Jessica Wooten

Jessica Wooten is a dancer and teacher from Raleigh, NC. She graduated from East Carolina University with a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Performance and Choreography, as well as an Entrepreneurship Certificate. Jessica has attended the American Dance Festival summer intensives where she performed in Dark Meadow Suite by Martha Graham, and also had the opportunity to study at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance study abroad summer program. She was a part of Carrie Mae Weems’ outdoor exhibition RESIST COVID / Take 6!, as well as Taryn Griggs and Chris Yon’s piece Pairs in the Park. Jessica studied as an apprentice with ShaLeigh Dance Works in 2021 and was invited to officially join the company in 2022. 

“Having the opportunity to be a part of enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight has been such an exciting process where I continue to learn and grow from an amazing group of movers. I can’t wait to see where the creative process takes us, and for when we share our project with the community!” 

Lexi Ovenden

Alexis “Lexi” Ovenden is English, Swiss-German, and French. She started training in ballet and modern dance from age seven through high school at Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts under Boleyn Willis-Zeger, ShaLeigh Comerford, Tama Guerra Rivero, and Pablo Perez. She has participated in summer intensives at both Carolina Ballet and the American Dance Festival (6 week) where she studied under Twyla Tharp, Alexander Brady, Rika Okamoto, Min-Lung Yang, and Jeffery Bullock, among others. After this, she continued working with ADF as their Production Stage Manager, working alongside companies like Pilobolus, Paul Taylor Dance Company, and Shen Wei Dance Arts. She graduated college at Appalachian State University in 2020 with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies — management for dance, and minors in dance and somatic sustainability. While in school, she had the opportunity to train under Regina Gulick, Cara Hagan, Sherone Price, and Susan Lutz and perform in guest works by Eric Hawkins, Dante Brown, and Brad Parquette.

She now resides in Durham, works with The American Dance Festival under Jodee Nimerichter, and is earning a pilates teacher certification from The Pilates Center (Boulder, CO) through InsideOut Body Therapies. She is so thrilled to be joining ShaLeigh Dance Works for their 2021-22 season!

Davian Robinson

Davian Robinson, born in Hickory, NC, is a dancer, choreographer, Paralympic athlete, and motivational speaker. Currently living in Durham, NC, Davian graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2020 with his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance, Choreography, and Theory. He attended Governor Morehead School for the Blind in Raleigh, NC from 2004 – 2011. While there he found his love and passion for athletics and dance. He later attended Wake Tech Community College from 2011 – 2015 where he obtained his associate’s degree in arts. While attending Wake Tech he started his journey towards becoming a US paracyclist, while at the same time navigating decreased vision. He did not let that moment defeat him, but rather used it to fuel his success as a US paracyclist. 

As a US Paracyclist from 2013-2018, he appeared in 10 national championships. He appeared at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Trials in Charlotte, NC, alone, with two world championship appearances, finishing in the top 3. He has collected 6 national medals, including a national championship Gold medal in 2017 in the 1-kilometer time trial on the track at the Olympic Velodrome in Colorado Springs, CO. 

Davian has performed at Orsolina 28 and The Palace of Venaria in Italy, and in Charlotte, NC in UNC Charlotte Dance Concerts, MOVE Dance Alliance Concerts, Loose Leaves Showcase, and Reactions of Resistance. Davian has performed works by Marcus White, Tamara Williams, Matilde Demarchi, and Lillian Willis. 

Notably, he was selected to perform in Adidas “Impossible is Nothing” spec commercial, produced by Sugar Pop Productions and directed by Meg Gamez in 2018. Davian has been featured in the Charlotte Observer, Inside UNC Charlotte, Charlotte Magazine, and on UNC-TV’s My Home, NC feature, Davian Robinson: Fearless. 

Davian founded and leads Sensory Beyond Sight dance workshops which invite participants to experience movement without the use of their sight. In 2019 Davian was invited to present Sensory Beyond Sight at the Alexander Technique national conference at Columbia University in New York, NY and perform original choreography at the historic Alhambra Ballroom. He also presented a modified version of his workshop Healing Beyond Sight to non-dancers and dancers at a Charlotte Rxse day of healing with a dance-based organization out of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

Currently, Davian is working with Camryn Watson and Inspire Inclusion Dance as a dance teacher. Davian has been a Guest Artist and Collaborator with ShaLeigh Dance Works since 2019 and officially joined the company in 2021. He is co-director of the company’s upcoming premiere of enVISION: Sensory Beyond Sight, an immersive and inclusive performance form which does not solicit the viewer’s sight, but rather all their other senses. 

Davian is also taking steps to pursue his massage therapy license. When he is away from the studio, he enjoys running races and hanging with his wife and close friends, as well as his lovely guide dog of 6-years, Charlie. 

“Dancing for someone who’s blind, that’s unheard of. Not many people know of blind dancers, so for me this is to break through that barrier… to bring inclusiveness into a space that they have not seen before.”

Jonh Blanco

Jonh Blanco is a Filipino-American undisciplined artist from Norfolk, Virginia. They were a 2020 Pivotal Fund awardee, a 2019 Visiting Lecturer of Art Foundations at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, and a 2016 Volunteer Arts Teacher at Reality Ministries in Durham, NC. Recognized as an activist, gardener, student, survivor of childhood domestic and sexual violence, teacher, and volunteer. However defined, their creative practices are described as critically whimsical, courageous, and authentic. They received their BFA in Interdisciplinary Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2005 and in 2019 an MFA in Studio Art at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Recently they resided in Seville, Spain studying the Spanish language, arts, and culture while developing performance and digital art projects. Jonh has been a company member with ShaLeigh Dance Works since 2017.

“This vessel is mine to experience and ShaGa movement a technology to listen deeply.”

 

Hannah Nicole Marr

Hannah Nicole Marr is Scotch-Irish and German. She is originally from Raleigh, NC. She graduated in 2017 from the University of North Carolina School of The Arts, where she also attended high school.  She teaches around the area, is an Administrator at Stage Door Dance, and Director of the dance program at Voyager Academy. Hannah has been honored to perform works by Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Wayne McGregor, Juel D. Lane, Ming- Lung Yang, Netta Yerushalmy, Kira Blazek, and many others. Hannah has a deep passion for choreography and the investigation of connections between emotion and movement. Hannah has been a principle company member with ShaLeigh Dance Works since 2017 and became rehearsal director in 2020.

“I am so beyond thrilled for the direction that we are swiftly moving as a company! We are engaging more with the community, which always brings such joy. We are expanding our movement language, and it is so exciting to share it with others and have them experience what it can do for you as a mover and as a human. The constant investigation of self and others that we go through as a company is something that continuously proves to challenge and impact me. As we dive deeper into our movement language I continue to discover new things that I am able to bring forward into our creations of new work, both individually and as a group.”