Why change a good thing if you don’t need to? Though we appreciate working with new Artists all the time, DAMSF also appreciates consistency and developing long-lasting relationships with our Artists/Staff/Venues as well.
Here are some of the Faces behind DAMSF that you can rely on seeing time and time again. Get to know them and see what they mean to the Greater Bay Area Artist community.
Paymaneh “Bibi” Khalili – Co-Founder & Executive Producer
( @mspersia )
Paymaneh aka “Bibi” Khalili was born in Stanford, California, as the second of two first-generation Iranian-American children in her family. At a very young age, she grew an appreciation for standing out from the crowd and being comfortable in one’s own skin. Bibi always found a way to be a leader in all of her endeavors and took pride in not looking or acting like everyone else.
DAMSF is Bibi’s way to do everything.
Lauren Schnapper – Stage Manager
( @ohschnapp )
Originally from Los Angeles, Lauren Schnapper is a professional dancer, choreographer, and also works in production in the entertainment industry. Credits include Gwen Stefani, Nick Cannon, G-Dragon, TaeYang, and the Teen Nick network, to name a few. She got her start while living in San Francisco and received her Bachelor of Arts from SF State. During her time in the Bay, Lauren was very involved in the dance community being a part of teams such as De La Femme and Groove Against the Machine. She also helped assist Funkanometry SF with the production of “The Sockhop”. Lauren then joined Bibi to work on DAMSF. In late 2012, she moved back down to LA to pursue her dance and production career and has been working ever since. Currently, Lauren is a dancer at “the happiest place on earth” and works on the production team for Millennium Dance Complex’s live showcase. Lauren has been a part of DAMSF from the very beginning and has loved watching the Bay Area talent evolve. She is truly thankful for her start in the Bay and hopes that artists continue to use DAMSF as an outlet for creative growth.
Dru Benzon & Ron Reyes – DJ’s
( @druskee_ & @stankpalmer )
GOODCOMPANY is a Sacramento-based DJ outfit aimed at curating a social space for inspired people through hip hop, soul, funk, Latin and future grooves. The duo, comprised of Jon Reyes and Druskee, formed after hosting a summertime day party series at Sacramento’s Witch Room (now-defunct) and has evolved into traveling party with a reputation for bridging the gap between the music lover and the dancefloor.
Jon Reyes is a DJ and producer, one of half of DLRN. His work has been featured influential radio shows such as The Main Ingredient (East Village Radio/NYC) and Anthony Valadez (KCRW/LA). He is the host of the weekly FiveForFriday podcast and one of the founders of San Francisco’s ColdCutz! Music Club.
Druskee is the official DJ for electronic/R&B artist Stevie Nader. Although best known for the cinematic feel of his mixes, his live sets are designed for dancing. He served as the official tour DJ for YouTube collective YTF’s 2012 and 2013 tours. Additionally, he has commanded dance floors for other Internet communities such as Geek & Sundry and The Nerdist.
GOODCOMPANY has played…
Abbey Tavern (SF), Assembly (SAC), Brick & Mortar (SF), District 30 (SAC), Dive Bar (SAC), El Amigo (SF), Elbo Room (SF), Folsom Street Foundry (SF), Hawthorn (SF), Jolt’n Joes (SD), LowBrau (SAC), Midtown Barfly (SAC), Mom’s (LA), Neck of the Woods (SF), Paina Lounge (SF), Q Bar (SF), Region (SF), Rosewood (SF), The Layover (OAK), The Press Club (SAC), Ugly Kitchen (NY), Vera Project (SEA)
GOODCOMPANY is inspired by…
Alice Russell, AlunaGeorge, Amy Winehouse, D’Angelo, Daft Punk, Disclosure, DMX, E-40, Erykah Badu, Foreign Exchange, Hall & Oates, Hiatus Kaiyote, Hieroglyphics, Incubus, J Dilla, Janet Jackson, Jay Electronica, Jay-Z, Jocelyn Enriquez, Joe Bataan, John Coltrane, Jurassic 5, Kanye West, Kaytranada, Kelela, Little Brother, Mac Dre, Marvin Gaye, Mayer Hawthorne, Micheal Jackson, Miles Davis, MNEK, Mos Def, Nas, Outkast, Pomo, Prince, Quadron, Quincy Jones, SBTRKT, Talib Kweli, The Neptunes, The Roots, The Sylvers, Vic Mensa — Not a definitive list
Jon – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dru – email@example.com
Lauren Hoskins – Main Photographer
( @montagedanceproductions )
Lauren is a Bay Area native. She began training in hip hop, jazz, lyrical, ballet, and tap dance styles as a pre-teen and has been a dance instructor and choreographer for twelve years. Her current choreography is a fusion of hip hop and contemporary styles. Whether Lauren’s creating dramatic moments to relate a story, putting together a piece that’s just high energy and fun, or signing up a new student for one of her classes, it is evident that dance fuels her passion for life. The July, 2014, opening of Montage Dance Productions Studio, which offers adult dance and fitness classes in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, is one of the many dreams that Lauren has made a reality.
In 2006, when Lauren was was only 20 years old, she founded Montage Dance Productions and produced her first dance showcase, which featured more than 200 dancers. She evolved Montage events into two annual productions: a winter competition/dance showcase and a spring dance showcase fundraiser benefiting Ronald McDonald House at Stanford. In 2015, Lauren will produce a third annual event showcasing Montage Studio students and instructors. She hopes to continue to create opportunities to promote her love of dance and the dance community.
In her early career, Lauren appeared in her first professional stage production as one of the lead tap dancers in “A Woman, A Gift”, a tap and ballet musical. She was a member of Elemental Remix, an all-female dance company, and was invited to join the renowned Funkanometry San Francisco Dance Company. She continues to perform as a Funknometry SF alumina at their annual SockHop fundraiser. Montage was honored to have Emerson Aquino, founder of Funknometry SF, as a guest judge at our 2013 competition.
Lauren lived in Los Angeles for several years to continue her dance training with seasoned dance instructors and further her career in the entertainment industry. She was a member of the award-winning dance company Disruption and performed in music videos and stage productions. An experience that remains close to Lauren’s heart was her position as dance instructor and choreographer at Performing Arts Studio West, which is an extraordinary non-profit educational institution that offers a performing arts curriculum and career management support in the entertainment industry for developmentally disabled adults. The warmth shared with her students was a very special time in her career, and her exposure to all aspects of managing live events and video production has been invaluable in her own business ventures.
After her LA journey and a short stay in Seattle, Lauren moved back to the Bay Area and quickly resumed teaching fulltime, performing, and producing Montage events. She continues to travel to LA and Seattle to teach, perform, and maintain her dance and entertainment relationships. For several years, Lauren was the choreographer and backup dancer to Radio Disney singer/song writer, Amber Lily. She traveled and performed with Amber on stage and in music videos. In 2012, Amber was chosen as a competitor for the reality show X-Factor. Lauren was flown to Miami as Amber’s chaperone and hair/makeup artist for the Boot Camp portion of the competition.
Like many artistic people, Lauren is multi-talented, and she’s always interested in exploring new creative endeavors. Her second passion is photography, which became a natural segue into hair and makeup design. Please view Lauren’s photography on www.LaurenHoskinsPhotography.com. Another budding venture is video production. Foremost, though, Lauren’s focus remains on her dance career, choreographing for recording artist Johnny maxwell, and the amazing people and experiences that dance has brought into her life.
RJ “KoolRaul” Navalta – Host
“Rj KoolRaul has consistently dj’d for the past nine years providing music for local and international dance competitions from the likes of Korea’s R16; Mighty 4 Worldwide; Scion Presents: Strength in Flavor; and All The Way Live: Philippines, Taiwan, and Nicaragua. By night, Rj KoolRaul is spinning music at nightclubs. He had the honor of opening up for superstar djs – Dj Shortkut of the “World Famous Beat Junkies” and the Father of Hip Hop himself, Dj Kool Herc.
As a dance performer, Rj KoolRaul appeared in web & industry commercials for Sandisk, Sony Playstation, and Apple Computer. He performed motion captured moves for numerous characters for video games such as “Dance Groove Online.” However, it was through the dance group Supreme Soul that Rj KoolRaul earned himself worldwide recognition, when they joined the internationally-acclaimed TV show, “MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew.” Ironically, his quirky antics behind the scenes and humble personality were the main contributors to his popularity.
Through his experiences as a performing artist, Rj KoolRaul has been asked to share his story with kids, teens, and young adults from around the world. His background has taught him lessons of perseverance, patience, resiliency, and professionalism. With this knowledge and wisdom, he plans to continue inspiring and educating youth on the processes of pursuing their dreams.
In life, we’re all dealt with different cards that we can’t change, but Rj KoolRaul teaches youth how to play their cards right – by making the most out of every experience and creating them into stepping stones toward their dreams. He lives as a great example. Raul “Rj KoolRaul” Navalta is a dream in motion.”
Visit him Online
Durell “DCischillin” Coleman – Co-Host
( @dcischillin )