Raissa Simpson’s PUSH Dance Company Builds Vibrant Contemporary Dances To Gain A Deeper Understanding Of The Challenges Attributed To Mixed Heritage.


Company Artists | Dancers

  • Ashley Gayle Associate Artistic Director Ashley Gayle (she/her) graduated from UC Irvine with a B.F.A in Dance Performance and a minor in Business Management. She’s performed with many local Dance companies and teaches youth and adults throughout the Bay Area. Her current endeavor is Co-Directing Visceral Roots Dance Company and has presented work throughout the Bay Area at many festivals and residences. Ashley Gayle has been dancing with PUSH Dance Company since 2014 and recently became Associate Artistic Director in 2022.
  • Jeremie Secrease Company Artist Jeremie Secrease (he/him) is an Oakland native and turf dancer. After being exposed to modern dance within the last few years while working with Visceral Roots Dance Company, Jeremie is currently inspired to fuse technique within his hip hop vocabulary. He’s honored to be a part of PUSH Dance Company and humbled to share his love for dance with the professional dance community. He joined PUSH in 2019.
  • Erik K. Raymond Lee Company Artist Erik K. Raymond Lee (he/him) was born and raised in Oakland, California and received formal dance training from UC Berkeley, BA in Dance & Performance Studies (2010) and MFA in dance from Mills College (2017). Erik is a professor, choreographer, and small business owner. This is Erik’s year with PUSH Dance Company. He joined PUSH in 2019.
  • Jeremy Brooks Company Artist Jeremy Brooks (he/him) joined PUSH in 2022 as a multi-disciplinary artist from East Oakland. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Social Welfare and Minors in Dance Performance Studies and Public Policy (2020). Jeremy was an artist resident in the 2022-2023 cohort of the Hip Hop Artist Residency & Training (HART) Program.
  • ameia smith Company Artist ameia smith (they/she) is a student, dancer, and farmer living and learning in Berkeley, CA. They are currently a fourth-year Geography B.A at UC Berkeley, where they have also been continuing their modern dance training. ameia has participated in productions such as the Berkeley Dance Project as well as community dance projects. As they lean more into the transdisciplinary praxis of love and community care, ameia is also interested in exploring dance as ritual, prayer, and grief work.
  • Danielle Smith Company Artist Danielle Smith (she/her) is an Oakland-based dancer from “216,” better known as Cleveland. Her credits include residencies from PUSH Dance and Zaccho Dance Theatre, among others. Danielle's passion for movement & community activism began after graduating from the University of San Francisco in 2018. Her choreography- a mixture of hip-hop, stepping, and contemporary dance- has been presented nationwide since 2019.
  • Marc Chappelle Company Apprentice Marc Cunanan Chappelle* is an Oakland, CA-based hip hop and contemporary dancer who joined PUSH in 2023. He dances with SF’s Embodiment Project. He has a B.A. from and is an M.S. candidate at Stanford University where he performed with the Theater and Performance Studies department, Columbae House and Dv8.
  • Jasen Fong Company Apprentice Jasen Fong* is a dancer, actor, and choreographer currently working in the Sacramento and San Francisco area. He is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with a minor in Dance and Deaf Studies. Jasen has previously worked as a company member for Borne Dance Company and Nhan Ho Project.
  • Ethan Dennis Company Apprentice Ethan “Clover” Dennis* (he/him) is a Louisiana-born performer, choreographer and dance educator, now based in the Bay Area. Ethan began his training in 2016 in modern dance, jazz and Umfundalai, a contemporary pan-afro Caribbean dance technique, at the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Most recently, Ethan, or Clover in Ballroom, has been training in street styles, namely vogue styles.
Meet Our Artists

Our artists are the — connection and bridges — to our communities. 

They are movers and thinkers whose artistry is rooted in many dancing diasporas. We are committed to the care and agency of our Artists while ensuring the longevity of their creative spirits. Learn more about who the extraordinary human beings of PUSH are with us today.