Cameron Childs is from Norristown Pennsylvania, but grew up in East Lansdowne. As a young child, Cameron had a love for hip-hop dance and with encouragement from his family, at 15 he decided to pursue further dance training at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, where he received a full scholarship. After his first year of formal training, he fell in love with the teachers, the students, even the school itself but what mattered the most is that he fell in love with the beautiful art of dance. Since then, he has continued his training in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap and Eclectifunk. This year, Cameron is 18 and a graduating senior and will be attending the University of the Arts in the fall 2013 to continue his dance studies with the goal of pursuing a professional dance career. Cameron is more than thankful to his teachers and friends of dance at The Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center for introducing him to the art of dance and giving him this opportunity. But he gives most thanks to his mother for being the wonderful woman she is, because if it truly wasn’t for her, Cameron would not be the person he is today. He hopes ONLY the best for the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and all who attends, and will always come back to visit.
Kathryn Giangiulio has been dancing for 10 years and trains in Ballet, Pointe, Graham, Horton, Tap and Jazz. She has studied at Touch of Class Dance Studio, The Rock School West, and now Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center. This is Kathryn’s third year in fusion2, and she loves being a member of this junior company so much. In addition to being a part of fusion2, she is a freshman at Central High School and is a member of Jaye Allison’s tap group “JADA”. Kathryn also assistant teaches on Saturday mornings with Creative Ballet and Tap. fusion2 has truly impacted her life for the better and allowed her to grow a lot as a dancer; it allows her to use movement to express herself in ways she didn’t know she could before. She plans to study dance in college, have a career in dance and to continue dancing all her life.
Theresa Giangiulio has been dancing for twelve years studying Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz and Modern. She started dancing at Touch of Class Dance Studio in Broomall, PA at the age of four and danced there for eight years. She was a member of the competition team and participated in outreach performances. Theresa also was an assistant teacher for one year. Theresa then attended The Rock School West for one year and was a member of the Jazz, Tap and Ballet Companies. This is her third year at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and is a full company member of fusion2. She is also member of Jaye Allison's tap group "JADA". In addition to this, Theresa assists with classes on Saturday for the younger dancers. This is her third fusion2 performance and looks forward to many years of growth as a dancer and an artist.
Jilisa McCullough is currently a junior at J. R. Masterman High School. Ever since the age of two she has known that she wanted to be a dancer. She began her classical ballet training at the Philadelphia School of Classical Ballet at the age of six under the direction of Heidi Rock. At the age of 8, she began studying at The Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, where she has been awarded scholarships to train in multiple disciplines of Ballet, Modern, Tap, Jazz, Eclectifunk, Pointe and African. She joined fusion2 as an apprentice at the age of thirteen and was promoted to full company member the next year. Everyday Jilisa is thankful for deciding to attend the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center and for being a part of fusion2 because it has provided her with the discipline needed for success, not only in dance, but in every aspect of life, while also supplying the never-ending love and support of a second family and a second home. Jilisa has also trained at Earl Mosley's Institute for the Arts in New Milford, Connecticut. This year, Jilisa is grateful to have earned two spectacular scholarships: she was awarded the Jessica Karrot Scholarship for Dance and is one of 5 nationwide recipients of the Annenberg Scholarship, a generous award which will cover all undergraduate education expenses at any college of her choice.
Aislinn O'Donohue began dancing at the age of 3 and has been dancing at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center since the 4th Grade. She previously attended Philadelphia Performing Arts Charter School. This is Aislinn's sixth year with fusion2.
Bevan Pearson has studied at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance center since the age of five. She currently takes Ballet, Pointe, and Modern classes. She also spends her Saturday mornings helping out with Creative Ballet and Tap classes. Bevan doesn’t have a favorite type of dance, but she enjoys being a part of this modern company. She especially enjoys dancing with students from the HMS School. If Bevan had free time, she would continue playing the violin, run track, learn Arabic, play badminton, and, of course, spend more time with friends. That said, she prefers to be busy with her dance classes and rehearsals, UPenn class, and high school academics.
Tamar Reisner has been dancing at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center for 6 years. This is Tamar's 4th year with fusion2. Previously, Tamar danced at the Rock School for a year when she was five years old. She then switched her focus to gymnastics for five years before realizing that dance was her passion. At the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, Tamar studies Ballet, Pointe, Modern Dance (Horton and Graham), Jazz, “Eclectifunk”, and Tap. Tamar is involved in the fusion2 collaboration with the HMS School for children and teens with cerebral palsy and loves the opportunity to work with the students at the school. fusion2 has given Tamar the opportunity to grow both as a dancer and a person. Tamar loves dancing and plans to continue through college and beyond. When she is not dancing, Tamar can be found doing other service work at her synagogue, doing homework… lots of homework… obsessing over Harry Potter, waiting in anticipation for the next episode of Sherlock, or compulsively watching Ailey videos, among other strange-icle things...
Talia Siegler began dancing at a young age. Her parents brought her Israeli folk dancing every Thursday night until she decided it was time to pursue her love of dance more seriously. She started out at the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet, later studying at Dance Express and Koresh School of Dance. After searching for the right studio, Talia finally found the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center. This is Talia's third year at GBDC where she studies Horton, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, and Eclectifunk. This is also her third year with fusion2, which has given her the opportunity to perform, improve her technique, and build lasting friendships. She hopes to follow her passion and her heart by continuing with dance throughout her entire life.
David Rubio started dancing when he was 5 at Jason Douglas’ Danceadelphia, studying Breaking and acrobatics, at the same time he began studying Capoeira with multiple teachers from ASCAB Capoeira, but his most important teacher continues to be Contra Mestre Pardal (Ron Wood) of Nao Compeendo Capoeira. He has taken many Modern Dance workshops at CHI Movement Arts Center with a variety of teachers including Scott McPheeters, Jillian Harris, Megan Mazarick, Hsu Hui Huang from Taiwan and Kun-Yang Lin, among others. When he was 8 he performed with the BodyVox Dance Company at Annenberg Center in their piece “A Thousand Little Cities.” David is grateful to be in his third year studying on full scholarship at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center, and in his second year with fusion2. David is currently a freshman at the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts. If he had more time, he would dedicate it to his studies of Arabic and Flamenco percussion. David was born in Spain and returns every year.
Juanita Miller loves to dance! She has been dancing for about 11 years, the last 4 of which she has trained at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center. The last 2 years she has been dancing with fusion2, first as a guest and now as an apprentice. Here, Juanita has discovered that she has a natural ability and passion for dance. With the help of great teachers, she continues to learn and improve. Juanita likes all forms of dance, especially Tap, Eclectifunk and African. The Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center is a perfect fit for Juanita because the diversity of styles challenges her versatility and creativity.
Sylvia Coopersmith began dance classes when she was 7, taking a few hip-hop classes at Dance Arts. She started Ballet 2 years later and took multiple classes for Ballet and Hip-Hop. Sylvia went on to further her dance education at Main Line Performing Arts, First Position, Philadelphia Studio of Ballet and the Rock School. At Main Line Performing Arts, Sylvia joined their performing company, where she danced at many wedding and events in Philadelphia including an event at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Sylvia began training the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center almost 3 years ago, participating in the summer intensive program. She found the diverse and modern style of dance to be completely new, and very cool! This is Sylvia's first season with fusion2 and loves it! Sylvia also enjoys singing, and writing songs on the piano, if she can find time to do so when she’s not dancing!
Robert G. D. Burden has been dancing since the age of 5 but didn’t get serious about it until he turned 11. Robert is a seventh grader at Agora Cyber Charter School. Robert takes dance classes at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center 5-6 days a week, studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Hip Hop. This is Robert’s first year as a Guest with fusion2.
Dancer's Photos: Rachel Kantra Beal