Joe Gonzalez started dancing at the age of 13 at the Roxbury Center for the Performing Arts and later became an honorable academics dance major at the Boston Arts Academy. Joe has received numerous scholarships to attend renowned summer dance programs such as The Boston Conservatory Summer Intensive, American Dance Festival, SpringBoard Danse Montreal and Bates Dance Festival. Joe Gonzalez holds a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory. He has performed masterworks by Alvin Ailey, Anna Sokolow, Ronald K. Brown, Paul Taylor, Sean Curran, Nathan Trice, Pedro Ruiz Jr., Jose Limon, Rubber Band Dance Group, and Alwin Nikolas to name a few. Joe has toured the USA, Canada, India and Scotland performing with Anna Myer and Dancers, Prometheus Dance, and currently with The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco). Joe has choreographed over 20 original works nationally and is the Co-Artistic Director and Choreographer of Jo-Mé Dance, a company dedicated to creating a full dance experience in Contemporary art.
In addition to being the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), Jean Appolon is a successful choreographer and teacher based in Boston and Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Appolon received
his earliest training and performance opportunities in Port-au-Prince with the Lynn Williams Rousier Dance School, the Viviane Gauthier Dance Company and the Folkloric Ballet of Haiti. Appolon continued his dance education in the U.S. at the Harvard and Radcliffe Dance Program (1995-1996, Boston, MA), Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (1996-1998, New York, NY) and the Joffrey
American Ballet School (1998-2003, New York, NY), where he graduated with a BA in 2003.
In addition to the companies and schools listed above, Appolon has also performed with Elma Lewis Productions (Black Nativity), Marlene Silva, North Star Ballet Company, Black Door Dance Company, and the Atlantic
City Ballet Company. Jean Appolon teaches regularly at The Dance Complex, Boston Ballet, The Gold School, Wellesley College, and UMass Boston, among
other locations. Beginning in 2006, Appolon conceived and has directed a free annual summer dance course in Port-au-Prince that serves young, aspiring Haitian dancers who are without financial resources or regular access to dance training. Appolon’s vision is to expand the summer course into a year-round program.
Brittany Walker began her dance training at the tender age of 4 at Ms. Crockett's Dance School learning ballet, jazz, and modern. The next year, after her grandmother passed away, Brittany's mother enrolled her into ALYO Children's Dance Theatre. This was an African dance based children's company. Her first instructor, Kimosha Murphy introduced her to a world of dance that she would never give up or forget.
While studying West African dance techniques from Senegal, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast, and Congo, Brittany enjoyed this form of dance so much that she cried because she didn't want to leave. As time went on, Brittany continued her studies with ALYO as they performed and traveled learning from other great master teachers such as Yousouff Kumbassa, Mouminatou Camara, Marie Basse-Wiles, Idy Ciss, Laurie Goux, Moustapha Bangoura, and many others.
As time went on, Brittany continued her studies in West African dance with other great instructors including Andrea Vincent, Shakeena President- Beckford, Amaniyea Payne, Nahgeree Sutton, Toni "Aluna" Hector, Malik Camara, Papa Abdoulaye Camara, Mbemba bangoura, Harry Detry, and Diadie Bathily.
Her most recent teacher, mentor, and the director is Tosha "Ayo Love" Alston. She has been working keenly with Ayodele Drum and Dance since 2009. Prior to her work with Tosha, they worked together in a brother company Seneke Drum Ensemble under the direction of Sekou Conde.
Jhe Russell hails from Cambridge Massachusetts and is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, and poet. Mr. Russell has trained with Boston Ballet School, Walnut Hill, School of American Ballet (NY) and the National Ballet School of Canada. He has danced professionally with Boston Ballet, The National Ballet of Canada, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Charlotte Ballet, Bucharest Opera Ballet, Northern Ballet Theatre (UK) and Bejart Ballet Lausanne (Switzerland). In 1999, Mr Russell won the 5th International Erik Bruhn prize representing the National Ballet of Canada. Mr. Russell has most notably choreographed for The National Ballet School of Canada, The National Ballet of Canada and Bejart Ballet Lausanne. As a dance teacher, Mr. Russell has taught for well-known establishments such as Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Royal Ballet of London, Eau Claire High School (Columbia SC), Georgia University and Iowa University. Mr. Russell believes in empowering students by reconnecting the art of dance with the beautiful science of life and nature.
Christopher L. Huggins is a former soloist of the renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Aterballetto of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Originally from Boston, Massachusetts, Huggins trained under the tutelage of Andrea H. Major, the late Danny Sloan, and Martha Armstrong Gray. He attended State University of New York at Purchase, the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center, and was a fellowship scholar at the Ailey School.
As a master teacher and choreographer, he works in Italy, France, Norway, U.K., Switzerland, Slovenia, Austria, Japan, Korea, Jamaica, South Africa, and throughout the United States. Mr. Huggins has served as Adjunct Professor of Dance at University for the Arts in Philadelphia and Ailey/Fordham in New York City. He has taught countless master classes and workshops at several universities and dance institutions.
Mr. Huggins is a 2002 and 2008 recipient of the 'Alvin Ailey Award' for Best Choreography from the Black Theater Alliance in Chicago for his works 'Enemy Behind the Gates' for Philadanco and 'Pyrokinesis' for Gus Giordano Dance Chicago. Huggins is a silver medalist winner from the 3rd International Contemporary Dance Competition in Seoul, Korea, was named '25 Choreographers to Watch' by the NPR in 2008 and was the sole choreographer in 2008 for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's Opening Night Gala for their 50th Anniversary Celebration.