WDI - World Dance Initiative
Anise Arts
Cheol BaekJo Korean Dance

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Sunrise on the Beach Boot Camp®

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Korean Dance: Traditional & Fusion

Karen Kriegel
888-C Eighth Avenue, Unit 421
New York, New York 10019 U.S.A.


World Dance Initiative



The WDI-World Dance Initiative is an umbrella organization for a dance and music collective including Cheol BaekJo Korean Dance, Reflections and Anise Arts. The WDI-World Dance Initiative works in collaboration with folkloric dancers of other genres in performance and educational settings.


Cheol BaekJo Korean Dance

What is KOREAN DANCE? This beautiful dance form is both ancient and very new. Korean dance is a 5000 year old dance form has been preserved and reconstructed in various contexts, survived to modern times and now brought to North America. Korean dance takes the internal expression that each person possesses and transmits this expression via dance. Within Korean dance there are several ‘genres’ (or dance styles) evolving from graceful to the physically dynamic. In addition to presenting ‘traditional’ dances, the WDI-World Dance Initiative also includes Korean Neo-Traditional and Korean Fusion in its repertoire. Inspired by other forms of world dance, urban dance and classical dance typically found within the wide cultural diversity and accessibility of resources in New York City. CHEOL BAEKJO KOREAN DANCE is a mixed nationality dance group which focuses on the Traditional and Modern expressions of KOREAN DANCE

Anise Arts

Who is ANISE ARTS? It is the creative collaboration of cross-cultural dance artists: Karen Kriegel and Athena Najat! Creating Silk Road connections through traditional and modern expressions of Korean dance and traditional and modern expressions of Arabic and Anatolian dance. Join us for workshops, festivals, parades, and events in education and entertainment!


Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent. It covers 29.9% of the Earth’s total land area and accommodates approximately 4 billion people, which hosts 60% of the world's current human population REFLECTIONS brings together Indigenous, Diaspora and Third cultural artists of various creative backgrounds reflecting the cultural and creative diversity of Asian dance, music and art within performance and educational settings.




So…WHY Korean dance? Because great art transcends all national and cultural borders. Besides, it’s N.Y.C. the cultural capital of the world. We have everything here! That’s WHY!

Karen Ann Elizabeth Kriegel began her Korean dance career in N.Y.C. while attending the Juilliard School when introduced to Master Sohn InYoung of the NOW Dance Company of Seoul, Korea. For 17 years Ms. Kriegel has studied with many teachers including two Korean national treasures: Master Cho GongRye (Kanggangsuallae) and Master DongHee SahNihm (P’ompae / YanSanJae). Ms. Kriegel has also won several gold medals in Korean dance while performing, teaching and lecturing regularly on the subject of Korean dance worldwide.

Currently, Ms. Kriegel focuses on Korean traditional dance, neo-traditional and fusion dance while working on her own dance company the WDI-World Dance Initiative: an umbrella group for a dance and music collective including Cheol BaekJo Korean Dance, Reflections and Anise Arts. The World Dance Initiative works in collaboration with folkloric dancers of other genres in performance and teaching settings.

In addition Ms. Kriegel is the Korean dance teacher at Democracy Prep Charter High School the Korean Culture School in Harlem.

Administratively, Ms. Kriegel has managed several dancers, lived in Athens, Greece working as a Dance Researcher for CID – UNESCO Conseil International de la Danse, held positions on the Board of Directors at Lotus Music and Dance in NYC and as Outreach Director for Dance Parade.


Athena Najat is a Greek-American professional dancer, instructor and choreographer in Danse Orientale: Arabic and Anatolian dance. Athena began her career in the exciting and diverse cultural capital of New York City, and has since travelled the world studying dance and culture at its roots. She is now based in Athens, Greece. With her enhanced training and studies with top teachers in Egypt and Turkey, Athena has been a featured dancer / instructor throughout the world, in Japan, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Morocco, Greece, Sicily, Israel, and in many cities in the U.S.A. She has won awards at international performance and choreography competitions in Cairo, Egypt (Nile Group Festival-April 2009) and in Prague, Czech Republic (Let’s Dance Festival -July 2010). Athena is a rising star in Oriental dance, being sought after as a performer and teacher. She is recognized for her integrity and respect for the dance’s history and cultural traditions as well as for her theatrical innovation, creativity and sincerity in performance.

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