Canadian born, New York City resident, Laura Ward founded Octavia Cup Dance Theatre, a maximalist contemporary ballet company, in 1998. The company has performed regularly in New York City and the Northeastern United States, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Barbados. Some highlights have included a Marc Bolan tribute at Delacorte Theatre in Central Park, Stravinsky’s Dumbarton Oaks with a symphony in Queens, NY, doing outreach work with kids in Harlem and the East Village and performing with Jazz musicians, Barbara Morrison and Lillian Boutte. Octavia Cup has participated in numerous dance festivals including both the Edinburgh and NYC Fringes. Laura Ward received a certificate of merit from KCACTF for choreography in Peter Campbell’s production of Church at Ramapo College, where she also choreographed Spring Awakening, Miss Julie and Top Girls. Laura teaches movement and dance privately and at Moving Body Resources. She has also taught for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies where she received her CMA in 1996. Laura has her BA in Dance, Theatre, and Movement Studies from SUNY Empire State College. Laura a Registered Somatic Movement Educator. She is incredibly grateful to all of her teachers, students, dancers and collaborators for the inspiration they consistently provide.
Georgina Aragon began her training in New Paltz, NY with Deborah Vinton. Lee Thompson, Hilda Morales and Elizabeth Carr were very important instructors to her. She graduated high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts. She attended NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and studied under Deborah Noble at S.U.N.Y., New Paltz. In 1996, Georgina joined In Forward Motion Dance Company, with whom she performed the works of Jean Churchill, Alan Danielson, Colin Connor, Neta Pulvermacher and also danced in Dave Matthews’ music video "Crash." She has performed in Tucson, AZ with the Arizona Dance Collective under the direction of Jane Willet and Richard Holden, where she was featured as the Gypsy Queen in Two Pigeons and danced in Guido Tuveri's Fourth Wall. Georgina has worked with Configurations Dance Company, Figures in Flight, Artist Alliance Against Violence, Flamenco Dance and The Sisters Surly Burlesque Troupe. Georgina has been on faculty at Dutchess Community College since Fall 2002, and has also taught at Equinox Fitness Clubs in NYC. In 2003, began teaching dance at High Meadow School in Stone Ridge, New York. Faculty at New Paltz School of Ballet since 2000 and dances the role of Grandma and Mouse King for New Paltz Ballet Theatres’ production of The Nutcracker. Georgina continues to do video work with kindie rock band Ratboy Jr., and sci-fi rockers Americans UK. Happily commuting from New Paltz every week to rehearse with the company, Georgina joined Octavia Cup in 2000 after meeting Laura Ward at a choreographer's concert in Woodstock, NY in August 1999.
Cassie Roberts grew up dancing in New Jersey and trained in ballet, tap, and jazz at a local studio as well as with the NJ School of Ballet. Cassie holds a BFA in Dance Performance from Arizona State University and an Ed.M. in Dance Education from Rutgers University. While in Arizona she danced with Temenos Dance Collective and Dance Arizona Repertory Theater where she worked in the community to help bring dance to youth throughout the greater Phoenix Area. She currently teaches dance at a high school in New Jersey, and also teaches jazz at the New Jersey School of Ballet. She is the Assistant Director of the Rutgers Pre-College Summer Dance Conservatory & Camp, and also teaches modern technique and repertory for the program. Cassie is a Certified Barre Shaper and Pilates Instructor and teaches at Work it Out in Hoboken. Cassie has been with Octavia Cup since 2011.
Natalia McCarthy has worked with companies and choreographers including Laura Ward/Octavia Cup, Brooklyn Ballet, Lydia Johnson Dance, Exit 12, Benny Simon and Benjamin Briones, among others, and recently performed as guest artist in Bayonne, France in the summer of 2014. She began her career in the corps de ballet of the National Ballet of Poland (Wrocław), dancing corps and soloist roles in classical and contemporary repertoires. Natalia studied at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Principal teachers include Hugh Nini (Denton Ballet Academy), Danièle Villers (Paris Opera Ballet School), Lisa Lockwood and Arleen Sugano.
Hiroko Uchino was born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan. She started training ballet since she was 4 years old. Hiroko moved to New York in 2009 where she continued training and performing various styles of dance. Hiroko was last seen touring over 30 cities at iconic theaters across Northern America and Canada, including the Beacon Theatre in New York City, in the National Theatre of " Chuggington Live! Great Rescue Live".
Additionally, Hiroko performed in the music video called "Hello" from the electronic music group "Above and Beyond." And a member of the New York Lizards Dance Team which is a professional NY Lacrosse Team and part of Major League Lacrosse.
Originally from Los Angeles, Shannon was trained at California Dance Theatre. She continued her studies at San Francisco Ballet. Prior to moving east, she danced with Oregon Ballet Theatre performing works by Balanchine, Petipa, and Bournonville among others. Shannon currently works with Nomad Contemporary Ballet, Ballet Inc and CelloPointe. When not dancing, she enjoys practicing gyrotonics and traveling. Shannon is excited to be performing with Octavia Cup Dance Theatre.