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”.
Maureen Berry, BFA, TCRG, is the Director of the Teelin Irish Dance Company and Owner/Director of the Teelin School of Irish Dance. In 2009, Maureen was the top recipient of the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) Individual Artist Award for Dance Choreography and received the Howie Award for Outstanding Artist in 2015. Maureen’s extensive dance training ranges from modern, ballet, salsa, tap & jazz to traditional Appalachian clogging and Irish step dance. She grew up in New Jersey within the highly competitive world of Irish step dancing, became a champion Irish dancer at a young age, and competed at the World Championships in Ireland.
Michele Bickley is an innovative Yoga and Dance educator with over twenty years of professional teaching and performing experience. She graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts and then received a degree in Fine Arts and Dance from SMU in Texas. In 1998 she moved to sunny California, where she fell in love with yoga and studied and worked with some of the best teachers on the planet today. Michele now lives in Ellicott City with her family and happily teaches people how to use movement and breath to find peace, creativity, health and healing.
Mat Elder, from Tennessee, received a Bachelor of Science in Theater and Dance from Middle Tennessee State University and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Smith College. He’s currently working towards a Master of Social Work at Hunter College, NYC. Mat has worked with choreographers Sidra Bell, Alberto Del Saz (Ririe-Woodbury), T Lang, Kate Weare, Aaron McGloin, Project 44, Paul Matteson and Leah Cox. He is named one of the "Top 5 to Watch in D.C.” by Ngoma Dance Magazine (2016). His past residence and teaching credits include Middle Tennessee State, Smith College, American College Dance Festival Northeastern Division, the Williston Northampton School, Howard Community College, and Georgetown University. Mat’s choreographic works have been presented nationally including The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Mat currently dances and collaborates with Mari Meade Dance Collective, Christopher K Morgan & Artists, and Ekilibre Dance Company. He is a Guest Artist at Drexel University.
Franki Graham holds an M.A.in Dance Performance from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, England where she graduated with Distinction, and a B.A. in Dance from UMBC. She has performed with Transitions Dance Company, Deep Vision Dance Company, and currently performs with Baltimore Dance Project, Rebollar Dance and Kinetics Dance Theatre
Desiree Koontz-Nachtrieb is a professional; choreographer, educator and freelance performer. Her academic credits include: H.S diploma with a concentration in ballet from University North Carolina School of the Arts, Bachelors of Arts in History and Dance from The University of Maryland at Baltimore County and a Masters in Fine Arts in Dance from The George Washington University. Desiree has spent the last decade plus performing, choreographing and teaching classical ballet and contemporary dance at private dance studios in the DVM and as an Adjunct Professor in the Dance Departments at: HCC, BSU and UMBC. Desiree embraces students preparing for a career as a professional dancer as well as the casual dancer interested in the exploration of movement theory and history of the art form and believes that dance is a powerful conduit for human expression, and that through teaching and studying dance we can develop and foster a connection deeper than our daily existence.
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 ClancyWorks 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.
(MFA, BFA), is a recent graduate of the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, England. Before earning her MFA in Creative Practice in Dance, she directed the dance program of a Maryland public high school for three years, and taught within the private sector for two years. In the past, she has performed with numerous modern dance companies in the Washington DC and Baltimore Metropolitan areas, including VTDance and Jane Franklin Dance. Her choreographic works have appeared in the US and the UK, most recently including a music video produced in London. She is currently the Artistic Director of BlueShift Dance.
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.
Jeanna Riscigno received her B.F.A in Dance Performance from Towson University where she was selected to study abroad at the Palucca Schule Conservatory in Dresden, Germany. She has performed with Kybele Dance Theatre, DanceArt Company, Disney Cruise Lines, The Collective, Alternative Dance Project and currently dances with Kinetics Dance Theatre and Deep Vision Dance Company.
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 Ballet Contemporanea de Caracas in Venezuela, as well as Goteborg Ballet in Sweden performing principal and soloist roles.