Cynthia Hijar-

Program Director

Ballet After Dark- Mexico

Cynthia Hijar (Mexico City 1988) is a Mexican Artivist and Pedagogue. As a grad student at the Masters in Pedagogy at the School of Philosophy and Literature, in the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), she's currently working on a thesis about the contribution of somatic education in women's rehab. As a dancer she has professional studies in Contemporary Dance at the Choreographic Research Center of the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature (INBA), and has been a student of dance and somatic education in different workshops and training programs with teachers such as Marina Acevedo, Kathryn Alter and the Danza Contemporanea de Cuba company. She co-created the feminist comedy collective StandUperras, which combines cabaret and stand-up comedy with a feminist perspective, and also the webcomic Nacho Progre. Has been a speaker on TEDx #MéxicoCityWomen and as a writer has published opinion articles in feminist Latin American media.





Cynthia Hijar (Ciudad de México, 1988) es una artivista y pedagoga mexicana. Actualmente es estudiante de la Maestría en Pedagogía de la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), donde investiga los aportes de la educación somática y la danza con grupos de mujeres adultas en rehabilitación. Tiene estudios profesionales en danza contemporánea en el Centro de Investigación Coreográfica del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura y ha sido alumna de diferentes talleres y programas de formación en danza y educación somática con profesores como Marina Acevedo, Kathryn Alter y la Compañía de Danza Contemporánea de Cuba. Co-creó el colectivo de comedia feminista StandUperras, que presenta espectáculos de cabaret y stand-up con perspectiva de género y el cómic Nacho Progre. Ha sido conferencista en #TEDxMéxicoCityWomen y como escritora ha publicado artículos de opinión en medios feministas latinoamericanos como CIMAC Noticias, Antes de Eva y Volcánica.

headshot - Morgan Faithe Harrell.png

Morgan Faithe Harrell

Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

Morgan Faithe Harrell is a graduate from Kennesaw State University with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance along with a concentration in Modern. Harrell started dance at 11 years old winning regional/national dance competitions and convention scholarships. Celebrities such as Jennifer Hudson has recognized her talents in high school. While receiving her Bachelor of Arts, Harrell has been in productions with Tyler Perry, Zaytoven, BET, BET HER, Netflix, T.I. and more. Her gifts continue to grow to choreograph for artists, working in film productions, and teaching virtually across the country. Along with receiving awards and accolades for significance in the community, her most proud accomplishment is her first film S.A.B.L.E. (Stories About Blacks Leading Equality), a powerful short film about black women injustice in America on YouTube.

IMG_6532 - Simone Gadlin.PNG

Simone Gadlin

Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

Southern California native, Simone Gadlin is a choreographer, dancer, instructor, performance artist, and youth mentor with over 15 years of formal dance experience and 7 years teaching for schools and studios across the United States. Simone teaches ballet, contemporary, jazz, lyrical, modern, and hip-hop. Within each class she focuses on promoting creative expression as a form of healing and using the art of dance to grow as a person. She believes that combining one's intention into their movement while having fun is the secret formula to a more peaceful and harmonious life. Simone is a member of PHILADANCO’s second company and prides herself on maintaining the balance between her professional dancing career and teaching her students.


Nova Cypress Black

Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

NOVA CYPRESS BLACK (they/them/her/she) is a kinetic quilt of Midwest dynamo, Southern hospitality, and East Coast moxie. They write, dance, & teach from a Black queer womanist lens. NOVA passionately utilizes 15 years of ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop, and African dance training to build community with the underserved. This sexual assault survivor’s healing centered engagement cultivated strong bonds during NOVA’s time as a Teaching Artist for Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC, New Jersey Performing Center of the Arts, Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Center, Urban Arts Partnership, Dancewave, & many others. NOVA is ecstatic about bringing their contagious smile, accessible metaphors, bomb playlists, and genre-fusing choreography to Ballet After Dark’s phenomenal virtual program.  


Danah Bella

Master Class/Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

Danah Bella, is the artistic director of d a n a h b e l l a DanceWorks, a modern dance company focused on reclaiming evocative movement as social practice. Danah is an award-winning choreographer who has performed & presented her work throughout the country including the Red Rock Dance Festival in Utah, Cool New York Festival in New York, the United States Asian American Festival in San Francisco, the Bates Dance Festival in Maine, the American College Dance Association’s National Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center, Santa Barbara, ReVIEWING Black Mountain College, as well as in Mexico and Italy. She has taught workshops and has been artist in residence in festivals and universities throughout the United States and abroad; including, Pro Danza Italia, Bates Dance Festival, Monterey Dance Fest, the American College Dance Association's Regional and National conference, Western Michigan University, University of Virginia, Oklahoma Contemporary Dance Festival, Santa Barbara City College and Goose Route Dance Festival.  Danah is also a founding member of Colectivo Caliban, an artist collective that transgresses disciplinary borders through sound and movement.  She has worked in higher education since 2002 teaching modern dance technique, dance theory, and history. Danah is currently the Director of the BFA Dance program at the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University.


She was awarded an MFA in performance from the Ohio State University and a BA in Dance from the University of California in Santa Barbara.


Grace Chang

Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

Grace Chang is an artist who makes dances. She works with professional ballet dancers to produce ideas about movement and apply them to movement creation. Grace was raised in West Baltimore. She attended Baltimore City Public Schools from kindergarten to high school graduation. At the age of 16, Grace graduated early with the help of Career Academy, Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Employment Development, and departed on a solo journey lasting five years which took her to major cities up and down the East Coast, always via bus, including Washington D.C., New York City, Toronto, and Boston. During this time she trained with many of the best ballet and modern dancers and dance educators in America. At 21, Grace turned her focus to choreography and spent several years studying holistic psychology, expressive arts therapies, and cognitive neuroscience at the collegiate level at Lesley University. (Fun fact: her college recommendation was written by the ballerina Martine Van Hamel!) In these studies, Grace hoped to deepen her understanding of the choreographic process. She was advised by Dr. Neal Klein in her efforts. Grace left Lesley shortly before graduating to begin work on developing a new model for a dance company in Baltimore. She is grateful for a chance to finish what she started, virtually, in the Fall. Grace Chang speaks fluent movement, thanks to the city she was born in, and foundational training experiences at the Peabody Preparatory, the Baltimore School for the Arts, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Washington School of Ballet, The Ailey School, Ballet Jörgen Canada, American Ballet Theater, and Kaatsbaan International Dance Center. Grace and her partner David, a fiction writer, arborist, and woodworker, are based in the City of Baltimore.


Caroline Ferrante

Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

Caroline Ferrante grew up on the southside of Chicago, where she trained in ballet, jazz, modern, and hip hop from kindergarten through her theater undergrad work at Northwestern University. She later earned her Master’s in instructional design, and leads classes for the Adventure Theater Musical Theater Academy, teaches dance-fitness at Bethesda’s Holton Arms, and has a passion for 70’s funk.


Maria Marsalis


Ballet After Dark Virtual Facilitator

Maria  Marsalis  is  a  lifelong  student  of  the  arts  and  continues  to  explore  the  bounds  of  creativity through  truth  and  limitlessness  ignited  by  creative  outlets.  Maria  is  a  Singer,  Dancer,  Actor  and Visual  Artist.  Maria  started  her  arts  training  as  a  singer  with  the  Peabodys  Children's  Choir  at the  age  of  six,  where  she  intermittently  took  dance  classes  through  Peabody  and  local  studios. After  attending  TWIGS  and  receiving  acceptance  into  BSA,  she  further  studied  music  at Baltimore  School  for  the  Arts  while  also  attending  CenterStages  after  school  program  called Encounter.  After  Graduation  she  went  on  to  pursue  a  multidisciplinary  program  at  American Musical  and  Dramatic  Academy  (AMDA),  studying  acting,  vocal  performance,  and  dance. During  her  time  at  AMDA  she  studied  Ballet,  Tap,  Jazz  and  Theater  Dance.  Soon  after graduating  from  AMDA  she  went  on  to  pursue  a  Bachelor  of  Fine  Arts  in  Acting  and  a  Dance minor  from  University  of  Maryland  Baltimore  County.  Maria  is  currently  a  senior  Honors  college student  finishing  her  degree  in  Theater  and  Dance.  Maria  was  a  KCACTF  (Kennedy  Center American  College  Theater  Festival)  Irene  Ryan  finalist  and  performed  a  solo  theatrical movement  piece,  Based  on  a  True  Story​,  at  UMBC’S  Undergraduate  Research  and  Creative Achievement  Day.  Maria’s  Theatre/music  performance  credits  include:  The  Abyssinian  Mass Tour  at  Jazz  at  Lincoln  Center  (Herself​),  Telephone  Girl  (Machinal), ​ Marisol  (She  Like  Girls), Serza  &  Naja  (Anon(ymous)) ​ and  lastly  in  the  world  premier  of  Girls  on  a  Dirt  Pile ​ as Persephone.

© 2019 Ballet After Dark, LLC. All Rights Reserved Powered by UPD Smart Solutions