AVATÂRA AYUSO is the Founder and Director of AWA DANCE. She is a choreographer, the Artistic Director of AVA DANCE COMPANY, a cultural leader and activist in the dance world. Her work has taken her around the world, collaborating with many artists and organisations from Asia, Africa, Europe, North and South America. These international experiences made her aware of the inequality that women face in the workforce in general, and in the dance sector in particular, where despite girls outnumbering boys in training and professional contexts, women are not taught to be leaders, but rather to follow the patriarchal structures in place.
Her belief in the power of dance to change and enrich lives, her commitment to create opportunities for the female voice to be heard, and her immense admiration for women inspired Avatâra in her mission to empower the women and girls of the world. AWA DANCE is her contribution to making the 21st century world a better place for everyone.
Asma Hussain (she/her) is a fundraising professional with over 10 years of experience of securing major gifts for the arts and charity sectors. Her skills cut across trusts and foundations, individual giving, events and corporate fundraising. Her previous roles in the arts include Trusts & Foundations Manager at the Royal Opera House, and Development Manager at Theatre Royal Stratford East. Most recently, she was Head of Fundraising at a national social change charity, Campaign Bootcamp. Asma joined AWA DANCE as Chair of the Board as part of her ongoing commitment to championing women - all women - in leadership roles in the arts and beyond. She is especially proud of the organisation's commitment to subverting what leadership looks and feels like in the 21st century. In addition to AWA DANCE, Asma is also a trustee of Paines Plough and Chair of its Development Committee, and trustee of A New Direction. Asma was formerly Trustee of Queen's Theatre Hornchurch and Chair of its first Fundraising Board.
Andrew Hurst is Chief Executive of One Dance UK, the national support organisation for dance in the UK. He is proud to be the Chairman of Company Chameleon, a non-Executive Director of Dance Consortium, and a trustee for AWA DANCE given his commitment to both the transformative power of dance, and the importance of personal and professional development.
He is currently completing the MBA for Senior Leaders in Arts & Culture, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours list 2020 for ‘services to Dance, particularly during the Covid-19 Response’.
Monique Springer has over 9 years of marketing expertise within the arts and charity sector. Her experience includes traditional marketing and sales, as well as digital marketing and social media. Monique is currently the Marketing Executive at the International Rescue Committee working towards helping people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and rebuild, having previously worked at the British Heart Foundation.
Having started out in Theatre marketing, Monique cares deeply about the arts and how it allows others to engage and experience new cultures. And is proud to be working with a AWA DANCE, whose mission is to empower women and girls through dance.
Tracy Rose Kpemou graduated from Southampton Solent University with a BSc (Hons) Business Economics and have worked across various industries, building up my accounting and excel skills - working in both the private and public sector she has a wide range of experience in financial management. From charities to Corporate, implementation of financial business strategic planning has been at the forefront of every business' success in which she has been the lead. This includes being involved forecasting, budgeting, and reporting to the board of directors. With extensive experience in accounts auditing the accuracy and analytical ability to ensure a business is doing well in the short and long term. She is proud to be part of AWA DANCE and help it grow in its next stages.
Rosa Maria Cisneros is a dancer and choreographer, Dance Historian and Critic, Roma Scholar, Sociologist, Flamenco Historian and Peace Activist who graduated from UW-Madison and went on to complete her Master’s in Dance History and Criticism from UNM-Albuquerque (USA). Her PhD is in Sociology with a focus on Roma women, intersectionality, dialogic feminism and communicative methodologies. She has lived and danced in various parts of the world and collaborated with many Flamenco greats and other leaders in the Dance field. She has taught throughout Europe and the US at places like UW-Madison, UIUC, Boston Conservatory, Brown University and at various other places in Germany, Spain and Turkey. She is a dance writer who makes regular contributions to Bachtrack Magazine and Flamenco News having also danced with Protein Dance Company in the UK. At the moment she is a Research fellow at Coventry University’s Centre for Dance Research based in the UK. Rosamaria collaborates closely with the University of Barcelona’s Centre for Research on Theories and Practices for Overcoming Inequalities (CREA). She is also a co-editor of various academic journals including Embodied Practices and International Journal of Romani Studies as well as being in the editorial focus group for OneDance UK’s HOTFOOT Online Magazine.