Ellen Akashi began her training at Southland Ballet Academy under Salwa Rizkalla where performed with their studio company, Festival Ballet Theatre and guest artists Irina Dvorovenko, Maxim Beloserkovsky, Jennifer Tinger and Carla Korbes. She has attended summer programs with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, LINES Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Springboard Danse Montreal, Axis Connect and BODYTRAFFIC. Ellen received her BFA in Dance Performance from Chapman University where she performed in original works by Jiri Kylian 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, Fuse Dance Company and Backhaus Dance. This is Ellen's third season with Clairobscur.
Samantha Blaz was born and raised in San Jose, California. Her early training was with Cheryl Copeland's pre-professional company and work with such choreographers as Cindy Salgado and Shaneeka Harell. Sam received her BA in Dance from Loyola Marymount University where she worked and train with Rosalynde LeBlanc, Cherice Barton and Lillian Barbieto. She has completed summer programs with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and the Bill T Jone/Arnie Zane Company. Sam has had the opportunity to learn repertorie of Alejandro Cerrudo, Nachu Duato, Hofesh Shechter, Crystal Pite. In 2016 Samantha was featured in Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane's work "D-Man in the Waters, Part 1," and in the documentary "D-Man," which shares the story of the making of the origial work. Sam joined Clairobscur in 2017.
Khristina Cayetano was born and raised in New York City. She has performed in industrials for Reebok, Britney Spears, and Andre 3000 of Outcast. In 2012 she choreographed Prince’s Welcome to Australia Tour and was on faculty at Peridance Capezio Center and Broadway Dance Center. Khristina relocated to California in 2015 and completed the two-year training program at Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco. While at Lines she apprenticed for Sidra Bell and performed works for Maurya Kerr, Greg Dawson, Uri Sands, Erik Wagner, Arturo Fernandez and Shannon Gillon. In 2016, Khristina had the pleasure of performing with Beyonce at the Video Music Awards and attending New York Fashion Week. Khristina joined Clairobscur in the fall of 2017.
Jessica Gadzinski is originally from Riverside, California where she began dancing at the age of three. At the age of ten she turned her focus to classical ballet, training under Glenda Carhart, Kathleen Riker and David Allan at Riverside Ballet Arts. In 2006 she moved across the country to study under Marcia Del Weary, Leslie Hench, Laszlo Berdo and Darla Hoover at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Jessica received additional training and performing experience at Carolina Ballet, Ballet Academy East and the Richmond Ballet, performing soloist roles. Jessica has taught at the Eglevsky Ballet and has danced at the MTV Video Music Awards for the artists Iggy Azalea and Rita Ora. While attending Ballet Academy East Jessica interned at Pointe Magazine in New York City and wrote for their online blog at Pointemagazine.com.