Meet the Judges
Anthony de Marte
Heather Parker Schumacher
Janis A. Sherwood
Makayla Marie Wade
Dr. Eiesha M. Williamson
Blayke Adkinson is a native of Montgomery, Alabama. She grew up training at Centre for Performing Arts under the direction of Karen Jordan as a competitive dancer and teacher. Blayke was accepted into Troy University’s dance department on a dance and academic scholarship. She went on to earn her BFA in dance training under Dominique Angel, James Boyd, Thang Dao, Dante Puleio, and Adrienne Hicks. Blayke also trained under Teddy Forance through his mentorship program with CLIstudios. Blayke has been accepted on scholarship to numerous intensives, including but not limited to the following, Gus Giordano, Dance Theater of Harlem, Perry Mansfield, Peridance, and American Dance Festival. Blayke is now a company member of Fuerta Dance Company for their 2022-2023 season. Blayke has also been teaching and choreographing for various competitive dance studios for six years and has won numerous choreography awards. Blayke is very passionate about the art of dance and is so excited to be a part of the Inspire staff!
Katherine Ambrester is a Performer and Teaching Artist based in Pine Mountain, Georgia who champions the collaboration of music and movement at all levels. She holds a B.M. in Vocal Performance from the Schwob School of Music, with coursework completed in Vocal Pedagogy, Meisner Technique, and Artistic Direction, as well as training in Alexander Technique at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Prior to her time at Schwob, she was a Company Trainee at the Columbus Ballet Conservatory and completed a year of Dance Studies at Muhlenberg College. As a performer, Katherine has originated roles in new works (The Blue Fairy in My Son Pinocchio, Jr. for Disney iTheatrics) and played the classics (Hodel in Fiddler On The Roof.) As a collaborative artist, Katherine has premiered several new works at the Nief-Norf Music Festival, often combining movement, electronics, and improvisation. Her experience as a classical chamber musician includes performances of works by Alessandro Scarlatti, Maurice Ravel, and George Crumb. An integration of body awareness technique and her stage experience has guided her work as an educator at the Springer Opera House, Salvation Army, Schwob Summer Music Festival, and currently Center Stage Dance Studio. As a Director-Choreographer and Performer, Katherine’s projects can be seen in the CSU Opera Department, Georgia Repertory Theatre, Muddy Water Theatre Project, and Herschend Family Entertainment.
Jacqueline Baligian is a dance educator/choreographer/producer with over 30 years of experience as a teacher, dancer, choreographer, and producer. After graduating from California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in theatre arts & dance, she moved to NYC where she was hired to co-direct the children’s dance program at the famed Broadway Dance Center. Also a performer, Jacqueline has danced in live industrials for Suave shampoo with the star of Modern Family, Sofia Vergara. Jacqueline also recently performed on the Rachael Ray Halloween Special with Rachael Ray, Pee Wee Herman, and Penn & Teller and on the Regis and Kelly Show, with Kelly Ripa and Nick Lachey. She recently choreographed the opening number, starring Jerry O’Connell for the Rachael Ray show’s first episode of the 6th season and was thrilled to be asked back to choreograph Rachael Ray’s 1,000th episode. She just completed work choreographing for the “Shakespeare Forum” in NYC, having choreographed Romeo & Juliet. As a producer, Jacqueline has assisted on dance segments for Good Morning America, the Today Show, the Food Network, and many more.
Kaylie Bee grew up in a small town in Louisiana where she began dancing at age 3 training in styles Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip-Hop, Musical Theater, Cheer, and Pom. She has been awarded many scholarships and titles including the title of Miss Starquest 2017 and Miss Dance Mania 2018 where she received a scholarship to train at Broadway Dance Center in New York. She has taken classes with many professionals including Travis Wall, Alex Wong, Matt Steffanina, “Willdabeast,” and Abby Lee Miller. In 2014, she performed in a “Rio” production in Walt Disney World. Kaylie began teaching choreography at age 14 for many studios and groups across the country. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where she studies Sports Health Sciences and continues to dance, teach, and choreograph.
Carissa Bishop trained competitively under Charlene Topor, Cristina Topor, as well as her mother, Leah Bishop, at Empire Center of Dance in her hometown located in Upstate New York. Graduating from The College at Brockport, SUNY, receiving a BFA in Dance, Carissa had the opportunity to perform works by prominent contemporary choreographers: James Hansen, Laura Peterson, Jordan Lloyd, Cameron Mckinney, and continuously performs works by Madeline Kurtz of MKRep. Throughout her collegiate career, she performed and represented her college at the Rochester Fringe Festival and the American College Dance Association. She continues to perform in New York City and Tampa Bay Area. Carissa is also noted for her national title-winning choreography as a captain and choreographer of the Brockport Dance Team. Currently, she teaches and choreographs for numerous dance studios across the country, from New York to Florida. Carissa is a current company member of projectALCHEMY where she continues to invigorate and transform spaces in and around Saint Petersburg, Florida while coaching the dancers of the West Florida Dance Company!
Caroline Cates is the High School Dance teacher at Greater Atlanta Christian School (GAC), Head Dance Team Coach, Ballet, Tap, and Jazz Instructor/Choreographer at GAC School of Ballet. She has been dancing for 25 years and has studied with master teachers including Aldawna Morrison, Ramazan Bapov, Deneen Graham-Kerns, and Janet Lilly to name a few. Caroline was trained at Carol Walker Dance Academy. Throughout her dancing career she has won various awards and scholarships for her excellent technique and training and is part of the esteemed Nu Delta Alpha Dance Honors Society. From 2012-2013 she was a member of the DanceFX Concert Dance Company located in Athens, GA that performs locally as well as state-wide where she performed the role of Tweedle Dee in their presentation of “Alice, Lessons in Wonderland.” While in college, Caroline also became certified through Dance Masters of America Chapter 33, in both ballet and jazz. In 2018, her choreography was nominated for best choreography through the Shuler Musical Awards. She currently is on the GHSA Dance Committee that has been working the last three years to sanction dance as a sport under the Georgia High School Association. She has been teaching and coaching dance for nine years and has a passion for pouring her knowledge and love of dance into young performers.
Kate Collins is the owner and artistic director of Art of Dance Studio and the non-profit organization Art of Dance, Inc, and the dance director for West Henderson High School in Hendersonville, NC. She is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina where she started dancing at the age of two. Kate found her passion for dance with Classical Ballet and Pointe training as a member of the company at the Triangle Academy of Ballet, taking classes under instructors from the Carolina Ballet Company. Such technical education influenced her to have a strong focus on technique and conditioning for performance-based arts. At the Academy for Performing Arts and throughout college, she studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary, Choreography, Acrobatics, Pilates, Hip-Hop, Musical Theatre and was a member of the UNCW dance team. Most of her time was spent traveling to conventions, performances, and competitions where she was awarded countless awards and scholarships through: New York City Dance Alliance, Showstoppers, SHOCK the Intensive, JUMP and many others. She was awarded a scholarship to attend Broadway Dance Center in New York under tap enthusiast Mike Minery. This memorable experience help mold the choreographer, educator, and philanthropist she is today. In 2016, she created a non-profit company, Art of Dance, Inc that provides scholarships for children’s dance education and college dance education. Kate has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology (child development emphasis), Philosophy and Religion and feels that dance unites different types of cultures in a fundamental way. Kate truly loves teaching, performing and inspiring others to be their best. She believes that dance is an enlightening form of expression that every child can learn and grow creatively from.
A native of Dothan, Alabama, Rapha Conrad received her training at Dothan School of Dance along with many dance conventions (Tremaine Dance, Hollywood Vibe Dance, and Monsters of Hip Hop). She has worked with and assisted many choreographers in dance industry (Kevin Maher, Brooke Lipton, Matt Steffanina, etc.). Plus, has made appearances in movies, tv shows, and YouTube (like “Marvel’s Captain America”, “Dynasty” on the CW, “Good Mythical Morning with Rhett and Link”). Along with teaching and working with dancers in The Southeast and the West Coast, Rapha is currently producing, co-directing, and choreographing her first feature length documentary film (soon to premiere late 2022). Her goal as a teacher/choreographer is to motivate and inspire dancers to understand and be confident in their own abilities and artistry.
Stephanie Crane grew up dancing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she trained in everything from ballet, tap, and jazz, to pom, kick, and musical theater. She studied at Ballet Arts Minnesota and danced with Out on A Limb Dance Company while teaching at dance studios and coaching high school dance team. She then spent five years performing in parades and shows at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, where she lives now. Stephanie currently works at Windermere Preparatory School, teaching dance, choreographing for musicals, and coaching the varsity dance team, a program she helped create. She looks forward to joining the Inspire Dance family!
Marisa Dolan started dancing in Jacksonville, Florida training in ballet, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, modern, and hip-hop. Marisa studied dance at Jacksonville University and was a part of a contemporary/hip-hop company called A Rhythm Nation. As a freshman, she traveled with Jacksonville University students to perform a show on the ABC Island, Curacao. Marisa attended the Gelsey Kirkland Academy of Classical Ballet Summer Intensive in New York City and got to work with Gelsey Kirkland herself. She was then accepted to the Broadway Dance Center’s Professional Semester Program and moved to New York City. She has been on Good Morning America and danced with the Broadway cast of Spiderman: Turn off the Dark in their final Gypsy of the Year performance. Also in New York, she was a part of JT Lotus Dance Company and performed in many shows throughout New York and surrounding areas. Marisa has since then moved to Orlando, FL. She is currently dancing at Universal Studios Orlando in The Marilyn Monroe show and other seasonal events. Marisa is continuing to teach and work as a freelance dancer.
Bailee Eurey is a Carolina native and currently resides in the Charlotte, NC area. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University where she was a member of the Appalachian State Dance Team for 4 years and an active sister of Alpha Delta Pi. During her time at Appalachian State she was featured on College Football News as a dance team member. With over 20 years of experience, Bailee currently assists others with dance choreography and acrobatics training. She is trained in tap, jazz, musical theatre, hip-hop, contemporary, lyrical, and ballet. She has been an instructor and choreographer for 7 years and has won numerous national and regional choreography awards. Bailee is a judge for multiple national dance companies and has been a master class instructor for several organizations. Aside from her involvement in the professional dance world, Bailee is a licensed real estate agent, owns her own pageantry and photography business (Queen City Productions), enjoys being heavily present in both the fashion and film industries, and loves to travel when she is able. She is thrilled to be a part of the Inspire dance family and is looking forward to a fabulous competition season.
Carlos Garland was born on July 4, 1988 and was raised in Jacksonville Florida. He started dance at the age of 13 at Lavilla School of the Arts. Then graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, where he received a Merit Award in the NFAA (National Foundation of Advancement of the Arts) in hip hop. Carlos attended Jacksonville University, double majoring in dance and computer science. Also, during this time, he performed in the First Coast Nutcracker as lead the Russian Doll and has consistently over the years since then. Carlos has been the winner of the Mille Lewis America’s Models and Talent Competition in dance. He and his dance crew, “Systematic”, has won BET’s 106th and Park dance competition twice in a row and has been in national and international commercials. Carlos is a member of and has danced with Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance and has performed in their hit show “Rock the Ballet”. With the company he has toured Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S. Carlos was also a top 20 finalist on the Fox TV dance show “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 10. He has also danced with the cast of “Spider-man Turn Off the Dark” in their final Gypsy of The Year performance. He is a member of iLuminate (as seen on America’s Got Talent) and has performed as the main character in their hit off-broadway show, “iLuminate, Artists of Light”. He has been on instructor faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in NYC and still teaches there when in the area. He is currently a traveling instructor/choreographer for many schools and companies as well as a performer in Universal Studios and Walt Disney World.
Alicia Mae Holloway is from Morgantown, West Virginia and began dancing when she was three years old at her local studio. When she was thirteen years old, she left home to study at University of North Carolina School of the Arts before attending the School of American Ballet from 2011-2015. She attended the Boston Ballet Summer Dance Program, as well as Pacific Northwest Ballet. She began her professional career dancing with the Suzanne Farrell Ballet, and is now dancing her seventh season with the Dance Theatre of Harlem where she has danced with Aretha Franklin and worked with Alicia Keys. She is currently the co-chairwoman of the School of American Ballet’s Visiting Faculty program.
Jamie Howard has thirty years of dance training and has been a dance instructor for the past eighteen years. As a child she trained under Angela Franko-Burns at Dancer’s Pointe. From there she went on to train at the prestigious Georgia Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, and Ruth Mitchell. Jamie has performed many leading roles such as Cinderella, Roxie in Chicago, Christine in Phantom of the Opera, and Alice in Alice in Wonderland. Jamie is an energetic teacher who is proficient in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, ballroom, contemporary and lyrical. She has owned and operated her own studio, Steps Dance Center, in North Georgia for over 20 years. Her competitive dancers have won numerous awards at both regional and national dance competitions, as well as numerous “Best Choreography” awards. Jamie choreographed a scene in the movie “The Change Up” starring Ryan Reynolds & Jason Bateman. Not only did she train the child actresses Sydney Rouvieve and Faith Aldhoff for the dance scene; she worked alongside legendary stuntman Jack Gill to choreograph the recital scene. Jamie sits on many different judging panels as well as serves as a Master Class Instructor to Studios and Conventions across the southeast! Jamie is extremely dedicated to the art of dance and considers herself blessed to have a career encompassing her passion for dance and love for children.
Fernando Ibarra was born in Houston, Tx, where he began his dance career at the age of six around various studios across the Houston area and has been teaching since the age of thirteen around Texas. Over time, he has garnered a unique style of dance that includes various elements of multiple dance techniques. Throughout high school, Fernando was given the opportunity to co-direct for his ninth-grade dance company and choreograph for his high school dance team along with other high schools amongst his school district. He has been awarded numerous times for his choreography throughout different competitions in the state of Texas. Fernando was also a founding member of De La Rosa Dance Company and was under the mentorship of Elisa De La Rosa located here in Houston, DLRDC is a non-profit organization that outreaches the youth community by emphasizing the importance of creative freedom and artistry. Fernando was also an invitational guest artist at the Waco 504 Festival in 2017 and performed at the NDEO conference in San Antonio, Tx. Fernando went on to continue his dance education by attending Stephen F. Austin State University where he was a member of the prestigious Stephen F. Austin State University Dance Teams. Fernando educates his students on healthy technique practices, muscle isolations, movement, and modern dance technique, while helping his students grow in their technique and artistry.
Born in Fort Bragg, NC to a British mother and an American father; Naomi James is a Choreographer, Fitness Professional, Creative, Teacher and Coach. In 2008, Naomi graduated from Bodywork Company Dance Studios, Cambridge, UK with a Level 6 (Bachelor Degree) in Dance. After working in London, she moved to Atlanta in 2010 to continue her professional career in dance. Naomi is known for her exuberant spirit and fun loving personality. With much industry success, Naomi chooses to follow her purpose in training pre professional level students while changing the narrative of how the style of hip hop is viewed by delivering great training and correctional tools for her students to move structurally and successfully.
She is excited to be judging the 2022 season and looks forward to meeting you all.
Connie Katsarikas is native to Massachusetts and grew up dancing under former Radio City Music Hall ballerina Paulette Harwood. Since then, she has gone on to train in New York City as well as the Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester and performed in multiple productions in New York City and Massachusetts. She is currently serves as a board member for the Massachusetts Dance Education Organization and is a member if the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston. Connie is also the owner and Director of a dance studio in Massachusetts since 2016. She loves working with dancers to see them grow, find their passion, achieve new heights and their own unique movement through dance.
Jacquelyn Keane is a 24 year old dancer, choreographer, teacher and judge from Long Island, New York. She is currently the dance instructor at Leadership Prep Elementary School in Brooklyn, New York. Her dance training started at the age of two and she grew up dancing at some of the most competitive dance studios in New York. Jacquelyn continued her dance training in Florida, at the University of Tampa where she was instructed by some of the best professors in Florida. During her tenure at the University of Tampa, Jacquelyn competed with both the dance and competition cheerleading teams from 2015-2019. Jacquelyn is a well rounded dancer , with disciplines in all major areas of dance. During the last 8 years, she has taught at numerous dance studios in New York, Florida and Ireland. Her unique, award-winning choreography has taken home multiple Regional and National first place titles. Jacquelyn credits her success to her lifelong passion to dance, choreography and adjudication.
Maddie Kurtz is originally from Westport, CT, and received her early dance training at the D’valda and Sirico Dance and Music Centre. She holds a B.A. in Dance and Religious Studies from Colby College and an M.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from SUNY Brockport. Maddie continues to teach and choreograph at studios and universities throughout the Southeast, while also creating and producing contemporary dance works for the concert stage with her company, MKrep. In addition to teaching dance, Maddie is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor. With interests rooted in the overlaps between concert and commercial dance, she has presented research at conferences including the National Dance Education Organization, The Dance Studies Association, and the Popular Culture Association. Previously based in Tallahassee, FL, Maddie was on faculty at Ballet Arts Conservatory of Tallahassee and in the School of Dance at Florida State University. A recent transplant to Tampa, she is currently an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tampa and is on faculty at the Brandon/Bay Area School of Dance Arts (BSDA). A sought after teacher and adjudicator, Maddie judges for StarQuest International Performing Arts Competition and Inspire National Dance Competition, and is on the roster of dance competition judges with Impact Dance Adjudicators. She also teaches on the convention circuit with Inspire’s Intensives and The Classic Dance Experience. For more information, please visit www.madelinekurtz.com or follow her @maddiekurtz92.
Lindsay Lambert is a dancer from Murray, KY. From age 5, she trained in ballet, jazz, and contemporary at the Centre of Dance. Growing up in a small town, she sought additional training by participating in master classes and intensives in surrounding cities as well as Chicago and New York City. She started teaching children beginner ballet classes while in high school and has since taught numerous dance workshops for students ages 3-18 with various levels of experience. In 2017, she completed her B.A. in Dance with a minor in Performing Arts Administration from Western Kentucky University. Her favorite performance memory is traveling abroad as a member of the WKU Dance Company to participate in the 2015 production of Overseas in Civitavecchia, Italy.
Tiffany Lamwatt was born and raised in Orlando, Florida where she began dancing at the age of two. She started her formal ballet training at Central Florida Ballet and was an apprentice part of their trainee program. While there, she trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, musical theater, modern, and tap. Her aerial training began at the age of 16 with the Orlando Circus School, where she trained in various aerial apparatuses, such as silks, lyra, cube, hammock, and many more. Right out of high school, she started touring worldwide as an aerialist with New Image Line Entertainment and Life in Color. While on tour, she graduated Cum Laude with a Sports and Exercise Science with a minor in Psychology degree from the University of Central Florida. While on break from tour, she started performing for the theme parks in Orlando. Tiffany has performed at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida, SeaWorld Orlando and LegoLand Florida in many shows, parades and events. Not only is she a dancer and aerialist, but also a stilt walker, stunts performer and actor! In addition to the parks, some of her favorite performance opportunities have been with the Orlando Magic, EDC, Make A Wish, Millennium Dancesport, and Headdress Ball. Tiffany still actively performs, teaches, and choreographs in Orlando, hoping to spread her passion with numerous individuals!
Isabella Lepp is a Swedish born dancer, choreographer, performer, and teacher. Beginning at a young age, she trained in many styles of dance including but not limited to ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, tap, and musical theatre. As an International artist, travel is not a limitation for Lepp. Most notably, she spent five weeks at the Alvin Ailey Summer Program, and attended “The Collective” in Los Angeles where she worked with dance names such as Mandy Moore and Travis Wall. Isabella performed with “Emotions Dance Company” as a senior company member, at venues such as The Hard Rock, and Fringe Festival. Isabella teaches, dances, and choreographs in both the United States and Sweden. During her high school years, Isabella was a Dance Team Captain, and she was the main choreographer for the team while also leading them through competitions where they were recognized nationally. When she visits Stockholm, she instructs at “Step-In Dans Studio” and choreographs works, which have been showcased at the “Europeisk Vänortsprojekt” in France. Lepp also attends the International Summer Festival hosted by Balettakadamien, working with artists in the field such as Mats Ek, Johan Inger, and Julia Ehrstrand. During her years of obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a concentration in Ballet, from the University of South Florida Isabella was an active member of the community. Lepp choreographed and produced concerts while serving as the Student Dance Production Boards president. Currently, Isabella is working for her Master of Fine Arts Degree at Arizona State University. She instructs undergraduate dance classes, and will soon assume the role of Vice President of the Graduate Dance Organization. Lepp’s projected graduation is Spring of 2024. She is thrilled to be a part of the Inspire NDC panel, and share her knowledge of the art with all who grace the stage.
Anthony de Marte (he/him) is a New York-based performing artist. After performing various musical productions, he began his formal dance training in ballet, jazz, tap, modern, contemporary, hip hop and musical theatre techniques at the age of 14. Anthony is a graduate of Muhlenberg College, where he received a Bachelors of Arts in Theatre and Dance. Favorite performance credits include LeFou in “Beauty and the Beast” with KJK Productions, and Angie in “Gypsy” with Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre, and works choreographed by Chet Walker (Jacob’s Pillow), Tiffany Mills, Shapiro & Smith, and Shelley Oliver. In addition to performing, Anthony is a passionate choreographer, director, and performing arts educator. He worked with KJK Productions for 10 years as a musical theatre teaching artist and has had work featured with Jazz Choreography Enterprises and at Triskelion Arts in Brooklyn, New York. As an educator, Anthony creates a safe, encouraging space for students that prioritizes community and collaboration. He challenge students to exceed expectations of their own physical and emotional craft, cultivates discipline and focus, and inspires joy in the celebration of our identities, artistry, and humanity. anthonydemarte.com
Taryn Martin was locally born and raised in South Carolina. As a young dancer, she competed worldwide to receive outstanding dancer awards and top scoring solos nationally ranked. To expand her training, she studied with Royal Ballet to receive her certification through Solo Seal. Each summer she attended intensives at American Academy of Ballet and NYCDA Summer Intensive in New York. At the age of 12 and 13 she was casted as Clara for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in Nashville, TN. She recently traveled with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines for the past 5 years as a dancer/aerialist; Serenade, Freedom, and Voyager of the Seas. She has performed with Legends in Concert, The Carolina Opry, and Le Grande Cirque as dance captain. She is now choreographing for local studios as well as teaching strength/technique classes along the east coast. She is ready to see the talent this year brings in the new competition season! @tarynemartin
Cara McMahon is a young dance professional, who was born in Long Island, New York and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. She has studied and trained in various dance genres since the age of 2 years old and has been teaching for several years. Cara attended UNC-Charlotte where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Dance Education, with a certification in grades K-12. During her time in college, she was named the Artistic Director of “Range of Motion Dance Ensemble” as well as a member of the UNC-Charlotte dance team. While on the dance team, she placed 3rd in the nation at NDA’s Collegiate Nationals. In 2017, Cara trained with the Paul Taylor Dance Company in a residency program. During the residency, she was chosen by members of the Paul Taylor Dance Company to be in a restagement of Paul Taylor’s famous work: Esplanade. Some of her professional credits include The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Elevate Performance Company, and dancing backup for “The Village People’s” Randy Jones. Cara is constantly striving to become a better teacher and dance educator. She continues to train, perform, and choreograph all throughout the United States. With her extensive dance knowledge and experience, Cara hopes to inspire the next generation of dancers and help them to achieve their full potential.
Megan Montgomery, now residing in Orlando Florida, is originally from Detroit Michigan, where she received her early dance training at Juliana’s Academy of Dance. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Wayne State University and was a recipient of the Harriet Berg Endowed Scholarship for Choreography. Megan was next a company member of the over 40-year-old Limon-based modern dance company, DDCdances. She’s performed work by Biba Bell, Sidra Bell, Harriet Berg, Flint Eastwood, Stephanie Laipis, Chris Masters, Addison O’Day, Barb Selinger, Sonya Tayeh, Colleen Thomas, Ronnie Todorowski and the late Marcus White. Megan studied on scholarship in Chicago at Giordano’s Dance School, on scholarship in Detroit at Complexions Contemporary Ballet Intensive, and in Detroit at Sidra Bell Dance NY. Aside from concert dance, Megan performed in the NFL with recording artists Boyz II Men, and Enrique Iglesias, and in the NBA as a member of the Detroit Pistons Dance Team. There she was recognized for leadership, outstanding performance quality, and Rookie of the Year. Upon relocating to central Florida Megan took a position with Windermere High School, where she was the Head Coach and creator of the Varsity Competitive Dance Team. She is a UDA Credentialed Coach and SafeSport trained. Next, she will launch Central Florida’s first competitive All-Star Dance Team, Unity Dance All-Stars! Megan continues to guest teach at studios and adjudicate for various dance competitions. She teaches Dance Camp all over the states with Dance Team Union and is a 200-hour Certified Regional Yoga Teacher. You’ll find Megan on her yoga mat, walking her dog Dolly, and at her neighborhood Starbucks!
Brittany Noltimier is the proud founder of Entr’acte Dance Prep, LLC; a private coaching service for the serious dancer. Her goal is to help performers find their niche and bring it to the stage. As a national judge, she gets to see many talented performers dance their hearts out but she wants to give back more than just talking to a headset. Brittany’s passion is to build connections with dancers worldwide and bring those critiques to a reality; allowing our inner artist to become vulnerable for corrections and improvement.
Brittany grew up on a farm in Devils Lake, ND where she danced and taught at her mother’s dance studio, Miki’s School of Dance. For Brittany dance was her passion so she presumed it professionally at the prestigious Oklahoma City University, specializing in Performance and Pedagogy, and graduating with a Bachelors in Fine Arts. Under the direction of Jo Rowan, she is professionally trained in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, contemporary, and dance pedagogy. After graduating college, Brittany worked as a dancer in NYC in productions such as West Side Story and taught for Dance Olympus. Currently, she resides in Orlando, Florida and was just seen dancing at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for the Christmas event. She also performs at Universal Studios, Legoland FL, and Seaworld. Brittany is a proud member of JunNK; a percussion/tap/variety arts show of 4 people that will be debuting in Orlando in 2019. She also serves as both a regional and national judge for several dance competitions.
Elycia Phelps is an Atlanta-based dance maker, performer, and educator. While working mostly in competitive dancing, her passion for technique & artistry enriches her unique approach to storytelling. She is proud to have shared this viewpoint with many dancers at studios and competitions around the country. Throughout her youth Elycia was trained by master instructors, including Chet Walker, Kevin “Tokyo” Inouye, and Trina Parks, in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, and Modern, performing nationally and internationally. While in college, Elycia danced for four years with UGA’s Dance Department, and dedicated volunteer hours teaching dance to underprivileged youth in the East Athens community. Having been graced with the opportunities to perform for Jennifer Holiday, MC Hammer, TLC’s Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas, and Travis Tritt to name a few, Elycia was also fortunate to redefine and exhibit her talents in New York City at Broadway Dance Center. Combining her education and performance background, Elycia continues to choreograph and teach around the country, instilling artistic expression, confidence, and knowledge into aspiring dancers.
Stephan Reynolds is already a seasoned veteran of stage performances. His dance training includes Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theater of Harlem, Paul Taylor, and the Martha Graham School. To list but some of his credits: Celine Dion’s A New Day, Michael Jackson’ 30th Anniversary Celebration, “O” with Cirque du Soleil, Black Nativity with Penumbra Theatre and National Theater Company Dominion Entertainment. He has choreographed for Knick City Dancers, New York Liberty, Memphis State University, SUNY at Purchase College, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Las Vegas Gladiators, Southern Methodist University, Polish National Ballet, and has danced and taught Master Classes in over 50 major cities and all throughout Europe. Many may remember him for his work in Cirque du Soleil’s “Love” show at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Vegas, Married to Medicine, The Braxton Family Values, Housewives of Atlanta. He is also a Principal Dancer in the HBO movie Bessie starring Queen Latifah, World’s Away Directed by James Cameron, and Bolden starring Gary Carr and Robert Ri’chard. And most recently, went back to school to earn his Ph.D. in Expressive Therapies, where he will continue to use the arts as a means of healing and understanding.
Karen Ritchie is a Canadian-born dancer from Regina, Saskatchewan who fell in love with movement at a young age. Her dedicated technical training helped lead to a worldly career dancing, tumbling, and flying throughout the Caribbean on cruise ships and performing multiple contracts in Japan at Tokyo Disney Resorts. Her career trajectory took form in 2005 when she landed the dream job of becoming a Radio City Rockette. Since then, Karen has performed across the United States and Canada in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and has also performed in both the New York Spring Spectacular and the New York Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. Karen has appeared on the Tony Awards, the MTV VMA’s, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, the Today Show, the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, the Rockefeller Tree Lighting, America’s Got Talent, the NBA All-Star Game and the Life Ball in Vienna, Austria, and she can be seen in the Kasey Musgraves Christmas Show, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, as well several television commercials. Karen has taught master classes and workshops at Radio City Music Hall and Broadway Dance Center, as well as in Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Canada. She also holds multiple certifications in Progressing Ballet Technique and Acrobatic Arts. Karen is so excited to join the Inspire National Dance Competition family!
Christopher Robbins is an adjunct professor in the Theatre and Dance Dept at College of Charleston; he also guest teaches at several other colleges, one of which being USC. Chris has had a storied career, working with many titans of industry, dance, film, and music. He currently works for four different dance competitions as a director, judge, choreographer, MC, and master teacher. He privately trains students across the US, using his specialized Kinesiology & WSI licensed coaching. Chris currently acts as the artistic director for Star Experience, is a co-choreographer for Dream Team, and master teaches for InspireNDC, Encore Extreme, EncoreDCS, StarTalent, FusionNDC, Endless Talent & DMA touring the US. Chris is the CEO/ artistic director of E’clatez Production Co. LLC based in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Jaleah Roscoe was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia. Jaleah discovered a passion for dance at the age of three and has been moving to the beat ever since! She began competing at the age of nine. Since competing, she has earned several awards on a regional and national level in jazz, hip-hop, lyrical clogging, and tap. Including titles such as Dancer of the year, and The Excellence of Dance Award. Jaleah expanded on her creative arts journey, branching off into pageants. She has since won the titles of Miss Kappa Alpha Psi, and Miss South Eastern Province for Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Her talent for pageants, was of course dance! After her reign, she furthered her pageant career choreographing multiple opening number routines and custom dance pieces for other pageants within the community! Jaleah is a former member of Georgia Southern University’s national award-winning dance team, Southern Explosion! Now, dancing professionally Jaleah is currently in her fourth season with the “ATL dancers” for the Atlanta Hawks. She has performed with famous artists such as Ciara, and Lil Scrappy, New Kids on the Block, and K. Camp! Jaleah is the founder of The Vault Dance Complex and The Choreo Vault. She has choreographed for various pro-teams and high schools. Jaleah continues to share her passion for dance with others by teaching, coaching, and choreographing! She is committed to providing innovative choreography that challenges and motivates the dancers she works with!
Scarlet Ryals is originally from Memphis, TN. She has studied dance for over thirty-five years and credits her success to continuing education in all areas of the dance industry. She is proficiently trained in jazz, tap, hip hop and gymnastics with a concentration in classical ballet, contemporary, and lyrical. She received her formal dance teacher training at Ballet Memphis where she taught for seven years before opening the Mid-South’s only pre professional dance company, Essentials Dance Company, in 2001. Scarlet’s achievements as a choreographer have been recognized at the most prestigious dance competitions and conventions, winning top choreography awards regionally and nationally. Her cutting edge and insightful contemporary choreography, fun jazz and musical theater pieces with crisp lines, and high scoring gymnastic floor routines are sought out nationwide. In addition, she is the founder of Technique Transformation, an in-studio touring company that provides classes for both students and teachers. Scarlet also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and is a judge for prestigious talent competitions nationwide.
Carlee Sachs-Krook moves fluidly between the roles of educator, scholar, writer, and performer within the dance field. An eclectic groover with a background in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, and Pilates, she holds a BFA in dance from Sam Houston State University (SHSU) and an MA in American Dance Studies from Florida State University (FSU). Drawing on her embodied experience as a mover and groover in popular and concert dance contexts, she balancés between research and practice related to dance pedagogy, dance in popular culture, and performance politics related to gender. She has shared her scholarship, writing, and performances on a variety of physical and digital platforms. Her written work has appeared in The Dancer-Citizen, Dance Informa Magazine, and The Tallahassee Democrat. She has presented original research on competitive pole dance at the Popular Culture Association’s national conference and at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota, FL as an invited lecturer. Her performance credits include contemporary and ballet works by Dana Nicolay, Erin Reck, Dionne Noble, and Alexis Anderson as well as Kobe College’s and SHSU 2018 production of Dido and Aeneas in Nishinomiya, Japan. Moving forward, Carlee aims to pursue a PhD in dance and teach at university where she can continue to further weave together her passion for dance education, scholarship, writing, and performance.
Antwan Sessions, native of Charleston, South Carolina started his dancing career while attending North Springs High School in Sandy Springs, Georgia. There he found his passion for dance. While searching for outside training, Antwan joined “Total Dance” in Adamsville, Georgia where he studied Ballet, Modern, & Jazz dance. Since then, he has attended several dance schools under full scholarships, which included Renaissance International School of Performing Arts (RISPA) in Milton, Georgia, Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment & Arts (AREA) in Atlanta, Georgia, and Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Alpharetta, Georgia to name a few. Antwan’s passion for dance has allowed him to perform and teach in places like Denver, San Francisco, Mexico, Canada, China, Europe, Africa and so many more. Some of Antwan’s credits include Assisting for Georgina Louchiey who’s the Artistic Director/Co-Owner of RISPA. He’s danced for Tracy Vogt of Philadanco, Kim Robards of Kim Robards Dance, Kiki Ely of ATLA, Stephan Reynolds of Cirque Du Soleil, and Jeffrey Page former choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance and Beyonce. Not limiting himself to concert dance, Antwan was the principal dancer for Sea Beach Resort in Egypt for a year, and he also danced with former Danity Kane member D. Woods in her music video “Best You Got”. He toured China with pop artist Christah Ray as well as artist Nikki Jane. He is now the Founder of his own Contemporary Ballet Company Lamorris Namari, and Artistic Director/Owner of Namari Dance Center.
Heather Parker Schumacher began dancing at the age of two in metro Atlanta under the direction of Pamela Mitchell Lambert. As a member of a competitive dance company for 14 years, Heather won numerous awards as a dancer and student choreographer. Heather is trained and teaches in the disciplines of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Hip Hop. She is a graduate of Barbizon School of Modeling, holds several pageant titles, has modeled throughout the metro Atlanta area for children’s fashion shows, and has performed on Good Day Atlanta. While a student at the University of West Georgia, Heather began her professional career in the Atlanta area dancing for promotional events, and as a dancer, singer, and show supervisor for Six Flags Over Georgia. Heather has choreographed for multiple competitive studios, dance teams, and independent groups at the University of West Georgia. Heather continues to teach and choreograph at her own studio where she has been owner and director for over ten years. In such a short time she has provided a premier dance education center where students have graduated and received scholarships at the collegiate level, won hundreds of high scoring and top honors throughout the dance competition circuit, and has been awarded numerous choreography awards. Heather loves nothing more than to teach and choreograph for dancers of all ages.
Janis A. Sherwood, originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, received her early dance and theater training, performing, and teaching experience on the West Coast. She studied at East Bay music center, Richmond Ballet, Contra Costa College, and private studios. She relocated to the Southeast in the mid-1980s to further her education with the Montgomery School of Fine Arts and the University of Alabama in Birmingham. During this time, she studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap with many notable teachers and choreographers including, the renowned Stephan Grebel, Edith Barnes, Melanie Grebel, Fred Sieretta, Martin Freedman and Marcus Alford. Janis was awarded a fellowship for the UAB master’s program and was selected to teach in area High Schools. Janis’s credits include a studio owner, performer, choreographer, and master teacher for over 43 years. Janis has recently returned to acting and is also a visual artist. Janis and her husband currently reside outside of Birmingham, AL and have 5 children and 6 grandchildren.
Katie E. Tribble is the owner of an elite training program for serious dancers called Competitive Edge Coaching, LLC (CEDC).Through CEDC, she has helped studios and individual dancers grow to achieve their goals whether it being accepted onto a college dance team, overall top 3 placements in competition, or simply growing in their confidence in class. She has a degree in Dance Performance and Dance Education from the University of South Carolina and has taught in many local studios and schools over the past decade. She is a graduate of the residential dance program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. There, she studied Vaganova and Graham technique with Stanislav Issaev, Irina Ushakova, and Miriam Barbosa. Four years ago, Katie began developing her love for private technique and acrobatics coaching. She is a certified Acrobatics teacher through Acrobatic Arts and works with several local dance companies and competition/convention organizations sharing her love and knowledge of dance with dancers. Katie’s biggest passion is truly coaching dancers by developing mentoring relationships that enable them to grow exponentially through her systematic program to reach their fullest potential.
Makayla Marie Wade began dancing at the age of two and has been training ever since! From the age of three until seventeen, she trained with Panama City Dance Academy. After her years at Panama City Dance Academy, she decided to further her education and training at Troy University. There she pursued her BFA in Dance with a minor in Business. After freshman year, she was awarded Troy University’s Theatre and Dance “Outstanding Freshman” Award. In the summer of 2018, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Pietrasanta, Italy with Troy University! There she trained and performed for two weeks with The DAP Festival of Pietrasanta! In 2019, Makayla had the opportunity to perform with Rosie Simas Danse Company in the piece Weave at the Alabama Dance Festival. She found a love for choreography and teaching and the following semester, she had the opportunity to choreograph in Troy University’s Fall Dance Concert where she created her first piece “The Fallen”. Last spring, she choreographed a piece entitled “BLOOD” at Troy University. This summer she worked with Cedar Point Live Entertainment where she performed in the daytime show “Pep Rally” and was a part of the “The 150th Night Show Celebration.” There she had the opportunity to work with Marilyn Magness, Josh Assor and Phillip Vitug. In the fall, she will continue to work with Cedar Point Live Entertainment for their Halloween production of “The Shrieks”.
Roshaunta Williams was born in Gary, IN but she was raised in North Minneapolis where she began the journey of learning and teaching dance. Roshaunta is trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, tap, salsa, African, modern, lyrical, and some contemporary. Roshaunta trained throughout high school and college. She graduated from The University of Minnesota in 2009 with a dual major in Dance and African American Studies. Throughout the years, Roshaunta has participated, taught, and performed in many professional and local productions, pageants, dance studios, and community events. Her biggest success was having the pleasure of singing with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Jordan Sparks, Paris Bennett, The Steeles, and was a member in the Grammy Award winning group “The Sounds of Blackness”. Roshaunta has toured and choreographed with Project Dance, Gospel music workshop of American (GMWA praise dance division), The Steeles Christmas production, Donald Byrd “The Harlem Nutcracker”, as well as her own productions she directed throughout college. She has been awarded best teacher 2005, 2007, 2009 at Star Systems dance competition as well as 1st place overall and Double Platinum at Showstoppers Dance competition 2014 and 2015. Roshaunta is married and has four children, she is currently teaching dance around the world due to the nature of her husband’s service in the USMC. Roshaunta loves all her students past and present, and she couldn’t see herself doing anything else.
Dr. Eiesha M. Williamson is the CEO, Owner and Director of MADE Today, Inc., “Making a Difference Everywhere,” Penelope Interiors, and Micah-Lynn Productions. She is a renowned dance choreographer, PhD scholar, pageant consultant, life coach, volunteer, mentor, and philanthropist. Eiesha is formerly 2018 Mrs. North Carolina International and 2014 Mrs. Georgia America and choreographer for the Mrs. North Carolina International Pageants, Mrs. Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan America Pageants. She was delighted to become an NFL professional cheerleader and Captain for the Carolina Panthers in the 2005, 2010, 2011, and 2012 seasons as well as the Atlanta Falcons 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 seasons granting her to cheer at the NFL Superbowl 2017. Affectionately known as “Coach Eiesha” she has led her former dance studio MADE Cheerleading, Dance & Gymnastics in their successes by grasping over 2000 regional titles, 300 state titles, and 700 national titles in both cheerleading and dance in just the past 10 years. During her spare time, she enjoys traveling around the world, fine dining, and spending time with her love Trent, adorable daughter Micah-Lynn Penelope, and puppy Gabby.
Lazar Womble, originally from Los Angeles, California, started dance at the age of 3. He was the recipient of the National Society of the Arts Award, received an Honorable Mention Scholarship Award, and the Mary Fife Memorial Award in Classical Ballet. After graduating High School in 1997, he relocated to Atlanta where he danced with the Atlanta Ballet and performed in the Corps. Mr. Womble took on principle roles in the Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Romeo & Juliette. At the age of 17 Lazar joined the Colorado Ballet company and became a lead soloist for 3 years. Later he joined the Boston Ballet with the Esemble and as a soloist. Mr. Womble earned his Bachelor of Art in Fashion, with a Minor in Musical Theater at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). During his studies, he performed with the Savannah Ballet and Savannah Performing Arts Ballet Company. He also utilized his talent with the Sankofa Dance Theater, specializing in Modern and African Dance. From 2001-2004 Lazar danced for Disney Theme Parks and Disney Cruise Lines in Orlando Florida. While there he performed lead roles in Tarzan and Beauty & The Beast. He also danced in musical performances featuring National Recording Artists such as Mariah Carey and Brittany Spears. He has also taught at a number of studios in Georgia & Florida, and he is known for his National Award-winning choreography.