Toni Temehana Pasion is a dancer and educator of Tagalog, Ilocano, and Kapampangan heritages, born in San Jose, California and raised in Los Angeles, California. She received her BA from the University of California, Riverside in Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies, and her MA in Dance at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her creative practice includes Hawaiian hula, Philippine dance, ori Tahiti, contemporary dance, and writing.
Toni has danced in the works of Kahaʻi Sueoka and Kumu Vicky Holt Takamine, Jack Gray, Sami L.A. Akuna, Dåkot-ta Alcantara-Camacho, Wailana Simcock, Sri Susilowati, and Gustavo Gonzalez. She has also performed as a dancer with Kayamanan Ng Lahi, Kealiʻi O Nalani, Måtao New Performance Project, Tevakani, and Global Motions World Dance Company, along with many years as a haumana (hula student) of hālau (hula schools) in Los Angeles, Aotearoa, and Oʻahu. She was also a performing artist in Indigenous Choreographers at Riverside, East Meets West Festival on Maui, and High Voltage at the Electric Lodge, among others. Toni is a 2018 High Impact Fellow with TeAda Productions, facilitating self-care workshops in partnership with the UCLA Labor Center, Los Angeles Workers Center Network, Pilipino Workers Center, and Program for Tortured Victims.
Toni’s creative research interests are in 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.
Toni has conducted dance and culture-based creative process workshops in Los Angeles, Hawai’i, and the Philippines. She has also presented her work in multiple conferences in Hawai’i.
Toni is the founder and producer of A Stage of Our Own (ASOO), a Philippine and Pacific Island collective of artists, organizers, educators, and researchers, creating contemporary works centered on womxn’s experiences. She is also a Teaching Artist with Arts Alive, serving various elementary schools in the South Bay. Her curriculum includes dance, music, language, geography, and cultural values. She works towards expanding culture-based education, thereby fostering a future generation geared towards social equality and inclusion.