Audra Kucharski, Director, received her BA in Psychology from Hawaii Pacific University in 2004. She has over 10 years of teaching experience with Jeanette Popp School of Dance, and has also instructed advanced jazz dance at Wright State University. She began her dance training with Jeanette Popp School of Dance, and furthered her dance education with Dayton Ballet School, Pontecorvo Ballet Studios, Ballet Met, University of Cincinnati-CCM, numerous dance studios in Hawaii and at the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Her instruction and choreography has received regional and national acclaim. Together with her knowledge and passion for teaching, directing and choreographing, Audra is thrilled to continue in the footsteps of her mother, Jeanette Popp, by promoting excellence in dance training and education.
Alexis Britford is a native of Columbus, Ohio. She began her training at Theatre Street Dance Academy and due to frequent moving as a child; also studied at The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music’s Preparatory Program, Jeraldyne’s School of the Dance, Dayton Ballet and Columbus Youth Ballet. She has a high school diploma with a concentration in ballet from North Carolina School of the Arts. She attended the Boston Conservatory for two years before transferring to Wright State University, where she graduated Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance. Alexis has spent summers studying with The Hungarian National Ballet Academy, Boston Ballet and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She is currently a member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company.
Christiana Coover began her training at JPSD. After finding her love for ballet she continued intense training at Dayton Ballet, Joffrey Ballet NY, Ballet Met, Boston Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre where she studied for three years. Christiana has performed professionally with Dayton Ballet, Ballet Met, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and most recently with the Alabama Ballet 2003-2007. She has been trained in many styles of ballet and brings something special to her students.
Reginald "Sparrow Faith" Faulkner, born in San Bernardino, CA and raised in Cincinnati, OH, spent the last 5 years studying the art of Krump Dance. Primarily self-taught, and with no "formal training," Sparrow has risen to great heights as an original member of Cincinnati's 20/Twenty Cru, Leader and Founder of Blood Covenant Krump Crew and former member of Xtra Xclusive Dance Team. Sparrow has performed in music video's with local artists such as Psalmitry and Bootsy Collins, auditioned for Americas Best Dance Crew seasons 4 and 5, and was 2009's Best of the Mid-West title holder with 20/Twenty Cru. Sparrow has performed for various events and occasions in the Cincinnati area and has competed with The Cincinnati Rebels Cheer/Dance Team (All-Stars Comp. 2010). Sparrow has also ventured into other forms of dance such a Team Dance, Praise Dance, Group Choreography, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Forms of Popping, Waving, Breaking and Acrobats. He is currently ministering with the Tabernacle of David Dance Ministry of Zion Global Ministries (Mason,OH) and resides in Cincinnati, OH. Reggie is a re-born Christian who seeks to touch the hearts of not only dancers, but people by inspiring and influencing them through his dance and faith in Jesus.
Stacy Gear has over 20 years of teaching and performance experience. Stacy earned her BFA in Dance from Wright State University. She is on staff at Town Hall Theater in Centerville as a resident choreographer. She has choreographed for Miami University, Beavercreek Community Theater, the Dayton Playhouse and high schools around the Dayton area. Some highlighted shows include State Fair, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Seussical, Bat Boy, The Rocky Horror Show. Anything Goes, All Shook Up, Willy Wonka, and Hair to name a few. Stacy is a certified Pilates instructor having taught at colleges as well as teaching dance to show choirs throughout the area.
H. D. HORNER III is from Nashville, TN where he began training at the Nashville School of the Arts and Nashville Ballet. After High School he continued training at The New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL. Mr. Horner performed works by choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, Donald McKayle, Milton Myers, Matt Maddox, Susanna Linke, Jose Limon, and Christopher Huggins. He is honored to have danced with Nashville Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and The Martha Graham Ensemble. Mr. Horner first joined the company in 2003 and re-joined in 2011. Mr. Horner is extremely excited to be returning to Dayton and dancing once again with DCDC.
Julius "Eclypse" Jenkins is co-founder of 20/Twenty Cru in Cincinnati, OH, an authentic street-dance crew that, within 17 short months of being established, has become one of the most renowned street-dance crews in the Midwest. In 2009, 20/Twenty Cru was a national finalist (top 12) in MTV's America's Best Dance Crew (Season 4). Also in 2009, 20/Twenty Cru won the Best of the Midwest Competition hosted by ABDC judge, Shane Sparks. As a co-founder and leader of 20/Twenty Cru, Eclypse has choreographed and performed shows in and around Southwest, OH. As a solo artist, he has judged and battled in competitions nation-wide. Julius is a member of G-Style, an internationally renowned dance organization with the mission to teach old and new generations originality and style within the art form known as popping. He has competed in, won, and judged in many battles nationwide. He is also a Highlight Entertainer with Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg, IN, where he choreographs and performs freestyle shows. Julius is a talented and passionate performing artist with a vibrant spirit and extensive leadership experience. He is well known in the community as an inspiring role model with a consistently positive attitude and natural ability to relate to people of all social, economic, and cultural backgrounds. Julius' mission is to utilize his artistic skills, enthusiasm and personal life experiences to give back to a struggling urban community through mentoring, educating and believing in its cherished youth.
Marlayna Locklear hails from Milwaukee, WI. She is currently a member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. She began her training at the age of 12 and graduated from Milwaukee High School of the Arts and University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA with a BFA in dance. Marlayna was one of the founding members of The Milwaukee Dance Connection and has gone on to dance with Eleone Dance Theatre, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Dallas Black Dance Theatre II and DCDC. She has performed works by Christopher Huggins, Dwight Rhoden, Ron Brown, Donald Byrd, Diane McIntyre to name a few. She also has worked with members of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Momix, Martha Graham Company, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Milwaukee Ballet, Deka dance, Philadanco and Koresh.
Jeanette Popp has studied in New York with dance experts: Luigi, Joffrey Ballet School, Broadway Dance Center Faculty, studied Dance in college and authentic Hawaiian dance in Hawaii. Her students have studied dance in college, teach across the country, perform on cruise ships, join professional dance companies and compete in state and national pageants. She is an Adjunct Professor in Tap Dance at Wright State University.
Mr. Robinson began his primary dance training in 1970 at the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa) with Lou Wall in Graham technique and Phoebe Barr in Denishawn style. Resident guest artists in dance for that academic year included Betty Jones and Fritz Ludin, from the Jose Limon Company and Nicholas Gunn of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. In 1971, Mr. Robinson transferred to the University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) where he began his classical ballet studies in the Vaganova system with Stevan Grebel and Melanie Mihalic. As a member of Ballet UAB, he had the opportunity of performing a repertory of mixed programs and many full length ballets, most notably The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppellia, Ben Stevenson's Cinderella, Raymonda Pas de Dix, George Balanchine's Serenade, La Sonambula, and Michel Fokine's Petrushka.
Mr. Robinson continued to perform with Ballet UAB and pursue his BFA through 1980. He joined Dayton Ballet in 1980 under artistic director Stuart Sebastian and performed with the Company as a principal dancer in a repertory that spanned from the classical canon to neoclassical and contemporary works. His further studies continued in New York City with Maggie Black and Marjorie Mussman. By the late '80's, he was named Ballet Master; then in 1993 he was appointed Artistic Associate for the company by Dermot Burke and his duties expanded to include co-directorship of Dayton Ballet II. As a resident choreographer for Dayton Ballet, Mr. Robinson has created many original works for the Company as well as other performing arts organizations including; Dayton Ballet II, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, The Human Race Theatre Company, The Muse Machine, Dayton Opera, Miami University, Marygrove College, Victoria Theatre, Ohio Ballet and The Fraze Pavillion. His premiere works for Dayton Ballet through the years including Prokofiev Piano Concerto #2, Light, Paganini Variations, Mozartiana, Carmina Burana, Hot Riffs & Blue Notes, Luna, New Night, Corazon and new choreography for the full length productions of Christmas Carol, the Ballet, An American Cinderella, and America's Robin Hood have all received critical and artistic acclaim.
Mr Robinson was the first to be awarded the Virginia Sebastian Award for Choreography, in 1986. In 1996, he received the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District Bicentennial Impact Grant for his premiere work …A Time to Dance to join in the celebration of Dayton's 200 years. He was also a recipient for the Culture Works Artist Fellowship for the year 2000. He was honored with the 2002 Choo-San Goh Award for Choreography from the Choo-San Goh & H. Robert Magee Foundation for his work on America's Robin Hood. In 2008 his ballet Corazon earned a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Mr. Robinson has taught at BalletMet, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Ohio Ballet, Wright State University, Miami University, Marygrove College and the University of Idaho. His participation in the Miami Valley Muse Machine's "in school" lecture demonstration series and his host/narration for the Dayton Ballet's annual Young Audience Programs have enlightened and entertained Miami Valley high school and elementary students for many years. He received a citation from State Senator Rhine D. McLin and was named a "Dayton Gem" by the Dayton Daily News for his work in the community as a performer and dance educator.
Susie Payne was born and raised in Dayton, OH where she danced for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company's pre-professional and professional repertory touring company for seven years, studying under and performing works by such noted choreographers as Eleo Pomare, Donlad Byrd, Rennie Harris, Ron K. Brown, Donlay McKayle and Talley Beatty, just to name a few. Performing nationwide with DCDC she earned the coveted JOSIE award in 2008. Having also been a member of the Nai-Nai Chen Dance Company in New York City, Susie has extensive knowledge in the field of contemporary and modern dance. She received her B.F.A. in Dance with a minor in Psychology from Wright State University, as a Martin Sheen Artistic Scholar. Ms. Payne has studied intensely in both New York and California at accredited schools, such as New York University/Tisch School of the Arts and Idyllwild Arts Academy. Susie currently dances for Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre in Chicago, IL traveling into the city to rehearse and perform with the company. She has a fond sense of style, a unique approach to movement and continues to set choreographic works for both pre-professional dance accompanies and studios nationwide. Her students and choreography have won national and international acclaim. Ms Payne is a NASM certified personal trainer and will continue to inspire the next generation of dance.
Tamara Cary holds a BFA in Dance/Liberal Arts from Wright State University; trained with Dayton Ballet and DCDC/DCDC2; started her dance training with Jeanette Popp School of Dance, Inc. She taught ballet/pointe, jazz, lyrical and tap for JPSD from 1994-2000; performed in Hawaiian Luau’s throughout the tri-state area and Florida; returned to JPSD in 2005 and continues to spread her love of dance with her students.
Kandee Thacker-Mann A Flint, Michigan native, she began her tap dance training at Creative Expressions Dance Studio. She has performed in Savion Glover's "Footnotes" tour in Detroit, St. Louis Tap Festival, Detroit Tap Festival, and the Human Rhythm Project. She also choreographed for Oakland University's Oakland Dance Theater and taught master classes for the Ohio Dance Festival. Some of her other credits include performance at the Tap Extravaganza on Broadway and Showtime at the Apollo. She was also a judge for the "For Tappers Only" dance completion and she he directed the Dayton Tap Project.