She // Her // Hers
He // Him // His
They // Them // Theirs

[ID: JanpiStar, a wheelchair user with light brown skin, close-cut dark hair, and an athletic build, smiles and poses with their right upper limb in front of their chest, hand flexed. They wear neon green gauge earrings, a coral tank top, and green leggings.]

Dancer and Drag Queen
Oakland, CA
2021 USA Fellow

This award was generously supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

JanpiStar was born and raised in Puerto Rico. JanpiStar began a bachelor’s degree in Drama at the University of Puerto Rico—Río Piedras in 2012, working with notable performers, directors, and choreographers such as Viveca Vázquez, Carola García, and Petra Bravo before taking up dance in 2013.

They have participated in workshops in writing, movement, acting, and semiotics with the group Malayerba in Ecuador and with the London-based Candoco Dance Company. In 2016, they worked with Bravo in her Instalaciones coreográficas at the Santurce Fine Arts Center in Puerto Rico. From 2016 to 2018, they worked with the theater group Jóvenes del 98, directed by Maritza Pérez, until moving to Oakland, CA, to join AXIS Dance Company, working with choreographers Robert Dekkers, Arthur Pita, and Jennifer Archibald.

Their most recent solo work was commissioned for 2019’s inaugural “FROLIC” Queering Dance Festival. In January 2020, they participated in the Holland Dance Festival with AXIS. They are an integrated dance instructor who has practiced the art of Drag Queen. JanpiStar’s mission is to empower people to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

Portrait photo by Juan C. Malavé.

  • Artwork by JanpiStar
    JanpiStar, 2019. Photoshoot for AXIS Dance Company. Photo by David DeSilva.
    [ID: JanpiStar, a Puerto Rican wheelchair user, springs from their chair, supporting themselves with their lower limbs and their upper limbs open like wings. They wear a red long sleeve shirt, long black pants, and printed sneakers.]
  • Artwork by JanpiStar
    Flutter, October 25-27, 2020. AXIS Dance Company Home Season performance. 60 minutes. Photo by Doug Kaye.
    [ID: JanpiStar performs on stage in their wheelchair, the strands of their flesh toned, fringed bodysuit swaying with their motion. They have light brown skin, close-cut dark hair, and an athletic build.]
Artwork by JanpiStar Artwork by JanpiStar