FACULTY

  • SCHOOL Director

    ALICIA CHITWOOD

    Alicia began her dance training at the age of four. She studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern and hip hop. She has trained with master teachers including Robert Barnett, David Howard, Thom Clower, Laura Alonso, and Twitch. Since 1990, Alicia trained at Lawrenceville School of Ballet and in 1997 she became a member of Southern Ballet Theatre, formerly Gwinnett Dance Ensemble.  During her time with Southern Ballet Theatre, she danced in major productions such as Alice in Wonderland, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, Cinderella and Coppelia. Since 2000 she has been attending Southeastern Regional Ballet Assoication's Festivals including two Regional Dance America National Festivals and has had choreography choosen to be performed at the Festivals as well. Alicia has choreographed full length ballets such as Aurora + Maleficent: The Beginning, Frozen: A Tale of the Ice Queen, Cinderella, Aladdin, Pirates, and Rapunzel.

     

    During Alicia's teaching career she has also trained many high school and college students in dance education and master educators. Some of her past students have gone on to dance with New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, cruise ships, and Walt Disney World, as well as prestigious colleges like Pointe Park University, Brigham Young University, and Utah Valley University.

  • SCHOOL Instructors

    LAURA BLATTERMAN

    Laura Michelle Blatterman majored with Honors in Dance at Columbia before transferring to Saint Mary’s University of California.  During her time at Saint Mary's, Laura was able to travel to Cape Town, South Africa to work with some very talented artists at Dance for All and Cape Town Dance Company.  She trained at Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago,  Atlanta Ballet, South Carolina  School of the Arts, Debbie Reynolds, Mark Morris Dance and Steps on Broadway.  Laura has danced and toured with numerous professional and internationally known dance companies including Luna Negra Dance Theatre, Ballet Magnificat and Piel Morena Contemporary Dance to name a few.    Laura has founded and held a seat on the Board of Directors for multiple non-profits. She has taught dance on professional, educational, competition, and performance levels for 16 years. Among her accolades, Laura received the Dorothy Mullins Humanities Award for teaching dance to disadvantaged children. Laura is a talent coach for a local talent agency and is the artistic director at Advocate Arts, an arts organization based in Atlanta combining performance and outreach with arts therapy and social justice. Although Laura's passion is teaching and creating, she is especially proud to have shared the stage with the Joffrey Ballet. In her spare time she had made a living fighting against human trafficking, and as an author of children’s books and a contributing editor to Broadway World Weekly. When asked where she finds the time for so many ventures at once, she is known to respond, “You always make time for what is important.”

    Courtney has worked with various dance and theatre companies all over the Greater Atlanta Area. Courtney's works have been adjudicated for the National High School Dance Festival, performed on Public Television and chosen for performances at Walt Disney World. Courtney received much of her training from Lynn Fleetwood Dukes, along with Joe Tremaine, Robert Reed, Diane Walker, and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. Courtney is also a member of the National Dance Association

    COURTNEY ONDRE

  • GUEST Hip Hop, Jazz and Contemporary Faculty

    tWitch

    Stephen "tWitch" Boss is headed for a breakthrough tear as he stars in the 3rd installment of the upcoming dance movie "Step Up 3D" (Disney, August 6, 2010). It doesn't stop there, as he just landed a lead role in "Stomp The Yard 2: Homecoming" (Screen Gems, 2010). The sky is the limit for tWitch. Boss is best know for his amazing performances on the popular Fox dance competition series "So You Think You Can Dance," where he captivated audiences with his impressive dancing skills and unmatched charisma. Just short of making the Top 20 in Season 3, he came back in Season 4 and was redeemed with a spot on the show and the runner-up title. He was able to work with amazing choreographers like Mia Michaels, Dave Scott, Tyce DiOrio, and Jean-Marc Genereux-to name a few. In fact, his memorable performance in "Mercy" aka "The Door Dance" alongside Katee Sheen was recently nominated for a 2009 Emmy award for Best Choreography (Mia Michaels). Boss was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama where as a child he was always seen dancing. At times when he wasn't allowed to dance, like at school or church, he would resort to "popping and ticking" that resembles a twitch to most. That was how he earned the nickname "tWitch." In 2003, Boss saw an opportunity that he couldn't resist. MTV was casting for a new dance show, "The Wade Robson Project," and he decided to pursue his dream and took his passion for dance to Los Angeles. His entertaining freestyles nabbed him a semi-finalist spot and later that year, Boss went on to compete in the popular talent competition television show "Star Search" where he was runner-up. Throughout this time, he attended Chapman University where he continued to study dance. In the following years he worked on choreography for the female singing group "Cheetah Girls" and the Korean pop star "Se7en" in 2007. He was also a featured dancer in Paramount's "Blades of Glory" and in New Line's mega-hit "Hairspray." In 2009, he teamed up with Paramount and Funnyordie.com to film several viral videos for the dance spoof film "Dance Flick." Boss currently resides in Los Angeles and belongs to the dance troupes Breed OCLA and Chill Factor Crew and will join the Dizzy Feet Foundation, which aims to support, improve, and increase access to dance education for the underprivileged in the United States. He will also be launching tWitch Boss Clothing in Fall 2010 that consists of casual street wear.

    Bshaw

    Born in Los Angeles California, Brandon "Bshaw" Shaw has never been shy about sharing his opinion on what he feels all dancers need. STYLE! Growing up trying to mimic the performing styles of pop icon Michael Jackson and MC Hammer, Bshaw Has always known that dancing was a part of his blood. Literally! His parents meet on the world renowned television dance show Soul Train where he later himself performed with R&B sensation Chris Brown in '05 and states "It was a dream come true to perform where my vary own parents jammed when they were kids". His most recent accomplishments include touring with Chris Brown and performing behind various artists such as Beyonce', Destiny's Child's and Sean Kingston, among many others.

     

    He has been expressing himself among musical greats since the ripe age of 20, but it wasn't until years later Bshaw had a chance to be in the driver seat and got a taste of what it is to be the artistic director by arranging and choreographing on Chris Brown's "Forever Tour '09". With his creative edge on what's hot and ability to handle pressure the tour was beyond amazing and further stamping the fact that dance is his life.

     

    Not taking this gift for granted, his experience in dancing allows him not only break down artistic barriers, but constantly reinvent himself and reach untapped markets through education, giving back to the community, and networking with past colleagues. Persistence, dedication, and mentoring allows him to not only do what he loves, but also the ability to constantly be creative. Anyone who has seen him move feels not only his energy, but a genuine enthusiasm for the art.

    JOHN GILLETTE

    Exciting. Vibrant. Dynamic. Artist. These are just a few of the words that anyone who has ever met or seen John Gillette would use to describe his personality and the aura he projects on stage. In actuality, words like these only begin to scratch the surface of how unique this natural born entertainer really is and how much talent and ability he exudes with each well delivered note he sings, or each isolated dance move he executes. The reason John makes his performances look effortless is because his journey to develop into the talented entertainer he is today started almost as soon as he could walk.

     

    John Gillette was born on a U.S. Air Force base in Bitburg, Germany. At the age of three, John's family moved back to the States to a small town in Michigan and then subsequently to Montgomery, Alabama where John spent most of his childhood years. Even at a young age, John's family realized that he displayed an extroverted personality and embraced attention. He loved to spend hours creating his own dance routines and performing them for his parents, family members, friends, and anyone else who would watch. However, the idea that he should pursue the dream of becoming a successful recording artist didn't materialize until after he had already made his commitment to another career choice.

     

    Upon graduating from high school a full year early, John made the decision Upon graduating from high school a full year early, John made the decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and enlisted into the United States Air Force, just shy of his 17th birthday. While serving his country in the military, John worked as an Aerospace Propulsion Apprentice on classified F-15 Fighter engines. It was here that John began lending his voice for military functions and was discovered by his Base Commander soon after performing the National Anthem for his squadron. John sang with enough conviction and inspiration that the same Commander requested him to sing at all base functions permanently, which he continued to do for the remaining two and a half years of his enlistment until he was given an honorary discharge. Inspired by his love of music and bolstered by the experience he gained while performing in the military, John decided to move to North Hollywood, California to pursue a career in the entertainment industry. Having already become an accomplished dancer, he immediately started teaching hip-hop dance classes in order to earn a living while simultaneously improving his choreography skills. It was at this time that he became friends with some of the most talented and renowned choreographers, such as Wade Robson, Shane Sparks and Stephen "Twitch" Boss. It was through the inspiration and cooperative work with these men that John was able to quickly make a name for himself on the dance scene.

     

    John is a relentless learner whose committed to learning, growing and improving everyday as a recording artist and songwriter, even as he continues to gain even greater recognition for his choreography and showmanship. As a result, John's passion for singing and dancing has opened many doors to an array of exciting opportunities. His resume is extensive and carries highlights that include dancing for the US Olympics, as well as at major PR events for global corporations like Honda, IBM and JC Penney. He's choreographed and danced Off-Broadway and opened for recording artist DJ Unk. Currently, John teaches dance across the country and is considered an "expert" who is constantly invited to judge dance competitions nationwide. Additionally, John dances and choreographs for the NBA Denver Nuggets Dancers and has also formally choreographed for the NFL pro-football Dance squad, The New Orleans Saintsations.

     

    To-date, John is singing, dancing, and writing songs that will appear on his debut album. Most recently, he has been given the opportunity to work with the famed production/artist duo of Midi Mafia, highly acclaimed for working with acts such as 50 Cent, David Archuleta, Lloyd Banks, Brandy, Nelly, G-Unit, Angie Martinez and several others. John is very excited about the tracks he has recorded with Midi-Mafia and expects them to be a part of his debut album. As his star continues to rise and grow brighter, look for John Gillette to become a household name in the very near future.

    EDDIE GARCIA

    Eddie's successful career spans the wide gambit of television, film, music videos, commercials, theatre and concerts throughout the world. He is an accomplished actor, dancer, choreographer, and artistic director.

     

    He began career in show business at the tender age of three, appearing in numerous theatrical productions and winning countless awards. By age 15, Eddie was the Teen Dance Champion on "Star Search" winning eight consecutive shows. Eddie also starred in NBC's "Guy Next Door", a youth oriented live action series, which showcased not only his dancing, but also his singing, acting and choreography skills.

     

    Eddie has performed with many of today's most celebrated stars. By age 16, he found himself dancing for Janet Jackson. Less than a year later he was on the first of several world tours with none other than Michael Jackson. He has had the pleasure of working with Ja Rule, Sheryl Crow, Jane's Addiction, Paula Abdul, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy, and the list goes on and on.

     

    Eddie has also enjoyed working with Jennifer Lopez (J Lo). He has appeared and co-choreographed several of her videos, the Today Show, MTZ Video Awards, A Subaru commercial and an NBC Television Concert special.

     

    Other credits include both choreography and performing in the fun-filled film "Bringin' Down the House" starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah and Disney's "The Suite Life with Zach and Cody". Eddie has also been very busy updating the choreography for the Luxor's show "Fantasy" in Las Vegas. Eddie worked with Perry Ferrell and Satellite Party for Lollapalooza 2005. He also appeared in the feature film version of the musical "RENT".

    RACHAEL MARKARIAN

    Rachael, from Los Angeles has been working in the entertainment industry as a dancer, model, choreographer, actress and master teacher for over 7 yrs. in both NYC and LA. She has toured with major recording artists such as RIHANNA on her “Good Girl Gone Bad Tour” as well as with Latin artist CHAYANNE on his “Sincero Tour.” She’s also danced for KATY PERRY, N’SYNC, THE PUSSY CAT DOLLS, ALEXANDRA BURKE, THE WHITE STRIPES, PUDDLE OF MUDD, T.a.T.u., and Jo De La ROSA. Some of her Film credits include RUSH HOUR 3, THE HAUNTED MANSION, SOUTHLAND TALES alongside Justin Timberlake, and most recently a new film starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman, set to be released in early 2011. Rachael is a recurring character on the hit show GLEE, some of her other TV credits include HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, NIP / TUCK, CRIMINAL MINDS, BONES, THE TODAY SHOW, and JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE. She’s been a guest performer on both DANCING WITH THE STARS and AMERICA’S GOT TALENT, and has also performed on countless Music & Movie Award Shows. Her Commercial & Print credits include the latest GUITAR HERO 5 commercial featuring Hugh Hefner, BLACKBERRY, BAHAMAS ATLANTIS RESORT and SPA, FARMER’S INSURANCE, FANTA, HONDA, H&M, SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, AMENA CELL PHONES, MAC COSMETICS, BIG & SEXY HAIR, NIKE, ASICS, WELLA HAIR, SEBASTIAN, HARLEY DAVIDSON, KMS HAIR, she was also a spokes model for SMOOCH JEANS. Rachael has trained in all forms of dance and believes it’s an honor and a blessing that dancers can communicate and tell stories through their movement. Her style is strong, athletic, innovative, stylized, edgy and commercial. Mixing Jazz, Jazz Funk, Burlesque, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. Her focus is to motivate and inspire dancers to reach their fullest potential. With her experience and success as a working dancer she has a clear understanding of what it takes to be a professional, working dancer in the entertainment industry.

    TRACIE STANFIELD

    Tracie Stanfield's work ranges from contemporary jazz dance with her company, Synthesis Dance Project, to collaborations on dance films (most recently with film maker Erin Levendorf) to online video campaigns for EOS/Caseology watches to commissions from Tapestry Dance Company, Verismo Opera Company, Trip Dance Company and K-Broadway in Tokyo to creative consultant for Mydonose in Istanbul, Turkey. Her work as a commissioned guest artist, teacher, collaborator and consultant insures her position as an authority on the cutting edge of dance and education. Promoting the power of dance through residencies, lecture/demos and choreography workshops, Tracie has worked across the county with salon series style performance workshops and "boot camp" (few open, short rehearsals culminating in performances) performances. Tracie Stanfield has served as Artist in Residence at St. Stephens in Austin, Texas. Her choreography has been seen at Youth American Grand Prix, Mesa State College, The University of Michigan, The Elan Awards, Jazz Choreography Enterprises, Joffrey Ballet Center, The Rock School and numerous venues across the country.

     

    Her company, Synthesis Dance Project's Performance highlights include The International Dance Festival, NUDance Now Festival, Los Angeles Dance Invitational, Towson University, The Grier School Gala, Garden State Dance Festival, The Next Stage Project, SoNo Arts Festival, The Provincetown Elan Festival, Promenade Relief Jubilee, Hollywood Performing Arts Center, and as featured guests of the Kennedy Dancers. Tracie is the recipient of the 2005 Spirit of Elan Choreography Award for her work with Synthesis Dance Project.

    LAUREN FRODERMAN

    Lauren Froderman has been dancing since the age of 3 and since then has trained in jazz, lyrical, contemporary, ballet, tap, and hip hop. She has always been a well-rounded dancer and because of this went on to win the seventh season of the Fox television show, So You Think You Can Dance. She has also danced for people such as the Radio City Rockette's, Big Time Rush, Blake McGrath, and others. Appearing in television performances, music videos, and live shows, she continues to reach for the stars and learn and do as much as possible. Probably her greatest accomplishment since the end of the So You Think You Can Dance show and tour has been becoming the first dance athlete for Gatorade and being the female dance athlete for the G Series Fit line. Lauren has worked hard her whole life and will keep working hard to accomplish her dreams.

     

    After being voted the top female dancer in season 4, Katee appeared in television shows such as Hannah Montana, the Jump Arounds, and Paris By Night, choreographed by Shanda Sawyer. She can be seen in the feature films Leading Ladies and Step Up 3D, choreographed by Dave Scott. Also, Katee is the 2009 spokesperson and model for Capezio Dancewear, and just released her own make-up line with Clich' cosmetics. She is currently enrolled at Chapman University, studying both Leadership and Organizational Studies and Dance.

    KATEE SHEAN

    Kourtni has been busy performing for various dance companies around Los Angeles, as well as teaching around the world through MSA's Teaching Department. She was in an independent music video in London, and has been teaching classes at one of LA's hottest studios.

    KOURTNI LIND

    Bio Coming Soon...

    JOSHUA ALLEN

  • GUEST Ballet Faculty

    Ian Tanzer, born in Cheney, Washington, started his career at 6 years old, attending The Ballet Arts Academy in Spokane, Washington trained by Peggy Goodner Tan.  After being accepted into Boston Ballet’s Pre-Professional Program at in 2008, Ian began his pre-professional career working under the direction of Margaret Tracey. His technique is strongly rooted in both classical and Balanchine traditions. His repertoire at this time included Balanchine’s Four Temperaments 2nd Theme, Stars and Stripes, and Le Borgeois Gentihomme, as well as the work of Snow White, as set by Bruce Wells of the Pacific Northwest Ballet, and many more.  Later, dancing with the Boston Ballet Company, Ian’s repertoire would expand to include Pepita’s La Bayadere, Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker, and George Balanchine’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After the conclusion of his professional training in Boston, Ian would later work for the Sacramento Ballet in their performance of Romeo and Juliet under Director Ron Cunningham.  In 2011, Ian was accepted as a member of Ballet West II, where he worked as a second company member under the artistic direction of Adam Sklute and Christopher Ruud.  Ian’s career blossomed as he performed the work of William Christensen’s Nutcracker, Anna Marie Holme’s version of Pepita’s Don Quixote, George Balanchine’s Diamond, and Sir Frederick Ashton’s Cinderella. This is Ian’s first season with the Sarasota Ballet .

     

    Eivar Martinez

    Eivar Martinez graduated from  Ballet Juvenil de Venezuela and was offered a contract with the Ballet National of Caracas under the Artistic Director Vicente Nebrada, where he quickly rose to the rank of principal dancer. He was featured in Nebrada’s Coppelia, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet and Balanchine’s Tchaikovsky Pa De Deux  Batucada Nuestros valses Pentimento among others. He has toured Europe, the USA, China, and South America. As a competitor in the June 2000 New York International Ballet Competition, critics and audiences note his technical virtuosity and athleticism.   Mr. Martinez danced for two seasons as a member of Tulsa Ballet in Oklahoma and  then joined Festival Ballet Providence as a Principal dancer during its 25th season RI audiences has enjoyed his technical brilliance and virtuosity and many roles .  Mr. Martinez then danced as a Principal dancer of Dance Alive National Ballet for its 2009/2010 season, where he performed such works as Dracula, Nutcracker, Black Swan, and well as many other contemporary works. Eivar Martinez’s most recent work was with Kentucky Ballet Theatre performed Grand Pas Clasique , where he appeared as a guest artist and was recognized by the Kentucky Arts Council for his performance. Mr. Martinez’s most recent work is with Minnesota Ballet, where he performed in their production of Sleeping Beauty.

     

    Waylon began his dance career in Tennessee at the age of 10. He received his training with Children's Dance Theatre in Springfield before performing with The Nashville Ballet. After high school he studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Waylon also danced with The Pasadena Ballet and The Joffery Ballet. After Waylon retired from professional ballet, he started training in ballroom and Latin dance. He has won several regional competitions in American Rhythm, Ballroom, and Theatre Arts. In the Theatre Arts division is where he placed 4th in the World.

     

     

    Waylon Jones

2012 Southern Performing Arts Academy

Publicity Photos courtesy of Keiko Guest, Studio 33 Productions and Joyful Light Photography

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