LANIE DE CASTRO
Lanie de Castro is one of Melbourne’s most renowned female urban choreographers.
With more than 12 years of dance experience behind her, she has remained an active member of the Melbourne dance community. Throughout the years, Lanie has been very involved in the dance crew scene, dancing and co-directing for award-winning dance crews such as Beatphonik, KSTAR and The Collektive.
In 2017, she choreographed and directed the winning performance at Melbourne’s Grounded: Battle of the Arts, winning 1st Place and Most Outstanding Choreography in the Street Division.
Nowadays, Lanie invests her time in sharing her passion with various dance studios and community programs across Melbourne. In addition to teaching dance, she is also working towards obtaining a degree in Education. She aims to combine this knowledge with her dance experience to have a positive influence on the youth in our community.
Lanie is very excited to jump on board with L2R because they share similar goals and values. She too strongly believes dance is a universal language that can offer opportunities to promote well-being, collaboration and cultural diversity within our community.
Hëna Memishi is a professional movement artist of Albanian descent based in Naarm. She immerses herself in street dance and choreography and completed her formal studies of Performing Arts at Patrick Studios, Australia.
Hëna has an unyielding desire to evolve as a dancer and has travelled internationally to further develop her skills. Her credits include Jessica Mauboy, Baker Boy, Tony-Award winning musical “In the Heights", Joyce Wrice, Google and has performed at major Australian festivals including Laneway, Falls Festival, Beyond the Valley and Meredith.
Since 2011, Hëna has used dance to engage with youth and the next generation of performing artists, by using dance as a vessel to enrich the community through the Arts. Hëna has been a Teaching Artist with L2R since 2015 and in 2019 she was appointed the role of Community Development and Events Coordinator, striving to explore new ways to create, engage and innovate, while celebrating diversity in the Arts.
Hëna has a profound passion for dance, and it’s how she identifies herself. Dance allows her freedom to be an explorer and a creator while inspiring her to create positive change through the power of movement. The invaluable experiences and possibilities dance have offered her throughout her practice have been instrumental in making Hena the person she finds herself today.
Emily is of Macedonian descent who has had a passion for the performing arts since a very young age. She is a versatile dancer, having done many styles of dance including contemporary, jazz, tap and hip-hop.
Emily has had a great deal of experience on stage having performed since the age of three, and feels as though it is where she belongs and feels at home. She is also involved in the musical theatre scene and has performed in ‘All Shook Up’ (2016), as Martha Cox in ‘High School Musical’ (2015) and most recently the role of Tzietel in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ (2017).
Since 2016, she has worked with L2R Dance as dance teacher, emerging artist and youth committee member. Aside from performing, Emily is studying a Bachelor of Education (p-12) at Victoria University, majoring in Visual Arts.
Most recently, Emily auditioned for professional hip hop crew ‘Superhoodz’ who have frequent professional gigs and dance for Melbourne United Basketball. Out of approx. 40 dancers that auditioned, Emily was successful and joined the crew in September of 2018!
'ALEC STEELO' PERNES
Alec Steelo is a Filipino-Australian dancer/choreographer, specialising in House Dance and Hip-Hop.
Alec is one of the prominent House Dancers and educators in Melbourne, whose teaching is sought from nationally, by both House and non-House Dancers alike. He is backed with his accolades in the battle scene, winning at various events such as City Sessions 2021 & 2022, Signal Summer Cypher, L2R Block Party, etc.
Alec joined the L2R team as a Teaching Artist at the start of 2020, giving him a foot-in-the-door into professional dancing and as a way to use his gifts for others beyond himself. Later, in 2021, he was appointed the role as L2R's Marketing and Social Media Co-ordinator, looking to enhance the L2R brand and awareness, as well as to help tighten coherency in its' brand.
Alec's practice has led him to not only work within other street-dance spaces, but also within contemporary spaces and the commercial sector to constantly learn and expand his dance methodologies and vocabulary.
Alec aims to teach as authentically as possible to street and club-dance cultures, to constantly develop his identity to ensure his craft is fresh and unique, and to give the same opportunities and teachings that helped him realise his passion to newer dancers.
Martijn started dancing at the age of 18 and is now a full time dancer and choreographer having travelled the world, teaching and performing.
His credits include; Jason Derulo, Meghan Trainor, Paula Abdul, Isabela Merced, Aston Merry Gold, So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With The Stars, Dance Moms and the Ellen DeGeneres Show to name a few.
Martjin has also lived and worked in London, where he taught workshops regularly and spent 3 years in Los Angeles working with some of the industries top choreographers and creative directors.
Martjin is excited to be part of the L2R fam because he believes that dance is a great tool for young peoples mental, physical and social well being and he is excited to share the positive lessons he learnt through dance to the up coming generation.
I am Maya Hajizadeh, I was born in Iran and migrated to Australia in August 2013.
In 2014, I studied VCAL at St. Josephs Flexible Learning School. Here I met Jacinda and she introduced me to Hip-hop dance and I have been part of L2R ever since. Dance is in my blood and I can’t live without it. To me dance is a vessel to release my feelings.
My dance training includes hip hop, house, urban, dancehall, waacking and street jazz. In 2016, I became an emerging artist and L2R has employed me to perform at events and workshops, assist Panda Squad and the Hiphop program at Western English Language School. I am excited to see where dance takes me in the future.
L'WEL GAY 'LIGI' MOO
L’wel Gay ‘Ligi’ Moo is a dancer, performer and an L2R Teaching Artist.
Ligi’s passion for dance was ignited at the age of 12 when he started training with L2R. His involvement with L2R has fostered his love for dance and hip hop culture, and his involvement has given him the opportunity to perform regularly, as well as many opportunities to teach and perform across Victoria.
Ligi’s family is from Myanmar and he was born in Thailand, migrating to Australia 2000. He completed his VCE in 2017 at Braybrook College, earning certificates 1 & 2 in VET Dance.
Ligi is also a member of the ‘Young Masters’, a talented crew of break-dancers known for their high-energy street performances, which can be seen weekly in public spaces around Melbourne’s CBD.
Ligi currently works with L2R as a Teaching Artist and facilitator, refining his skills while carving a bright future. Ligi is the main instructor and facilitator of the Breakin' @ The Tin Shed program.
TRACEY 'TRACE' TRINH
Tracey ‘TRACE’ Trinh is a Melbourne born & based movement artist of Vietnamese descent, who joined L2R in 2021.
As part of the new generation, she is exploring street dance through Hip Hop culture, freestyle and battles. Trace maintains a consistent personal practice aiming for growth and a deeper understanding of herself.
In recent years, Trace has found a passion for teaching dance, holding space for others, as well as performing. In all avenues of dance, Trace aims for an authentic approach to the way she moves, exchanges and teaches.
Aside from dance, she is currently studying an Advanced Diploma of Yoga Teacher Training at Australian Yoga Academy, where she finds herself drawn towards mindful and inclusive practices that she hopes will have a positive effect on young people.
Born in Japan and raised in Australia, Daisuke Benson has been working as a dancer, choreographer and instructor since 2006.
With a career spanning across three countries, he has researched and trained in many diverse dance styles such as hip hop, funk, and urban choreography.
Daisuke has trained and worked in Japan, Thailand, Australia and most recently, Las Vegas. With a bilingual background, he is able to communicate and lead dance classes in both English and Japanese.
Whilst he is in constant training, Daisuke aims to share his passion and knowledge of dance with others and be a ready role model for the youth of today using dance as a main platform.
Rito Huynh is a dancer, musician and an L2R emerging artist. Arriving to Australia in 2010 from Vietnam. Rito's journey with dance began in 2012, at the age of 12 when he joined L2R and his passion for the art form expanded through broadening his knowledge on hip hop culture. Since then he has developed his artistic practice through classes, training and performing.
As a Bboy Rito has been mentored by teacher Bboy Nasa through L2R’s “Breaking at Braybrook” program. Through this community, Rito and his peers have formed the Young Masters Crew performing regularly in Melbourne’s CBD, activating public spaces through their iconic busking show.
In 2019, Rito has been employed through L2R’s Pathways Program wanting to further his professional capacity in dance and connection to the arts industry. Rito’s further aspirations included bringing Young Masters to the world and working in the community arts sector and being a youth arts mentor.
Lonowon was born in Liberia in 1998 then shortly moved to Guinea. In November 2009, Lonowon migrated to Australia where he is now based in Melbourne’s west. In 2018 Lonowon completed VCAL year 12 at Braybrook College where he also studied VET dance.
Lonowon has been dancing with L2R since 2011 and is one of our long term legends and emerging artists. Lonowon is one of the original members of the Young Masters Crew which is a male break-dancing crew that has emerged out of L2R. Dance gives Lonowon the opportunity to feel free and have fun with his friends.
As part of the emerging artists Alumni, Lonowon hopes to develop strong leadership and mentoring skills, as well as continue to develop his dance techniques across break-dancing, hip hop and ballet.
Lonowon is currently studying Youth Work at Victoria University!
Jacinda is the founder and CEO of L2R Dance, and also works as a teaching artist for the organisation she founded in 2009.
With extensive professional dance experience spanning many genres, including, jazz, ballet, hip hop, contemporary, Latin and West African styles, Jacinda has had the opportunity to work as a dancer and choreographer both in Australia and internationally, including performances and workshops in remote Aboriginal communities in the Kimberley’s, Ghana, and Korea.
In 2014, Jacinda graduated from Deakin University with distinction, completing an Honours degree with her research project, The Role of Hip Hop Dance in Young People’s Sense of Well-being. In January 2018, Jacinda was awarded the Brimbank Australian Day Award - Educator of the Year.