stories starting with…

features new works by Lauren Christie, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, Jaime Nixon, and grace shinhae jun with dancers Guillermo Castro, Desiree Cuizon, Marty Dorado, Nicole Oga and Chelsea Zeffiro. These pieces, both live performance and dance film works, connect us to where we come from, where we’ve been, and where we are going.


Live outdoor performances: May 1 & 2 @ 8pm

tickets are presale only – no tickets will be sold on site

the program

The space between by Lauren Christie

Lauren Christie’s “The space between” is a meditation on space, aloneness, connection, and comfort. This work reflects the seeming paradox of the current moment – a time of tenderness and perseverance, longing for and retreating from, seeing and not seeing. It is a duet that involves deep listening between the performers, Guillermo Castro and Nicole Oga. It invites the audience into a shared sense of time being drawn out and snapped back, and a shared sense of breath being held and exhaled. “The space between” features an original score by musician/composer Shayla James.


Lauren Christie is a performer, teacher, and choreographer. She is a current company dancer with DISCO RIOT, Malashock Dance, and San Diego Dance Theater. Since moving to San Diego, Lauren has been honored to dance with many local artists including: Blythe Barton Dance, Erica Buechner, Thom Dancy, Jean Isaacs, John Malashock, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, Khamla Somphanh, Gina and Kyle Sorenson (somebodies dance theater), and Chelsea Zeffiro. She has also performed throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with DC-based Christopher K. Morgan & Artists (2012-2018). Carmel Morgan of CriticalDance writes that Lauren is “captivating…an agile performer with a knack for getting under your skin.” She received her early training at the Ballet Memphis School, and earned her BA with Honors in Public Communication and French with a dance minor from American University. Lauren presented a solo work at DISCO RIOT’s Choreo & Skate in March 2020, and is thrilled to create a duet for DISCO RIOT this spring.

Powerball Draft #1 by Zaquia Mahler Salinas

Zaquia Mahler Salinas’ “Powerball” (Draft #1) is a dive into characters: a narrator named Eddie from 1946, the lineage of women entertainers like the flapper girls of old and the Vanna White’s of television, plus “the village” – a small town archetype of high-stakes ritual and tradition. Connected through plot points derived from “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, these characters tell the story of America past and present. A commentary on pop culture, politics, and social injustice, this mashup work is a compilation of references that insist we take stock of current events, the long term implications of these, and address the past, present and future through a dystopic lens. This work is in development in collaboration with the dancers Guillermo Castro, Desiree Cuizon, Lauren Christie, Marty Dorado, Nicole Oga, Chelsea Zeffiro, and musician/composer Jonny Tarr.


DISCO RIOT Artistic Director and Co-Founder, Zaquia Mahler Salinas, is a native of San Diego. After receiving her BA in Dance with Honors from UC Santa Barbara in 2011, she returned to San Diego and danced for Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theater from 2012-2018. In 2017 she obtained her MFA in Dance: Creative Practice with Honors from Saint Mary’s College of California where she focused on dance as a platform for social justice. She is currently serving as dance faculty at San Diego City College and Coronado School of the Arts. As an artist, Zaquia has been choreographing and producing work since 2011, and has presented live and filmed dance works throughout California, Texas, Peru and Mexico. Zaquia is also an E-RYT 500 certified yoga teacher and leads classes throughout San Diego.

In her maiden name by Jaime Nixon

“In her maiden name” by Jaime Nixon attempts to allow all time to happen at once. As a chart of past, present, future; the body becomes a geographical map of memory.  All of this is explored in an attempt at forgiveness. I made this because I believe that through my own assimilation and my mothers struggle to grant me an opportunity for the “American Dream,” I was conditioned to blame her for my failures. While feeling my ambition being tampered with, I develop a language that gives an understanding of the relationship between adversity, trauma, and the love for a mother.


Jaime Nixon graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2018, where he had the honor of teaching through The Place CAT Scheme, as well as performing for Theo Clinkard, James Cousins, Xin Xin Song, and Hofesh Schecter. Jaime trained in Cunningham, Release, Action Theatre, Gaga, Flying-Low, and Contact Improvisation, all of which inspire his own practices. In California, Jaime has been a company member for San Diego Dance Theater and has also performed for Blythe Barton, Somebodies Dance Theatre, Anne Gehman, and Keith Johnson. He has shown his work at The Place’s Robin Howard Theatre, ArtPowers New Adventurers, SDSU’s Make it Concert, CECUT in Mexico, Saville Theatre, Whitebox, and has received awards through SDDT Young Choreographers Showcase & Lux Boreal’s 4×4 TJ Nights. Jaime began dancing at 19 through San Diego City College, and is forever grateful for the guidance and support from the faculty for helping him shape the path and human he has taken on.

Offerings by grace shinhae jun

Directed by grace shinhae jun of bkSOUL and performed by Lauren Christie, Desiree Cuizon, Jaime Nixon, and Zaquia Mahler Salinas, “Offerings” is a meditation on reciprocity, exchange, and connection. What is the bond that is created between two souls, between people and the earth, when an offering is made, given, or shared?


Dr. grace shinhae jun is a mother, wife, artist, scholar, organizer, and mover who creates and educates on the traditional and unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. She directs bkSOUL, an award-winning performance company that merges together movement, poetry, and live music. She is a founding core member of Asian Solidarity Collective and collaborator with Street Dance Activism. grace received an MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and a PhD through the joint doctoral program at UCSD/UCI. She continues to research and present her scholarly work on Hip Hop Dance and Culture and teaches at UCSD, San Diego City College, and with transcenDANCE Youth Arts Project.

DISCO RIOT is committed to providing accessibility to all participants and the widest possible audience, regardless of technology or ability. Individuals with disabilities, who would like to attend or participate in any of our events, are encouraged to contact [Erika Wexler, Executive Director, email: info@discoriot.ort, phone: 210-865-4279] regarding any special accommodation needs.