Contradiction Dance

Faculty & Staff


Jasmine Artis

Jasmine Artis has been a performer for as long as she can remember, but decided to seriously pursue dance upon entering the University of Maryland in fall 2003. There she co-founded Dynamic Dance Team in the spring of 2004. As a dancer and choreographer for the team she helped lead them to win 2nd place at the East Coast Dance competition in 2005, the team’s first year at the competition. Jasmine became a member of Culture Shock DC in February 2006. She graduated from Maryland in spring 2006 with a BS in Kinesiology Science and since then, she has made the dance community a huge part of her life. Jasmine is also studying Massage Therapy with the intent of going back to school, at some point, for a PhD in Biokinesiolgy and Biomechanics. She is currently the artistic director of Mini Shock DC and is so excited and humbled to see so many amazing young people grow and develop as dancers and individuals. She also dances for Contradiction Dance, a local contemporary company, and Capitol Movement Inc. Not bound by the dance world, she loves sports, singing, acting, and musical theatre. She is interested in inspiring people to chase their dreams…fall, fail, cry, love, and keep pushing through the struggle because it is only then that we can find true fulfillment.

Gary Beauford

Originally a self-taught freestyle dancer for 13 yrs, Detroit native Gary Beauford now makes his home in the Washington, D.C. area, where he is a company dancer and choreographer for the award-winning Culture Shock, D.C. dance troupe. Gary has headlined several dance workshops and conventions; He is also a founder and director of Y.E.T Praise Entertainment Dance ministry and company. His extensive performance background includes the likes of EMI Recording artist Earnest Pugh, Keith Williams, Brent Jones, Byron Cage and Washington D.C.’s, Mya. This past fall Gary spent 10 days touring Suzhou, China with Culture Shock D.C. at the 7th International Chinese Folk Art Festival.

Philippe Bowgen

Philippe Bowgen (B.S.F.S., PGDip) is a working actor and physical artist based in the DC/Metro and New York City corridor. He received his training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His focus lies primarily on classical movement and Shakespearean texts in modern performance as well as the intersection between movement, poetry, and visual art. He has performed internationally in Edinburgh and London, in New York, Washington, DC and Minneapolis to significant acclaim. He received his undergraduate degree in European Studies from Georgetown University and has worked extensively under Linda Ames Key of Vital Theatre Company in Manhattan, Derek Goldman the Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center, and Yvonne Morley in London.

Reginald Cole

Reginald Cole is Mississippi-born but has made the Washington, DC area his home for almost all his life. He developed a passion for dance early in childhood. Reggie graduated with an accounting degree from college and after almost four years in the accounting field, he still sensed a yearning for a more purposeful and significant use of his time and talent. In 1994 Reggie made a decision that redirected him to the world of professional dance locally and internationally. He studied ballet at the Universal Ballet Academy (Kirov Academy), modern dance, and West African dance at Dance Place, Joy of Motion, and a host of other places from New York to Virginia. Reggie is a founding member of CityDance Ensemble and an original member of Edgeworks Dance Theater. He continues to dance professionally and to teach dance locally. Outside of dance, Reggie is a certified fitness trainer and instructor.

Ben Drexler

Ben Drexler is a native of Boulder, Colorado and has only lived in Washington, DC for a few months. He began his performance career as a touring musician before moving out east to find fame and fortune in human rights activism with the Genocide Intervention Network. He thought he was uncoordinated most of his life until he picked up poi and hasn’t been able to put them down since. He is completely self-taught in poi, rope dart, hoop, and meteor hammer, but that hasn’t stopped him from performing in fire shows all over the country and sharing a stage with some of the modern greats of object manipulation and juggling. When he isn’t working or devouring books on physics, he performs regularly with the Playa Del Fuego Fire Conclave, Dance Afire, and New York Sparkworks. He doesn’t sleep much.

Melissa-Leigh Bustamante

Originally from Allentown Pennsylvania, Melissa-Leigh Bustamante has had over 18 years of dance and movement training.  Throughout this time, she belonged to four dance companies, namely, The Ballet Guild of the Leigh Valley, under the Artistic Direction of Alexi Ramov and The Schukyll Valley Regional Dance Company.  She also trained in numerous master classes with NYC Ballet members Gelsey Kirkand, Judith Fugate, Nilas Martin, and Violette Verdi, as well as Roy Kaiser, Artistic Director of The Pennsylvania Ballet.  Melissa also attended  intensive summer programs such as: Briansky Saratoga Ballet, based in Saratoga Springs, New York, where the New York City Ballet Company is in residence for the summer, as well as Princeton Ballet, and North Carolina School of the Arts. Melissa works as an actor and choreographer in the DC metro area having worked with such companies as: The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, The Keegan Theatre, Adventure Theatre, Cherry Red Productions, Bouncing Ball Productions, Adventure Theatre,  Rorschach Theatre, The Source Theatre Festival, The Capitol Fringe Festival, and Catalyst Theater with whom she was nominated for choreography for a Helen Hayes Award.  Melissa also has an extensive background in theatre adminstration and currently works as Contradiction’s Director of Business Development,  as a teacher, and dancer in Massive Attack.

Bryan “Boogie Mind” East

Bryan “Boogie Mind” East is a New Jersey native by way of Baltimore, MD. He began his journey into dance as a Break dancer training with some of the top crews in New Jersey, such as Rock with Finesse, Infamous Zebra Mob, and Natural Born Killers Crew. Then, he moved onto commercial hip-hop choreography by dancing with Fr3sh Dance Company out of New Brunswick, New Jersey. Upon moving to Maryland in 2005, Bryan began training and currently dances for the award-winning Culture Shock Washington, DC dance troupe as a Freestyle/Core company member. He specializes in Funk styles as well as Break dancing. Currently, Bryan teaches in various locations all over Maryland, DC, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia.

Alana Hill

Alana Hill is a local dancer, choreographer and arts administrator. Her passion for dance is cultivated through an unstoppable craving for performance. She has held teaching faculty and management positions at DC’s largest dance center, Joy of Motion Dance Center, as well as at CityDance Center and Sports Club LA. Alana has performed and presented work at several noteworthy events, such as Dance Bethesda, Metro DC Dance Awards Opening Ceremony, Maryland Dance Festival, the Annual MLK Festival hosted by WPGC, as well as Expansion Dance Project’s (a company she co-founded and co-directed) sold-out annual showcases. Alana’s most recent accomplishments include being handpicked to perform with the award-winning recording artist, Mya, and being featured as a dancer in a commercial for the Washington Nationals. In addition to her love of dance and performance, Alana’s talent lies within her ability to envision an idea and see it into fruition. In May of 2007, Alana was awarded her second degree, in Business, from the University of Maryland, University College.

Kate Jordan

Kate Jordan is a Washington, DC performer, choreographer and teacher. She currently dances for the CityDance Ensemble 2 and Bosma Dance. In the past she has performed with MERGE Dance/Meghan Durham, 7Dance Company, At Marah Dance Theatre, and Gwendolyn Bye’s Dancefusion in Philadelphia, DanceForms Productions in Greece, Italy and Guatemala, and Deviated Theatre and Karen Reedy Dance in Washington DC. She holds an MFA in Dance from the State University of New York at Brockport. Her choreography has been commissioned by Perpetual Motion/Modern Dance Oklahoma, featured 4 times in the Philadelphia Dance Collective, at the “47th International Choreographers’ Showcase” in Guatemala City and is in the repertory of CityDance2. Kate has been on faculty at DeSales University and Jeanne Ruddy Dance. She currently teaches for CityDance Center at Strathmore and is Co-Director of the Eureka Dance Festival.

Alexander King, M.S.

Alexander King began teaching taiji chuan in the Washington metro area in 2000. He is a 19th generation Wudang Longmen (Dragon Gate) taoist adept. He has spent years refining Wudang taiji and studying Wudang qigong. He is an official student of Master Liu Xiaoling from Shanghai, China, one of the most respected and exceptional internal kung fu masters alive today.

Alexander is a three time (2003-2006) USCKF grand champion of internal martial arts, grand champion of the 2008 International Chinese Martial Arts Championship, a five time Yang style taiji chuan international gold medalist, a two time Xing-I international gold medalist and has won multiple national taiji push hands titles.

Alexander currently teaches at several locations in the greater Washington DC area, most notably, at the White House. He also holds a Master’s of Science degree in Herbal Medicine and has a private practice in Bethesda, MD.

Shylo Martinez (Guest Artist)

Shylo Martinez is a New York University graduate with a B.F.A. Before, during, and after college, she worked professionally for numerous companies all over the world. She started her professional career over in Hamburg, Germany performing Victoria in Cats, followed by the National touring production company in the United States and Canada. She was also asked to perform the role at regional theaters including Walnut Street Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, and The Muny. Continuing her musical theatre career, she performed in West Side Story at theaters including Walnut Street Theatre and The Fulton Opera House during the show’s Anniversary run. Shylo has also performed for several contemporary ballet companies; her favorites include Cherylyn Lavagino in New York City and Echo Park Contemporary Ballet in Washington, D.C. Most recently, she had the honor to work in Twyla Tharp’s production Movin Out during its World Tour. Currently, you can find her teaching and free-lancing for companies in the Washington, DC area.

Kelly Mayfield (Founder/Artistic Director)

Originally from Richardson Texas, Kelly Mayfield has made her home in Washington, D.C. where she is the Founder/Artistic Director of Contradiction Dance: An Exchange Between Life & Dance. The company blends contemporary and classical forms of modern, jazz, tap, and hip-hop with storytelling and theatre to foster discussion, reflection, and change through live performance and dance education. In addition to her work with Contradiction Dance, Kelly performs as a freelance dancer, director, choreographer, actress, model, writer, and education consultant. She is an adjunct faculty member of St. Mary’s College, teaching jazz, modern, and composition courses.

Since 2006, her work has been presented by: Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center, The Phillips Collection, The Source Festival, St. Mary’s College, Adventure Theater, GEICO Insurance, Live! At Wilson Plaza, Cheza! Television Show, National Public Radio, Virginia Public Television, Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council, Cast of Thousands, Joy of Motion, Dance Magazine, Great Dance, and Bourgeon Journal of Dance. The Washington Post writes, “Choreographer Kelly Mayfield proved that this aging genre [jazz] can be fresh and relevant in the 21st century.” As dancer, Ms. Mayfield has performed nationally and internationally including: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The Music Center at Strathmore, Dance Place, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Texas, Nebraska, Poland, Bosnia, Serbia, Croatia, Russia (Mussorsky Theatre), Lithuania, and Singapore. The Washington Post writes, “Mayfield was a clean mover whose leaps were so high and expansive they barely cleared the theater’s ceiling.”

From 2002-2006, Kelly served CityDance Ensemble as Associate Director, Director of Education and performer. She has also performed for Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, Echo Park Contemporary Ballet, Cirque du Soleil and JazzDanz,d.c.  Kelly is also a former staff member of Starmaker’s Dance and Performance Camps and Mike Miller & Associates. Along the way, Ms. Mayfield earned her B.A. in Dance from the University of Maryland and is a former Kilgore College Rangerette.

Most of the time, Kelly is consumed by the insatiable need to create, learn, and ponder. She loves the challenges that come with finding a balance between art, life, and the necessary work/play that finances it. While she wears many hats in the dance world, her favorite role in life is mother. She has a beautiful and precocious daughter who makes every day a worthwhile adventure.

Veronica Miller (Guest)

Veronica Miller is a hip hop dancer and teacher living in Washington, DC. She teaches teen and adult beginning hip-hop at Dream in Color Studios in Annandale, Virginia, where she is also a choreographer for studio’s youth company. Veronica is an alumni member of the Vizion performance team and a co-founder of its spinoff group, Lavish. She has performed throughout the DC area, including appearances at Artomatic, the DC Hip Hop Theater Festival, Culture Shock’s East Coast Dance Competition, and Howard University’s Homecoming Yardfest. She also appeared in Expansion Dance Project’s 2007 production of “The Wiz.” Veronica is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Howard University.

Terence Nicholson (Composer/Musician/Visual Artist)

Terence Nicholson is a multi-faceted artist who never likes to be pigeon-holed. He has performed and toured with saxophonist Steve Coleman, pianist Omar Sosa, trumpeter Nils Peter Molvaer, and is currenty writing songs for and touring with alternative hip hop group Opus Akoben. After receiving his B.F.A in painting and sculpture from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, Terence continued to pursue his love of music. In 1994, he began to study Chinese martial arts and teaches kung fu as a day job. He is now producing music for his alternative project entitled “Thaylobleu.” In December 2007, he was the Grand Prize winner of the Mid Atlantic song-writing contest (Songwriters Assoc. of Washington), with his song “Forgive Me.” Terence is currently writing and producing songs for such work as well as his upcoming projects. For more information, go to, and

Joseph Nontanovan

Joseph Nontanovan was born and raised in the DC metro area and is currently the artistic director of Culture Shock, D.C. dance troupe; a non-profit youth outreach organization and professional dance company. Under Joseph’s direction, Culture Shock won the 2006 DC Metro Dance Award for Best Emerging Performer or Group. Together they have organized the biggest hip-hop community event in the nation’s capital, the “East Coast Dance Competition,” having recently completed its fourth year of production. Joseph has performed all over the United States and overseas, opened for Omarion and Marques Houston, and was a featured dancer in the Touchstone Pictures film Step Up. He has presented work at the historic Lincoln Theater as well as the Kennedy Center, taught workshops in Switzerland and Croatia, and worked with choreographers Kelly Mayfield, Aysha Upchurch, Toni Czar, Luam, Jamal Sims, and Meisha Bosma. Last winter, Joseph ran the 2006 Honolulu Marathon, through which he proudly raised funds toward the local Whitman-Walker AIDS Clinic.

Arianna Ross (Storyteller/Dancer/Programming Partner)

Story Tapestries: Arianna Ross creates entertaining, international, dynamic programs that weave the power of dance, theatre, music and spoken word together. For those of you that are looking for an artist that can both perform in the evening at your theatre and during the day at a variety of outreach sites, look no further: Arianna Ross is known for her ability to entertain both children and adults with equal success.  Story Tapestries: Arianna Ross has performed worldwide. Events Include: The Faberge Egg Festival at Hillwood Museum; The Just So Festival, Chicago; the National School of Drama Festival in Delhi, India; the International Storytelling Festival in Vancouver, BC; the Fairfax County International Children’s Festival at Wolf Trap in VA.  She has been featured on NPR on the Kojo Nnamdi Show and in Public Television.  Additionally, she has taught arts-integrated programs across the country for organizations such as the United Arts Council of Raleigh, NC, YAVA, YAMD, WPAS, Towson University, the Choral Arts Society of Washington DC, and AATE.  She envisions the art of storytelling and creative writing as a Story Tapestry.  She creates her tapestry from the threads of her experiences as a Theatre Director, Ethnographer, Storyteller, Writer, Teaching Artist, Dancer, Musician, and Photographer.  She has received several prestigious grants such as the Solo Theatre Fellowship Award from the Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council and the Individual Artist Award from the Maryland State Arts Council. As a storyteller, dancer, visual artist, teacher and director, Arianna strives to tell multi-lingual stories that can both bridge the gap between communities and to remind us that

“It is through the laughter and tears of our tales that the lessons of life are imparted.”

Luz Rodriguez

Born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, Luz Rodriguez has traveled the world teaching, performing, and dancing. As a former principal dancer and instructor of the ClaveKazi Dance Company, she has competed and performed with Shaka Brown at events around the world including the NY Salsa Congress, Salsorro, Venezuela Salsa Open, Flava Invasion, DC Salsa Congress, Chicago Salsa Congress, Curaçao Salsa Tour, UK Salsa Congress, Vancouver Salsa Masquerade Ball, iMambo TV Extreme Salsa Japan and more. Winner of the 2008 DC Salsa Open, Luz represented Washington DC at the Puerto Rico Salsa Open. In 2009, Luz spent 8 months teaching and choreographing at the EDSAE school in Lisbon, Portugal meanwhile teaching and performing throughout Western Europe.  As much as she loves to perform and teach, she also loves to social dance. Don’t miss the opportunity to experience this world class dancer!

Florian Rouiller

Florian Rouiller was born in Geneva, Switzerland, where he began his training at the Ecole de Danse Classique et Contemporaine. He continued his training with the John-Cranko School in Stuttgart, Germany, where he also performed with the Stuttgart Ballet. Mr. Rouiller moved to the United States in 1992 on a full scholarship to study with the Joffrey Ballet. Since moving to the U.S., he has danced with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Ballet Chicago, Ohio Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, and Ballet International USA.

Shakra Transfusion Dance:   Deviance, Evolutions, Variance

The members of Shakra were fused together in the summer of 2004 by a passion for dance experimentation and a desire to deviate from the norm. They have all studied a variety of western and world dances, pulling from them the movements and concepts that inspire them. They combine, revise and twist these pieces together to form an expressive and unconventional fusion style that is constantly developing and evolving. They strive to be unique and use innovative choreographies to communicate the stories they discover in the powerful music that they love. Shakra is based in the DC metro area, and you can find them on stage in theaters, clubs, festivals, or wherever inspiration leads them.
Transfusion: to transfer or pass from one to another, to diffuse into or through
Deviance: departure from an accepted norm or standard
Evolution: any process of formation or growth, development, a motion incomplete in itself, but combining with coordinated motions to produce a single action, as in a machine, a pattern formed by or as if by a series of movements
Variance: the state, quality, or fact of being variable, divergent, different, or anomalous


Surprise! has been hooping for five years. She developed her skills in San Francisco before moving out to Washington DC in 2007. She is an experienced fire performer who has performed at festivals, clubs, and private events across the country.

Sylvana Sandoz

Sylvana Sandoz, is a freelance performer, choreographer and teacher native to Washington, D.C.  She joined Contradiction Dance in 2008 and is also a member of BosmaDance as of 2007. As a former company member of local troupes such as Arts United of Washington, Bowen McCauley Dance Company and Rincones & Company Dance Theater she has performed in the U.S. and Internationally in Mexico and Germany. As an educator she has taught at Atlas Joy of Motion, Wolf Trap, Musical Theater Center, Center for the Arts, Creative Summer and served as the Director of Dance for two years at The Holton-Arms School.   Sylvana completed her BFA in Dance at The Ohio State University, where she was the recipient of an honors research scholarship in choreography.  Sylvana currently teaches Hip Hop at The Center for the Arts and The Washington Ballet@THEARC, Modern at Contradiction Dance, and Urban Funk and Zumba at RESULTS Gym and is certified in the Kukuwa Dance Workout.  In October she presented “Just Act”, a solo improvisation and two original choreographic works for the Ganymede Arts Festival.

Rebeka Small

Rebeka Small, a Baltimore native, is a graduate of the Sudbrook Arts Centre and a founding member of the Baltimore County Youth Ballet.  While with BCYB, she danced the roles of Marzipan, Dew Drop and Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker”, Helena in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and Swanhilda in “Coppelia”.  She holds two Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Maryland, one in Dance and the other in Computer Graphic Design for Arts Promotion.  In 1995 she was awarded the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) Scholarship for Dance at the University of Maryland.  Over the course of her career, Rebeka was fortunate to work with such modern choreographers as Shane O’Hara, Garth Fagan, Gabriel Mason and Alvin Mayes, and such ballet choreographers as Jean-Pierre Beanfoux and Violette Verdy.  In addition to dance, Rebeka has had a successful career in event planning, most recently handling all events for the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce in Beverly Hills, CA.  She currently lives in Columbia, MD with her husband, Jon, and their daughter, Lily.

Lou Valentine

In 1975 Lou Valentine was born into the loving arms of the US Marine Corps and spent the next 24 years breaking free of its grasp. While abroad he was introduced to an amazing variety of movement and object manipulation arts that to this day inform and drive his passion. Nothing prepared him for the absolute fascination and obsession he would experience when introduced to the fire dance arts at a small music festival in the heart of Kansas in 1999. Over the years he has become adept at the spectrum of common fire tools, breathing, eating and flame contact. Though the tools were fascinating it is the fire dance that fuels his passion for the practice.  When he moved to the DC area in 2004 Lou took the stage name Loup-de-Lou and began performing with the River City Burners  out of Richmond Va, The Philadelphia Experiment in PA and Playa Del Feugo Conclave at home here in the District. Recognizing that there was a need for dance in the local  fire performance scene he kick started a collaborative effort that has come to known as Dance  Afire in Takoma Park Md. Together with this fine crew of fire professionals Lou hopes to spread the safe practice of fire dance and eventually take over the world.

Benjamin Wegman (Guest)

Benjamin Wegman, described in the New York Times as an “engagingly individual dancer,” began his training under Laurie Merriman and continued on with programs at Butler University, Point Park University, and summer intensives with the Joffrey Ballet and Doug Varone and Dancers. Benjamin began his professional career with the Pillow Project of Pittsburgh and has gone on to work with Jeanne Ruddy Dance, Headlong Dance Theater, Kun-Yang Lin/dancers, Keith Thompson’s danceTactics, Troika Ranch and independent choreographers Myra Bazell and Phillip Grosser of Phildelphia and Jerome Meyer and Isabelle Chauffad of the Netherlands. Benjamin currently is a full time company member with the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange. With the company he has taught workshops nationally and internationally and most recently helped to facilitate large-scale community engaged participatory dancing at the International Festival of Arts and Ideas.


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