About DancEsteem Teachers
Takami CraddockArtistic Director, Contemporary Dance Teacher
Takami Craddock was born and raised in Japan. She received her BA in Modern Dance at Nihon University College of Arts. She studied Sanae Hara Modern dance Academy for 17 years until she graduated from college. Now she has an exchanging program with the school in Shizuoka, Japan since 2004.
After she moved to United States, she began performing and teaching in New York, Baltimore, Washington DC, and San Francisco. She was then the co-founder of San Francisco Butoh Festival 1994 – 1999. Through this festival she worked intensively with Butoh pioneers, Akira Kasai and Setsuko Yamada. She created the performance group “Toumei” (which means clear color) in 2000, now renamed MoBu Dance Group (“MoBu” means true dance in Japanese kanji characters). Mobu Dance is a hybrid contemporary dance style influenced by Japanese butoh and explores concepts of time, space and imagery. The group has collaborated with various artists in the Bay Area and performed many venues. Takami has been invited to lead workshops and perform in Tokyo, Thailand and France.
She also is passionate about teaching children. She worked with the Performing Arts Workshop for a decade and taught all over in the Bay Area public schools Kindergarten through 5th grade. In 1998 she started a children’s dance program called “DancEsteem” for children 3 to 18 years old.
Now her first students are adult and pursuing the carrier in dance and beyond.
Alyssandra Katherine WuContemporary Dance Teacher
Alyssandra Katherine Wu received her bachelor’s degree in World Arts & Culture/Dance from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and master’s degree in dance from London Contemporary Dance School. Originally, Wu began her early training in Chinese Ethnic dance under the tutelage of award winning choreographer, Yao Yong, before transitioning to contemporary dance in her later years. Since then, Wu has danced for world renowned artists Victoria Marks, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Michel Kouakou, Ros Warby, Jorge Crecis, Bih-Tau Sung, and Darren Ellis. As an emerging choreographer, Wu has been listed on londondance.comas one of the most promising emerging choreographers of 2015. Her choreography has toured throughout the UK, being presented at platforms such as Resolution!, FRESH-Northeast, Foot Print, and EMERGE, hosted by UK’s Dance Company C-12. After relocating to San Francisco, Wu has presented work in both Los Angeles- and Bay Area-based locations. Her company is the official winner of the audience choice award for PUSHfest 2016 and one of the six companies/choreographers to be selected for ODC’s Pilot 68 program this past year. Wu has received grants from the Fleishhacker Opportunity Fund and Dancers’ Group’s CA$H program.
Iu-Hui ChuaBallet Teacher
Iu-Hui Chua choreographs, performs, directs, and devises physical theater, dance, and video performance. In addition to creating and presenting her own work nationally and internationally, she has danced with Anna Halprin, Ledoh, Enrico Labayen, Dandelion Dancetheater, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Ellen Bromberg, Sherwood Chen, Headmistress, Dohee Lee, California Theater Ballet, and Disneyland. She has been a resident artist at Djerassi, CounterPulse, Shawl-Anderson, and Penasco Theater. Her ballet background includes training with Jillana (ABT, NY City Ballet), Diane Deifenderfer (Frankfurt Ballet), Hae Shik Kim (Korea Nat. Ballet), Karen Williamson (ABT, Joffrey), Enrico Labayen, Laura Bernasconi, and Alonzo King (Lines).
Nekai AbriolHip Hop Dance Teacher
Nekai Abriol is a Movement Artist and Holistic Med Head from Los Angeles, CA. She is dedicated to exploring the essence of emotional vulnerability within the interconnected human experience. Her goal is to create a sacred healing space of empowerment, while spreading the wisdom of movement, for all individuals and dancers to tap deeper into their bodies and sensuality.
Nekai has been dancing for a whole decade. In her early life, with an observant eye, Nekai began her dive into the creative process of fluid movement when she tagged alongside her father on the set of music videos. Dance training opportunities at Murrieta Dance Project began to align for her at the age of 13. She continued to study contemporary technique and hip-hop in high school under the creative direction of Beau Fournier’s dance company: Maker Empire. She artistic directed Latitude Dance Company in 2014 & 2015 and taught at Empire Dance Productions located in Lake Elsinore, CA. At 18, she moved to San Francisco and since then has intensively trained in jazz funk, heels, and storytelling from the genius minds of Alli Fritz and Rocko Luciano of INQ Dance Company. Nekai is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance with a minor in holistic health at San Francisco State University. She has been broadening her repertoire in ballet, jazz, modern, Filipino folklore, aerial arts and tap. She is grateful to be Vice President of the Student Dance Alliance on campus and Student Director of University Dance Theater for the season of 2019/2020.
Nekai has choreographed multiple original modern dance works such as “Who is God,” “Life on Life’s Terms,” and in collaboration with the Driven Arts Collective, “Khôra.”
Vincent ChavezBallet Dance Teacher
Vincent Chavez was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he grew up competing on the local Rodeo circuit. Once he chose ballet over broncos, he received his formal dance education and training from the Dance Theater Southwest (Albuquerque), Ballet Hispanico (New York), Academy of Nevada Ballet Theatre (Las Vegas) and Alonzo King LINES Ballet Training Program (San Francisco). As a result of his strict training and creative educational experiences, Vincent was chosen to perform with leading dance companies including Robert Moses’ Kin, Oakland Ballet Company, Dance Theater of SF, Menlowe Ballet, Nevada Ballet Theatre and New Mexico Ballet Company. His artistry has earned him the opportunity to work with several renown choreographers; Robert Moses, Graham Lustig, Michael Lowe, James Canfield, Garrett+Moulton, Gregory Dawson, Christopher Huggins, Molissa Fenley, Val Caniparoli and Amy Seiwert included. In addition to his notable dance career, Vincent works independently as a San Francisco Bay Area Dance Artist, teaching, choreographing, collaborating, and performing throughout the United States. In recent years, he has been commissioned to choreograph works highlighting his strong sense of family for Oakland Ballet Company, Silicon Valley Dance Festival and Festival of Latin American Contemporary Choreographers. Vincent is also a Registered Yoga Teacher.
Emily MorrisonContemporary Dance Teacher
As a young girl, DancEsteem nurtured Emily’s devotion to moving daringly. Physical challenge and improvisational listening have been bedrock to her love of dance ever since, foundations she ardently offers to her students. She cultivates curiosity, community, and playfulness in the studio, knowing from experience how vital these values are.
After graduating from DancEsteem and SOTA, Emily continued challenging her physical body in New York, first at the Fordham/Ailey BFA program, and then at Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Ballet. Later, she studied floorwork with companies in New York and Europe, and deepened her technique using dynamic imagery, Alexander Technique, and biomechanics. Simultaneously, she learned to listen to the moment, studying acting for three years with James Brill, senior teacher at Sanford Meisner’s Neighborhood Playhouse. Acting enabled Emily to approach movement as a human, to patiently listen to and bravely reveal what is already happening underneath the surface. She made her way to Berlin, studying from and performing for dance-theater choreographer Johannes Wieland in the b12 Dance Festival. This launched Emily into New York’s professional dance-theater world, performing in productions from immersive Shakespeare to retro sci-fi to a rock opera of Beowulf, working with choreographers such as Troy Ogilvie, Susan Tenney, Allison Cook-Beatty, and Nicole Wolcott, among others.
Emily is thrilled to join DancEsteem once more!