Erica ‘Rae’ Smith, is the Founder and Artistic Director of Raediant Movement, LLC. Erica is a Philadelphia native, who received her B.F.A in Modern Dance from The University of the Arts, in Philadelphia, PA and has worked as a dancer with dance companies such as New LeJa Dances, Mahogany Dance Theatre, Tania Isaac Dance, Valerie Branch Dance Ensemble and Lesole's Dance Project. Erica has trained in many styles of dance ranging from Ballet, Modern, and Jazz to South African and Jamaican Dancehall. She was an instructor with the Dance Institute of Washington’s Education and Outreach Program, a Resident Artist at OCTVS High School, in Toms River, NJ , THE REACH at The Kennedy Center, and multiple private dance studios within Prince George’s County, MD. Erica Rae has presented choreography, at the Howard Theatre, DC Dance Summit, Art All Night DC, DanceFlux at The Clarice Performing Arts Center, and as a part of Connecting Vibes USA & UK Educational and Performance Dance Company, in St. George’s, Grenada. In 2018 she was selected to be a recipient of The John F. Kennedy Center, Local Dance Commission Project. Erica began Raediant Movement, as a traveling dance workshop, with the intent to connect and advocate for the inclusion of Jamaican Dancehall, and other dances of the African Diaspora in her local dance community, by providing workshops, lectures, and classes in both Philadelphia, Tri-State & The DC Metro Areas . Since that time Raediant Movement, LLC now operates as a dance company hosting dance classes, events and performances across the Washington, DC Metro area and now virtually. Erica serves as the choreographer, instructor, and dancer within Raedient Movement, LLC.
Shatiea Blount is the Administrative Director and co-owner of Raediant Movement LLC. She joined Raediant Movement’s Training to Stage program in 2017 and became a full dance company member in 2021. Prior to joining Raediant Movement, Shatiea served as drummer and board member with Lesole’s Dance Project, a South African dance and drumming company. Prior to any formal dance involvement, Shatiea enjoyed the social dance scene, particularly Dancehall and other African diasporic social dance forms. Currently, Shatiea oversees the administrative and managerial responsibilities of Raediant Movement. Wearing many hats, she performs, serves as a rehearsal director, and a production manager for the company.
Jessica “Jessi Love” Rivera, was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City. She developed a passion for dance during her early childhood years and trained with the Vickie Sheer Dance Company. Jessica performed locally in her community and also at Carnegie Hall. During her undergraduate studies, she enrolled in modern and jazz dance classes and continues to grow within her craft by taking additional dance classes during her travels to both Jamaica and Canada. Jessica currently holds a Master’s Degree in Education and is currently an elementary school teacher. She enjoys teaching and sharing the excitement of dance and choreography with her students. Jessica continued her passion of dance by joining Raediant Movement as a training-to-stage member in 2018. Since then, she has performed with the company at the John F. Kennedy Center and the DC Dance Summit in Washington, DC. In 2021, Jessica was officially invited to join Raediant Movement LLC as a company member.
Mashari Whitfield was born in Richmond, CA., located in the San Francisco Bay Area’s East Bay region, where she discovered her love for dance in ballet classes at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts at the age of 6. She later joined the El Cerrito High School Dance Program, known for its quality and rigor, and trained in Afro Haitian Dance, Modern Dance, and Dance Production. She especially enjoyed performing in dance concerts during performance seasons. She continued her dance journey through participating in dance fitness and dance classes of many genres across the African diaspora including Jamaican Dancehall, Latin, Afro Cuban, Belly Dance, Hip Hop, and West African. She loves experiencing freedom through dance and believes that without art, you are not a complete person. Mashari is grateful for the opportunity to realize a dream deferred in her first season as a company member of Raediant Movement.
Yewande Sofola is Raediant Movement’s first company apprentice. She is Senior at Princeton University, pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a Minor in Cognitive Science. While her aspiration is to go into Occupational Therapy after graduation, she hopes to be able to bridge her love of dance with her profession and find ways to incorporate movement into her future endeavors. She has been dancing for around a decade in styles including West African, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Afrobeats, Latin dance, and more. She has trained at Atlanta Ballet, among other settings, and is currently a member of three dance groups on her college campus.