Faculty and Staff

  • Ivan Pulinkala
    Dr. Ivan Pulinkala Chair & Professor

    Ed.D. Higher Education Administration, Univ. of Alabama
    M.F.A. Dance, Mills College
    B.Com (H), Delhi University
    Areas of Emphasis: Choreography, Contemporary Technique, History/Theory, Kinesiology
    E-mail: ipulinka@kennesaw.edu

    Ivan Pulinkala received his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama, his M.F.A in Dance from Mills College, Oakland, Calif., and his Bachelor of Commerce (Hon.) from Hindu College, Delhi University. Originally from New Delhi, Pulinkala has worked professionally in the field of dance and musical theatre both in India and the U.S. His choreographic work has been commissioned for concert dance, musical theatre, as well as corporate and commercial film. While in India, Pulinkala served as the artistic director of his own company, performing and choreographing across the country. He served as the choreographer-in-residence for Delhi Music Theatre, and was named among the 25 Indian artists of the Millennium by the India Today Magazine in their December 1999 issue.

    Pulinkala serves as the chair of the Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University, a program he founded in 2005. He also serves as the artistic director for the Kennesaw State University Dance Company. Pulinkala was selected for the Accelerated Leadership Academy at the University System of Georgia in 2017, the Executive Leadership Institute at the University system of Georgia in 2013, awarded the KSU Foundation Award in 2011, the Clendenin Graduate Fellowship at KSU in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the NEA American Masterpiece Grant in 2010, the Cobb Symphony Orchestra Award for Artistic Excellence in 2010 and the Board of Regents award for Teaching Excellence from Murray State University in 2005. He was also commissioned by the Tony award winning Alliance Theatre to choreograph their 2008 production of "Eurydice." Pulinkala has received arts grants both in India and the U.S. for his work, and has served as a guest artist for a number of professional companies and university programs. Recent choreographic commissions include work for The Israel Ballet (Tel Aviv, Israel,) Atlanta Ballet (Atlanta, GA,) Fresco (Tel Aviv, Israel).

    The KSU Department of Dance has received regional and national attention for Pulinkala's choreographic work at the American College Dance Associationl (ACDA.) He is the only choreographer in the history of ACDA to have work selected for 3 successive national festivals. In 2008, "INCUBUS" choreographed by Pulinkala, was performed at the National Festival held at the Miller Theatre in New York City. In 2010, Pulinkala's work "CHAKRA" was performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. In 2012, Pulinkala and the KSU Dance Company returned to the Kennedy Center with "Rhizome." Pulinkala's work has also been selected for the ACDF Regional Gala Concerts in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.

    Guest Artist Residencies

    Pulinkala has choreographed and taught for a number of professional companies, colleges and arts organizations:

    Henny Jurriens Foundation (2016), Israel Ballet (2015) Atlanta Ballet - Wabi Sabi (2014) FRESCO Dance Company, Israel (2013) Rialto Center for the Arts (2010, 2011, 2013) Washington University in St. Louis (2009, 2012) Brigham Young University (2011, 2013) Georgia Shakespeare (2011) gloATL (2010) Shanghai Normal University (2010) Atlanta Ballet (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010) University of South Carolina (2008) Nirvana Films (2007) Governor's School for the Arts, Tennessee (2006, 2008) The Dancer's Studio (2007) Middle Tennessee State University (2005-2007) Atlanta Gay Men's Chorus (2007, 2008) Spelman College (2006) Modern Atlanta Dance Festival (2006, 2007) Decatur Arts Festival (2006) Shanghai International Theatre Festival (2005) Shelter Repertory Dance Company (2005) Full Radius Dance Company (2005) Murray State University (2001-2005) Western Kentucky University (2004) Danceworx (2004, 2009) Vanderbilt University (2003, 2004) U.C. Berkley (2004) Mills College (2004) Contemporary Dance Exchange of Nashville (2003-2005) University of Tennessee at Martin (2003) American College Dance Festival (2004-2012) City Lights Youth Theatre (2001) Delhi Music Theatre (1994-2002) American Embassy School (1997-2002) St. George's College (1994, 1995)

    Grants/Awards

    Clendenin Graduate Fellowship 2010, 2011, 2012; KSU Foundation Award 2011; KSU College of the Arts Distinguished Research and Creative Activity Award 2011; Cobb Symphony Orchestra Award for Artistic Excellence 2010; NEA American Masterpiece Grant 2010-11; Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award 2005 (Murray State University); KSU Faculty Incentive Grant 2006-07; Faculty Teaching Development Grant; Faculty Professional Development Grant; Committee on Institutional Studies and Research Grant; Individual Artist Fellowship Program Grant at the Kentucky Arts Council; Middle Tennessee State University International Guest Artist Grant.

    Choreography

    Original Modern works include: Metamorphosis (2017), 2.0 (2016), 1.0 (2015), Hypnophobia (2015), Ipomoea (2015), Rinpoche (2014), PYROMANIA (2014), TOUCHDOWN (2013), Road Kill (2012), Rhizome (2011), Cocoon (2010), Lost (2010), Chakra (2009), Succubus (2009), Magnetic Fields (2009), Metastasis (2009), Incubus (2008), Hyperspace (2007), A Dream Discarded (2007), Cloud Burst (2006), Firestorm (2005), Migration (2004), No Way Out (2003), Inside My Twisted Mind (2004), Mock Abduction (2002), Touch Down (2004), Secret Garden (2003), To Be Baptized (2003), Passages (2003), Coffee Break (2003), As Time Moves On (2003), Popcorn Suite (2002), Dirty Business (2002), Offerings (2003), A New World (2002), Cycle (2002), Geometric Relationships (2001), Second Construction (2001), Slow (2000) among others.

    Professional musical theatre choreography/ performance credits include: Tommy, The Music Man, West Side Story, Grease, Best Friends, Evita, Fame- the musical, Me and My Girl, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat among others.

    Publications

    Partnering for Change in Dance Higher Education (2014) (Research in Dance Education)
    Integration of a Professional Dance into College (2011) (Research in Dance Education)
    The Sensuality of Indian Movement (2009) (www.artconcerns.com) Print 2010/ Online 2009
    Polyphonic Dynamics as Educational Practice (Co-authored with Karen Robinson and Ming Chen) Theatre Topics (2010)

    Professional Affiliations: ArtsATL.com Board, Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund Board, Community Committee at the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center Educational Board

    Read more about Ivan Pulinkala by visiting www.ivanpulinkala.com

  • Sarah Holmes
    Dr. Sarah W. Holmes, Assistant Professor of Dance

    Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory, University of California
    Email: sholme39@kennesaw.edu

    Sarah W. Holmes completed her Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory at the University of California, Riverside in June 2013. Her dissertation examined issues surrounding race, class, and gender in Pilates. Sarah received a M.A. in Dance from Mills College, in 2002, where she specialized in modern dance and the history of choreography; a B.A. in Economics from Scripps College in 1996, where she specialized in the economics of the performing arts. She was introduced to the Pilates Mat exercises at the American Dance Festival in 2001, and recently returned to ADF as a Pilates teacher in 2014. She completed comprehensive Pilates certifications through Polestar Pilates, Peak Pilates (Level One), and the PMA. Sarah has been working with Peak Pilates as an MVe Teacher Trainer since 2008, and more recently as a Master Instructor for the Peak Pilates Comprehensive Certification, and teaches both nationally and internationally for the company. Her future research endeavors include examining issues in dance science and deepening her work in the embodied cultural issues in Pilates.

    Publications:
    Book:
    Holmes, Sarah. Reforming Pilates: Ballet, Masculinity, and the Construction of a Gendered Practice. Wesleyan University Press. Under contract.

    ---. (2013), “A Critical Dance Studies Examination of the Teaching Methodologies, Exercises, and Principle of Pilates.” PhD. Diss. University of California, Riverside.

    Journals:
    ---. (2015), “The presence of absences: Unconscious performances and muscle memories in Pilates.” Journal of Dance and Somatic Practice. 7:1, pp 31-42.

    ---. (2014), “The Pilates Pelvis: Racial Implications for the Immobile Hips.”Dance Research Journal, Special Issue: “Body Parts: Pelvis, Feet, Face, Hips, Legs, Toes, and Teeth. Sherril Dodds, ed. 46:2, pp 57-72.

    Upcoming Presentations:

    “Water Study: Measuring the Physical and Perceived Effects of Water Training on College Level Modern Dancers.”  International Association of Dance Medicine and Science, Hong Kong. October 2016.

  • DanielProf. Daniel Gwirtzman, Assistant Professor of Dance

    M.F.A. Dance, The University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee B.F.A. Dance, The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor Areas of Emphasis: Modern, Contemporary and Musical Theater Technique, Choreography, Dance and Film, Community Programming, K-12 Arts Education Email: dgwirtzm@kennesaw.edu

    Daniel Gwirtzman-producer, director, educator, filmmaker and performer-celebrates twenty-one years as a professional choreographer in 2016. He has earned praise for the creation of a diverse repertory known for its humor, stylistic versatility, and musicality. "A flair for the entertaining," says critic Elizabeth Zimmer. "Mr. Gwirtzman does know that in dance less can be more. And that's a good thing for any choreographer to know" says The New York Times. The New Yorker describes him as a choreographer of "high spirits and skill" (May 2014).

    Daniel has created more than 100 repertory works and is sought after nationally and internationally as a teacher and choreographer. The critically acclaimed New York-based Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company is known for its charismatic and playfully virtuosic work, blending robust physicality with universally relatable themes.

    His choreography has been performed at venues throughout the country and abroad and he has been awarded commissions, residencies and fellowships throughout the world, including those by Maison Dora Maar (France), AADK Centro Negra (Spain), the Joyce Theater Foundation (NY), The Yard (MA), Djerassi Resident Artists Program (CA--twice), Raumars (Finland) and the Sacatar Foundation (Brazil--twice). Highlights included performances at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival (Scotland), and Bryant Park Presents in Manhattan.

    As a dancer, he has been described as a willowy John Travolta, sensual, playful, a rag doll, unusually supple, and one who moves like the wind. Daniel attended The University of Michigan, graduating with a BFA in Dance, and holds a Masters in Fine Arts from The University of Wisconsin. He danced in the companies of Garth Fagan Dance and the Mark Morris Dance Group among others. He co-founded Artichoke Dance Company in 1995, which The New York Times called "a welcome addition to the New York dance scene." ADC celebrated its 20th Anniversary Season in the spring of 2016 at Manhattan Movement Arts Center in New York, a concert in which he danced in two of his choreographed works.

    His hit show Encore premiered in 2007 in New York at Joyce SoHo, was an official selection of the New York Musical Theater Festival in 2009, has been licensed on other professional companies and continues to tour. In 2010 he was selected by the DanceBreak Foundation, supporting the "next generation of great Broadway choreographers." Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre featured Encore during its 60th Anniversary season in the fall of 2016.

    Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company, a nonprofit organization, celebrates its seventeenth anniversary in 2016 and has demonstrated a commitment to education since its inception. Operating with the belief that everyone can join the dance, the programming, known for its energy, innovation and accessibility, seeks to captivate the greatest common denominator among a diverse population.

    "Founded upon a philosophy that dance should celebrate human achievement through a combination of discipline and unbound optimism" (The New York Sun), the Company cultivates the creation of innovative art and presents this to the public through multigenerational interactive programming. DGDC thrives on collaborations with community-based organizations throughout and outside of NYC. Contracted with the NYC Department of Education since 1999, the Company has taught dance to over 20,000 students, parents, teachers, and administrators. Recent foundation support includes a multi-year grant from George Soros' Open Society Foundation, from Tony Bennett's Exploring the Arts Foundation, and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    A master teacher, Gwirtzman has been on faculty at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a visiting professor at The University of the North Carolina School of the Arts and the University of Michigan. Daniel has been a guest at various institutions, including the Rochester City Ballet, Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, North Carolina Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet School, Princeton University, New York University, Fordham University/The Ailey School, Barnard College, Kenyon College, Abrons Arts Center, American Dance Festival Studios, Virginia Commonwealth University, Duke University, Broadway Dance Center, Rutgers University, Richmond Ballet, The Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts among other college and arts high school dance departments.

    His dance films continue to screen nationally and internationally. His newest film Terrain makes its premiere during the Fenemens Festival in Barcelona (November 2016). Also in 2016, No Trespassing, (premiered at the American Dance Festival International Screendance Festival in 2012) screened at the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema (Boulder, CO), Pier screened in the Santa Barbara Fine Arts Festival (CA), and Into The Streets screened during the EnCORE Dance on Screen Festival (Decatur, GA).

    In 2014, he celebrated his fifteenth anniversary as the director of Daniel Gwirtzman Dance Company with the world premiere of The Oracle, at the prestigious BAM Fisher. Touring to Atlanta the following year the work was mentioned in Arts/ATL’s Year in Review. Critic Cynthia Bond Perry wrote the work “offered fresh perspective on modern dance’s formal values with sparkling sweep and joyful physicality…Like moving armatures, dancers gave form to space with mathematical elegance and human warmth. Their outstretched limbs arced and criss-crossed as they leaned in and sprang off of one another, weaving ever-changing configurations in a vision that vibrated on a frequency of harmony and brilliance.”

    For more information, please visit www.gwirtzmandance.org

  • McCree O

    Prof. McCree O'Kelley, Assistant Professor of Dance

    B.A. in Dance, University of South Carolina; M.F.A. in Dance from the University of CA, Irvine
    Email: dokelle4@kennesaw.edu

    McCree O'Kelley began his ballet training with Ann Brodie and the Carolina Ballet in Columbia, SC. At 16 he moved to New York City, accepting a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet. He furthered his dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Duncan Noble, Melissa Hayden and Warren Conover.

    His versatile career as a professional dancer included performing with the Atlanta Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Broadway National Tour of Cats as Mr. Mistoffelees. His vast repertoire includes Balanchine's Serenade (Waltz Man), Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Who Cares, Stars and Stripes, Western Symphony, Lila York's Celts (Green Man) and Gloria, Kevin O'Day's Viola Alone¦ (with one exception), Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Gottschalk (Men's Duet), Twyla Tharp's Deuce Coupe, Alan Hineline's Twist and Thresholds, Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels (Red Man), Val Caniparoli's Open Veins, Lew Christensen's Con Amore, Ben Stevenson's Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland and Michael Pink's Dracula and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

    As a choreographer, he has created works for the Pacific Symphony, American Academy of Ballet, Ballet Spartanburg, Carolina Ballet, Center Stage and Workshop Theater of South Carolina.

    Previously McCree was an assistant professor of dance at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where he was the artistic director of Dance Converse. He has served on the faculty of the American Academy of Ballet, the University of South Carolina Conservatory of Dance, the Atlanta Ballet Summer Program, Ballet Spartanburg and the University of California, Irvine. He holds a BA in Dance from the University of South Carolina and an MFA in Dance from the University of CA, Irvine.

  • Lisa
    Prof. Lisa K. Lock (Assistant Professor of Dance)

    B.F.A and M.F.A. Ballet, California Institute of the Arts Areas of Emphasis: Modern Dance, Body Conditioning
    Email: llock1@kennesaw.edu

    Lisa K. Lock, holds a BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and a Ballet Diploma from the Grande Ecole de Danse in Bern, Switzerland.

    She is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches, Modern, Ballet, Improvisation and Choreography.

    As a solo artist Lisa has performed her critically acclaimed choreography internationally, as well as all over the US. Choreography for companies include; La Danserie in Los Angeles, Georgia Ballet, and Full Radius Dance in Atlanta, Cleveland Opera, Verb Ballets, Ohio Dance Theater, Dancing Wheels, and the former Cleveland Dance Theater in Ohio.

    Lisa comes with many years of teaching experience both in the University system and the private studio setting, recent festivals and intensive workshop teaching include, Complexion Contemporary Ballet, the International Ballet Intensive, KSU Dance Fest and Summer Intensive.

    For more information please visit www.lisaklock.com

  • Meghan QDr. Meghan Quinlan (Lecturer)

    Ph.D., Critical Dance Studies, University of California
    B.A., Dance and English, Marymount Manhattan College
    E-mail: mquinla3@kennesaw.edu

    Meghan Ruth Quinlan completed her Ph.D. in Critical Dance Studies at the University of California, Riverside and holds a BA in Dance and English from Marymount Manhattan College. Her dissertation employed a case study of Gaga, the movement language developed by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin, to explore the politics of technique, nationalism, and neoliberalism in relation to the practice and circulation of contemporary concert dance training. During her ethnographic research for this project, Quinlan attended Gaga classes and intensives throughout the United States as well as in Israel and Germany with the assistance of several grants from the University of California, Riverside. In 2015, Quinlan was an invited fellow at the Mellon Dance Studies Summer Seminar held at Northwestern University.  In addition to presenting her research at dance and performance studies conferences internationally, she assisted with the planning of the 2013 CORD/SDHS conference held in Riverside, CA as well as co-chaired the 2012 Dance Under Construction (DUC) Conference held at the University of California, Riverside. Her current research interests include Israel/Palestine studies, gender and sexuality, nationalism, neoliberalism, and technique.

    Publications:

    Quinlan, Meghan. 2016. “Gaga as Politics: A Case Study of Contemporary Dance Training.” PhD. Diss. University of California, Riverside.

    ---. 2016. “Abstractions of Whiteness in Downtown Los Angeles: Ate9’s Kelev Lavan.” The Drama Review.  60.3: 171-177.

    ---. Forthcoming. “Freedom to Compete: Neoliberal Contradictions in Gaga Intensives.” In Oxford Handbook of Dance and Competition, edited by Sherril Dodds. Oxford University Press.

  • Natalie Smith Berry
    Prof. Natalie Smith Berry (Part-Time Assistant Professor of Dance)

    M.F.A. Ballet, University of Oklahoma Areas of Emphasis: Ballet, History, General Education Email: nberry2@kennesaw.edu

    A native of Arkansas, Natalie Berry received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Ballet from the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Upon graduation, Berry was honored with the OU School of Dance White Buffalo Mask Award. Since then she has worked for Winthrop University and Brenau University and has been a guest teacher at Coker College, Middle Tennessee State University, Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, N.C. and York County Ballet in Rock Hill, S.C. among others. Berry was invited by the Dekalb County School of the Arts to teach and stage original works and continues to have an ongoing relationship with the program. She has taught at various summer programs including the Summer Wind Youth Ballet, Kennesaw State Summer Dance Clinic, Sawnee Ballet and many more. She was co-director of the Summer Wind Youth Ballet for one season and helped choreograph and stage the mainstage production.  She was the Ballet Mistress for Dancentre South in Woodstock, Ga. where she staged the annual production of The Nutcracker as well as choreographed original works that were performed throughout the southeast. She was commissioned by Ballet Arkansas to create a work on their pre-professional dancers and her work garnered acclaim.  Her choreography has been awarded honorable mention for two years at the Panoply Choreography Contest.  She currently teaches at Impact Dance of Atlanta and serves at the PTA Cultural Arts Chair for her children’s elementary school curating four concerts each year.

    Berry has performed with Ballet Arkansas, Oklahoma Festival Ballet and the Alex Spitzer Dance Company. She has studied with such notable teachers such as Dennis Marshall, Dennis Poole, Robert Weiss, David Howard, Alonzo King, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Bill Evans and Miguel Terekhov. She has danced in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Gaite Parisienne, Carmina Burina, The Sleeping Beauty, Postmark Graceland and Serenade among other original works. 

  • Dana Woodruff

    Prof. Dana Woodruff (Part-Time Assistant Professor of Dance)

    M.F.A. Dance, New York University
    Area of Emphasis: Ballet, Modern
    Email: dwoodru4@kennesaw.edu

    Dana, originally from Norwich, VT , began her dance training with Joseph and Victoria DeChiazza, professors of Dance at Dartmouth College. After eleven years of studying Ballet (French Technique), Modern (Limon Based) and Jazz (Jack Cole Based), Dana went on to Adelphi University to receive her B.F. A. in Dance. She trained with Norman Walker, Carmen de Lavallade, Loren Hightower, Rochelle Zide-Booth and Regina Larkin. After graduation, she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts to earn an M.F.A. in Dance. She performed works by Gus Solomons Jr., Mark Morris, and Ann Carlson and trained with Jenny Way (Twyla Tharp), Gwen Welliver (Doug Varone), Jim Martin, Phyllis Lamhut (Nikolais), Mark Haim, Jackie Villamil, Deborah Jowitt and Kaye Cummings. During her second year at NYU, Dana joined the Joyce Trisler Danscompany, performing Trisler works in NYC and multiple venues in the Northeast. After graduating, she performed with Cherylyn Lavagnino, Imago Dance Theatre, and formed her own collaborative company called Ground Floor Dance.


    Since moving to Atlanta, Dana has taught Ballet and Modern technique to dancers of all ages. She has taught at the Georgia Academy of Dance, , The Studio Atlanta Dance, Academy of Ballet in Norcross and Bravo Dance Centre and has been a part time professor of dance at Kennesaw State University since 2011. Dana serves as Professional Development Manager for Dance Canvas, an Atlanta based company that promotes and produces choreographers. During Dance Canvas’ Summer Intensive, Dana teaches Ballet and Modern technique and Choreography. She has produced her own choreography in the Atlanta area since 2003.

  • Marcus R Alford

    Prof. Marcus R. Alford (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    B.A. University of Alabama; Area of Emphasis: Jazz
    Email: malford4@kennesaw.edu

    Born in Tripoli, Libya, Marcus Alford found his way to several continents as an Air Force brat.  He eventually landed at the University of Alabama where he earned a B.A. degree.  Inspired by his dance teachers, he headed to Chicago where he choreographed, taught, danced and toured with the legendary Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for a decade.

     Mr. Alford has been on the faculty of every major dance organization including D.M.A., D.E.A., Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and many others.  Marcus’ high energy jazz classes have also inspired students at the Festival of the World in Hungary, The American College Dance Festival, The International Ballet Competition, Jackson, MS, Hubbard Street Dance Studio, Chicago and the North Carolina School of the Arts.  He currently serves of the faculty of the Kennesaw State University Department of Dance.

     In 1986, Marcus founded “JAZZ ON TAP” (the Metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) which has grown to be one of the largest dance events of its kind in the U.S. featuring master classes and performances involving 2,500 dancers annually.  In 1991, he authored Jazz Danceology, now a standard in the libraries of jazz dancers, teachers and universities everywhere.  Alford’s company, Jazz Dance Theatre South, founded in 1986, toured the U.S. and Europe for 15 years presenting the highest caliber of concert jazz and tap.  Serving the Ballet community with its own festival, Mr. Alford founded “BalletFest Atlanta” in 2003.

     Marcus Alford has performed in and/or choreographed many award winning industrials and TV/video projects.  With Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Marcus danced “The Rehearsal”, an Emmy Award winner.  His “Customer is King” (Media Mix, London/Atlanta) won a Telly Award for outstanding television and video production and “Alcatel is Here” (Networld / Interop Communications Show) won the Best of Show award.  Mr. Alford’s industrial work includes clients such as Kohler Corporation, Sprint, I.B.M., and N.F.L. Commissioners.  His concert choreography can be seen on companies throughout the dance world.

     Marcus loves to share the wonderful art and excitement of dance with all!

  • Theresa M Howard

    Prof. Theresa M. Howard (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    M.S. Dance Movement Therapy, Hunter College
    B.F.A. Dance Theater Education; Area of Emphasis: African Dance
    Email: thowar20@kennesaw.edu

    Theresa M. Howard has worked in the human services field for 30 years and currently manages an Adult Day Program for frail senior citizens with special needs. Her professional journey includes coordinating day treatment programs for the mentally ill in New York and Atlanta, initiated and facilitated the first Day Treatment Program for senior citizens with mental illness in Fulton County, managed a Case Management Program for the homeless, mentally ill, substance abusing population and coordinated a Substance Abuse Prevention Program in the city of Atlanta, Fulton County. Ms. Howard is a native of New York where she received her bachelor of fine arts degree in dance theatre and education. She holds a master of science degree from Hunter College in dance-movement therapy, and is pursuing a doctoral degree.

    Theresa M. Howard is an accomplished professional dancer, proficient in classical ballet, modern dance, jazz, African, Balinese, Tap and Belly Dancing Techniques, Tai Chi and Yoga. She has performed and been a guest performer with many prominent dance ensembles for over 30 years. These included: Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble, Joan Miller and the Chamber Arts Players, Eleo Pomare, Rod Rogers Dance Company, Giwayen Mata, Barefoot Ballet, Manga African Dance Ensemble, Alvin Ailey's "Revelations" at Herbert H. Lehman College, Ballethnic Dance Company, 1996 Summer Olympics, several music videos, and performed as an extra in the movie "Remember The Titans." She has performed for dignitaries such as Andrew Young, Desmond Tutu, The King and Secretary of Travel for Oshogbo State, Nigeria, Fulton County Commissioners, and mayors for the City of Atlanta, East Point and College Park, Georgia.

    She is a part-time Assistant Professor of Dance at Kennesaw State University and has conducted dance workshops at Gwinnett Technical College, Georgia Tech University, Swarthmore College, Pace Academy, The Lovett School, Trinity School and has choreographed Coronation Events for Clark College.

    Ms. Howard's community involvement includes providing dance and African drum instruction to a Youth Enrichment Program for the past 10 years. This program provides instruction in arts and culture to low-income inner city youth in Atlanta. She has worked with the homeless by assisting them with access to housing resources, medical care, mental health, substance abuse and social services. For two years, Ms. Howard volunteered at the Fulton County Drug Court and homeless shelter for substance abusing males and provided training and instruction in stress management, Tai Chi, and African drumming. She has facilitated community Red Ribbon Campaigns from 1993-1998, and facilitated the "Super" Program at three local high schools, and has facilitated stress management classes for hundreds of Fulton County employees. Ms. Howard is founder, director, instructor, and choreographer for the "Edeliegba," H.J.C. Bowden Senior Dance Ensemble, a traveling dance troupe comprised of male and female senior citizens aged 60 years and older. Ms. Howard has travelled to West Africa as a cultural exchange dance instructor and has shared her knowledge both in Africa and in the states.

    Theresa M. Howard is the recipient of the 1996 W.O.M.E.N. Community Service Award. She is the widow of Mr. Frankie Howard, and the mother of five children, three boys, two girls, and the grandmother of a precious granddaughter.  

  • Jen MacQueen

    Prof. Jen MacQueen (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    B.S. in Dance Education, Georgia State University; Areas of Emphasis: Tap, Musical Theatre, Jazz
    Email: jmacquee@kennesaw.edu

    Jen MacQueen has workshopped new tap pieces for, shared the bill with, and performed alongside many well-known tappers, such as Savion Glover, Brenda Bufalino, Barbara Duffy, Gregory Hines, Harold Nicholas (of the Nicholas Brothers), Buster Brown, Baakari Wilder, Josh Hilberman, Ayodele Casel, Tony Waag and Lady Di Walker, plus many others. Jen honed her skills as a rhythm tap teacher and choreographer while she danced professionally with The Tap Collective, a rhythm tap company in New York.

    Past performance credits include: Pre-Broadway: Laura (title role) and Frankenstein The Musical. Off-Broadway: Be, New Faces, Fear Of, Vaudeville 2000, That Other Woman’s Child and The Elegance and Comedy of Tap at New York's Town Hall Theatre. Off-Off Broadway: A Birthday Surprise, Sky Over Ninevah, Paradise Lost, Take A Chance and Steps Beyond . National Tours: Promises Promises. Recent Regional Theatre: Cats, Chicago, Phantom, Anything Goes, Guys and Dolls, Godspell, Sophisticated Ladies, Smoke On the Mountain, The Sanders' Family Christmas and The 1940's Radio Hour.

    Past choreography credits include: Off-Broadway: Be, New Faces of 2001, Fear Of, Vaudeville 2000 and The Elegance and Comedy of Tap. Off-Off Broadway: Cannibal: The Musical, A Birthday Surprise, Mag Mor and The Broadway Dance Performance Outlet. National Tours: Red Hot and Cole and Promises Promises (tap sections). Recent Regional Theatre: Mary Poppins, Sweet Charity, A Chorus Line, Singin' in the Rain, Shrew: The Musical, Disney's Beauty & the Beast, Smokey Joe's Cafe, Cabaret, Annie Get Your Gun, Fiddler On the Roof, Chicago, A Year With Frog & Toad, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The World Goes 'Round, Pippin, Company, The 1940's Radio Hour, and many more.

    For the past 15+ years, Jen has taught workshops and set works all over the United States. She has won a total of 11 Spotlight Awards for her work as both a choreographer and performer in New York, has been nominated for six Suzi Bass Awards here in Atlanta, has won two Woodie Awards for her work on The World Goes Round and Pippin, and has also won two Barbara Awards for her work on Singin' in the Rain and A Chorus Line. In her spare time, Jen co-owns the circus company CirqueFreaks and can more often than not be found happily spinning on her Cyr Wheel.  

  • Mara M
    Prof. Mara Mandradjieff (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    Doctoral Student of Dance, Texas Woman's University
    M.Ed., University of Pittsburgh Areas of Emphasis: Ballet Technique, Dance Pedagogy, Critical Theory
    Email: mmandrad@kennesaw.edu

    Mara Mandradjieff began her ballet training with Pittsburgh Youth Ballet, where she performed principal roles in George Balanchine’s Stars and Stripes, Serenade, Valse Fantaisie, and Garland Waltz. Her summers were spent training at various programs such as the Chautauqua Institute, Miami City Ballet, and four summers at The School of American Ballet. Mara went on to dance professionally with Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Columbus Dance Theatre, Texture Contemporary Ballet, The Georgia Ballet, where she performed principal roles in The Nutcracker and George Balanchine's Who Cares, Dance Canvas, and City Gate Dance Theater Company.

    Turning towards academics, Mara received her bachelors summa cum laude at the University of Pittsburgh in English Literature with a minor in Dance and a certificate in Gender Studies. She later finished her Masters in Education at the University of Pittsburgh with a certification to teach Secondary English Education. Once graduated, Mara remained at the University of Pittsburgh as a choreographer and part-time faculty member, in addition to her involvement with Point Park University.

     Currently, Mara is working towards her Ph.D. in Dance at Texas Woman’s University, where her research focuses on Posthumanism, Gender Studies, and Ballet. She teaches as an adjunct professor at Emory University and has called Kennesaw State University her home since 2012. Through these universities, Mara has choreographed contemporary ballets and performance art pieces. She has presented research nationally and internationally with forthcoming publications in Text and Performance Quarterly and a collaborative piece in Journal of Dance Medicine and Science.

    Mara also runs the nonprofit Lume Foundation: an organization that uses dance to engage and inspire individuals at healthcare facilities. Over the years, Lume has performed for children’s hospitals and senior centers; it strives to promote the joyfulness of dance. For more information please see, www.lumefoundation.com

  • Rifka Mayani
    Prof. Rifka Mayani (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    M.B.A., Kennesaw State University Indian Classical Dance training under Guru Kalyan Sundaram Pillai Area of Emphasis: Indian Classical Dance
    Email: rmayani@kennesaw.edu

    Rifka Mayani is a graduate from one of India's premier dance institutions - Sri Rajarajeshwari Bharatha Natyam Kala Mandir, Mumbai. Since her initial training at the tender age of 6, Rifka has studied and performed this Indian classical art form for more than 35years under the tutelage of Guru Kalyan Sundaram Pillai. Her performances over the years both in India and the USA, have included several original works by her Guruji. In addition to her intensive study of Bharatha Natyam, Rifka's academic pursuit has led her to earn several degrees - an MBA from Kennesaw State University (KSU) in 1997; a Bachelor's in Law (LLB) in 1994 and a Bachelor's in Arts (BA) with a Political Science concentration in 1991; both from the University of Mumbai, India. Rifka currently serves as the Associate Director for Enterprise Systems and Services at KSU and is also an affiliated faculty in the Asian Studies Program.

    Highlights of Rifka's performances in USA:
    • Solo performance for Diversity Luncheon at KSU (2005)
    • AAHOA (Asian American Hotel Owners Association) annual convention (1999)
    • Solo performance for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (1999)
    • Solo performance for a special KSU event hosting all the Continuing Education Deans within the Board of Regents (1997)
    • US tour performances with the Raja Rajeshwari Dance School disciples from India, performing original dance dramas and thematic presentations of Vasanthavalli-Thirikuttrala Kuravanji and Jaya Jaya Sankara at 18 varied venues (1996)
    • Invited to perform at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics - Motorola Pavilion in the Olympic Village, for executives and guests during the World Games (Choreographed and trained 12 KSU students for these special 4 performances)
    • Solo performance for the welcome reception of the Swiss Consul General (1995); The unveiling of the Indian Saree at the High Museum (1995) with Guest of Honor Mrs. Meera Shankar, then Minister of Commerce from India, and now the Indian Ambassador to the USA in Washington, DC
    • An intense two and half-hour solo dance recital at the Stillwell Theater at KSU (1995)
    • Routine guest lectures/demonstrations for KSU classes on Diversity & Asian studies (1995 - Current)

    Rifka is the artistic director and choreographer for Tandav Themes Dance Academy, an Indian Classical Dance School of "Bharatha Natyam" in Atlanta, for young aspirants of the chiseled dance discipline. Through this school, Rifka imparts knowledge of this ancient art from in the pure Thanjavur style. As Choreographer & Artistic Director for Tandav Themes Dance Academy, some key performances with students include:
    • Rhythms of India (2009)
    • Who's Who Among Asian Americans, Leaders and Legends Awards (2009)
    • Asian American Heritage Foundation Gala (2009)  

  • Carolyn Crumpton Perry

    Prof. Carolyn Crumpton Perry (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    B.F.A. Dance, Brenau University Area of Emphasis: Ballet, Musical Theatre, Jazz
    Email: cperry33@kennesaw.edu

    Carolyn Crumpton Perry has been member of the adjunct dance faculty at Kennesaw State University since 2006. She teaches all levels of Ballet as well as Musical Theatre dance.

    Ms. Perry began her formal dance training in Wilmington, NC with the Wilmington Civic Ballet where she studied with many professional dancers from the North Carolina School of the Arts, Raleigh Dance Theatre, and most notably her mother, Annette Crumpton. She pursued dance in her collegiate years at Brenau University where she graduated summa cum laude in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Management and Dance Performance. She later returned to Brenau and received her certification in Dance Education for both public and private school systems.

    Ms. Perry moved to New York City immediately after graduation from Brenau to further her dance training and perform. While in New York, she was a manager of the Broadway Dance Center and performed with the New York Dance Ensemble's tour of the "Firebird." Her time in NYC gave her the opportunity to study ballet with legendary dance instructors, such as Finis Jhung, Madame Darvash, Nenette Charisse, and David Howard, to name a few. At that time, she also studied musical theatre, tap, and jazz with Chet Walker, Robert Tucker, Crystal Chapman, Germaine Goodson, Frank Hatchett, and Sheila Barker.

    Upon relocation back to Georgia, Ms. Perry danced for the Georgia Ballet Professional Company for eight years under the direction of Iris Hensley. At the Georgia Ballet she had the opportunity to perform many signature roles: Serenade as Dark Angel; Where the Wild Things as Dream Max; The Nutcracker- as Arabian Pas de Deux, Spanish, Waltz of the Flowers, Snow; Swan Lake as Neapolitan Variation, corps de ballet; Five Guys Named Moe as Pas de deux; Giselle as Friends, corps de ballet; and Carmen in corps de ballet.

    Ms. Perry's ballet performing repertoire also includes leading roles staged by marina Levasheva for the Bravo Dance Center: Paquita, Les Slyphides, Don Quixote, and Sleeping Beauty.

    In addition to ballet, Ms. Perry also performed for Bacchus Productions under the direction of Ginny King. With Bacchus, she danced for many industrial shows, and corporate events in the Atlanta area and other states. Most notably, she was one of sixteen featured dancers for the 75th Anniversary of the Fox Theatre.

    Ms. Perry discovered her true passion of teaching at the Bravo Dance Center with Director/Owner Janet Rowthorn. She has been teaching students of all ages and all styles in dance for eighteen years. Ms. Perry continues her position as Program Coordinator and Company Director for Bravo Dance Center. She has proudly conceived, directed and choreographed several outstanding children ballets for the students at Bravo such as: Dancing Happily Ever After (2011) Whimsical Wistful Wiz (2010) Bravo Backyardigans (2009) Peter Rabbit (2008) (2005) Angelina and the Four Seasons (2007)

    Ms. Perry's name is also often associated with winter guard programs, and Drum and Bugle corps in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. She spent many years training dancers and choreographing prestigious programs to perform across the country. She choreographed for the award-winning Pride of Cincinnati from 1999-2005. She worked with other programs such as Phantom Regiment, Bluecoats, and Cavaliers. In Marietta, she instructed dance and choreographed for Lassiter High School's band and winter guard program. In 2000-2001, Ms. Perry implemented the first, and only dance program for Harrison High School.

    Ms. Perry continues to share her love of dance and her expertise at Kennesaw State University, Bravo Dance Center, and now Mount Paran Christian School's Performing Arts department. 

  • Christine Welker

    Prof. Christine Welker (Part-Time Instructor of Dance)

    Areas of Emphasis: Ballet
    Email: cwelker1@kennesaw.edu


    Born in Sacramento California, Christine began her training with Barbara Crockettat the School for the Sacramento Ballet. She continued her training at the San Francisco Ballet School on full scholarship under the direction of Lola De Avila. There she studied exclusively with Larissa Skylanskya, Jocelyn Vollmar, and Jorge Esquivel.

    Christine has danced with the Sacramento Ballet, Ballet West (where she met husband and fellow Atlanta Ballet dancer John Welker), and the Atlanta Ballet. She danced with the Atlanta Ballet for 19 years as a principle dancer, after joining in 1995. Over the course of her career Christine danced many principal roles in the classical and neoclassical repertoire. Some memorable highlights include Juliet in Michael Pink's Romeo and Juliet, Odette in John Mcfall' s Swan Lake, Kitri in DonQuixote, Cio Cio San in Stanton Welch's Mada me Butterfly, the Summer Duet in James Kudelka's The Four Seasons, Mina in Michael P ink's Dracula, Lady Capulet in Jean Christophe Malliot's Romeo et Juliette, the principal woman in ChristopherWheeldon's Rush, Cinderella in Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, and the Waltz Girl in George Balanchine's Serenade. Several of the many original roles created for Christine include Sinfonietta Giacosa, The Rite of Spring, and John and I, all by acclaimed choreographer and Artistic Director of Scottish National Ballet, Christopher Hampson.

    Christine was highlighted in Atlanta Ballets widely praised collaborations with Big Boi of Outkast in Big, choreography by Lauri Stallings, and The Indigo Girls Project choreographed by Margo Sappington. In her first year with the Atlanta Ballet, Christine performed as part of the Cultural Olympiad during the 1996 Olympic Games. Along with touring internationally to South Korea, Mexico, and Scotland's Edinburgh Dance Festival, she has also had the honor of touring to London, England, performing the role of Wendy in John Mcfall's Peter Pan, as part of the year 2000 Millennium festivities.

    During the course of her career Christine has had the pleasure of working with many world renowned choreographers, including Wayne McGregor, Twyla Tharp, Lila York, Helen Pickett, Val Caniparoli, Julia Adam, Diane Coburn Bruning, Gina Patterson, Darrell Moultrie, Steven Mills, James Kudelka, Victor Quijada, and Juel Lane.

    Guest appearances include American Repertory Ensemble, Chamber Dance Project, New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Community Nutcracker, and the North Star Ballet.

    For six years, Christine served as mentor and codirector of the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education's Professtional Division Summer Intensive Program. She served as Rehearsal Assistant for Ohad Naharin's Minus 16, alongside Bhatsheva's Rachel Osborne and Danielle Agami, and with the Atlanta Ballet Fellowship Ensemble's production of Donald Mahler's Cinderella. In March of 2016 Christine accepted the position of Principal at Atlanta Ballet’s Powers Ferry Centre where she teaches and manages the satellite school. Christine began her STOTT Pilates training in February of 2015 and now teaches for Inspire Health in Atlanta.

    Currently, Christine enjoys living in Decatur with her husband John and their three year old son Lucas.

  • David Tatu

    Mr. David J Tatu Production Manager/Resident Lighting Designer

    B.F.A. in Technical Direction, UNCSA
    Email: dtatu@kennesaw.edu

    David J Tatu is the Production Manager and Resident Lighting Designer for the Department of Dance and teaches a course in Dance Production.

     

    After graduating from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a B.F.A. in Technical Direction, David spent a large part of his early career on the road with both Dance and Theater companies. He was the Master Carpenter for North Carolina Shakespeare Festival and spent over thirty weeks a year traveling with North Carolina Dance Theater for three seasons. With Ballet Metropolitan, he toured the Midwest, The Rocky Mountain States and as far north as Thunder Bay, Ontario. He has also toured Internationally from South Korea to London, England.

    He was the Director of Production and Lighting Director for Atlanta Ballet for over 15 years. A few of his original lighting design credits include:  Alice in Wonderland, Carmina Burana, Divertimento #15, Il Distratto, Intermezzo, Pastoral Dances, Rite of Spring, Troy Game, Coppelia, Prisma, La Bayadere Act II, Cinderella, Con Amore, Allegro Brilliante, Madame Butterfly, Nutcracker and most recently he created the lighting for John McFall’s final work with Atlanta Ballet: Sleeping Beauty. He has also designed for Ohio Ballet, Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet, Nevada Opera, Gwinnett Ballet and Robert LaFosse’s Dancers from New York and he is the Resident Lighting Designer for Dance Canvas.

     As the Production Stage Manager and assistant lighting designer with Ohio Ballet, he worked closely with Tony Award winning lighting designer, Thomas R. Skelton. During that time, he recreated Skelton’s work for two seasons at the Joyce and designed the lighting for Ohio Ballet’s In Full Swing, A Person and The Exiles.

    At KSU, David has created the lighting for a score of works. Some of his favorites: Rebuild, Alice, Winergy, Touchdown, Con Moto-Mosso, Derivative, Hyperkinetic and Table Manners 10.5. He has lit the Company at various festivals such as American Collage Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center and has Production Managed Department of Dance events around Atlanta.

     David has worked as a Facilities Manager, most recently for Atlanta Ballet, and a Project Manager and consultant for multiple construction projects and renovations of arts facilities. He is an LEED Accredited Professional, has project managed a LEED Gold certified renovation, worked on the KSU Department of Dance’s Phase Two expansion and the Third expansion of the dance studios located in Chastain Pointe. Currently, he is working on the team for the renovations to the Marietta Theater on the Marietta Campus.

    While at Kennesaw State University, David has joined the Crisis Coordinator program, is one of KSU’s first cadres of certified CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) instructors and achieved both Coined and Pinned status in the Crisis Coordinator program for his training and work in emergency preparedness. He is also a member of the Fulton County CERT program.

    Away from KSU, David is very active in his community as the neighborhood representative to the City of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit (NPU) and is a member of the Executive Committee for NPU-D where he has participated in planning workshops for the Atlanta Beltline project and Atlanta’s Comprehensive Development Plan.

  •  

    RobertRobert Jenkins (Technical Director)

    B.A. Theatre, University of West Georgia
    Email: rjenki25@kennesaw.edu

    Robert Jenkins joined the Department of Dance as the Technical Director of the Marietta Campus Theater in February of 2016, after years of serving as Master Electrician and Programmer during the Department’s annual Fall and Spring concerts. He has worked in production at numerous Atlanta venues for such performance groups as the Atlanta Ballet, the Alliance Theatre, Horizon Theatre Company, Theatrical Outfit, The Center for Puppetry Arts, and the Infinite Energy Center. He also has experience in corporate event and film lighting working with Magnum Companies and is a member of IATSE local #479.

  • Hannah Y

    Ms. Hannah Yarborough (Office Manager/Advisor)

    B.A. Dance, Kennesaw State University
    E-mail: hyarbor1@kennesaw.edu

    Hannah Yarborough graduated summa cum laude from Kennesaw State University in July 2016, earning a B.A. in dance with a concentration in modern. She is temporarily maintaining the role of office manager/advisor for Amanda George and is thrilled to be given the opportunity to be a part of KSU Dance a little while longer.

    Hannah started her dance training at the age of four in her hometown of Albany, Georgia. She performed in the regional dance company for twelve years. While in the company, she was cast in notable roles such as Clara and The Snow Queen in The Nutcracker and Wendy in Peter Pan. She also taught dance classes in her hometown for over five years. She continued her training at Darton State College’s dance program, dancing the “Bluebird” variation from Sleeping Beauty and performing other works in the company’s shows. While at Darton, she performed twice at the American College Dance Festival and choreographed an original work, Heart of A Rose, that was performed by dancers at the university. In addition, she worked in the Humanities Department as a student administrative assistant.

    In 2014, Hannah was accepted into Kennesaw State University’s dance program. During her time in the program, she was cast in several works in the KSU Dance Company, including Dr. Pulinkala’s Pyromania, Ido Tadmor’s Black Mourning, and Lisa Lock’s Table Manners 10.5., performed at the American College Dance Festival, Synergy, and the Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, and completed an administrative internship with Dance Canvas. In her senior year, Hannah’s senior capstone dance video project, Type Write, was selected for the senior spring concert and she was also awarded the 2016 Outstanding Senior Scholarship. Last summer, Hannah traveled to Israel with the KSU Dance Department on the pilot study abroad trip and worked with the renowned Batsheva Dance Company.

    Outside of KSU, Hannah enjoys participating and being a leader in her college ministry, Dwelling Place, and spending time with Jesus, her fiancé, family and friends.

 

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