Ben Needham-Wood is co-founder/director of Athletic Art Productions and currently performs with Smuin Contemporary American Ballet. His background in dance includes a great variety of disciplines, ranging from hip hop dance to classical ballet. In his professional performance career Ben has performed works by some of the world’s leading choreographers such as Val Caniparoli, Alejandro Cerrudo, Jiri Kylian, Helen Pickett, Amy Seiwert, Michael Smuin, and Stanton Welch, to name a few. In May of 2016, Ben was awarded a Northern California Area Emmy Award for his choreography in Baseballet - a documentary segment produced by CSN Bay Area to promote the athleticism of dance. Ben’s choreography has also been featured by Bay Area companies Dance Theatre of San Francisco and Smuin Contemporary American Ballet, as well as several other companies and festivals across the United States and Canada. As a dance educator, Ben hopes to inspire his students by creating a fun, positive, supportive class atmosphere with emphasis on bringing out the individuality that makes dance so incredible.