2024 National Festival Faculty

Meet the 2024 Regional Dance America National Festival Faculty!

  • All
  • Accompanist
  • Adjudicator
  • National Festival Faculty
  • Photography/Videography
  • Theater Staff

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Jill Eathorne Bahr

Jill Eathorne Bahr is a true product of Regional Dance America, having been nurtured in the art of ballet in Michigan under the tutelage of Evelyn Kreason of Michigan Ballet Theatre. She now resides in Jacksonville, Florida, where she has been a faculty member of the Florida Ballet, the city’s professional ballet company. Her acclaimed full-length production of “Romeo & Juliet” is set to be recreated for the company in May 2024.

Jill held the position of Resident Choreographer at Charleston Ballet Theatre for 25 years and was a respected Senior Faculty Member and Choreographer at the Charleston Ballet Center for Dance. Her career is decorated with numerous accolades, including two National Endowment (NEA) Fellowships, four Monticello Fellowships, the William Habich Choreography Award, two South Carolina Arts Fellowships, and two Astral Choreography Awards. Her choreographic creations have graced the stages of esteemed ballet companies nationwide, including Atlanta Ballet, Boston Ballet, Cary Ballet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ballet Eddy Toussaint, Eugene Ballet, Indianapolis Ballet Theatre, Nevada Dance Theatre, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Ballet Michigan, State of Alabama Ballet, Ballet Omaha Joffrey II Dancers, Douglas Anderson School of Arts, Central Indiana Dance Ensemble, Florida Ballet at Jacksonville, Heartland Youth Ballet, Project Ballet, Victoria Ballet Theatre and Fort Wayne Ballet. Her most recent full-length works include “Aladdin and the Magic Carpet,” premiered by Midland Festival Ballet and “Alice in Wonderland,” premiered by Canton Ballet.

Jill has also imparted her knowledge through summer intensive workshops at prestigious institutions such as Boston Ballet (8 summers), Atlanta Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, and Ballet Aspen (3 summers). In 2008, she received the Governor’s Award – “Elizabeth Verner Award”- the highest Arts Award in South Carolina. She was also selected for the esteemed Carlisle Project which provides resources and mentorship to talented choreographers.

She has served on the National Endowment for the Arts Dance Panel and adjudicated College Dance Festivals. An enthusiastic supporter of Regional Dance America, Jill has adjudicated all five regions. The upcoming 2024 National Festival will mark her third time serving as a National Adjudicator for Regional Dance America. Her continued dedication to the organization underscores her commitment to advancing dance.

John Bartenstein

John Bartenstein (Production Manager/Lighting Designer) Design highlights include Les Misérables w/Lauren Kennedy, Oliver! and Miss Saigon w/Kevin Gray, Steel Magnolias with Tony Award Winner Beth Leavel, Cabaret w/Deborah Gibson, The King and I w/Golden Globe winner and Tony nominated Lou Diamond Phillips, Fiddler on the Roof w/Tony nominated Paul Sorvino, Driving Miss Daisy w/Sandy Duncan, The Full Monty w/ Emmy winner Sally Struthers, Jekyll and Hyde w/Sebastian Bach, Evita! w/Lauren Kennedy, The Producers w/Bill Burns, Sweeny Todd w/Tony Award winner Norm Lewis, Altar Boyz, Cats, 5 Guys Named Moe, Annie Get Your Gun w/Larry Gatlin, Man of La Mancha w/Ira David Wood, Jesus Christ Superstar w/Ray Walker, My Fair Lady, La Traviata, Street Scene, Cenerentola, Figaro, La bohème, Don Giovanni, Hansel and Gretel, Madame Butterfly, Orpheus in the Underworld, A Man of No Importance, The Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma, Blood Brothers, Good Ol’ Girls, Pippin, Tick, Tick Boom!, Tintypes, Beauty and the Beast, Big River.  John has designed regularly for Casa Manana, North Carolina Theatre, Opera North, Southeastern Alabama Dance Company, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, and The Hartt School (University of Hartford) for the Performing Arts Opera, Musical Theater, Dance, and Community Dance Depts.

Sanu Basu

Born and raised in Washington, DC, Sanu Basu has studied West African percussion and culture since the age of 2 and has been performing professionally for nearly 24 years.


Initially introduced to West African drumming through studying with Senegalese Master Drummer, Medoune Gueye, Sanu studied the teachings, traditions, and styles of Senegalese music. Following that, he began studying the musical traditions of other West African countries including Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, with a heavy emphasis on Guinea, by way of Mahiri Keita Edwards. Through studying with Mahiri, Sanu joined Farafina Kan West African Dance Company and expanded his journey as a professional musician.


Since then, Sanu has gone on to perform with national companies, such as Kankouran West African Dance Company, Diamano Coura, and Bandan Koro, among many others. He has performed at international festivals such as the Etna Afro Festival in Italy and at the Yaama Yigui Festival in France. He has also performed on renowned stages such as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music and Barclays Center for the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards. Along with these notable venues, Sanu has also graced the stage with Malian artist Oumou Sangaré and has performed alongside the National Ballet of Senegal in Dakar, Senegal.


Sanu continues to be an ambassador and student of West African music and tradition working to expand his knowledge, cultivate his musicianship and evolve as a teacher.

Lori Bodine Benold

Lori Bodine Benold proudly considers herself to be a “product” of Regional Dance America and wholeheartedly believes in the benefits and opportunities the organization provides for young dancers. She is thrilled to be a part of RDA after having participated in festivals as a dancer and choreographer, and now as an adjudicator.

A former professional dancer with the San Francisco Ballet, Lori Bodine has since been teaching dance for over 35 years, developing excellent technique and artistry in hundreds of dancers, from their balletic beginnings to their debuts as professional dancers, and beyond.

Bodine received her first formal dance training as a student of Larry and Bettye Roquemore while performing with their civic ballet company, Corpus Christi Ballet Theatre, in the Southwestern Regional Ballet Festivals (now RDA Southwest). At the age of 15, Bodine was granted scholarships from Robert Joffrey to attend his workshops in San Antonio and New York City. She also studied at the School of American Ballet and under scholarship at San Francisco Ballet School. She became one of the few students to go directly into the SFB professional company without having to go through an apprenticeship.

Bodine later performed as Resident Principal Artist for the Corpus Christi Ballet, under the Artistic Directorship of Cristina Munro. She has also choreographed numerous pieces that were chosen to be performed on Gala evenings at RDA Festivals. Bodine founded and directed dance schools in Corpus Christi and in Austin, and she continues to teach and choreograph. She served as the RDA Southwest Adjudicator in 2021.

Kenny Borchard

Kenny Borchard (he/him) is an alumni of Idyllwild Arts Academy and the University of Arizona. Since graduating Kenny has worked on television and commercial projects with credits including a featured role on TruTV’s Fake Off, What Not to Wear, Toyota Pruis, Mobbed, and Lifetime’s Petals on the Wind. Kenny has worked with Odyssey Dance Theatre, Solevita Dance Company, Pacific Festival Ballet, and Pasadena Dance Theatre among others. Kenny was also cast member of “Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular” at Disney’s California Adventure.

As an educator, Mr. Borchard has taught on the faculty of Broadway Dance Center’s Children and Teen Program, and has taught as a guest educator/choreographer around the country. Since finishing his performing career, Kenny has committed to creating welcoming dance spaces where all students feel welcomed and honored for who they are and how they show up.

Headshot photo credit: Joelle Martinec

Janis Brenner

Janis Brenner is an award-winning dancer/choreographer/singer/educator and Artistic Director of Janis Brenner & Dancers in NYC. Known for her “meticulous artistry,” she has toured in 36 countries and received “Best Performance” and the Critics’ Choice Award at the United Solo Theatre Festival Off-Broadway for the interdisciplinary, one-woman show Inheritance: A Litany (score by Jerome Begin), NY “Bessie” Award in Meredith Monk’s work, Lester Horton Award for Choreography in L.A., grants from Fund for US Artists at International Festivals, Asian Cultural Council, Trust for Mutual Understanding, O’Donnell Green Music & Dance Foundation, US State Department, US Embassy for tours to Moscow, Bosnia, Jakarta and Dakar, and a commission for The Memory Project from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Her work has been commissioned/restaged on more than fifty companies and colleges worldwide. Ms. Brenner was with Meredith Monk and Vocal Ensemble from 1990 – 2005, 2014, recording on ECM Records, and danced with the Murray Louis Dance Company working with Rudolf Nureyev, Placido Domingo, Dave Brubeck Quartet, Bat Sheva Dance Company, and Alwin Nikolais. She was on faculty at The Juilliard School from 2009-2021, currently teaches at Marymount Manhattan College and Steps Conservatory, and teaches improvisation, composition, voice and JB repertory worldwide. She was Director of Choreography at NCI in 2010-11 and 2017-18. Her second solo show, She Remembers her Amnesia (score by Jerome Begin) has also received critical acclaim and is currently touring, as is Inheritance: A Litany. Since 2022, Ms. Brenner has had two gallery exhibits of her mixed-media collage work in NYC.

Amyia Burell

Amyia Burrell, a Los Angeles native, is a proud Actors Equity Association member and Award-Winning Choreographer who has performed for over ten years with the National Broadway Tour of Disney’s the Lion King. She is certified in both American Ballet Theatre and Horton Curriculum. She is honored to have received the award of “Outstanding Teacher” and “Outstanding Choreographer” from YAGP 2022.
Amyia spent years as a performer at Walt Disney World in shows such as “Dream Along with Mickey” and “Finding Nemo” and also as a dancer at Tokyo Disney Parks, Busch Gardens Tampa and SeaWorld Orlando. She performed in the ensemble with Disney’s National Tour of the Lion King from 2006-2017. She settled in Orlando, Fl after spending over a decade with The Lion King National Tour and began teaching performing arts. She is currently the Head of the Young Dancer Department at Orlando Ballet School. She also teaches at The Dr Phillips Center School. She has served as an instructor/adjudicator for Orange and surrounding counties Public Schools. She is a choreographer for the Applause Awards and served as an instructor for Disney Musicals in Schools 2018-2024. She has also set choreography for Valencia College Dance Concerts. She is extremely proud to have choreographed for the 2024 Senior Class of University of North Carolina School of the Arts Fall Dance concert. She is also a PBT and Balanced Body Pilates instructor and holds a certificate in Artist Management from Berklee College of Music.

LeeWei Chao

LeeWei Chao was born in Taipei, Taiwan. He started his ballet training at age 15 with Ms. Xiao Lee, who brought from Russia the Vaganova ballet method to Taiwan. After dancing with Taipei City Ballet, and Henry Yu Dance Company, he joined Singapore Dance Theater. In 1996, Lee Wei joined Joffrey Ballet Concert Group in New York City, followed by dancing with Joffrey Ballet Chicago, and Milwaukee Ballet.

Mr. Chao started his choreography work while he was dancing with Milwaukee Ballet Company. As a choreographer, LeeWei’s works have been performed by Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Oklahoma City Ballet, New Mexico School of the Arts, TCU Residency and others. In 2014, LeeWei received a National Choreography Recognition Award from Regional Dance America.

LeeWei has taught at Milwaukee Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, LINES Ballet Training Program, LINES Ballet Summer Program, LINES Ballet BFA Program Dominican University, Stanford University, National University of Taipei, Taiwan, ODC Dance San Francisco, San Francisco State University, Smuin Ballet, and others. LeeWei was featured in the August 2018 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine, and in the May 2021 of Pointe Magazine. He is currently a faculty member with Oregon Ballet Theater, NW Dance Project and BodyVox.

Lynne Charles

Lynne Charles was an international Ballerina for more than 35 years. She was the muse for John Neumeier, Maurice Bejart and Roland Petit. She was an international guest artist with English National Ballet, The Kirov Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet as well as Royal Danish Ballet. She danced all the classics from Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, Nutcracker and Don Quichotte. She also danced leading roles in contemporary and Balanchine ballets.

Ms. Charles has been an international guest teacher with companies all over the world. From Asia to Europe and Great Britain. With her 4 Pointe she has helped and coached many dancers, among whom are famous ballerinas like Sara Mearns, Alina Cojacaru, Alesandra Ferri and many more.

Patience Clements

Patience Clements has been accompanying ballet classes for four decades. After attending Interlochen Arts Academy in the dance department, she quickly was drawn to the accompanist on the piano! Originally from Washington DC, Patience began as class pianist for the George Washington University dance program, and The American University. Upon moving to Nashville she became company pianist for The Nashville Ballet. Moving on to Charleston SC, she worked as company pianist for The Charleston Ballet Theatre with Jill Bahr. Along the way she has played for many instructors including Patricia McBride, Daniel Ulbricht, Susan Jaffe, Thom Clower, Mel Tomlinson and Gelsey Kirkland. In 2014, she collaborated with Kylie Morton Berry on an adjudicated piece for SERBA “Dissonance and Harmony”. Ms. Clements lives in Folly Beach SC with her dog and companion Billy. She has created six CD’s of original Ballet Class Music and a new ballet class folio with piano music for barre and center.

Douglas Corbin

Doug Corbin holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Hunter College, City University of New York.


After improvisation studies with jazz pianist Andrew Hill, he continued in New York City, where his improvisation-based work won acclaim from a wide variety of teachers, dancers and companies including the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, American Ballet Theatre, Mary Hinkson, Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, and many others. Douglas enjoyed a very productive relationship with master teacher David Howard which resulted in several well received recordings of music for ballet class.


International work has included workshops on music for dance training in Copenhagen, Zürich, Amsterdam, Stuttgart, Havana, Caracas, Hiroshima as well as seasons in Germany at Ballett am Rhein in Düsseldorf, and the Ballett Compagnie Oldenburg.


He continues his work with distinguished teaching artists on the music staff at the American Dance Festival, the Houston Ballet and the Houston Ballet Academy, in numerous workshops with Jawole Zollar and the Urban Bush Women, with Suzanne Farrell, Gerri Houlihan, Lorraine Graves and the West Virginia Dance Festival.


Doug serves on the faculty of the University of Utah School of Dance.

Zakiya Cornish

Zakiya L Cornish is a dance artist, choreographer, and educator whose innovative Contemporary African dance practice is grounded in her wealth of knowledge and experience of West African dance and music, and African American vernacular dance. Zakiya has had the opportunity to work with Tony-award nominee Jeffrey Page, Bessie Award nominee Lela Aisha Jones, and Ron K. Brown of Evidence Dance Company. Zakiya has worked closely with world-renowned, Kulu Mele Traditional African Drum and Dance Company where she performed, often directed rehearsals, served as a production/stage manager and lighting designer, and set original choreography. She also had the great honor of studying with Germain Acogny and many other artists at the École des Sables in Senegal.

Zakiya has served as a K-12 teaching artist and arts integrationist for over 10 years, including a 5- year residency with Young Audiences of Louisiana, culminating in an invitation for her students to perform in Los Angeles for Adam Shankman and the Dizzy Feet Foundation. Zakiya received her MFA in Dance from Temple University, where she has served as an adjunct professor and has taught many master classes across the higher education sector. Zakiya recently served as an Assistant Visiting Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Currently, she is choreographing, teaching, and performing as an independent artist.

Jefferson Dalby

Jefferson Dalby began accompanying Ballet classes in 1979, using improvisation. He gradually taught himself to play classical music, and now relies heavily on Brahms, Schumann, and Glazunov, and many others. A modern dance accompanist at heart, he retains an organic connection to the movement, and uses a mixture of classical music, pop tunes, and improvisation. Mr. Dalby currently performs with several rock and country bands and two Elvises. He has played at University of North Carolina School of the Arts since 1992. His website is BalletClassMusicforFree.com.

Angelica Daniele

Angelica Daniele, M.A., M.S., NCC, E-RYT earned her M.S. in Addictions Counseling through Purdue University (2022), her M.A. in Arts Management from Goucher College (2012), and B.A. from Goucher in dance and psychology with concentrations in both arts administration and dance therapy (2009). She is a 500+ hour certified Yoga instructor through Yoga Factory Teacher Training. Angelica teaches multiple styles of yoga and coordinates domestic and international retreats, trainings, and education programs. Angelica is certified in both the Usui and Jikiden Reiki methods and is in pursuit of her LPC credential. Angelica is also the co-owner of Yoga Factory and owner of Radiant Elle yoga apparel. After 25+ years in the arts and fitness industries, Angelica knows for a fact that Radiant Elle products are perfect for movers of all forms and for athletes who love to sweat and shine in their own “second” skin.

Headshot photo credit: Anita Buzzy Prentiss

Lonnie Davis

Lonnie E. Davis Jr. spent over a decade teaching modern, jazz and contemporary in the Academy and open levels at the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Davis also taught for 7 years at DeKalb School of the Arts, and 13years at Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts at Pebblebrook HS. He has been a guest instructor all over the U.S. and abroad conducting workshops and master classes. Some engagements include:(IABD) The International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference, The Landing Dance Centre-Vancouver BC, Emory University Dance Program, Gainesville Ballet, University Missouri KC, Brenau University, Ohio University, Project Dance NYC-ATL, Alabama State University, Alabama Dance Festival,The Georgia’s Governors Honors Program, and Southeast Regional Ballet Associations Regional Dance America Festival. Lonnie is a much sought after choreographer having set works on companies, colleges and university programs. Some include- Wylliams Henry Contemporary Dance Company and The Georgia Ballet.

Lonnie was invited to travel to the UK where he conducted company class for England’s premiere contemporary dance company, Phoenix Dance Theatre (Leeds,UK).  Davis continued his education, completing Horton technique pedagogy teacher training at the Ailey School.

As a performer he has worked with Dayton Contemporary Dance Co., Giordano Dance Chicago, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and Royal Caribbean Productions to name a few. Mr. Davis has had the privilege to dance masterworks by renowned  choreographers. They include: Gus Giordano, Margo Sappington, Rod Rodgers, Kevin Iega Jeff, Sean Curran, Leni Wylliams, and Lester Horton. Lonnie currently serves as department chair of the dance conservatory at the new School of the arts (SotA) at Central Gwinnett HS.

Headshot photo credit: Shocphoto

Kristin Deiss

Kristin Deiss is a dancer, educator, yogi, and mom living her best life through helping others improve theirs. She holds an MA in History, an MFA in Dance, and is currently the Academic Department Director: DTLA Dance at AMDA. Having battled a JIA diagnosis that changed the trajectory of her dance career, Kristin is dedicated to helping dancers better cope with the challenges of their art form.

Tedrick Evans

Tedrick Evans was born in Tallahassee, Florida. Growing up with a high interest in art, he allowed his paintings, drawings, and other artistic outlets to be his channel for speaking what words couldn’t express. Tedrick was a late bloomer to dance. He didn’t grow up in a studio, nor was hometown a space for opportunity to grow in dance. Dance was just a hobby he enjoyed doing recreationally, but eventually, through college, his love for art became more dance focused and joining a competition hip hop team allowed him to grow in performance and choreographing.  This resulted in awards and industrial opportunities he’s forever grateful to have experienced. After graduating college moving to another city to work in the corporate business field, he eventually got back into dancing, and focused heavily on teaching and educating future dancers/choreographers of the dance community. During these years, as a coach he provided the tools to help his clients and team members win pageant awards, World of Dance competitions, and taught in various parts of Florida. He plans to use this moment to show his unique style of choreo blending all styles with storytelling and mixing rhythm, grooves, lines, and funk while embracing students on the importance of work ethic, confidence, patience, and humility.

Headshot photo credit: Kenny Tirado

Silas Farley

Silas Farley is a ballet teacher and choreographer. He currently serves as the Armstrong Artist in Residence in Ballet in the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and as a Principal Guest Teacher at the School of American Ballet (SAB).

Farley is a former dancer with New York City Ballet and former Dean of the Trudl Zipper Dance Institute at The Colburn School in Los Angeles, CA.

He has taught and choreographed for the School of American Ballet, Peabody Conservatory, the Kennedy Center, The Washington Ballet, Houston Ballet, New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was an inaugural Jerome Robbins Dance Division Research Fellow at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. He is writer and host of the NYCB podcast, Hear The Dance. He has written for Dance Magazine and Dance Index and lectured on ballet at the Museum of Modern Art. He serves on the Board of The George Balanchine Foundation.

Headshot photo credit: Jenny Douglass

Laura Fitts

Laura English-Fitts resides in Jacksonville, FL, and is a graduate of the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Music. Her experience as a ballet accompanist includes working with Westside Ballet Academy in Santa Monica, CA, Loyola-Marymount University, Los Angeles, Jacksonville University and The Florida Ballet, as well as ABT training sessions.  She has also accompanied vocal and instrumental performances and recitals.

Bradley Harris

Bradley Harris is an American composer from Atlanta, Georgia whose work is influenced by styles such as jazz, classical, progressive rock, hip hop, gospel, film music, and more. He appeared in the documentary “Hear Us”, which told the story of three young and gifted musicians from around the world who then commissioned Mr. Harris to write the Trio Concerto, “Yo”. The show premiered on PBS in over 300 U.S. cities and is currently on Amazon Prime and Apple TV.


During his graduate studies, he was awarded first prize in the Ohio Federation of Music composition contest and was a semi finalist in the national MTNA composition competition


Mr. Harris’ cultural sensitivity in music was celebrated in the “30 Americans” exhibit at the Cincinnati Art Museum, where he composed and debuted a series of pieces inspired by the works of significant African-American artists.


Brad graduated from Shorter University with a degree in piano performance and received his master’s in composition from the University of Cincinnati College – Conservatory of Music. He currently resides in New York City.


Yuliya Hedroyts

Yuliya is a long-standing accompanist at Salt Creek ballet company. Born and raised in Minsk, Belarus, she started playing piano at the age of 3. She continued her studies at the Republican college at the Belarusian State Academy of music and later was accepted to the Belarusian State Academy of music. While at the Academy, Yuliya won several regional piano competitions and graduated with honors. She holds Masters’ degrees in Piano Performance and Education. After graduating, Yuliya immigrated to the US, Chicago. She has worked as an accompanist at Salt Creek Ballet for almost 20 years, playing for all levels and at special events. Outside of Salt Creek, Yuliya gives private piano lessons to students of all ages and continues to perform.

Charmaine Hunter

Charmaine Hunter began her formal dance training at the Hartford Ballet School under the leadership of Artistic Director, Michael Uthoff and teacher Truman Finney. Her education continued at the Professional Children’s School of Dance Theatre of Harlem. There she studied under teachers such as Karel Shook, Frederick Franklin, Suzanne Farrell, Alvin Ailey, and many more. As one of the company’s leading ballerinas and finally their Ballet Mistress, Ms. Hunter is best known for her roles as The Firebird, by John Taras and Medea, by Michael Smuin. During her career with DTH, she launched programs for young people with no access to the arts. In 1988, she traveled to Russia as part of the United States Cultural Exchange and in 2000, conducted outreach programs in China.

Ms. Hunter also served as Ballet Mistress and teacher at the Jones-Haywood School of Dance in Washington D.C. Charmaine then directed Disney’s “The Lion King” at the Princess of Wales Theater for over 3 years. Then she took the position of casting director and talent scout with the Cirque du Soleil on the Las Vegas Strip. While there, she launched the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater. Charmaine Hunter became the teaching artist with Disney Musicals in Schools, training teachers to incorporate dance in early childhood curriculum and the STEAM programs.

Returning to the concert dance world, Ms. Hunter accepted the position as Upper School Principal and Co-Director with Texas Ballet Theater under leadership of Ben Stevenson O.B.E.  Now thrilled to be home with her family in Orlando, Florida, Charmaine looks forward to an amazing future teaching at the Orlando Ballet School and serving as the organization’s Director of Community Engagement.

Headshot photo credit: Michael Cairns

Tori Hines

An Atlanta native, Tori began her dance education with the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre (now GA Metro Dance Theatre) under the direction of Lisa Toups and Shelley Grames. She then went on to attend Georgia College & State University, and graduated with a B.A. in Fine Art with a concentration in photography.

Currently, she is a Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary instructor and the Studio Manager at Georgia Dance Conservatory, a Rehearsal Director and the RDA Coordinator for GA Metro Dance Theatre, and a freelance choreographer and photographer. She is thrilled to be photographing alongside Abigail Photos for the 2024 RDA National Festival.

Gary W Jeter II

Gary W. Jeter II began dancing in 1997 at Pebble Brook High School for the Performing Arts in Mableton, Georgia, where he graduated in 1999. Upon graduating Gary attended the Ailey fellowship summer program and was a member of Eleone Dance Theater. He received a full director’s scholarship to the University of the Arts where he graduated in 2003 with a BFA degree. After graduation he was asked to join Philadanco (Philadelphia Dance Company) where he danced from 2003-2007. During this time Gary was an original member of Waheed Works under the direction of Tommie Waheed Evens. Gary moved on to dance with Complexions Contemporary Ballet from 2007-2014, and in November of 2013 premiered his first ballet for the company titled “You Do What You Can” at the Joyce Theatre. In addition Gary has restaged Complexions repertory at The University of the Arts, Point Park University and Complexions. He has assisted Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson on choreographic projects nationally and internationally, and is still connected with the company by position of Artist in Residence. In 2012 Gary was awarded the National Choreographic Award in Montreal at the National Festival for his work “Broken Dolls”. Gary joined BalletX in August of 2014, where he danced until 2018. Gary has choreographed works for Eleone Dance Theater, Danco 2, BalletX, The University of the Arts, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Complexions summer program, and the Come Together Festival amongst others. In 2018 Gary transitioned from BalletX to join the faculty of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he is now a Visiting Assistant Professor. In the summer of 2020 Gary graduated from the University of the Arts graduate program receiving his MFA in dance. Gary’s style/method of moving and sharing is influenced and inspired by many years of dancing in diverse and extended ways and working with a plethora of inspiring artists. A merge of everything he has found beneficial and enjoys.

Damien Johnson

Damien Johnson is originally from Dallas, Texas. He received his early dance training from Kitty Carter, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and The Etkin-Atkinson School of Ballet. Johnson went on to study at The Rock School and The School of American Ballet, the official school of The New York City Ballet. As a professional dancer, Johnson has been a member of American  Repertory Ballet, Dance Theatre of Harlem, New Chamber Ballet, Los Angeles Ballet, and London based Ballet Black where he was a  principal dancer for 10 seasons. Since returning to the states in 2017, Johnson has performed with Madison Ballet, The Ashley Bouder Project, and The Suzanne Farrell Ballet.

Johnson, permanent guest faculty member at The School of American Ballet, is a sought-after teacher who is certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum in Pre-Primary-Level 3 as well as classical Pilates through Power Pilates. He has taught for many companies and dance institutions including Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, The Central School of Ballet, Rambert School, Bermuda Civic Ballet, Lake Tahoe Dance Collective, Ballet Black, and Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures.

Headshot photo credit: xmbphotography

Carla Stallings Lippert

Carla Stallings began her training with Marguerite Phares in Sacramento, CA. As a member of the Theater Ballet Association, a student company directed my Mrs. Phares she attended Regional Dance America’s Pacific Regional Festival for many years. Through the Festival Carla was awarded scholarships to New York City Ballet’s School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre School. She also spent many summers training and working with William Martin Viscount in Fort Worth, TX.

These opportunities led to her joining American Ballet Theatre’s second company and then as an apprentice in the company. She entered the corps de ballet under Jucia Chase with Mikhail Baryshnikov’s Nutcracker. Within a short time she began performing soloist roles such as Competition Girls in Graduation Ball, Salvation Army Lady in Anthony Tudor’s Undertow, Big Swans in Swan Lake and later Dark Elegies, First and Third Variations in Natalia Makarova’s La Bayadere Act II, stand out Corps and Soloist in Hal Landers Etudes, Principal in Balanchine’s Bourrée Fantastique, Mother of the Bride and Groom in Jeremy Robbins’ Les Noces, Myrta in Giselle, Benvolio’s Harlot in Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Romeo and Juliet, 3rd Movement soloist in his Concerto, Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty and Fairy Godmother in Baryshnikov/Anastos’ Cinderella. She was promoted to soloist by Mikhail Baryshnikov after winning the Bronze Medal at the Jackson International Ballet Competition.

Carla went on to join Boston Ballet as a Principal Dancer. Her repertoire included Odette/Odile in Swan Lake; Giselle and Myrta in Giselle; The Ballerina in Etudes; Sugarplum Fairy, Spanish, Arabian, and Dew Drop in the Nutcracker; The Sylph in La Sylphide; The Maiden in Maurice Bejart’s Sacre du Printemps; The Other Woman in Anthony Tudor’s Jardin Aux Lilas; and many more. She also had the pleasure of working with many up-and-coming choreographers such as Ralph Lemon, Monica Levy, and James Kudelka when they competed in Boston Ballet’s International Choreographers Competition.

During her career Carla had the privilege of touring with Mikhail Baryshnikov, performing Balanchine’s Sylvia Pas de Deux, with Rudolph Nureyev, performing Calliope in Balanchine’s Apollo, and with Fernando Bujones, performing Odette/Odile in Swan Lake.

Having been given so much by ballet, Ms. Stallings feels called to give back to the art form through teaching at schools and summer programs across the nation. She takes special joy in coaching dancers in the classical repertoire and helping them reach their personal best both artistically and technically.

Carla is an American Ballet Theatre Certified Teacher for Pre-Primary through Level VII. She coordinated American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive program in Tuscaloosa, AL for 12 years (until it stopped due to Covid), where she also taught, set repertoire, and choreographed.

She recently renewed her connection to Regional Dance America, adjudicating the Pacific Northwest Region in 2021/22 and the Northeast Region in 2023. She will also be a Master Teacher for their 2023 Southwest Festival.

She currently lives in Fresno, CA, where she teaches at California Arts Academy and was Co-Artistic Director for the local production Central California Ballet’s Nutcracker for five years.

Michelle Loucadoux

Michelle Loucadoux has danced in 5 Broadway shows, in 4 ballet companies, and on film and television and has traveled the world empowering young dancers. Michelle is a published author (Rowman & Littlefield), has an MBA and a BA in English, and resigned her position as the associate dean of undergraduate studies at Hussian College in 2020 to co-found Danscend to create a space for a more compassionate and inclusive dance community.

Frank Malloy

Frank Malloy IV, a multifaceted musician, composer, teacher, author, and DJ, emerges as a dynamic force in Atlanta’s vibrant music scene. Frank’s musical journey is a rich tapestry, weaving through classical, West African, jazz, hip-hop, r&b, and Latin genres. With proficiency across an array of instruments including piano, timpani, vibraphone, djembe, balafon, congas, cajon, and bata, he has collaborated with esteemed artists like Diplo, Janelle Monae, Armin Van Buuren, Masego, Erykah Badu, and most recently, Spike Lee, captivating audiences at a sold-out show at the Brooklyn Museum with 7,000 attendees.


Beyond his individual artistry, Frank is the co-founder of Wontanara Inc., a nonprofit organization committed to fostering artistic and personal development. He also serves as the CEO of Wontanara Percussions, the premier black-owned instrument manufacturing business. With factory locations in Guinea, West Africa, and soon to come in Atlanta, Georgia, Wontanara holds a global reach, supplying instruments to esteemed events such as the Oprah Vision Tour and movie productions by acclaimed figures like Tyler Perry. Additionally, their instruments have enriched the educational experiences of numerous schools and organizations both domestically and internationally, including a recent shipment of drums to a new school in Sierra Leone.


Frank’s latest single, “The Opening,” epitomizes his pioneering spirit, melding Amapiano beats with melodious “drum talk” to redefine the djembe’s narrative within contemporary music. Through this audacious fusion, he fosters universal appreciation for African rhythms, fostering a deeper connection with audiences worldwide.


Frank’s contributions extend beyond the stage, weaving a tapestry of musical exploration and education. His work embodies a commitment to cultural preservation and innovation. His journey continues to inspire, enriching both the musical landscape of Atlanta and the broader discourse on contemporary music and cultural fusion.

Nathalie Marrable

Nathalie Marrable is a New York City-based performer, choreographer, and educator. Originally from South Africa, she graduated from Boston Ballet School, starting her journey as a possessional contemporary ballet dancer, then finding her passion in commercial dance. Stage credits include Broadway: Assistant Dance Captain My Fair Lady, Super Swing An American in Paris. National Tours: The Drowsy Chaperone, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Commercial Stage: The Radio City Rockettes, Madonna, Michael Buble. Film/Television: Center Stage, Step Up, Night At The Museum, Gossip Girl, Nike, Battlestar Galactica, Superman, Marvel, Kate Spade, Gucci.


Nathalie has creatively directed stage and TV productions for the fashion house Dosso Dossi ft. Miranda Kerr, Koc Festival, Miss Turkey Elidor, Adidas, Smirnoff for Madonna (MDNA), British Petroleum, Sony Experia, The Eurovision Song Contest, RedBull, Star TV, Saturday Night Live, and Target for Vogue. She creatively directed a star-studded 16-city tour, featuring original choreography and 10 dancers for Coca-Cola, and has been an assistant for The Pussycat Dolls, Carmen Electra, Jennifer Lopez, Cirque Du Soleil, and more.

Featured in Marie Claire Magazine as a “top female artist to follow”, Nathalie is a judge for Showbiz National Talent, on convention faculty for Deviate The Process, a master teacher at The Manor London UK, and guest faculty at IALS in Rome, Italy. The founder and director of The Cabaret Burlesque, a theatrical company that recently sold out off-Broadway this past season and opened New York Fashion Week, Nathalie is excited to bring some New York energy and her love for dance to RDA!

Kati Hanlon Mayo

Kati Hanlon Mayo trained at The Boston School of Ballet under the direction of E. Virginia Williams & Violette Verdy. At the age of 15, she became a member of Boston Ballet 2, performing regularly with The Boston Ballet. In 1992, Kati was invited by Salvatore Aiello to join North Carolina Dance Theatre (now Charlotte Ballet) as a principal dancer. That same summer, she became a member of The Chautauqua Ballet Company under the direction of Jean Pierre Bonnefoux.

Throughout her 17-year career at Charlotte Ballet Kati performed principal roles in ballets choreographed by George Balanchine, Alonzo King, Alvin Ailey, William Forsythe, Dwight Rhoden, Jacqueline Buglisi and Nacho Duato. In 2000 & 2004, Kati was named Best Performing Artist by Charlotte Magazine. The New York Times reviewed that she “ruled the stage with benign classical authority” Dance Magazine heralded her as a “performer of stunning versatility and dramatic power.”

Kati began teaching at the Charlotte Ballet Academy in 1993. She is currently an instructor for the Company, the Academy, and the Trainee Division. Many of her students have gone on to professional careers with companies throughout the world, including New York City Ballet, Nederland Dans Theater, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Houston Ballet. Kati has been a guest teacher for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Chautauqua Institution, Regional Dance America and she is a repetiteur for the Salvatore Aiello Trust. Kati is also a certified instructor of Dance for Parkinson’s Disease and Progressing Ballet Technique.

Headshot photo credit: Richard Israel

Steven Melendez

Steven Melendez was born in New York City in 1986 and started his ballet training with the LIFT Program at Ballet School New York at the age of 7. He has danced as a Soloist dancer with Ballet Concierto in Buenos Aires, Argentina, a Principal dancer with The Vanemuine Theater Ballet Company in Tartu, Estonia, and for over 15 years with New York Theatre Ballet. He was a national and international guest artist and teacher and has worked across Europe, Asia, and Central and South America. Steven co-choreographed his first large-scale work, Song Before Spring, for New York Theatre Ballet which was named a Dance Europe critic’s choice “Best Premiere” of 2016.

Steven is currently the Artistic Director, New York Theatre Ballet. He is a member of the alumni advisory committee on diversity and inclusion for School of American Ballet and served as the Hiland Artistic Director for National Dance Institute New Mexico. Steven is the subject of the feature-length documentary film LIFT, which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca festival and is available on streaming platforms worldwide.

Headshot photo credit: Rachel Neville

Elizabeth Parkinson

Elizabeth Parkinson is a highly acclaimed performer/educator recognized for her contributions in  multiple genres of dance from classical ballet to Broadway. Currently she is the Co-Founder/Director of FineLine Theatre Arts, New Milford, CT., where she has trained numerous dancers towards professional careers. She has traveled numerous times to Moscow in a cultural exchange program with the American Embassy in order to share her knowledge of theatre dance with Russian professional actors and performers in training.

Elizabeth is an adjunct professor of dance at Western Connecticut State University. Other teaching credits include but are not limited to The American Ballet Theatre Studio Company, The West Coast Dance Explosion, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensives. Elizabeth’s  Broadway and national tour credits include Movin’ Out (Original Broadway Cast, Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical, Astaire Award for Best Female Dancer on Broadway), Fosse (Outer Critics Circle Nomination for Best Featured Actress, FANY Award for Best Broadway Debut), Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party (Pre Broadway workshop),the national tour of the Lincoln Center production of Carousel, Singin’ In The Rain (St. Louis MUNY, girl in the green dress), Donald Byrd’s The Harlem Nutcracker (Sugar Rum Cherry), and Billboards, a full length ballet to the music of Prince. She has appeared in the films Every Little Step, Romance and Cigarettes, and Stay. Elizabeth studied in depth Fosse repertory and style with Gwen Verdon and Ann Reinking. In 2014 Elizabeth appeared opposite Bernadette Peters in the City Center/Lincoln Center Jazz production of A Bed and A Chair, directed by John Doyle.

Elizabeth ‘s concert dance credits are extensive including The Joffrey Ballet, Feld Ballets NY, Donald Byrd/The Group, and Twyla Tharp and Dancers. Elizabeth was twice awarded the Kennedy Center College Musical Theatre Festival Award for best choreography for the WCSU production of Parade in 2015 and the WCSU production of The Drowsy Chaperone in 2016. Elizabeth currently lives in Sherman, CT.

Headshot photo credit: Steve Vaccariello

Steven Mitchell

Steven Mitchell has been affiliated with Regional Dance America since his early career as a ballet accompanist; he played his first festivals in 1992 hosted by Lone Star Ballet (Amarillo,TX) and Greensboro Ballet (Greensboro, NC).


Mr. Mitchell received his Bachelor of Music from Houghton College, Houghton NY and two Master of Music degrees from Southern Methodist University, Dallas TX.  While at SMU, ballet found Mr. Mitchell and he has had a long career in the dance business.


Until 2020 Mr. Mitchell was the ballet rehearsal pianist for the Metropolitan Opera and was a pianist for the School of American Ballet in New York City.  He has recorded dozens of albums for ballet teachers to use for their classes and has published sheet music for pianists who play for ballet.  His compositions and piano tracks have been licensed for TV and film, notably the “Flesh and Bone” TV series, appearing in “Center Stage” and, most recently a composition was licensed for the movie “Killers of the Flower Moon”.


Currently he resides in his hometown, Harrisburg, PA and has started a not for profit, Harrisburg City Performing Arts Group.  Community-building through the performing arts is its mission, done through city-wide music and dance education, therapeutic movement programs, performance opportunities, and the belief in one’s self.

Brandon Ragland

Brandon Ragland danced with the Louisville Ballet as a leading artist and served as the Pre-Professional Program Manager for the Louisville Ballet School and Resident Choreographer for the Louisville Ballet Youth Ensemble (LBYE). He has taught for Alabama Ballet, Alabama Ballet School, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Next Generation Ballet, Samford University, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, and Ballet Arkansas. Most recently, Brandon is honored and thrilled to take on the role of Artistic Director of Dayton Ballet.

Brandon is the recipient of The Lift A Life Foundation Emerging Leader in the Arts Award presented by The Fund for the Arts; a Hadley Creative recipient; and was awarded Louisville Magazine’s Best Artist Award.

Brandon has created works for Louisville Ballet, Alabama Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, AROVA Contemporary Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Sedona Chamber Ballet, and The Perla Ballet. His choreography has been presented at several RDA/Southeast Festivals. Brandon has also created two one-act ballets, Cinderella’s Ball and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for the Louisville Ballet School.

Brandon has collaborated with community programs such as Root and Wings project, IDEAS xLab, and The Kentucky Center’s Artsreach program. He performed with the Black Iris Project at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as part of their Dance Across America Program.

Brandon received his early training in Birmingham, AL and graduated from Butler University with a B.S. in Dance-Arts Administration. He then joined Alabama Ballet where he performed numerous classical and neoclassical works by choreographers such as Roger Van Fleteren, George Balanchine, Christopher Bruce, and Septime Webre. Brandon spent 13 years as a leading artist with the Louisville Ballet where he performed featured roles in classical, neoclassical, and contemporary works by choreographers such as Alun Jones,  George Balanchine, Adam Hougland, Val Caniparoli, Ma Cong, Lucas Jervies, Stanton Welch, Ronald Hynd, and Tim Harbour.

Headshot photo credit: Kateryna Sellers

Morgann Rose

Morgann Rose is a Certified GYROTONIC® instructor, movement therapy coach, and retired Principal Ballerina. Originally from Lake Forest, California, Ms. Rose graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts before joining her first ballet company Elliot Feld’s Ballet Tech in New York City.  In 2001, she joined The Washington Ballet serving in a variety of roles as Principal Dancer until retiring in 2017.

Her performing arts experience brings a unique perspective and approach to personal training, health and wellness that includes improvisational movement techniques, injury rehabilitation, alignment, injury prevention, and overall body awareness.  Additionally, Ms. Rose continues to support numerous professional ballet companies and performing art schools around the world choreographing various productions. She now lives in Reedville, VA and is also the owner of Motion Studios in Kilmarnock, VA.

Headshot photo credit: Corey Miller Photography

John Salutz

John Salutz is a New York based Lighting and Sound Designer whose work has been seen and heard in NYC at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, the York Theatre Co., Queens Theatre, the Tank, the Riverside Theater, the Flea, and regionally at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Connecticut Ballet, Argyle Theatre, ACT of Connecticut, Opera North NH, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, Centenary Stage Co., and Southeast Alabama Dance Co. John was nominated for NY Innovative Theatre Awards for Cabaret at the End of the World as well as the NY Times Critic’s Pick Red Emma and the Mad Monk.

John is a proud member of IATSE United Scenic Artists Local USA 829.

Christopher Stuart

Christopher Stuart, originally from Sandy Hook, CT, graduated in 2002 from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Following graduation, he joined Nashville Ballet, where he was featured in works by renowned choreographers. In 2018, after 16 years as a principal dancer, he was named Resident Choreographer of Nashville Ballet. Stuart’s vast experience as a dancer and performer helped him articulate his choreographic voice through improvisation and exploration of different forms of movement.

He has created works for Nashville Ballet, Ballet Arkansas, Chattanooga Ballet, National Choreographic Initiative, and, of course, Charlotte Ballet. Stuart first worked with Charlotte Ballet in early 2020 when he choreographed a piece for its Innovative Works repertoire show, which drew inspiration from the Mint Museum’s installation of Immersed in Light by studio DRIFT. Following the success of that collaboration, Hope Muir hired Stuart – then Resident Choreographer of Nashville Ballet – to be Program Director of Charlotte Ballet II, the Ballet’s second company, and Rehearsal Director for the main company. In summer of 2021, Charlotte Ballet appointed Stuart as interim artistic director, which he served until May of 2022 before being promoted to Director, Charlotte Ballet II. Christopher is excited to join the Alabama Ballet family for his first season as Artistic Director.

Headshot photo credit: Eric Lucky

James Sutton

James Sutton, dancer, teacher, choreographer, and writer, was for fourteen years an Associate Arts Professor in Dance at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and is currently company teacher and choreographer for New York Theatre Ballet. He was the co-recipient of the Balasaraswati/Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching from the American Dance Festival in 2015.

As a performer, he danced with Houston Ballet, Chicago Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, and DANCERS.  Formerly Associate Director of the Kathryn Posin Modern Dance Company, he formed his own company in New York in 1983.  His choreographic commissions span all aspects of theater and dance, from operas and musicals to ballet and contemporary dance.

A frequent guest instructor and adjudicator around the US, he has taught on the faculties of The University of Texas at Austin (UT-NY), Marymount Manhattan College, Connecticut College, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Michigan, among others, as well as many summers with the American Dance Festival (Durham, NC; Japan; Korea) beginning in 1985.

He was formerly ballet master for Ballet Hispanico of New York, and, for five years, a company teacher for the Metropolitan Opera Ballet. Internationally, he has been a guest teacher at the Mikhailovsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia; Cloud-Gate Dance Theatre in Taipei, Taiwan; Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia; and the Cullberg Ballet and Balett Akademien in Stockholm, Sweden, among other venues across Europe and Asia.

Previously an Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and teacher of ballet and composition at the Juilliard School in New York, he has recently worked in Communications for Brooklyn Academy of Music and is a contributing writer for Playbill.

Aly Tejas

Aly Tejas is an internationally renowned piano accompanist with more than 30 years of experience in the world of ballet. Born in Cuba, Aly trained from a very young age to be a part of this wonderful world where music and movement converge, a world which became her life’s greatest passion.


At a young age, Aly traveled to different cities in Cuba, participating in ballet-related events. She accompanied the renowned Ballet of Camaguey and the internationally acclaimed Ballet of Alicia Alonso. At age 20, Aly left Cuba and traveled to the United States where she began her career as ballet accompanist.


Since then, Aly has accompanied thousands of ballet professors across the globe and traveled to multiple countries to participate in international ballet competitions, auditions, and master classes. She was an accompanist for the Boston Ballet, the Miami City Ballet, and is currently the accompanist for the Vladimir Issaev Ballet School and the Arts Ballet Theater of Florida. All the pieces Aly plays are original works. Her style is marked by her unique improvisational skills, creating beautiful music that allows her to connect with the dancer while at the same time expressing herself freely.


Aly has recorded ten albums of original music for ballet class which sell and stream across the world in every platform. Her music has been featured in independent short films as well as in a full-length feature film (Big Momma’s House 3). Aly also teaches a university course on ballet accompaniment through the Sociedad Liszt Kodaly of Spain. But her first love is and will always be making music that connects with and inspires the dancer.

Mauro Villanueva

Mauro Villanueva (he/him) began his dance training with Shawn Knife and later studied at the Nutmeg Conservatory.

Mauro joined the Joffrey Ballet and danced ballets by world renowned choreographers, was a union representative for the artists, and was one of two dancers chosen to participate in the search for a new artistic director.

Mauro has also worked for Barak Ballet, Ballet San Antonio, The Jacksonville Symphony and others. He has taught at the Colburn School, Edge Performing Arts Center, Regional Dance America, The New Orleans Ballet Association, The New Jersey Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, North Carolina School of the Arts, and The Ballet Alliance.

Mr. Villanueva was a 2022-2023 School of American Ballet National Visiting Fellow and is dedicated to creating inclusive dance spaces through his work as co-director of The Joffrey Workshop.

Headshot photo credit: Ginger Sole Photography

Abigail Werner

Abigail Werner started her dance training with the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre (now GA Metro Dance Theatre). Abigail taught at Georgia Dance Conservatory from 2013 to 2021. During her time as a student, she also discovered her love of dance photography and started her photography business Abigail Photos. She specializes in dance, performing arts, and portrait photography. Abigail’s photos have a classic style, with an emphasis on capturing light and color in a natural manner. She draws on her extensive dance experience to capture performers at their best. Abigail has had the privilege of working with multiple dance companies in the Southeast, including Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre, Roswell Dance Theatre, Atlanta Dance Theatre, Appalachian Ballet Company, Southern Ballet Theatre and more. Since 2019, she has photographed the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association’s festivals. Abigail currently resides in Atlanta with her husband Kenny and two sons, Ezra and Lazarus.

Justin Wallace

Justin Wallace graduated from UAB with a Bachelor’s in Music Technology and a specialization in percussion. Justin began his music career with Sanspointe Dance Company in 2009 as a company artist before becoming the company’s music director in 2011. He started working for the Dance Foundation in the same year, providing piano accompaniment for classes of all ages. Justin is also a founding member of Iron Giant, a contemporary music collective based in Birmingham, AL. Established in 2011, the ensemble has performed alongside artists such as Sō Percussion, Glenn Kotche of Wilco, Norman Westberg of Swans, and Third Coast Percussion, and has collaborated with many Alabama music & arts mainstays including John Scalici, Sanspointe Dance Company, and the UAB Percussion Ensemble. Justin teaches a studio of piano and percussion students with the Oak Mountain School of Fine Arts and became the administrator for the school in 2021.

Keith Wilder

Keith Wilder is a dancer/choreographer, born in London, England, and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Being the son and nephew to the lead singers from the 70s disco group,“Heatwave”, he began touring with the group from a young age. With performing alongside the group, Keith learned the ins and outs of being a performer on stage. Keith began training with Atlanta based dance crew, Collizion Crew, that was seen on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew. Credits in the industry that Keith Wilder has worked with, are artists that include Ginuwine, CeeLo Green, Jacquees, and Kodak Black on The BET HipHop Awards, to name a few. In 2023, he entered the field of pro-dance and he became a choreographer for Atlanta’s WNBA team, Atlanta Dream! Keith started his own performance based dance company, WLD Atlanta Dance Collective, where dancers of various styles come together for a season to learn, strengthen and execute their performance quality in front of a camera for conceptual dance visuals. Along with his family, they started a nonprofit origination, “Positive Impact International” which gives back to their community in the form of the fine arts. The Prince of the Disco Era, Keith Wilder Jr.

Anthony Williams

Anthony Williams, Jr. is a native of Birmingham and a third-generation musician. His first teacher was his mother, Doris Terry Lockett.
He began taking piano lessons from Jessica Hayden, where he learned to read music, and later became the Sunday School musician for his church in Birmingham, AL.

A Birmingham native, Anthony received his diploma from A. H. Parker High School, studied piano performance at Birmingham-Southern College and Music Technology at the University of Alabama – Birmingham respectively.

Anthony moved to Oakland, CA in 1985 and taught music in the San Francisco Unified School District at the Phillip and Sala Burton Academic High School. He was also Church organist and choir director at The Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, CA, and accompanist for the U C Berkely Gospel Choir.

He has worked with such artist as: Stevie Wonder, The 5 Blind Boys, and The Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He has traveled to Spain and several other countries. He has played in Carnegie Hall and across the USA.

Under the professional name AntMAN Music, he has served as accompanist for the Alabama School of Fine Arts Dance Department for over 8 years. (Wes Chapman, Director)

Anthony has been married to Verada Fritz for 40 years and have one son, Antoine and three grandchildren whom he is very proud. Mr. Williams believes that Jesus Christ is the reason that he has been blessed to do the things has done. To God Be The Glory!!

George Winchell

George Winchell has been a professional Videographer/Photographer for over 35yrs. His love of dance goes all the way back to the Disco era where he was a part of both the social and competitive scene while in School in Rhode Island. After graduating and starting a career in Photography he found he was able to combine his love of photography with his passion for dance. In the 1980’s with his brother they founded WM Productions as a commercial video and film company. WM Productions quickly made a name for themselves in Central PA for their innovative and creative approach to Commercial, Industrial, and Narrative Video and Film. Along the way George continued to stay active in the dance world filming and photographing various local and regional dance companies and performances.

From there the offers to film and document concerts and competition have taken him all over the country. Each spring and Summer he films over 30 shows for various local dance schools. Among the dance companies and organizations he has worked for are, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Pennsylvania Regional Ballet, Ballet Academy East, Maryland Ballet, Waves, Motion Mania, and of course Regional Dance America. George has provided video for many dance competitions including Swing Fling, American Lindy Hop Championships, Eastern US Country & Western Dance, Platinum Dancesport, YuleTide Ball, and the International Hustle & Salsa Championships. George also continued to be involved in competitive Hustle, Swing, Country and Ballroom dance eventually winning 3 National championships in Ballroom Dancing.

Kyla Cummins Zollitsch

Kyla Cummins Zollitsch earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Portland State University. Kyla toured extensively throughout the Pacific Northwest and accompanied at Portland State University, Reed College and Lewis and Clark College. At age 13, she began accompanying ballet with the Alaska Dance Theatre. Kyla has accompanied for the Oregon Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and currently, Kennesaw State University Dance Department. Kyla plays for guest ballet companies including but not limited to Alvin Ailey, Lines Ballet and American Ballet. She also played for the Universal Ballet Competition, Youth America Grand Prix, American College Dance Association SE Conference and the Regional Dance Association SE.

Kyla has played with the Rome Symphony, Jacksonville State, National American Brass Band Championships and is also an accompanist at Berry College. Kyla owns a piano studio in Rome, GA. Her students have won many local competitions, festivals and the Rome Symphony concerto competition. She also chairs many local competitions and events for the Rome Music Teacher’s Association. Kyla resides in beautiful Calhoun, GA with her husband Matt and two dogs Xena and Denali.