Meet Our First Class Fellow: Schanaya Barrows

Hello hello hello! My name is Schanaya Barrows. I am 22 years old and I’m from Boston MA. I’ve just graduated from Salem State University this past May 2021 with a BFA in Theatre Performance and a minor in Dance Performance.


Performing has been a part of my life since I was really young. My mother and grandmother put me in modeling and dance at the age of 2. It started with ballet, jazz, acro, and tap, and I loved it! I was really shy as a kid, so dancing was what got me out of my shell. I’ve been dancing now for 20 years with Uptown Dance Company in Boston Ma, Broadway Dance Company, Dance Force in Norwood Ma, Repertory Dance Theatre, and Salem Student Dance Ensemble Salem State University.

Dance is a huge part of my life, but I’ve also always had a passion for acting. I did local commercials and some modeling when I was around the age of 2-7, and got a good feel of the acting world and definitely wanted to try more. I started theatre my senior year of high school doing improv and makeup work for shows. I then began my acting experience my freshman year of college acting as many versatile roles, and performing many different styles/ genres of Theatre. I got the privilege to attend the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) in the Irene Ryan acting competition, and made it to nationals in Washington D.C. where we performed and trained at the Kennedy Center.

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Because of all of these amazing experiences and extensive training, I have found a special love for choreographing and producing. I have worked with my high school on their musical productions, and took composition classes in college to further my skills in choreography. I have choreographed and ran as the dance/fight captain for a few productions at Salem State such as Ragtime, Much Ado About Nothing, and A Long Christmas Ride Home.


I want to continue pushing myself and live my passion for performance. I am starting my own performing arts company with my friends in hopes to reach all audiences of all backgrounds. 

A conduit between undergraduate courses and a professional dance career. 



Our weekly contemporary classes provide rigorous contemporary dance training in a community prompted by the joy of learning, taught by local Massachusetts artists.

Thursdays 10 - 11:30 AM with Tahimy Miranda

Saturdays with 11 - 12:30 PM with Victoria L. Awkward & VLA Company

Tahimy's Class Description: This combination class will focus on Flying Low technique while introducing concepts from the contemporary dance world at large. Flying Low technique focuses on the dancer's relationship with the floor. You will learn to utilize breathing, mobility, speed, spiral and the release of energy throughout the body in order to activate the relationship between the center and the joints, moving in and out of the ground more efficiently by maintaining a centered state. 


VLA DANCE's Class Description: VLA DANCE contemporary class focuses on exploring exercises in spiraling, weight shifts and softening and finishes with regenerative energy phrase work. 



Class Fellows program provides recent college graduates (1 - 2 years after undergraduate school) who live in Massachusetts with four months of free VLA DANCE classes. Class Fellows will receive a $250 honorarium to support the transition from college to the workforce, to be used at the discretion of the dancer.

Class Fellows must attend at least one class weekly for their four month period and are asked to interpret their experience through a final creative writing or photographic response to be included in our annual journal, POLLEN.


After completing the VLA DANCE Class Fellows program artists are given a discount of 50% off all of our classes and workshops for an additional year.



We offer one class fellow spot per 4 months.  The next application is due December 6, 2021 for February - May, 2021.

Please email us at victoria@vladance.com with attn: class fellow. Please let us know why you are interested in this program, your experience in dance, and your collegiate alma mater in the body of the email.

Picture by halfasianlens