We invited 5th to 8th grade girls in the San Francisco area to join Gique and Synberc on Nov. 1st for an exciting day exploring science through dance choreography! This workshop was a collaboration with the Synthetic Dance-ology project which engages the public to learn synthetic biology through creative movement and dance. Girls will enjoy a keynote speech from Weidong Yang - Founder of Kinetech Arts, 2 dance choreography workshops, & a discussion session with local dancers who are also scientists!
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Guest Speaker & Choreographers:
Weidong Yang, Guest Speaker
Weidong Yang is a San Francisco based scientist, dancer and choreographer. He received his Ph.D in Physics and Master in Computer Science, was a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley researching quantum dots. He is the founder of Kinetech Arts, a collective of dancers, artists, engineers and, and Kineviz, with the mission of bringing wonder to data. As a dancer, he has performed with various dance companies including KUNST-STOFF and Paco Gomes.
Shaila Kotadia received her Ph.D. in Genetics and Development from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and conducted a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Santa Cruz where she began combining science and dance to teach students complex scientific concepts. At her current position as the education and outreach manager at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center (Synberc), Shaila co-founded Synthetic Dance-ology in collaboration with FACT/SF and Ahdanco dancer Amanda Whitehead. Read and watch more about Synthetic Dance-ology and other science and dance projects by Shaila.
Katharine Hawthorne is a San Francisco based dancer and choreographer who likes to watch thinking bodies in motion. She received early training through the Royal Academy in Singapore, and continued her studies at Ballet Arts Minnesota under Bonnie Mathis, the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance under Summer Lee Rhatigan, and with master Cunningham teacher Diane Frank. Katharine currently dances with Liss Fain Dance, and has previously appeared with Hope Mohr Dance, Sharp & Fine, Ledges and Bones, and James Sewell Ballet among others. She has presented her creative work widely in the San Francisco Bay Area, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, Brown University, Greece, Argentina, Montréal, and Italy. Hawthorne holds a B.S. in Physics and Dance, with honors, from Stanford University.
Helen Rankin completed her Ph.D. in genetics at Yale University, studying organ size control in the fruit fly wing. She is now a postdoctoral fellow at University of California, Berkeley studying the role of autism genes in brain development. A dancer since a young age, Helen was trained in Graham and Limon modern dance technique as well as classical ballet. Helen also loves performing in musical theater shows, studying jazz and tap when appropriate for roles. Dancing science is Helen's dream combination.
Ashli Davis is a Boston native who enjoys combining her love for dance with her passion for STEM. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from MIT in 2012 and now works as a Process Development Associate at the Broad Institute's Technology Development Lab in Cambridge, MA. She is also a choreographer and Zumba instructor in the Boston area. While at MIT, Ashli performed and competed with several hip-hop dance teams at MIT and throughout the Boston area.