Ellen Akashi began her training at Southland Ballet Academy under Salwa Rizkalla where she perfomed with the studio company Festival Ballet Theatre and guest artists Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Jennifer Ringer, and Carla Korbes.  She attended summer programs with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Springboard Danse Montréal, and BODYTRAFFIC.  Ellen received her BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University where she performed in original works by students and faculty, Jiří Kylián's and Merce Cunningham. After graduation Ellen attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance's year-round program.  She has performed with the San Diego Opera and has recently filmed a music video for Skylar Spence.  Ellen performs with Backhaus Dance and Clairobscur.  This is Ellen’s fourth season.


Camila Arana is Cuban-American dancer and choreographer born and raised in Miami, FL. Camila graduated with honors from New World School of the Arts/ University of Florida with a BFA in Dance Performance.  She has performed works by Robert Battle, Gerard Ebitz, Lara Murphy, and Ana Gonzalez. Camila has also, performed showings with Sidra Bell Dance New York, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and at the American Dance Festival in 2015. This is Camila’s second season with Clairobscur.

Leah Hamel is originally from Los Angeles, California, she began dance studies at California Dance Theatre continuing on to The Juilliard School under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. She has studied with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and  had the privilege of performing works by Sharon Eyal, Alex Ketley, Spencer Gavin Hering, Ohad Naharin, Robert Moses, Camille A. Brown, and Malinda LaVelle. She has been a company member with Project 21 Dance, Brockus RED, Kelly Alvarez and Artists, Mixed eMotion Theatrix, C.Eule Dance, and thrilled to be dancing for Clairobscur Dance. This her first season.

Haylee Nichele was raised on the West coast of Canada and received her early training at the Art Umbrella (Vancouver, BC) before continuing on to The Juilliard School. Since her graduation in 2011, Haylee has been working as a freelance dancer in NYC and Los Angeles. In NYC she has worked for Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More as Lady MacDuff, Third Rail Projects, Then She Fell as Alice, Adam Barruch’s Sweeney Todd, Brian Brooks Moving Company, Kare Watson-Wallace and the Met Opera. In LA she has danced for Bodytraffic, Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, Janet roston and Grace Phelan. She has also served as adjunt faculty at LMU. Haylee is thrilled to be sharing this wild ride with Clariobscur!

Dominique McDougal is a native of Lakeland, Florida.  He began his training at Florida Dance Theatre in 2005 becoming a trainee with their professional company in 2008. He moved to Philadelphia and joined Smoke, Lilies and Jade under Zane Booker. After 2 seasons he received a full scholarship to study at the Alonzo King LINES Ballet training program. Throughout his dance experience Dominique has collaborated and danced for artists including Earl Mosley, Brigette Dunn-Korpela, Ferdinand DeJesus, Carol Krajacic-Erkes, Lennie Meek (re-staging Lar Lubovich Concerto 622), Norbert De La Cruz III, James Sewell, Amanda Miller, Gregory Dawson, Alonzo King, Sidra Bell, Renee Redding Jones, Kevin Wynn, and Yuri Zhukov.

Thomas O’Neal earned his bachelors of fine arts in dance from Cornish College of the Arts under the direction of Kitty Daniels and Victoria Watts.  He has had the honor of performing work by Iyun Harrison, Deb Wolf, Sidra Bell and Marlo Martin.  He spent three years with Ashani Dances in Seattle.  This is Thomas’ first season with Clairobscur Dance.