Who We Are
A. Nia Austin-Edwards
Strategic Visioning Partner
Allegra Romita is originally from Baltimore and is currently living in Brooklyn, NY. She has been fortunate to perform around the city and country with INSPIRIT, Amy Cova Dance, and Sydnie L. Mosley Dances. She has been a part of SLMDances for 9 years as a company member, Company Manager and currently Artistic Visioning Partner. Allegra has presented her choreography in Maryland, Michigan, and New York City.
Allegra Romita is a graduate from the University of Michigan with honors with a BFA in Dance and a minor in Movement Science. She received her MA in Dance Education from New York University (NYU) Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Ms. Romita is a Certified Movement Analyst (CMA) through the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. She is in the Motor Learning program in the Department of Biobehavioral Sciences at Teachers College, Columbia University. Allegra is Program Administrator and adjunct faculty in the Dance Education Program at NYU Steinhardt.
Allegra is co-creator of Functional Awareness®: Anatomy in Action. She is a collaborator in curriculum design for Functional Awareness for Dancers and primary curriculum designer of Functional Awareness for Yoga. She is co-author of Functional Awareness: Anatomy in Action for Dancers. Allegra is also a certified Vinyasa Yoga teacher. She currently teaches at Brooklyn Yoga Project and Heatwise in Brooklyn, NY.
A. Nia Austin-Edwards (ANAE) is the Founder of PURPOSE Productions – an institution that supports artists and organizers in the mothering of PURPOSE-full work that seeks to unify and develop our world community. That vision of support is what she has built her life around through writing, performing, creating, marketing, listening, caring, and more. As THE KwanzaaKid – a child named after, born during, and annually celebrating Kwanzaa – the principles of unity (Umoja), self-determination (Kujichagulia), working collectively with a responsibility to her greater community (Ujima), cooperative economics amongst that community (Ujamaa), and creating purposefully and faithfully (Kuumba, Nia, Imani) are the foundation of all that she does.
Her performing career began in her mother’s womb, developed in Atlanta, GA, at Total Dance / Dancical Productions, Inc., and was further formalized through Tri-Cities Visual and Performing Arts Magnet High School and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She has worked with Gus Solomons, Jr., Deborah Jowitt, Ronald K. Brown, Sean Curran, Adia Tamar Whitaker, Camille A. Brown, Stefanie Batten Bland, Jesse Phillips-Fein, Paloma McGregor, Marjani Forte-Saunders, and others. She has also presented choreography through Movement Research at South Oxford Space, at Triskelion Arts, and in her own self-produced evening at BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Nia was a Dance/USA John R. Munger Research Fellow from 2014-2015 and an Editor & Contributor for The Dance Enthusiast from 2013-2016.
Since her transition from Marketing & Communications Director at BAX in 2013, PURPOSE Productions has supported dance artists such as Adia Tamar Whitaker and Ni’Ja Whitson, theater artists such as Ella Turenne and Latonia Phipps, organizations such as 651 ARTS and Angela's Pulse, initiatives such as Dancing While Black and Camille A. Brown’s The Gathering, among others. PURPOSE Productions has also facilitated workshops in a variety of subjects from marketing to their signature #LiberatedLifedstyle practice.
Jessica Lee is a dance and teaching artist, arts administrator and organizer whose dance training started at Connecticut Dance School in Fairfield, Connecticut. She holds a BA in Dance and Environmental Studies from Middlebury College, where she performed works by Christal Brown, Andrea Olsen, Trebien Pollard, and worked with Penny Campbell. In NYC, Jessica teaches at BAX|Brooklyn Arts Exchange and Bay Ridge Ballet, dances with Paloma McGregor|Angela’s Pulse, and is an Organizer for PURPOSE Productions. Jessica is also a Co-Director of The Sable Project, an alternative off-grid summer artist residency in Vermont. Her artistic work and teaching practice are grounded in gender, racial, and environmental activism, fueled by the joy of movement, and dedicated to inclusive community building. This is Jessica's third season with Sydnie L. Mosley Dances.
A Brooklyn native, Brittany Grier began at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Dance Theater. Her training continued at Lehman College with a B.A. in dance, with the honor of returning as a guest choreographer for In the Heights. As a teaching and performing artist she uses dance as a vehicle to cultivate connections between story movement of individuals and their community.
Angelica Mondol Viaña (Brooklyn, NY) was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Brooklyn, NY. Began her dance studies at Ballet Tech NYC Public School for Dance and continued her studies at Ballet Hispanico on scholarship. She has graduated from Fiorello H Laguardia High School and CalArts (BFA Dance ’17). She is passionate about the intersections of dance and activism and honoring our collective living histories through the dancing body.
Bianca Paige Smith
Joan Bradford is a choreographer, dancer, teaching artist, and arts administrator born, raised, and still residing in the Bronx, NY. Joan holds her BFA in Dance & minor in Theatre with awards in choreographic achievement from LIU. Currently, Joan collaborates with Sydnie L Mosley Dances and MizantyMoves Dance Works while as a teaching artist and project manager with The Bronx House and a producer with WAXworks. Additionally, Joan is an artist in residence with the Dance Your Future Artist & Mentor Collaborative Residency project produced by Pepatián in partnership with BAAD!/Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance. Joanbradford.com
Bianca Paige Smith (BS Neuroscience, MA Contemporary Dance Performance, CYT200) born in NJ, based between Europe (IRL) and the USA (NY/NJ), is a multi-disciplinary artist, a visionary and a creator currently creating work that draws from principles of post-modern contemporary dance along with her practice of yoga and meditation and background in neuroscience. Her award-winning duet, Two Can Do, recently made its debut tour, in Ireland, with sold out shows in Dublin and Limerick venues. Bianca’s past performance experience includes Step Up Dance Project (IRL), Gary Clarke (UK), Catherine Young (IRL), Vanessa Long (NYC/PHL), Ryan Daniel Beck (NYC).
Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 nominee, Ebonie Smith is an award-winning music producer, audio engineer and singer-songwriter based in New York City. Ebonie is also the founder and president of Gender Amplified, Inc., a nonprofit organization that celebrates and supports women in music production.
Ebonie holds a master's degree in music technology from New York University, and a bachelor's degree in Africana Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She currently works as an audio engineer and producer for Atlantic Records.
Maya Simone Ziegler
Creative Partner in Development
Maya Simone is a Brooklyn-based multidisciplinary artist from suburban Georgia. She is committed to work that deepens her connection to experimental creative practices, Black radical imaginations, and QTPOC artistic communities. Maya also works with the Rogue Dancers. She recently completed a residency for women of color with ModArts Dance Collective and created work for NACHMOx and with ATTN: Dance in Boston. Maya is also on the PURPOSE Productions team, a new member of the Dance/NYC Junior Committee, and teaches barre fitness across NYC. Follow her journey @maya.simone.z on Instagram.
Creative Partner in Development
Lorena Jaramillo was born and raised in Mexico City where she began her studies in classical and contemporary dance. In 2015 she relocated to New York City to study at Marymount Manhattan College where she earned a BA in Dance with a concentration in Dance Studies and a Minor in Arts for Communities. In the past she has worked with JUNTOS Collective, Semillas Collective and CoopDanza, non-profit organizations through which she has been able to connect with Latinx communities though dance performance and teaching.