Second Season for the Wake Forest Dance Festival

 Over 800 audience members attended the event throughout the day. 

Over 800 audience members attended the event throughout the day. 

In her State of the Town speech the Mayor of the Town of Wake Forest, Vivian Jones, acknowledged the Wake Forest Dance Festival by stating:

"... I do want to mention one new event that began last year thanks to Wake Forest Arts. I hope you attended the Dance Festival.  Frankly, I was overwhelmed by the beauty and talent exhibited by all involved from the high school students to the professionals. I hope they will keep this going for 25 years like they have Six Sundays in Spring."

                                                                                                                    -Mayor Vivian Jones

Thank you Mayor Vivian Jones for the kind words of encouragement. The Wake Forest Dance Festival is thrilled and honored to announce that the planning for the second season is well underway. And we have many exciting things lining up already. 

This year the event will pay tribute to the American Dance Festival based in Durham, NC. Heralded as “One of the nation’s most important institutions” by the New York Times and as “The world’s greatest dance festival” by the New York Post, the American Dance Festival’s sustained record of creative achievement is indivisible from the history of modern dance. Since 1934, ADF has remained committed to serving the needs of dance, dancers, choreographers, and professionals in dance-related fields.

With ADF being such an integral part of the dance community here in North Carolina we will celebrate its contribution to the art of dance for over 84 years around the world, 40 years here in our North Carolina, and highlight ADF’s incredible lineage of dance history showcasing a diversity of genres, performers, choreographers and music.

Last year the Wake Forest Dance Festival was a great success, with over 800 audience members attending the inaugural event throughout the day, the festival was very well received by the community. We would like to express our most sincere gratitude to our sponsors and individual supporters, we have so generously contributed and supported the event. Thank you Wake Forest Arts, Town of Wake Forest Parks and Recreation, Dancing Angels Foundation, The Holding Family, Carol Norris Maddux, Youngsville Family who loves dance, Wege Foundation, Destiny Dance Institute, Dance ETC., Klok's School of Martial Arts, Wake Forest Academy of Fine Arts, and Holly Eisenhour.

Thank you to all the generous in-kind contributions. The event was a combination of efforts of many who gave their time and resources to make this day a reality. Thank you: Arrow Tree Boutique, B & W Hardware Store, Bright Funeral Home, Communicopia Marketing Services Inc., Dylan Powers, George Randy Bass Photography, Brueggers Bagels, Alex Dashkin, Gooey's American Grill, Maksym Kolotun Photography, Lemon Tree Cafe, Mary & Mak Boutique, Barbara Massenburg, Phillip Maddux, Palani Mohan, Ollie’s Cafe and Gifts, Page 158 Bookstore, Panera Bread, Will Roberts, Rosatis Pizza and Sports Pub, Strategic Insights, Wake Forest Birthplace Museum, Wine and Beer 101, and the Town of Wake Forest Women's Club.

We are so excited for the year 2018 and we hope that you will join us on September 29, 2018 for a day of dance! Until then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram for the latest news and updates. 

Modern Dance Master Class/Audition with Antonio Fini

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WHEN: March 15th, 2018

WHERE: 1839 S Main St # 370, Wake Forest, NC 27587

TIME: 4:15-5:45 Advanced Level students ages 14 and up

           5:45-7:15 Intermediate Level students ages 10 and up

COST: $20 cash per student

REGISTRATION: to register please email

DON'T MISS THIS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY to study with an acclaimed dancer, teacher and director of the Fini Dance Festival, Antonio Fini! Presented by the Wake Forest Dance Festival and hosted by Destiny Dance Institute, the master class will focus on modern dance technique. Advanced students may also audition for the summer intensive in Villapiana, Italy.

LIMITED SCHOLARSHIPS will be awarded by the Fini Dance Festival and the Dancing Angels Foundation for the program.

Antonio Fini is an Italian born modern dancer, choreographer, and director. Antonio has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II, Eric Hawkins Dance Company, Kosovo Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Boca Ballet Theatre, Mare Nostrum Elements, and Michael Mao Dance, with whom he has performed as principal dancer since 2011. In 2011, he created Alto Jonio Dance Festival in Villapiana, Calabria to provide exceptional dancers in Italy the opportunity to perform with established companies in New York. In 2013, Antonio expanded his vision by founding the Italian International Dance Award, which recognizes phenomenal Italian and international dancers for their accomplishments. In 2014 Alto Jonio was transformed into Fini Dance Festival with the mission of establishing greater connections between dancers in New York and Italy. The festivals have been listed as one of the top summer dance festivals in the United States (Dance Informa) and Europe (Ballet 2000). Furthering his mission to unite the international dance community, Antonio has developed a dance competition and mentorship program for television called The Audition. Distributed in partnership with Delta Star Pictures, the show will premiere in 2018 on Amazon Prime.

For more information please go to:

Jasmine Powell

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Jasmine Powell is a dance artist of the community from Hillsborough, NC.  Locally trained, her performance career began with Durham's Collage Dance Company, then moved to join Dance Diaspora, and Philadanco! where she studied, performed and choreographed original work. She continued exploring art and its meaning with a B.A. from Oberlin College, and M.F.A. from Hollins University in collaboration with the American Dance Festival, and Frankfurt University for Music and Performing Arts. Jasmine enjoys the pleasure of having performed original work by Dianne McIntyre, KT Niehoff, Milton Myers, and more. As an artist surrounding herself with the creation of visual, and choreographic art, Jasmine does not exclude the art of nature, culture, teaching, learning, and listening. Currently, she is on the Performing Arts faculty at Cary Academy where she brings cultural history into the dance curriculum with multiple forms. She is a member of COMPANY and KT Collective Dance Company in addition to creating her own aesthetic choreography locally and regionally through performances and workshops. As research inquiries fuel her passion, Jasmine is thankful to have learned the value in exploring the organic movement of the body’s personal story and is investigating genre-crossing dance as the inquiry to how opposite embodied features reside in each other.

Featuring Millie Kerr


Millie Kerr, from Raleigh, NC, is a high school junior following her passion by studying ballet at the University of North Carolina Schools of the Arts, under the direction of Dean Susan Jaffe. Prior to entering UNCSA as a sophomore, Millie was a student at The Raleigh School of Ballet and in their pre-professional company, Raleigh Dance Theatre. She has attended summer intensives at American Ballet Theatre in New York, Carolina Ballet and Raleigh School of Ballet. She has also trained with Mary LeGere, Laurie Yeames and Hong Yang.

Millie is the great granddaughter of the late Betty Holding, former Rockette who danced under famed choreographer George Balanchine and later had her own studio in Wake Forest for 30 years. Millie’s mother, Beth Andrews Moye, and grandmother, Emily Holding Andrews, both took dance at Holding School of Dance. Betty’s love for dance continues to live on through her family.

Tori Stewart

Tori Stewart is currently pursuing her B.A. in Dance, with a focus on choreography and performance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  Originally from Hope Mills, NC, she now is a dancer and artist based in Charlotte, NC.  She started dancing in a small studio, Linda Kinlaw School of Dance, at the age of 12 before studying dance at a pre-professional level with Kim Jones, E.E. Balcos, Delia Neil, Rachel Tucker, and Missy Coyle.  As a performer, she has worked with choreographers such as Leslie Seiters, E.E. Balcos, Rachel Barker, Gretchen Alterowitz, Marcus White, and Sybil Huskey performing in concerts at UNCC as well as at American Dance Festival.  Additionally, she has performed and choreographed works for the Charlotte Dance Festival and her college’s campus community. Tori Stewart is the Co-Artistic Director of Range of Motion Dance Ensemble and works on individual dance film and solo projects in her spare time.  She emphasizes a focus on improvisation, contemporary and modern techniques, and collaboration in her works.

Katie Harmon

Katie Harmon, is a dancer and artist based in Asheville and Charlotte, North Carolina. Originally from small town Rutherfordton, NC, she discovered dance at a late age. In her early training, she studied in various places across Western NC including Gastonia and Asheville. Training under professors like Kim Jones, E.E. Balcos, Delia Neil, Rachel Tucker, and Melissa Coyle Harmon is currently pursuing her BA in Dance, with a focus on choreography and performance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has enjoyed the opportunity to perform in many UNCC Department of Dance concerts, the Charlotte Dance Festival, and various performances in and around the campus community. She has worked under choreographers such as George Faison, Greg Dolbashian, Marcus White. Harmon is a Co-Artistic Director and the Director of Design of Range of Motion Dance Ensemble, and the Vice President of Aerial Artistry Contemporary Circus Troupe. Her performance based passions include exploring movement through improvisation, studying contemporary and modern techniques, and learning aerial apparatus skills such as silks, hoop, and corde de lisse.

Ted Shawn

Ted Shawn (October 2,1891–January 9,1972), was one of the first notable male pioneers of American modern dance. Along with creating Denishawn with former wife Ruth St. Denis, he was also responsible for the creation of the all-male company Ted Shawn and His Men Dancers and was the founder of Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival in Massachusetts. With his innovative ideas of masculine movement, Shawn was one of the most influential choreographers and dancers of his day.  Notable performances choreographed by Shawn during Denishawn's 17-year period include Invocation to the Thunderbird (1917), Danse Americaine (1923) performed by Charles Weidman, and Xochitl (1920) performed by Martha Graham. In addition to spawning the careers of Weidman and Graham, the Denishawn school also housed Doris Humphrey as a student. In 1965, Shawn received a Heritage Award from the National Dance Association. Shawn's final appearance on stage in the Ted Shawn Theater at Jacob's Pillow was in Siddhas of the Upper Air, where he reunited with St. Denis for their fiftieth anniversary.

Martha Graham

Martha Graham (1894-1991) is recognized as a primal artistic force of the 20th Century.  She was named “Dancer of the Century” by Time and has been compared with other creative giants such as Picasso, Einstein, Stravinsky and Freud.  She created 181 ballets and a technique that revolutionized dance throughout the greater part of the past century.  Using the founding principals of contraction and release, she built a vocabulary of movement to “increase the emotional activity of the dancer’s body,” exploring the depth and diversity of human emotion.  Her ballets were inspired by a wide range of sources from the American frontier to Greek Mythology.  She created and portrayed prominent women, including Clytemnestra, Jocasta, Medea, Phaedra, Joan of Arc and Emily Dickenson.  During her 70 years of creating dance, she collaborated with other great artists – Noguchi, Copland, Barber and Schuman, and her mentor Louis Horst among others, and is recognized for her groundbreaking work in all aspects of the theater – use of time, space, lighting, costumes, sets and music.  Her company was a training ground for many generations of choreographers including Cunningham, Taylor and Tharp.  At the Neighborhood Playhouse, she is said to have changed the course of American acting through students such as Bette Davis, Gregory Peck, Tony Randall and Orson Wells.  Her creative genius earned numerous honors and awards, including the Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of the Arts.  Martha Graham’s extraordinary legacy lives on in the work of the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ensemble and School, and in the students worldwide studying her technique and performing her masterworks.  

Kaitlin Clow


Kaitlin Clow (Charlotte, NC) began her dance training at the eager age of three. In Charlotte she trained at Charlotte School of Ballet, Northwest School of the Arts, Open Door Studio, and Planet Ballroom. In May 2017, Kaitlin graduated from UNC Greensboro as summa cum laude with her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. While at UNCG she had the privilege of training with Janet Lilly, BJ Sullivan, Duane Cyrus, and Justin Tornow. As an undergrad she had the honor of performing Martha Graham’s “Prelude to Action” at the Joyce Theater in New York City! Recently, she attended ADF’s 6-week school where she learned from Saar Harari, Shayla Vie-Jenkins, and Paul Matteson. Kaitlin is passionate about making dance accessible to everyone and hopes to share her passion professionally both on and off stage.

Movement Migration

Movement Migration is a collective of seasoned dance artists collaborating to create dynamic and poignant dance works that portray depth of beauty and life experience.  Directed by Kim Jones, the ensemble's members are steeped in the celebrated traditions of classical ballet and modern dance, each having achieved professional expertise in distinct technical training and performance. From these varied backgrounds, they are shaping new ideas about contemporary movement expressions. 

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Kim Jones is Associate Professor of Dance at UNC Charlotte and a régisseur for the Martha Graham Resource Center. She danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company (2001-2006) and the metropolitan Opera Ballet (1998-2003) and served as a principal dancer in the US National Tour of The King and I (2005).

Most recently, choreographer Paul Taylor offered Tracer (1962), a collaboration with the artist Robert Rauschenberg (set and costumes), as the subject of a scholarly reconstruction by Jones.  Jones set the work on Taylor 2 Dance Company members, who re-premiered Tracer at UNC Charlotte in September 2016, and performed it again in New York City.  This project was supported by NEA Arts Work grant, ASC, UNCC Faculty Research grants, and by Wells Fargo. Michael J. Solender’s article on the project appeared in The New York Times. link:

In 2012-2013, Jones reconstructed Martha Graham’s Imperial Gesture (1935), which is now on tour with the Martha Graham Dance Company. The costume reconstruction of Imperial Gesture was displayed at the museum at Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. Her “American modernism: Reimagining Martha Graham’s Lost Imperial Gesture (1935)” was the cover article of the December 2015 issue of Dance Research Journal. In May 2016, Jones performed Imperial Gesture at the 92nd Street Y in New York. Jones has also restaged Graham’s Primitive Mysteries (1931), Panorama (1935), and Steps in the Street (1936) for UNC Charlotte.

Wise ThaLycan


Lon Michael Smith aka W.I.S.E. Tha Lycan (Wisdom, Inadvertently, Seeking, Enlightenment. Always looking for God’s grace). A recent newlywed with three beautiful daughters, Wise was born in Newburgh, NY, and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. He attended Douglas Elementary, Carroll Middle, Sanderson HS, and DeVry University. A member of Raleigh North Christian Center, Wise is also an OIF Combat War Veteran who served 10 years among the Marines, Navy, and Army. He is an active member of VFW post 8466 in Wake Forest, NC and an author of the two online books “Fort Zombie” and “My Pen holds Passion vol.1.”

Wise has been a professional Krump dancer for 10 years. A recent student of the SLX Black class, directed by Krump dance Creator Tight Eyez, Wise has performed in places like Camp Stryker Baghdad, Iraq to the 1st SBDC in Savannah, GA. Wise has also performed with alternative cirques Alternacirque, Soda City Cirque, and Cirque de Lune. In addition, Wise also helps out local dance groups like the Raleigh Rockers.

Even with the unfortunate adversity dealing with PTSD, Wise spreads the knowledge of both dance and cultural sides of Krump. Wise plans to begin a group called VOB (Veterans on Beat) which will feature Veterans who perform to raise money for VA programs. Furthermore, Wise plans to start Krump dancing classes and events in the Wake Forest area.


Billy James Hawkains III

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Billy James Hawkains III: Dancer (Detroit, MI) began dancing under the tutelage of Anthony Smith at the Lewis Cass Technical High School. BFA from University of North Carolina School of the Arts. He has performed works by Merce Cunningham, Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Susan Jaffe, Brenda Daniels, and Juel D. Lane among others. Recent performances include Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin for Spoleto Festival USA. He is recipient of the Career Development and International Study Opportunity Grant for participation in the Kyoto International Dance Festival in Japan. His choreography, America Divided is a direct response to recurring systemic injustices towards Black men. This is his first season with Theatre of Movement.

Rachel Mehaffey

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Rachel Mehaffey earned her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Elon University in 2015. During her time as a student, she performed repertory by Keigwin + Company, Hedwig Dances, Summation Dance Company, Helen Simoneou Danse, TERRANOVA Dance Theatre, and Michelle Amara Micca. Rachel also performed and trained with the Florence Dance Company in Florence, Italy. While at Elon, Rachel received significant university funding in support of a two-year dance research project that she presented at several conferences, including the 2014 Congress on Research in Dance/Society of Dance History Scholars Conference. Since graduating, Rachel has worked with Renay Aumiller Dances, the Kearns Dance Project, Natalie Marrone and the Dance Cure, Code f.a.d., and the original cast of Raleigh Room Escapes. Rachel also teaches FlyBarre classes at Flywheel Sports in Raleigh.

RAD I Renay Aumiller Dances

Founded in 2012, RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances has quickly gained momentum in North Carolina through thought-provoking performances displaying keen wit and fluid physicality. The company is based in Durham, NC and is comprised of professional dancers from the area known for their technical and creative capacities. RAD seeks to highlight the effects of locality, collaboration, and association within a highly formalized and crafted structure in an effort to offer a point of entry into the poignant yet hidden qualities of human frailty. They have performed at the American Dance Festival, the North Carolina Dance Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, Austin Dance Festival, WAXworks in New York, several regional festivals, and four self-produced performances in traditional and alternative venues. To stay up to date on the company’s performance schedule or to inquire about booking, please visit:


Renay Aumiller (Founder/Artistic Director)

Renay Aumiller has presented her dance works across the United States as the Founder/Artistic Director of RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances. She has performed professionally with numerous choreographers/companies including Gerri Houlihan, Renée Wadleigh, Christian Von Howard, Thread Meddle Outfit, VECTOR, The Bipeds, and The Kearns Dance Project. Additionally, Aumiller toured Taiwan, Cambodia, and Italy with internationally acclaimed improvisation master, Kirstie Simson. Aumiller's education includes earning a BA in Dance Studies from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro and an MFA in Choreography from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Ms. Aumiller has enjoyed guest residencies at NC State University, Washington and Lee University, Meredith College, Appalachian State University, Iowa State University, Salem College, NC Governor's School West, Austin Dance Festival Workshop series, Enloe High School, the NC Dance Project, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and several studios across the southeast. She is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University and is a Level 1 Franklin Method® Educator. 

Theatre of Movement

Theatre of Movement brings socially relevant art to you! We are a performing and visual arts collective that works with artists to generate meaningful multidisciplinary events, performances, and workshops. Theatre of Movement is committed to accessing and engaging audiences with a message that art is a vital part of our world. Theatre of Movement is a visionary model for producing original and relevant artworks by informed, empowered, and capable artists.

Our mission is to offer performances, community engagement, workshops, and cultural events in a range of artistic disciplines including dance, theatre, music, photography, and film. All the artists involved in Theatre of Movement practice professional development, and entrepreneurship skills-building in addition to in-depth study and delivery of their chosen art form. Theatre of Movement members also cultivate their strengths as mentors and teachers to pass the legacy of American culture on to the next generation.

Our vision is to deliver performing and visual art on an international level that helps to create a world where success is not equated with relinquishing your cultural background. To build a strong appreciation and value for diversity in the arts and American culture.

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Duane Cyrus: Director/Choreographer––Theatre of Movement (Greensboro, NC) 

Duane Cyrus is an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he teaches dance technique, career management, and other courses focused on the development of well-rounded dance artists. Duane holds a BFA from the Juilliard School and an MFA from University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. In between, he danced with the Martha Graham Company, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, in musical theater (including the original London production of Disney’s The Lion King), on television, and in a variety of other venues. He has worked as an independent artist throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia as a teacher, performer, and choreographer, and was also a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Illinois.

Gaspard & Dancers

Gaspard&Dancers (G&D), formed in 2009, by former Pilobolus dancer Gaspard Louis. It is based in Durham North Carolina.  In a city with a rich, diverse community of artists, performers and creative energies, opportunities for collaboration abound.  G&D has worked with local musicians and composers such as, Mallarme Chamber Players, Randall Love and Joshua Starmer. In addition, the company worked with photographer Robin Gallant, dance and film festivals. 

Since its inception, G&D has successfully produced an annual performance season at Duke University. It has also been presented at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts in New York City, Cape Fear Stage in Wilmington, NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, and Bermuda as well as across North Carolina as part of the NC Dance Festival. Most recently, G&D has been invited to perform the Earthquake Trilogy created by Gaspard Louis, at the 18thannual International Festival of Contemporary Dance “Isadora” located in the city of Krasnoyark, Siberia, Russia

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Gaspard Louis (Founder/Artistic Director)

Haitian-born Gaspard founded Gaspard&Dancers (G&D) in 2009. He received his BFA from Montclair State University and his MFA from Hollins University/American Dance Festival (ADF) program. Prior to forming his own company, Gaspard performed and taught worldwide with Pilobolus and has been a guest teacher at Duke University, Elon University and NC Central University. Currently, he directs the American Dance Festival’s year-round creative movement outreach program, ADF Project Dance, providing free dance classes to children throughout the Triangle, including Central Park School for Children where he shares his love for the arts with K-4th graders. His goal and passion is to expose as many children as possible to the dance art form.



Mayerlin Muñoz


Mayerlin Muñoz began dancing at the age of eight at the school Incolballet (Cali, Colombia). During her training, her studies included extensive work in ballet, modern, folklore and contemporary dance. Her professional career started with Colombian Ballet Company in 2007 where she performed several classical ballets. In 2009 she was invited to go on tour to Germany and US with Colegio del Cuerpo Company. In 2011 she won a scholarship for the Ballet Hispanico Summer Intensive in New York City and was asked to perform with the company. Following the summer she was offered a position with the newly created Ballet Hispanico 2 as a founding member. Ms. Muñoz expanded her contemporary and modern experience on stage as a member of JKing Dance Company and performing in Alvin Ailey's workshops. She has been teaching ballet to little kids for several years, and continues to do so. Currently she specializes with kids aged 18 month-8 years old and is the main teacher and studio manager at Tutu School Raleigh and Tutu School Cary.

DeVontee Jamaal Tanner

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DeVontee’ Jamaal Tanner: Dancer (Henderson, NC) currently holds a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Dance and a minor in Spanish from North Carolina A&T State University. After eleven years (2006-2017) of dancing for Dr. Eleanor Gwynn and her company, he embraces his deep passion for the arts, particularly dance. He has performed at many locations ranging from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Kingston, Jamaica. Using dance as an outlet, he has grown into the performer who many have grown to admire. Humble and talented he remains. Tanner will forever be driven to utilize his gifts for the better of everyone surrounding him.

Josephus Thompson III


Josephus Thompson III: (Greensboro, NC) Poet, Entrepreneur, Brother, Mentor, Son, Josephus III is constantly transcending boundaries with the art of words and voice. As host of The Poetry Café, his voice can be heard weekly of the airwaves of WNAA 90.1FM, as the Director of The Poetry Project he can be found in front of a group of young people showing them the power and necessity of their voices in classrooms across the country and as a man on a daily basis he just wants to continue to grow. 

Masha Dashkina Maddux


Masha Dashkina Maddux is concert dance performer and a dance educator. A native of Kiev, Ukraine she was first introduced to dance through the classical Vaganova ballet technique. After moving to United States she studied under the direction of Ruth Weisen at the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet of Miami, FL and ultimately graduated summa cum laude with her BFA from New World School of the Arts under the directorship of Daniel Lewis. Ms. Dashkina Maddux joined the Martha Graham Dance Company in 2007 and rose to the rank of principal dancer. She was featured in Dance Magazine's "Dancer's Choice", and also appeared in a feature film Fall to Rise, and in Martha Graham technique instructional video. Ms. Dashkina Maddux has collaborated with photographers to capture the art of dance. Her images have appeared in published books Desert Flower by Guillermo Licurgo and When They Dance by Paula Lobo. Most recently, her image was selected for the cover of the book The Art of Movement, created by Ken Browar and Deborah Ory.

Ms. Dashkina Maddux finds great inspiration in being a dance educator. Places where she has taught include Martha Graham School of Dance, New World School of the Arts of Miami, FL, Thomas Armour Youth Ballet of Miami, FL, University of North Carolina Greensboro, NC, among many others. Currently, she is working with the Town of Wake Forest, NC and Wake Forest Arts to create a free and open to the public Wake Forest Dance Festival.