Caitlin McWethy is a resident ensemble member of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and has been acting and dancing around Cincinnati for the past five years. She’s honored to be working with Pones, who continually challenge both their audiences and artists to become more compassionate people and to make this city a more inclusive and vibrant place to live – through dance!
Darnell Benjamin has been involved with Pones since 2009. What once started out as an opportunity to dance turned into the commitment of using dance as a form of activism and connection. Since 2009, Darnell has put on many hats within the organization: dancer, educator, and, in 2016, board member. More than anything, he continued work with Pones because the entire company is composed of diverse artists, with varying dance backgrounds and abilities…but all focused on the goal of using movement to keep telling the stories that need to be told. The work Pones does in the under-served communities through engagement and making the arts accessible keeps Darnell centered and sane.
What Pones means to Dom Vinegar is a second chance at chase his dream. Ever since he was a child he loved the creative and performing arts. Dom wanted to go to SCPA but his parents wanted him to go to a more traditional school. Dom still loved the arts and involved himself any way he could. He felt like he’d never get the chance to perform without classical training. He never let go of his dream, and finally he found Pones! In just two years he has learned so much. Dom says, “It’s great to be able to not only do what you love but to also share it with others!”
Donna Rubin discovered her love of dance as a teenager when she started training in ballet, jazz and modern in Pittsburgh. She continued dedicated studies while earning her BFA in theater performance at CCM. Post undergrad she created choreography and direction for numerous productions in greater Cincinnati and later in SF. While living in SF she immersed herself in the wealth of dance training and performance opportunities available there. Donna has been working with children creatively throughout her life. She receives great joy in her work as a teaching artist for Pones and is honored to have helped develop a movement class for Pones’Art’s in Healing program, where she teaches healing movement to veterans. Donna believes Dance to be a powerful tool of Healing, Community, and Liberation.
Erin Carr loves teaching with Pones because they are focused on moving the community forward, both literally and figuratively. Pones believes that through movement we can find our self-expression and they provide these opportunities for all ages – whether it is for veterans or for students trying to grasp new math techniques, Pones uses dance and movement to connect individuals to themselves and their class/community. “It’s an honor to work with an artistic company that truly walks the talk.”
Ernaisja Curry “Dance is everything! It is a beautiful gift and passion that will always give me life. I believe the best way to express ourselves and connect with others is through the universal language of movement!”
Glenda Figueiredo began her training when she was three years old in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her dance background is Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Traditional Brazilian dances and Contemporary dance. She has been dancing and teaching professionally for over 15 years. From the Brazil to the circus, and then finally settling down in Cincinnati, Glenda has been sharing her passion for dance with people of all ages.
Hillary Hahn “I love teaching with Pones. I’m excited to get back into the classroom and teach one of my favorite subjects in the world, dance!”
Ian Forsgren finds it a privilege to be part of the Pones education team. Teaching over the years has provided Ian with countless opportunities to expand his own knowledge, share meaningful experiences and help create connections in a myriad of communities. From young children to adults of all shapes, backgrounds, and experience, Pones always enables Ian to explore and create connections in new and exciting ways through movement and dance, his favorite way to grow and learn with everyone!
To Jackie Smith Pones is all about movement. Of course it’s about moving your body, but it’s so much more than that. Through Pones’ programs we help move people’s spirits, moods, social consciousness, and perspectives. As a teaching artist for Pones, Jackie has the opportunity to experience and help our community get up and get moving!
Jamie Kreindler has been dancing since a young age and is proud to be a teacher with Pones. Dance is a wonderful way to express one’s self while exploring new things, taking risks, and communicating with others. As a teacher, Jamie hopes to share her passion and love for dance with her students!
Karen O’Brien “Dance enlivens my passion and energizes my spirit! I believe in the power of dance to inspire positive change. I desire to bring my passion for dance to guide students to creatively express themselves, to connect with others, and to create a sense of belonging.”
Liz Wu loves movement and how it relates to rhythm. If you can move, you can dance. She love Pones for its inclusiveness to people of all backgrounds and experience levels. Dance is about celebration, community, and fun!
Mandy Goodwin is a dancer, choreographer, actor, and puppeteer. She works with Madcap Puppets and Moonbull Studios, and well as acting in local productions, and creating her own work with Contemporary Dance Theatre. She studied modern dance with Keshet Dance Company in New Mexico, and well as Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. This is Mandy’s first year dancing with Pones, and she loves it because it is lighthearted, fun, and there are lots of opportunities to interact with all sorts of different people of all ages and backgrounds. Mandy loves dancing because it is a way to explore and express feelings that goes beyond words. It is also very healing and helps build self-esteem and a more positive outlook on the world.
Teisha Murray (goes by Murray) has been a teaching artist with Pones Inc 3 years now. She is also an aerialist, teaching at Dimension Fitness. Classically trained in ballet and modern dance, she also loves hip hop and tries to incorporate what she’s learned from her years working with youth in social service settings.
As someone who grew up dancing, Zac Holman thinks dance is a fundamental piece to help shape minds, and grow not only artistically, but mentally as well. One of his favorite things about Pones is how they can help minds of all ages and backgrounds grow and expand through various styles of dance while creating a fun and positive atmosphere.