Aphyna began her dance training in ballet, jazz, hip hop and contemporary when she was 13 years old and was transformed by the power and joy she discovered in expressing herself through movement. As a very shy child the discovery of dance gave Aphyna an outlet for expression, which fed her soul. She continued her performance training throughout college where she also discovered her love of burlesque dance. Aphyna’s passion for travel led her to explore movement art across the globe. She began performing professionally in Amman, Jordan and Beirut, Lebanon in 2013. She immersed herself in Butoh in Barcelona and attributes her emerging artistic style to all of these experiences. Her soul searching eventually brought her back to Portland to study aerial arts at Awol where she completed the FlyCo training program in 2018 and was invited to be an apprentice for the company. For Aphyna, dancing in the air feels like the most exquisite embodiment of freedom and strength.
Rochelle Kwasniewski, Apprentice
Rochelle Kwasniewski is originally from Arvada, CO. She found her love of dance by choreographing silly routines with her gal pals who lived next door. Lucky for Rochelle her neighbors offered her a carpool to Rocky Mountain School of Dance. While growing up her love for dance evolved. She found herself tap dancing her away into her high school musical, Anything Goes. Which lead her to study dance and musical theatre in college. Rochelle graduated from Casper College with an Associates in Dance. She studied dance and musical theatre at Columbia College in Chicago for a year. Then graduated from Colorado Mesa University with her Bachelor of Arts in dance and music theatre. Following her interests in film and travel she moved to LA to pursue dance and acting. Her hunger for travel and dance was yet to be satisfied and lead her to Portland. This past year she trained in aerial dance with Awol Dance Collective pre professional program FlyCo. Rochelle is happy to announce her first year apprenticeship with A-WOL Dance Collective.
Kelsey Humfeld, Guest Artist
Kelsey began her dance career 15 years ago with Allegro Dance Studio in Canby, OR where she explored numerous avenues of dance. In 2006, Kelsey had the opportunity to perform with the Moscow Ballet in their performance of Cinderella. After high school Kelsey, became a founder of A-WOL's preprofessional company, the A-WOL Aeros. Kelsey was offered an apprenticeship with the Collective in 2011 and became a company member in 2013. As a company member Kelsey has performed in many productions and continues to offer a unique and creative perspective to the A-WOL Dance Collective.
Sara Parker, Guest Artist
Sara Parker is a dance artist who currently resides in Portland, OR. She holds an MFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (2015) where she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a recipient of the Dee Winterton Award (2015). Additionally, she holds a B.S. in Dance from the University of Oregon in Eugene, OR (2009).
Sara’s teaching practice is far reaching and includes students at AWOL Dance Collective, BodyVox Dance, BodyVox Junior Artist Generator Program, Portland Community College, Oregon Ballet Theater, Northwest Professional Dance Project, Oregon State University, Conduit Dance Inc, and The University of Utah. She is also a certified yoga instructor and teaches yoga at Yoga Pearl. Her choreographic work has appeared at On The Boards (WA), BodyVox Dance Center (OR), The Brunish (OR), The Armory (OR), Lincoln Performance Hall (OR), Conduit Dance Inc. (OR), Portland Community College (OR), Portland State University (OR), The Headwaters Theatre (OR), Northwest Dance Project Studio and Performance Center (OR), The Hult Center (OR), Mariott Center for Dance (UT), Mudson (UT), and the Ladies Literary Club (UT).
Marisa Joan, Apprentice
Marisa is originally from Austin, Texas and began her love affair with movement arts at the age of 6. She started ballet classes and continued adding more styles to her repertoire including ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and hip hop. She joined Austin's Dance Elite and spent 10 years on the youth competitive dance company. After leaving the competitive dance world she turned to yoga as a way to rehab her body and tune inwards. She received her 300hr ytt from Svasya and her aerial ytt from Levity Aerial Arts. From there, she progressed into other forms of movement arts including fire dance, acroyoga, pole dance and of course, aerial. Marisa found A-WOL shortly after moving to Portland and joined Flyco training company for the 2018-2019 season. In her free time Marisa enjoys taking her dog on hikes, creating clothes and costumes and hanging with her plants and crystals.
Ashley Nelson, Guest Artist
Ashley began her training with A-WOL back in 2010 and hasn't looked back since! While her first aerial art form started in 2006 with pole, she has since expanded her aerial vocabulary to include a wide array of apparatus. She performed with the Ecdysiast Pole Dance Company from 2013-2015, playing Alice in "Alice in Wonderland" in their Fall 2014 production. She started with A-WOL's FlyCo training company in 2012, became a Company Apprentice in 2013, and was thrilled to accept a Company Dancer position in 2015. Ashley enjoys the challenge of aerial dance, as well as the immense trust and respect shared by company members for their fellow dancer.