Photo by Rahm Carrington
Tanesha Sumerset Payne began her dance training in Jacksonville, Florida where she was born and raised. After graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts with her art seal, she performed with Danceworks Repertory Company for three years. During this time, she performed works by Alonzo King, KT Nelson and Michael Foley just to name a few. In 2006, Mrs. Payne moved to Miami to pursue her BFA in dance at New World School of the Arts where she studied under the direction of Peter London and Elaine Wright. Two years later, Mrs. Payne was accepted into the certificate and fellowship programs at Alvin Ailey, however life lead her in another direction.
In 2007, Tanesha Payne joined Arch Dance Company in NYC where she had the opportunity to teach and perform across the United States. After living out her dreams in New York, Tanesha returned to her hometown in 2010 to begin another chapter of her life. She married a U.S. soldier and had two beautiful children. Since then Tanesha Payne has continued to teach and choreograph. In 2016, Tanesha added Group Fitness Instructor to her list of many titles. Mrs. Payne has much more to offer the world; and looks forward to using her craft to inspire all that she encounters.
Brittany Lopez, based in San Antonio, TX, is a contemporary dance artist, educator and feminist who has performed and presented choreography throughout the state of Texas as well as in Asheville, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., Salt Lake City, Utah, and Mexico City, Mexico. She has a profound curiosity about the somatically engaged body moving through athletic, improvised, and floor-based work as well as the intersection of personal narrative and social causes in the dance-making process.
Currently, Brittany teaches as an Instructor in the dance program at Northwest Vista College where she directs the Repertory Dance Ensemble. She has performed with Out on a Limb Dance Company since 2016 and established grit danceworks in 2018 to dive deeper into her own creative process. Additionally, she serves on the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival Advisory Committee, which helps to program the annual event for close to 300 improvisers and movers annually. Brittany earned an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University (2014) as well as a BFA in Performance and Choreography from Texas State University (2011).