Culture Shock® is our professional-level dance troupe and provides dancers with rigorous training, performance opportunities, and the chance to dance in numerous high-profile events. Many of Culture Shock® dancers and alumni grace the screen and other stages with their awe-inspiring talent and vision. The tremendous respect this troupe has earned in the local and national performing arts community is maintained by the hard work and dedication of every Culture Shock® dancer, past and present. Culture Shock® is composed of adult dancers generally ages 18 to 30. They are divided into two specialty teams who routinely perform together- one team specializing in Hip Hop choreography, the other in Hip Hop freestyle dance.
Stephen Lyons, Artistic Director
Monique Watson, Deputy Artistic Director
Monique Watson is from Havre de Grace, Maryland where she first started dancing in her church (St. James AME Gravel Hill) with the Inspirational Violets. Her background in classical music (viola), musical theater, gymnastics, and competitive cheerleading fused with growing up in a community that celebrated Bmore club style dancing and social grooves fused into her love for hip hop and urban dance.
In 2013, Monique joined Phunktions Hip Hop Dance Company at University of Maryland College Park where she majored in Anthropology with a minor in Human Development. From 2015-2016 she was the Administrative Director of Phunktions and the following year she became the Artistic Director. During that time, she auditioned for Culture Shock DC’s Season 13 Choreography team and made it as a core dancer. She continued to perform with Culture Shock through Season 14 and was selected to be a Choreography Captain for Season 15. Currently, Monique is the Deputy Artistic Director of the 16th Season of Culture Shock DC.
Amidst being a dancer a part of the organization, Monique has volunteered in numerous ways through Social Media Coordination, Digital Media Strategization, Event Coordination, and Fundraising within Culture Shock for three and a half years.
Monique’s professional performance experience extends to dancing for FKA Twigs Radiant Me Tour Show at the Pier Six Pavillion in Baltimore MD in 2016 under the direction of Kash Powell. In her time outside of rehearsals, Monique teaches hip hop and acro/tumbling for all ages at ZD Dance Academy (Hyattsville, MD) and Black Rock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD). She is also the Artistic Director of a teen performance hip hop company called Positive Directions Through Dance at the Dance Institute of Washington (Washington DC).
Outside of dance, Monique feels like an artist in every way. She draws, paints, writes, plays instruments, does crafts, loves fashion & design, and creating music. She feels that Culture Shock is one of the best places to let her creative hunches manifest all while learning something new about all kinds of people, movement, and overall expression.
Liza Bundalian, Operations Director
Growing up, Liza was not into performing. Pushed by her parents, she would perform Asian-Pacific cultural dances in festivals and the like, but never thought much of it. It wasn’t until her family moved to the States in the late 90s that Liza’s love for dance began after being inspired by many Pop music acts of the time. Throughout her early teens, Liza joined community dance and cheerleading troupes and performed at local talent shows and events. From 2002 to 2005, she attended Great Mills High School, where she joined the school’s dance team and soon became head captain her junior/senior year. Even after she graduated, she returned the following year to help choreograph for the team and became an assistant coach. In 2006, Liza went on to attend the College of Southern Maryland, where she began learning Jazz, Ballet, and Modern, eventually joining the Jazz Ensemble Cast until 2009. She also started working at the House of Dance, LLC, where she became a part-time Hip-Hop instructor until 2014. In 2008, Liza transferred to Towson University and in 2010, wanted to expand her dance vocabulary and studied Ballroom for a semester. After graduating college, Liza moved back home and put her dance knowledge to use, assisting the Filipino-American Association of Southern Maryland as a lead choreographer and dance coordinator. In 2014, Liza moved to Northern Virginia and began training at Metropolitan School of the Arts, later joining the staff as a hip-hop instructor from 2015 to 2016. There, she joined the dance crew, Family Matters. In 2016, Liza achieved a goal that she had worked years for and became a core company dancer for Culture Shock Washington, DC®.
Minilik Addis, Freestyle Director
Minilik Addis is originally from Salisbury, MD. He started dancing with Dynamic Dance Team, based out of the University of Maryland, College Park. Minilik first became involved with Culture Shock DC by joining the scholarship program for Season 13. He then became a core member of the Choreography and Freestyle teams for Season 14, and has been ever since. Minilik’s favorite part of Culture Shock is being able to educate, enrich, and entertain through performances and community engagement.
Open auditions for Culture Shock® are usually held in December/January. Please return here for additional details on auditions to be held in December 2019.
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