Anna Barker was introduced to Pilates during college, as a strengthening and supportive tool for her dance career. She went on to receive her Pilates Mat Certification in 2009 and taught in Philadelphia and New York City for 5 years. Anna moved back home to Durham, where she received the Pilates apparatus/equipment certification at InsideOutBodyTherapies, and currently teaches at several local studios. She is fascinated by the healing and reconstructive elements of Pilates and has used the system to combat her own dance-related injuries. Anna is thrilled to share her movement experiences in her classes, while not taking herself too seriously!
Sarah Bowdoin recently moved to Durham from Charleston, SC, where she danced professionally with and taught for several classical ballet companies, including Palmetto City Ballet, the Unbound Ballet Project, and the Ballet Academy of Charleston. Sarah is also certified in Hatha and Vinyasa Yoga and works in marketing for the American Dance Festival.
Cristal Chinchayan was born and raised in Trujillo, Peru and has lived in the Raleigh area for the last ten years. She is trained in modern dance and Afro Peruvian folklore and has been training and teaching samba for the last several years. She serves as assistant director for the NC Brazilian Arts Project and currently travels throughout the east coast performing and showcasing Samba No pe´ at various festivals and events.
Christina Conley began dancing at age three, focusing her training on jazz, tap, and modern. She holds a BA in modern dance from the George Washington University and is certified in yoga, Pilates mat, and Pilates apparatus. Christina has taught in the Triangle since 2006 and has performed with Killian Manning, Ava Vinesett, for the UNC-G graduate dance department, and recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She also practices massage therapy in Chapel Hill.
LaTissa ChaNellé Davis is a hip hop dancer, choreographer, and dance educator based in Raleigh, NC. She is currently on the teaching faculty at City Ballet Raleigh and Pirouette Dance Company, and teaches hip-hop classes throughout the Triangle. LaTissa strives to encourage her students of all ages to reach their potential and live their dreams.
Lulu Diaz has a dance background in Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Ballroom dance. She started dancing Salsa when she was little, but it wasn’t until 2014 that she started learning Afro-Latin dances more formally. She is currently living in Chapel Hill, NC and she is the director of Baila Beats Academy, founded in 2019. Her goal is to help people heal and feel alive through dance.
Tracey Durbin recently moved to Durham from Portland, OR, where she has been an integral part of the Portland dance scene for 25 years. She has choreographed and taught for Northwest Dance Project, BodyVox Dance, Oregon Ballet Theater and Reed College. Most recently, Tracey was one of four choreographers chosen for the Northwest Dance Project ‘Chopin Project’ with acclaimed pianist Yekwon Sunwoo and she is also a featured artist in the book ‘Beauty Is Experience: Dancing 50 and Beyond’ published by Stance on Dance in 2017.
Rachelle Feldman grew up studying and performing ballet at Maryland Youth Ballet with national acclaimed teacher Hortensia Fonseca, and modern dance with Anne Waugh Allan among others . She also served as Ballet Mistress for Columbia Dance Theater and taught creative movement, modern dance, and ballet to children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Arts – Dance at the University of California, Berkeley where she received the Julia Payne Award for Dance Scholarship and Choreography. Rachelle danced for various modern choreographers in the San Francisco Bay Area and taught ballet and contemporary classes for adults at Shawl-Anderson Dance Center before moving to Durham in late 2016.
Nia Galas began studying dance at Durham School of the Arts and minored in dance at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She has also completed a 500-hour Yoga teacher training and has integrated many modalities of movement into her teaching. Nia has been working with children for twenty years, mostly in schools, recreation centers, and nannying; she is most excited to share her experiences with children because of their uninhibited energy and natural kinetic curiosity.
Steele Goldman was raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and began his dance training as a teenager under the direction of Melody Eggen. Steele graduated in 2018 from the Dance and Choreography department at Virginia Commonwealth University. During his time at VCU Goldman had the pleasure of performing in pieces by faculty including Martha Curtis, Courtney Harris, Scott Putnam, Autumn Proctor Waddell, and Dr. Gaynell Sherrod. He was also selected to perform in guest artist works including the 40th year anniversary of Liz Lerman’s seminal work “Still Crossing”, “Mélange” choreographed by Helen Simoneau and “Multiplicity of Intimacy” choreographed by Jenna Riegel. Steele has also performed in works choreographed by Shen Wei, Lucinda Childs, Ching-I Chang, Junichi Fukuda, Annielille Gavino..
Jeanie “Marisol” Ibañez
Jeanie “Marisol” Ibañez has a life-long love of dance, studying ballet and dancing in musicals and summer stock while at university. She has choreographed and danced for the Kansas City and Orlando Lyric Operas, as well as for Epcot Center and other venues. Her flamenco and Spanish dance studies began in NYC at Ballet Hispanico. She has studied in Spain with Milagros Mengibar, Raphael Campallo, Isabel Quintero, and in the U.S. with Carlota Santana, Belen Maya, Anna Menendez, Carmela Greco, and others. Jeanie endeavors to share her enjoyment of the dance with her students.
Amari Jones began dancing in fifth grade. She holds a BA in Dance from UNC-G, where she trained in ballet and Afrocentric dance as well as other styles. She is a 2022 graduate of the Duke Dance MFA program, where her research focused on race and gender as it relates to children. Amari has performed with various dance companies both on stage and in dance films.
Jessi Knight majored in dance at Duke University. She taught and performed in the Triangle before moving to Denver, CO to dance professionally with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. After four years, Jessi moved back to NC, where she has continued to perform and teach at local studios and Duke University.
Laurie LaBean is a certified Blue and Green Belt instructor and a licensed massage therapist who has been studying health and healing for the last 9 years. When she began dancing Nia®, she realized the incredible power Nia has to heal the body, mind and spirit. In her Nia classes she fosters an environment free of judgment where participants can just have fun!
Laylianah Mahasin has been devoted to the art of Belly Dance for over 11 years. She has studied many styles of belly dance with world-renowned instructors, and is excited to share her knowledge and passion with her students. Laylianah emphasizes the importance of correct technique, while providing a fun and supportive atmosphere for students who are just discovering what amazing belly dancers they can be!
Killian Manning has been teaching dance to people of all ages since 1988. She first taught, performed, and choreographed in Boston, where she was a member of Susan Rose and DanceWorks, serving on the faculties at Radcliffe, DanceWorks and the Boston Conservatory. As Artistic Director of killianmanning/
Angelo Marin hails from New York City, where he studied various dance styles for five years. His specialty is hip-hop, and he has taught his choreography to others in informal settings.
Hannah Nicole Marr, from Raleigh, NC, is a College and High School graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA). She is a company member with local dance companies ShaLeigh Dance Works and OM Grown Dancers. Hannah choreographs and teaches for studios and schools around the area, and is on faculty for the OM Still Growing Company, as well as the TRAIN pre-professional program at Threehouse Studios. Hannah has been honored to perform works set by Doug Varone, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Wayne McGregor, Juel D. Lane, and many more.
Anthony (AJ) Nelson, Jr.
Anthony Nelson, Jr. (“Ay-Jaye”) is a Durham performer, choreographer, and instructor. He began his dance training at Hillside Performing Arts High School and has since branched out, broadening his movement vocabulary and technique with a focus on modern movement, release technique, hip-hop, and jazz influenced styles. Ay-Jaye has performed works for Chris Grant, renowned choreographer for Beyoncé, Christian Von Howard of The Von Howard Project New York, ShaLeigh Dance Works (Jazz at Lincoln Theatre NY), and has performed around the Triangle with various independent dance organizations. He continues to instruct, perform, and create art to build deeper bonds and uplift his community.
Julie Neumark has been dancing since she was eight years old. She attended Dance With Mitzi in Boonville, NC, for about a decade. She tried almost every class offered there, but focused on jazz, tap, ballet, and modern. She continues to dance as much as she can, and her favorite styles include hip-hop, zumba, contemporary, and swing dancing, although she loves learning new types of dance! She graduated from UNC Asheville in 2021, with a bachelor’s in Environmental Studies and Education and is currently an assistant teacher for grades 3-4, and an after-school teacher at Carolina Friends School in Durham. She can’t wait to share her passion for dancing with you!
Kathleen O’Melia started tap dancing at the age of 12 with her teacher and mentor Gene Medler. She is an alumna of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble and an active member of the Southern Open Rhythm Collective Leadership group. She loves sharing her passion for tap with her students.
Ife Michelle Presswood
Ife Michelle (Choreographer, Dancer, Artistic Space Maker, Black Culture Educator) is a native of Charlotte, NC. Her dance training began at North Carolina Performing Arts Academy and continued through college, with her primary styles being Traditional West-African, Contemporary, Horton Modern Technique, Hip-Hop, Stilettos, and Couture/Vogue dance. Ife currently teaches at Duke University (Professor of Dance in Hip-Hop) and Fayetteville State University (Professor of Dance) in addition to teaching various community classes, where she is invested in dancers’ self-exploration and expression through Afro-Diasporic/Black/Queer dance genres.
Steven James Rodriguez Velez
Steven James Rodriguez Velez hails from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, where he began his movement studies with the martial arts. While a student at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, he studied ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance intensively and performed and choreographed with HINCAPIE and ANDANZA dance companies. He has performed with with several area dance companies, including Black Irish, Blackbox Dance Theater, and OM Grown Dancers, though is is currently based in Puerto Rico.
Danielle Segretto has been teaching dance for more than 20 years. Trained primarily in classical ballet, she also holds a Bachelor’s degree in contemporary dance performance from Winthrop University. She has trained with many well-known artists, including Gelsey Kirkland and Cynthia Gregory, and has performed professionally in Seattle and NC. She has an early childhood education certificate with the State of NC and taught preschool for four years. Danielle is very excited to be working at Ninth Street Dance again!
Nischitha Shetty is a well-known Bollywood choreographer in the Triangle. Her experience spans over 20 years, and she has been teaching dance for the last 10 years. She was introduced to Indian classical, folk and Bollywood dance styles at a young age. Her passion for Bollywood kept on growing because of the versatility it offers. She choreographs and performs regularly at various events – from small private parties to big international festivals. She likes to incorporate different dance styles like Indian folk, Indian classical, contemporary and hip-hop into her dance routine. She works well with adults, children and dancers of all levels. Her classes are clearly structured, well researched and fun!
Lori has always had a passion for dance and fitness, so dance fitness was a natural fit. Lori has been teaching dance-inspired fitness classes since 2010. She is an AFAA (Athletics and Fitness Association of America) certified group exercise instructor and she holds speciality certifications in Barre Above and Balletone fitness. When she is not dancing, Lori works as a math education specialist, serving students in grades K – 12.
Kimberly Whitehall is a Durham native, currently earning her BFA in dance through the Ailey/Fordham program. Before heading to NY, she was a student in the dance pathway at Durham School of the Arts and studied at Barriskill Dance Theatre School. Kimberly had the honor of being a company member with Helen Hickey Dance Company, performed works set by Adam Barruch, Sean Carmon, and Gaspard Lewis, and took master classes with Justin Tornow, Antuan Byers, and more.
Lucy Zhu grew up on the West Coast of the United States and in Shanghai, China. In 2020, she graduated from the UNC School of the Arts, where she majored in Ballet Performance. Trained in the Royal Academy of Dance and Vaganova methods, she emphasizes the importance of technique and freedom of movement. Lucy has taught students of all ages and is passionate about bringing the joy of dance to everyone.