Gabriel Christian (t(he)y;(t)him) is a performer, teaching artist, poet, student and archivist born in NYC and blissed out in the East Bay. Apart from four regional and Off-Broadway productions, he’s supported and performed in works from Topsy Turvy Queer Circus (2016), WePlayers (2015), artist Tamar Ettun’s The Moving Company (2014) and The Workcenter of Jerzy Grotowski and Thomas Richards (2013-2014). As of 2015, they have primarily served as their femme ego-companion Derrierykah Badu at The Stud and Aunt Charlie’s in San Francisco, CA, as well as having exhibited in the collaborative show “Property Laws” at Madame of the Arts in Minneapolis, MN. This past spring, they were one of the nine flagship queer performance artists in residence at the Destiny Arts Center as part of QEAR, where they first became aware and stoked on Destiny’s work. Apart from teaching, upcoming projects include: The Brothers Size (Eureka Theater, September 2016) and independent film work in Mexico City.
Hip Hop Dance Instructor
Jennifer “JenAy” Anolin was born and raised in Oakland, Ca and has been dancing since the age of 3. She has danced for the professional dance companies the Oakland Ballet & New Style Motherlode. She has also danced with UCLA ACA, UCLA Samahang Modern, DVS, Five-10, Ronnie Reddick’s La Femme Panache and Nicole Klaymoon’s Embodiment Project.
She is a teacher, mentor, artist and choreographer that works not only with adults but youth of all ages. She is currently pursuing a career in Nutrition and Dietetics/Personal Health and Fitness. She teaches a weekly House dance class at ODC in SF and is also the Founder/Director for the Oakland youth Hip Hop dance & nutrition focused group, “The GroovLings”.
African Dance Instructor
Julia Tsitsi Chigamba grew up in the rich music and dance traditions of the Shona people in Zimbabwe. She’s the daughter of Tute Chigamba and Amai Laiza Chigamba, highly respected dancers in the Shona community. Julia was a longstanding member of Mbembero Dance Company. She came to the US in 1999 and two years later established the Chinyakare Ensemble and Tawanda muChinyakare organization in Oakland, California. Julia is eager to share the passion and knowledge of her family traditions and culture of the Shona people with students in the US.
Head Martial Arts Instructor/Co-Founder
Sifu (“teacher”) Kate Hobbs is the founder of Destiny Arts Center, along with Anthony Daniels, and returns to Destiny to run the martial arts programs this year. Sifu Kate holds the rank of fifth degree Black Belt in the Gaylord Method of Kajukenbo Kung Fu. She was awarded her first degree black belt in 1991 by the late Professor Coleen Gragen, who promoted her through third degree black belt. She gratefully received her fifth degree promotion from Professor Barbara Bones in 2008. She currently studies Chi Gung, Tai Chi, and Northern Shaolin Kung Fu under Sifu Michelle Dwyer.
Sifu Kate has spent much of her time as a Black Belt focusing on how martial arts can help young people face the violence and injustice they encounter with power and intelligence. She has worked on curriculum for community-based and school-based programs that teach specific tools for conflict resolution, violence prevention and community building for youth aged three to eighteen. She is also the founder and Chief Martial Arts Instructor of Oakland Kajukenbo.
Hip Hop Dance Instructor
Marjorie Ortiz is a Bay Area native born in San Leandro, CA. She graduated from California State University, East Bay in 2008 on the Dean’s List and as one of CSUEB’s Most Notable Women. She received her minor in Theater & Dance with accolades and recognition for her artistry and performances, and was one of the founding members of the award winning Eclectic Pulse Dance Team. Marjorie has been teaching, choreographing, and directing dance programs in the Bay Area since 2006. She got her start coaching dance teams with the Team Up for Youth program in San Leandro where she discovered her great passion for teaching dance. Marjorie then developed the dance program at The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Leandro, teaching students in after school programs at Bancroft Middle School, John Muir Middle School, Hillside Elementary School and McKinley Elementary School. She also choreographed for the Berkeley Jr. Bears Cheer & Dance Team, helping them win two 1st place titles in California as well as 6th overall in the nation in 2013.
Through dance as a positive outlet and tool to heal, she hopes to empower youth to raise awareness and gain support for various philanthropic causes, inspiring them to use their voice as performers to create art that is significant to them and impactful on society. Other than her work at Destiny Arts Center, she is a Youth and Adult Dance Instructor at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, a Creative Movement Instructor at Shu Ren International Immersion School, and teaches various dance styles privately. Marjorie performs with Groove Generation of In the Groove Studio in Oakland, the Interdisciplinary Inclusive Ensemble directed by Eric Kupers and is a principal performing artist of MEnD Dance Theater Company directed by Grace Alvarez. Marjorie is also a proud member of Dance the Bay’s Advisory Board as a Dance Education Specialist mentoring aspiring dance instructors.
Destiny Junior Company Artistic Director/Hip Hop Dance Instructor
Mika Lemoine was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She holds a BA in Dance and Latin American Studies from UCLA’s department of World Arts and Cultures. She has danced with Versastyle Dance Company in Los Angeles, Mix’d Ingrdnt’s in Oakland, toured internationally with Contra Tiempo Urban Latin Dance Theater, and is currently a principal touring performer with Embodiment Project where her solo was described as possessing “profound beauty and emotion” by SF Chronicle. Lemoine is a full time Mentor Teaching Artist at Destiny Arts Center where she is also the Artistic Director of the Destiny Junior Company, a pre-professional performance company for youth ages 9-12 who create and perform dance and theater as social commentary across the Bay Area. She teaches hip hop and street dance to youth in East Oakland’s Havenscourt neighborhood and on site at Destiny Arts Center in North Oakland. In today’s climate of commercial “hip hop,” Lemoine emphasizes historical and social context when teaching foundational styles and includes her students in the local Bay Area street dance community. She believes that creative expression is a catalyst for social change and vital to human survival.