Tennessee’s Best Summer Dance Program

Dance is a means of self-awareness and a fundamental form of communication as well as a performance art. Students of an age and readiness for the Governor’s School for the Arts are exposed to an intensive multifaceted program within a community of interdisciplinary arts professionals and aspirants – a stimulating environment which facilitates learning.

The Governor’s School Dance Experience

In addition to the technical benefits of an intensive dance program, the Governor’s School experience is intended to:

  • 1. Engage the imagination
  • 2. Encourage intellectual curiosity and creative thinking
  • 3. Improve self-discipline
  • 4. Enhance decision making particularly with regard to career choices

Governor’s School students learn that dance is inherent to our heritage and world and that of others around us. Students are encouraged to perceive, evaluate, and understand dance as a conveyor of culture. The program strives to integrate and enrich the balanced development of the whole person.

Selection Process

Applicants will participate in a two-hour dance class — including ballet and modern dance — as their audition. Girls should bring pink tights, pink ballet shoes, and point shoes. The modern section of the class will be in bare feet, so wear tights that can be adjusted for this part of the audition. Hair should be properly secured off the neck, preferably in a bun. No leg warmers, sweatshirts, or baggy plastic pants. Boys should bring white t-shirts, black tights, and appropriate dance shoes. Students must perform at an intermediate or advanced level, and must demonstrate a high level of sustained interest and involvement in dance. Please refer to the application for more specific criteria.

Dance Chair

Laurie Merriman

Laurie Merriman, Professor of Dance and Assistant Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University, earned her B.F.A. (double major) in Ballet & Modern Dance from Texas Christian University and her M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She began her professional training at The National Academy of Dance in Champaign as a young ballet dancer and eventually became a scholarship student with the Joffery Ballet School and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. Laurie’s dual respect and love for both ballet and contemporary dance has afforded her the opportunity to perform and learn the works of many great artists in the field such as Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Bebe Miller, Dwight Rhoden, Stephen Koester, Jose Limon, Doris Humphrey, Vaslav Nijinsky, Michel Fokine, Marius Petipa, Robert North, and Frederick Ashton (among many others).

Laurie has been the recipient of various grants and fellowships for her work in choreography, teaching, and research. Her choreographic work has been performed by the Columbus Dance Theatre, Interlochen Center for the Arts, the Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, the University of Minnesota at Duluth, and presented at the Southwest Regional Ballet Festival, the Harold Washington Library Theatre in Chicago, Illinois State University, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Winona State University, the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse, several American College Dance Festivals, and beyond. Since 1988, Laurie”s teaching focus at Illinois State University has been in the areas of ballet and modern dance technique, Improvisation, dance composition, and dance pedagogy. Laurie has also served as Artistic Director for Illinois State Dance Theatre for the past 20 years and remains teaching at the high school level for University High School in the area of dance.

She has served on the National Board of the American College Dance Festival, Illinois State Board of Education Dance Content Advisory Committee, adjudicator for the Springfield Area Arts Council, panelist for a variety of learning symposiums in the arts and in general education, ballet mistress for Twin Cities Ballet, Executive Director of Illinois Summer School for the Arts, Chair of the Illinois Dance Association, adjudicator for Beloit College, panelist for the Illinois Arts Council Artist-In-Residency program, and the Dance Chair for Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.


Ethan Hollinger

Dance Production Coordinator

Ethan Hollinger is excited to be joining the staff at the Tennessee Governor's School of the Arts as the Dance

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Ethan Hollinger

Dance Production Coordinator

Ethan Hollinger is excited to be joining the staff at the Tennessee Governor's School of the Arts as the Dance Production Coordinator. An avid writer, artist, and musician, Ethan can usually be found hard at work with popcorn nearby. He has designed lighting, sound, and media across the country, but is excited to return to a state where he can finally get sweet tea again. He is delighted to continue collaborating with choreographers, dancers, and designers. He is currently the Assistant Professor of Lighting, Sound, and Media at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. ethanjhollinger.com

Billy Ditty

Dance Costumer

Billy Ditty – Costume Design.  Hailing from the coal country of eastern Kentucky , Billy studied Costume Design and Theatre at Morehead

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Billy Ditty

Dance Costumer

Billy Ditty – Costume Design.  Hailing from the coal country of eastern Kentucky , Billy studied Costume Design and Theatre at Morehead State University. Since then he has sewn and performed his way across the south and the country. Here in Nashville  he has had the pleasure of working on many different  types of projects from film to musical theatre to the Nashville Ballet where he is in his 4th. Season  as the draper and a designer.

Gregory T. Merriman

Dance Faculty

Gregory T. Merriman is a 1983 graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Classical

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Gregory T. Merriman

Dance Faculty

Gregory T. Merriman is a 1983 graduate of Texas Christian University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Classical Ballet performance.Of the many he has studied with, Fernando Shaffenburg, Claire Duncan, Clara Cravey, Bill Martin-Viscount and Maria Grandy have been the most influential. Gregory began his early dancing career in 1977 with the Houston Allegro Ballet under the direction of Emma Mae Horn and Glenda Brown.

He was a scholarship student under the direction of Ben Stevenson at the Houston Ballet Academy and later became an apprentice to the Houston Ballet Company.Offered the Brown and Nordan Scholarships at TCU, Gregory joined the Fort Worth Ballet, dancing many of the classics as a frequent partner to Karen Schaffenburg. He was also a principle dancer with the Fort Worth Opera Ballet, under the direction of Marina Svetlova and a regular guest artist with regional companies throughout the Southwest.

Donna Carver

Dance Faculty

Donna Carver began her first stage appearance at the age of 4 performing in a stage production of “Pinocchio” in

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Donna Carver

Dance Faculty

Donna Carver began her first stage appearance at the age of 4 performing in a stage production of “Pinocchio” in her hometown of Tampa, Florida. Her formal dance training began at the age of 7 and she proceeded to dance with two civic ballet companies during her student years training under Alpheus Koon of American Ballet Theater and Gerald Pascual of the Chicago Lyric Opera. She went to New York City to train under such ballet luminaries as Vladimir Dokoudovsky at the Ballet Arts School, Maria Nevelska and Vladimir Konstantinov at Carnegie Hall Studios, Anatole Vilzak at the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and David Howard at the David Howard School of Ballet. She also trained in Toronto at the National Ballet School (now School of the National Ballet of Canada) with school Principal Betty Oliphant (who was also a guest teacher at the Bolshoi Ballet) and Margaret Saul.

While performing professionally with the Florida Ballet Company, she trained with Jean Spear and the great Frederic Franklin. She passed examinations of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London, England – Cecchetti Method. In Nashville, Ms. Carver founded Tennessee Dance Theater and was its Artistic Director and resident choreographer before it became the famous modern company. Tennessee Dance Theater presented the first full-length ballet ever presented in the city when it premiered its production of “Giselle” in 1989, and sponsored the first ever showcase of local choreographers during its annual Choreographer’s Showcases. Tennessee Dance Theater paved the way for other professional dance companies in the city including Nashville City Ballet, which is now known as Nashville Ballet. She also served as the Secretary and Teacher Representative to the Board of Directors for Tennessee Association of Dance as well as a judge for several talent and dance competitions in and around the city. She taught ballet technique classes in several local dance studios including Vanderbilt University, Tennessee Fine Arts Center at Cheekwood, Nashville Ballet and The Dance Center a school she owned and operated. She also worked as a Musical Theater Director for Circle Players (the oldest community-based theatre company in Middle Tennessee) for such musicals presented at TPAC as “Brigadoon”, “Camelot” and “Hello, Dolly”.

Perhaps her biggest contribution to the dance community was the creation of The Ballet Book Student Workbooks, a student workbook series that Ms. Carver spent over ten years researching, compiling and writing. The series is designed for a program of written study for the ballet student. These workbooks have been used as textbooks in public, Magnet, and Performing Arts High Schools, private schools, boarding schools, community colleges, universities and ballet schools around the country. Continuing to share her knowledge with dance students at GSFTA since 2013, she is very excited to be joining the faculty again this year.

Daniel Karasik

Dance Faculty

Daniel Karasik grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Through experiencing a multitude of different types of cultural and artistic experiences,

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Daniel Karasik

Dance Faculty

Daniel Karasik grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Through experiencing a multitude of different types of cultural and artistic experiences, Karasik developed a profound appreciation for individual and collaborative art-forms at an early age. At 17, he began his formal training in dance –– his thorough characterizations and sensitivity as a partner led him to study on scholarship at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York, the Nutmeg Conservatory and the School of Ballet Florida.

In 2007, Daniel graduated from Point Park University, where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. He has danced professionally in Pittsburgh, with the Georgia Ballet and the Dayton Ballet.

As a dancer, Karasik has most enjoyed roles in George Balanchineʼs Serenade, Karen Russo-Burkeʼs and Dermot Burkeʼs The Nutcracker, Agnes DeMilleʼs Rodeo, Christopher Flemmingʼs The Whoʼs Tommy, Steven Millsʼ Five Flights Up, Stuart Sebastianʼs Dracula and Susan Stromanʼs CONTACT.

Currently, Karasik is the Artistic Director of the Morgantown Ballet Company and works as ballet faculty at Morgantown Dance School and Point Park Universityʼs Conservatory for the Performing Arts; he also teaches and choreographs for the universityʼs International Summer Dance program. He is a frequent guest teacher in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and has taught for American College Dance Festival and the National High School Dance Festival.

Karasikʼs choreography, la Carte du Tendre, was sent to the American College Dance Festival in Boston, MA, and chosen for the Gala. He has collaborated with the Duquesne Contemporary String Ensemble to create a work entitled Orpheus. In 2011, Karasik set Cha, dʼAmour for Dayton Ballet's annual Nutcracker Ball, and was one of three choreographers chosen from a national search to choreograph for the Dayton Ballet's final performance of their season. That work, Fixed Action, was awarded the People’s Choice Award.

In 2011, Karasik premiered the Dayton Arts Project, a company that seamlessly integrated art forms, such as choreography, dance, film, installation art, new and live music, and mixed media in exhibition.

Having more than 40 commissioned works, Karasik’s choreography has been reviewed as “grace and beauty personified,” having “intellectual glamor” and being “a wonderfully effective series of dance essays.” Most recently his work Volumes, was presented in a show named on of “seven Transportive Dance Programs of 2016.” He has produced works for Bodiography Contemporary Ballet, Dayton Arts Project, Dayton Ballet, Morgantown Ballet Company, Dance Conservatory of Pittsburgh, Point Park University, West Virginia State Dance Festival and West Virginia University.

General McArthur Hambrick

Theatre - Dance Faculty

General McArthur Hambrick is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University, with a

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General McArthur Hambrick

Theatre - Dance Faculty

General McArthur Hambrick is a native of Fort Worth, Texas. He is a graduate of Texas Christian University, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance. He received his Masters Degree in Dance from the University of Washington where he danced with the Chamber Dance Company. Professor Hambrick studied at American Ballet Theatre, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre School. He was a soloist with the Fort Worth Ballet, Hartford Ballet, and Dancers Unlimited in Dallas Texas. He was a member of Minnesota Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, under the artistic direction of Lise Houlton, where he was awarded the 1999 McKnight Fellowship for his achievements in the dance community. He was also the recipient of the 2001 Natalie Skelton Achievement Award and the 2001 Wyoming Arts Council’s Performing Arts Fellowship. His musical theatre credits include both the Broadway and National touring companies of Cats, Miss Saigon, and Phantom of the Opera. General also toured with the 25th Anniversary Tour of A Chorus Line. Some of his regional credits include Swing, Once On This Island, Jesus Christ Superstar, The King and I and many others. He appeared as guest vocalist along with Della Reese on the PBS special; With Ozzie and Ruby: Off-Broadway he appeared in the revival of Martha Clarke’s critically acclaimed, Garden of Earthly Delights. Professor Hambrick served as director and choreographer of the former Centennial Singers, a musical theatre touring group, from the University of Wyoming. He is the founder and director of the Joyful Noise Choral Ensemble of Fort Worth, Texas. He is currently associate professor of dance at West Virginia University

 

 

 

 

Shabaz Ujima

Dance - Faculty

Shabaz Ujima , formerly Hershel Deondre Horner, first studied dance at Nashville School of the Arts and Nashville Ballet. He

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Shabaz Ujima

Dance - Faculty

Shabaz Ujima , formerly Hershel Deondre Horner, first studied dance at Nashville School of the Arts and Nashville Ballet. He continued his training at New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. Shabaz had the the delight to dance with Nashville Ballet’s Second Company, Graham II, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, and the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. Mr. Ujima has performed works by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, Donald McKayle, Milton Myers, Matt Maddox, Susanna Linke, Jose Limon and Paul Vasterling, Ronen Koresh, Ray Mercer, and Christopher Huggins. Upon his professional dance retirement in 2014 he has explored the world of choreography and created works on the Franklin School of the Performing Arts, the School of Nashville Ballet and Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble. He choreographed Carly Simon’s Opera “Romulus Hunt” (Nashville Opera) as well the musicals Hairspray (Martin Luther King High School) and The Wiz (Fisk University) and was chosen to be on the Nashville Ballet’s 2017 Emergence Program. He now teaches Graham based Modern and Contemporary dance full-time at The School of Nashville Ballet and adjunct at Belmont University. He also serves as a teaching artist for Nashville Ballet and the Global Education Center, where he teaches yoga in the juvenile detention center. “I GIVE because I have been given so much.”

Katie Smythe

Dance - Teacher of the Year

After a 17-year career as a professional dancer and arts educator, Katie Smythe returned to her native Memphis with a

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Katie Smythe

Dance - Teacher of the Year

After a 17-year career as a professional dancer and arts educator, Katie Smythe returned to her native Memphis with a vision in mind. Smythe saw a need for a community dance program offering a high standard of dance training for children from every corner of the city, regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or ability to pay. She founded New Ballet Ensemble & School based on that mission in 2002.

Under Smythe’s leadership, NBES has continued to broaden its mission, expanding community engagement and reaching more children. In 2009, NBES entered a partnership with the community of Orange Mound, creating an after-school dance program in Dunbar Elementary School. The residency has brought a number of talented young dancers into the NBE program, and it continues today. In November of 2014, Smythe and NBES student Briana Brown accepted the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program award from Michelle Obama at the White House, on behalf of NBES and its after-school residency in Orange Mound. As NBES continues to expand its residencies in schools, these programs will continue to reach even more Memphis youth with dance, mentoring, and access to family resources.

Thanks to Katie Smythe’s vision and initiative, New Ballet Ensemble & School has become known for its collaborations with a wide range of organizations to achieve the goals of access, equity, excellence, and professionalism - the principles on which NBES was founded.

https://youtu.be/9W-KZps61z8

 

Jennifer Ross-Craze
Dance - Guest Faculty

Jennifer’s yoga path began in 2000 with her mentor Johnny Johns at Murfreesboro’s first yoga studio.  She completed a 13

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Jennifer Ross-Craze

Dance - Guest Faculty

Jennifer’s yoga path began in 2000 with her mentor Johnny Johns at Murfreesboro’s first yoga studio.  She completed a 13 month 1,000 hours yoga teacher training program at the Southern Institute for Yoga Instructors with Betty Larsen and John Charping.  She is registered with Yoga Alliance at the highest level as an E-RYT® 500 (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500 level) and maintains registry through continuing education by attending teacher trainings and workshops.  This is the highest level recognized in the discipline of yoga.  She has over 2,000 hours of yoga training (2001 to present), including a 300-hour Foundations of Yoga Therapy Program and 25 hours of Ayurveda training.

Jennifer has been teaching yoga full-time at MTSU for 15 years, instructing almost 6,000 hours and over 5,000 students.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, a Master’s Degree in Health and Physical Education, a Specialist in Education Degree and has completed all her coursework towards a Doctorate Degree in Administration and Supervision in Higher Education (currently working on her dissertation). She was acknowledged as a person at MTSU who makes a real difference in students’ lives and contributes to their success for years 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015.   She has consistently impressive student evaluations ranging from 4.6 to 4.9 (out of 5.0) for 15 years.  Jennifer created and implemented the curriculum for Beginning Yoga, Intermediate Yoga, and Advanced Yoga at MTSU.  She also co-created the Somatic Movement Education minor in the Health and Human Performance Department along with the Somatic Movement class.  In addition, she has taught in Murfreesboro’s local community for 16 years at various studios and venues.

Her teaching is a fusion of yoga styles, incorporating the alignment principles from the Iyengar tradition to the fluidity of Vinyasa with sprinklings of a modified Ashtanga method.  Jennifer’s intentions for teaching are to cultivate an atmosphere for exploration and many opportunities for growth; empowering students to become the best version of themselves on and off the yoga mat.  Her goal is to share the gift of yoga and make it accessible to everyone!

Lindsay McNeal Ison
Dance - Guest Faculty

Lindsay McNeal Ison, PT, MS, OCS, is a physical therapist at Susan Underwood Physical Therapy in Nashville, TN, the official

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Lindsay McNeal Ison

Dance - Guest Faculty

Lindsay McNeal Ison, PT, MS, OCS, is a physical therapist at Susan Underwood Physical Therapy in Nashville, TN, the official physical therapy provider to Nashville Ballet. She is a Board Certified Clinical Specialist in Orthopaedics. Ms. Ison is an adjunct faculty member at Belmont University School of Physical Therapy. She also collaborates with numerous dance schools and programs in Middle Tennessee to provide injury prevention seminars and health education.    

Keith Fitzpatrick
Dance - Guest Faculty

Keith Fitzpatrick was born in Nashville, TN. A self taught dancer, he has choreographed for the Dove Awards, and the

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Keith Fitzpatrick

Dance - Guest Faculty

Keith Fitzpatrick was born in Nashville, TN. A self taught dancer, he has choreographed for the Dove Awards, and the CMT awards. He has also been featured in several TV spots for Toyota, WSIX, and a pilot episode of a television show. He has also taught several workshops across the country, including Dancers Rock, TAD, and Dancemasters, and is currently teaching Hip-Hop for Vanderbilt University, Austin Peay University, and several Top dance studios in the Nashville, TN area.

Keith is also a talented music producer, working with hip-hop and R&B acts in a joint venture with Skyline Music Group in Nashville, TN. With a dance style that has an urban edge, with a lyrical twist, Keith is fast becoming a very sought after and respected choreographer and dancer.

Margaret Brooker
Dance – Guest Artist

Meg Brooker is a Tennessee-based Isadora Duncan dance artist, Co-Director of the Duncan Dance Project, and an Assistant Professor of

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Margaret Brooker

Dance – Guest Artist

Meg Brooker is a Tennessee-based Isadora Duncan dance artist, Co-Director of the Duncan Dance Project, and an Assistant Professor of Dance at Middle Tennessee State University. As a Duncan dancer, Meg has performed in national and international venues including the The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Museum, Harvard University’s Center for Hellenic Studies, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, the Art Monastery (Italy), Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art (St. Petersburg), American Center of Moscow, PROJEKT Fabrika (Moscow), the Tchaikovsky Museum (Votkinsk), the ancient Greek ruins at Chersonesos (Crimea), and the Kalamata International Dance Festival (as a guest artist with the Isadora Duncan Dance Group London/Paris), among others. Meg is currently directing the Duncan portion of Shay Ishii Dance Company’s project Dancestry, recognized in 2015 as “Best of the Arts in Austin” by the Austin-American Statesman, and featuring masterworks by modern dance pioneers Loïe Fuller, Isadora Duncan, and Erick Hawkins, in collaboration with Lindberg/Slayter Reconstructions and Katherine Duke/Erick Hawkins Dance Company. Meg is a founder and steering committee member of the Isadora Duncan International Symposium, holding its third biennial conference at ODC in San Francisco in August 2017, and a former member of Lori Belilove & Company, Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, New York. 

As an educator, Meg has taught master classes and staged Duncan work for dance programs at a range of institutions including The University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University, the Anglo American School of Moscow, Middle Tennessee State University, and numerous performing arts high schools and pre-professional training programs. In addition to her work at the college and university level, Meg has taught on the faculties of The School at Steps on Broadway, Tapestry Dance Academy, the Isadora Duncan Dance Foundation, and the Noyes School of Rhythm Foundation, where her work as Archive Director was recently supported by a National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance grant. She also holds certification in Zena Rommett Floor-barre technique.

Meg has presented scholarship on Isadora Duncan and Florence Fleming Noyes for Society of Dance History Scholars, Congress on Research in Dance, and National Dance Educators Organization, blogged about early twentieth century dance at “Tunics in Texas,” and contributed as a writer to Dance Studio Life magazine. Meg holds an MFA from The University of Texas at Austin and a BA from Yale. www.megbrookerdance.com

 

Gerald Watson
Dance - Guest Artist

Gerald Watson began his formal dance training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School and

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Gerald Watson

Dance - Guest Artist

Gerald Watson began his formal dance training at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School and the Academy of Ballet Arts in St. Petersburg, Fla. Upon graduating high school, he continued his studies at the Boston Conservatory and graduated in 2012 with a BFA in Contemporary Dance. While at the Conservatory, Watson performed works by Jose Limon, Ohad Naharin, David Lichine, Kathy Posin, Parren Ballard and Danielle Agami. He has also been a guest artist with Commonwealth Ballet Company, BalletRox Urban Nutcracker and The Diva Day Foundation, as well as creating his own works for the Juventas Music Group and Berklee College of Music. Watson also attended multiple summer programs on scholarship, including Boston Conservatory Summer Dance, Alonzo King Lines Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Nashville Ballet, Bates Dance Festival and the Academy of Ballet Arts. In 2012, Watson joined Nashville Ballet’s second company, NB2, and has performed works by Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling, Banning Bouldin, Christopher Stuart, Bat Abbit and James Sewell. Watson became a Nashville Ballet apprentice in 2014,  and was promoted to company member in 2016. He is currently on faculty with School of Nashville Ballet's Children's Program and the new Young Men's Scholarship Program, which he helped create. Outside of the studio, Watson is a budding chef and musician and works a variety of odd jobs as an HVAC technician and painter. He is also a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the largest music fraternity in the world.

 

 

Rebekah Hampton Barger
Dance - Guest Faculty

Rebekah Hampton Barger discovered aerial dance in 2006 while working as a company member & choreographer with Perpetual Motion

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Rebekah Hampton Barger

Dance - Guest Faculty

Rebekah Hampton Barger discovered aerial dance in 2006 while working as a company member & choreographer with Perpetual Motion Dance in Oklahoma City, OK, where she was also a guest performer & faculty instructor with the Oklahoma City Ballet. Upon arriving in Nashville in 2010, she founded FALL, Nashville's first aerial performance collective & only aerial & contemporary dance company. Rebekah has 10 years experience teaching aerial fabric, & 25 years experience teaching dance in all styles & levels. Her training includes instruction from renowned aerialists Fred Deb, Elsie & Serenity Smith, Molly Graves, Thérèse Keegan, Kim Kieffer, & more.

In addition to directing FALL, Rebekah is the ballet program director at Ann Carroll School of Dance, a guest instructor for New Dialect’s Contemporary Cross-Training Series & the Governor's School, an alumni of the Periscope Artist Entrepreneur Program & recently completed a 5 year artist residency with abrasiveMedia.  

 

 

 

Martin O’Connor
Fine Art Photographer

Dance and Fine Art Photographer. 

Martin O’Connor is a native Nashvillian whose photography began as a special interest then evolved into

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Martin O’Connor

Fine Art Photographer

Dance and Fine Art Photographer. 

Martin O’Connor is a native Nashvillian whose photography began as a special interest then evolved into a full-time profession. Many of his photos grace the pages of state dance organization’s brochures, and the publicity materials of Nashville Ballet, Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville, Franklin School of Performing Arts, University School of Nashville, Vanderbilt University Dance, Middle Tennessee State University dance and theatre, Governor’s School of the Arts, and Tennessee Dance Theatre. Additional organizations displaying his work include Baptist Hospital, Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Tennessee Oncology, and The Renaissance Center. Martin has been a fervent advocate of the art of dance for many years.

In 2008, he received the Dance Advocate Award from the Tennessee Association of Dance. When presenting this award, they noted that “… his stunning images illustrate both his passion for the art form and the beauty of the art. His eye for detail and compassionate spirit make him a popular photographer for dancers to work with.” Beginning in 2012, Martin was invited to work with the Dance Division of the Governor’s School of the Arts. He is delighted to return to MTSU this summer to photograph a new group of talented young artists. Each photo opportunity that presents itself allows him to continue his search to capture the peak of motion and the essence of line and form. www.martinoconnorphoto.com  

Todd London
Dance - Dance Accompanist

Todd London.  As a faculty member at Belmont University School of Music, Todd London teaches applied percussion, ethnic percussion, commercial

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Todd London

Dance - Dance Accompanist

Todd London.  As a faculty member at Belmont University School of Music, Todd London teaches applied percussion, ethnic percussion, commercial percussion seminars, and directs the Belmont World Percussion Ensemble. Todd holds the Master of Music degree from the University of Georgia with a major in Percussion Performance, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Belmont University with a major in Commercial Music Performance. As a performer, Mr. London maintains a busy schedule and has most recently been performing with the Todd London Trio, Belmont Faculty Jazz Group, Coral Bay Steel Drum Band, Deep Grooves Steel Drum Band, The Time Raiders, Matrix Percussion Trio, Nashville Praise Symphony, and Alabama Symphony.

As a composer, Todd has written music for such shows as Guiding Light and As The World Turns and has received recognition for contributions to the Guiding Light’s Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and Composition for a Drama Series on numerous occasions. He has also composed the music for two children’s ballets commissioned by the Nashville Ballet, The Singing Tortoise and The Emperor and The Nightingale.  Mr. London currently resides in Murfreesboro, Tennessee with his wife and four beautiful daughters.

Michael Min
Dance – Ballet Accompanist

A native of South Korea, Michael Min is recognized as a soloist, choir director, ensemble musician, and concerto soloist.

His honors

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Michael Min

Dance – Ballet Accompanist

A native of South Korea, Michael Min is recognized as a soloist, choir director, ensemble musician, and concerto soloist.

His honors include Grand prize in the Seoul National Symphony Orchestra Competition and the second prize in the Music Education Newspaper Company in Seoul, Korea. He was also a prize winner in the Venusto Music Competition supported by the Mayor of Seoul, Korea.

As a faculty member (staff pianist) at Middle Tennessee State University, Michael Min assists Class Piano under Dr. Adam Clark, and Class Voice under Dr. Joshua Zink. He also actively performs with the MTSU Wind Ensemble as a keyboardist under Dr. Reed Thomas.

He holds his Masters of Music degree in Performance from Middle Tennessee State University, and his Bachelor of Arts degree from Sahm-Yook University in Seoul, Korea. He has studied with Sook-Jin Lee, Joo-Soon Lee, Dr. Eunbyol Ko, and Dr. Adam Clark.

Allison Blumenthal
Dance – Ballet Accompanist

Allison Blumenthal, native of Rochester, New York, is an active collaborative pianist in the middle Tennessee region and an adjunct

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Allison Blumenthal

Dance – Ballet Accompanist

Allison Blumenthal, native of Rochester, New York, is an active collaborative pianist in the middle Tennessee region and an adjunct faculty member of Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Music. She holds a bachelor's in Piano Performance from the State University of New York at Fredonia, a masters in Collaborative Piano from Louisiana State University and is certified to teach K-12 Vocal Music in both Louisiana and Tennessee.

Allison has been teaching piano since 2004, vocal coaching since 2014, and taught elementary general music in both Baton Rouge, LA and Murfreesboro, TN. She currently holds a music teaching position at the Murfreesboro Academy of Music with elementary-aged voice students and piano students of all ages.

Ms. Blumenthal maintains an active performance schedule collaborating on collegiate voice and instrumental recitals, visiting performance artist recitals, local studio recitals, musical theater productions, choral rehearsals and concerts, competitions, auditions, recording sessions and academic performances. She currently resides in Murfreesboro, TN with her wonderful husband and their house full of cats.

Abigail Anderson

Dance - Counselor

Abigail Anderson is from Elizabethton, TN and is an alumna of the 2016 Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts -

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Abigail Anderson

Dance - Counselor

Abigail Anderson is from Elizabethton, TN and is an alumna of the 2016 Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts - Dance Division. Starting from the age of four, she has had a love for dance, especially ballet. She began dancing with a studio when she was eight years old where she studied the technique of a variety of dance styles. Along with her passion for ballet, she thoroughly enjoys musical theater.

 Abigail is currently working towards a B.F.A in dance and an Elementary Education degree at Radford University. With completing her first year at Radford, she has been able to participate in productions such as Fall Dance Fest, Student choreography shows,  The Nutcracker, and Paradigm Shift. She is very excited to assist students as they grow in their passion for dance this summer. 

Meyer Blaine Maddox

Dance Counselor

Meyer Blaine Maddox is from Dresden, Tennessee and is an alumna of the 2016 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts-

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Meyer Blaine Maddox

Dance Counselor

Meyer Blaine Maddox is from Dresden, Tennessee and is an alumna of the 2016 Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts- Dance Division. She began her dance career at Martin Dance Studio before training at the Pat Brown School of Dance and performing with the pre-professional company Ballet Arts of Jackson for eight years. While dancing with Ballet Arts, Meyer Blaine performed a variety of roles in numerous ballets including The Nutcracker, Alice in Wonderland, and Coppelia. She also attended summer programs with Cincinnati Ballet and San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in Neuroscience with a double minor in English and Education at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and is a Senior Performing Member of the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet.

 

Dance

Dance

Governor’s School students learn that dance is inherent to our heritage and world and that of others around us. Students are encouraged to perceive, evaluate, and understand dance as a conveyor of culture.

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Filmmaking

Filmmaking

Filmmaking students are introduced to both the theory and technical aspects of filmmaking. Through lectures, films and hand-on experiences, students will learn the three aspects of filmmaking: pre-production, production, and post-production.

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Instrumental Program

Instrumental Program

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

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Vocal Music

Vocal Music

The School for the Arts provides educational instruction for students skilled in strings, wind ensemble, piano, and both choral and opera technique..

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Theatre

Theatre

The theater school is a program of dedicated and focused study in all areas of theatrical studies, with an emphasis on the process of creating live theatre.

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Visual Art

Visual Art

Visual Arts students learn human understanding, achievement and self-development through the study and practice of visual art.

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