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 dancers came together via Moving Target Portland, formed a collaborative, and took on the dance studio at 408 Broadway. Together, they execute the vision of the organization. 


Kristen Stake, Director

As Director of The Living Room, Kristen Stake guides the organization’s vision and oversees teachers and staff. She is the person to contact for space rental and general programmatic questions. A Portland, Maine-based dance performer, she teaches Contact Improvisation and Spontaneous Composition at 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.

SPELL Facilitators

Chloe Cekada, SPELL Facilitator

Chloe Cekada (pictured far right) is one of the co-founders of The Living Room and is a lead organizer of SPELL (South Portland Experimental Language League), an inclusive, queer-positive, feminist dance class facilitated alongside Martha Schnee (pictured left) and Isabel Neal (center). Chloe has danced in Boston, the San Francisco Bay area, Macworth Island, Denmark, Maine, and The Living Room and has performed in works by Sara Shelton Mann and Hio Ridge Dance. Chloe graduated from College of the Atlantic in 2015 with a BA in Human Ecology, works at Preble Street Teen Center with LGBTQ youth, and is committed to fighting for racial justice.

Nicole Chioma Antonette Mokeme

Nicole Chioma Antonette Mokeme, Movement Facilitator 

A local performance artist and movement facilitator for children, teens and adults, Nicole leads The Dance Club and The Storytelling and Performance "Playshop" for adults at The Living Room.  She is the Creative Director of Rise & Shine Youth Retreat and a Co-creator of the Theater Ensemble of Color. 


Janoah Bailin, Events Manager & Circus Teacher

Janoah Bailin is in charge of the Kids Program and teaches Circus classes for children at The Living Room. He 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, Modern Dance Instructor

Kerry Constantino teaches Modern Dance technique in both our Adult and Youth program. She 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.

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Rachel Schwartz, Contact Improvisation Instructor

Rachel Schwartz has been studying dance for over 30 years, including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Axis Syllabus, and Contact Improvisation. She has studied CI with world renowned teachers, including Nancy Stark Smith, Ray Chung, Karen Nelson, and Kirstie Simson. She spent 2 years at Earthdance, an improvisational dance retreat center in the Berkshires, and currently teaches in Maine with guest appearances throughout New England.