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

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.

  • Photo Courtesy of Ashley Gayle
    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 Alayo Dance Co., PUSH, LV Dance Collective, David Herrera Dance Co., Mix'd Ingrdnts, and Urban Jazz Dance Co.. Ashley has taught at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center, John Muir Elementary, UC Berkeley/Ailey Camp, Cal State East Bay, Los Positas College, Albany & Novato HS, PUSH Outreach and others. She Co-Directs Visceral Roots Dance Co., rooted in telling stories inspired by social justice for minorities. She’s worked as Shawl-Anderson’s Front Desk Program Manager before joining K*STAR*PRODUCTIONS as Program Manager.She joined PUSH in 2014 and was promoted to Artistic Associate Director in 2022. Photo:Courtesy of Ashley Gayle
  • Terrence Paschal Company Artist Terrence Paschal (he/him)l is a self-made freestyle artist who started dancing in 2010. His first inspirations include Micheal Jackson and later dance battles on Youtube. He studied Oakland-style Turfing, popping and New York-styles called Bruk up and Flexing. After moving to the Bay Area, he discovered a love for House dance, Ballet, and Modern dance in addition to other traditional dance forms. Currently, he enjoys incorporating elements of Hip-hop and freestyle with his dance practice and hopes to share his passion for embodied knowledge and culture with others. He joined PUSH in 2018 Photo: Terrence Paschal
  • Photo Courtesy of Jeremie Secrease
    Jeremie Secrease Company Artist As an Oakland native, Jeremie Secrease (he/him) has always been surrounded by music, dance, and the arts. His passion for dancing came at a young age and even though never formally trained, he found solace in turf dancing. Building his skills as a freestyle dancer, he has performed at many local events and festivals throughout the Bay Area. 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. Photo: Courtesy of Jeremie Secrease
  • Photo: Edward Miller
    Erik K. Raymond Lee Company Artist Born and raised in Oakland, California, Erik K. Raymond Lee (he/him) 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 3rd year with PUSH Dance Company. He joined PUSH in 2019. Photo: Edward Miller
  • Photo: jb_gifted2amaze
    Jeremy Brooks Company Artist Jeremy Brooks (he/him) graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in Social Welfare and minors in Dance Performance Studies and Public Policy. He began dancing and performing at a young age with Dance A Vision, under the direction of Carla Service. He later expanded his artistry and performance experience via Mime Dance Ministry, The Berkeley Dance Project, and more recently the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) Apprenticeship. He joined PUSH in 2022. Photo: jb_gifted2amaze
  • ameia smith Company Artist ameia smith (they/she) is a student, dancer, and farmer living and learning in Berkeley, CA. They are currently a third-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 Headshot
    Danielle Smith Company Artist Danielle Smith (she/her) is an Oakland-based dancer from “the 216,” better known as Cleveland. Since receiving her B.A. in dance(2018), she has been a resident artist with Zaccho Dance Theatre's HART program(2022), as well as a backup dancer for Drag King Major Hammy(2022), among others. Currently, Danielle is an inaugural BASE resident and PUSH company dancer. danielletaylorsmith.com
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