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Ballet Technique, Variations, Pointe

Native Houstonian Lauren Anderson danced with Houston Ballet from 1983 to 2006, performing leading roles in all the great classical ballets, appearing across the world to critical acclaim, and in the process, becoming one of Houston Ballet’s most beloved stars. She trained exclusively at Houston Ballet's Ben Stevenson Academy from the age of seven. She joined Houston Ballet in 1983 as a Corps de Ballet, 1987 was promoted to Soloist and in 1990 became the first African-American to be promoted to principal dancer at Houston Ballet – and was one of the few African-American ballerinas at the head of a major ballet company anywhere in the world. Ms. Anderson danced leading roles in all the classics. She created the title role in Ben Stevenson's Cleopatra, and her performance as Cleopatra received accolades from international critics. Anna Kisselgoff, dance critic for The New York Times compared her to the great Italian actress Eleanora Duse, and Christine Temin of The Boston Globe pronounced her "a powerhouse in interpreting the role that Stevenson created on her." Ms. Anderson has performed across the globe as a guest artist. 

In 1990, Ms. Anderson received The Special Jury Award in the USA International Ballet Competition and in 1996, the International Critics award in Chile. In April 1999, she was featured on the cover of Dance Magazine. She’s been featured in the People magazine and Pointe, as well as on the television programs "A&E Breakfast with the Arts," "CBS News Sunday Morning," and the game show, "To Tell the Truth." She has been honored by The Martin Luther King Foundation, Coalition of 100 Black Women, YWCA, by the Urban League, Asian Chamber of Commerce, Delta Gamma Foundation, Texas Woman’s Chamber of Commerce, National Council of Jewish Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Houston City Council, Texas Legislature, and the United States Congress and the list goes on.  In 2000, Ms. Anderson was chosen to be an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She has received 2017 Texas Medal of Arts Award for contribution to the dance world. Most recently, Ms. Anderson received the Barbara Jordan, Breaking Barriers award from the Harris County Democratic Party. 

In January 2007, Ms. Anderson assumed her new role in Houston Ballet’s education department where she conducts master classes at area schools, and lectures to students on dance and her historic career. She also teaches Master classes at conservatory dance academies around the world. Her pointe shoes are on display in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

Her greatest production to date is her son Lawrence Turner, who is not a dancer but a musician!

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Ballet Technique, Contemporary Pointe

Jackie Nash, a native of Connecticut, started her pre-professional ballet training at the Connecticut Dance School under the direction of Alan Woodard. She then spent two years in the dance and academic residency program at The Rock School, graduating in 2009. During her summer studies, she attended the Chautauqua Institute, Nutmeg Conservatory, Miami City Ballet, and the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education.  During her 12 seasons with Atlanta Ballet she has enjoyed dancing a wide variety of classical and contemporary roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy in Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, the principal roles in Yuri Possokhov’s Classical Symphony and Firebird, and the lead female in George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante. Notably, Jackie's performance at the Joyce Theater with Amy Siewert's Imagery was named one of  Pointe Magazine's "The 12 Standout Performances of 2017".  She has also had the opportunity to teach at the Atlanta Ballet Summer Program, the Royal Dance Academy's summer session, The Neighborhood Ballet Summer Intensive, Perimeter Ballet, Terminus School of Modern Ballet, and Chattanooga Dance Theatre. Jackie is now a company member with Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.  

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Brady Michael is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer and is currently based in Atlanta, GA. In 2018, Brady began expanding his artistry through working as an assistant for iN House Dance, an intensive created by Cherrise Wakeham. He moved on to work as an intern for Wakeham throughout the entirety of 2020. Brady has presented two sold-out full-length contemporary dance shows to Atlanta audiences: “the one” in November 2019 at Studio Space Atlanta and “Weightless” in June 2022 at the KSU Dance Theater. He is a 2022 Industry Dance Award-nominated choreographer and an 11-time Best Choreography award-winner.  In the autumn of 2022, Brady created RISK Contemporary Dance Company, which is an Atlanta-based company that helps to mentor and provide work for professional and pre-professional contemporary artists.  Brady always strives to create an accepting environment through peer encouragement and insightful teaching principles. He promotes love and expression of artistry in his classes and choreography; he is so excited to continue to build new relationships in the future!




Upon high school graduation in 2006, Adrienne Hicks entered the Ailey/Fordham BFA program. Her freshman year, she was one of only two female dancers chosen to dance in guest choreographer Sean Curran’s piece for the Fordham/Ailey Fall BFA performance showcase.

Contacted during her sophomore year by Chancellor Jack Hawkins of Troy University in Alabama, Adrienne agreed to help charter the university’s first dance program.  Since transferring to Troy University on scholarship, Adrienne has been instrumental in bringing dance to the Troy University campus.  Under her leadership, the Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble, which began with 6 of Alabama’s best dancers, all of whom Adrienne herself was influential in recruiting has grown to 23. In 2009, Adrienne joined Adrienne Canterna’s Pretty Girls of Dance and, during the summer of this same year, worked as Canterna’s understudy for Rasta Thomas’s Bad Boys of Dance in their performance of Rock the Ballet, an experience which prepared her for much of how to develop TDRE into the company it is today.  


An additional and noteworthy achievement of Adrienne’s was working with Chancellor Hawkins, the Confucius Institute, and the College of Communication and Fine Arts, to organize and help direct an hour long performance which TDRE toured to universities in Beijing and Hebei, China in the summer of 2010. During this tour, Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble performed in The People’s Great Hall, the only dance troupe to have ever done so. Adrienne’s direction and example has not only helped TDRE to become a respected company but has given her a deep appreciation for the work that goes into building anything from the ground up, and she is most proud to have played such a crucial role in TDRE’s beginning.


Graduating Summa Cum Laude on May 6, 2011, Adrienne moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where she signed with Xcel Talent Agency.  She became a member of Project 7 Contemporay Dance Company, danced in The Dreamworks Shrektacular, and began her 3 year journey with famed America’s Got Talent group, iLuminate . During her time with iLuminate, Adrienne has performed in the Six Flags Over Georgia show, performed several world tours and starred in, as well as, lead the cast as dance captain, in iLuminate’s two separate off broadway shows, Artist of Light and iLuminate. In February of 2015, Adrienne rejoined Bad Boys of Dance in their show Romeo and Juliet, where she played the nurse. Adrienne is currently getting her MFA in Choreography and continuing to perform and teach around the world. So far, dance has taken her to over 15 countries and 5 continents! 

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Ballet Technique, Partnering, & Jazz

James L. Boyd III is an artist born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida. He has toured and entertained the world with the knowledge of ten (10) professional styles of dance under his belt. James is a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts graduate and received his B.F.A from SUNY Purchase College in 2010 in Dance and Choreography. Since graduation he performed with Elton John, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, and Bruce Springsteen. James was a guest artist with the hit dance show, “So You Think You Can Dance” and a semi-finalist on the well-known show, “America’s Got Talent”. While performing around the world, entertaining in 30 countries and over 80 cities with the Bad Boys of Dance and Bad Boys of Ballet, he shared the stage with greats such as Misty Copeland, Joseph Gatti and Rasta Thomas.

James strives to be successful in dance, business and on behalf of his community. He produced his first dance show for Northeast Florida in 2012 titled, “Rasta Thomas’ Rock the Ballet”. James’ passion for community most notably is demonstrated through his recently incorporated not-for-profit endeavor known as Art In Flight Inc. As Founder and CEO, he activated its mission in 2016 and begun fundraising in addition to and outside the Cultural Council on behalf of arts agencies throughout Greater Jacksonville. Art in Flight’s mission is to enhance the development and sustainability of arts organizations in Northeast Florida in order to educate our citizens, increase arts appreciation and support, foster an arts rich culture and, in turn, help grow Jacksonville into a nationally beloved, thought-leading city.

James L. Boyd III continues gaining experience to only share with others. James is currently obtaining his Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) with Jacksonville University. It’s only a matter of time before James is the Master of his own voice.

In addition to building Art in Flight, James is an international faculty member for the Manhattan Dance Project, a former Artist In Residence at Jacksonville University, a Trustee level member of the JAX Chamber, currently serving two local arts boards including Players By The Sea and the JIA Arts Commission and blessed to be a new faculty member for Troy University.

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J. Koby Parker

Musical Theatre

Favorite Atlanta credits: Freddie Mercury in Somebody to Love, Frankie/Young Soldier in Parade (Buicentennial Productions and WBTC), George in Wedding Singer, Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain, Malcolm in The Full Monty (Atlanta Lyric), and A Christmas Carol 2016/2017 (Alliance Theatre). Favorite Choreo/Directing credits: Little Shop at the Carrolton Center for Performing Arts as well as Beauty and the Beast and Joseph...Dreamcoat at Pace Academy. He also teaches Jazz/Tap at Orbit Arts Academy and Tap at the Carrollton Center for Performing Arts. Along with being a performer and arts educator, Koby is also a Realtor at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metrobrokers and would love for you to reach out on Facebook and Instagram! @therealsingingrealtor @jkobyparker

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Jay hails from Chicago and is amongst the most sought after Tap Masters in the industry today. After completing two years with OKCU in its artist in residency program, Mr. Fagan is once again touring with festivals, workshops, and conventions. His polished performances have been seen by the President of the United States, at the Kupio Dance Festival in Finland, Trump Plaza in Atlantic City, Canadas Windsor Casino Showroom, and Las Vegas’ Flamingo, Luxor and Suncoast hotels. Jay has worked with DEA, DMA, CNADM, Dance Olympus, Starquest, The Kansas Tap Festival, Southeast Tap Explosion, Third Coast Rhythm Project and the Chicago Human Rhythm Project.



Originally from metro Detroit, Christina Venditti trained at various competitive studios. Currently in her 12th teaching season, Christina works with the competitive dance programs at multiple studios around metro Atlanta. An advocate for creativity and individuality, Christina encourages her students to test their limits within her choreography. She specializes in strength and conditioning for dancers, as well as safe stretching practices to increase long-term flexibility and mobility



Progressing Ballet Technique

Originally from the Detroit Area, Shannon Graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance. Her professional credits include commercial work and industrial performances as well as company work as a founding member of the Atlanta based company, The Phoenix Project. After moving to Atlanta, Shannon has been fortunate to instruct and choreograph throughout the Atlanta area and across the country. After almost 20 years of studio and company directorship with both Roswell City Dance and Studio 23, she has returned to instructing and choreographing regionally.



Contemporary Hip Hop

Darvensky Louis, a professional dancer, choreographer, photographer and videographer, was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Darvensky holds a B.A. in Dance from Kennesaw State University, where he was awarded the Outstanding Senior of his class. He is also signed to Xcel Talent Agency.

His professional dance career includes dancing for/on The BET hiphop awards, HBO Max, Showtime, Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre, staibdance, Annalee Traylor and Omar Román De Jesús from New York City, Dr. Ivan Pulinkala, Lisa K. Lock, and more. Darvensky teaches around Atlanta and is also a freelance videographer and photographer. He currently serves as Director of SequenceOne, a college alumni dance company, and with this leadership hopes to inspire future undergraduate creatives by bringing concert dance internationally through the collaboration of college alumni. He was also Dance Magazine's "25 to Watch" for 2022.

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Hip Hop




Dakota Kuharich {BA, MFA} is a performer, instructor, and creator in the Tampa Bay Area. Originally from Litchfield, CT, Dakota attended the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where she spent her four years of high school as a Musical Theater Major studying acting, voice, and all styles of dance. Dakota is a graduate from the University of Tampa (BA-Applied Dance) and Jacksonville University (MFA-Choreography, expected 2023) where she was able to explore her passion for movement through performance, Brain Compatible Dance Education, and choreographic practice. Dakota is currently the Assistant Dance Director at the Y Dance Academy in St. Petersburg, FL and teaches Brain Compatible Dance Education at Tampa Preparatory School (Tampa, FL) where she is the Head Dance Instructor. Previously, Dakota was a Dancer/Choreographer/ Board Member for contemporary company, Moving Current Dance Collective (Tampa, FL), and Captain of the Tampa Bay Tornadoes Dance Team (AAL). She has been honored to work with local dance companies, projectALCHEMY (St. Petersburg, FL), Poetica Dance (Tampa, FL), and professional practitioners/ choreographers Jon Lehrer, Bill Evans, Terry Goetz and Nita Little.WEBSITE:



Leaps & Turns

Bre Sterling, a creative director, choreographer, and dancer was born and raised in Washington, DC. She is an alum of Kennesaw State University, with a major in Dance (Modern Concentration). Bre’s formal training started at Black Experience Dance Troupe (B.E.D.T), where she studied west african, modern (Graham and Horton technique), liturgical, tap and ballet. As she grew older, she trained with Footsteps Dance Academy learning jazz and lyrical. She then moved to Georgia and trained with The Royal Dance Academy under Sarah Haslock-Johnson and Jay Johnson, where she studied multiple dance disciplines including Hip Hop, modern (Horton and Graham technique) and the international ballet curriculum of the Royal Academy of Dance. Bre has also had the opportunity to perform in works by Madia Cooper-Ashirifi, Charlotte Boye-Christensen, Jolie Long, James Graham, Sean Nguyen-Hilton, and Omar Román De Jesús. Bre started working summer programs, but her content creation blending hip-hop and contemporary, put her in high demand. Her choreography has earned a ton of awards and recognition, including outstanding choreographer awards and double platinum awards. With Bre having the opportunity to teach at different dance studios in Metro-Atlanta, she is more than honored to share her knowledge with those around the world.

Liz Borom got her start at the age of 6 in South Carolina studying classical ballet with the Columbia City Ballet. She was a soloist for the Spartanburg Civic Ballet before receiving an honors scholarship to attend the SC Governors School for the Arts where she trained under
the direction of Edward Villella, Mel Tomlinson, and Sandra Neil. She continued her training in all genres of dance and studied in several notable studios and programs from SC to NYC. She went on to study dance performance and choreography in college. Since college, Liz
has been teaching, choreographing, and dancing all over the US for the past 25 years. Professionally, she has danced in commercials, film, television, and performed in several full-length stage productions with several professional companies throughout the US. Liz is
currently on faculty as an Adjunct Dance Professor at Western Carolina University in NC. She is also on faculty for several dance conventions and she travels nationwide teaching and choreographing. Liz’s choreography has won multiple awards regionally and nationally. She writes a blog for dancers and dance teachers on her website geared toward using innovative ways to build technique. Teaching is her passion and her classes are full of

strong technique and passionate choreography.

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