Tania Tandias studied flamenco, Spanish classical, and escuela bolera with two of the top flamenco dancers in the United States today, Pablo Rodarte and Eva Enciñias-Sandoval, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Ms. Tandias has performed with Maria Benitez's Nuevo Flamenco in Santa Fe, New Mexico and the Albuquerque-based Alma Flamenca, which performed in local venues, festivals, schools, and in the internationally acclaimed Festival Flamenco Internacional.
She has also performed in faculty concerts at the University of New Mexico and in the opera Carmen. In Madison, Wisconsin, she has been introducing, through performing and teaching, the beauty and passion of flamenco and Spanish dance to fellow Wisconsinites. In addition to numerous festivals, private parties, and lecture-demonstrations, Ms. Tandias has recently choreographed and danced in pieces for The Madison Opera, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, The Milwaukee Ballet, and The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, whose program Vivo Flamenco was shown on Wisconsin Public Television.
Becky is a certified yoga teacher, recognized by Yoga Alliance. She has completed numerous trainings including her continued study and 200hr with Baron Baptiste, 500hr with RajaHatha School of yoga, Unnata® Aerial Yoga level 1 and advanced level 2, Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training with Hala khouri, and Karma Kids Children’s Yoga teacher training. She continues her yoga education with workshops, one-on-one study, and trainings though out the US. Becky earned a bachelor’s Degree in Instrumental and General Music Education from UW- Whitewater in 1998 and taught high school band in the public school system through 2005.
Becky started on her yoga journey as a way to heal from post-partum depression. As the practice started to heal her, she was inspired and decided to train to be a yoga teacher and open her own studio – Kula Yoga & Wellness opened its doors with the first location in November of 2012. Since then, Kula has grown and evolved to support the communities it serves and continues to thrive in its original location in Cottage Grove, WI.
Outside the studio, Becky balances her work/life balance with music, her first love and profession. She is active in the Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Board of Directors of the Village of Cottage Grove. Spending time with her husband Ryan and kids, Miles and Melody, feeds her soul as do her many rescued Yorkshire terriers.
E-RYT 500 Owner/Yoga Instructor: Kula Yoga & Wellness, LLC
Nicknamed “The Godmother of Belly dance in Madison” by a local ethnic drummer/band member, Mona N’wal has taught all levels and all ages for over 35 years. Especially enjoys bring classic Middle Eastern style to dancers in other forms. Past dance experience in other forms allows Mona to make fusion dances which appeal to dancers and audiences alike.
N’wal teaches from a strong understanding of movement generation within the body and has the ability to translate that understanding to students in a professional, yet enjoyable, manner - class as a discovery of the “fun” of moving, presented in a classic non-western dance style!
Mona started ballet in grade school and danced throughout high school with the incredible Tibor Zana. She started her study of Middle Eastern dance in 1976 with world renowned masters Ibrahim Faroah and Yousay Sharif. She also worked with Mahmoud Reda, Suhaila Salimpour, Jamilla Salimpour, and various other artist through different workshops.
She started teaching as a rehearsal assistant in 1978 and began teaching her own classes of beginners through professionals in 1980. She also offers one off workshops throughout the Midwest and performs one-off solo performances throughout the US.
Mona currently performs at local Madison venues such as Athens Resturant, Tanyeri Grill, Bunky’s and at the Mediterranean Hookah Lounge and Café.
“When Mona was dancing I was somewhere, some when, and someone, else” - Madison folk dancer
Steve Rooks began his dance training in Washington, D.C. after graduating with honors from Dartmouth College. He continued his training in New York City as a full scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Mr. Rooks danced and toured with the Ailey Repertory Ensemble and the Martha Graham Dance Company—at the latter, he performed for over a decade and achieved the rank of Principal Dancer.
Mr. Rooks is currently Chair of Dance and Resident Choreographer at Vassar College. He has also taught as a guest teacher with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the American Academy of Ballet, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, Pehnyo Productions in Barbados, the North Carolina School of the Arts, and the International Summer School in Sydney, Australia. He has choreographed a number of pieces, including “Cool River,” which premiered at Lincoln center in 1996, and which later became part of the Graham Company repertoire. He was a 2004 winner of the National Choreographic Competition at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and created two solos for the 2004 Youth American Grand Prix Ballet Competition. He has been awarded Vassar Research grants to travel to Latvia, Zambia, and most recently Finland, where he choreographed “Plate Tectonics” on 24 international dancers. As part of the Masterworks Festival, Mr. Rooks was commissioned to create ballets for a number of contemporary composers including Clarice Assad, Piet Swerts, and David Skidmore—all accompanied by a live orchestra.
Mr. Rooks has served as an adjudicator for the American College Dance Festival. His solo “Vista” was performed by Aran Bell of American Ballet Theater at the 2014 International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Four contemporary solos were created for submission to the 2016 Youth American Grand Prix and the 2017 Cecchetti International Ballet Competition in Florence, Italy.
Ian Hathway began to dance living in the countryside in Brazil, and hasn't stopped since. He has trained and taught a wide variety of partnered and solo dances, beginning with assisting the ballroom classes at his university. As the years have gone on, his study has focused more tightly on Lindy Hop, Blues idiom dances, and Authentic Jazz. He loves the pure connection we can achieve in partnered dancing, and the musicality and expression found in these free-flowing and improvisational forms. He has performed in the St. Olaf College Ballroom Performance Group in his early days, and more recently with the Down & Outs in London.
Ballet Chicago Artistic Director Daniel Duell is a force in the development of American Classicism, and is passionate about the advancement of ballet technique in its purest and most energetic form. As a dancer with the New York City Ballet from 1972-1987, he was taught and coached daily by George Balanchine. Quickly rising through the ranks, Duell was promoted to Soloist in 1977, and then Principal Dancer in 1979. He performed a wide-ranging repertoire, dancing leading roles in the ballets of George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Peter Martins, and Jacques d'Ambois, among others, including multiple works that were created for him. Duell has been choreographing since 1980 and has created works for Ballet Chicago, Ballet Hispanico of New York, Dayton Ballet, Harkness Dance Theatre, The Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and The School of American Ballet.
Ballet 5:8 was founded in 2012 by Julianna Rubio Slager and Amy Kozol Sanderson as a publicly supported nonprofit organization. Celebrating its Seventh Performance Season, Ballet 5:8 has a growing roster of professional dancers and an expanding repertoire of original, innovative works created by Slager and contemporary creatives. The company shares the beauty, power and inspiration of professional dance with thousands of audience members each season across Chicago, the Midwest, and the nation through over 40 performances in settings ranging from professional theaters to school gyms. Ballet 5:8’s repertoire includes Scarlet, an original ballet-film hybrid production adapted from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and Compass, a collection of contemporary works that explore the challenges of navigating cultural tension with compassion. Learn more at ballet58.org