Presents a Creative Development Workshop Geared for PCN Preparation-

UGAT: Creating from Our Root



UGAT is facilitated by A Stage of Our Own founder Toni Pasion, dance artist Leah Ramos, multi-disciplinary artist Leilani Banday, and various company members.  Ugat translates to root in the Tagalog dialect. In this workshop, we locate our embodied ancestral creative space.  Participants will be guided through creative movement, writing, and craft-making activities that are geared to activate our spiritual and cultural ugat in creating contemporary Filipinx performing arts.

How do we, as Filipinxs, activate our ancestral connection through creative practice and performance?
How do we as second generation (and further) Filipinx create and live upon Native American lands with mindfulness and respect?

Toni, Leah, and Leilani will guide participants through reflective writing, hands-on craft making, and movement vocabulary from their collaborative practice of embodiment, Philippine folk dance, contemporary dance, and Hawaiian hula.

Who We Are

A STAGE OF OUR OWN (ASOO) is a Philippine and Pacific Island collective of artists, organizers, educators, and researchers, creating contemporary works centered on womxn and non-binary experiences. Our performances are compilations of small works that manifest each members’ cultural and creative practices in the diaspora.

We facilitate culture-based creative development workshops and produce performances for educational, healing, and cultural empowerment purposes. We service Philippine and Pacific Island communities. We have an inclusive approach to serving our communities. While we focus on womxn and non-binary experiences, people of all genders and generations are welcome.

Our mission statements are as follows: – To encourage and foster Philippine and Pacific Island culture and gender empowerment through arts development; – To foster our tangible decisions of allyship and solidarity between one another and among our global and local communities through creative methods; – To maintain our respectful reciprocity between elder and younger generations through our cultural art practices.

About the Facilitators

TONI 2017 2 (1)Toni Temehana Pasion is a dancer, teaching artist, and founder and producer of A Stage of Our Own. Toni is born San Jose, and raised in Los Angeles. Toni’s creative processes are informed by her hula, Philippine, ori Tahiti, contemporary dance, and writing practices. As a teaching artist in various elementary schools in the South Bay, she works towards expanding culture-based education through dance. Toni is currently a dancer with I Moving Lab— an indigenous, inter-cultural,inter-disciplinary global arts collective. She received her MA in Dance from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and her BA in Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies from UC Riverside.

Toni’s creative research interests are in the intersections of Philippine and Pacific Island contemporary art, Ethnic Studies, Women’s Studies, Critical Dance Studies, and Indigenous Contemporary Dance. Her research includes performing in, documenting, and speaking as a panelist in the very first Indigenous Dance Forum at the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at New York University, Fånhasso by the Måtao New Performance Group at the quadrennial Festival of Pacific Arts on Guåhan (Guam), and the I Moving Lab Hawaiʻi tour. Toni received the Halla Huhm award at the University of Hawai’i for excellence in Asia Pacific dance. For more on Toni’s work, visit

leah asoo

Leah Ramos is born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. She has always had a natural love of dance and went on to receive her BFA in Ballet at the University of Cincinnati. She has performed professionally with Ballet Pensacola in Pensacola, Florida and De La Dance Company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. She now resides in Los Angeles and is currently working with Chard Gonzales Dance Theatre for an upcoming show entitled Eye Candy. Additionally, Ramos is a dancer with Kayamanan Ng Lahi and A Stage of Our Own. Leah is half Filipino and half Korean, and is excited to be reconnecting with her Filipino heritage through creative expression and involvement with her newfound community.



Leilani Banday is a Tongva territory based artist taking strides for truth, beauty and indigenous recognition. As a mother of two boys, Leilani draws inspiration from the wisdom that parenthood provides, as well as her experience as an Island Womb*an. “A Stage of Our Own captured me instantaneously. Not only is the platform for Pasifika voices extremely needed at this point in our world but these womxn have become my sisters… this is a family. And from that familial relationship sprouts an inconceivable love which fuels our creative fire almost uncontrollably…. I’m so lucky to be part of this.”


Your campus or organized rehearsal space


A Stage of Our Own supports our local Filipinx and Pacific Island communities. While our establishment as a collective is in its early stages and nearing one year, we are dedicated to create an accessible presence as a resource and supporter of our communities.

We have founding roots in Pacific indigenous contemporary dance. We work to constantly activate our ancestral connections and worldviews as our creative source for healing and cultural empowerment.

Your participation will be documented in our developing Visual Anthology (unless otherwise noted from your organization), and will be included in strategizing our future projects.


“Ancient K(now)ings” snippet
Exploring the cartography of Maglalatik
“Mother Earth” spoken word by Leilani Banday
Cinematic highlights from ASOO’s latest production, UNITY, on March 10, 2018

Salamat for your consideration. We look forward to creating with you. Mabuhay.





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