FIND YOUR SPARK!

JORDAN LEITSON comes from Cleveland, OH and brings over 20 years of dance experience. He is currently the Co-Owner and Co-Artistic Director of Jordan Center Dance. He was the first worldwide recipient of the prestigious Al Gilbert Memorial Tap Scholarship. Jordan has studied at Point Park University, Alvin Ailey, Steps on Broadway, Dance New Amsterdam, Broadway Dance center, UNLV – Ballet Seminars, and Florida Youth Ballet. He has performed in Europe with the world dance movement, The David Lynch Show, Doug Benz’Cinderella and performances with The Next Project at New York’s City Center Theater and in Maui, Hawaii. He was also featured in Stepp Stewarts Off Broadway hit Red Hot Broadway.

TOM ALEXANDER is in demand as a choreographer, judge and master teacher for Dance Makers, Southern Association of Dance Masters, DMA, CNADM and private studios across the US. He has worked with stars including Rita Moreno, Anne Miller, Bob Hope, Marie Osmond, Ella Fitzgerald, Dolly Parton and Debbie Reynolds. Tom's beginnings on the professional stage were with Carowinds, Busch Gardens, Sanrio Puroland & Tokyo Disneyland theme parks.  Tom choreographed Crystal Cruises million dollar musical "Standing Room Only."

LANCE WASHINGTON originally from Chicago, has danced professionally with Patti Rutland Jazz for six years.  Lance has been seen on the television series  So You Think You Can Dance for the past three years and uses his experience to mentor young students on never giving up on your dreams.  He received his professional hip-hop training from Maurice Fulkon, Joshua Allen, Steven Boss, Tight Eyes and Honey Rockwell, B-Boy Orko and Kid Dynamo from the original Rock Steady Crew. His choreography has been recognized regionally and nationally and the awards his students have received are too numerous to mention. As a faculty member of the largest outreach program in the state of Alabama, Lance teaches over 1000 students weekly through the Patti Rutland Jazz Arts in Education Program.

MELISSA ANDERSON  has performed in Soloist and Principal Roles with companies as diverse as the Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Teatro Municipal de San Juan, Southern Ballet Theatre (now the Orlando ballet), Michigan Opera Theater and the Icelandic National Ballet, among others.  Melissa developed an ongoing Creative Movement and Dance for Physically Handicapped funded by Very Special Arts in Minnesota. She has also been involved in ACE (Art in Community Education) sponsored by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, a program that takes ballet and music into the public schools. Ms. Anderson is a Lecturer in the Dance Department at UWM teaching various levels of ballet. She teaches and choreographs for the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Texas Association Teachers of Dance and Southern Association of Dance Masters and has been featured in Dance Magazine's Dancer Online Chat, and in Dance Teacher Magazine.

JORDAN KEYON SMITH is a teacher, choreographer and performer who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been a favorite on the staff of Jazz On Tap On Tour, Joel Ruminer’s Dance Camps, Jazz On Tap (the Metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) and the Southern Association of Dance Masters. As a guest artist, Mr. Smith has performed with Dancentre South Company, Owensboro Dance Theatre, Sawnee Ballet Theatre and First Floor Tanz in Hagen, Germany. He has also worked with Emmy Award winning choreographer, Tyce Diorio, when he was featured on Lifetime's hit TV show, "Drop Dead Diva". Jordan's choreography has been showcased at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and he has been awarded "Best Choreography" in the Hip Hop category at Panoply Festival of the Arts Choreography Competition. 

MARCUS R. ALFORD  (SPARK Co-Director) attended the University of Alabama where he earned a B.A. degree in Dance and Business.  He choreographed, taught, danced & toured with the legendary Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for a decade.  Marcus is the founder/artistic director of “JAZZ ON TAP” (the Metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) and “BalletFest Atlanta”.  He has performed in and/or choreographed award winning industrials and TV/video projects for clients including Kohler Corporation, Sprint, I.B.M., Milliken Carpets and N.F.L. Commissioners.   Mr. Alford has been on the faculty of every major dance organization including D.M.A., D.E.A., Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, The American College Dance Festival and The USA International Ballet Competition Dance School, Jackson, MS.  He currently serves on the faculty of the Kennesaw State University Department of Dance.

JOSHUA BLAKE CARTER holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Cum Laude from the University of Arizona.  While living in Arizona, Joshua founded dance in the RED – an evening of dance, music and art to benefit the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.  With a continued interest in choreography,he became a finalist in the Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, CA, was selected as the winner of Ballet Nouveau Colorado’s national choreography competition, dancemakers2.0, and was one of six winners commissioned to create a new work for DanceWorks Chicago’s DanceMoves choreography competition.  Since 2010, Mr. Carter has been a company member of Giordano Dance Chicago, the original American jazz dance company, and he also serves as the Director to GDC’s second company, Giordano II.  In addition to performance and choreography, Joshua is a passionate dance educator and teaches at schools across the U.S. each year, as well as in several Chicago dance institutions.

BETH NIZZA is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Education with a focus on Autism.  She has performed throughout the US and was a member and choreographer for the Central Michigan University's Orchesis Dance Theatre for many years. Beth has been on faculty touring the country at major dance conventions including Jazz On Tap On Tour, ODTA, SADM and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters as well as teaching master classes and setting competitive choreography from New Mexico to Washington DC.

HENRY SCOTT holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster University Conservatory, St. Louis, MO. As a performer Henry was seen on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Miss America Pageant, and Loving.  He appeared in the Pre-Broadway tour and Broadway production of GREASE as a cast member and as the first cover for Danny Zuko, Kenicke, and Vince Fontaine.  National tours include BYE, BYE, BIRDIE starring Tommy Tune and Ann Reinking, JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT and GEORGE M! starring Joel Grey.  Henry’s directorial and choreographic work has been seen on stages including the Alliance Theatre, 7 Stages, Coconut Grove Playhouse, Northshore Music Theatre, Cherry County Playhouse, Good Speed Opera at Chester, Birmingham Children’s Theatre and Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He currently teaches in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University and is a freelance director/choreographer

Emily Bufferd at Spark Summer Dance

 EMILY BUFFERD   is the Producer of The Young Choreographer’s Festival, an annual event held in NYC presenting the most up-and-coming 18-25 year old choreographers, and Co-Producer of APAP at Peridance.  She is currently on faculty for the Joffrey Ballet School’s Jazz and Contemporary Trainee Program, and Guest Faculty at NYC’s Broadway Dance Center, Peridance Capezio Center, and The Annual Teacher Workshop presented by The Pulse On Tour.    As a dancer, Emily has been on The View with recording artist Outkast, The 2013 Beanstalk Foundation Event, World Dance Movement Gala/Jason Parsons, Carnival/Choreographer’s Ball, and the International Dance Festival/Tracie Stanfield, to name a few.    Emily’s concert choreography (BEings dance) has been presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joyce SoHo, Symphony Space, The Giving Tree Benefit for St. Jude, The Choreographer’s Canvas, The Gershwin Hotel, The Elan Summer Dance Festival, and Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, among others, She recently taught at World Dance Movement – The International Workshop in Switzerland. 

NEIL SCHWARTZ teaches at Broadway Dance Center, NYC and his choreography can be seen on Good morning America, NBC Live, World of Dance LA, Carnival Choreographers ball (NY/LA), Rhapsody James presents Sirens After Dark and more.    Most recently Neil choreographed Sephoras Industrial for the launch of Pharrell Williams fragrance, Girl. He was also an assistant choreographer with Lisette Bustamante on Girl Generation Hikkup. Neil was hand selected to work with actor Channing Tatum as a Co- Choreographer alongside Catherine Hidalgo and Mike D’ Alessio from PMG for the flashmob seen on The Today Show in promotion for Warner Brothers' Magic Mike. He has also traveled to Hawaii, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Croatia, Sweden, Switzerland, Vienna, Italy, and Argentina teaching workshops.

PAULO MANSO DE SOUSA    joined the Oakland Ballet Company at 15 years old. He has danced with Puerto Rican Dance Theater, Metropolitan Opera Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet, The Eliot Feld Ballet, toured with Edward Villella and Dancers, Dennis Wayne’s DANCERS, and Miami City Ballet. Paulo choreographed and presented master classes for Finnish National Ballet, Rotterdam Dance Academy, Ayumi Ballet in Japan, Miami City Ballet and New World School of The Arts.  Along with his repertory in classical and contemporary ballet and modern, Paulo has appeared in MTV music videos with Gloria Estefan, Laura Brannigan, in commercials for Ron Mantilla Rum and Presidente Whisky and appeared in the television series South Beach.  He is the founder and Artistic Director of Southern Arc Dance in metro Atlanta.

PERSIS ANN FORSTER  has been teaching tap, ballet, jazz and musical theatre for 34 years in addition to choreographing for numerous area theatres, Six Flags Over Texas, and high school show choirs and musicals. She has performed professionally at Six Flags Over Texas, Casa Manana in Fort Worth, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma City and North Shore Music Theatre in Massachusetts. Currently, she directs Miss Persis Studio of Dance with her mom, the Big P, and is Company Director of Dance Theatre of Arlington.

ANNIE DAY (SPARK Co-Director) graduated with honors from Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana earning a B.A. degree in Dance.  As a performer, Ms. Day’s highlights include performing throughout the U.S. and Germany with Jazz Dance Theatre South, working with jazz legend Gus Giordano and industrials for clients including Adidas, Milliken Carpets, Herbalife International and Carpet One.  Among her teaching credits are dance organizations including D.M.A., D.E.A., Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and Southern Association of Dance Masters.  Her innovative and demanding classes have also challenged students at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Lexington School for the Deaf, Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Alabama School of Fine Arts and Wake Forest University to name a few.

MARCUS R. ALFORD  (SPARK Co-Director) attended the University of Alabama where he earned a B.A. degree in Dance and Business.  He choreographed, taught, danced & toured with the legendary Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for a decade.  Marcus is the founder/artistic director of “JAZZ ON TAP” (the Metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) and “BalletFest Atlanta”.  He has performed in and/or choreographed award winning industrials and TV/video projects for clients including Kohler Corporation, Sprint, I.B.M., Milliken Carpets and N.F.L. Commissioners.   Mr. Alford has been on the faculty of every major dance organization including D.M.A., D.E.A., Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, The American College Dance Festival and The USA International Ballet Competition Dance School, Jackson, MS.  He currently serves on the faculty of the Kennesaw State University Department of Dance.

JOHNETTE RUTLEDGE is a third generation dancer. She grew up in Minneapolis Minnesota, dancing and training with her family at the award winning, Summit Dance Shoppe. She is also a graduate of the Perpich Center for Arts Education. Johnette has broad performance experience, from Opera stages, to commercial, to theatre. She is well rounded and knowledgeable in all styles of dance, and enjoyed a professional performance career for many years!  These days you will find Johnette and her family in California! She spends her weekends judging for National talent competitions, and travels as a freelance choreographer for studios around the country.  Her work has earned her multiple choreography awards at the National level, with routines varying in style from Jazz and Pom with University dance teams, contemporary for ballet competitions, and everything in between! She loves it all!  She also enjoys passing on her love of dance to young children as the Artistic Director, and owner, of New Foundation Dance in San Jose, CA. Most recently, Johnette was featured in Dance Teacher Magazine, speaking about dance after childbirth.

BRIAN MASON, a South Georgia native, holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University. While in college, Brian was a member of the American Spirit Dance Company, and he was also one of the few elite members to tour regionally and internationally in Tai Pei, Taiwan.  Brian was also a dancer and singer at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  He has performed two contracts on Holland America Cruise Lines as a singer/dancer. Most recently, Brian has appeared as a featured dancer on television in The Vampire Diaries and Drop Dead Diva alongside Paula Abdul and in the movie “Footloose”. Brian has been teaching tap, jazz, lyrical, and ballet for several years now at many studios throughout the US.

FERNANDO DUARTE joined The Joffrey Ballet in 2011 as a Trainee in the Academy and was promoted to the Company in 2013. Mr. Duarte grew up in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and received his training at the Escola Estadual de Danças Maria Olenewa. In 2008, he was awarded a full scholarship to train at The Harid Conservatory in Boca Raton, FL. With the guidance of the teachers at Harid, and Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School in New York, he was offered a traineeship with the Joffrey Academy of Dance where he danced lead roles in ballets such as Cinderella, Coppélia and contemporary works by Academy Artistic Director Alexei Kremnev. Since joining The Joffrey Ballet, Mr. Duarte has danced many roles in the Joffrey's extensive repertory such as Lar Lubovich’s Othello, Yuri Possokov’s Don Quixote, Krzysztof Pastor’s Romeo & Juliet, Val Caniparoli’s Incantations, and Justin Peck’s In Creases.”

DARVENSKY LOUIS was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Darvensky moved to the United States in 2000 to New jersey, and then to Georgia in 2009. He began his training with The Royal Dance Academy under the direction of Sarah Johnson and Jay Johnson at the start of his freshman year of high school. During his time there, he met Christian Clarke, Terminus co-founder. The Royal Dance Academy offered Darvesnky a full scholarship to train with them for four years. He is currently a Dance Major at Kennesaw State University and is dancing with the KSU Dance Company. He has had the opportunity to perform in works by guest choreographers Ella-Ben-Aharon from Tel Aviv and James Graham from San Francisco. Darvesnky started his own YouTube channel in 2011 where you can find the videos he enjoys creating for fun. In Darvensky’s first year of college he had the privilege in helping another fellow student record and edit their senior project. After completing this senior project, a now alumni from Kennesaw State University John Welker, Terminus co-founder, saw Darvensky’s passion in videography and asked him to join the Terminus team. Since then, Darvensky has created numerous videos for Terminus that promote up-coming events, fundraisers, and even behind the scene shots to keep the audience informed. Darvensky received his Hip-Hop training from AJ Paug ,and in doing so he found his passion for Hip-Hop and many other styles along the way. Darvensky is excited to be a part of SPARK Summer Dance Intensive!

LIZ BOROM 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. 

KEITH REEVES is from Augusta, Ga., and began his training at age 15 with Jennifer Tools at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts. In 2010, he began training with the Augusta Ballet School, later joining Dance Augusta under the direction of Zane and Ron Colton. In 2015, he trained under Nicolas Pacana and Jocelyn Buchanan at the Atlanta Festival Company. In 2016, Reeves received the Audrey B. Morgan Scholarship for the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education Conservatory program. He also has received scholarships to summer programs at Joffrey Ballet, Nashville Ballet and The School at Jacob’s Pillow. He has performed works with the Atlanta Ballet by John McFall, George Balanchine, Jiri Kylian, David Bintley, Mark Morris, Yuri Possokhov and Ohad Naharin, among others. After finishing his first year as a company member with the Atlanta Ballet, Reeves is excited to join Terpsicorps Company for the 2019 Summer  Season.

LANCE WASHINGTON Lance Washington is an tenth  year principal dancer with the Patti Rutland Jazz company in Dothan, Alabama.  He is originally from Chicago, Illinois. He received his professional hip-hop training from Maurice Fulkon in Chicago, Joshua Allen in Texas and Vincent Johnson from Atlanta.  His professional credits include industrial television work in Chicago. National awards in choreography include, the Platinum Power Award from Platinum National Dance Competition, which also earned his crew the opportunity to be featured on the front cover for the Platinum Dance Convention brochure.  In 2011, Lance made it through to Vegas  for the hit television series So You Think You Can Dance. Lance is also a teacher within the Patti Rutland Jazz Arts in Education Outreach program.  This is the largest outreach program in the state, teaching over 6000 elementary and middle school children weekly.  He is on faculty at The Patti Rutland Jazz Dance Centre, The Dothan School of Dance, Enterprise School of Dance, and Panama City Dance Academy and A Time to Dance studio. Lance Washington has also taught for the 2015 and 2016 Jazz on Tap convention in Atlanta, Georgia, hosted by Marcus Alford and Annie Day.  Lance has also taught and danced along side of Rustin Matthew, Phillip "Pacman" Chbeeb, Rob Hoffman, Balta Monkiki, nick wilson, nicole kirkland,and Jimmy Locust.  He also works as a hip-hop choreographer for many other groups throughout the Southeast and has won numerous regional choreography awards this year. Lance is very excited about how his career is taking him to so many places where he is meeting more and more talented dancers, choreographers and friends. "Don't let your body tell you what to do, you tell your body what to do.”

ALLISON FISHER Allison Fisher has been dancing professionally since 2007.  She made her Broadway debut in "Chicago" the musical and has toured around the world with both "Chicago" and "La Cage Aux Folles".  Most recently, she worked under the direction and choreography of legendary Baayork Lee in "South Pacific" at City Springs Theatre.  Other credits include The American Musical Theatre Dance Company (Beijing Tour), Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, "A Chorus Line" at Sacramento Music Circus, "Grease" and "Peter Pan" at The Muny, "Idaho! The Comedy Musical" at The Smith Center (Las Vegas), "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Your Happy Holiday" and "A Chorus Line" with The Atlanta Lyric.  She is a proud University of Michigan graduate.    

SHANNON CHILDERS 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.

VICTORIA EVERHART From an early age, Victoria’s passion has been Tap dancing.  Dancing with the Great Gig Dance Ensemble instilled the importance of dance training and the history behind it, especially in Tap.  Victoria currently teaches classes weekly at great gig DANCE co., Bravo Dance Center, and Dance It Off.  Victoria teaches, choreographs, and performs locally and nationally; the prestigious Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina being one of the many.  Victoria has had the privilege of training with some of the top tap dancers in the industry at festivals and intensives such as Tap Kids (6 years), DC Tap Fest, RIFF Dallas, and many more.  She has worked with Sarah Reich, Anthony Morigerato, Chloe Arnold, Ayodele Casel, Max Pollack, Jumaane Taylor, and Mark Goodman, just to name a few.  Victoria spreads her love and knowledge of tap across Georgia, while staying busy as a lead photographer for In10sity Dance Competion and photography major at Kennesaw State University.

 CONTEMPORARY       JAZZ       BALLET   

 HIP HOP       MUSICAL THEATRE       TAP

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