Introducing New Faces

AXIS Dance Company is proud to present our Fall 2016 dancers! Our new dancers join us after participating in a competitive two-day-long audition and 10-day Summer Intensive. Seasoned AXIS dancers Dwayne Scheuneman and Julie Crothers will also return this Fall alongside apprentice dancer Carina Ho. We are also happy to announce our new Rehearsal Director, Gregory Dorado.

Now in their fourth week of rehearsal, our dancers are working hard to prepare for our Rotunda Series Performance, Dance Access Days, and a three-week tour. Don’t forget to stay in touch to know all the details of our events!

Top row, left to right: Lani Dickinson, Kai Hazelwood, Gregory Dorado, James Bowen Bottom row, left to right: Dwayne Scheuneman, Julie Crothers, Liv Schaffer, Carina Ho

Top row, left to right: Lani Dickinson, Kai Hazelwood, Gregory Dorado, James Bowen
Bottom row, left to right: Dwayne Scheuneman, Julie Crothers, Liv Schaffer, Carina Ho

Get to know our new faces…

Gregory Dorado, Rehearsal Director


Gregory is a dancer, choreographer, actor, writer and director. His work investigates universal human experience, community engagement and his own identity as a queer artist of color. He is a firm believer that every body has a story to tell and its own unique language with which to tell it. Play and pleasure guide his approach to technique for movers of all shapes, sizes, abilities and cultures.

“Every day that I get to spend with the company members and artistic staff at AXIS has been an opportunity to expand my knowledge as a teacher, a working artist and as an advocate.”


James M. Bowen, Company Dancer

Originally from Dallas, TX, James began his dance training at Kansas State University. He was part of Dallas Black Dance Theater as well as HappyNia Dance Theater. In 2012, James moved to Los Angeles and joined the contemporary dance company “Inked”. Upon his relocation to the Bay in 2014, he has been part of numerous dance projects such as the online TV show “Steady Mobbin”.

“Part of my excitement to be part of AXIS comes from knowing that I will be sharing the stage with dancers that may have different physical abilities, but all share the same goal of showing how powerful dance can be”.


Kai Hazelwood, Company Dancer

Kai is a dancer, choreographer, and educator. Her training includes the San Francisco Ballet School, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey, and the Kirov Ballet. After working with the Oakland Ballet Company Kai relocated to Los Angeles and received her BFA in Dance from UCLA. She has worked in Los Angeles, Europe, and beyond.

“I’m excited to learn a lot about integrated/accessible dance, and to create strong collaborative relationships with my fellow company members.”

Alivia Schaffer, Company Dancer

“Joining AXIS, I am excited to represent a group of movers that offers points of entry to an expansive community, and challenge my own dance concepts […]”.

Liv, a multidisciplinary artist from Chicago, received her BFA from Dominican University of California with Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program in 2013. Liv spent the 2013-2015 seasons dancing with DanceWorks Chicago, and has since worked as a choreographer and teaching artist nationwide. Live joined AXIS Dance Company in 2016.

“[…] I’m working within to remember we are hearts, souls, and spirits, working in these bodies.” 

Lani Dickinson, Company Dancer

“[…] Due to my classical ballet training I carry my differences with grace. In the arena of various bodies, backgrounds, and personalities I think change is nothing to fear.”

Lani was born and adopted from China. Recently, she graduated with a degree in dance from the Alonzo King LINES Ballet BFA Program. Lani is a 2015 Princess Grace Award winner. She has trained with the LINES faculty, San Francisco Conservatory instructors, and guest artists including Sidra Bell, and Eric Beauchesne. Lani professionally dances for former ODC Dance Company members Yayoi Kambara and Robert Dekkers, separately.

“I am excited to re-invigorate the conversation using dance as our common language. Staying true to the social model of disability I hope to lessen that penumbra of spatial apprehension between disabled and non-disabled people. Because, I think observing somebody engaged in the essence translates into something beautiful.”