Fountain Valley, CA

Company Dancer

Ellen Akashi, a native of Southern California, began studying dance at Southland Ballet Academy under the direction of Salwa Rizkalla. She has attended numerous dance programs including those of Axis Connect, BODYTRAFFIC, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LINES, and Springboard Danse Montréal. In 2013, Ellen received a BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University, where she performed an excerpt of Jiří Kylián's Falling Angels and a Merce Cunningham MinEvent. She furthered her modern dance training at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance's year-round program with director Summer Lee Rhatigan and artists Christian Burns, Tristan Ching, Alex Ketley, and Doug Letheren. Since returning to Southern California, Ellen has performed with the San Diego Opera in Nixon in China; Dave Keuning’s music video for “Ruptured”; and four seasons with LA-based Clairobscur Dance Company, founded by artistic director and resident choreographer Laurie Sefton. This is Ellen’s second season with Backhausdance.



This Partnering class will focus on the fundamentals of building trust, strength and support. We will explore the push and pull of a partnership and understand how to move together as one unit. During the duration of the intensive, we will start every class with strengthening exercises along with small improvisational exercises across the floor. Students will also be learning partnering phrases using the ideas and aesthetics behind the Backhausdance partnering techniques.

This class will examine varying approaches to teaching choreography based on the true methods of known professionals. Students will be able to experience the styles of a few different choreographers and the way they run a class or rehearsal, focusing on their methods of teaching movement as well as how they emphasize different aspects of dance. We will concentrate on the challenge of jumping into varying techniques to gain understanding of the mindset and versatility required to work in a repertoire company such as Backhausdance.