Home » About the Program » Instructors

Instructors

Kelvin Amburgey MFA – Modern and Jazz/Vanderbilt Dance Program Coordinator -has his undergraduate degree in Theatre from Morehead State University in Kentucky, and his Master of Fine Arts degree in Choreography from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Kelvin has performed professionally as an Actor/Singer/Dancer in Theatre and Dance Companies across the United States ranging from the Pennsylvania Opera Theatre, and Unto These Hills to appearances on One Tree Hill on the CW and commercials for CMT. He spent several years with the Tennessee Dance Theatre and has performed with several local companies in dance and theatre. He has over 100 choreographed works in Modern and Jazz produced on stages across the US. Kelvin has taught Dance and Theatre for the past 25 years in various studios, colleges and universities as well as aesthetic education with the Nashville Institute for the Arts, Wolftrap Early education through the Arts and other Arts institutions.. He has taught all levels of jazz dance, modern, improvisation, and musical theatre dance at Vanderbilt University since 1993.

Danny Baye – Ballroom,Swing, and Latin Styles- in 1985, Danny started dancing and teaching at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio.  In 1987, he moved to Nashville to teach at a studio here, and went on to partner in (own) two dance studios, before he and his wife opened Dance World in 2002.Dance World is the largest ballroom studio–facility and teacher-wise–in the southeast.  Baye believes in teaching the full spectrum of ballroom dance as well as engaging in both social and competition, via group classes in Vanderbilt Dance Program as well as private lessons.

Brent Coleman – Yoga Bio Pending

Monica Cooley – Bharatanatyam- is a respected performer and teacher of Bharatanatyam, the classical dance style of southern India. Professionally trained in Madras, India by the renowned dancers, Narasimhachari and Vasanthalakshmi, Ms. Cooley has performed extensively in the United States and India. Her academic background in South Asian Studies, combined with years of personal experience living in Asia make her uniquely suited as an interpreter of Indian classical dance and culture for Western audiences. Since 1992, she has taught Bharatanatyam at her institution, Kala Nivedanam, a school of South Indian dance and music in Nashville. She has also been an instructor for the Vanderbilt Dance Program since 1995 and serves periodically as visiting professor for the Department of Dance at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.

Matthew Christensen Ballet- Bio-pending

Missy Dray – Rhythmic Tap, Jazz -  Missy Dray is a Kansas native, and has been a choreographer and dance educator for the past 13 years. After graduating Magna Cum Laude from Oklahoma City University with a BS in Dance Management in ’02, she danced and choreographed for the Belleforte Dance Company in Oklahoma City and spent four years as a main instructor and choreographer for Top Hat Talent performing arts studio. She traveled extensively through the Midwest doing choreography and master classes for many highly competitive studios in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. She was also a guest lecturer at Southwest Oklahoma State University twice while still in college on teaching methods. Since moving to Nashville in 2007she has done guest work at several studios and taught a semester in the Commercial Entertainment Department at Columbia State Community College. Her choreography has been performed by the backup dancers of Christian recording artist Troma on her “LOTV” project which has performed at several large events including the True Love Waits conference, and by recording artist Traci Snowe at her opening for Sean Kingston in San Diego. She choreographed and performed in Angel Taylor’s music video “Like You Do” which was in circulation on VH1, and for a flash mob music video for Josh Turner’s “Why Don’t We Just Dance” which has been featured on the CMT website and on the new Juliana Cole music video “Plain Jane”. She danced with Nashville’s Found Movement Group, and judges Regional and National dance competitions across the country.

Nomalanga Eniafe – West African Dance/ Fitness- Nomalanga teaches movements based upon traditional African dance forms. Her style and class regime is designed to bring forth new life and new energy through the power of rhythm and dance. Her students develop a new consciousness about themselves and traditional African culture. Nomalanga has traveled to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky to teach and perform her art.

Reischa Feuerbacher – Belly Dance- is an experienced Belly Dance Performer and Instructor focused on both traditional and modern fusion styles. She has been a dancer and choreographer for world fusion group Labyrinthe since 1999, and later founded The Labyrinthe Belly Dance Company. She has studied Middle Eastern with accomplished Arabic musicians and dancers such as Laylia White, Aziza and Suhaila Salimpour. Reischa received her degree in Theater Performance from MTSU, where she also served as choreographer for the university’s production of Tales of Arabian Nights. Her solo performances include festivals, Arabic weddings, and restaurants. She is also teaching at places such as La Colmena Dance Studio and Centennial Arts Center.

Stephanie Hamilton – Tap- teaches dance and choreographs at Vanderbilt University, Harpeth Hall School and Montgomery Bell Academy. Locally, she also has taught dance at Columbia State Community College, Metro Parks and St. Cecilia Academy, as well as serving on the board of the Tennessee Association of Dance. Previously, she performed professionally as a member of Actors’ Equity Association, and as a featured dancer for several regional theatre and ballet companies. Originally from Memphis, where she worked in dance, theatre, opera and TV, she is an award-winning choreographer and performer, having been on the boards or behind the scenes in too many musicals and concerts to count.

Erin Law – Modern, Improvisation- Bio Pending

Jen Jen Lin - Modern- holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, IL. While in Taiwan, she was the artistic director and choreographer for the Lan-Yang Chinese Folklore Performing Dance Company, the group toured internationally extensively. In the U.S., she danced full-time in a modern dance company (Jan Erkert & Dancers) in Chicago, taught dance full-time at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and was an assistant professor of dance at the Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Her modern dance composition won the “Boston Moves” competition and presented in Majestic Theater in Boston. In Nashville she founded Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville (CAAN), a not for profit performing arts organization and was the choreographer and the artistic director for several dance productions produced by CAAN. Ms. Lin also collaborated with Vanderbilt Blair School of Music presenting modern dances: “Snow Lotus” &“Qu Yuan.” ”Snow Lotus” was played live by Vanderbilt Wood Symphony, and music for “Qu Yuan” was played live by Vanderbilt Blakemore Trio. In 2012, Ms. Lin choreographed “Dragon Tales” dance theater production at the Ingram Hall, Vanderbilt Blair School of Music, and “Qi,” a site specific modern dance project for the Shelby Park 100 Years Anniversary Celebration. She is Carell Artist in Residency for the Harpeth Hall School in the Spring 2013.

Jennifer McNamaraPilates, Ballet and Pointe- Jennifer’s early training in her hometown of Syracuse, NY was at the Center of Ballet and Dance Arts, with further education in summer programs at the School of Cleveland Ballet and the School of Richmond Ballet. She spent two years as a member of the company in Richmond, and then joined Ballet Idaho/Eugene Ballet, where she danced for ten years, creating many roles in director Toni Pimble’s works. From 2001-2007, Jennifer was a principal dancer with Nashville Ballet and a member of the faculty of the school, teaching ballet and pointe technique as well as pilates. She has also taught numerous master classes and workshops. Currently, Jennifer performs with Stillpoint Dance Theater and Vanderbilt Dance Theatre, and teaches at the Ensworth School of Dance. She is also a certified pilates instructor and teacher trainer for Balanced Body University, through Simply Pilates in Nashville. Jennifer was the recipient of the 2005 Individual Artist Fellowship in Dance from the Tennessee Arts Commission, and has twice been nominated for an outstanding teacher award at the Governor’s School for the Arts.

Banning BouldinModern-

a Nashville native, began her dance training at the School of Nashville Ballet. In 1998 she was accepted early admission and on scholarship to the Juilliard School under the direction of the late Benjamin Harkarvy. Directly upon graduating with a BFA in 2002, she joined Hubbard Street 2. Banning has since gone on to work internationally with some of the world’s most renowned contemporary dancers, choreographers, and companies: Lar Lubovich Dance Company, Buglisi/Foreman Dance, The Cullberg Ballet of Sweden, Mats Ek, Johan Inger, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Alexander Ekman, and Wen Wei Wang, to name a few. She was a soloist, master teacher, and rehearsal assistant during her tenure with Aszure Barton and Artists from 2003-2010. In 2007 she began developing and teaching her own syllabus in Paris at the Theatre de la Danse and Studio Harmonic. That same year she joined Rumpus Room Dance, based in Portland, Oregon and Gothenburg, Sweden, where she had the opportunity to co-create and perform multiple site-specific dance works. She and her Rumpus Room colleagues were nominated one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2010. Banning has taught master classes in the US, Canada, and Europe, has performed worldwide, and has been featured in four films, as well as in articles in Dance Magazine, The New York Times, and Dance Spirit. Having returned to Nashville in 2011, she now spends her time choreographing and teaching contemporary dance technique and improvisation at the Nashville Ballet, Vanderbilt University, and with her own burgeoning dance collective, New Dialect Formation.


Thomas Shoemaker – Ballet/Vanderbilt Dance Theatre Artistic Director- was a principal dancer with companies including the Atlanta Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Augusta Ballet, and Charleston Ballet Theatre in a professional career that spanned 25 years. As a guest artist , he has worked with numerous dance and theatre companies throughout the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Shoemaker also served as ballet master for the Augusta ballet from 2001-2004. As a teacher, Thomas has worked with students in high schools, performing arts schools, colleges and at numerous summer programs and festivals throughout the southeastern United States. He received his training, starting at the age of 10, from Tommy Armour, Robert Pike and Judith Newman, in his home town of Miami, Florida. Mr Shoemaker now resides in Nashville, where he is currently teaching and choreographing for the Vanderbilt University Dance Program and is Artistic Director of Vanderbilt Dance Theatre as well as co-directs the Ensworth School of Dance. He has also been guest faculty with MTSU Dance Program, Tennessee’s Governors School for the Arts Summer Program and most recently served as Ballet Master for StillPoint Dance Theatre. In May 2009, Shoemaker’s ballet “just let go” was awarded “Best Ballet” at the Panoply Choreographic Competition. His ballet Foreverly (based on the lives of the Everly Brothers) was awarded “Best Live Performance of 2005” by the Augusta Chronicle. In 2006, Thomas created his first children’s ballet, an original adaptation of The Princess and the Pea and followed that up with The Ugly Duckling in 2008. Last year he staged the romantic classic Les Sylphides for the Vanderbilt Spring Concert.

Wendy Windsor-HashiguchiIrish- has been dancing nearly all her life in styles ranging from ballet and tap to Bulgarian and Turkish. For nearly eight years, she competed in Scottish highland dancing, reaching and winning at the championship level. She has taught Irish step, céilí, and set dancing for several years now, having worked with such former world championship dancers as Michael Smith, Bill Maple, Deirdre Goulding, Donny Golden (Riverdance star Jean Butler’s teacher), Eimear Ni Mhaoileadigh, and Kevin Broesler, as well as excellent traditional dancers of the sean nos or “old style” step dancing such as Patrick O’Dea. She is a fully certified instructor TCRG* through the Irish Dance Commission in Dublin.

Mary Drango - Jazz- Bio Pending

 

Dance Accompanists:

Jeff Durham - Modern Percussionist- At age 8, Jeff abandoned the clarinet and spent the next ten years of his musical life in marching bands, playing as many different types of percussion instruments as possible; he has never looked back. While attending graduate school, he became enamored with the tonal variety and diverse world of hand drums and, after many years of living and playing in Los Angeles, Jeff returned to his home town of Nashville in 1998. In addition to studio recordings, he has played over 700 live shows with Celtic, Latin, Blues, Rock, and Pop bands and enjoys bringing an eclectic flavor to every style he plays.

Jeff Durham became an accompanist for Vanderbilt’s Modern Dance program in 2004 and considers it, “… a great pleasure and privilege to play for such talented teachers and dancers.”

Al MarcelliBallet Pianist- (Bio pending)

Sandra PartridgeBallet Pianist – is proud to have been a part of the Vanderbilt Dance Program since moving to Nashville in 1997. Sandra received her Bachelor of Music in piano from the University of Alabama and went on to study at The Boston Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts. Her love of silent movies and interest in pantomime and dance led her to begin working with dancers and actors at the Conservatory and at Boston Ballet, where she accompanied classes for three years. Sandra has a Master’s degree in Education and enjoys teaching her craft to others.  She has a website, http://32measures.weebly.com for beginning ballet accompanists.