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Alyssa Johnson

Founder and artistic director of Paracosm Dance, Alyssa began her training with the Brockus Conservatory in LA where she was introduced to her movement foundations of Luigi Jazz and the Lester Horton Technique.  Integrating mixed martial arts with parkour and tricking, she then furthered her training at Alonzo King LINES Ballet and UC Berkeley.


She danced as a soloist with Peninsula Ballet Theater under the artistic direction of David Fonnegra, and performed in works by Copious Dance Theater’s Kat Roman, BrickaBrack Theater’s Gabriel Grilli, and Scott Wells & Dancers. She danced as a guest artist with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater for Judith Jamison’s retirement tour and choreographed works under the direction of Joe Goode. For her excellence in dance scholarship and performance, she received the Julia Payne Dance scholarship upon graduating from UCB. She now dances with the critically acclaimed Austin-based contemporary dance company, ARCOS Dance, Shakti Moves Dance Company, and Blue Lapis Light.

She is the dance consultant for Royal Misfit Studios.  



Alyssa spent the past 13 years teaching dance across the country in varying contexts, studying dancers' developments and understanding varied teaching methods. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in Dance & Performance Studies and Forensic Anthropology, using her pedagogical, anatomical, neurological, and osteological studies to further the integration of science and dance technique. With that, she has delved into the benefits of movement outside the dance world, working to get all humans moving for their physical and mental health. This includes her work with BLL's Youth Taking Flight - a collaboration with several of Austin's social service organizations to empower Austin's youth. 

Aída Hernandez Reyes
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Having always had a fascination with grooving, climbing, and moving her body, Aída began their dance training at nine years old, learning ballet at a few different local studios in the southwest Austin area. Throughout their middle school and high school years, they began expanding the variety of dance techniques and styles in which they trained. These included many different forms of contemporary and modern dance, hip hop, jazz, and the occasional dabbling in breakdancing, tricking, and aerial silks.


They have participated in summer intensive programs at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in New York, Alonzo King Lines Ballet in San Francisco, and a residency in Europe (Dublin, Berlin, and Prague) with Toni Bravo's Diverse Space Youth Dance Theater.


Aída considers themself an artist and a creative, having worked with a range of artistic mediums, from painting and printmaking to stage and video performance.


Aída graduated from the Paracosm YA company in the spring of 2020 and is now a student at the University of Texas. They are pursuing their Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts in the Theatre and Dance department. They are a part of the Paracosm company as an artist and a mentor for the Paracosm YA company! Yay!


They are interested in using dance and movement creation as catharsis and creating inclusive spaces for artists to explore. As a queer 5'0" multiracial Latinx dancer, they had their struggles growing up in the toxic and Eurocentric traditional ballet world. They now strive to reclaim their place in the dance world and discover how they can participate in creating dance spaces that are accepting and exciting for all bodies and identities

Nicole Whiteside

Nicole Whiteside loves dance! During her 13 years with Blue Lapis Light she has served as associate artistic director, performer, choreographer, rigger, and instructor. Her classical ballet training began at age 2 and blossomed into a life-long love of dance. She has studied at esteemed studios including Houston Ballet Academy, High School for Performing and Visual Arts, Austin School of Classical Ballet, and Marsha Woody Academy of Dance. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a BFA in Dance and has continued dancing in Austin with local companies, including Sharir+Bustamante Danceworks, Sheep Army/Elsewhere Dance Theater, Austin School of Classical Ballet, Cheryl Chaddick Dance Theater, and Little Stolen Moments.

She has received numerous awards from the Austin Critics Table including Best Dancer in 2007 and 2013 and Best Duet in 2008. The Austin Chronicle awarded Little Stolen Moments Best Dance Company in 2010 and Best Creative Use of Three Small Trampolines in 2007. For New Year’s, First Night commissioned her performance, Fabric of the Hour, a silks piece performed inside Austin City Hall. She was nominated Best Choreographer for her aerial choreography with ZACH Theatre’s Metamorphoses by the B. Iden Payne Awards. Nicole manages Blue Lapis Light’s studio where she teaches the art of aerial dance. She has performed aerial silks since 2005, studying with aerialists at New England Center for the Circus Arts, Air Dance Bernasconi, Aircat Aerial Arts, House of Yes, Liza Rose, and FALL. Nicole is driven by collaboration and is eternally grateful for the unique beauty in all people! 

Behnam Arzaghi

Behnam is a composer, violinist, and producer.  He started playing violin at the age of 6, making his solo debut with orchestra at the age of 13.  He started writing and performing his own compositions at the age of 12.  By 17 he had premiered his own violin concerto and had several symphonic works performed by the Austin Symphony.


He went on to study violin performance at the Colburn School conservatory, and violin and music composition at the University of Houston.


Behnam has composed for film, writing and mixing the music for “1 out of 30”.  As a musician in Austin, he has performed original solo works for violin and voice at Zach Theater, worked as a session musician for local artists, and teaches violin, composition, and music production privately.

Behnam also holds degrees in computer science and physics, is a yoga instructor, and a competitive youth team climbing coach.

Daniel Broxton

Daniel Broxton has been dancing since he was 8 years old. He started dancing professionally after graduating from High School.


He currently directs two dance teams, Dare To Dream Hip Hop Team, and New Genesis. Daniel has been an instructor for many studios in Austin and has choreographed for different shows, local artists, and videos.


Daniel thinks of himself as an artist first and a dancer second. His goal is to connect the Austin dance community and help provide more opportunities for dancers.

Mattias Alegro Marasigan
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Mattias is the owner/founder of Royal Misfit Studios, a video production company based out of Austin, TX. He started working with dancers in 2016, capturing performances and workshops, before moving on to creating films with or involving dance. One collaboration, Better Shape Up, was an official selection of Austin Dance Festival in 2019, and others have screened in classrooms for educational purposes throughout central Texas. With Paracosm he not only strives to pass on filmmaking knowledge and education garnered over the past decade, but also help document the vast creativity coming from these exceptional dancers. The goal is to create many dance films along with Alyssa and her students/members.


When he's not capturing dance on film, Mattias can be found pursuing content creation of all kinds in his spare time. Whether it's finally getting his podcast off the ground, making film behind-the-scenes videos for his YouTube channel, or writing his next big screenplay. He studied under Richard Robichaux for a 2-year Meisner Intensive for acting, and his various on-set experience, both in front of and behind the camera, along with over 15 years in the editing suite, has allowed him to work full time as a video producer bringing new stories to life. You can keep up with his exploits at OR collaborate with his company by visiting

Annie Hartkemeyer
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Annie has over five years of experience teaching yoga and various movement modalities. She worked for four years as a yoga therapist at a neurology practice, where she helped patients re-pattern neural pathways for muscle movement, rebuild their strength, and address chronic pain via meditation, breath techniques, yoga, and other physical and alignment-based work. She has extensive experience teaching pre and postnatal yoga, and considers it an honor to work with women during this incredibly special time in their lives. She is passionate about her work with veterans and those suffering from PTSD, and volunteer teaches regularly at veteran centers and domestic violence shelters across the five boroughs. Annie has taught movement, wellness, and yoga workshops in many corporate and hospitality environments including Condé Nast, Misha Nonoo, the Shimano Bikes pop up store, the Park Avenue Hyatt, Lloyd's Banking Group, the United Nations (where she teaches regularly), and many more. 

Annie has a private practice in Brooklyn, and offers in-home yoga, yoga therapy, rehabilitative movement, and healing sessions. These one-on-one sessions are extremely focused on whatever the individual needs, and she takes great joy in helping clients discover their ability to heal themselves. Her clients range in experience levels and profession -- everyone from students to marathon runners to CEOs to Grammy Award winners.  

Annie is also a professional actor and studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where she is now on faculty in the movement department.

See more of her work (and take some classes!) at

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