Andrea Parson studied dance performance and at Loyola Marymount University, where she received a BA in dance in 2009. She now lives in Portland, OR, where she currently performs and teaches dance nationally and internationally with the Northwest Dance Project. She has danced original roles in NW Dance Project works by Sarah Slipper, Patrick Delcroix, James Canfield, Luca Veggetti, Pedro Dias, Ihsan Rustem, Andrea Miller, Aszure Barton, Jirí Pokorny, Yin Yue, Noam Gagnon, Maurice Causey, Danielle Agami, Lucas Crandall, Wen Wei Wang, Alejandro Cerrudo, James Gregg, Cayetano Soto, Loni Landon, Tracey Durbin, Edgar Zendejas, Carla Mann, and Minh Tran. In June 2010, Dance Magazine named Andrea their dancer “On the Rise.” The following month, Andrea received her biggest career honor to date, winning a 2010 Princess Grace Fellowship Award for Dance and she appeared on the cover of Dance Spirit Magazine in February 2011, which did a feature on her and another on the company. Andrea has choreographed original works for NW Dance Project company as well as summer dance intensive students. Since 2014 she has collaborated with costume designer and filmmaker Fuchsia Lin, choreographing and performing a solo work for Ten Tiny Dances (2016) and two dance films Crystals of Transformation, and Future Cosmos Flow. She initiated Soul Stories Dance Project in 2017 in collaboration with multimedia artist Susan Banyas.
Susan Banyas has worked extensively as a dancer, writer, and performance artist since 1976, when she co-founded SO&SO&SO&SO and began to develop Soul Stories and Everyday Dancing, forms that integrate movement, image, and language into physical poetry. She has taught in colleges, universities, studios, schools for the past 40 years and has directed and created numerous full-length dance/theatre works, including The Hillsboro Story and No Strangers Here Today, multi-voiced investigations that illuminate the role her hometown played in American civil rights history and the journey to encounter that history directly.
Both pieces toured nationally and are expanded into a non-fiction book, The Hillsboro Story, to be published in 2018-19 by Spuyten Duyvil Press, NYC. The Shadow Dance is Holy- outtakes and performance monologues -- is in development. www.susanbanyas.com
Stephanie W. Schaaf
Stephanie W. Schaaf is a Portland-based performer, teacher, and dance-maker. She has worked with SO & SO & SO & SO, directed by Susan Banyas, has co-choreographed with Sarah Ebert, and she created a solo, Here and Here, as a recipient of the New Expressive Works residency in 2017. Before moving to Portland, she worked as a choreographic collaborator and toured internationally with the Margaret Jenkins Dance Company of San Francisco. While there she also created full-evening performances with fellow MJDC dancer Sue Roginski with support from the City of San Francisco and the Zellerbach Foundation. Stephanie holds a graduate degree in dance education and a certificate from the School for Body Mind Centering in Embodied Anatomy and Yoga. She has a private practice as a movement educator. www.embodymovement.com
Born and raised on a rural farm in Southern Idaho, Megan began her dance training at Motions School of Dance at the age of 9 studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Musical Theatre. Receiving a "Foundation Scholarship" from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Megan moved to Portland in 2009 and studied Fine Art. She also attended Portland Community College (Sylvania Campus) and studied Ballet, Modern, and Yoga. She has had the opportunity to work closely with Jamuna Chiarini, Brittany DeLano/11: Dance co., Teresa "Toogie" Barcelo, Sarah Touslee, among others. Megan is a dance teacher at Center for Movement Arts and Laurelhurst Dance Studio, a freelance dancer and a student at many dance studios within Portland.
Collaborator photos by Fuchsia Lin