WHO CONSTITUTES THE FACULTY?
Professional dancers bring their specialized skill set, training, and life experiences to the classroom along with professional teaching faculty. Students experience a variety of instructors/master classes on a rotating basis for maximum training diversity.
Rita Taylor, CEO and Executive Director
RITA TAYLOR oversees all scheduling, curriculum, and faculty. Rita has a BFA in performance & choreography and a BA in psychology, Graduate studies in clinical counseling and has been a dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director for nearly four decades. With a diverse background in the performing arts and over 100 productions in dance works and musical theater, she is a respected member of the arts community.
Gary Taylor, Artistic Director
GARY TAYLOR takes a very active interest in the school. A graduate of North Carolina School of the Arts, he visits classrooms and consistently teaches master classes to upper level ensemble students. Gary is considered a premiere expert in classical ballet, pointe, and partnering training. Students also receive the mastery of his choreography in his works, The Nutcracker, Spring performances, and special events.
Elizabeth Fowle, Ballet Master
ELIZABETH FOWLE is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA in Contemporary Dance focusing on contemporary, ballet and composition. Ms. Fowle has a diverse training background in ballet, pointe, partnering, contemporary, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, and tap, and has danced professionally with High Point Ballet and Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.
MANDI TAYLOR trained in various jazz, tap, and musical theatre genres, and the ballet styles of Vaganova, Cecchetti, and contemporary techniques of Cunningham, Limon, Safety Release, and Countertechnique. She has an MFA in Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and performed works by Trisha Brown, Serena Webb, Cynthia Jones, Molly Jorgenson, Ethan Kirschbaum, Paul Novack, Sergio Brindusa, and BJ Sullivan. Mandi has been teaching dance for ten years primarily in the forms of West Coast Jazz, Street Jazz, and Release-based Contemporary techniques.
Clifton Samuels, Guest Faculty
CLIFTON SAMUELS a director and choreographer for Imagine Youth Theater joins the dance faculty specializing in Jazz and Dance for Musical Theater. He is originally from Swansea, SC he has appeared on Broadway in the multi Tony/Grammy nominated Revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Follies (w/Bernadette Peters) and most recently in the original Broadway company of Amazing Grace at the Nederlander Theatre. He is a proud member of Actors Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA and is a graduate of Oklahoma City University.
Clifton has a great passion for teaching young artists. He has taught master classes in all mediums of dance & acting throughout the country. cliftonsamuels.com
Ryan Taylor, Guest Faculty
RYAN TAYLOR is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts in contemporary dance, has a diverse training background in ballet, partnering, contemporary, ballroom, jazz, hip hop, musical theater, tap, and is an aerialist. He has danced professionally with High Point Ballet and MOMIX Dance Theatre and performed with RWS NYC and Holland America touring worldwide. Ryan also dances professionally with Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.
Levizadik Buckins, Guest Faculty
LEVIZADIK (Shadeek) BUCKINS, is a graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts, in contemporary dance. During his professional career he has traveled with River North Chicago and danced professionally with High Point Ballet and Winston-Salem Festival Ballet.
Carol Johnson, Guest Faculty
CAROL JOHNSON holds a BS degree in Dance from Radford University and also studied with the Eglevsky School of Ballet and Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA. Carol has choreographed numerous musicals and industrials for theater companies, schools, and businesses in North Carolina and Virginia. She also is the choreographer and program coordinator for Imagine Youth Theater.