FACULTY

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ALECIA LAKERNICK

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Alecia is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Meredith College with a B.A. in Dance , a Magna Cum Laude graduate of Campbell University with a B.S. in Spanish with K-12 education certification and is certified in Early Childhood Education. As Miss Henderson 1992, she won the Talent Award at the Miss North Carolina Pageant & was a Top Ten Finalist. In 1987, as Miss Topsail Island, she captured the only Non-Finalist Talent Award at The Miss N.C. Pageant and was chosen as a member of the Miss NC Performing Troupe. Alecia toured 5 summers with Hoctor’s Dance Caravan as an instructor, performer and head coordinator for the Caravan Kid program. Studies include: N.C. School of the Arts, The Columbia City Ballet, Wake Forest University, Dance Theater of Fayetteville, Broadway Dance Center (NYC) and Steps (NYC). She has choreographed for Dance Caravan, Miss Henderson Pageant, Miss Erwin-Denim Pageant, Miss Topsail Island Pageant, Louisburg College, Vance Rec Players, Granville Little Theater, Lakeland Cultural Arts center, Broadway & Beyond Theatre Camp, Imagination Station, Vance County Show Choir, as well as, for high school majorettes & twirlers at Triton, Midway, Webb and Northern Vance. Alecia has judged for many dance and baton competitions including: Star Talent, Applause Talent, Stars of Tomorrow and Drum Majorettes of America. She is a certified judge and instructor for Drum Majorettes of America and has over 30 years experience teaching dance and baton. 

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DASH MICHAELS

COMPETITION DIRECTOR

Dash Michaels began dancing at the age of eight in Charlotte, N.C., under the direction of Kathy Baldwin, Joanna Nichols and Jayson Michaels. Dash was a dancer for the Energy Source Dance Association and helped raise money for Operation Smile and was also a Dance Caravan Kid with Scott Benson. Dash studied very closely with teachers such as Frank Hatchett, Mia Michaels, Stepp Stewart and Devora Cooper. Dash Michaels was named Mr. Dance of Virginia for Dance Educators of America, as well as a three-time Mr. Dance of North Carolina for Dance Masters of America. He has been featured in many dance productions such as Gypsy as Tulsa, Coppelia, Road to Victory, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake to name a few. In 2000, Dash won Best Choreography for Encore Dance Nationals, Premier2000, Kids Artistic Revue and Star Systems. He has worked on productions for PBS, MTV, ABC Broadcasting, FOX television and 19 Entertainment. Dash has had the honor of teaching at conventions alongside Wade Robson and Marquis Cunningham. In 2006, Dash appeared on the syndicated television show, “So You Think You Can Dance”. Dash is the Executive Director of his own production company, DMDC. He has directed and produced numerous shows such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Grease, The Miss Gastonia Pageant and the Junior Miss Pageant of Lynchburg. Dash has chorographed for Madonna’s 50th Birthday Bash at the Volstead Club in London, England and in 2022, he became the Competition Director for Ballet Arts.

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ALIAH BUTLER

JAZZ, ACRO, HIP HOP, TAP

Aliah is a graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health. She was a proud member of the ECU Club Dance Team in 2015 and earned double platinum and overall ratings with her team at Showstoppers and NYCDA. She is a native of Clinton, NC where she trained for over 12 years in classical ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop at Quisan's Dance Academy (QDA), under the artistic direction of her mother, Quisan Parker. Aliah was a member of the National Champion QDA Dance Company for 10 years earning multiple platinum, high platinum, and overall high score awards. She’s taught at several studios for the past 5 years and also served as an assistant and company team instructor at QDA for 5 years where her students earned numerous platinum, high platinum, and overall awards. In addition to her studio training, she has studied with many dance "greats" including Frank Hatchett (Broadway Dance Center), and "So You Think You Can Dance" finalists Kameron Bink, Caitlin Finney, and Kent Boyd, just to name a few. She has also had the honor of performing at Madison Square Garden in NY for U.S. Dance Days and at Disneyland in CA. In addition to dance training, Aliah has several years of voice and theatre training. She also enjoys coaching young girls in pageants to be their best selves and has held several titles including Miss NC High School 2014, Miss Black NC Talented Teen 2015, and Miss Black Talented Teen USA 2016. She has served as a judge for dance competitions in NC & VA. Aliah believes dance has helped her through many stages of her life and hopes it will do the same for others. 

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cayla reed

contemporary

Cayla Reed has been dancing since the age of 10. She was born in Tampa, FL and moved to Geneva, Ohio when she was 5 years old. Her dancing career didn’t take off until she moved to Wake Forest, NC in November of 2004. She attended Dance Works Studio in Youngsville, NC until her senior year of high school. She competed at many dance competitions and attended multiple conventions/intensives all credited to her wonderful teacher and choreographer, Wendy Penatello Denney. In December of 2016 she graduated from The University of North Carolina Greensboro where she studied to get her BFA in dance. She’s performed an original piece from Martha Graham’s Chronicle, Prelude to Action, at the Joyce theatre in New York. She lived in North Hollywood, California as a freelance dancer/choreographer for 4 years. She is currently in North Carolina excited to get back into the dance competition scene, sharing her love and passion for the beautiful art of dance.

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linda slonski

clogging

Linda has been clogging since age 9. She was a member of the Silverheel Cloggers in Randleman, NC and taught clogging classes there until attending UNC Chapel Hill. While at UNC-CH, Linda joined the NCSU Clogging team. She is a member of the competitive clogging team, Pride of Carolina Cloggers, where she continues to compete, perform and attend workshops, in ACHF and Cadence competition sanctions. Linda was inducted into the American Clogging Hall of Fame All American Clogging Team at the 2012 World Championships 

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aijia bryant

jazz, hip hop, lyrical, acro, ballet

Aijia Bryant is a graduate of UNC-G, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Dance and also obtained her masters degree in Business Administration. While at college, Aijia was on the dance team, was a student choreographer, interned in dance therapy and was a member of the National Honorary Dance Fraternity, Delta Chi Xi. She trained at Ballet Arts and was a member of the ‘All Stars’ company. 

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kaitlin davis

tap

Kaitlin Davis holds a BFA in Dance Performance from East Carolina University, where she was also recognized as the 2014 Outstanding Senior in Dance. After graduation, Kaitlin performed in North Carolina with Opera House Theater Company, Forward Motion Dance Company, and at the Cucalorus Film Festival. She then moved to the Atlanta area where she has danced with SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company, Atlanta Dance Collective, Stella Entertainment, and Britt Fishel & Artists. Kaitlin has performed as part of the Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Asheville Fringe festivals, Dance Canvas, and Fall for Fall Dance Festival. She choreographed for the NBC film Gametime: Tackling the Past in which she was also a featured dancer, and has performed with Earth Wind and Fire on tour. Kaitlin has taught students of all ages in the Wilmington and Atlanta areas. In her spare time she enjoys relaxing with her boyfriend Daniel and their dog Lainey, and making tap TikTok videos with her sister Sarah.

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ALEX KEDROV

CLASSICAL BALLET & POINTE

Classical Ballet & Pointe Born and raised in Moscow, Russia, Mr. Kedrov graduated from Moscow Choreographic Institute.He was a Ballet soloist with The State Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, and toured extensively around the world with them until the Bolshoi Theater USA Tour where he accepted an invitation from Boston Ballet Co. to join the company as a soloist. Here he had the chance to work with known Western choreographers and broaden his repertoire. Throughout his career, Alexander has worked with many different companies as a guest artist, teacher and choreographer in dance and musical theater productions in the USA, Canada, Spain, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, including: a tour in Germany as a guest artist with “Russian Ballet Stars” Company, staging of “Nayada and Fishermen” ballet in Japan with Myaki Dance Theater in Tokyo, and choreography and participation as a featured artist in various fragments from American Musicals with Jean Ann Ryan Productions Co. on the Asuka Cruise Ship in Japan. 

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steele goldman

Ballet

Steele Goldman was raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He began his dance training during his teenage years under the direction of Melody Eggen. Goldman graduated in 2018 from the Dance and Choreography department at Virginia Commonwealth University. He was selected during his freshman year to perform “Attempted Murder” choreographed by Ivy Lohn at the ACDA conference held at George Mason University. During his time at VCU Goldman had the pleasure of performing in pieces by faculty including Martha Curtis, Courtney Harris, Scott Putnam, Autumn Proctor Waddell, and Dr. Gaynell Sherrod. Goldman was also selected to perform in guest artist works including the 40th year anniversary of Liz Lerman’s seminal work “Still Crossing”, “Mélange” choreographed by Helen Simoneau and “Multiplicity of Intimacy” choreographed by Jenna Riegel.

Goldman was able to dance and do a work-study position in the costume department at the Bates Dance Festival. During that time he was selected to perform in works by international choreographers Junichi Fukuda and Li Wenqi. While attending the American Dance Festival on
full tuition scholarship Goldman was selected to work with Lucinda Childs and perform two of her minimalist ballets “Kilar” and “Concerto”. In 2018 Goldman performed two Shen Wei works “Maps” and “Undivided Divided” as a part of the ADF summer performances.

Goldman has performed with Richmond Ballet, Stavna Ballet, Conflux Ballet Theatre, OM Grown Dancers, Annielille Gavino and her company Malayaworks, and Richmond dance company RVA Dance Collective. In 2017 Goldman performed “Phosphorescence” a multimedia site-specific piece choreographed by his dance colleague Michelle Koppl as a part of the 1708 Gallery’s InLight exhibition. Goldman worked with VCU guest artist Ching-I Chang Bigelow for a site-specific piece in collaboration with Dutch sculptor Noor Nuyten “Let’s Meet at Three
O’Clock (Another Uniform Time)” at the VCU Institute of Contemporary Art.

Including dance, Goldman’s second passion is Japanese cinema and he has been studying the Japanese language since high school. He was the recipient of the VCU Dance Department’s Student Research Award for his research in Japanese art history.

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angel pugh

Ballet

Angel Pugh is originally from Fort Worth, Texas. She was a company member with Ballet Frontier of Texas for eight years. During that time, she performed various roles in The Nutcracker, The Firebird, Rodeo & Carnival of The Animals, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Mozart K379, String Quartet #1, Giselle, Moldau, Andante & Finale, and Bamboo Symphony. She spent two summers training at Ballet Magnificat’s Summer Intensive in Jackson, Mississippi. She has also attended Dallas Black Dance Theater's summer dance intensive on a partial scholarship. In 2015, she placed in the top 12 for YAGP in Dallas, Texas. Angel is very excited to join the Ballet Arts family this year.

contracted faculty

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brianna hamilton

various genres

Legend says Bri started dancing before she could walk. Officially, she started dancing at the age of 3 with Power Explosion Studio of Dance in Southern Maryland. Throughout her tenure there, she became skilled in the styles of tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip-hop, contemporary, modern, lyrical, Cecchetti and musical theater. With Power Explosion, she mastered her first competitive tap solo at the age of 5, won countless first place positions, and was part of the National Champion team in 2012. After graduating, Bri taught classes for over 7 years in Southern Maryland. She has danced professionally in Broadway at the Beach – Thriller, and Dance Spirit Magazine. She also loved being a back-up dancer for Kiara Simon and participating in numerous dance festivals in Hawaii. In addition, Bri danced recreationally in Disney – Dance the Magic, the Christmas Parade for ABC 7, and even trained with top choreographers from “So You Think You Can Dance:” Mia Michaels, Dan Karaty, Mandy Moore, Nick Lazzarini, Travis Wall, Brian Friedman, Gil Stroming, Mike Minery, Dee Caspary, and Christopher Robbins. To top it all off, she cherishes her memory of being in a flash mop charity event for CiVista Hospital as well as one at the local mall in Maryland. Dance is her passion and is where she finds and loses herself. She can’t wait to share all she has to offer with Ballet Arts!

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BAILEY HADDOW

various genres

Bio coming soon

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OFU CAIRNS

various genres

Bio coming soon

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TATYANA ROSARIO RATLIFF

various genres

Bio coming soon

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AMY BROWN

various genres

Bio coming soon

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ALAINA PULLEY

various genres

Bio coming soon

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AMAYA BROWN

various genres

Bio coming soon

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ALEXIS BROWN

various genres

Bio coming soon