Larisa Eastman grew up in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago and has worked with TSMP since 2006. As a young girl, she trained with the Chicago City Ballet and traveled and performed with the Metro Folkdancers. She performed in both traditional and experimental theatre throughout the 1980s, and was a founding member of Redmoon Theatre.
In 1999, Larisa moved to the island of O’ahu in Hawai’i, where she completed a BFA in Performance and Choreography at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and performed with Convergence Dance Theatre. In 2005, Larisa was a visiting student at the London Contemporary Dance School, with a special focus on contact improvisation and partnering techniques. She studied in the Columbia College Chicago Department of Dance/Movement Therapy from 2006-2009 and completed a Graduate Certificate in Laban Movement Analysis.
Larisa has been a practicing massage therapist for 20 years, currently focusing on Thai Bodywork. She is pursuing an extensive home study program in Hatha Yoga and looking forward to continuing to incorporate this point of view into her teaching.
Allyson Esposito has been creating dance with TSMP since its inception in 2005, and she served as its Executive Director from 2007-2012. She received interdisciplinary dance training at The School of the Salt Creek Ballet in Westmont, IL, and while attending Miami University of Ohio, where she was a member of its Dance Theatre Company. In addition to TSMP, Allyson has spent the last 15 years working with numerous other dance artists including Grete Gryzwana-Teague, David Dorfman Dance, Chris Johnson, Nana Shineflug/The Chicago Moving Company, RTG Dance, and dropshift dance.
Allyson currently serves as the Director of the Cultural Grants Program for the City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Event (DCASE), and provides professional legal services to non-profit clients working across the arts sector.
Anne Kasdorf is 2005 graduate of Ohio University with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is in her eighth season with TSMP as a performer and choreographer. As the Managing Director of TSMP, she manages company operations and oversees OuterSpace Studios. A member of Zephyr Dance from 2005-2012, Anne performed at Ailey Center and Triskelion Arts in New York City, Marfa Theater in Marfa Texas, The Church in Buffalo, NY, Illinois Wesleyan University and locally at Epiphany Church and The Dance Center at Columbia College. She has performed with dropshift dance and appeared in Wili Dorner’s Bodies in Urban Spaces in Summer 2014.
Anne teaches extensively throughout the Chicago area as a teaching artist for Zephyr and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and as a faculty member at Encore Dance Center in Vernon Hills. She is the Chicago City Editor of the Not for Tourists and a freelance grant writer that has also been published in TimeOut Chicago, DanceSpirit and theurbaness.com.
Megan Schneeberger is from the Bitterroot Valley in Montana. She began her dance training at River Street Dance Theater in Hamilton, Montana before earning a BFA in Choreography and Performance from the University of Montana. She had the privilege of working with Epiphanie Productions, Ann Carlson, Florin Fieuru, Silvita Diaz Dance and Khecari but has always felt most at home with The Space Movement Project which she joined in 2005. Outside the studio you will find her studying wine-making, reading everything and anything, and generally looking puzzled.
Leah Raffanti has created and performed with TSMP since 2007. After graduating with a Theater Arts (Dance) and Women’s and Gender Studies degree from Beloit College in 2005, Leah pursued a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration which she completed in 2009. Leah currently works as a Field Representative at the Chicago Teachers Union. She is often humbled by the undeniable similarities between union-building and TSMP’s collaborative dance-making model. Leah feels lucky to be able to share her artistic and personal journeys with the members of TSMP.
Ashley is a lawyer, dancer, and choreographer who was born in Berwyn, Illinois and grew up in Southern California. She began dancing at the age of twelve in Anaheim, CA, where she studied ballet, pointe, and contemporary jazz. As an undergraduate at Brown University, Ashley co-directed and choreographed for Brown’s oldest dance group, Fusion Dance Company, and performed numerous dance styles, from hip-hop and African dance to Chinese and Japanese traditional dance, while touring with Fusion in Tokyo, Maine, and Boston. She also studied Cunningham and Horton technique under Maggie Walker and Carol Abizaid, and taught jazz and hip-hop at East Side Ballet Studio in Providence, RI. After graduating in 2008 with an A.B. in History, Ashley performed as a soloist for Montage Dance Theatre in Orange, CA. While attending Harvard Law School, Ashley choreographed for and performed with the Harvard Ballet Company and was one of the dancers selected to represent Harvard at the American College Dance Festival’s New England Conference in 2010. After law school, Ashley practiced Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga while working for the law firm Wachtell Lipton in New York, NY. She later completed her 200-hour teacher training at Yoga Loft Chicago. She currently dances with The Space/Movement Project and Movement Revolution Dance Crew in Chicago, and teaches yoga at OhmCulture in West Loop and Yoga Loft in River North.