Windward Dance Company is an advanced rep performance group selected by audition. Through a series of short-term residencies with some of the most accomplished artists in the business today, students maintain a strong technical foundation and create and perform commissioned choreographic works.
Brendan Evans began training at the Los Angeles High School for the Arts in high school where he received an honorable mention and merit scholarship for Modern Dance from Youngarts. Brendan is now a senior at the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance under the direction of Vice Dean Jodie Gates and William Forsythe.
During his time at USC, Brendan has performed works by Crystal Pite, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylián, Barak Marshall, Paul Taylor, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, and Sonya Tayeh. Brendan furthered his training at Nederlans Dans Theater Summer Intensive, Springboard Dans Montreal, and the Contemporary Program at the School at Jacob’s Pillow.
During this time, he learned and performed works by Ohad Naharin, Fernando Melo, Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, Cayetono Soto, Didy Veldman, and Ronald K Brown. Brendan’s choreography has been performed at New York Live Arts in 2019. Additionally, Brendan has performed at the Los Angeles Art Show and the Music and More Music Festival in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Originally from the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Yusha Marie Sorzano received her primary instruction from New World School of the Arts, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet, and The Dance Theater of Harlem. In her senior year she received an award for outstanding choreography from New World School of the Arts, as well as an award in dance from the National Young Arts Foundation. She went on to attend the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program and in her junior year was invited to join Ailey II. Ms. Sorzano has been a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Morphoses, TU Dance, BODYTRAFFIC, and Camille A. Brown and Dancers. She has also performed as a guest artist with Benjamin Millepied’s LA Dance Project. Ms. Sorzano has performed in principal roles with the Ailey company and in a wide variety of concert works, including noted choreographers Dianne McIntyre, Ulysses Dove, Maurice Béjart, Hofesh Shechter, Kyle Abraham, and Mauro Bigonzetti. Additionally, she has performed alongside recording artists Wynton Marsalis, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Rihanna. Her theater, television, and film credits include being a guest artist on “Dancing with the Stars,” principal dancer in Chicago’s acclaimed Goodman Theater’s “Crowns,” and principal dancer in the independent film “You, Me & The Circus.”
Deeply passionate about the powerful role that educators play in the lives of young artists, Ms. Sorzano enjoys teaching both nationally and internationally. From Trinidad to the United States and beyond, Ms. Sorzano has had the pleasure of teaching at esteemed educational institutions and festivals around the world, including the Ailey School, Lines Ballet/Dominican Universities BFA Program, Contemporary Choreographers’ Collective, New World School of the Arts, The Windward School, Brasil’s Mostra Danca, and Italy’s Danzainfiera. Ms. Sorzano’s efforts have led her to extraordinary programs such as, Francisco Gella Dance
Works, where she acts as an Associate Director; and NYC’s Joffrey Ballet School, where she is a master faculty member. In addition, she frequently serves as an adjudicator for National Organizations in the U.S. that support the arts.
As a choreographer, Ms. Sorzano has created works for Salt Lake City’s New Century Dance Project, The Joffrey Ballet School’s New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas programs, and Los Angeles’s Windward School. Ms. Sorzano was a part of the creative team for NBC’S “Jesus Christ Superstar,” acting as a movement consultant to John Legend and curating promotional material for the live event. She is the recipient the Alvin Ailey Foundation’s 2018 “New Directions Choreography Lab, and was most recently commissioned by the Santa Barbara Dance Theater to create a new work, which premiered in January of 2019.
Ms. Sorzano currently serves as the Artistic Director of the Joffrey Ballet Schools Dallas summer intensive and as an Associate Director for Program Development with Francisco Gella Dance Works.