HCC Dance Festival Instructors
Jess Beach is a graduate of Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA and over 25 years of experience in ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, hip hop, tap, and musical theatre. Jess toured professionally for 6 years all over the world as a dancer/performer for Holland America Cruise Lines through Stiletto Entertainment based out of California. She has worked with the Alvin Ailey Dance Company with their Inaugural installation of Ailey Camp Baltimore at Towson University as master jazz instructor. She has also worked for Big Picture Media as choreographer and featured dancer. She worked with husband and wife duo of “On the DL”, Danielle Sten and Lance Guillermo, as rehearsal director for On the DL’s production of “Working America” as assistant choreographer for the ADP dance company production of “366”.
Danielle Genest Konicheva is Associate Artistic Director of Island Moving Company. She began dancing when she was 3 with Miki Ohlsen at the Newport Academy of Ballet. She began her professional career at the age of 17 when she joined Hartford Ballet under the direction of Kirk Peterson. She went on to become Principal Dancer with New York Theatre Ballet and danced with Island Moving Company. Danielle has served as co-founder and Associate Artistic Director of Janusphere Dance Company in New York and as Co-Artistic Director and resident choreographer for Part of the Oath Dance Theatre in Rhode Island. Danielle’s choreography has been commissioned by New York Theatre Ballet, Tallahassee Ballet, Festival Ballet Providence, Island Moving Company, Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance, Salve Regina University, and Texas A&M University. Her work has been showcased at Hartford Ballet Arts Exclusive, the Elan Awards in New York City, and the 10th International Ballettmeeting in Austria.
Jen Graham is a movement analyst, educator, and artist with a commitment to creating inclusive spaces through innovative and sometimes unconventional approaches. She holds a Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Choreography and Performance from the University of Maryland, as well as Certification as a Movement Analyst from the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies. She was the Founding Director of Project C Studios, a private dance school and performance space located in Westminster, Maryland, and has lectured, taught, presented work, and performed extensively along the east coast for over 15 years. She is currently the President of the Maryland Council for Dance and has notable positions on the boards of several dance and arts-based organizations during her professional career. In addition to her work as a teaching artist, Jen also works privately with clients in the areas of somatic movement repatterning, functional and/or expressive movement coaching, as well as offering leadership and communication training for a variety of populations.
Adjetey Klufio is a returning professional at Towson University and a former member of the National Dance Company of Ghana (Ghana Dance Ensemble). During his 9 years tenure with the National Dance Company, Adjetey served as the lead male dancer, soloist and Assistant stage manager. Adjetey is also a teaching faculty and a choreographer at CityDance Connections, CityDance Dream, CityDance conservatory at the Strathmore music center and Soul In Motion drummers and dancers. He was an adjunct faculty at Anne Arundel Community College for 2 years. As a performer, Adjetey has performed on prestigious stages like the Kennedy Center and the Lincoln theater in Washington, DC. As a choreographer, KURO and DECLARATION, were both premiered at the Lincoln Memorial Theater and performed by CityDance Dream and Conservatory. Adjetey has worked with the Alvin Ailey Dance summer program Baltimore for the past three summers as their West African dance Instructor. Adjetey was quoted in the New York Times as being “…subtle and Spectacular” after performing in Dance Africa, New York
Chris Law's movement is deeply rooted in hip-hop training gained through various community teams including Culture Shock DC, DyNaMiC and various crews in the DMV. He has obtained a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts degree for studies in Modern Dance from UMD-College Park. He continues to expand his artistic voice as co-director of "Project ChArma", producing "Full Circle", a work to debut at Dance Place in 2018. Law continues to train as well as train others. He has worked at various studios in the DMV area in addition to teaching at Howard Community College. He would like to give thanks to his family, friends and all those who continue to support him in both present and future endeavors.
Maggie is a dancer, educator, and Pilates practitioner. Under Elaine Seidman and Pamela Moore, she proudly achieved the Cecchetti Professional Advanced certificate as a dancer and Professional Intermediate teaching certificate. Maggie recently coordinated the Dance Educators Training Institute, co-produced by Clancy- Works Dance Company and BCPS. She teaches ballet and modern at Turning Pointe Dance Academy (Hanover) and Dance Expressions (Upper Marlboro and dances with SylviDances, a D.C. based modern dance company. After graduating from Goucher College on scholarship, she taught with numerous NYC organizations including The School at Steps (children's division, Steps On Broadway) and Long Island City School of Ballet among others. Off the stage she worked with Doug Varone and Dancers, The Joyce Theater, and Steps On Broadway.
Jaya Mathur has been trained in three forms of Indian classical dance, Bharatnatyam, Kathak and Manipuri. She also has learned Indian folk dances and Bollywood dance. Jaya has performed at many different venues including, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, the Smithsonian Freer/Sackler Gallery of Art and at various cultural events at the University of Maryland in College Park. Jaya has also choreographed with the Kinetics Dance Theater professional and student dance companies. Jaya teaches dance in the Howard County area.
Ari Mayzick hails from NYC. He began his training at the age of 11 at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance on full scholarship. At the age of 14, he was asked to join the second company and joined the main company at 21. He also received full scholarships at the School of American Ballet and Joffrey Ballet School. . Ari has danced with The Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, The Pearl Lang Dance Theater, Les Ballets De Monte Carlo, Les Ballets Grandiva, Scapino Ballet and Danceworks Rotterdam (Holland), Buglisi Dance Company, The Metropolitan Opera, and The Washington Opera as a Guest Soloist, to name a few. Ari also danced Twyla Tharp's ballets (Junk Duet) and (Sinatra Suite) on Norwegian Cruise Lines. Ari’s been in movies, music videos, TV-Series, commercials, and worked as a print and runway model. Ari thanks his mother for all of her love and support throughout the years.
Monica Stephenson is originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Professional Training Program at the Houston Ballet Academy. In 2002, she received her first professional contract with The Washington Ballet. She went on to perform with the Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble from 2003- 2005. During this time, Monica also performed in The Nutcracker with Pennsylvania Ballet and Ballet New York and as a guest artist with Ballet Black in London, England. In 2006, Monica joined the Los Angeles Ballet as an inaugural season company member. She performed with the LA Ballet through 2010 and enjoyed the opportunity to dance in classical and contemporary repertory and in many of Balanchine’s ballets. She has completed her Master of Arts in Dance Education from New York University with a concentration in American Ballet Theatre Ballet Pedagogy and is certified in all levels of the ABT curriculum.
Vincent Thomas, dancer, choreographer and teacher, received his MFA in Dance from Florida State University and a BME in Music from the University of South Carolina. He has danced with Dance Repertory Theatre (FSU), Randy James Dance Works (NY/NJ), EDGEWORKS Dance Theater (DC), and Liz Lerman Dance Exchange (MD). His choreography has been presented at various national and international venues including DUMBO Festival (NY), Velocity Festival (DC), Modern Moves Festival (DC), Philly Fringe (PA), Edinburgh Fringe Festival (UK-Scotland), Barcelona and Madrid, Spain, Avignon, France, Athens, Greece, Bari, Italy, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Taipei. His multidimensional company VTDance builds on the use of contemporary dance, improvisation, text/ movement, a variety of sound sources, and collaborations with other artists, including dancers, musicians, poets, visual artists, and others [to be discovered]. These ideas coupled with witty, poignant, athletic and gestural movement are the rich palette for VTDance. www.vtdance.org
I’m Hank, born and raised for the first eighteen years of my life in Beijing, China. My father gave me my first camera when I was seven. Since then, I’ve always been fascinated by what light and shadow can create. After I moved to the East Coast of the United States I remained passionate about photography and joined the Lifetouch Photography Event and Sports Division to pursue this passion professionally. I love to photograph everything from landscapes and animals to people and events, but mostly I love action. Two images with action will never be the same. The image of each frozen moment becomes a unique way of telling a story. After I began photographing performing artists in action, I realized how a collaboration between my camera lens and kill together with an artist's expression comes to life.