shannon hummel, ArTistic director
Shannon Hummel is a choreographer, arts educator and the Founding Artistic Director of Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance. Driven to create access to the arts for all people, she opened The Cora Studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn in 2009 as a home for her professional company and Cora School for Dance.
NICOLE AsSANTI, COMPANY ASSISTANT
Nicole Assanti is a dancer, choreographer, performer, and improviser. She has a BFA in Dance from the University of Florida. She has studied with artists across the world at Swamp Dance Fest, Bates Dance Festival, and StaibDance Summer Intensive. Most recently she has been working as Choreographer-in-Residence at the Harn Musuem of Art in Gainesville, Florida. She now resides in Brooklyn, NYC.
HANS BILGER, COMPOSER
Hans Bilger is fascinated by music and the natural world. While studying under the evolutionary ornithologist Richard Prum at Yale University, he investigated the aesthetic structure of birdsong and wrote Aviary, a piece that used songbird vocalizations as raw material for a series of improvisatory and through-composed movements. Since graduating from Yale with a double major in music and biology, he has worked as a double bassist, sound engineer, biological research assistant, and free-neighborhood-garden-concert impresario. Composing for GIFTS will be his first collaboration with Cora Dance.
REBEKAH BONO, programs manager/Lead Teacher
Cora's Programs Manager, Rebekah Bono, is a dancer, choreographer and teacher who recently graduated with a BA in Dance from James Madison University in VA. Before moving to NYC she worked in administration, studio management and production for Valley Dance Theater in Staunton VA since 2012. She has been teaching hip hop, tap, modern, jazz, and ballet to students of all ages and skill levels since 2011. She is also a member of the professional step company, Soul Steps. Rebekah is eager to join Cora's team as not only the new Programs Manager but also as the Modern and Tap Instructor in-house and in two of our satellite programs.
KATIE DEAN, DANCER/graphic designer
Katie Dean is a New York based performer. She graduated in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. In Richmond, she was a performer for Brinson Leigh Kresge, Travis Steele Sisk, Eleanor Smith, and others. Since moving to New York, she has been a performer for Courtney Cooke, Megan Harrold, Julie Mayo, Rebekah Windmiller, in cameo roles for Stacy Grossfield and Nora Stephens, and in collaborative performances with Heather Bregman, Jake Dibeler, Alaina Stamatis and others. She is currently dancing with Kim Brandt, Nadia Tykulsker, and Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance.
SOLOMON GOODWIN, Teaching Faculty/DANCER
Solomon Goodwin lives in Brooklyn, NY and was raised in Red Hook where he started learning to dance by swapping movement with friends in the hallways, streets and courtyards around the neighborhood. By age 11, he had started his own hip-hop group and was battling throughout the borough. He has regularly performed dances for Dance Theatre Etc. Red Hook Initiative, and Dancing in the Streets where he has also been a hip-hop teacher. Beyond that, his favorite appearances include performing on the TV show “106 and Park” and at The Apollo Theater. He has been teaching and dancing with Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance for the past four years. Solomon currently attends Long Island University where he is studying Media Arts.
JUNIE KENWORTHY, Youth Company Co-Director/teaching faculty
Junie Kenworthy holds a BFA in dance choreography from Arizona State University. She has taught technique classes for the past 8 years including ballet, movement therapy and Ballroom Basic throughout NYC. Her career as a performer has allowed her to work and perform with company's such as Delfos Danza Contemporanea of Mazatlan, Pilobolus Dance Theater, Kennedy Dancers, Kathleen Dyer with KDNY, and tour abroad with Vissi Dance Theater. Junie has been a teacher at Cora Dance since 2016. This is her first season as Co-Director of JCYC/Junior Cora Youth Company and CYC/Cora Youth Company.
Maria Kofman, Operations assistant
Maria Kofman is a Brooklyn based costume designer and multi-media artist. She has shown work at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the 41 Cooper Square Gallery in New York City and appeared in performances at the Dixon Placed Theater, 41 Cooper Square Gallery and 7 East 7th Street in NYC. She is interested in combining dance and performance with her other persuits and is excited to join Cora's team as the operations assistant.
Karen V. Ross, Teaching Artist
Karen V. Ross is a proud resident of Brooklyn! Raised in Red Hook as the eldest of 4 children, she was introduced to dance at the age of 5. Karen began learning African and Hip-Hop dancing as a small child and later added Dancehall to her repertoire while attending Baruch College.
Karen has been working with CORA dance studio since 2014. Along with her sister Kandice B. Ross, they taught a Dancehall Fusion class as well as a few workshops. She was also a supporting cast member of Common Dances in 2015. While attending Bethany Baptist Church in Brooklyn, NY, Karen was the Director of the Dance Ministry where she taught liturgical dance and enjoyed it as a form of worship to God.
Currently, Karen is one of the dance teachers for the EXTREME Kids dance program in Brooklyn. Also, she's having a great time being a member of the step company Soul Steps, which she joined in 2016 with two of her siblings. Being a licensed social worker, she is also the Director of Social Services at Project Hospitality's Hospitality House; the only family shelter in Staten Island.
KELSEY KRAMER, Development Associate/DANCER
Kelsey Kramer (Dancer) is a Brooklyn based arts educator, administrator, dancer, and choreographer. She graduated from James Madison University with a BA in Dance and Communications Studies in 2014. Since moving to New York, Kelsey has taught for several schools in the NYC area, worked as Programs and Communications Manager for Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance, and has had the pleasure of performing for LuisaInnesFree Dance, Sarah Burke, and Cora Dance. Her own work has been seen at SITUATIONS Gallery in Chinatown, the Cora Studio Theater in Brooklyn, Dogtown Dance Theater in Virginia, internationally in China, and was selected for the Gala Performance at the 2013 American College Dance Association Mid-Atlantic Conference in North Carolina. She was the co-director of the Associate Dance Ensemble at James Madison University and a guest choreographer for the Cora Youth Company (CYC) in 2016. In 2017 Kelsey co-founded JACKS, her most recent choreographic endeavor with artistic partner Lexie Thrash.
NAHISHA McCOY, PROGRAMS VOLUNTEER & OUTREACH HEAD
Nahisha McCoy, Cora's Lead Volunteer & Outreach Head, is the mother of three sons, a published author, and a long-time resident of Red Hook Houses. Nahisha is very active in the Red Hook Community and working with many non-profit and service organizations as a volunteer and advocate. She has long been a part of Cora as a parent and board member and is also a member of the Board of Directors for Falconworks Theatre Group.
Heidi morgan, operations manager/Teaching faculty
Heidi Morgan is a Brooklyn-based Dancer and Arts Administrator. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Heidi attended Lindenwood University where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance and Non-Profit Administration. She is currently dancing with Johnnie Cruise Mercer and theREDprojectNYC, Maya Lee-Parritz and in her own works along with Thomas Tyger Moore. Heidi is more than excited about the opportunity to be a part of Cora's team as the new Operations Manager.
Funmi Olosunde, TEACHING FACULTY
Funmi Olosunde graduated in 2006 from Williams College where she founded the Steady Steppin' Forward Step Competition. This is her first year as a faculty member at Cora Dance.
KEON WASHINGTON, DANCER/TEACHING FACULTY
Keon Washington (Dancer, Teacher) is a New York City native, who has been dancing and performing for nine years. Once he gained an interest in dance, he began training in Hip Hop and other styles with some of the best teachers in New York City, such as Robert Cecil Brooks III, Amanda Pope, and the late Maurice C. Dean. Throughout high school and post-graduation Keon began realizing his love of training dancers as well as performing. To further cultivate his skill set as a teacher, dancer and choreographer, he began working alongside his mentor Amanda Pope as a teaching assistant at Lower Manhattan Arts Academy, Harlem School of the Arts, Amanda Pope Dance Company and Chimera Concept dance team. Currently, Keon is a teaching artist at the Harlem School of the Arts, Aubrey Lynch-Extra Essential Arts (AL-EEArts), and Cora Dance. He has been a teacher at Cora Dance since 2016. This is his first season dancing with the professional company Shannon Hummel/Cora Dance.
CORA DANCE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SEVERN CLAY - PRESIDENT
VANESSA ADATO - TREASURER
KATIE DEAN, GRAPHIC DESIGN
NADIA TYKULSKER, TECHNICAL SUPPORT
MARY LOWMAN, TECHNICAL SUPPORT
KATIE HOUFF, PRODUCTION MANAGEMENT
STEVE PISANO, PHOTOGRAPHY
WORK AT CORA DANCE
Cora Dance accepts high school, college, and post-grad interns interested in pursuing arts administration, production, arts education, and media on a rolling basis. All interested candidates can apply by sending a resume, cover letter (detailing area of interest), and references to Managing Director, Asha Rhodes-Meade at email@example.com.
We are always seeking community members interested in helping to fulfill Cora's mission. Volunteers can send an email detailing area of interest to Managing Director, Asha Rhodes-Meade at firstname.lastname@example.org. Volunteers are regularly needed for staff support and for special events.