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MERGE IS a festival celebration of local dancers through performances and educational offerings.


MERGE Educators, performers & studios

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

Deviant Dance & Fitness is a dynamic and inclusive space where everyday individuals can explore and reclaim their passion for movement, connect with others, and unleash their creativity in a supportive and empowering environment. As a studio, we value technical proficiency, artistic integrity, and our growing movement community. Deviant is committed to catering to the diverse interests and preferences within the community, by offering a wide variety of classes, ensuring that there is something for everyone, regardless of their experience level or background. As a performance group, we are known for our theatrical versatility, authentic attitude, and ability to captivate audiences with powerful and unforgettable performances. Deviant is excited to showcase the talents of some of our Pole, Lyra, and Chairlesque performers at this year’s MERGE festival. |  @Deviant_Dance_Tribe 

Maya June Dwyer is an interdisciplinary artist and choreographer based in New York and Montréal specializing in hybrid dance-theatre-music works and site-specific immersive performances. She has trained and worked with companies including PUSH Physical Theatre, The Hofesh Shechter Company, and Pilobolus, and she recently completed Big Bang, Espace Ouvert’s contemporary dance training program in Montréal. She has received grants in New York State and the greater U.S. for her original work, including an Opportunity to Create grant from A.R.T - NY (Pansy Craze), and a New York State Council of the Arts GRACE Fund Individual Artist Commission (Mad Scene). Most recently, she was a 2024 recipient of the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable Mentorship program, and in 2023 was one of 12 choreographers in New York State to be awarded the NY State Dance Force Choreographer’s Initiative. Maya is a frequent guest artist at Le Moyne College, where she directs and choreographs radically movement-infused productions of plays and musicals. She is one-half of Dans la lune, a music duo and interdisciplinary partnership with Youssef Nassar. Recent performance credits include Harper Pitt, Angels in America (Redhouse Arts Center), The Chosen, and Dracula National Tour (PUSH Physical Theatre). | @mayajunepapaya @danslaluneduo

Veteran choreographer Diana Torba (Barnard College, NYC, and St. Michael's Warriors, touring company out of South Bronx) leads the incredible ensemble of earthen movers that is SpeakDanceCNY. Created to increase the normalcy and visibility of professional modern dance performance in Central New York, their creations are simultaneously classical and new, transcendent, yet accessible. Brianna Macri, Amanda St. Amour, and Andrea Torres round out the technical excellence and expressive maturity that is the genius of dance created with grown bodies and minds. | @speakdancecny

Known for her intense teaching style, Dominique Dawkins has a gift of inspiring dancers through her choreography and passion for the nature of dance. She drives her students with her enthusiasm and raw perspectives. She specializes in understanding awareness of ones soul through movement while educating good technique. Dominique has taught master classes, workshops, and set choreography through New York state. Currently, the director, owner and choreograph of Dominique's Dance Creations, she has received numerous choreography awards both regionally and nationally. Dominique has performed and was part of The Apollo, So You Think You Can Dance, and America's Got Talent 2012. Dominiques passion and raw talent has earned her scholarships to the Joffrey Ballet, Alvin Alley, Dance Theater of Harlem, Broadway Dance Center, and NYSSA. Beginning her training at the young age of 3, Dominique has experienced a world wide training in numerous styles of dance. She has over 20 years experience in all different techniques such as jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, acrobatics, and ballroom. Dominique challenges her dancers to "Dare To Be Different" and dance for the best they can be. She hopes to continue to grow while transcending passion to every dancer she can. | @dominiquesdancecreations

The Central Bellydance School aims to give students an organized way to learn belly dance with classes that build confidence and skills while preserving the unique flavor of raqs sharki/oryantal dans and avoiding the sterilizing influence of standardization that is so antithetical to this diverse folk dance. We believe in honoring the cultures these dances come from. Most of all, we believe in the power of fun and friendship. Just like the movements of oriental dance restore muscle balances in the body, the playful nature of gathering with friends and enjoying the dance restores an emotional balance. Please enjoy a performance by Liz and Lisa Lumina as they showcase a medley of belly dance styles! | @centralbellydanceschool

Jason Ngo is thrilled to be able to combine two forms of dance styles to his performance highlighting his Vietnamese cultural background as well as his involvement with the Ball scene. He will be showcasing Vogue dance elements as well as traditional Vietnamese fan dancing. Prepare to be captivated by the fusion of two vibrant dance forms. | @jockin_jay

Founded in 2023, Central New York Ballet is an artist-centered, inclusive, professional ballet company dedicated to uncompromising artistic excellence. A new organization with deep roots - Our dancers and artistic staff have decades of combined experience dancing in and directing ballet companies. Artistic Leader Aldo Kattón and dancers Cara Connolly, Natalie Folts, Lucy Hamilton, Claire Solis, Abigail Stewart, Lukas Figliozzi, and Xavier Pugliese-Cuilei are committed to bringing dance at its highest expression to Syracuse and Central New York communities. | @centralnewyorkballet

Jozette Gordon is a professional flow artist and fire dancer based in Syracuse. She has been performing since 2012 at corporate events, clubs, casinos, county fairs, festivals, and private events all over NY state, the US, and Canada. She aims to invoke a sense of mystery, magick, and inspiration through her ethereal dance performances. She brings her props to life with dynamic movement, and gravity defying tricks! She specializes in circus style ground acts with hula hoops, staff, fans, poi, and more, to create a truly mesmerizing experience! She recently joined the Syracuse community and is launching her brand new company this summer called "The League of Intrigue", with the goal of infusing Syracuse events with more exciting entertainment! @_luna_hawks

The Syracuse Acrobatics Club is a decentralized group of athletes and movement artists. We gather together to lift each other up. To learn the latest places we play (and join us!) follow us on Instagram @acroyoga.syracuse



To connect with Deviant Productions, please contact Lisa at

For ticketing information or questions, please contact


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