CYNTHIA RAUSCHERT – Cynthia ‘Aviance’ Rauschert has been a professional stilt-dancer, juggler/manipulator, and character animator since 2003, and is a proud volunteer on the Kaiser Clown Unit in Oakland. She owns and operates Circus Moves, a circus arts education enterprise dedicated to empowering people of all ages through the circus arts. In 2007 she earned a BA in Experimental Performance with a focus on Theatrical Clowning and is currently pursuing a Masters in Occupational Therapy with the intent to use circus in a therapeutic setting. Cynthia is originally from a small town in New Jersey and now resides in Oakland, California. She has brought her performing and coaching skills to eighteen states, five countries, three continents, and one great big ship. Cynthia’s mission is to spread joy and wonder and she is determined to change the world one smile at a time. More info at: www.ShesTall.com
DANTE MANCINI – Dante has been entertaining audiences for over twenty years as a master magician and balloon artist extraordinaire. His work has been featured on television, in print, and live at thousands of events from New York to San Francisco. As a child, Dante grew up surrounded by a colorful cast of performers, artists, and creative thinkers in a suburb of New York. When he was nine, he discovered his love for performing magic. His passion to further perfect his craft would eventually lead him to study at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and Tannen’s Magic Academy. Dante is regarded as one of the top balloon artists in the country. Dante’s incredibly detailed balloon creations range from the cute and whimsical to lifelike caricature renditions of famous political figures. His ability to create impromptu one of a kind balloon sculptures by request has earned him a reputation as a innovator in his field. More info: www.magicdante.com
DARCIE LUCE – dancer. Darcie co-founded Oakland Improv Collective in 2007 with long-time friend Tania Llambelis in order to feed her appetite for dancing in unconventional places. Darcie has performed in professional dance companies in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been honored to train in theatre and dance improvisation, technique, and choreography with such nationally-recognized artists as Daniel Burkholder, Danny Nguyen, and the late Ed Tyler, as well as Nejla Yatkin, Anna Halprin, and Kim Epifano. Darcie has also created and shown original work in Oakland and at Wesleyan University. She has a Master’s degree in applied anthropology, focusing on community-based research. More info: www.oaklandimprovcollective.org
Annie Goglia and Liz Nichols are the co-leaders of Oakland LifeFire Laughter Yoga. Laughter Yoga is a global movement that encourages “intentional laughter” as a wellness workout for mind, body and spirit (www.laughteryoga.org). Annie, who founded the Oakland group in 2007, is an InterPlay Leader and Life Coach. Learn about her “Lighten Up Your Life” workshops at www.lifefire.com. Liz is also a storyteller, educator and kids yoga instructor. Check out her site “The Power of Fun” at www.liznichols.net. More info at: http://www.meetup.com/oaklandlaughterclub
MEGHAN BALLOG – Meghan has been aperformer of movement her entire life. She grew up in the dance studio and eventually graduated from The Boston Conservatory with a BFA in dance performance. She has since been focused on street performing, improvised movement, and meshing improvisation with theater and dance. Her daytime experience involves being an electrician and knitter. More info: www.oaklandimprovcollective.org
SHIRA YAZIV co-founder of Athletic PlayGround (www.AthleticPlayGround.com), enjoys encouraging people to move in new ways while learning skills and being creative. Her background is in capoeira, and loves to fusion it with her more recent passions; Dance and Circus Arts. You can find her often teaching Monkey Conditioning, Acrobatics, Partner Flips, Dance and Handstands at Athletic Playground, AcroYoga events, dance events, and retreats. More info: www.shira.yaziv.com
TANIA LLAMBELIS – dancer and director. Oakland Improv Collective co-founder, Tania has directed and performed in theatre and dance at UC Berkeley, the Mission Cultural Center, and the San Francisco Street Theater Festival, among other places. She has served as a program coordinator for the Mission Cultural Center and has taught dance and theatre to children and adults for over 17 years. Currently, she is a bilingual teacher at Global Family School (formerly Jefferson Elementary) in Oakland, and is enrolled in the Master’s in Theatre Arts program at San Francisco State University. More info: www.oaklandimprovcollective.org
THE KAHN ARTISTS – performers. We’re called the Kahn Artists and we are Francesca Genco, Jeannie McKenzie and a couple of her lovely goats.
Francesca Genco, MA is a singer and sound healer, yoga instructor, bodyworker and interdisciplinary arts teacher. She is the founder of Song of the Body, which offers classes, workshops and retreats in embodied voice, sound healing, yoga and creative expression. She teaches her Singing the Body workshops and leads improvisational chanting circles in the San Francisco Bay area, on the east coast and in Europe. Her classes and private sessions are based in creating an intimate relationship with the body as we learn to listen and respond to its natural intelligence and resonance. Her singing is featured in Ryan Amon’s compositions for the score for Elysium, a science fiction film starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. More info: www.lilacmusic.com and www.songofthebody.com
Jeannie McKenzie has been keeping goats in Montclair for 6 years. She’s been clowning and playing music on whatever she could get her hands on for as long as she can remember. She currently plays violin with Shakini, Maze Daiko and Bombocado Choro. In her spare time she teaches music and circus arts to children, cheese making and chi gung to whoever wants to learn, and helps people heal themselves using a variety of modalities.
ZOCHI ALONZO YOUNG is the media communications steward. He has a variety of skills in the areas of media, photography and graphic design production. His diverse background and experiences include those of an entrepreneur, business consultant, and software/web/international project manager. As a project manager and consultant he’s assisted companies such as Apple, Liquid Audio, WorldPoint International and Nike with local and international projects. Zochi also has a long history of practice with martial arts, and he holds black belts in both aikido and kenpo. In addition, he practices, studies and teaches taijiquan as a transformative practice for inner change and social change. He has a deep investment in the welfare and well-being of young people who have been cast aside by our current social paradigm. More info: www.destinyarts.org/pages/teaching-artists