Dancing Legacy is powered by the passion and efforts of an inter-generational, geographically dispersed, grass roots network of artists, educators, and specialists. The network's structure and workflow are inspired by membership and cooperative models with a hybrid of part-time and project-based work, donated time, and partnerships with organizations sharing compatible missions. At the heart of the broader network, the Core Network is a group of individuals who have chosen to make a commitment to support organizational stability.
Laura Bennett (Director), Lauren Hale Biniaris, Hayley Kenney, lisa nevada, Stephen Ursprung
Laura Bennett has been director of Dancing Legacy since she founded the company in 2003, has worked with Repertory Etudes Project since the late 1990s., and became co-director of Fusionworks Dance Academy in 2019. She loves to work on puzzles—whether making dances or formulating color-coded management grids. Laura has been dancing since she was in her mother’s womb and had her choreographic debut at age 11, when she got her gym teachers to give up their physical education periods for her to create a dance on her classmates. A Brown University graduate, she has studied, performed, and taught techniques and repertory of the 20th century American concert dance lineage and is a former member of Fusionworks Dance Company. She holds a dance education certificate from New York City’s 92nd Street Y and has taught dance and theater in community centers, schools, private studios, and summer programs, and is associate artistic director of the New York State Summer School of the Art School of Dance. Outside of dance, Laura enjoys spending time with her treasured nephews, studying the Bible, following sports, and watching TiVo in high definition. She learned much about living a creative life from her paternal grandmother, Harriet Bennett Strandberg (1914-1991), a painter who brought the spirit of the artist to everything she touched; the name Bennett was taken as a public tribute to a private legacy.
Lauren Hale Biniaris
Lauren Hale Biniaris is a New York based dance artist, yoga instructor, writing teacher, and poet. She attended Brown University as an undergraduate and holds an MFA in dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Lauren has performed, taught, and presented work in museums, schools, theaters, and various venues throughout the country. Her work values collaboration, exploration, depth, and accessibility, and Lauren places as much importance on creative process as she does on finished product. When she is not working, Lauren enjoys hiking, growing her own food, and playing outside with her husband and two young daughters. She started working with Repertory Etudes while an undergraduate at Brown studying with Repertory Etudes Project co-founder Julie Adams Strandberg and has worked with Dancing Legacy since 2016. In addition to dancing, she serves on the Network Leadership team.
Amy Maria Burns
Amy Maria Burns lives outside of Boston and is active in both the Providence and Boston dance communities. She graduated magna cum laude from Adelphi University with a BFA in dance where she had the honor of working and studying with Robert Christopher, Carmen DeLavallade, Gail Gilbert, Edisa Weeks, and Rebecca Wright. She was a member of Fusionworks Dance Company and Sokolow Now! and has danced in works by Robert Battle, Laura Bennett, Danny Grossman, Deb Meunier, David Parsons, and Anna Sokolow, When not dancing, she spends most her time with her three greatest accomplishments who go by the names Anthony, Eliana, and Marcus. She recharges by reading a good book, practicing yoga, playing and watching football, or doing anything outside in the sunshine! Amy was first introduced to Repertory Etudes while dancing in Fusionworks Dance Company with Laura Bennett. She is an original member of Dancing Legacy, and in addition to dancing, serves on the Core Network.
Nadia Hannan is a dancer, choreographer, writer, arts administrator, and arts educator from New York City. She graduated magna cum laude from Brown University with a BA in performance studies and holds an MFA in dance from Sarah Lawrence College. Nadia has worked with Wendy Jehlen/Anikaya Dance, New York State Summer School of the Arts School of Dance, BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Movement Research, and independent choroegraphers. She has recently started exploring her passion for tumbling and aerial silks. Nadia performed Repertory Etudes while an undergraduate at Brown studying with Repertory Etudes Project co-founder Julie Adams Strandberg. She started working with Dancing Legacy in 2014.
Hayley Kenney, a Florida native, holds a BFA in dance from Florida State University. Hayley has studied with a wide variety of teachers including Carolyn Adams, Lynda Davis, Laura Glenn, Rebecca Lazier, Anthony Morgan, Julie Adams Strandberg, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. She has performed with BoSoma Dance Company and Sokolow Now! and in works by Robert Battle, Colin Connor, Danny Grossman, David Parsons, Anna Sokolow, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, among others. She believes in educating dancers not only to be performers but to be dance patrons and advocates and is currently company manager of Dance Extension, Brown University's modern dance company. Hayley is a former faculty member at the White Mountain Summer Dance Festival, Dean College, and private studios in the Boston-metro area including four years as the lead modern dance teacher at the Dancing Arts Center in Holliston. Hayley also has a deep interest in bringing anatomical depth to dance practice and is a certified Pilates instructor with 15 years of teaching experience and has extensively studied Laban Movement Analysis. She resides in the small New England town of North Attleboro, Massachusetts, with her husband and their three children who are true movers and shakers and are a constant source in inspiration! She is a mid-century style enthusiast, having purchased a time capsule 1956 ranch home; she and her husband collect pieces and do all renovations in the style of the home, using authentic materials whenever possible. Hayley has worked with Dancing Legacy since 2013, serves on the Network Leadership team, and co-directs Fusionworks Dance Academy.
lisa nevada is a travelling choreographer, performer, educator, and naturalist. Her compositions and vocabulary of work highlight our innate relationship to place and an urgent commitment to the health and restoration of plants & trees, soil, water and animals. Her work has been commissioned by galleries, theatre & dance makers, as well as music symposiums throughout the US. lisa facilitates movement workshops and class offerings open to ALL in an effort to ignite embodied change. She is co-director and resident choreographer of SHIFT | DANCE (ABQ) and actively creates and performs under lisanevadadance, lisa received her MFA from the University of New Mexico (UNM) in 2015, and first performed Repertory Etudes while an undergraduate at UNM studying with Core Network member Mary Anne Santos Newhall. She has worked with Dancing Legacy since 2012, and in addition to dancing, serves on the Network Leadership team.
Erika Pujíč, born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, began training at the School of Cleveland Ballet. She received a BFA in dance from The Juilliard School where she was the recipient of the Martha Hill Award. Upon graduation, she danced with Gloria Marina’s Spanish Dance Ensemble and was a principal dancer and rehearsal director for Henning Rubsam’s SENSEDANCE. Erika was a founding member and rehearsal director for Battleworks Dance Company during its 10 year span (2000-2010); she was integral in the creation of many works for Robert Battle and for over 25 years has been dancing and setting his works. She has held guest professor and guest artist positions at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, George Mason University, and Queensborough Community College, and she has been a full time lecturer in the dance department at Skidmore College since 2015. She has created works for SHIFT | DANCE, The Ailey School, Marymount Manhattan College, Long Island University Brooklyn Campus, University of New Mexico, American Ballet Theatre’s Summer Intensives, Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School, Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts, and the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA). Erika LOVES anything outdoors...hiking, walking on the beach, watching the sunrise, the sunset, stargazing. She also loves reading, watching movies, and listening to music. Erika was first introduced to Repertory Etudes while on faculty at NYSSSA under the direction of Repertory Etudes Project co-founder Carolyn Adams and has worked with Dancing Legacy since 2008.
Heidi Sperounis is originally from Massachusetts and has been living in South Florida since the early 1990s. She began dancing at her mother’s dance studio and went on to train with The Boston Ballet and the North Shore Civic Ballet Company. She is a cum laude graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, with a BFA in dance. Heidi has danced with BAF Dance Company in Boston and Dance Wave—The Art of Human Movement in Miami. She has been faculty at Bak Middle School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, Florida since 1997, teaching modern and ballet. Repertory Etudes Project has been in residence with Bak since 2008 and it has been a great opportunity for the students to be enriched with the rich history and legacy of American Modern Dance choreographers. When not dancing, she enjoys spending time with her husband, being outside, and loves a good workout! She has worked with Dancing Legacy since 2015, and in addition to dancing, serves on the Core Network.
Stephen Ursprung holds an MFA in dance from Smith College and a BA in economics and Italian studies from Brown University. His choreographic work has been presented by the Bates Dance Festival, the American College Dance Festival, SpringWIDEOpen, the Astoria Dance Festival, Triskelion Arts, the MixMatch Festival, the Massachusetts Dance Festival, Green Space, and Boston Center for the Arts. As a performer, he has had the privilege of performing work by Ruth Andrien, Monica Bill Barnes, Robert Battle, Danny Buraczeski, Danny Grossman, David Parsons, Pilobolus, and Paul Taylor. Stephen has been on faculty at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is currently an assistant professor of dance studies at Dean College and co-director of education of Fusionworks Dance Academy. He is also the acting chair of the Board of Directors at Green Street Studios in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He currently creates work with NilsSprung Dance Project and Reject Dance Theatre. When not dancing, Stephen likes to pickle vegetables and use them as cocktail garnishes, and he plans to visit all 7 continents with only 3 more to go! Stephen was first introduced to Repertory Etudes while an undergraduate at Brown studying with Repertory Etudes Project co-founder Julie Adams Strandberg. He has worked with Dancing Legacy since 2015, serves on the Network Leadership team, and co-directs Fusionworks Dance Academy.