Dance

 

GRAND CENTER ARTS ACADEMY DANCE DEPARTMENT

MISSION STATEMENT
The purpose of the Dance Department at the Grand Center Arts Academy is to expose select students to the historical, technical, and artistic elements of dance: Ballet, modern (traditional and contemporary), jazz and other dance techniques (hip hop/world dance/tap) and dance related courses such as Dance Orientation, Dance History, and Dance IMG_6979 GCAA - lynne videosComposition.

Students are given a complete foundation in dance through our supportive, rigorous, and challenging core curriculum.

With the students’ engagement and dedication to the process and the supportive and well trained instructional staff, the GCAA dance students are being prepared for a university, conservatory setting, or possibly accepted directly into professional companies as apprentices and /or full company members.

VISION STATEMENT
IMG_0009JJVPhotography_2013Our vision is to provide a comprehensive dance experience that will meet the needs of dedicated and talented students who are considering careers in dance or dance related careers. With the provision of intensive dance instruction of the highest quality and a strong academic curriculum, all courses and departmental activities are designed to accomplish the following goals:

• To develop artistic and creative potential through a sequentially developed curriculum in both technical and theoretical dance courses
• To increase an appreciation for dance as an art form
• To develop skill development through coaching and performance-based assessment
• To stimulate students’ creative and critical thinking and open-ended inquiry
• To broaden an understanding of other art forms and their relationship to dance
• To develop an understanding of physiologically sound movement principles
• To maintain a standard of excellence
• To initiate community involvement through volunteer service and performances
• To instill a sense of ethics and professionalism

 

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Our Dance Teachers

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Stephanie (Nicki) Beier, M.A.T., B.A. – Dance Mrs. Beier earned her MAT and BA in dance and performing arts from Lindenwood University where she taught for five years. While teaching dance educational programs in public schools for MADCO (Modern American Dance Company) and teaching dance to Autistic adults, she was inspired to share her passion with students and got her certification in Dance and PE. She received the Dance Award for Lindenwood University’s dance program and studied on scholarship at the Joffery Ballet School, the Edge Performing Arts Centre in Los Angeles, the School of Hartford Ballet and Rivernorth Chicago.  Mrs. Beier has performed for several companies locally and abroad such as the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and MADCO. Email link: stephanie.beier@grandcenterartsacademy.org

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Chivas Merchant-Buckman, B.F.A. – Dance, Ballet and Modern (Horton) Chivas Merchant-Buckman, a native from Washington, DC graduated from Duke Ellington School of the Arts.  He then received his BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College where he worked with choreographers such as Robert Battle, Jiri Kylian, Chris D’ Ambroise, Jose Limon, Sean Curran, and Donald Byrd.  Previous companies that Chivas has worked with are Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Elisa Monte Monte Dance, and guested with The Big Muddy Dance Company.  His musical theater credits include Petrouchka in The New York Musical Festival and recently The Wiz with The St Louis Black Repertory.  This is Chivas’ first year with GCAA. Email link: Chivas.MerchantBuckman@grandcenterartsacademy.org

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Sampson_DanielleDanielle Sampson, B.A. – Dance Mrs. Sampson earned her BA in dance with a minor in Fine Arts Entrepreneurship from Southeast Missouri State University. She also holds a variety of fitness certifications in Zumba fitness, Kangoo Power, Kangoo Jumps and more. She has performed in a variety of Dance Concerts in styles of Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, Swing, Modern and Contemporary and also plays such as Trojan Women and A Streetcar Named Desire to name a few.  Mrs. Sampson has been teaching for over 10 year throughout the St. Louis and Cape Girardeau area. This inspired her to co-found a studio with her sister here in St. Louis called I.A.M. Dance and Fitness, LLC, which stands for “It’s All In The Mind.” She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity and has been an ongoing mentor with Junior Achievement. She has always found the time to give back to her community by being a mentor to our youth of today, and not only sharing her passion for community service but sharing her passion for the arts. Mrs. Sampson has joined the GCAA family to help mold students into well-rounded artists that are prepared for their life journey of creativity. She wants them to know, if you can dream it and are willing to work hard, you can achieve it. Email link: danielle.sampson@grandcenterartsacademy.org
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Tate_AshleyAshley Tate – Dance Ashley L. Tate is the founder, artistic director, and head choreographer of Ashleyliane Dance Company (ADC), a full service dance organization based in the Greater St. Louis area. Ashley has studied dance for over 27 years. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Science from Texas Christian University, where she served two consecutive years as captain during her four-year stint as a member of the TCU Showgirls Dance Team. She has been an instructor for National Dance Alliance, a cast member in a Sony Dreamworks motion picture, and a bodily-kinesthetic intelligence presenter for St. Louis Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS). Ms. Tate has choreographed for NCAA basketball and football halftime shows, studio recitals, theatre productions, professional dance organizations, and national and regional dance competitions. She teaches master classes and workshops in contemporary jazz, hip hop, street jazz, lyrical jazz, and specialty classes in turns, leaps, and cardio hip hop. She was a member of the Saint Louis Rams Football Cheerleaders, serving as a captain for two years. She also served as the head cheer and dance coach at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She also taught hip hop at the Downtown Dance Center, home of the The Big Muddy Dance Company. Ms. Tate is now a member of the Regional Arts Commission Citizen Review Panel and a board member for Missouri Dance Organization. Ms. Tate is a dance instructor at Grand Center Arts Academy and an adjunct instructor of dance at Washington University in St. Louis. Ms. Tate was invited to a private audition for Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour and is a recipient of Grand Center’s Emerging Artist Visionary Award. She has served as a judge for the Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation’s Teen Talent Showcase. She is also a winner of the Pulse On Tour Dance Convention Protégé Scholarship, a Monsters of Hip Hop Scholarship (and a Monsters Show Nominee), and is signed as a dancer and dance educator with Clear Talent Group in Los Angeles, California. Her work was recently chosen to be featured in an emerging choreographers’ showcase at the Peridance Capezio Center in New York City. ashley.tate@grandcenterartsacademy.org
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Williams_KeithKeith Tyrone Williams, M.A., M.F.A. – Dance and Musical Theatre Keith Tyrone Williams brings a very diverse experience to the faculty here at GCAA. He has performed, directed, and choreographed throughout the United States and extensively in Europe. He is artistic director of Innervision Dance Theatre, which most recently premiered the inspirational work, The Ties That Bind, to sold out audiences. Some may remember him as “Horse” in The Full Monty at Stages St. Louis for which he won the prestigious Kevin Kline Award. His choreographic work of “Sarafina”, a musical about South African apartheid, received rave reviews and garnered him another Kevin Kline Award for best choreography.  He also appeared in Damn Yankees” (Applegate) for which he won the Woodie King Jr. Award for best actor, was the recipient of the Katherine Dunham Award, and the NAACP Cultural Arts Award. Keith has appeared in many national, international, and Broadway productions, such as Legs Diamond, Once On This Island, Five Guys Named  Moe, Bubbling Brown Sugar, Starlight Express, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, and is currently working on his dream production of “The Ties That Bind” , believing that it will one day be performed on the Broadway Stage. Keith is very proud to be among the few people certified by Katherine Dunham to teach the world renowned Dunham Technique, and served as co-writer and appeared in the historic documentary on Dunham Technique with the Library of Congress and performed in the  Dunham Gala performance at Carnegie Hall..  Keith has a BS in Theatre/Dance (Southern ILL University Edwardsville, MA Theatre/Directing (Lindenwood University) and completing his MFA (Directing). He has been a member of Actors Equity Professional Union for more than 30 years, and is excited about sharing his years of professional experience to the wonderful young artists here at GCAA.  
Email link: keith.williams@grandcenterartsacademy.org

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