A Dance Conversation: José Limón (renowned dancer and choreographer)


You are invited to attend an evening honoring the life of dancer and choreographer José Limón (1908-1972).

When:  September 23, 2018


Where: Renaissance Centre, Annex Room

             405 S. Brooks Street, Wake Forest, NC, 27587


SPACE IS LIMITED! Please reserve your spot by emailing info@wakeforestdancefestival.org.

The Wake Forest Dance Festival will be presenting Limón’s Chaconne as part of this year’s main stage performance on September 29th at Joyner Park and will be hosting a master class with Logan Kruger, José Limón Dance Company member and rehearsal director, for the community at Destiny Dance Institute on September 27th at 5:45pm.

On Sunday, September 23rd from 4-5pm at The Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, the Wake Forest Dance Festival will kick-off this incredible residency with an exclusive presentation of photographs and film provided by the José Limón Foundation, Jacob's Pillow and the American Dance Festival, to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of José Limón and his crucial role in development of modern dance. In addition, Jonathan Leinbach, a José Limón Foundation Board Member and previous company dancer, as well as Gerri Houlihan, a legendary teacher whom studied with Limón at The Juilliard School, will share their first hand experiences and also discuss how the “Limon Technique” has been passed on through generations and continues to influence contemporary dance as we know it today.  


Press release for the Second Season of the Wake Forest Dance Festival

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For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:
Mariya “Masha” Dashkina Maddux, Wake Forest Dance Festival director

Angela Jamison, Communicopia

Wake Forest Dance Festival Returns to Joyner Park on Sept. 29
Day-long event features international, national, regional and local dance performers

(Wake Forest, N.C., August 24, 2018) – For a second year, families, dance enthusiasts and the public will celebrate dance and music during the free Wake Forest Dance Festival (WFDF) on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018, at E. Carroll Joyner Park, 701 Harris Rd., in Wake Forest.

In a format similar to last year’s inaugural event, the 2018 festival beginning at 9:30 a.m. brings a day of dance to the Triangle in an outdoor, wooded setting. WFDF showcases a diversity of dance genres, including classical ballet, modern, contemporary, jazz and world dance, by international, national and regional professional dancers as well as local rising advanced dance performers.

WFDF will begin with an educational technical rehearsal in the morning and conclude with a staged performance lasting through the early evening. During the day, mini dance performances showcasing various dance styles will take place in select areas of Joyner Park culminating with a staged performance.

Presented by ARTS Wake Forest and the Wege Foundation, in partnership with the Town of Wake Forest and Wake Forest Parks and Recreation Cultural Resources, WFDF is supported by United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.

A tribute will take place to honor the Durham-based American Dance Festival (ADF), an institution and festival that has been an integral part of the dance community since 1934. The WFDF will highlight ADF’s incredible lineage of dance history showcasing a diversity of genres, performers, choreographers and music.

The festival’s director Mariya “Masha” Dashkina Maddux, a former principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company in New York City, says it’s a privilege to honor ADF.

“One of the goals of the Wake Forest Dance Festival is to bring attention to the art of dance in our community. It is an honor to bring artists of such high caliber to the second season of this free, public event,” said Maddux. “We hope people throughout the Triangle and beyond will take advantage of an inspiring day of dance.”

Some standout dance performances during the September 29 day-long event will include:

  • Logan Frances Kruger of the José Limón Dance Company performing Chaconne (1942), a solo choreographed by one of the most celebrated performers and choreographers of modern dance José Limón. The solo will be performed to the music of Bach. A Sept. 23 Limon Technique discussion as well as a Sept. 27 master class are also planned.

  • The DASH Ensemble, a New York-based dance company performing in honor of ADF, will present a male duet by its founder and choreographer Gregory Dolbashian.

  • Antonio Fini, who is the director of Fini Dance New York and Alto Jonio Dance Festival in Calabria, Italy will perform a solo inspired by Italian dance Tarantella.

  • Local North Carolina and guest artist professional dancers will perform Danzón, a work by renowned choreographer and dancer Pedro Ruiz.

The 2017 WFDF paid tribute to long-time Wake Forest dance instructor Elizabeth “Betty” Hunt Holding and her dance legacy as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette and ballet understudy for famed Russian choreographer George Balachine. This year, Holding’s family, some who still reside in Wake Forest, started The Betty Holding Dancers Fund, which will award scholarships to some of the area’s most advanced dancing students.

Several $500 scholarships will be available to students who participate in the 2018 WFDF and are currently enrolled in a dance program at a school, college or university. Interested applicants can find more information at www.wakeforestdancefestival.org/scholarships/.

The program schedule for the day will be:

  • 9:30 a.m. – noon: Technical Rehearsal – Attendees who want a behind the scenes look can attend the Technical Rehearsal, which is a run-through of the Festival Performance that will take place later in the day. Some of the performers and the stage manager will be available to answer questions.

  • 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Tour in Motion – A guided walking tour beginning at the top of every hour that gives attendees the opportunity to experience different dance genres in intimate outdoor settings at four locations throughout Joyner Park. This year’s Tour in Motion will feature emerging choreographers and showcase Classical Indian Dance.

  • 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.: Festival Performance – The culminating Festival Performance will feature professional dancers and rising advanced dancers from local institutions, such as Destiny Dance Institute, Wake Forest Civic Ballet and North Carolina State University Dance Company.

See the full list of choreographers and performers on the event website at www.wakeforestdancefestival.org/artists.

Visionary sponsors of the event are ARTS Wake Forest, Wege Foundation, The Newman Family Foundation, Town of Wake Forest, Destiny Dance Institute and Hampton Inn by Hilton Wake Forest. Dreamer level sponsors include The Dance Attic, Dancing Angels Foundation, Hoffmaster CPA, PLLC, Holly Eishenhour, Klok’s School of Martial Arts and PhysioFit of NC. Scholarship sponsors are The Betty Holding Dancers Fund, Alto Jonio Dance, Dancing Angels Foundation and Fini Dance New York. The festival’s in-kind sponsors are Arrow Tree Boutique, Communicopia, PTM Photo & Video, George Randy Bass Photography and Strategic Insights Brand Marketing.

Festival attendees should adhere to E. Carroll Joyner Park rules when attending the event, which include keeping pets on a leash and no alcohol or personal grills, however picnics are encouraged. The full list of park rules and reminders can be found on the Town of Wake Forest’s website (www.wakeforestnc.gov).

Visit the event’s website www.WakeForestDanceFestival.org and Facebook page www.facebook.com/WakeForestDance for more information on the event, the indoor backup venue in case of inclement weather, and for sponsor and volunteer opportunities.



GREGORY DOLBASHIAN - Born and raised in New York City Gregory made his professional stage debut at the age of eight with the Glimmerglass Opera Company and in the Philip Glass/Robert Wilson world tour of Einstein on the Beach. Gregory received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School, then graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase dance conservatory. Awards include The Bessie Schoenberg Residency at The Yard, winner of The Pretty Creatives Competition for Northwest Dance Project and The Hubbard Street 2 International Choreographic Competition, second place in Ballet Austin's New American Talent competition, and the audience prize at DanceNOW at joe’s pub in 2014 and again in 2017. Company commissions include Atlanta Ballet, TU Dance in Minnesota, Zenon Dance Company, Ballet Austin, LA Contemporary Dance Company, Hubbard Street 2, City Dance Ensemble in D.C, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance in Dallas, and Northwest Dance Project in Portland Oregon, and most recently for St. Louis Ballet as part of the Dance St. Louis Festival. Dolbashian has also received commissions from American Dance Festival as a featured choreographer in The Footprints Program and also has created multiple works for principals and soloists at American Ballet Theater including Jeffrey Cirio, Daniil Simkin, and Hee Seo, all premiering at The JOYCE and The Great Mountains Music Fest in Seoul, Korea. College commissions include SUNY Purchase, University of Minnesota, University of Hawaii, DeSales University, The Hartt School, Point Park, Fordham/ Ailey, Long Island University, NYU Tisch, James Madison University, and the Juilliard School. He debuted his own company The DASH Ensemble, in December 2010 at JOYCE SoHo. (See Company Bio for more background)

Dolbashian also teaches workshops and intensives all over the country at universities, companies, and competitive studios. As a soloist and performer, Gregory has performed in multiple DASH repertory shows. His solo work was also presented at American Dance Festival in his one man show Awkward Magic. In addition to his choreography, Gregory, alongside fellow choreographer Loni Landon, is the co-founder of The Playground, a choreographic initiative that was voted 25 to Watch in 2013 by Dance Magazine.

Isaies Santamaria Perez


Isaies Santamaria Perez Born in France, Isaies studied dance in Paris at Latin and tropical dance School and at Rick Odums School of Ballet Jazz. During his free time, he took classes with his mentor Dominique Lesdema and he also studied break dance and develop his own moves in different session. Isaies worked with Latin jazz company as Isis Figaro Team and french choreographers such as Alexandra Lemoine et Tatiana Seguin. Also, he has been part of "You Can Dance", the French television version of “So You think you can dance”. Recently, Isaies moved to New York to broaden his horizon and vision to study at Peridance Capezio Center. He is now working with Dash Ensemble ( Gregory Dolbashian), Manuel Vignoulle, Sonya Tayeh, and Zvi Dance.

Antonio Brown


Antonio Brown is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, where he began his dance training at the Cleveland School of the Arts. In 2007, he received his BFA from The Juilliard School under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes. While there, he had the opportunity to perform works by Jose Limon, Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylian, Eliot Feld, Aszure Barton, Jessica Lang, Susan Marshall, Larry Keigwin, among others. Mr. Brown  has also worked with Nilas Martins Dance Company, Stephen Pier and Sidra Bell Dance New York. Antonio is currently dancing with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Camille A. Brown & Dancers and is grateful to share his gifts and talents with the world.

José Limón

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JOSÉ LIMÓN (Founder/Choreographer, 1908-1972) electrified the world with his dynamic masculine dancing and dramatic choreography. One of the 20th century’s most important and influential dance makers, he spent his career pioneering a new art form and fighting for its recognition. Born in Culiacán, Mexico in 1908, he moved to California in 1915, and in 1928 came to New York where he saw his first dance program. Limón enrolled in Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman’s dance school and performed in several of their works from 1930 to 1940. In 1946, with Doris Humphrey as Artistic Director, Limón formed his own company. His company was a major force of 20th century (and now 21st century) dance.,distinguishing itself as the first dance group to tour internationally under the auspices of the State Department and the first modern dance company to perform at Lincoln Center in New York, as well as performing twice at The White House. Thematically, José Limón possessed a social awareness that transcended distinct groups to address how we all search for commonality, earning him a special place in American culture. With their arresting visual clarity, theatricality, and rhythmic and musical life, his works continue to influence the evolution of the art form more than 50 years after his passing. The José Limón Dance Foundation, encompassing the Company and the educational and licensing Institute, was awarded a 2008 National Medal of the Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence. Limón created a total of seventy-four works, including The Moor’s Pavane, Concerto Grosso, andMissa Brevis.

ABOUT LIMÓN DANCE COMPANY The Limón Dance Company (LDC) has been at the vanguard of dance since its inception in 1946, distinguishing itself as the first dance group to tour internationally under the auspices of the State Department and the first modern dance company to perform at Lincoln Center in New York, as well as performing twice at The White House. Thematically, founder José Limón possessed a social awareness that transcended distinct groups to address how we all search for commonality, earning him a special place in American culture. With their arresting visual clarity, theatricality, rhythmic, and musical life, his works continue to influence the evolution of the art form more than 40 years after his passing. The company has developed a repertory of unparalleled breadth to complement the classics by its founders Humphrey and Limón. This oeuvre represents 44 choreographers and 45 new commissions by such luminaries as Lar Lubovitch, Doug Varone, Donald McKayle, Murray Louis, Susanne Linke, Meredith Monk, Jiří Kylián, and now Kate Weare. The José Limón Dance Foundation, encompassing the company and the educational and licensing institute, was awarded a 2008 National Medal of the Arts, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.

José Limón Technique Masterclass with Logan Kruger

 Photo by Christopher Jones

Photo by Christopher Jones

WHEN: September 27th, 2018

WHERE: 417 Brooks St, Wake Forest, NC 27587

TIME: 5:45-7:15pm

COST: $20 cash per student (collected at the door)

REGISTRATION: to register please email info@wakeforestdancefestival.org

DON'T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY to study with the company member and Rehearsal Director of the world renowned José Limón Dance Company! Presented by Wake Forest Dance Festival and hosted by Destiny Dance Institute, the masterclass will focus on the movement and technique developed by José Limón, a celebrated dancer, choreographer and a crucial figure in development of modern dance. 

LOGAN FRANCES KRUGER became the Company’s Rehearsal Director in 2017. She has been a member of the Limón Dance Company since 2009, performing featured roles in works by José Limón, Jiří Kylián, Rodrigo Pederneiras, and Kate Weare. Kruger hails from Atlanta, GA, trained with Annette Lewis and Pamala Jones-Malavé, and received a B.F.A. from The Juilliard School. She has performed in theaters across five continents, working with choreographers such as Adam H. Weinert, Jonah Bokaer, with the company Shen Wei Dance Arts, and with Damian Woetzel’s DEMO. As a teacher, Kruger has worked with students of all ages and levels in North and South America, Europe, and Africa, and is currently on faculty at the Limón Institute. Kruger also acts as a reconstructor of Limón’s dances and has staged works for the Limón Institute’s Professional Studies Program, DanceWave, and the Vail International Dance Festival.

Jam Niel Delgado


Jam Niel Delgado Castro was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He  started dancing at the age of sixteen. In 2010, he started his studies at the School of the Arts, Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, and right away Mr. Delgado was offered a position in the company, as well as an invitation to attend competitions with HB (formerly known as Heavenly Bodies). In 2012, he had the opportunity to perform in the famous show “La Vecindad del Chavo”. After graduating from high school, Mr. Delgado joined the dance company at the Metropolitan University (UMET) in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, while studying a degree in Public Relations. After moving to West Virginia, he started taking ballet lessons and found himself teaching jazz classes at the same time. In 2014, Mr. Delgado moved to North Carolina and joined Koffee Dance Company as a dancer and performed in “Insomnia” at the Burning Coal Theatre in Raleigh. Additionally he has performed with the Winston Salem Festival Ballet and Taylor Dance. Mr. Delgado is currently a contemporary and jazz teacher with Infinity Ballet and Conservatory in Apex, NC. This is his first appearance as a guest artist for the Wake Forest Dance Festival.  

Logan Frances Kruger

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Logan Frances Kruger became the Company's Rehearsal Director in 2017. She has been a member of the Limón Dance Company since 2009, performing feature roles in the works by José Limón, Jiří Kylián, Rodrigo Pederneiras, and Kate Weare. Kruger hails from Atlanta, GA, trained with Annette Lewis and Pamala Jones-Malave, and received B.F.A. from The Julliard School. She has performed in theaters across five continents, working with choreographers such as Adam H. Weinert, Jonah Bokaer, with the company Shen Wei Dance Artists, and with Damian Woetzel's DEMO. As a teacher, Kriger has worked with students of all ages and levels in North and South America, Europe, and Africa, and is currently on faculty at the Limón Institute. Kruger also acts as a reconstructor of Limón dances and has stages works for the Limón Institute's Professional Studies Program, DanceWave, and the Vail International Dance Festival. 

(photo by Christopher Jones)

Isabelle Frame


Isabelle Frame originally began her dance studies at Beckley Dance Theatre in West Virginia. She continued her training in Durham, North Carolina with the Durham School for Ballet and the Performing Arts under the direction of the Boleyn Willis-Zeger where she started in countless storybook ballets.   Isabelle was also excepted to attend summer training programs at the procedures American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Arizona. She has performed as the corps de ballet with Charlotte Ballet Company and received leading roles with the Charlotte Ballet Academy. Her favorite ballet roles include Polly and Pineapple Poll, Wendy in Peter Pan, and the title role in Cinderella and a Little Mermaid. She also has studied and performed a variety of contemporary repertory rooted in the research Shaga and the Gaga Movement Language as well as William Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies Unser the direction of ShaLeigh Comerford, Artistic Director of ShaLeigh Dance Works, where she is currently a company member.

Kalito Luna

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Kalito Luna is a senior at Duke University majoring in Public Policy. He began dancing in high school where his love for the art quickly grew. While at Duke, he has taken the opportunity to learn from amazing Professors Barbara Dickenson, Andrea Woods-Valdez, Nina Wheeler, and Ava Vinesett. While focusing on Modern Dance, he has enjoyed exploring African and Jazz Dance. He is a member of Nakisai, Duke’s premier African Dance Ensemble, where he has had the opportunity to choreograph and perform at many major on-campus events. He has learned from Mrs. Avis Hatcher-Puzzo for a short time in high school and is excited for this opportunity to do so again.

Randi Osetek

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Randi Osetek was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico and trained in Chicago, Illinois and Green Bay, Wisconsin before accepting a full scholarship to study at the School of American Ballet in New York City. Ms. Osetek completed her training with Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle where she performed regularly with the company.   Ms. Osetek joined Carolina Ballet in 2002 as a member of the corps de ballet and was promoted to Soloist in 2008.  Ms. Osetek has made guest appearances throughout the United States and toured China as a Soloist with Carolina Ballet.  Ms. Osetek credits her love of dance to a few special teachers including Timothy Josephs and Jane Meredith at the Green Bay School of Dance, and Susan Pilarre and Suki Schorer at the School of American Ballet.  Ms. Osetek enjoys travel, the beach, everything Disney, designer shoes, and the Green Bay Packers.


Antonio Fini

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Antonio Fini is an Italian born modern dancer, choreographer, and director. Antonio has performed with the Martha Graham Dance Company and Graham II, Erick 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, Antonioexpanded 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 expanded bio please visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Fini

Jacquelyn Batten

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Originally from Salisbury, NC, Jacquelyn “Jackie” Batten is a dancer/choreographer interested in Afrocentric movement and rhythms and how the two create the perfect marriage on stage.  Her diverse movement background plays a large part in her movement studies and interests. In addition to training in ballet, modern techniques such as Cunningham and Safety Release, traditional West and South African dance, and specializing in jazz funk/hip hop, she also has a background in stepping, cheerleading and musical theatre. Jacquelyn has been fortunate enough to display her knowledge in various works, such as, the Piedmont Player’s production of “CHICAGO”, works by School of Dance faculty members BJ Sullivan and Maurice Watson, various concept videos, and on multiple stages and events around the Triad, including the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC.

  Jackie is currently an undergraduate at UNC Greensboro studying Dance Performance and Choreography with a minor in Arts Administration. She has also had the privilege of studying abroad at the University of Cape Town in Cape Town, South Africa, where she trained in Safety Release, Horton, traditional South African dance cultures, and ballet.  Jacquelyn was also fortunate enough to be apart of two performance works during her short time at UCT. She will be presenting her thesis work “afro-” in April of 2018 and will be graduating December of that same year. After completing her degree at UNC Greensboro, Jacquelyn plans on teaching, training, and performing in the Greensboro and surrounding areas until she makes the artist's’ pilgrimage to New York City to continue pursuing a career in movement and arts business in the gallery realm.

Corinne Canavarro

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Corinne Canavarro is a graduate of NCSU and holds BS degrees in both Chemistry and Environmental Technology & Management. She began her dance journey in the public school system where she was fortunate to have several dedicated dance teachers who encouraged her to continue learning. While at NCSU she was a member of the Panoramic Dance Project under the direction of Tara Mullins where she had the opportunity to work with choreographers Lavender D. Burris, Baba Chuck Davis, Willie Hinton, and Autumn Mist Belk. She also participated and choreographed for several student dance groups on campus. Her training includes ballet, modern (Horton technique), jazz, improvisation techniques, and Latin dance. Corinne attended the American Dance Festival six-week school in 2014 and has worked with Code f.a.d. Company (Autumn Mist Belk). She has been a member of Koffee Dance Company since 2012 and is currently a member of Mambo Dinamico. In addition to working full time in the pharmaceutical industry, she is also active in the hip hop community.

Mychal Keels

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Sumter, South Carolina native Mychal Keels is a Political Science graduate of North Carolina Central University. Despite his major he has acquired an immense love for dance, exploring a myriad of styles and concentrations in the process. Only beginning dance four years ago, he has grown leaps and bounds having an understanding of jazz, ballet, hip-hop and contemporary, but specializes in Horton Modern technique. Mychal has taught master classes and set pieces on many schools in the NC area including Hillside High School, Longleaf School of the Arts, Durham School of the Arts, and Fayetteville State University. Mychal was able to participate in the American Dance Festival where he performed in Charles Anderson’s repertory piece as well as trained with former Frankfurt Ballet principal dancer Elizabeth Corbett. Mychal has been a member of Koffee Dance Company since 2014.

Justin Williams

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Justin Williams is a graduate of North Carolina Central University with a degree in Mass Communication. However, even though he is busy shaping the world of media, his love for dance has caused him to dive head first into the art form. After taking a long break from dance, he began working in the world of musical theatre where he found his love for dancing again. Since then he has become adept in the styles of hip hop, jazz, Modern Horton technique, and contemporary. Justin was also able to participate in the American Dance Festival (2017) where he was blessed to take part in the Bill T. Jones repertory under Shayla-vie Jenkins. He has also been able to study with former principal dancer of the Frankfurt Ballet, Elizabeth Corbett. Justin has also been able to set pieces on Durham School of the Arts and teach master classes at Hillside High School, Longleaf School of the Arts, and Fayetteville State University. Beyond dance, Justin is an avid photographer, videographer, and graphic designer. Justin has been a member of Koffee Dance Company since 2014.

Clayton Barrier


M. Clayton Barrier is a native of Durham, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina Central University.  While in college, he took every opportunity to be involved in fitness and dance. Most recently, he is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher for various dance organizations and an up-and-coming local dance company. In addition to being a theater, dance, and physical education/health teacher at a public college prep charter school, Clayton is  trained in various yoga practices through YogaFit. Currently, he teaches yoga and barre in various locations around the Triangle.  Additionally, he teaches ballet and jazz for adults. Clayton prides himself in meeting his students at their level, raising the bar, and serving as support to reaching that goal.  His no-nonsense approach has a number of dancers and athletes who train under him independently.

Avis Hatcher Puzzo


Avis Hatcher Puzzo, founder/choreographer of  Koffee Dance Company

Avis Hatcher Puzzo, is known regionally for her work as a choreographer for numerous dance venues and musicals however in August 2012, she founded her own dance/theater company, Koffee Dance Company (KDC), which premiered in March 2013, at North Carolina School of Math and Science in Durham.

An NC resident since 2008, this Connecticut-native holds a BA in Dance/Theater from Trinity College, an MFA in Theater Arts and Dance from Case Western Reserve University, and a MS in Higher Education from Capella University.  Previously having trained and performed in New England, New York and the Midwest, her choreographic emphasis is in Horton, Cunningham and Graham modern dance techniques as well as jazz, hip-hop cultural and contemporary movement styles.   Avis has developed a hybrid dance style which incorporates the grace of Ailey based modern (Horton) with highly rhythmic and athletic gestures. Studying at Ailey, in addition to Garth Fagan, Ned Williams, and Elisa Monte she founded Wette Paint Dance Theater, in Connecticut a contemporary dance and theater company which toured the east coast.

Winner of the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual award 2013, Avis most recently performed with Ronald K. Brown / Evidence Dance Company & Community Dancers of Durham for the ADF LifeTime Achievement Award Concert and is also the Associate professor of dance/theater at Fayetteville State University.


Vania Clairborne

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Vania Claiborne is from Charlotte, NC by way of Boston, MA. She holds her BFA in Dance Choreography and a minor in Business Entrepreneurship from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. As a student she studied Contemporary, African, Jazz, Safety Release, and Ballet under the tutelage of B.J Sullivan, Janet Lilly, Robin Gee, Justin Tornow, and more. There she has performed multiple works including in Standing Tall by Yoav Kador, Conversations by Nathan Trice, Rubrics of Lace by Christal Brown. She has performed on various stages including the Kennedy Center and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello for the 50th Anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. As a Choreographer she has set works on JOYEMOVEMENT dance company and on students in the Forsyth county school system. As an Administrator she has served the national and international dance community through the 2018 American Dance Festival, and while there presented the solo Opportunity Cost, at an informal showing. Choreographically, Vania interested in the intersection faith and ethics, “I have learned to kiss the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages.”- Charles Haddon Spurgeon