Staycee Pearl is the co-artistic director of PearlArts Studios and STAYCEE PEARL dance project, where she creates artful experiences through dance-centered multimedia works in collaboration with her husband and artistic collaborator, Herman Pearl. Staycee received her initial dance training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. In 2010, STAYCEE PEARL dance project (SPdp) debuted at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater, and served as resident dance company for the theater for three years. Staycee and husband/creative partner Herman Pearl proudly opened their dance/art/sound space, PearlArts Studios, in April of 2012. Since then the duo has produced several works including ..on being..., OCTAVIA, and FLOWERZ. Staycee is passionate about sharing resources and creating opportunities for the arts community by initiating project-generating programs including the Charrette Series, the In The Studio Series, and the PearlDiving Movement Residency
Herman Pearl (Soy Sos)
Co-executive Director/ Sound Designer
Herman Pearl (Soy Sos) is the head engineer and owner of Tuff Sound Recording, as well as the sound designer and co-founder of PearlArts Studios. Through PearlArts, Herman creates soundscapes to serve as a component to contemporary dance. As a sound designer, Herman’s repertoire includes a wide variety of projects and collaborators. His work has been featured in various independent films and documentaries, video games, and advertising. He has designed soundscapes for numerous choreographers. He has collaborated with many visual artists to create installations and touring exhibits. He has recorded and produced work for a plethora of recording artists across genres and techniques. Herman has performed, created, and recorded his own music for over 25 years.
Jessica Anne Marino
SPdp&SS Dancer/Company Manager
Jessica Anne Marino (B.A. Dance, Point Park University) is a Pittsburgh based arts administrator, educator, and performing artist. Jessica is the Co-Director of Lehigh Valley Dance Exchange and SpringUP Dance Festival. After 5 years as artist manager with River City Artists Management, in 2017 Marino founded JAMpress Management, a brand which provides support services for the performing arts industry with a focus on dance. Marino is a collaborator with STAYCEE PEARL dance project, Shana Simmons Dance, and active freelance dancer. Jessica is also an adjunct faculty at University of Pittsburgh and on the creative team for Center for Theater Arts.
LaTrea Rembert is a Pittsburgh artist who has worked with the STAYCEE PEARL dance project for the past three seasons. Originally from Cincinnati, LaTrea is a graduate of Point Park University where he obtained his B.A. in Theater Arts while minoring in dance. LaTrea has worked with several theater companies such as The REP, City Theater, Pittsburgh Playwrights and Pittsburgh Musical Theater, where he is also a musical theater jazz dance teacher for the conservatory. He has had the opportunity to work with Anthony Williams (Loving Black), Attack Theatre and The Opera Theater of Pittsburgh.
Kitoko Chargois Communications & Administrative Director
Kitoko Chargois is a Pittsburgh-based arts administrator and photographer. She is a graduate of Chatham University where she studied journalism and photography. Since graduating in 2014, she has been involved in a variety of pursuits from interning at news organizations such as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and 1839 Magazine to photographing beautiful people and products to working as a project coordinator on a large installation photo project.
Ally Tayag Ricarte
Production Manager Marketing Associate Director of Education
Ally Tayag Ricarte is a Pittsburgh-based arts manager. She’s managed various dance, theater, youth art programs and community outreach initiatives in Pittsburgh and New York City.
Ally has stage managed productions with STAYCEE PEARL dance project & Soy Sos, Maree ReMalia, Dreams of Hope, the PearlDiving Movement Residency, the New Hazlett Theater CSA Residency, folkLAB, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Quantum Theater, and New York City Children’s Theater. When she’s not calling cues, she has created artistic opportunities for youth as an administrator and instructor through the PearlArts extensions school programs, Pittsburgh Trust Arts Education and Jumping Jack Theater. Additionally, Ally collaborates with artists on media design, event cross-promotion, and house management.
Genna Styles helped implement the assessment for the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards for Dance with SPdp. Genna completed her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, Magna Cum Laude, with a concentration on arts education integration. A graduate of Point Park University with an Acting BFA and Musical theatre minor, she has performed regionally and nationally as a Actor, Singer, Dancer, receiving Onyx awards for musicals and plays. She has also worked with HDAT (Hill Dance Academy theatre) as a theatre teaching arts and ATC (Alumni Theatre Company) as a choreographer. She also represented the U.S. in Holland for a theatre exchange program. Genna is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is also a member of Kappa Delta Pi honors fraternity for educators. Ms. Styles is also a proud member of Actor's Equity Association.
Kontara Morphis Education Program Manager
Kontara Morphis is a native of Pittsburgh, PA. She is a resilient visionary who has an undying passion for arts. Kontara is the Artistic Director of K-Theatre Dance Complex, a Dance Academy that provides high quality dance instruction in several major areas of dance, which include Ballet, Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop and Tap. The Academy’s curriculum also incorporates Dance Theory, Terminology and Dance Theater. KTDC has largely impacted the physical, academic, creative and personal development of its’ students.
Kontara began her training at Rogers Middle School and the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA), where she studied ballet, jazz, tap and modern dance technique. Kontara has trained and studied under Instructors and Dancers from The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, Philadanco Dance Company, Jacob’s Pillow and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, to name a few. Kontara also danced professionally as a second company member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton Ohio.
Kontara has led choreographic works for The Kelly Strayhorn Theater, The Dance Alloy, Propel Schools, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, The University of Dayton, Wright State University, and a host of Churches, Dance Schools, Weddings, Cotillions, Galas and more. Currently, Kontara serves as the Assistant Artistic Director of REED Dance in Pittsburgh, PA. Most recently, Kontara was Awarded the Remake Learning Arts Grant through the Grable Foundation. She was also Awarded the Transformative Teaching Artist Award through Heinz Endowment and New Sun Rising.
Arnita Thompson Teaching Artist
Arnita Thompson is a 23 year old Pittsburgh native. While growing up in Penn Hills she gravitated toward the arts and performing. She was a dancer, cheerleader, band dancer, show choir and musical member. During this time she held positions as cheer and dance captain. Early on she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the arts. While studying at Clarion University of Pennsylvania she continued to be a cheerleader while also performing in the spring dance concerts and university fashion shows. She held captain positions during this time. She also worked near campus teaching dance at Clarion Center for the Arts. Leadership comes easy to Arnita and she uses it to create confidence in others. At Clarion University she created a class for women on campus called “Heelography”. “Heelography” is a dance and fitness class in heels. She teaches a short dance and gives tips on how to walk in heels and feel empowered and beautiful. She saw a need for women on campus to come together and have an outlet to have fun. She has since brought the classes to Pittsburgh. Since graduation in May 2019, Arnita became a teaching artist with Pearlarts Studios and is onboard for the fall 2019 and spring 2020 partnership with Propel Schools. Arnita is an aspiring model and in her downtime she does photo shoots and fashion shows in the Pittsburgh area. Her hobbies include painting, yoga & fitness, reading, and binge watching shows. Arnita is beyond excited to see what this year has in store and is keeping in mind one of her favorite quotes from Maya Angelou. “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”
Andre Rand-Mathis Teaching Artist
Choreographer, dancer, and educator Andre Rand-Mathis was born and raised in the city of Pittsburgh. Andre has choreographed for several musical productions, which have won Gene Kelly Awards for Best Choreography for three years in a row. Even though Andre started his dance training at a late age, he is certainly a force to be reckoned with for his generation and future generations to come. Since hitting the dance scene a little over 8 years ago, Andre has had the opportunity to work with some amazing artists such as Greer Reed, Staycee Pearl, Kontara Morphis, and Anthony Williams. Mr. Rand is highly regarded as a future leader in Hip Hop and Contemporary Dance. Having been sought after by several local Pittsburgh dance companies, Andre has begun to stretch his choreographic wings on a national level.
Ariel Xiu Teaching Artist
Ariel Pang is a multidisciplinary performing and visual artist who makes work under the stage name Ariel Xiu. Ariel is a graduate of Lehman College where she obtained her B.F.A. in Multimedia Performance. Her practice includes acting and dancing for film and theatre, as well as creating experimental performance experiences, sculptures, videos, paintings, collage, and holography. Most recently, Ariel had the opportunity to perform at the Alloy Studio Theatre as part of a new programming series called EcoTone. As an actor and dancer, she’s worked with companies and artists including Brunch Theatre (NYC), Vangeline Butoh Theatre (NYC), Lauren Zadle, Marguerite Hemmings, Jesse Pritchard, and Virginia Grise. In March, she wrapped a shoot with Chi Productions’ short film “Black Ghost Son.” Over the years, she has shown and performed independent works at the Greenpoint Gallery (Brooklyn), Living Gallery (Brooklyn), and HodgePodge (Pittsburgh). Currently, by appointment, you can check out two of her holographic pieces on display in the Big Room at GPAC as part of the exhibition series, Art on the Walls, "We Are Here: Asian Paciﬁc Islander American Artists in Pittsburgh."