Bio - Randa Atkins
Randa Atkins grew up in San Francisco’s vibrant Mission District, the place where her family fully embraced culture and the arts. She was a student at Rooftop Elementary School and also attended their associated Children’s After School Arts Program. This program taught her the necessary skills required to be a dynamic performer through her participation in their annual musical productions.
Extracurricular activities and alternate forms of expression were also major influences in her life. From the age of 3, Randa enrolled in classes at the American Gymnastics Club and later began her life as a competitive gymnast at age 10. By age 11, she made changes to her training program by joining San Francisco Gymnastics Inc. As part of their compulsory team, she competed in many gymnastics competitions whilst juggling ballet classes as mandated by her training regimen.
This immersion into ballet made her see that her love for dance quickly outweighed her love for gymnastics. So after an injury in 2005, she said goodbye to gymnastics and devoted her time to becoming the best dancer she could be. As a child, Randa studied Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Contemporary at Shan Yee Poon Ballet School, the Academy of Ballet and at any drop in classes she could find.
As a high school student, she began substituting and teaching her own dance classes and simultaneously performed with the Academy of Ballet’s youth company “Chamberdance”. As a high school senior, she returned to where she got her start; the Children’s After School Arts (CASA) and began teaching weekly dance classes with a focus on choreographing movement pieces for their end of year production – something CASA had never done before.
In 2010, Randa finally became a college student attending the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in History of Science while performing with the Arts House Dance Company. Though life moved on for Randa, she never forgot her roots. During her summer breaks, she constantly involved herself in teaching dance at either Shan Yee Poon or the Children’s After School Arts. Upon graduation in 2014, she participated in the Philadelphia Dance Company’s (Philadanco) Apprenticeship Program. Her pre graduation participation garnered an invitation to dance in a choreography expo in October of 2013.
Today, Randa is still very passionate about dancing and performing and hopes to instill a love of expression in all of her students. In her spare time Randa sings, dances and draws – displaying her visual creations in art shows whenever she can. To this day she firmly believes that the discipline and perseverance she learned through her extensive experience in the arts, directly contributed to her success in school and she hopes to provide a similar experience for the next generation.