Sylvana Christopher is a D.C. native. Trained at Washington School of Ballet and Metropolitan Ballet Academy, she holds a BFA in Performance & Choreography from The Ohio State University. Sylvana enjoys teaching youth and adults and has worked at several schools and art institutions in D.C. including Joy of Motion, The Washington Ballet, Sidwell Friends, Holton-Arms School, City Dance and Sitar Arts Center. In 2009, she co-founded Glade Dance Collective and continues to present choreographic and collective work in the metro area. She is excited to be teaching at Dance Loft on 14!
Seth Dellinger is a Guild Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner® and a firm believer in the transformative powers of curiosity and creativity. I discovered the Feldenkrais Method® in 2011 and was immediately drawn to the spirit of “biological optimism” that is embodied in this unique somatic approach. In my classes, I emphasize the potential for every individual to discover new possibilities for more comfortable and joyful movement. I strive to create a safe a playful atmosphere where child-like exploration is encouraged and celebrated.
In my teaching I draw on lessons from experiences as a musical composer and improviser, immigrant rights activist, taxi driver and student of speech language pathology. Today, I’m an enthusiast of parkour and contact improvisation. I am a co-leader of the experimental DC Movement Research group along with contemporary dancer Juliana Pongutá. I am currently collaborating with local dance legend Michelle Ava, founder of Joy of Motion dance center, to produce a multi-media stage show to be presented in July 2017.
I am the central organizer of the DC Feldenkrais Festival, a free day-long event that has been held five times since Fall 2014. I have taught classes in many local venues and made special presentations at the University of Maryland Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center and the Dance Educators Training Institute of the Baltimore County Public School System.
Find out more about Seth in his blog at: https://movelikeachild.wordpress.com/2017/01/31/i-am-dancer-there-i-said-it/
Elizabeth Gaither has had a career span as a professional ballerina for 22 years. She began her earlier ballet studies with her mother, Gloria Gaither in Miami Florida. While studying with her mother she received three years of high honors in the Royal Academy
of Dance Examinations. She then continued her ballet training at the Houston Ballet Academy, joining Houston Ballet Company at the age of 15. After dancing with Houston Ballet for 5 seasons Ms. Gaither decided to follow her dream of wanting to dance with
American Ballet Theatre. She was able to live out her dream and joined the company for nine incredible seasons. During her time there she toured the world, danced on the Metropolitan House stage regularly and performed many wonderful and special roles.
She then decided to keep moving forward in her career and explore what else was out there for her to experience in the ballet world. After being contacted by The Washington Ballet she was offered a Principal Dancer position and was ready to take on a new city, a new company and continue learning and growing from those around her. Ms.Gaither danced with Washington Ballet for eight seasons...
During the course of her career she has performed numerous roles such as Giselle, Bathilde and Zulma in Giselle, the Pas de Deux girl in Fancy Free, Princess Florentine, Puss N Boots, Silver Fairy and Aurora from The Sleeping Beauty, Biance in Taming of
the Shrew, Clara, Snow Queen and Sugar Plum in the Nutcracker, Cygnets and Polish Princess in Swan Lake, Mercedes and Amor from Don Quixote, Lead Shade and Small Pas d' Action in La Bayadere, Demi Soloist in George Balanchine's Theme and
Variations, Symphony Concertante, Symphony in C as well as Russian Girl and Dark Angel in his Serenade, First and Third Theme in Four Temperaments and Titania and Helena in his A Midsummer Night's Dream, Peasblosson Fairy in Sir Frederick Ashton's The Dream, Swanilda and Dawn in Coppelia, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Spring Fairy and Summer Fairy in Cinderella, The Sylph in La Sylphide, Daisy in The Great Gatsby, the lead in Forsythe's In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Jerome Robbins' In the Night, Nacho Duato's Na Floresta, Christopher Wheeldon's Morphoses and There Where She Loved, Mark Morris' Gong, Drink to Me only with Thine and Eyes and Pacific, Paul Taylor's Black Tuesday, Lar Lubovitch's Meadow, Othello, Artemis, and My Funny Valentine, Cho San Goh's Momentum and Fives, Christopher Bruce's Sergeant Early's Dream, Ghost Dances and Rooster, Ben Stevenson's Four Last Songs and Pas De deux Romance, Twyla Tharp's In The Upper Room, Backer's Dozen, Sinatra Suite and Push Comes to Shove, the lead in Nicolo Fonte's Bolero, A world Premier pas de deux by Septime Webre called The Hours, as well as a world premiere pas de deux and reperatory ballet that was created on Ms. Gaither in Edwaard Liang's Wunderland. Ms.Gaither has also been Edwaard Liang's repetiteur for his ballet Wunderland.
Elizabeth was a finalist in the Jackson International Ballet Competition in 1990 and placed fourth in the world in the junior division at age 16 and won the Amilita Hoffman Award. She has been in the PBS American Ballet Theatre filmings of Le Corsaire and Sir Frederick Aston's The Dream, as well as had a dancing role in The movie Center Stage. She has had tv segments on her story on CNN and Young universe and was featured in
Dance Magazine in a full spread in 2007 in an article called Survive and Conquer and graced the cover of Pointe Magazine in 2008.
Another passion of Ms.Gaither's during the course of her career has been yoga. In 2007 she became a certified teacher in vinyasa yoga and has been teaching yoga ever since. She really enjoys sharing and helping others to improve their lives through the power of yoga, meditation and movement. Since her retirement from the stage in 2012 Elizabeth has been teaching and coaching
students as well as professional dancers and incorporates her knowledge from her yoga training into her ballet training skills to help the dancer have a greater understanding of the mind and body connection. She is loving being able to pass on her years of
experience, knowledge and her passion for this art form, to help other artists grow and improve. There is no greater reward then to be able to give back to the world of ballet and it's striving artists and help them on their journey. Ms.Gaither is the honored and proud wife of Professional Art photographer and multimedia producer Theo Kossenas and is the Artistic Director of their joint creation called media4artists. The dynamic duo love working together and collaborating on many creative photography and multimedia projects together.
Stuart Loungway is the Artistic Director of Terra Firma Dance Theatre. His training began with Tania Lichine, Irina Jacobson, and John Clifford before receiving a full scholarship to the prestigious School of American Ballet. He began his professional career performing with the Joffrey II Ensemble and Joffrey Ballet, before joining San Francisco Ballet Company and continuing as a Principal Dancer with American Repertory Ballet. He has performed soloist and principal roles in work by David Bintley, James Kudelka, George Balanchine, William Forsythe, Mark Morris, and many others. Mr. Loungway maintains an active schedule as a master teacher, choreographer and performer, and has served on the dance faculty at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Selected as “Who’s Hot” by National Dance Critics Association Chair Karyn Collins, Mr. Loungway's choreography, as expressed by Robert Johnson of Dance Europe, is "elegant and evocative" and “bodes well for the future of dance.” His work and company have been featured in the national dance publication Pointe Magazine.
His work has been featured at Ballet Builders/New Choreographers on Pointe. He is the recipient of the Individual Fellowship Recipient in Choreography NJ, awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts, in recognition of the high artistic merit of his work. He recently served as an Artist- in-Residence at Rutgers University, Desales University, and is currently working on a commission for Raritan Valley College. He has served as the Ballet Master for American Repertory Ballet and Roxey Ballet. Recently, he served as a principal faculty member at Joffrey Ballet School, in addition to teaching ballet technique and contemporary ballet at Steps and Peridance. His work and company were featured at Jacob's Pillow this past summer.
Florian Rouiller is a dance teacher, choreographer, and performer who has worked extensively across three continents. Mr. Rouiller has an MFA in Dance from the University of Maryland, where he choreographed and performed the original productions Profondeur Inconnue and Wave while continuing extensive performance with local dance companies outside the university. Mr. Rouiller began his dance career with training at the prestigious John Cranko School in Stuttgart with a BFA, and performed with the Stuttgart Ballet in productions such as Sleeping Beauty and Giselle. Upon immigrating to the United States, he danced with
Merce Cunningham Dance Company as an apprentice, Ohio Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, Milwaukee Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Ballet International Eldar Aliev, Ballet Metropolitano de Caracas and BalletContemporanea de Caracas in Venezuela, as well as GoteborgBallet in Sweden performing principal and soloist roles. He has won choreographic prizes at YAGP and Korean National Competiton. He is featured in Lois Greenfiled new book "Moving Still" NY. He was a guest teacher at the Kirov Academy in DC for their Summer Programs in 2005, 2008 and 2015, and also taught at the Washington Ballet School 2006 and 2017.
Mr. Rouiller is currently teaching and choreographing in the DC area. This year he is teaching at UMBC, Baltimore School for the Arts and City Dance Conservatory in DC. Recently Mr. Rouiller was visiting artist at UMBC Fall 2013.
Royce Zackery completed his Masters at N.Y.U. Steinhardt/American Ballet Theater in Higher Education: Department of Music, Performing Arts Professions, and Pedagogical Studies. He received his B.F.A from Southern Methodist University, is a proud member of American Ballet Theatre’s Project Plie` and certified in the American Ballet Theatre National Teaching Curriculum with a concentrated methodological degree in Ballet Pedagogy: Anatomical Physical Performance and Measures of Injury Prevention.
Royce has over sixteen years of experience as a professional dancer along with thirteen years of teaching. Within his career, Royce has worked professionally with over 30 companies. His performing experience ranges from Broadway shows such as My One and Only, Oklahoma! Anything Goes, to Classical Ballet and Contemporary Company’s such as Rebecca Kelly Ballet Theater, Rioult Dance Theatre, Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Thomas/Ortiz Dance, Staten Island Ballet, and Urban Dance Collective to name a few. Royce’s choreography, teaching, coaching, rehearsal directing, and artistic directing experience crosses all levels of dance and idioms from beginner to professional; including public schools, pre-professional programs, academies, universities, professional companies, and festivals across the U.S. and abroad. Teaching idioms include classical/contemporary ballet, contemporary movement, jazz, tap, and partnering (classical/contemporary).
Mr. Zackery is currently an Asst. Professor and Head Coordinator for the area of Dance Arts in Howard University's Department of Theatre Arts Program. He has also been on faculty of several professional/pre-professional training facilities in New York City such as Broadway Dance Center, the Alvin Ailey Extension Program, and the School at Steps on Broadway. International festivals, gala performances, governmental functions, and professional dance companies are just a few of the many places that Mr. Zackery’s own choreographic works have been seen. Places around the world include Germany, Russia, New York, Mexico, Texas, Ohio, Florida, Oklahoma City, and Atlanta Georgia. Royce has received choreographic notoriety of his work through New York Premieres Commissioned by Dixon Place Theater, Ajkun Ballet Theatre, Hofstra University, Irondale Theater, Staten Island Ballet, Loteria Performing Arts, and Nomad Contemporary Ballet. Because Mr. Zackery is a strong believer and advocate of giving back to community and youth of the world through his undying passion for teaching, He travels to Africa working with the Mind Leaps Organization to help train native teaching artists of Kigali, Rwanda as well as work extensively with under privileged orphans and street children in aim to help them get into Boarding and Trade schools to gain an education. Royce’s teaching philosophy is to enrich the students' cognitive development. He believes that unconditional caring, patients, and mentorship of our youth will ensure leaders of tomorrow.