Company Bios


Founder, Artistic Director


Sadie Weinberg

As a second generation dancer and dancemaker in San Diego, Sadie spent a lot of time in studios watching her mom teach, choreograph and dance. After watching a rehearsal as a teenager at California Ballet, she knew what the rest of her life would be about. She dove in completely, training primarily in ballet and because of her mothers' insistence, in modern. She completed her BFA at the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College in 1999 where she was influenced by Neil Greenberg, Doug Varone and Kevin Wynn among others. Since moving back to San Diego in 2002, Sadie has produced and presented an evening of work every year. She has also presented work in Germany, Canada, Russia, Mexico, New York, Chicago and throughout California. Sadie worked briefly with Gina Gibney while in New York, and has performed locally in San Diego as a company member with Malashock Dance, McCaleb Dance, Jean Isaac's San Diego Dance Theater, Yolande Snaith's ImagoMoves, and other independent dancemakers. Since completing her MFA at UC Irvine in 2005, she has invested most of her creative time in teaching in universities, colleges, high schools and studios throughout San Diego including, UC San Diego, San Diego State University, Cal State San Marcos, MiraCosta College, Palomar College and Coronado School of the Arts. Sadie has also performed works by Shawn Greene of the Lewitsky Company, William Forsythe, Keith Johnson, Doug Varone and Kevin Wynn. She continues to explore and practice somatic modalities as well as contemporary approaches to modern dance. With LITVAKdance Sadie has built a platform for herself, other choreographers and an ensemble of strong, driven, and talented dancers to perform and educate in North County.

Company Dancers


Ashley Akhavan

Ashley started dancing in a studio at a young age, but got her most valuable experience as a maturing dancer at MiraCosta College in 2012. Working closely with professors and mentors Dave Massey and Teresa Jankovic from that point until now, Ashley discovered that her passion lies in educating and creating, specifically contemporary modern dance. Ashley holds a B.A. in Dance from San Diego State University and she plans to pursue her education by obtaining a Master’s degree in Dance with an emphasis in Choreography. Meanwhile, she is currently teaching her second semester of contemporary modern dance at San Dieguito Academy in Cardiff and jazz, hip hop, and tap at studios in the North County coastal communities. She also has a love for Latin Ballroom and teaching fitness classes, such as Pilates and Barre. For the last two years, Ashley has been working with Sadie on projects presented at various venues in San Diego County. She assisted Sadie for a semester of a Modern I class at SDSU in 2016. Studying with Sadie, and this group of individuals has introduced new and invaluable ways of viewing, embodying, and creating movement. email:


María José Castillo

Born and raised in Mexico, María José “Majo,” began her dance training at 9 years old. At the age of 13 she joined Fomento Artístico Cordobes, a junior contemporary ballet school and company, where she toured through Mexico and performed in New York City and Cuba. At the age of 18, she moved to New York City and joined Ballet Hispanico’s second company BHdos. She later received a B.F.A in Dance from SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance class of 2016. While at Purchase, she performed works by Bill T. Jones, Rosalind Newman, Shannon Gillen, Kevin Wynn and Martha Graham. She has later been a part of numerous freelance projects and collaborations with dancers and artists in New York City. Moreover, she performed at New York Fashion Week for the high fashion label PHELAN. Hearing about well-known Purchase Alumni Sadie Weinberg, Majo was drawn to her method, her aesthetic and her company’s mission. So when she recently relocated to San Diego she had the opportunity to be a part of the company and she is grateful to be part of it. When Majo is not dancing she works for an HR company and as a translator for Spanish speakers. email:


Beverly Johnson

Beverly began her classical ballet training at 7 years old at a community center in Japan with Otta Sensei (Mr. Otta). She was soon after invited to dance at his private studio, Ensemble Ballet Classic. Being from a military family, she was forced to move every few years, but she kept her newfound love of dance with her. With each move and each new studio, she expanded her training into other genres of dance- jazz, hip hop, modern, contemporary- and danced competitively at the studio level. As an adult, she's danced at MiraCosta college with choreographers Dave Massey and Teresa Jankovic. This is also where she began her dance journey & relationship with Sadie, a mere 2 years ago, exploring the joy of improvisation and structured chaos. Although dance is definitely her favorite thing to do, she also loves reading, helping people reach their highest potential, and trying to connect- interpersonally and spiritually- as much as possible. Her dancing is inspired by the beauty of nature and of the playful curiosity of children. email:


Berlin Lovio

Berlin's early movement training began with rhythmic gymnastics up until the age of sixteen. After taking her first studio dance class at Oceanside Dance Academy, she ended her career as a nationally ranked gymnast the next day. Berlin’s dance exploration continued throughout college, where she obtained her AA in Dance from MiraCosta College and her BA in Literature and Writing from UC San Diego.

Berlin is currently intrigued and challenged by task based work, movement improvisation, minimalism, and memorization. In her other time, Berlin is the Operations Manager for a local coffee company, Lofty Coffee, while also working towards her teaching credential. Berlin began working with Sadie in 2012, and was instantly attracted to Sadie's thought processes, philosophies, and outlook on movement. She is beyond thankful for the opportunity to represent and embody a company striving for a demonstration of diversity and community, and has immense gratitude for being part of this constant learning experience. email:


Emily Miller

Emily has been turning in circles ever since she learned to walk. After falling in love with classical ballet as a young child, she turned those circles into pirouettes at Performing Arts Workshop in Encinitas. Emily was lucky enough to attend Columbia College Chicago where she was supported, shaped, and radically challenged in her training and ideas about what dance was and could be. She has had the immense pleasure and honor of studying under Darrell Jones, Laura Wade, Dardi McGinley Gallivan, David Dorfman, Larry Rosenberg, Lisa Gonzales, and Richard Woodbury among others. Emily has since come back to takeover and run Performing Arts Workshop armed with a love for community, a fascination with form/function, and a fervent desire to make as much room for and access to the work as possible. Emily has had the immense pleasure of working with Sadie over the last year in and out of the studio. She is thrilled to be able to be part of such an incredible force in San Diego dance. email:


April Tra

April Tra is a dance artist based in San Diego, California. Her dance background has ranged from the physically rigorous and stamina based performance to subtle imagery informed movement. Currently, her movement practice oscillates between technical training, structured improvisation and meditative approaches to movement. April received her BA in Dance Performance from the University of California, Irvine, where she was a member of Donald Mckayle's Etude Ensemble. Over the course of time she has been greatly influenced by moving with Gina and Kyle Sorenson, Kathryn Irey, Kathleen Hermesdorf, Douglas Becker, Ericka Moore and Sadie Weinberg. April stands with Sadie today not only because of a long shared performance history, but because of a desire to contribute to that which has been brewing for quite some time. When April is not dancing, she works as a Department of Justice Accredited Representative providing legal services to the refugee and immigrant population. email:

Guest Performers


Greg Lane

Greg began dancing at 21 after a chance meeting with two San Diego dance pioneers, Jean Isaacs and Nancy McCaleb in a restaurant. He was drawn to the blend of physicality and artistry after his first class with Jean Isaacs. He immediately changed the course of his life, eventually ending up at Cal Arts where he completed his BFA in Dance in 1989. Greg's movement style is deeply influenced by his time working with the iconic Los Angeles choreographer, Bella Lewitsky. Over his 30 year career Greg has danced with the Lewitsky Dance Company, Malashock Dance, Jean Isaacs San Diego Dance Theater and McCaleb Dance. He is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine and currently the Academic Dean at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine. He has 4 beautiful children ages 24, 15, 8 and 6. email: