Photo by: Steve Belkowitz
I have been passionate and involved with movement my entire life. Everyone moves. How do we move? Are we efficient? Are we graceful? Through teaching and through sharing my own path, I work to pass on information that my own teachers have shared with me. Through training others, I get to break it down, make it understandable. I have been immersed in gymnastics, dance, and performance and want to help others understand their bodies, achieve their goals, be strong and ultimately, express themselves. It is a true honor to teach.
John Kasten has over 20 years of gymnastics, dance, circus and performance arts training, and has been sharing his knowledge through teaching since 2006. John has been teaching both children and adults, passing on his knowledge and skills of mobility and the human body. This 2018 Holiday show is John’s first production with JUNK.
Born and raised here in Philadelphia, Aaron is a senior undergraduate student at Temple University currently working toward his B.F.A. in dance. A late bloomer, Aaron began his classical training at the age of 19 here at Boyer. During his time here he trained intensely in the Vaganova technique, Horton, Jazz, African, and the Umfundalai technique. he has worked in many companies including Eleone Connection, Grace 2, and Philadanco 2. He has had the privilege to work and learn from artists such as Kip Martin, Dara Meredith, Troy Powell, Kun-Yang Lin, and Dr Kariamu Welsh. At 21, Aaron developed a love for Hip Hop. He is currently apart of the Hip Hop community and competes regularly around the East Coast. He has worked and trained with the likes of legendary icons such as Kyle and Dinita Clark, Rennie Harris, Brian Green, and Kim Holmes to name a few. Aaron has been working with JUNK since this Summer and is excited to be apart of their 2018 Holiday Series.
Jess grew up in Oreland, PA and began her dance training at the age of two. She graduated with a BFA in Dance from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia (2016). After graduating, Jess worked as a dancer/aerialist for Norwegian Cruise Lines, touring the Panama Canal, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, Alaska and Canada. Since her return from NCL in June 2017, Jess trains and performs aerial work at Secret Circus. She is an Associate Artist for Almanac Dance Circus Theatre, performing collaborative acrobatic dancing, singing, and theatre shows in the tri-state area since October 2017. Jess has performed her own solo choreography in Philly, and she is an instructor and choreographer for numerous studios in the area. In September 2018, Jess joined Project Moshen as a company dancer. This fall she is dancing for Kevan Sullivan and Dancers, Jim Bunting Dance Company and Rock It Entertainment. After dancing for Brian Sanders’ 2016 Snowball and 2018 Plunge, Jess is thrilled to perform with JUNK for the 2018 holiday season.
Laura grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY and found her way to Philadelphia in 2003 to attend The University of The Arts. Here she graduated with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance. In 2007 she began her own collaborative dance company PINK HAIR AFFAIR and choreographed/directed various productions including a music video “Human Cannonball” that won Best Music Video at the New York City Independent Film Festival (NYCIFF). Laura was a professional NFL Cheerleader for the Philadelphia Eagles and was one of five selected to go overseas to perform for the troupes in Kuwait and Iraq among other local and abroad modeling/performance opportunities. In 2011 she ended her final season as Captain. Laura started working with Brian in college. In 2012 she joined JUNK full-time and toured around the U.S. and even Dubai. She made her JUNK Fringe Festival debut in Hush Now Sweet High Heels and Oak. In January of 2015, Laura moved to Los Angeles for three years where she continued to perform and choreograph. She’s back in Philly and performed for JUNK’s 2018 Fringe Festival Plunge. Laura also works behind the scenes with Brian as the Associate Artistic Director. When she is not dancing she is running her business Massage Studio of Philadelphia, doing bodywork and teaching yoga. She is a Massage Therapist for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pennsylvania Ballet.
Amelia rose estrada
Amelia started performing in theatrical productions at nine and initially enrolled in dance classes to supplement her musical theater education. She attended the Cambridge School of Weston, a liberal arts high school in Massachusetts, where she discovered her passion for modern dance. She continued her studies at Swarthmore College where she received an Honors B.A. in Dance and Classical Studies. Amelia has had the opportunity to train at Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, American Dance Festival, Toronto Dance Theater, and Summer Stages Dance. Since graduating in 2017 she has been working in Philadelphia as a freelance dance artist and teaching with BalletX's outreach program Dance eXchange. Most recently she performed in Dancing Dead IPX. She is honored to be performing with JUNK again in Figmago. Amelia also helps out behind the scenes as the Administrative and Development Associate for JUNK.
Teddy Fatscher was born and raised in Massapequa, Long Island. He attended Long Island High School for the Arts for his junior and senior years of high school. After graduating Teddy moved to Philadelphia to further his studies in dance performance at the University of the Arts. The University provided many opportunities to work with world renowned artists such as Roni Koresh, Douglas Becker, and Brian Sanders. Come January of freshman year Teddy was working with Brian Sanders' JUNK. Teddy has been a performer for JUNK since 2011 and has recently begun his own company Matter Movement Group.
Kelly grew up in Media, PA and began her dance training at The Rock School West in West Chester, PA. She then furthered her education at Point Park University and graduated with her BA in dance in 2013. During her time at Point Park, Kelly had the opportunity to perform original works by Sidra Bell, Christopher Huggins, Garfield Lemonius, Ron Tassone, and Kellie Hodges to name a few, as well as explore her own choreographic ideas. Upon graduating, Kelly joined Dissonance Dance Theatre and Deviated Theatre in Washington, DC. In 2014 she joined Brian Sanders' JUNK, in Philadelphia, PA. JUNK has allowed her opportunities to tour nationally and perform in annual Philadelphia Fringe Festivals. In 2015 she competed with JUNK on TruTV's Fake Off season two, where they landed a spot in the semifinals. Kelly has worked with Nickerson-Rossi Dance, PINK HAIR AFFAIR and most recently Matter Movement Group.
William is a dancer-performer currently residing in the south Philadelphia area, where he has lived for the past 8 years. Raised in Washington DC, William grew up playing sports and doing karate, which laid the foundation for his interest in extreme movement. William got his introduction to dance in 7th grade at Georgetown Day School, under the guidance and encouragement of Jan Tievsky. Mr. Robinson went on to study classical ballet, and modern dance at The Dance Institute of Washing under the tutelage of Kevin Malone and the late Fabian Barnes. Besides classical training William started B-boying while in high school, a style which has informed every aspect of how Mr. Robinson approaches dance. In 2008 William graduated from the University of the Arts, where he earned his BFA in modern dance performance and was the recipient of both the President’s Award and The Outstanding Achievement in Modern Dance award. Since then William has made a living as a freelance artist in Philadelphia, as well as teaching at Georgian Court University and The University of the Arts.
Ms. Higdon first began her years of dance education on the Eastern shore of Maryland at the age of ten. Julia went on to continue her years of professional training at various institutions, such as the Kirov Academy of Ballet, the Rock School for Dance Education, and the University of the Arts. For the last few years, Ms. Higdon has had the privilege of working with Brian Sanders’ acrobatic dance troupe, ‘JUNK,’ and with blacklight mask and dance theatre company, ‘Archedream for Humankind.’ Offstage, Ms. Higdon educates many young, aspiring dancers in the hopes of carrying on the inspiration and traditions of the art form.
Chelsea began dancing and tumbling when she was just 3 years old. She attended Starbound Dance Studio and Duke Ellington School of the Arts and studied jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop, modern and African dance for over 15 years. When not in the gym or dance studio, you could find Chelsea on the track field. Chelsea spent summers training at Jones Haywood (D.C.) and Alvin Ailey (N.Y). In exchange for dance classes Chelsea taught dance to younger kids. She is a graduate from the University of the Arts and holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Modern Dance. Since then, she has enjoyed touring with Brian Sanders' JUNK and teaching children dance. Now Chelsea has two kids of her own who are currently learning the art of dance. Chelsea has hopes to one day open a dance studio where she will share the joy of dance with our youth. She spent this past summer/fall working with JUNK on Figmago in collaboration with Meg Saligman Studio.
Briannon has always been a movement enthusiast. She began her training in ballet and competitive gymnastics until she attended Charleston County School of the Arts, where she was exposed to modern dance and realized that dance was her way of life. Her desire to dance only intensified and she continued her studies at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduating with a B.A in Dance with a K-12 teaching licensure. Motivated and fueled to learn more, she moved to Philadelphia to continue her process of personal development and community engagement through dance. She is thrilled to be working with Brian Sanders' JUNK and is so appreciative to perform FIGMAGO in collaboration with Meg Saligman Studio.