The Living Room

About & Contact

Our Mission

The Living Room is a cultural nexus for anyone looking to expand their physical range, deepen their body awareness, and investigate movement as a way to experience the world. We offer training for all ages in composition, improvisation, experimental movement, anatomical research, and performance strategy. We seek to elevate the place of dance within the contemporary arts community of Greater Portland by cultivating interdisciplinary collaborations and curating cutting edge performances by local and visiting artists. As a collective of artists, we are invested in socially conscious practices that avoid cultural appropriation, encourage self-care, and strengthen the field of dance.

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The Living Room was started when a group of five dancers (janoah bailin, Chloe cekada, cookie harrist, delaney mcdonough, and kristen stake) came together via Moving Target Portland, formed a collaborative, and took on the vision of fostering more opportunities for modern, postmodern, and contemporary dance in maine.


Kristen Stake, Director, She/Her/Hers

As Director of The Living Room, Kristen Stake guides the organization’s vision and oversees teachers and volunteers. A Portland, Maine-based dance performer, she teaches Contact Improvisation and Spontaneous Composition for the Living Room and in college classrooms. A Portland resident for the bulk of 20 years, she also spent 4 years in Western Massachusetts studying dance and bodywork. She holds an MFA from Vermont College in Poetry Writing, practices Thai Massage professionally, and is a Certified Yoga Teacher.


Heather Stewart, Programming Coordinator, She/Her/Hers

Heather Stewart is a Canadian choreographer and dance artist currently based in Portland, ME. She has been creating and presenting original work for performance in Montreal, London, and Boston since 2012. In the past Heather’s work has been shortlisted for The Deustche Bank Award for Creative Enterprises and she has received funding and awards from The Boston Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Somerville Arts Council, and The Canada Council for the Arts. The development of her choreographic work has been supported by organizations and residencies including Espace Marie Chouinard, The Place, Centre de Création O Vertigo (CCOV), Earthdance, and Tanzzentrale der region Nürnberg.


Riley Watts, Programming Coordinator, He/Him/His

Watts is based in Portland, and his work explores consciousness through movement. He trained at Bangor Ballet and Walnut Hill School for the Arts and received a bachelor’s degree in dance from The Juilliard School in 2007. He has danced across Europe and works as a freelance teacher, choreographer, researcher and performer. Watts is on the faculty at the Bangor Ballet, a member of the advisory committee for the Bates Dance Festival and a dance and performance advisor for Space Gallery. He is the recipient of a Princess Grace Award.

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Rebecca Bass, Bookkeeper

, She/Her/Hers

Rebecca Bass grew up in the Philadelphia area and holds a degree in Dance and Economics from Barnard College of Columbia University. As a student at Barnard, she co-founded and served as artistic director of Columbia University Ballet Ensemble. She has performed with Columbia Ballet Collaborative, e r a Dance Collective, and Ballet Bloom Project and has worked with choreographers Diane Coburn Bruning, Sarah Esser, Andrew Harper, Francesca Harper, Rose Hutchins, Ana Isabel Keilson, Matthew Neenan, and Daniel Pahl. She moved to Portland from New York City in October 2017 and performed in the inaugural Maine Moves showcase in April 2018.

Kelsie Steil, Assistant Director

, She/Her/Hers

Kelsie Steil is a dancer, choreographer and outdoor educator living in the Portland, Maine area. She graduated from Plymouth State University with a Bachelors in Adventure Education and Dance in May, 2018. There she received the Contemporary Dance Ensemble Award for her achievements in choreography. Kelsie has had the joy of living, dancing and creating internationally; her most recent major work was a three-part film project based in Lithuania. Her happy places are open studios, open seas and any place she can laugh and eat good food with good people.


Heather Flor Cron, Marketing & Community Liaison, She/They/He

Flor is a queer Peruvian-American artist who works in choreography, performance, installation, printmaking and object making. Born in New Jersey, Flor and her family relocated to Southern Maine in the early ‘90s. From a young age, Flor frequently travelled to Peru to visit her maternal family, there her interest in dance was ignited. They are heavily influenced by the interactions between the body and space, bodies with bodies, ethnography, feminine archetypes, the “inbetween”, boundaries, manifestos, personal histories, desire and rage. Flor currently studies Sculpture & Transdisciplinary Art at Maine College of Art. Flor lives in Midcoast Maine with her cat Piña Bausch.

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Michelle Tsiakaros, Marketing & Community Liaison

, She/Her/Hers

Michelle is a nonprofit admin wizard, photographer, short film creator and mover from many places. Michelle grew up dancing in her own living room, taking bits she learned from both the Dominican and Greek sides of her family. While working at a nonprofit reproductive rights law firm during the day, in her spare time she enjoys creating work that challenge and embrace the concept of beauty. Bouncing around New York, Boston and Los Angeles, Michelle now lives in Portland, Maine.


Janoah Bailin, Co-Founder & Volunteer, He/Him/His

Janoah Bailin studied at the Suspenders Juggling Troupe in Falmouth, MA, then toured with Circus Smirkus. Janoah attended the College of the Atlantic in Maine. He teaches students all over Southern Maine how to juggle, perform and drop things playfully.


Kerry Constantino, Volunteer, She/Her/Hers

Kerry Constantino teaches Modern Dance and has been a dancer and choreographer for over 15 years based in Laban-Bartenieff Studies, Evans technique, improvisation, and yoga. Kerry places a great emphasis on facilitating students to find their own range and personal expression through movement and staying true to each individuals' own "voice" as a dancer. She grew up in Missoula, Montana and studied Dance at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque.