photography and design: Gabriel Bienczycki www.zebravisual.com

 

Dara StevensDara Stevens
Rehearsal Director

Dara Stevens-Meredith, a native of Atlanta, GA, began her training at Tri-Cities High School and Total Dance/Dancical Productions under Dawn Axam and Terrie Axam. She received her BFA in dance education at The University of the Arts. Dara has performed with Total Dance Theater, Brian Sanders "Junk", Jomandi Productions, Opera North, via International's, Haiku/Poems, Sonia Sanchez' Living Legend Tour, Collaboration Works and Waheed Works. She has trained and performed works nationally by renowned teachers/choreographers Patdro Harris, Roscoe Sales, Milton Myers, Kim Bears-Bailey, Nina Gilreath, Ronen Koresh, Kevin Iega Jeff, Christopher Huggins, Tommie-Waheed Evans, Gary Jeter, Corey Baker, Abdel Salaam, and Shawn-Lamere Williams. Dara has taught at universities, dance institutions and dance schools in the tri-state area. She is a resident artist with the Philadephia Arts in Education program. She is a former director of Messiah Dance Works Apprentice Co. and resident choreographer of Messiah Dance Works Co. In 2004 she co-founded DCNS Summer Dance Intensive.

Dara is the rehearsal director and principle dancer for Eleone Dance Theatre. Dara has choreograph works on Eleone Dance Theatre, Eleone Connection, Grace Dance Theater, Orcheo Dance Co., Collaboration Works, Danse4Nia Repertory Dance Ensemble, Axam Dance Theater Experience, the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, and Bad Boy's musical group Danity Kane, all which received rave reviews. She is a 2004 recipient of The University of the Arts highest honor "The Stella Moore Award", 2006 Best Choreography award from National Dance Showcase, 2007 Philadelphia Rocky Performance award, 2007 recipient of Eleone Dance Theatre 's E Award for Excellence for her outstanding contribution to the world of dance. Most recently Dara received the 2009 "People Choice" Award and Prize for Choreography in the International Dance Festival in Stuttgart, Germany. She began with Eleone Dance Theatre in 2001.

 

 

 

Brittanie Alexander of Philadelphia, PA, began her dance training at L&L Dance Productions and The Philadelphia School of Dance Arts, the school of (PHILADANCO). She also studied at the Point Breeze Performing Arts Center under the mentorship of Charon Mapp as a member of the Point Breeze Dance Company. Brittanie is a former member of Danco 2. She has also studied at the Ailey School performing works by Carlos Dos Santos. Brittanie attends the University of the Arts where she has studied and has performed works by José Wayne St. David, Molly Misgalla, Roni Koresh. Brittanie's joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2011.

 

 

 

Taylor Colleton, a native of Upper Marlboro, MD, began her dance training at the age of three with Pure Expressions Dance Ministry, under the direction of Marlene Ashby. She later went on to train at The Anointed Dance Ministry, Marcellus Dance Studio, The Dance Institute of Washington, and National Ballet and Company. After attending Thomas G. Pullen Magnet Performing Arts School, she went on to graduate from Suitland High School under the performing arts program in 2008. She has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Kim Bears-Bailey, Curt Haworth, Christopher Huggins, Louis Johnson, Roni Koresh, and many more. She has also attended intensive programs such Philadanco’s Summer Intensive and Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Residency Program. Taylor is currently a student at the University of the Arts. Where she is pursuing her BFA in Modern Dance Performance, with a minor in Musical Theatre. She joined the company, as an apprentice in 2010.

 

 

 

Laceda Cuyler, a native of Tampa, FL, was a student at the first performing arts high school in Tampa, FL, called Howard W. Blake. She graduated from The University of the Arts where she received her BFA in dance education. Laceda's work "Urban Voodoo" was accepted as a student piece to be presented in Choreographers Corner held in Atlanta, GA. As a performer she has had the pleasure of being in the presence of and working with such choreographers as Lula Washington, Nathan Trice, Milton Myers, Kim Bears-Bailey, Ronald K. Brown, Gary Jeter, Christopher Huggins and Shawn-Lamere Williams. Laceda has appeared on the ABC After School Special, "I Used to Dance," and performed at the XXV Super Bowl. Laceda received a full scholarship to Jacob's Pillow. Laceda has taught dance at many college universities and local dance schools and institutions in the tri-state area. Laceda is also co-founder of DCNS Summer Dance Intensive. Laceda is a member of Collaboration Works and joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

William Ernest Davis Burden, ( Apprentice) is a native of Philadelphia, P.A. He began his training in middle school at the William Meredith school and the Rock School of Dance Education. Later attending Creative and Performing Arts High School. William attended and received scholarships from Eleone Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive, Kevin Malone Summer Intensive, Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco), and Adrian Bolton and Katherine Smith Summer Intensive. William had received the Marian Anderson Award in 2004 and 2005. He had the privilege to dance with Tap Team Two and company, Traci Hall and Company, and Dance on Danco. He Is Currently a Jazz Major at the University of the Arts. He was a member of Eleone Connection the second company of Eleone Dance Theatre.. He joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2011.

 

 

 

Shelby Glidden is a native of St. Louis, MO, where she began dancing at the age of three. Her early training began at Dance Art Studios then Motion Express School of Dance and Acrobatics. Her later training was at COCA (Center of Creative Arts) in St. Louis under the direction of Lee Nolting and Alicia Graf (of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Dance Theatre of Harlem). As a member of the COCAdance jazz/modern pre-professional company she had the honor to work with choreographers: Antonio Douthit, Kirven J. Boyd, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Lara Teeter, Jon Lehrer, Kate Skarpetowska, Matt Kent and Emily Kent. She attended intensive programs like NYU's Tisch Dance Summer Residency Festival and Broadway Dance Theater Workshop where she had the opportunity to work with Robert Battle, Gina Gibney, Ron K. Brown, Ann Reinking and Germaine Salsberg. She recently attended EMIA (Earl Mosley's Institute of the Arts) where she had the pleasure to work with Earl Mosley, Kevin Wynn, Alenka Cizmesija, Robin Dunn, and Marlena Wolfe. Shelby is currently a sophomore at the University of the Arts pursuing her BFA in Dance where she is privileged to work with an outstanding faculty. She joined the company in the fall of 2011.

 

 

 

A'aliyah KhanA'aliyah Khan, a native of Philadelphia, PA, began her first dance artistic experience at the Wm. Meredith Elementary School. At age 12, she began training at the Gwendolyn Bye Dance Center where she trained in ballet and Graham. She was a member of Fusion 2 and performed in The Nutcracker with the International Ballet Theatre. A'aliyah is a graduate of The Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts where she studied with Wayne St. David for jazz and Shawn-Lamere Williams for Horton. She participated in Boscov's Thanksgiving Day parades for four years, danced at a celebration for Patti Labelle and was a member of Capa Dance Company. A'aliyah was also one of the recipients for the 2003 Coca-Cola Scholarship. A'aliyah attended The University of the Arts and joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

Shalay Monique Johnson, a native of Stone Mountain, GA. Shalay graduated from Dekalb School of the Performing Arts where she founded the Harambee Dance Company. Shalay has trained with various teachers around Atlanta and the country. Shalay is currently a student at The University of the Arts, where she is pursuing a BFA degree in modern dance. Shalay joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2008.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tunai Jones, a native Philadelphia, PA started her dancer training at the Rock school for dance education at the age of seven. While at the Rock School she began to develop her technique while training at their summer intensives as well as training at Dance Theatre of Harlem. Tunai attended Franklin Learning Center where she studied as a dance major began her first pre-professional experience with Eleone Dance Theatre's second company; Eleone Connection. She is currently a ballet major at University of the Arts. She has had the pleasure of working with choreographers such as Louis Johnson, Arthur Mitchell, Eva Szabo, Arthur Mitchell, Karen Brown, Kim Bears-Bailey, and many more. Tunai joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2010.

 

 

 

 

Parris Lacey, a native of Prince Georges County Maryland began his first training at Thomas G. Pullen Magnet Performing School. He began training under the direction of Stanley Reynolds (Marcellus Dance Studio). From there he sprung into the guidance of Dance Theatre of Harlem residency program at the Kennedy Center, Washington, DC. He graduated from Suitland High School under the performing arts program with high honors. Parris is now a senior modern performance major at The University of the Arts. While being in the process of growth within his artistry he has worked with choreographers and musical artist such as Debbie Allen, Melba Moore, Vickie Winans, Marvin Sapp, Mario, Ronald K. Brown, Christopher Huggins, Kim Bears-Bailey, Karen Brown, Camille Brown, Christina Broadnax (Anointed Dance Ministry) and many more. Parris was casted in a principle role in The University of the Arts production of "Forces of Rhythm" and was handpicked by choreographer Louis Johnson. Parris joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Daniel LaMont Moore, a native of Washington, DC, began his dance training at The Northeast Performing Arts Outreach Youth Center. Daniel attended Suitland High School for the Visual and Performing Arts where he studied under Linda Darr and Barbara Marks. Daniel is a Ballet Performance Major at The University of the Arts. He has attended scholarship programs such as The Debbie Allen Dance Academy, The Dance Theatre of Harlem, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Institute of Washington, Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, and Anointed Dance Ministry and Company. He has worked with Debbie Allen, Anthony Burrell, Fabian Barnes, Arthur Mitchell, and Earl Mosley. Daniel thanks God everyday for his gifts that have been given to him. Daniel joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

Lyron Kaliq Paulin is a Philadelphia native. Lyron started his dance training with E. Leon Evans, Traci Hall, Faye Snow to name a few. Lyron is a graduate of The Philadelphia High School for The Creative and Performing Arts. The Lyron attended The University of The Arts and studied at Philadanco (Training Program and The Ailey School. Lyron Joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2000, then went on to dance with Washington Reflections of Washington, DC, Koresh Dance Theatre of Philadelphia, PA, and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance company of Denver, CO. He Later Became apart of the National Broadway Touring Company, "Disney's The Lion King" where he was a swing/ensemble member. Lyron is happy to return back to his home town and to be back with Eleone Dance Theatre.

 

 

 

Anthony Rhodes, a native of Camden, New Jersey began his dance training at the age of 14. Anthony is a graduate of the Creative & Performing Arts High School, where he majored in dance. He continued his dance training at various institutes such as Halliday Dance, Philadanco (Training Company), DCNS (summer intensive program), Grace Dance Theater and Eleone Dance Theatre. Under the mentorship of Dara Stevens-Meredith and Laceda Cuyler, Anthony was accepted Eleone Connection the second company of Eleone Dance Theatre where he danced for 5 years. He is a 2005 NAACP ACT-SO Silver Medalist for dance. Anthony's choreography was featured in the 2008 Philadelphia Film Festival, as well as the 2007 production of " For Colored Girls........" at The Walt Whitman Center for Performing Arts. Tony (as he likes to be called) is currently the Artistic Director of the Extreme Dance Academy, a summer enrichment program in Pennsauken NJ. Anthony joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2011

 

 

 

DuJuan Smart, Jr., (Visiting Guest Artist) began his dance training at the age of twelve at Fem Fatale Dance Studio in Oak Park, MI. He is a graduate of the prestigious Lewis Cass Technical High School located in his hometown Detroit, MI. He is currently a senior ballet performance major at The University of the Arts. Throughout his career, he has received scholarships to train at Dance Theater of Harlem, Edge Performing Arts Center, The Ailey School, Alonzo King Lines Ballet and Tucson Ballet.

Mr. Smart has participated in various competitions nationwide earning titles such as: 2006 Act-So National Gold Medalist, 2006 Urban Jamm Well-Rounded Dancer of the Year, 2007 Mr. Bravo winner, 2007 National Mr. Showbiz winner and 2007 NFAA Jazz Dance winner. He has worked with choreographers such as: Louis Johnson, Ray Mercer, Christopher Huggins, Arthur Mitchell, and Roni Koresh. His performance history includes: Junk, Momix, Camille A. Brown and Dancers and he was a featured guest soloist on the hit tv series "So You Think You Can Dance."  He has toured in Germany, Canada, France, Chile and Italy. He joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2008.

 

 

 

Ibn Snell, (Apprentice) a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began tapping at the age of 4. He attended D'Shay School of Dance and The Pointe! Dance Studio. He started his formal training in modern and ballet at the age of 12. Ibn attended The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) where he was listed Dance Captain under the direction of LaDeva Davis. He was accepted into Eleone Connections the Jr. Company of Eleone Dance Theatre as a freshman under the direction of Artistic Director Shawn-Lamere Williams and the mentorship of Wayne St. David. He performed in Rebecca Davis Dance Company's production Darfur. He attended The Ailey School on scholarship in the summers of 2010 and 2011. Ibn has had the wonderful opportunity to perform works by Alonzo King, Troy Powell, Christopher Huggins, Anthony Burrell and Tommie-Waheed. Ibn attends The University of the Arts. Ibn joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2011.

 

 

 

 

Matthew Thomas, a native of Philadelphia, PA. He began his training at age 6. He studied at L&L Dance Studio, YTPC, Philadanco and Pennsylvania Ballet - The Rock School. Matthew performed in the Duke Ellington's Harlem Nutcracker. Matthew was an original member of Eleone Connection and joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2007.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keenan D. Washington, a native of Miami, FL, began his training with Traci Young and The Addiction Dance Co. Keenan graduated from the New World School of the Arts, where he studied under Peter London and Arnold Quintane, just to name a few, he is now a dance major at The University of the Arts.  Keenan is a NAACP ACT-SO Local and Regional Gold Medalist, as well as, a NAACP ACT-SO National finalist. Keenan has toured through out the United States and Bahamas, with artist such as P.Diddy, Ginuwine, Mohombi, Tommy Davison, Tom Joyner, Sweet Mickey, and Monique. Keenan is also a member of the ABDC’s Live In Color, under the direction of Zedric Bembry. He joined the company in 2010.

 

 

 

Jah'meek D. Williams, is a native of Brooklyn, NY. He began dancing at the age of eleven at his Church St. Paul's Community Baptist Church were he joined a Youth Dance Group called V.O.P (vision of Praise) under the direction of Serina Young and Deborah Barton. In 2006 Jah'meek attended Purelements Evolution in Dance under the direction of Lakai Worrel, Kevin Joseph, and Dina Wright Joseph. In 2008 Jahmeek began dancing at Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn under the direction of Jamel Gaines were he trained in Ballet, Modern, African, Jazz, and Hip-Hop. Jah'meek has performed all over New York City with Creative Outlet. In 2010 Jah'meek Graduated from Fiorello H.LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Jah'meek is C0-Founder and Director of JAH'KEV Productions. Jah'meek attended University of North Carolina School of the Arts as a Contemporary Major. Jah'meek now attends the University of the Arts. Jah'meek joined Eleone Dance Theatre in 2011.