company

Founder
performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Matt Dunn

Hayley Cutler, MFA (she/her) is a choreographer, performer, artist organizer, and dance educator. She is the founder and Artistic Director of darlingdance, a project-based dance company in its eleventh season, and co-founder of artist neighbor collective, a curatorial performance project born in the pandemic and growing in the new year.

As a maker and performer, Hayley pushes the boundaries of intimacy and comfort and encourages her audience to expand their notions of what dance making is; she aims to portray what total autonomy looks like for female and femme-identifying bodies in public spaces. Her work has been performed in storied dance theaters, art galleries, on basketball courts, at city bus stops, in studio apartments, and in her local CVS. Hayley is a 202Creates Resident Artist alumna and a five-time recipient of a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Artist Fellowship.

As an educator, Hayley has the honor of working with an incredibly diverse range of populations, including university dance majors, young pre-professional dancers, adults with intellectual disabilities, professional dance artists, and families in transitional housing. She is a prolific freelance educator in the DMV region, founder of youth dance studio darlingspace, and has been an adjunct professor in The George Washington University Department of Theatre and Dance since 2014.

Hayley’s teaching and creative philosophies run parallel to each other; she believes that dance education is about loving movement and yourself, and that dance performance is about finding the unique ways your singular body moves and interacts with its environment so that one may carve out the shape of those movements in this field. Hayley’s presence in the dance field is centered in the feminist dance canon, in fair pay advocacy for artists, in mentorship and feedback, and in the simple belief that what’s good for the community is good for the individual artist.

Current and Recent Collaborators
performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Williams Hoelscher

Claire Alrich (performer) is a freelance artist, educator, and non-profit administrator living in Washington DC. Her performance work has been seen in Washington DC, New York, Miami, and Mexico. Claire has performed with darlingdance since 2015. In addition she is a teaching artists with Artstream Inc., Local Motion Project, and the National Fund for the U.S. Botanic Garden. Claire is the Site Coordinator for the Field/DC, a curator at The Shed Gallery, and a 2017 recipient of an artist fellowship grant through the DC Council of the Arts and Humanities. https://www.clairealrich.com

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Jackson Ames

Emily Ames (she/her) (performer) is a dancer, choreographer, and collaborator who tries to add sequins and velvet wherever she can. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with degrees in Dance and History, then stashed her diplomas in the back of her closet to join The Phillips Collection as the Marketing Manager. When not at her 9-5, Emily dances for Heart Stück Bernie, Britta Joy Peterson, and darlingdance. Her choreography has been presented at the NextNOW Fest, the American College Dance Association, UMD’s Second Season series, and supported by Dance Metro DC and Washington Project for the Arts. As a member of ANC: artist neighbor collective, Emily created work for Dance Place’s Physically Distant Commission series and received support from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Artistic highlights include: destroying abandoned classrooms with Marc Bamuthi Joseph’s blessing, throwing a post-apocalyptic party courtesy of Monstah Black, and touring Sinaloa, Mexico with PEARSONWIDRIG DANCETHEATER along with many, many oranges.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Jonathan Hsu

Amber Lucia Chabus (she/her) (performer) is a DC Metro area based artist who finds joy moving her body in spaces with other creatives. Amber graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2018 with degrees in Dance and Kinesiology. She has performed with darlingdance, ReVision dance company, Heart Stück Bernie, CityDance DREAM, DanceTheYard, and Orange Grove Dance. Amber was part of the inaugural Dance Metro DC Performance-in-Progress cohort and has had choreography shown at Island Grown Dance and the Built on Stilts Festival (Martha's Vineyard) and at Dance Place and The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center (Washington, DC). When not dancing/creating or keeping up with The Washington Ballet’s brand as their Marketing Manager, Amber also finds joy in keeping her personal brand consistent with cats (shout out Donut), watermelon, and the color pink.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Krystal Leniece Collins

Hailing from the Midwest, Krystal Leniece Collins (she/they) (performer) captivated their first audience in the produce section of the local Moo & Oink (may the beloved Chicago grocery chain rest in power). They are a performer, choreographer, dance educator, writer, administrator and most importantly a proud power disrupting Sagittarius. After graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, they currently move, groove, and reside in Washington, DC and have danced for Contradiction Dance Theatre, darlingdance, Heart Stück Bearnie, AJ Collabs, ReVision Dance Company and Extreme Lengths Productions. Krystal has also written pieces for the Dance Metro DC Dance Journalism Project and the Creative Entry Journalism Series. They are currently the CreativeWorks Program Manager at Joe’s Movement Emporium.They are also the founder of new growth collective, a decentralized movement and dance education incubator that champions fluidity, world building and movement as mutual aid. Their first work as Krystal Collins/new growth collective, entitled Ceremony, was co-commissioned by Dance Place and Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in 2021.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Emmanuella Enemor

Emmanuella Enemor (performer) is a Nigerian-born dance artist. She began her dance training in Miami, Florida where she studied with Ronald Reagan's Sensations Dance Team. Emma is a recent transplant to DC and since arriving has performed with darlingdance, Howard University Showtime Band's Ooh La La Dancers, and Cameroonian sensation Yangi.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Mariah Miranda

Kourtney Ginn (she/her) (performer) is a native of Winchester, VA, where she received her early training from Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet. She graduated cum laude from Bucknell University with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Dance and also holds a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.

Her career in the dance field has been multifaceted including administrative and teaching positions in dance organizations, schools, and community groups throughout the mid-Atlantic region. Kourtney has performed with Beth Elliott Dance Group, Dancethos, DC Contemporary Dance Theater, Heart Stück Bernie, Karen Reedy Dance, NetCo Dance Company, MotionX Dance DC, Therese Gahl, and Washington Reflections Dance Company. She also performed as a guest artist with Company E which included touring to Kazakhstan and Cuba in 2016. She started working with darlingdance in 2019 and performed in TARGET PRACTICE.

When not on stage or in the studio, Kourtney is the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement at Sidwell Friends and can be found doting on her dog, Clarence.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Rafi Letzter

Sarah Greenbaum (performer) is a Washington, DC-based arts administrator and performance maker. As the Artistic and Community Program Manager at Dance Place she coordinates world-class dance performance and community engagement through the performing arts. Sarah manages all production and administration aspects of programming at Dance Place including 40+ weekends of performance. Outside of Dance Place Sarah works as an independent associate producer; recent projects include coldness & lightness (Dance Loft on 14) 20 Rue Jacob (ReCreative Spaces) and Kitchen Sink Fest (Dance Place.) Sarah has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from Missouri State University. She attended the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC in 2013 as a scholarship student and in 2014 as the Performances and Community Programs Intern.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Tony Kopetchny

Sara Herrera (performer) hails from Fort Worth, Texas where she began dancing at a young age. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Modern Dance from the University of the Arts in Philadephia and happily resides in Washington, DC. Sara is a choreographer, performer and dance teacher, with over 15 years of teaching dance in the DC metro area, NYC, NJ, summer stock in Maine and more recently with the Sapperlot Youth Theatre Festival in Brixen, Italy. Sara’s choreography has been showcased at the Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage commissioned by Agora Dance, the Asheville Fringe Festival, Imagination Stage’s Lerner Theater, The Jack Guidone Theater and the Capital Fringe Festival with performances at Blind Whino, Atlas Performing Arts Center and DancePlace. When not on stage, you can find Sara passionately involved in her neighborhod, curating Arts and Community events, from free outdoor summer dance concerts to showcasing local artists during First Fridays, as the co-founder of Petworth Arts Collaborative and as an active member of the Lower Georgia Avenue Main Street Neighborhood Strategy Council.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Sew Hoy

Mariah Anne Johnson (performer) is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, where she spent her childhood attending art classes at the Arkansas Arts Center and studying dance under Sally Riggs and Deborah Rawn. She went on to study art at Rice University and was a member of Rice Dance Theatre for four years. She earned her MFA in studio art from the University of Illinois in 2006. Mariah's paintings and installations have been exhibited in solo and group shows around the country, from Los Angeles and San Francisco to New York, Houston, Chicago, and Washington, DC. Locally, her work has been shown in venues such as Montgomery College, Transformer, Flashpoint, and the Arlington Arts Center.

Since 2011 she has served as a professorial lecturer in painting and drawing at The George Washington University. During spring 2012, she was the Artist in Residence at the Cafritz Foundation Center for the Arts at Montgomery College in Silver Spring, Maryland. Her recent projects include a 2016 solo exhibition of installation, paintings, and textile works at BlackRock Center for the Arts, as well as a major installation and related paintings for a two-person show with Mei Mei Chang at Montgomery College in 2014. During 2016 and 2017, she undertook a series of international artist residencies in Viborg, Denmark; Berlin, Germany; and Hafnarfjörđur, Iceland. 2017 also marked Mariah’s return to dance, as she began studying with Hayley Devon Cutler and performing with darlingdance.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Goodman

Emilia (Emi) Kawashima (she/they) (performer), a south Florida native, received most of their dance training at the University Center for the Performing Arts. She received BS and MS degrees from Florida Atlantic University in ocean engineering alongside training in modern dance. During college she danced with Jubilee Dance Theatre and The Movement Project, performing at various renowned venues in Florida. Now Emi resides in DC finding joy in getting their hands dirty as the garden coordinator at the Washington Youth Garden while finding ways to share space and move with other creative folks. They have performed with DancEthos, Errant Movement, ArasDance, and Heart Stück Bernie as well as the Metropolitan Ballet Ensemble doing outreach performances for local schools and other community events. Always craving to learn, Emi is currently fascinated with herbalism, mycology, and tricks to train their cats, Tofu and Nori.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Mariah Miranda

Faryn Kelly (she/her/hers) (stage manager/costume designer) is a theater technician, lighting and costume designer, performer, and choreographer and currently serves as Dance Place’s master electrician. Originally from Lexington, KY, Faryn graduated with a BFA in Dance from Wright State University in Dayton, OH. Before moving to DC, Faryn choreographed and danced with Moving Collective in Louisville. Outside of Dance Place, she has worked with DMV-companies including darlingdance, Extreme Lengths Productions, and Jane Franklin Dance, and most recently, Faryn was selected as one of the 2020 New Releases choreographers. Among her favorite things are travel, instant film, haute couture, space, and chocolate covered espresso beans.

performer

PHOTO CREDIT: Mercedes Ortiz-Olivieri

Juliana Mascelli (performer) has been dancing since she was 3. She kept on dancing through college and now works in the Dance Program at the National Endowment for the Arts, where she helps dance artists secure grant money. She feels most content when creating and performing.