Growing up without the means for dance classes, McKersin overcame his troubled environment, persevered and became the dancer that he is today; With Ethnic-Haitian dance already in his vocabulary, he started building a bigger arsenal with Hip-Hop, Jazz, and Tap. In college, he started trading work hours for classes and started studying ballet and modern intensively. Now, he is leading workshops throughout various parts of the country orientated towards social justice and, the roots of African American culture and movement. Out of his many projects and goals, his main and current project involves building up men in the inner city to become emotionally intelligent while being agents of social change within their community with the creation of a program called, Bridge 4 my Brothers
Rehearsal Director/Principal Dancer
A late bloomer, Melvin Samboy became a professional dancer after starting at 17 years old. Hailing from a community without many resources he and his high school friends would get together and learn from YouTube. Melvin with his determination and dedication realized that dancing was keeping him away from the violence and crime element of his community. This drove him to be different and his passion got him recognized in only a couple years later by local arts organizations such as Reach USA and the Keystone Dance Project where he would become their principal dancer. From there he got the chance to travel and perform to the point that he was accepted to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Program and became an alumnus. His goal with dance is to keep dancing for as long as his body allows. At the moment, he is dancing as a principal dancer and rehearsal director with Lakaï Dance Theatre, a company making work that uses the idea of home to trace the ripple effects of harm but also of healing through families and neighborhoods.
After studying martial arts for about 9 years, Brian Blaze of Harrisburg PA, took what he thought was a quick break from martial arts to explore an interest in dance. He never looked back again. Brian quickly became enamored by the b-boy culture in his hometown. It was full of talented dancers both young and old but by the time Brian started learning, the scene had died down with nobody to teach him and no money or opportunities within his community. That didn't stop Brian, he instead spent hours everyday studying on YouTube with diligent training and discipline till he was noticed by E.Moncell who took him under his wings and further molded him into the dance he is today. Through his perseverance he has had the opportunity to be a Jacob's Pillow alumnae, a member of the well known dance company, Hood Nation and the thought provoking dance company, Lakaï Dance Theatre under the titelage of McKersin Previlus.
Kofi Atsimevu, formerly known as David Williams was born and raised in Richmond, California. A low-income neighborhood within the bay known for its many difficulties. Kofi always had a love for music that set him apart from his peers in his neighborhood. When everybody was listening, and looking for the newest tracks, Kofi was going further and further back to the likes of jazz music and drums. To pursue his dreams of being a drummer after much self-practice and dedication, Kofi transferred into Oakland School for the Arts as a senior. After graduating he auditioned for City Music Program, a 5-week intensive competition against some well-known teenagers in the arts. Nervous because of the lack of formal musical education under his belt he pushed and successfully came out as one of the top scholars and was offered a full ride scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. A move that shaped Kofi’s life by taking him out from his neighborhood. Now, Kofi resides in Boston, MA learning from as much west African drummers as he can so that he may eventually make a living building cultural drums and playing drums.
I.J. Chan is a dance artist and educator born, raised and now based in Boston. She joined KAIROS Dance Theater in 2015, two months after graduating from James Madison University with a BA in Dance and Journalism. She is also currently dancing with McKersin Previlus/Lakaï Dance Theater and Jennifer Lim. In addition to performing, she is passionate about bringing quality dance instruction to low-income and minority youth populations within the city.