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OUR TEAM

Scroll down the page for bios & photos
DIRECTORS

Artistic Director |  Jill Randall (she/her)

jill@shawl-anderson.org

 

Executive Director |  Rebecca Johnson (she/her)

rebecca@shawl-anderson.org

Assoc Dir of Operations |  Bianca Cabrera (she/they)

bianca@shawl-anderson.org

ADMINISTRATIVE & PROGRAM

 

Comm & Marketing Manager | April C Taylor

april@shawl-anderson.org

Operations Manager | Laya Cooperman (she/her)

laya@shawl-anderson.org

 

Adult Program Coordinator | Madeline Lawder(she/her)

adults@shawl-anderson.org

Youth Program Coordinator | Abigail Hinson (she/her)

youth@shawl-anderson.org

 

Development Associate | Noah James III (he/him) 
noah@shawl-anderson.org

Administrative Associate | Carly Kontra (she/her)

carly@shawl-anderson.org

Administrative & Marketing/Communications Associate | Taylor Bazile (she/her)
taylor@shawl-anderson.org

 

Administrative Associate | Olivia Sander (she/they)

olivia@shawl-anderson.org

Administrative Associate | Vivi Gonzalez (she/her)

vivi@shawl-anderson.org

 

Administrative Associate | Zoë Quon (she/her)

zoe@shawl-anderson.org

Administrative Associate | Zohra Ashpari
zohra@shawl-anderson.org

Summer Camp Coordinator | Noelle Campos

noelle@shawl-anderson.org

 

Shawl-Anderson Youth Ensemble |  Crystaldawn Bell

YouthCo |  Natalya Shoaf

bios
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REBECCA JOHNSON

Executive Director

Rebecca Johnson had her early dance training on the East Coast in a Royal Academy of Dance ballet school near Boston. She discovered modern dance in 1985 and began performing professionally with Moving West Dance Company at the age of 14. Rebecca earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Dance and English Literature from Rutgers University. While in residence in New Jersey and New York City she performed in companies directed by Michael Gary and Val Suarez. Rebecca completed her Master of Education degree from the University of New Hampshire in 2001. Rebecca migrated west to California in 1999 and since then has performed with Nina Haft & Company, Paufve Dance, Abigail Hosein’s ahdanco, Rogelio Lopez & Dancers and Dana Lawton Dances amongst others. She was the Managing Director of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center from 2008-2014 after seven years of teaching modern for teens and adults at the Center as well as serving on the board. Rebecca became the Executive Director of Shawl-Anderson in January 2015. Rebecca’s administration background includes work with a range of non-profit organizations, both in social services and the arts, as well as private consulting work for numerous individuals and companies in the areas of fundraising, marketing, event production, publicity and graphic design. She also serves as adjunct faculty at Saint Mary’s College in Orinda, CA for the Master of Fine Arts program in Dance.

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JILL RANDALL

Artistic Director

Jill Randall (she/her) has been a part of the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center community since 1998. During the past 23 years in the Bay Area, she has worked as a performer, teaching artist, arts administrator, and writer. Her experience in dance is wide and varied, from teaching dance in public schools to directing festivals. Jill is passionate about the many ways that dance can be a part of the East Bay community and what dance can offer youth and adults alike.As a performer, she has worked extensively with Nina Haft & Company, Paufve Dance, Martt Lawrence, and Dana Lawton. As a teaching artist, she has worked in K-12 public and independent schools and at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center. She received the Herbst Foundation Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013 for her work at The Hamlin School in San Francisco. With Bridget Frederick, Jill co-founded and co-directed the Dance IS Festival for 7 years in Berkeley. The festival brought together professional artists, college departments, and high school students to dialogue and perform together, involving nearly 100 artists each year. Jill was the Director of Education for the Lincoln Center Institute affiliate in Berkeley from 2004-2006 and then became the first Assistant Director of Shawl-Anderson Dance Center in 2006. From 2006-2010, Jill expanded the Center’s offerings and enrollment for both youth and adults, restarted the master class program with visiting artists, and created the Dance Up Close/East Bay performance series. Jill’s writing covers a variety of topics including careers in dance, dance education, and arts integration. Jill currently writes for Dance Teacher and her own sites, Life as a Modern Dancer and Dancing Words (about children’s books on dance). Jill received her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah and her MFA in Creative Practice: Dance at Saint Mary’s College.

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BIANCA CABRERA

Associate Director of Operations

Driven by the bias Bacchus before Buddha, Bianca Cabrera’s work is built by a vibrant amalgamation of baton twirling, burlesque, ballet, go-go, club, cabaret, camp, contemporary, queerness and modern dance. Cabrera directs the Oakland, CA based performance company, Blind Tiger Society which is their main conduit for choreography and performance creation. Her work was nominated for a 2014 Soul of Oakland award and has been supported through the Fleishhacker and Rainin Foundations.
Cabrera (They/She) received early training at the Chicago Academy for the Arts and later studied at the Alvin Ailey School, the Martha Graham Center and Point Park College, before receiving her BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts. Their two decade performing career includes work with many celebrated dance artists and companies including: Lingo Dance/KT Niehoff, Kim Epifano, LevyDance, The Fossettes, Sonya Smith, Erika Tsimbrovsky/AvyK, Flyaway Productions, Cielo Vertical Arts and David Herrera. Bianca is a founding member of Latinx Hispanix Danza Unidxs and served on the Isadora Duncan Dance Awards committee in 2019-20.

April Taylor

APRIL C TAYLOR

Communications & Marketing Manager

Movement, breath and flow are three things that inspire APRIL C. TAYLOR, a Bay Area transplant from Los Angeles who graduated from Mills College with a BA in Women's Studies and Dance. A performing and ritual artist, as well as a trained actor/singer/dancer, she has been performing her entire life and working in a variety of artistic and event areans. Her passion for the expressive arts and education have led her to teach children and adults for the past twelve years at Bay Area schools and studios. April is glad to be serving as part of the administrative team as SADC emerges from 2020 and 2021. She looks forward to more dancing and creativity while always supporting the mission of the Center where she has been an active community member since 1997. 
Find out more about April at enchantedacts.com

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LAYA COOPERMAN

Operations Manager

Originally from the East coast, Laya moved to the Bay Area in 2015. She started taking dance classes as an adult, her first ever at Shawl-Anderson, and developed a passion for movement arts. In addition to dancing and her work in the field of public health, Laya is a collage artist and baker. In her free time she can be found listening to music and practicing improvisational movement in her living room. 

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ABIGAIL HINSON

Youth Program Coordinator

From the East Coast of Florida to the West Coast of California, Abigail Hinson has been pursuing Dance since she was twelve. With a strong passion for education, Abigail has been teaching ages 2-adults for over eight years in styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, improvisation, and yoga. Her classes revolve around themes of awareness, dependence, and energy. Alongside her teaching work at local studios, Abigail also enjoys choreographing for stage and film work. Her primary styles of interest are Modern, Hip-hop, and Contemporary. Her current work and training experiments with combining Western Post-Modern techniques, and texture components of Hip-hop. Abigail earned Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance from the University of Florida, and an Associate of Arts degree with a focus in Dance from Florida State College at Jacksonville.

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MADELINE LAWDER

Adult Program Coordinator

Madeline Lawder is a dancer and movement specialist. A graduate of the Performing Arts & Social Justice program at the University of San Francisco, Madeline has taught aerial dance, acrobatics, and contemporary in private studios across the Bay and guest lectured at UC Berkeley and University of San Francisco. She has performed locally and nationally with aerial dance companies Flyaway/Jo Kreiter Productions and BANDALOOP.  She currently choreographs and produces outdoor site-specific performances in northern California as part of DIRT & GLITTER.

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NOAH JAMES III

Development Associate

Noah D. James III (he/his.) has esteemed over two decades of intentional dance work here in THE OHLONE. A movement journey that includes performance installations and partnership with Urban Jazz Dance Company, honoring his family origins and heritage from the Point Shipyard Project in Push Dance Company to co-developing and directing a wonderful garden with Visceral Roots Dance Company. In 2015, while home at Shawl Anderson Dance Center, Noah picked up The Collaborative Habit by Twyla Tharp. His life was forever impacted and in constant motion toward being an artist of servitude. Noah has worked over thirty different jobs while courageously carving out a dance journey of his own-at time- even against doctors' advice. While growing up with Sickle Cell Disease, Noah discovered he was deaf and hard of hearing. He learned early on to embrace the differences against societal norms and pressure by choosing joy. A quote by Rabindranath T., "I SLEPT AND DREAMT THAT LIFE WAS JOY. I AWOKE AND SAW THAT LIFE WAS SERVICE. I ACTED, AND BEHOLD, SERVICE WAS JOY.”  May the dance continue! Here are some ways to connect with Noah: https://linktr.ee/Inoahplace

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TAYLOR BAZILE

Administrative & Marketing/Communications Associate

Taylor Bazile (she/her/hers) grew up a student athlete in the Bay Area with a love for dance. She spent years playing sports but her passion for dance and community was always present.  In high school she was a member of the dance team and track and field team, and over the years has danced recreationally. Taylor earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Southern California in 2022. There she majored in Communications and incorporated her love for dance into her electives at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance where  she gained classroom experience in ballroom,  modern contemporary,  African American Dance (Lecture), and Pilates. She is grateful and excited to join the Shawl-Anderson Dance Center team and looks forward to continuing her journey with the SADC community. 

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NOELLE CAMPOS

Summer Camps/Intensives

Noelle is a mover, creator, and educator based in the Bay Area. She started with Shawl-Anderson during the summer of 2022, and has also become a part of the Youth staff . For the summer of 2023, Noelle will be the Youth Program Summer Camps & Intensives Coordinator! 

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CARLY KONTRA

Administrative Associate

Carly has been dancing for more than three decades while slowly moving west. She grew up in Lancaster, PA and moved through DC and Chicago on her way to California. She is a life-long student with undergraduate degrees in Biology + Dance from the George Washington University and a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Chicago, where she studied embodied cognition. Carly is currently pursuing an MFT in Somatic Psychotherapy at the California Institute of Integral Studies. She also loves books by Haruki Murakami, the tv show The West Wing, elaborate German board games, and odd numbers.

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OLIVIA SANDER

Administrative Associate

Olivia Sander (she/they) is an Oakland-based movement artist with roots in the Pacific Northwest. In 2021, she graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Dance and medical school prerequisites. Olivia’s current practice is notably influenced by her training in modern, house, and improvisation styles. They have presented choreographic work across the US and France and delivered lectures on their artistic research at the University of Washington. Currently, they teach, perform, research, and create in the Bay Area and Europe, driven by curiosity and a desire to connect. Olivia is honored to be on the team at SADC!

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VIVI GONZALEZ

Administrative Associate

Originally from California’s Central Coast, Vivi (she/her) graduated from UC Berkeley in 2020 with a B.A. in Anthropology. Her career experience primarily consists of museum curation, California archaeology, and customer service but she’s been a life-long lover and occasional creator of art in all its forms- painting, ceramics, performance, literature, etc. Currently, Vivi doubles as an Admin Associate at Shawl-Anderson and a “Hot Dog Tender” at a local Berkeley restaurant. She hopes to one day attend graduate school for Museum Studies but is greatly enjoying just being a working adult in the mean time. Vivi is eager to help SADC provide a creative, nurturing environment for all dancers!

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ZOË QUON

Administrative Associate

Zoë Quon (she/her) wears many hats, including: dancer, choreographer, barista, steward at SADC, and lighting technician/stagehand. Her movement style is gestural, slinky, and adaptive. Much of her art stems from her lived experiences of queerness and her Chinese-American heritage. She recently completed her B.A. in Performing Arts and Social Justice with a concentration in dance at USF. She finds joy in many things: jazz cd’s, jasmine flowers, and tank tops, to name a few.

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ZOHRA ASHPARI

Administrative Associate

Zohra (she/her) is a Steward and Teaching Assistant at Shawl Anderson with a special love for working with kids and ballet. On the side, she moonlights as a freelance children's book editor, and is especially keen on giving voice to BIPOC experiences.

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