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WHO
WE ARE

Leadership
Team
.

Ile Oro is run by volunteers and with the support of the community.

Alaje

Executive Director

Senior-level IT manager, an ordained priest of the Yoruba-centric Lukumi tradition, and a former company member of the Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago and the Alyo Children's Dance Theatre, Alaje Thomas is Ile Oro’s founder and spiritual mentor from the South Side of Chicago. He functions as a spiritual elder in the orisa community of Chicago, guiding devotees through rites of passage and throughout their spiritual development. He is a former college professor, active information technology professional, and lover of various cultural studies. Alaje ensures that Ile Oro functions effectively and holds the leadership committee accountable for executing key activities for managing the organization. He sets the expectations for operations and communications. Relying on his experience and community involvement, Alaje hopes to inspire and support the community to develop systems for creative entrepreneurship and 21st-century arts & culture preservation. 

Asiel

Artistic Director

Asiel is originally from Chicago. The most recent credit for Asiel is performing with Megan the stallion on her old Hollywood-inspired Grammy performance. In recent years, Asiel has toured with Shania Twain and then received a promotion with her camp to choreograph her Vegas residency. He has toured with Lady Gaga as her dance captain, choreographing assistant, and principal dancer. Asiel has also toured with Rihanna on her world tour “Anti” as her principal. He has years of experience in the entertainment industry. Other choreography credits for Asiel include: so you think you can dance, American Horror Story, Hunger Games movie trailer, and Hulu’s East Los High where he also works as a consulting producer. Asiel also works as a movement coach and artist development where he organically brings out the best version movement-wise for the new up and coming artists and established artists. Asiel enjoys performing for artists and creative directing/consulting live stage and tv performances. He controls Ile Oro's public appearance and will represent the leadership committee in its artistic endeavors. Asiel feels the most important thing about performance is that the audience feels something; it should be an escape for them and all the performers on the stage -- a place where they can experience a magical moment together.

Maria

Executive Assistant

Maria is from the South Side of Chicago is a community ambassador that enjoys spending her time volunteering and mentoring the youth. Her work and experience are pushing her to pursue leadership roles. Maria is professionally trained and degreed in Sports Management in addition to Early Childhood education.  And she is a creative entrepreneur. She looks forward to her continued journey with Ile Oro. 

Reina

Manager of Cultural Promotions 

Reina has appeared in numerous films, TV shows, commercials, and music videos. She has had the delightful pleasure to tour and travel the world performing in sold-out arenas and stadiums with artists including P!nk, Rihanna, JLO, Ricky Martin, Gloria Estefan, Kyle Minogue, Missy Elliott, Ciara, Janelle Monae, Paula Abdul, and many more. Her film credits include Disney "Teen Beach Movie”, Hannah Montana”, “Being the Ricardos”, and “Live By Night”. T.V. credits: CBS Mom, MTV VMA’S, GRAMMY’S, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Latin Grammys, and BET Awards, to name a few. She has also been Supervisor Choreographer and Consulting Producer for the EMMY Nominee HULU original show “East Los High” for five seasons. She was on elf the choreographers on Masked Singer season 6. You can catch her in the USHER “HENNESEY” Commerical and as one of the animation dancers in DISNEY “ENCANTO” as Tia Pepa. She sets and guides the strategy for all promotional messages and events to articulate Ile Oro's mission. She coordinates and organizes annual meetings that engage Ile Oro and its diverse audiences and works with our partners and collaborators to create mutually beneficial promotional goals. 

Lena

Manager of Cultural Programs

Lena Giroux is a professional dancer and choreographer. She has traveled the world dancing with and/or choreographing for artists such as Janet Jackson, Beyonce, Amerie, Christina Aguilera, Destiny's Child, Chaka Khan, Outkast, Hillary Duff, En Vogue, and The Pussycat Dolls. Lena is one of the choreographers behind The Pussycat Dolls "Buttons" stage/video choreography. She has a great love for the art of dancing and choreographing. Her experience includes the art of burlesque from assisting with the creation of Ivan Kane’s Forty Deuce presents “Royal Jelly”, as well as Kane’s “Classic Show” in both L.A. and Vegas. She relishes the opportunity to work in different genres and learn new skills, which is illustrated by her dawning the hats of Artistic Director and Choreographer for Disney’s The Cheetah Girls. She was a featured dancer, singer, and understudy to Mel B. in Jerry Mitchell’s PEEPSHOW. Lena co- artistically directed and co-choreographed a live salsa fusion burlesque show with Sheila E. at Los Angeles’ Conga Room, and in 2012 joined the artistic direction team for Adam Lambert’s tour and album entitled “Trespassing”. Lena is also an expert producer of live events, including shows, galas, and festivals.