Alyce Finwall - Director
Alyce (pronounced like Elise) has over 20 years of experience performing professionally in New York, Washington DC, Minneapolis and San Francisco. She is a recognized choreographer and teaches dance to all levels, as well as acrobatics. Alyce is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher and holds an MFA in Dance. Please visit www.afdancetheater.com for more information about her choreographic work for Alyce Finwall Dance Theater. Alyce spent most of her youth equally endeavored in both dance and gymnastics, spending countless, glorious hours in both the dance studio and the gym. She was an All-American gymnast, then after an injury, started to focus on dance as a means for expression and her irresistible urge to move.
Alyce is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
She is the proud mother of two young girls who also love to dance and tumble around!
Katie Meyers - Dance
A native of Chicago, Katie trained under Summer Lee Rhatigan at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, she has had the immense pleasure to perform the repertory of Ohad Naharin, Bobbi Jene Smith and Tom Weinberger. Prior to her time at the Conservatory, Katie had the great fortune to train in Portland, Jerusalem and Salt Lake City where she was able to perform work by Andrea Miller, Noa Wherteim, and Ching Ching Wong.
Katie is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Khala Branigan - Yoga
Khala has been practicing yoga for eight years and has studied with World Peace Yoga School in Rishikesh, India and is a 200 hour RYT certified GYROTONIC(R) instructor. Khala began her training as a dancer at age seven in Santa Fe, NM with Moving People Dance Theatre. In the years 2011-2013, she attended the Lines Ballet Training Program in San Francisco, CA and studied intensively with local and national artists. Since then, she has participated in RAW with SAFEhouse Arts and premiered "unannounced" at West Wave 24. Khala has danced with Joe Landini, Sandrine Cassini, and Amelia Eisen. She currently dances for SOULSKIN Dance, teaches as part of HEArt with LINES Ballet, and hopes to invigorate the bay area arts with her work and fellow collaborators.
Meghan Murphy - Yoga
Meghan started practicing yoga over 10 years ago, loving the challenge of hot power flow. Over the years, the asana led her to discover the balance of physical and spiritual practice. Wanting to share the transformative poser of yoga with others, she completed her 200 RYT training at the Asheville Yoga Center. Join Meghan for a challenging and nourishing Vinyasa flow.
Yana Ibrahim - Yoga
Yana Ibrahim is a certified personal trainer with American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is a certified Level 1 Prenatal Yoga Teacher with MamaTree. She is classically trained in Hatha Yoga and received her 200HR Yoga Instructor certification through SVYASA Yoga Institute. She has a Bachelor Degree in Exercise & Sports Science (Edith Cowan University) and has taught many fitness classes over the years. She started teaching fitness bootcamp classes in 2008 and is passionate in helping her clients move and feel better! Follow her on Instagram: @YogawithYana or @DoulainSF.
Christine Armand - Drama
Christine has been teaching drama to elementary students for more than 15 years. She is a trained performer, published playwright and dynamic instructor, who is dedicated to the arts as a teaching tool. She has a master’s degree in theater from SFSU and has run her own week-long Creative Storytelling camps. She has worked at many diverse schools in the Bay Area, guiding students to wholeheartedly express themselves in the dramatic arts. A well-rounded theatrical artist herself, Christine has performed in many Bay Area shows and has travelled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where she starred in an original play. She is most proud of her own troupe, The Momma Drama, where she produces, directs, and performs in a popular play that she co-wrote about motherhood, called “Stretchmarks”. The play has enjoyed many sold-out shows in San Francisco, and has even travelled to the East Coast for a smashing debut. One of her favorite things in life is to help children learn how to be heART-centered and to blossom creatively in this lovely journey called LIFE.
“My goal as a teaching artist s to instill the positive, empowering aspects of theatre arts, so that children can learn to be collaborative, compassionate, and creative in mind and heart.”
Alyssandra Wu - Dance
Alyssandra currently holds an M.A. in Dance from London Contemporary Dance School and a B.A. in World Arts & Culture/Dance from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has danced for several well-known national and international choreographers, including Victoria Marks, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Michel Kouakou, Ros Warby, Jorge Crecis, and Darren Ellis to name a few. Her work has premiered at both U.S. and U.K. based dance platforms and has been listed on londondance.com as one of the most promising emerging choreographers of 2015. She is both the founder and artistic director of Alyssandra Katherine Dance Project who is the official Audience Choice Award Winner of PUSHfest 2016. Critics have claimed their work is “...a tribute to the breadth of expressivity of the body—this was pure dance at its best” (Miriam Garnett) and “From an integrated sextet to dynamic solos, each exquisitely formed—A thoroughly absorbing potpourri of dance” (Graham Watts). The mission of AKDP is to create innovative and culturally relevant works of art that are accessible to everyone—both dance professionals and non-dancers alike. The company does this by using pedestrian gestures as the basis for their work, and add physically and mentally challenging layers to not only increase the theatricality of these movements, but create dance pieces that explore issues such as deracination, gender ascription, and accessibility which many can relate.
Julian Castro - Teaching Assistant
Julian assists in Pre-Primary to Primary B level ballet classes, as well as Acrobatics. She is senior in high school, plays the clarinet, and the students LOVE her!