Fan Nana Yang started her ballet training at the age of 7. Three years later, she was admitted to the Beijing Dance Academy and started her professional ballet study for 7 years, under the tutelage of Yang Lin and Jian Wang. During the school, Yang rehearsed and performed many classic ballet repertoires, such as "Swan Lake", "Le Corsaire", "The Nutcracker", "La Bayadère", "La Esmeralda", etc. At the same time, she learned Chinese folk dance for 4 years, mainly including Tibetans, Mongolian, Uygur, Korean, Han, etc.
In 2003, Yang entered the Dance Department of Capital Normal University, majoring in dance education, and received her bachelor's degree in dance education in 2007. During the college time,she not only refined the teaching methods of ballet and Chinese folk dance, but also learned Chinese classical dance and teaching methods. She had practiced and worked in many educational institutions in Beijing, Shanghai, Changsha and other places in China. In 2009, she was hired by Beijing Dance LDTX Training Center as the manager of the training department. In 2014,Yang immigrated to the United States with her family and was invited to serve as a dance teacher for many years in dance education and training institutions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin and more.
In 2020, Fan Nana Yang and her husband Jun Sunny Shen founded the dance studio Nana Ballet in Austin, Texas, hoping to share their passion and experience in dance with the Austin community.
Jun "Sunny" Shen began his formal dance training during high school, where he learned ballet, Chinese classical opera, and Chinese folk dance. He earned his bachelor's degree in dance at Beijing Capital Normal University in 2001, and worked with Beijing Dance LDTX as a full-time dancer and choreographer from 2005 to 2009. In the past several years, he has performed and choreographed many works at various worldwide dance festivals such as Beijing Dance Festival, Grand Performances (LA), Dance Salad Festival (Houston), Busan International Dance Festival (South Korea), Culture Scapes (Switzerland), Braunschweig Dance Festival (Germany), and many more. He has also collaborated with many artists and dance companies such as Willy Tsao, Janis Claxton, Charles O. Anderson, Hugo Dalton, Wang Jianwei, Sally Jacques, as well as Ziru Production, Alonzo-King Lines Ballet Training Program, Ellen Bartel Dance Collection, Kathy Dunn Hamrick Dance Company, and Andrea Ariel Dance Theatre. In addition, Shen has rich teaching experiences both nationally and internationally.
In 2013, Shen joined the graduate dance program at The University of Texas at Austin, and earned his MFA in 2016. After his graduation, he formed Shen Jun Movement Effect and started teaching dance at Austin Community College as an assistant professor. In June of 2017, Shen formally joined Blue Lapis Light as a principal dancer and choreographer, and in 2018 was awarded Best Dancer by the Austin Critics Table for his performance in Belonging, Part One. In 2019, Shen’s work Centrifugation was selected to perform at the gala concert of American College Dance Association South Central Regional conference.
Founder and artistic director of Paracosm Dance, Alyssa is a multimedia dance and performance artist, instructor, and visual creator. She began her training with the Brockus Conservatory in LA where she was introduced to her movement foundations of Luigi Jazz and the Lester Horton Technique. Integrating mixed martial arts with parkour and tricking, she then furthered her training at Alonzo King LINES Ballet, BANDALOOP, and UC Berkeley.
She danced as a soloist with Peninsula Ballet Theater under the artistic direction of David Fonnegra, and performed in works by Copious Dance Theater’s Kat Roman, BrickaBrack Theater’s Gabriel Grilli, and Scott Wells & Dancers. She danced as a guest artist with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for Judith Jamison’s retirement tour and choreographed works under the direction of Joe Goode. For her excellence in dance scholarship and performance, she received the Julia Payne Dance scholarship in 2015. In Austin, Alyssa has danced with ARCOS Dance, Shakti Moves Dance Company, and Ventana Ballet; she is currently an aerialist with Blue Lapis Light, partner with Nana Ballet, and longtime collaborator with Camera Clay.
Alyssa spent the past 13 years teaching dance across the country in varying contexts, studying dancers' developments and understanding different educational modalities. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Dance & Performance Studies and Forensic Anthropology, using her pedagogical, anatomical, neurological, and osteological studies to further the integration of science and dance technique. With that, she has delved into the benefits of movement outside the dance world, working to get all humans moving for their physical and mental health. This includes her work with BLL's Youth Taking Flight - a collaboration with several of Austin's social service organizations to empower Austin's youth.
University of Texas - 2019, Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance, UTeach Dance
Victoria Murillo is a teaching artist from El Paso, Texas. A graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in Dance, she and received her teaching certification through the UTeach dance program.
She has been the Dance Director at Covington MS since 2019 and teaches ballet, jazz, contemporary, and the choreographic process for students all around the Austin community. As an educator, she believes that students should receive a well-rounded comprehensive dance education that includes elements of performing, creating, and responding to dance. Her goal is to develop artist citizens that will use the creativity they have cultivated in class to make a positive impact on their community and the world.
Raised in Austin, Texas, Isabella (Ms. Bella) trained in various styles at local studios and Ballet Austin Dance Academy, earning accolades at dance competitions. With over six years as a core company member at Diverse Space Dance Theatre, she gained exposure to international techniques like Limón and Graham while traveling through Europe. Isabella expanded her repertoire to include urban dance, African fusion, and street styles through training with renowned artists in Berlin and Amsterdam. As an alumna of Diverse Space Dance Theatre, she remains involved as a guest artist and performer. Isabella also danced with Paracosm Youth Artists, focusing on the Horton technique and choreography under Alyssa Johnson. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performance and Choreography with a minor in psychology at Texas State University, Isabella actively contributes to the Austin dance scene as a performer, teacher, and choreographer, specializing in contemporary, modern, ballet, hip-hop, and various dance styles and fusions.
Laura has been studying music in many forms and on many instruments since she can remember. She earned a B.A. in Philosophy and Music Performance from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She has since spent her years as a legal assistant and teaching music to children and adults back in Austin, her hometown. She began her studies in tap dance in 2015 at Tapestry Dance Company, and has been dancing ever since.