Meet the adjudicators
Anthony Kelly (AKELLZ) was born and raised in New York and graduated with a double major in theater and dance from Arizona State University. He loves the mediums of text, soundscapes, and movement to create story books and
quest-like stage experiences. Akellz is currently teaching at Glendale Community College, serving as Director of Creative Content and Be Kind Crew Experiences at The Be Kind People Project, and is also a member of Creation Global, a Chicago Footwork collective focused on spreading the culture of Chicago footwork around the world. Other Credits include performing for Yahoo!, Redbull, EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) mainstage, Lighting in a Bottle mainstage, and NBA halftime shows. Also diving into the teaching/guest artist realm, he has completed residencies around the country
including The Yard on Marthas Vineyard.
Ruby Morales is committed to equity, facilitating life-affirming spaces, and cultivating community relationships rooted in reciprocity, trust, and love through life and her artmaking. She is a dance artivist investigating culturally informed teaching methods and her relationship with movement as a bgirl and Mexican influenced cumbia Sonidera. After receiving a BFA from Arizona State University she completed Urban Bush Women's Summer Leadership Institute, The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond's Undoing Racism Training, and is continuously training in breaking and learning about hip hop philosophy/theory. She is currently working with internationally renowned creative Liz Lerman, CONTRA-TIEMPO Activist Dance Theater, and Tucson, AZ based choreographer Yvonne Montoya. She’s CONTRA-TIEMPO’s Director of Development and co-founder of The Pachanga Collective in Arizona. Ruby creates work locally and recently presented her own evening length show, Breaking Pachanga as part of her Arts in the Park partnership with the City of Tempe in AZ. Throughout the development of the work she was intentionally focused on dismantling white supremacy inside of the creative process while using breaking and cumbia as the dance forms. In the past year it toured locally throughout the state of Arizona. Ruby continues to learn and lead as a 2021 NALAC Advocacy Leadership Fellow, 2021 Intercultural Leadership Institute Fellow, and 2023 Critical Response Process Certification Program participant.
Jenny Gerena is a Phoenix based choreographer, performing artist, teaching artist and photographer. She is an alumna of Scottsdale Community College, Sam Houston State University and Arizona State University, where she received an MFA in Dance in 2016. She has presented her work at the Florida Dance Festival, Multi-Purpose Project (NYC), Breaking Ground Dance Festival (AZ), BlakTinx Dance Festival (AZ) and The Dance Gallery Festival (TX & NYC). She created a work at The Phoenix Art Museum for a First Friday event celebrating the opening of the exhibition: Teotihuacan City of Fire, City of Water. Since 2014 she has been choreographer in residence at Scottsdale Community College, working with their pre-professional performance company, Instinct Dance Corps. where she has created eight works to date. Jenny also served as Adjunct Faculty in Modern Dance at two Maricopa Community Colleges, Glendale CC and Scottsdale CC. Along with her dance work, Jenny is actively developing her voice as a visual artist in photography. She is well known in the valley for capturing live dance performances and movement portraits for local dance artists, companies, colleges and universities. She has received four “photo of the month” awards through a dance magazine publication, AZ Dance Star. Jenny’s most recent honor is being named “Best Dancer” by the Phoenix New-Times in the "2018 Best Of Phoenix" issue which states: “...Gerena uses the female body, including her own dark, free-flowing hair, to write the poetry of women's strength and solidarity through movement.”
Alicia Nascimento Castro transitioned into dance after training as an elite gymnast. She is currently finishing her MFA in the two summer track program at Hollins University and graduated with a BFA in dance from the University of Arizona. In Philadelphia she continued her dance training with Philadanco then moved to Denver where she danced with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble performing works of master choreographers such as Katherine Dunham, Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, and Milton Myers. Alicia lived in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais/Brazil, for 7 years and danced with Mario Nascimento Dance Company, had a leading role in the Beatles musical Because, and presented solo work Solivagant and Arco-Iris as a member of Rede Sola de Dança. As a teacher and choreographer she was the Assistant Choreographer and Rehearsal Director for Contemporary Dance Company, Sala B directed by Fernando de Castro; taught at the world renowned Grupo Corpo, and the dance and art conservatory, Palácio das Artes where she choreographed for the Graduating class of 2015 with a piece entitled Wanderlust. Since moving to Phoenix she has performed with the Black Theatre Troupe and presented work at the BlakTinx Dance Festival, Rooted in Movement, Breaking Ground, Beta Dance festival and at the Phoenix Art Museum. Alicia worked at Grand Canyon University, Glendale Community College, and is currently working as a Dance Director at Tolleson Union High School, developing creative projects and teaching at Arizona State University.