Meet The Artists
We know that it is the people in our lives that help us be our best selves. The following bios are written by people that love us and know us better than we would like to admit. Enjoy!
Franki Graham, co-artistic director
As told by husband Dan:
Franki dances a lot, some people might say she dances too much, but this writer is not "some people." From an early age Franki has been a performer, appearing in enough dances that to this day she still regularly hears previously unnoticed music on the radio and casually comments "I did a dance to this song" (the current count is somewhere in the 90s). It doesn't have anything to do with dance, but people should know Franki was crowned Miss Frederick 2009. Following high school, Franki went to UMBC, where she learned stuff about the world and dance or whatever, BUT, more importantly she also met a dorky guy who would one day become her husband. Her studies took her abroad to London where she lived and danced for a year-long study abroad experience, and where she gladly returned to join a Masters Program. She performed throughout Europe while working on her Masters and worked as a librarian briefly. Although she spent two full years out of the country, not even the Atlantic Ocean could lessen the warm and fuzzy feelings between her and her-soon-to-be-hubby. After Franki returned, she married that dork she met in college, and promptly joined a handful of dance companies in the Baltimore/DC area. Her desire to engage people with kick-ass art led her and her bff, Jeanna, to form LucidBeings Dance. Franki can be seen performing all over the place with a bunch of companies, and every night in our kitchen. Beyond her fondness for dance, Franki is a master-class pun-maker, neat-freak, and coffee-addict. She currently lives with her strikingly handsome husband and their seven house plants in Columbia.
Franki's "other" credentials:
M.A. Dance Performance, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance- Leverhulme Scholar
B.A. Dance, University of Maryland Baltimore County- Linehan Artists Scholar
K-12 Maryland Teaching Certification
Currently Dance Faculty for: The Peabody Preparatory of the John's Hopkins Institute- Coordinator for Contemporary Dance, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County- Adjunct Professor
Perviously Dance Faculty for: The Anne Arundel County Public Schools Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program, and Kinetics Dance Theatre- Apprentice Company Director
Currently Performs with: RebollarDance (D.C.), Baltimore Dance Project (Baltimore, MD) and LucidBeings Dance (Baltimore, MD)
Previously Performed with: Transitions Dance Company (London, UK), Deep Vision Dance Company (Towson, MD), and Kinetics Dance Theatre Professional Company (Ellicott City, MD)
Jeanna Riscigno, co-artistic director
As told by sister Sophs:
Jeanna Riscigno can be described as a tree in a human’s body. From the time she first sprouted into a twig she has reached toward the sun and not a cloud in the sky has stood in her way. A passion for movement and expression, mixed with an insatiable itch to travel, have carried her around the world. From her roots in Maryland all the way to New York, Germany, California, the middle of the ocean and back- where ever there is earth to dance on Jeanna is certain to dig her feet in. Jeanna’s branches are far reaching and ever expanding. She worked as a Behavioral Therapist with children and young adults on the Autism spectrum for over ten years. The experiences she had with these individuals were uniquely challenging, invaluable, and would continue to impact her life for years. She finds inspiration in anything from a patch of moss to a friend’s philosophy on life. Those close to Jeanna know these things to be true: you can find her wearing excessive earth-tones, snuggling with her dog Dexter, listening to early 2000’s R&B and if you dig deep enough you’ll find a picture of her winning the crown as Miss Frederick 2007. While she may not live her life rooted in only one place, she remains grounded in her pursuit to find beauty and connection between all living beings on our great planet and LucidBeings is just one way to share this with the world.
Jeanna's "other" credentials:
B.F.A Dance Performance, Towson University
Autism Movement Therapy Certified
Company Director for Frederick County’s YMCA Dance Company
Rehearsal Director for 24/7 Dance Studio’s Boys Krew
Previously Performed with: Deep Vision Dance Company (2011, 2016-2018), Kybele Dance Theater (2011, 2012), Disney Cruise Line (2012), DanceArt (2013-2015), Alternative Dance Project (2015-2017), The Collective (2016), Kinetics Dance Theatre (2016-2018)
Shianne Antoine, dancer
As told by fiance D'Sean:
Shianne Antoine is not afraid to milly-rock on any block. This fearlessness was cultivated from the tender age of 3 when she decided that she wanted to be the very best like no one ever was. Dance was her real test, and intense training was her cause. Shianne danced with various studios across the land during her school age years. After searching far and wide, she later decided to study dance at Mercy High School. It was at Mercy where she learned to understand the power of movement that was inside. Not to get us too far off track from the Pokemon theme, but it’s worth mentioning that it was also during high school when she met her incredible dance partner and backup singer. Some say he sounds like a mix of John Legend and Trey Songz. Anywho, back to the topic. After a Lebron-esque decision process, Shianne decided to take her talents to York Road to attend Towson University. Upon receiving her degree, Shianne looked at it intently and mouthed, “it’s you and me. I know it’s my destiny.” I remember witnessing the encounter and heartily chuckling before I released a heavy sigh and said, “oh you’re my best friend, in a world we must defend.” Shianne went on to perform in Baltimore, New York, and Italy (and left me behind) before settling back home to pursue her passion. Throughout her journey, Shianne has maintained a heart so true. Remember what I said earlier about the milly-rock? Well, it is that courage she exudes that pulled her through. Her motto is “you teach me, and I’ll teach you.” Pokemon.
Shianne’s “other” credentials:
B.F.A. Dance Performance and Choreography, Towson University
K-12 Teaching Certification
Dance Faculty, Appeal Center for the Performing Arts, Mission Dance Works, Dance and Bmore, YMCA, A Step Ahead Dance Center, and Mercy High School
Previously Performed with: Deep Vision Dance Company
Currently Performs with: Humanistics Dance Company and BlueShift Dance Company
Catherine David, dancer
As told by fiance Billy:
Catherine David was born during a temperate May evening. She was weeping and hungry. The weeping is of little importance, the hunger is worth noting. That hunger drove her to secure a coveted role in the Tchaikovsky classic, "That Christmas Ballet with Toy Soldiers and Mice", while still just a pup in her dance company "Arab-ish". She later lettered as a Varsity Dance Club team dancer. While there, she danced with a hat and baton to Michael Jackson numbers. She also danced without a hat and baton to the BUSH classic "Machine Head", which this biographer thinks is a tragically under rated masterpiece. It was at this time, dancing with or without batons and hats, that she met her friend and tennis doubles partner, Alex Crabs. Later, but not too much later, like a normal amount later (we are talking Goldilocks figures here), she did some dancing in Towson. It was at Towson where she learned how to dance in the air with those hangy things from the ceilings that never cease to make a middle aged viewer exclaim, "Wow they are high!." Despite her parents concerns, Catherine has appeared to suffer no lasting injuries. She has however been known to sit in front of the TV and watch The Office for hours without moving an inch. Is that an effect from the dancing? You know as much as me, but further research is needed. If her dance needed to be likened to an animal, the biographer could do that after a short period of reflection. She is very much looking forward to starting her new chapter of dance, by dancing, with her new dance company. Wombat.
Catherine's "other" credentials:
B.F.A. Dance Performance and Education, Towson University
M.S.W. Social Work LGSW, University of Maryland, Batimore
Aerial Teaching Certificate, Nimble Arts
Previously Perfomed with: Burklyn Ballet Theatre, Six Flags America, Baltimore Aerial Dance, DEVIATED THEATRE
Rebekah Fresco, dancer
As told by best friend Robbie:
I’m going to keep this short and sweet. In spring of 2009, I met a young, talented ballerina who would ultimately become my dance partner for life, my best friend, and the “Grace” to my “Will”. Growing up she studied at L’Ecole de Danse and Ballet Theatre of Maryland. When I met her, we were in college together at AACC, where we both studied dance under one of our mentors, Lynda Fitzgerald. Lynda brought us together as dance partners in a piece called Falling for You ... which makes sense. She later went to UMBC and graduated with a B.A. in Dance. She has performed on various stages in the DC/MD area and I have seen every performance. She has also seen every one of my performances. We both enjoy card games, Disney movies, delicious food, pool days, and trips to NYC. I couldn’t imagine my life without her and I couldn’t love her more. “The more you know...and shooting star.”
Rebekah's "other" credentials:
A.A. in Dance from Anne Arundel Community College
B.A. in Dance from UMBC
Licensed Esthetician for the state of Maryland
Previously Performed with: Ballet Theatre of Maryland, AACC Dance Company, Baltimore Dance Project, Dragonfly Dance Experiment, DEVIATED THEATRE, and Company E
Erin Gum, dancer
As told by friend Alex:
Erin Gum, affectionately known as E.E. Gummings or GumBall to her friends (but mostly this biographer), began dancing as a wee lass and took dance classes on and off recreationally until middle school. It was at the age of 12ish that she began attending a classical ballet studio and was told she had an "ok body for ballet" (yes, really...). She has been dancing most of the time ever since. While GumBall subjectively has an "ok body for ballet", nobody can doubt that she has a great body for modern dance! She began seriously diving into the world of modern dance when she went to college, but before that she danced on the Dance Company at Oakland Mills High School and even dabbled in Musical Theatre. She was the sassiest Poppy in OMHS's The Wiz, a role that is still discussed to this day. Erin attended UMBC and graduated Magna Cum Laude (I think that's Latin for "Pretty Darn Smart"), where she continued to do dancey things such as choreograph, perform and attend festivals such as ADF and ACDF. She grafuated from UMBC with bachelors degrees in dance as well as ancient studies. She used to aspire to be a curator of a museum but the dance bug bit her pretty hard. She is currently the Director of Dance Education at Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School and Student Company Director at Kinetics Dance Theatre. She has danced with Howard County Ballet, Common Groud Dance Company and Kinetics Dance Company. GumBall fact: Erin looks good with all hair colors and styles. In fact, she served Tinkerbell realness and rocked a short blonde 'do and a light green mini dress to one of her proms (she went to a bunch of proms...she is pretty cool I guess). GumBall is a proud animal mommy to Dottie the dog and Honey Ham the cat.
Erin's "other" credentials:
B.A. Dance, University of Maryland Baltimore County
B.A. Ancient Studies, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Director of Dance Education, Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community School
Student Company Director, Kinetics Dance Theatre
Previously Performed with: Howard County Ballet, Common Ground Dance Company, Kinetics Dance Theatre
Alex Krebs, dancer
As told by friend Catherine:
Alex Krebs began dancing when she was a little girl. The biographer did not know her then, but if they were to guess, Alex was the 8-year-old telling all the other 8-year old’s where to stand in the dance. Little Alex was probably the only one to know all the Arabesque positions, and let’s face it- who really does? Alex found herself on the Dance Company at Hammond High School, where she met the biographer, who was most likely somersaulting down the theatre aisles at the time. Here, Alex travelled to Disney World to perform for mice and small princesses. She decided that she liked dance quite a bit and she would do it some more. She can also sing and act by the way, just a little ball of talent this one. Alex went to Howard Community College where she performed in many a dance show and played the most captivating Bebe Benzeheimer from a Chorus Line community college has ever seen. She then went to UMBC where she became famous for being able to look amazing on stage simply standing still (She looks awesome doing dancy things too of course). Alex is one of the lucky few who can rock any hair color. She enjoys a cup of iced coffee and a bowl of queso, but maybe not together. Something most people don’t know about Alex is that she has a knack for writing humorous haikus.
Alex's "other" credentials:
B.A. Dance, University of Maryland Baltimore County
Adjunct Dance Faculty, Howard Community College
Previously Performed with: Baltimore Dance Project, Megapolis Music Festival, Akimbo (Baltimore), Artscape (Baltimore)
Currently Performs with: Masala Soul Project, Kinetics Dance Theatre
As told by wife Franki:
Dan Graham is a cardigan wearing boat-builder, book lover, coffee fanatic, tool enthusiast, history geek and general jack (or Dan)-of-all trades. His love of puns and dad joke are present in all aspects of his day, and his inability to see the negative in a situation has earned him the title of the (sometimes annoying) "Bright-sider." Dan spends his day enriching the lives of unsuspecting high school students in Annapolis, regularly blowing their minds with questions of how we know if anything is actually real. This typically results in books being thrown off desks in exasperation, and the young minds of tomorrow leaving the classroom wondering if they even exist (a noble cause, to be sure). Dan is also working on his Ph.D. in history, and is regularly found buried in a mountain of books on the living room floor of the barn apartment he shares with his wife (she loves being surrounded by them at all times). His dissertation topic has something to do with rubber as a strategic commodity, and if you are lacking for points of conversation with him, this writer might suggest starting with this classic "So how's the dissertation coming?" Beyond his striking intellect and charisma that will someday land him a job as an NPR host, Dan regularly runs into walls. He doesn't mean to, he just lacks spatial awareness and the public should be warned.
Dan would also like you to know...
"I keep showing up, and they just keep giving me things to do." Dan Graham, 2017