates’ to participate with Regional Dance America’s Choreographer’s conference. Her choreography was presented and performed under the direction of “ Nelly van Bommel”. She has worked administratively and artistically with Freespace Dance Company as an Intern, as well as performing and choreographing along side Weird Al Yankovic in his concert Apocalypse. Tia was also a member of the DeSales University dance team for four years. While training at the King Centre she danced for the New Jersey Foundation of Dance and Theater Arts. Also performing pieces under various residences from all over the United States.

  Lauren Sion
Lauren graduated with a B.A in Dance from Muhlenberg College in 2008 with Magna Cum Laude Honors. She attended Drexel University for a year, where she was part of the Drexel Dance Ensemble and when she transferred to Muhlenberg College to major in dance she performed and choreographed in numerous shows. Since then she has gone on to teach, perform, and choreograph extensively throughout the tri-state area. She is proud to be a full-time teacher at Nardi Dance Studios in Easton, PA and has had the pleasure of performing with Annex Dance Company, Serendipity Dance Ensemble, hersouldances modern dance projects, Eng and Friends Dance Company and choreography by Morgan Chambers of Pink Hair Affair. Recently, she shot a video promo with Firerock Productions for The Coca Cola Bottling Company & Lehigh Valley Phantoms hockey stadium and was accepted into a dance residency, performing original choreography by renowned choreographer Keith Thompson. Currently she balances dance projects with Sarah Carlson’s DanceLink, danceETHOS Performance Company, coEXISTdance Company, & Underground DanceWorks. She is thrilled to be a part of Contempra Dance Theatre's upcoming season!

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