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Director’s Note

Welcome to our 2023 Black History Month dance concert! This year we chose to name the performance Black in the Theatre in celebration of our re-entry into McCrary Theatre. In collaboration with the CREDE, the running theme throughout this concert is Black Renaissance, a celebration of black art. This concert features works from world renowned choreographers such as Michelle Gibson and Souleymane Solo Sana. You will also see performances from Elon student organizations, The Moment and Melonated Melodies, and a local technique conservatory The Pointe! Congratulations to every person who had a hand in making this concert a success and to the Elon seniors, I see you. Enjoy the show!

In peace,

Professor Keshia Wall, Artistic Director

Special Thanks

The Center for Race, Ethnicity, & Diversity Education, The African & African American Studies Minor, The Black Lumen Project, Cultural & Special Programs, The Truitt Center for Religious & Spiritual Life, Elon University Arts Administration Program, Jennifer Guy Metcalf, Jessica Werfel, Kimberly Rippy, Heidi Jo Schiemer, The 99 Band, Black Student Union

Production Team

Artistic DirectorKeshia Wall
Lighting DesignerGreg Thorn
Stage ManagerMaria Angelos
Costume Shop ManagerHeidi Jo Schiemer
Sound AdvisorRick Earl
House ManagersLaura McGuire
Jack Morrill
HostZeth Dixon
Poster DesignSydney Dye

Pieces

Lift Every Voice by Melonated Melodies

Performed by Christian Atwater, Khoreen “KK” Johnson, Kara McKinley, DeMya Culp, Taryn Vandiver, Kendall Lytle, Nadia Lawyer

Melonated Melodies

I Got Rhythm

Choreographed by Renell Taylor

Music Credit: Crazy for You, by George and Ira Gershwin

Performer: Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor is a senior Music Theatre and Arts Administration double major. Renell has been in multiple Elon productions such as Damn Yankees, 42nd Street, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, and more. Renell is super excited to be performing some of his original choreography in his final performances at Elon. He would like to thank his family, his friends, and the amazing mentors and professors that have continued to support him.

Make Them Hear You

Choreographed by Zion Middleton

Music Credit: Ragtime by Lyhn Aherns and Stephen Flaherty

Performer: Zion Middleton

You’ll Never Walk Alone

Choreographed by Zion Middleton

Music Credit: Carousel by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammersteinn

Performer: Renell Taylor, Gabe Tobierre, Gabe Logan, Candace Rhodes, Zion Middleton, Zeth Dixon, Kyra Britt

Kyra Britt

Kyra Britt

Zeth Dixon

Zeth Dixon

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor

Kyra Britt

Kyra Britt is excited to be an assistant Music Director for A Chorus Line. She has enjoyed working on such a phenomenal production, and is thankful for the cast, crew, and creative team for making that possible. Special thanks to Chris Rayis, and Hashini for supporting her in this endeavor.

Zeth Dixon

Zeth Dixon is a Senior Music Theatre major from Nashville, TN. Previous credits include: Flatrock Playhouse - A Chorus Line, Cinderella, Elon University - Spring Awakening, Bridges of Madison County, 42nd Street. He is thrilled to be apart of this years Black History Month Dance Concert as it will also be his last Elon MainStage performance.

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor is a senior Music Theatre and Arts Administration double major. Renell has been in multiple Elon productions such as Damn Yankees, 42nd Street, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, and more. Renell is super excited to be performing some of his original choreography in his final performances at Elon. He would like to thank his family, his friends, and the amazing mentors and professors that have continued to support him.

Simple Little Things

Music Credit: 110 in the Shade by Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones

Performer: Candace Rhodes

Mama Makes Three

Choreographed by Gina Tate

Music Credit: Smash Cast featuring Jennifer Hudson

Costume Design: THE POINTE! CTC

Company: THE POINTE! Company & Technique Conservatory

Artistic Director: Gina Tate

Dancers: Kaitlyn Davis, Kennedy McLeod, Kennedy O’Neal, Rachel Rorie, Kirsten Turner, Reign Webb

THE POINTE!

Arctic

Choreographed by Lisa Evans

Music Credit: “Arctic”- studio auteur Ryan O’Neal

Costume Design: THE POINTE! CTC

Company: THE POINTE! Company & Technique Conservatory

Artistic Director: Gina Tate

Dancers: Ryan O’Neal, Aria Brooks, Charlie Drumwright, Jordyn Felton, Amaris Goode, Journey Neal, Morissa Pate, Nasya Robinson

For Black Girls Who Read bell hooks…

Choreographed by Keshia Wall

Music Credit: Wings 1 by Michael Wall, Kentucky Is My Fate by bell hooks and Rachel Grimes

Costume Design: Keshia Wall

Dancers: Evelyn Ealey, Khairi Morrow, Kayla Spalding, Maya Simmons

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall

Khairi Morrow

Khairi Morrow

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall of Greensboro, NC earned an undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Dance and African American Studies and completed the Master of Fine Arts in Dance degree program at Hollins University in collaboration with Kunstlerhavs Mousontvrm and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; with support from The Dresden Frankfort Dance Company. She is also the founder of Matriarch Dance Co. LLC, which exists to empower women of all ages to discover their strength and purpose through dance training, performance, and positive mentorship.Wall is currently an Assistant Professor at Elon University, where she coordinates the African and African American Studies minor and instructs courses in contemporary and traditional West African dance. She also leads a study abroad trip to Ghana yearly in collaboration with the University of Ghana Legon and the Ghana Dance Ensemble. Her research focus is rooted in the presence of West African dance in higher education and how this dance form can be engaged as valued and valid epistemological and ontological domains in scholarship and performance. 

Khairi Morrow

Khairi Morrow is a sophomore double major in Dance Science and Public Health with minors in Biology, Exercise Science, and African/African American Studies. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, where she began her dance training at ETD Studios, Carla's Dance Factory, and performing arts through her high school as a competitive company member. This year Khairi will be in Dancing in the Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert. She also serves in various leadership positions on campus and throughout the community.

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons is a senior from Atlanta, Georgia. She will be earning her B.F.A in Dance Performance & Choreography and B.A. in English this spring. She is proud to have performed with the Florence Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Ash and Elm Dance Co., NC Dance Project, and in a multitude of performances here at Elon every semester. She is grateful to have had her choreographic work presented in Fall Dance Concert 2022 and Dancing in the Landscape 2023! She is so excited to perform in her final Black History Month!

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding is a dancer and choreographer from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is a senior at Elon University, majoring in both Dance Performance and Choreography (BFA) and History (AB). During her time at Elon, she has performed in Dancing In The Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert all four years. Kayla has also presented work during the Dancing In The Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert at Elon. She also performed in both the Richmond Dance Festival and Florence Dance Festival this past year. Kayla is incredibly thankful for all her opportunities throughout her time at Elon!

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey is a second year at Elon University pursuing a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography and Strategic Communications. She is from Fort Mill, South Carolina and is so excited to be a part of the Black History Month Dance Concert. She has enjoyed participating in Dancing in the Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert this year, and is eager for the upcoming Spring Dance Concert.

Mali!

Choreographed by Souleymane Solo Sana

Music Credit: Bashir Shakur, Atiba Rorie, Forrest Matthews, Eli Wittmann

Costume Design: Keshia Wall

Dancers: Sophie Seitchick, Olivia Lanter, Parker MacIntyre, Brooke Goldstein, Lindsey Goldstein, Pheriby Bryan, Nate Krohmer, Ailish O’Brien, Hannah Harris, Amanda Cousins, Lilly Beaver, Aleah Newman, Sophie David, Sarah Rothacker, Evelyn Ealey, Kayla Spalding, Maya Simmons, Khairi Morrow

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie

Lilly Beaver

Lilly Beaver

Pheriby Bryan

Pheriby Bryan

Amanda Cousins

Amanda Cousins

Sophie David

Sophie David

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews

Olivia Lanter

Olivia Lanter

Parker MacIntyre

Parker MacIntyre

Khairi Morrow

Khairi Morrow

Sarah Rothacker

Sarah Rothacker

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding

Aleah Newman

Aleah Newman

Brooke Goldstein

Brooke Goldstein

Lindsey Goldstein

Lindsey Goldstein

Nate Krohmer

Nate Krohmer

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey

Hannah Harris

Hannah Harris

Souleymane Solo Sana

Souleymane Solo Sana

Sophie Seitchik

Sophie Seitchik

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one-month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston Salem State University and Guilford College. He currently is the Dance music coordinator at UNC Greensboro. He is the founder of the dynamic band Africa Unplugged. Rorie is also a musician within various professional ensembles; with these ensembles, he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two Presidential Inauguration Celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.

Lilly Beaver

Lilly, a native of Kannapolis, NC is a senior Dance Performance & Choreography and Psychology major. Lilly’s performance credits include Elon’s Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month, Fall, and Spring Dance Concerts, along with Elon Cares, ADF’s Footprints, NCDF’s Residency Showing, and JOYEMOVEMENT’s Love Notes. She has presented work in the Fall Dance Concert and numerous festivals and is excited to present work in this year’s Dancing in the Landscape. Lilly has enjoyed working with various guest artists, faculty, and student choreographers. She is grateful to be an apprentice with the JOYEMOVEMENT dance company and a teacher at Miss Kim's.

Pheriby Bryan

Pheriby Bryan is a junior at Elon University and a North Carolina native. She is getting her BFA in Dance and Choreography with minors in Spanish and Business. She grew up at Jami Masters School of Dance in Charlotte, NC and has danced in Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert at Elon. She has performed at Ash and Elm Dance Company, Central Piedmont Community College’s production of Guys and Dolls, and American Dance Festival’s Footprints where she danced for Abdel R. Salaam. This school year, Pheriby presented her directing and choreography debut entitled Semicolon thanks to the Rhodes Research Grant.

Amanda Cousins

Amanda Cousins is a senior double major in Dance Performance & Choreography (BFA) and Biology (BA). She grew up in Chapel Hill, NC where she trained, competed, and taught at her local studio. Amanda has been in various Elon dance shows and student pieces as a performer, rehearsal assistant, and understudy. Over the summer, she had the opportunity to travel to Florence, Italy and performed at the Florence Dance Festival with other Elon Dancers. Amanda is very grateful for the opportunities Elon Dance has given her and is excited for her final main stage performance at Elon 

Sophie David

Sophie David grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts and is in her senior year at Elon University. She is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography, a BA in Arts Administration, and a minor in Business Administration. While at Elon, Sophie has had the opportunity to perform in works by Casey Avaunt, Courtney Liu, Jen Guy Metcalf, Ming Lung Yang, Jiwon Ha, and many others. She has also choreographed several dance pieces in various styles for student choreography showings and club performances. Sophie is so excited to perform in Lee Edwards’ piece in the 2023 Fall Dance Concert!

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews began studying West African music in 2003 and met his mentor, Fode Lavia Camara, shortly after. After years of training under Lavia, he traveled to Guinea in 2015 to help him with the first KALOUM DJEMBE Festival in the capital Conakry. Since then, Forrest has traveled to Guinea annually, to train with the artists of Ballet Gbassikolo du Kaloum, and continues to work with the annual KALOUM DJEMBE Festival. In 2019, he and Lavia held the first Kaloum Djembe Drum and Dance Conference in Greensboro. Forrest resides in Greensboro, NC working as a freelance artist.

Olivia Lanter

Olivia Lanter is a senior pursuing a double major in BFA Dance Performance & Choreography and BA Psychology with a minor in neuroscience. She is a proud St. Louis native and began dancing at the age of two. Besides dancing in numerous dance concerts on campus, she has also studied dance nationally and internationally. She spent the Summer of 2022 in Florence, Italy, where she performed in the Florence Dance Festival. Olivia also spent last summer with world-renowned choreographers and completed an internship with Clear Talent Group Agency in Los Angeles. She is grateful for the opportunity to complete dance neuropsychological research at Elon and presented her findings at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. Ultimately, Olivia is excited to pursue commercial dance after graduation this May.

Parker MacIntyre

Parker MacIntyre is a senior double major in Dance Performance & Choreography (BFA) and Dance Science (BS) with a minor in Exercise Science. Parker is incredibly thankful to be able to present his work in this production, and thanks Elon Dance for allowing him to do so. He has performed in various Elon Dance productions during his time here and is excited to make the most of his senior year.Parker MacIntyre is a senior BFA Dance Performance & Choreography major, originally from Londonderry, New Hampshire. He is also earning a Bachelor of Science in Dance Science with a minor in Exercise Science. Parker has performed in the Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Concert, Spring Dance Concert, and most recently presented his own work in this year's Dancing in the Landscape. He is incredibly grateful to be part of his final Fall Dance and is looking forward to the rest of his senior year.

Khairi Morrow

Khairi Morrow is a sophomore double major in Dance Science and Public Health with minors in Biology, Exercise Science, and African/African American Studies. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, where she began her dance training at ETD Studios, Carla's Dance Factory, and performing arts through her high school as a competitive company member. This year Khairi will be in Dancing in the Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert. She also serves in various leadership positions on campus and throughout the community.

Sarah Rothacker

Sarah Rothacker is a Junior at Elon University majoring in Dance Performance and Choreography (BFA) and Communication Design (BA) from Dublin, OH. While at Elon she has been given the opportunity to perform in Dancing in the LandscapeFall Dance Concert, Black History Month Concert and Spring Dance Concert along with various student works including Semicolon last fall, and The Rhoades Grant Dance Concert later this semester. She has had the opportunity to study dance in Los Angeles this past Summer and plans to dance at the study abroad program in Florence, Italy in Summer 2024.

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons is a senior from Atlanta, Georgia. She will be earning her B.F.A in Dance Performance & Choreography and B.A. in English this spring. She is proud to have performed with the Florence Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Ash and Elm Dance Co., NC Dance Project, and in a multitude of performances here at Elon every semester. She is grateful to have had her choreographic work presented in Fall Dance Concert 2022 and Dancing in the Landscape 2023! She is so excited to perform in her final Black History Month!

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding is a dancer and choreographer from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is a senior at Elon University, majoring in both Dance Performance and Choreography (BFA) and History (AB). During her time at Elon, she has performed in Dancing In The Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert all four years. Kayla has also presented work during the Dancing In The Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert at Elon. She also performed in both the Richmond Dance Festival and Florence Dance Festival this past year. Kayla is incredibly thankful for all her opportunities throughout her time at Elon!

Aleah Newman

Aleah Newman Is a sophomore BFA Dance Major from Chicago who has been dancing from a young age in various styles and spent four years dancing with Inaside Chicago Dance's Pre-professional company. She is so happy to continue her study of dance here at Elon.

Brooke Goldstein

Brooke Goldstein is a sophomore student from Rockland County, New York. She is pursuing a double major in Dance Performance and Choreography and Sociology. This summer, Brooke completed a choreography intensive with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Brooke has performed in Dancing in the Landscape (2022), Black History Month Dance Concert (2023), and Spring Dance Concert (2023). She has also understudied for the 2022 Fall Dance Concert and performed in the 2023 Fall Dance Concert.

Lindsey Goldstein

Lindsey is a sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography major from Lynnfield, MA. She has been dancing since she was three years old, following the footsteps of her mom and grandma. This is her second year performing in the Fall Dance Concert, and she is so excited for you to see the show! This year, Lindsey also performed in Dancing in the Landscape and will be performing in the Black History Month Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert.

Nate Krohmer

Nate is happy you could come see today's show! A sophomore musical theatre major, he has had the opportunity to be a part of Chris Rayis's Deep Water Ballad production and reading this summer in NYC. As always, he thanks his family and friends for their support.

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey is a second year at Elon University pursuing a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography and Strategic Communications. She is from Fort Mill, South Carolina and is so excited to be a part of the Black History Month Dance Concert. She has enjoyed participating in Dancing in the Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert this year, and is eager for the upcoming Spring Dance Concert.

Hannah Harris

Hannah is getting her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography, along with a degree in Cinema Arts and Television. She grew up living across the country in various states. Hannah enjoys sharing her art of storytelling through choreography and began her choreographic journey as a freshman in high school. Where she attended a performing arts school for dance at Weaver Academy where she trained in various dance styles. This has contributed to her passion for teaching and currently leads classes for children ages 3-18 at Burlington Dance Center in North Carolina. In 2018 she joined a company that partners with Broadway in New York City. When she is training at Broadway Artist Alliance she is mentored by Broadway performers and dances in front of casting agencies and managers.

Souleymane Solo Sana

Souleymane Solo Sana is an accomplished traditional dancer from Mali, West Africa. Dedicated to the preservation of traditional dance, music, and culture Solo is committed to continuous research to maintain an accurate representation and disbursement of traditional information, movement, and rhythm.  A former principal member of one of the premiere companies of Mali,  Ballet Du District de Bamako, he is a leader among artists.   Solo’s presence at local ceremonies and festivals in Mali has always been in high demand, performing with renown griots and musicians as well as internationally known artists such as Djeneba Seck and Oumou Sangare.  With an extensive knowledge of traditional dances of the Mande culture he is highly sought after as an instructor for private and group lessons teaching students from around the world including internationally acclaimed dancers, university instructors, and Broadway performers.  Currently Solo splits his time between teaching and performing in the United States and running Kono Gnaga, his NGO in Mali with a mission to preserve traditional dance and music.   Solo made his choreographic premiere in New York City in the Spring of 2014 and has most recently embarked on the creation of Sira Koro, a dance and music ensemble in Mali, where he serves as Artistic Director and choreographer with a mission to bring new perspective to traditions while simultaneously providing opportunities for young artists in Mali.

Sophie Seitchik

Sophie Seitchik is a sophomore from Woodstock, MD pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and BS in Dance Science. This semester, she will be part of the Black History Month Dance Concert, Spring Dance Concert, The Matriarchy, as well as a student research project performance on SURF Day. She is so excited to be performing for you today!

Spoken Word

Performer: Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce is a senior working to obtain a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and a BA in Strategic Communications. She is a native North Carolinian from Durham. During her time at Elon, she has performed in many of the mainstage Elon dance performances, performed in two dance films under Keisha Wall called “I Want to Undie You” and “Reclaiming Power: The Black Maternal Crisis”, as well as trained in Florence and performed in the Florence Dance Festival for study abroad. She recently presented her work for the first time at Elon in Dancing in the Landscape and is preparing to present undergraduate research in the winter. Boyce is beyond thankful for every opportunity and all the support she has gained over the years. She hopes you enjoy the performances!

Infirmary Line

Choreographed by Michelle Gibson

Music Credit: Bashir Shakur, Atiba Rorie, Forrest Matthews, Eli Wittmann, Charlz Butler, Chase Butler

Costume Design: Michelle Gibson

Dancers: Katey O’Connell, Natalie Dixon, Gia Nguyen, Aaliyah Pugh, Madi Boyer, Evelyn Ealey, Lauren Jacobbe, Lila Snodgrass, Emma Morris

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie

Madison Boyer

Madison Boyer

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews

Emma Morris

Emma Morris

Gia Nguyen

Gia Nguyen

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey

Chase Butler

Chase Butler

Charlz Butler

Charlz Butler

Michelle N. Gibson

Michelle N. Gibson

Aaliyah Pugh

Aaliyah Pugh

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one-month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston Salem State University and Guilford College. He currently is the Dance music coordinator at UNC Greensboro. He is the founder of the dynamic band Africa Unplugged. Rorie is also a musician within various professional ensembles; with these ensembles, he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two Presidential Inauguration Celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.

Madison Boyer

Madi is a third year Dance Science and Exercise Science double major from Jackson, New Jersey. She has performed in Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert. She will also be conducting Dance Science Research for her Honors Thesis, with help of her mentor Professor Kearns. She is so eager to perform in her first in-person Black History Month Dance Concert and is thankful for the opportunities that the dance program has given her.

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe is a Senior studying Dance Performance and Choreography and Human Service Studies from Western Massachusetts. This summer she studied abroad in Florence, Italy and performed in the Florence Dance Festival Summer 2022. She has previously performed and assisted in Elon University's Productions of Dancing in the Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month, Spring Dance Concert, as well as student run choreography. She has worked closely with Berkshire Dance Theatre from Massachusetts, as well with Dysfunk Crew opening up for dance companies and performing at Jacob's Pillow "On the Road" events in the summer of 2021.

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews began studying West African music in 2003 and met his mentor, Fode Lavia Camara, shortly after. After years of training under Lavia, he traveled to Guinea in 2015 to help him with the first KALOUM DJEMBE Festival in the capital Conakry. Since then, Forrest has traveled to Guinea annually, to train with the artists of Ballet Gbassikolo du Kaloum, and continues to work with the annual KALOUM DJEMBE Festival. In 2019, he and Lavia held the first Kaloum Djembe Drum and Dance Conference in Greensboro. Forrest resides in Greensboro, NC working as a freelance artist.

Emma Morris

Emma Morris is a junior at Elon pursuing a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography and Dance Science. She is from Lexington, Kentucky and is thrilled to continue on her path of becoming a professional dancer here at Elon. At Elon, she has had multiple opportunities to perform in Dancing In The Landscape, Spring Dance Concert & Black History Month Dance Concert. Emma was given the opportunity to debut her choreography in Dancing in the Landscape earlier this year. She is grateful and excited to perform in Fall Dance for the first time!

Gia Nguyen

Gia Nguyen is a junior double major in BFA Dance Performance and Choreography and BA Sociology. She is from Collegeville, PA where she began her dance training at On Edge Movement as a competitive company member. She has had the honor to perform in all of the dance shows presented here at Elon such as Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month Dance Concert as well as both Fall and Spring Dance Concerts. She is thrilled to be back for her third year and is overjoyed to be a part of yet another amazing Elon Dance production. This year, she has the privilege of presenting choreography for the first time in Fall Dance Concert as well as performing in the show as a dancer. She is beyond grateful for this opportunity to showcase her work and hopes that the audience enjoys her narrative through art.

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey is a second year at Elon University pursuing a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography and Strategic Communications. She is from Fort Mill, South Carolina and is so excited to be a part of the Black History Month Dance Concert. She has enjoyed participating in Dancing in the Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert this year, and is eager for the upcoming Spring Dance Concert.

Chase Butler

Tuba/ sousaphone player since 7th grade. Studied at North Carolina A&T and member of the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. Protégé and son to the great Charles Lee Butler.

Charlz Butler

North Carolina Agricultural and Technological University trumpet major graduate.

Michelle N. Gibson

Michelle N. Gibson is a choreographer, cultural ambassador, educator, performing artist, and present candidate of Katherine Dunham Technique Certification. New Orleans Own incorporates much of the city’s culture in her teaching practice and choreographic aesthetic through  lectures and workshops entitled The New Orleans Original BuckShop LLC. Gibson received her BFA in Dance from Tulane University and her MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival at Duke University. Michelle is also a alum of Xavier Prep High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Gibson is a long time educator, currently serving as faculty member for nine years with the American Dance Festival at Duke University and dance faculty at the Booker T. Washington High School of Performing and Visual Arts. As an freelance artist, New Orleans native, and presently living in Dallas TX Michelle is dedicating her energies, pedagogical practice, and performance based research geared toward cultivating the community and the world aboard.

Aaliyah Pugh

Aaliyah Pugh is a sophomore from Cary, North Carolina and she's majoring in Digital Marketing with a minor in dance. Holly Springs School of Dance is her home studio and she joined the Springs Dance Company in the eighth grade. Aaliyah also danced in Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker in the sixth grade. She was on the dance team and in Honors dance at her High School for 3 years. This is her first show in the Elon dance program, and she's so grateful that she was given this wonderful opportunity to showcase her talents while embracing black culture.

Bios

Rick Earl

Rick Earl

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie

Greg Thorn

Greg Thorn

Maria Mel Angelos

Maria Mel Angelos

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall

Lilly Beaver

Lilly Beaver

Madison Boyer

Madison Boyer

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce

Pheriby Bryan

Pheriby Bryan

Demaya Culp

Demaya Culp

Amanda Cousins

Amanda Cousins

Kyra Britt

Kyra Britt

Sophie David

Sophie David

Zeth Dixon

Zeth Dixon

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews

Olivia Lanter

Olivia Lanter

Parker MacIntyre

Parker MacIntyre

Emma Morris

Emma Morris

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks

Gia Nguyen

Gia Nguyen

Khairi Morrow

Khairi Morrow

Sarah Rothacker

Sarah Rothacker

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor

Aleah Newman

Aleah Newman

Lila Snodgrass

Lila Snodgrass

Brooke Goldstein

Brooke Goldstein

Lindsey Goldstein

Lindsey Goldstein

Nate Krohmer

Nate Krohmer

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey

Chase Butler

Chase Butler

Charlz Butler

Charlz Butler

Bashir Shakur

Bashir Shakur

Eli Wittmann

Eli Wittmann

Hannah Harris

Hannah Harris

Souleymane Solo Sana

Souleymane Solo Sana

Michelle N. Gibson

Michelle N. Gibson

Aaliyah Pugh

Aaliyah Pugh

Sophie Seitchik

Sophie Seitchik

Rick Earl

Rick Earl is the Production Manager for Cultural and Special Programs at Elon University. Rick has worked as an audio engineer, production manager, and designer with various acts and clients throughout the US, Canada and Europe. Rick is a full member of the Audio Engineering Society, USITT, and the Event Safety Alliance.

Atiba Rorie

Atiba Rorie has been playing percussion instruments since he was a young child. He currently holds a BA in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has also studied with Babatunde Olatunji, Fahali Igbo, Bradley Simmons, Chief Bey, and The National Dance Ensemble of Ghana in a one month intensive in Accra, Ghana, and a one-month intensive study in Guinea, West Africa. He has taught at Winston Salem State University and Guilford College. He currently is the Dance music coordinator at UNC Greensboro. He is the founder of the dynamic band Africa Unplugged. Rorie is also a musician within various professional ensembles; with these ensembles, he has performed at many venues including Dance Africa in New York, Tedx Greensboro, National Black Arts Festival, Black Dance USA, and two Presidential Inauguration Celebrations. In 2005 Rorie was invited to participate in a Drums of Passion Tribute to Babatunde Olatunji at the Percussive Arts Society InternationalConference. Rorie has been a guest artist at CaldCluegh Community Center, Duke University, High Point University, Agnes Scott College, Williams College, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, Black College Dance Exchange, North Carolina School of the Arts, and Radford University.

Greg Thorn

Greg Thorn is the Technical Director for Cultural Programs at Elon University, as well as a freelance lighting designer. Some of his lighting design credits include Legally Blonde, Mamma Mia!, Cabaret, and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Greg recently received his M.F.A in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Lighting Design from the University of Idaho in December of 2022.

Maria Mel Angelos

Maria is a sophomore Elon College Fellow majoring in Theatrical Design and Technology with a concentration in stage management. She is so excited to be an assistant stage manager for Spring Awakening! They thank their family, friends, and mentors for all of their support. Previous Elon credits include: Black History Month Dance Concert (Stage Manager), Fall Dance Concert 2022 (Stage Manager), Antigone (Stage Manager), and Clue! (Asst. Stage Manager).

Keshia Wall

Keshia Wall of Greensboro, NC earned an undergraduate degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Dance and African American Studies and completed the Master of Fine Arts in Dance degree program at Hollins University in collaboration with Kunstlerhavs Mousontvrm and The Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts; with support from The Dresden Frankfort Dance Company. She is also the founder of Matriarch Dance Co. LLC, which exists to empower women of all ages to discover their strength and purpose through dance training, performance, and positive mentorship.Wall is currently an Assistant Professor at Elon University, where she coordinates the African and African American Studies minor and instructs courses in contemporary and traditional West African dance. She also leads a study abroad trip to Ghana yearly in collaboration with the University of Ghana Legon and the Ghana Dance Ensemble. Her research focus is rooted in the presence of West African dance in higher education and how this dance form can be engaged as valued and valid epistemological and ontological domains in scholarship and performance. 

Lilly Beaver

Lilly, a native of Kannapolis, NC is a senior Dance Performance & Choreography and Psychology major. Lilly’s performance credits include Elon’s Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month, Fall, and Spring Dance Concerts, along with Elon Cares, ADF’s Footprints, NCDF’s Residency Showing, and JOYEMOVEMENT’s Love Notes. She has presented work in the Fall Dance Concert and numerous festivals and is excited to present work in this year’s Dancing in the Landscape. Lilly has enjoyed working with various guest artists, faculty, and student choreographers. She is grateful to be an apprentice with the JOYEMOVEMENT dance company and a teacher at Miss Kim's.

Madison Boyer

Madi is a third year Dance Science and Exercise Science double major from Jackson, New Jersey. She has performed in Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert. She will also be conducting Dance Science Research for her Honors Thesis, with help of her mentor Professor Kearns. She is so eager to perform in her first in-person Black History Month Dance Concert and is thankful for the opportunities that the dance program has given her.

Eileena Boyce

Eileena Boyce is a senior working to obtain a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and a BA in Strategic Communications. She is a native North Carolinian from Durham. During her time at Elon, she has performed in many of the mainstage Elon dance performances, performed in two dance films under Keisha Wall called “I Want to Undie You” and “Reclaiming Power: The Black Maternal Crisis”, as well as trained in Florence and performed in the Florence Dance Festival for study abroad. She recently presented her work for the first time at Elon in Dancing in the Landscape and is preparing to present undergraduate research in the winter. Boyce is beyond thankful for every opportunity and all the support she has gained over the years. She hopes you enjoy the performances!

Pheriby Bryan

Pheriby Bryan is a junior at Elon University and a North Carolina native. She is getting her BFA in Dance and Choreography with minors in Spanish and Business. She grew up at Jami Masters School of Dance in Charlotte, NC and has danced in Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert at Elon. She has performed at Ash and Elm Dance Company, Central Piedmont Community College’s production of Guys and Dolls, and American Dance Festival’s Footprints where she danced for Abdel R. Salaam. This school year, Pheriby presented her directing and choreography debut entitled Semicolon thanks to the Rhodes Research Grant.

Demaya Culp

DeMya Culp is a sophomore at Elon University who is majoring in Arts Administration and Drama and Theatre studies. She is no stranger to the stage, and has been in productions such as Willy Wonka, Seussical, Aladdin and Elon Cares. She has also sung in élan jazz ensemble and has sung the music of Billy Joel and Stevie Wonder. She would like to thank Elon Performing Arts and her family as they enjoy The Moment. @broadway20_

Amanda Cousins

Amanda Cousins is a senior double major in Dance Performance & Choreography (BFA) and Biology (BA). She grew up in Chapel Hill, NC where she trained, competed, and taught at her local studio. Amanda has been in various Elon dance shows and student pieces as a performer, rehearsal assistant, and understudy. Over the summer, she had the opportunity to travel to Florence, Italy and performed at the Florence Dance Festival with other Elon Dancers. Amanda is very grateful for the opportunities Elon Dance has given her and is excited for her final main stage performance at Elon 

Kyra Britt

Kyra Britt is excited to be an assistant Music Director for A Chorus Line. She has enjoyed working on such a phenomenal production, and is thankful for the cast, crew, and creative team for making that possible. Special thanks to Chris Rayis, and Hashini for supporting her in this endeavor.

Sophie David

Sophie David grew up in Franklin, Massachusetts and is in her senior year at Elon University. She is pursuing a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography, a BA in Arts Administration, and a minor in Business Administration. While at Elon, Sophie has had the opportunity to perform in works by Casey Avaunt, Courtney Liu, Jen Guy Metcalf, Ming Lung Yang, Jiwon Ha, and many others. She has also choreographed several dance pieces in various styles for student choreography showings and club performances. Sophie is so excited to perform in Lee Edwards’ piece in the 2023 Fall Dance Concert!

Zeth Dixon

Zeth Dixon is a Senior Music Theatre major from Nashville, TN. Previous credits include: Flatrock Playhouse - A Chorus Line, Cinderella, Elon University - Spring Awakening, Bridges of Madison County, 42nd Street. He is thrilled to be apart of this years Black History Month Dance Concert as it will also be his last Elon MainStage performance.

Lauren Jacobbe

Lauren Jacobbe is a Senior studying Dance Performance and Choreography and Human Service Studies from Western Massachusetts. This summer she studied abroad in Florence, Italy and performed in the Florence Dance Festival Summer 2022. She has previously performed and assisted in Elon University's Productions of Dancing in the Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month, Spring Dance Concert, as well as student run choreography. She has worked closely with Berkshire Dance Theatre from Massachusetts, as well with Dysfunk Crew opening up for dance companies and performing at Jacob's Pillow "On the Road" events in the summer of 2021.

Lauren McCarthy

Lauryn McCarthy is originally from Portland, Oregon. She is currently a first-year at Elon University, pursuing a B.F.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography. She has trained under the Jefferson Dancers, a pre-professional company. Through the Jefferson Dancers Lauryn got to perform over 50 times a year including traveling to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for the National High School Dance Festival and the South of France to take class as well as perform.

Forrest Matthews

Forrest Matthews began studying West African music in 2003 and met his mentor, Fode Lavia Camara, shortly after. After years of training under Lavia, he traveled to Guinea in 2015 to help him with the first KALOUM DJEMBE Festival in the capital Conakry. Since then, Forrest has traveled to Guinea annually, to train with the artists of Ballet Gbassikolo du Kaloum, and continues to work with the annual KALOUM DJEMBE Festival. In 2019, he and Lavia held the first Kaloum Djembe Drum and Dance Conference in Greensboro. Forrest resides in Greensboro, NC working as a freelance artist.

Olivia Lanter

Olivia Lanter is a senior pursuing a double major in BFA Dance Performance & Choreography and BA Psychology with a minor in neuroscience. She is a proud St. Louis native and began dancing at the age of two. Besides dancing in numerous dance concerts on campus, she has also studied dance nationally and internationally. She spent the Summer of 2022 in Florence, Italy, where she performed in the Florence Dance Festival. Olivia also spent last summer with world-renowned choreographers and completed an internship with Clear Talent Group Agency in Los Angeles. She is grateful for the opportunity to complete dance neuropsychological research at Elon and presented her findings at the International Association of Dance Medicine and Science. Ultimately, Olivia is excited to pursue commercial dance after graduation this May.

Parker MacIntyre

Parker MacIntyre is a senior double major in Dance Performance & Choreography (BFA) and Dance Science (BS) with a minor in Exercise Science. Parker is incredibly thankful to be able to present his work in this production, and thanks Elon Dance for allowing him to do so. He has performed in various Elon Dance productions during his time here and is excited to make the most of his senior year.Parker MacIntyre is a senior BFA Dance Performance & Choreography major, originally from Londonderry, New Hampshire. He is also earning a Bachelor of Science in Dance Science with a minor in Exercise Science. Parker has performed in the Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Concert, Spring Dance Concert, and most recently presented his own work in this year's Dancing in the Landscape. He is incredibly grateful to be part of his final Fall Dance and is looking forward to the rest of his senior year.

Emma Morris

Emma Morris is a junior at Elon pursuing a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography and Dance Science. She is from Lexington, Kentucky and is thrilled to continue on her path of becoming a professional dancer here at Elon. At Elon, she has had multiple opportunities to perform in Dancing In The Landscape, Spring Dance Concert & Black History Month Dance Concert. Emma was given the opportunity to debut her choreography in Dancing in the Landscape earlier this year. She is grateful and excited to perform in Fall Dance for the first time!

Sarah Parks

Sarah Parks is a native of McLean, Virginia. She is currently a junior at Elon University pursuing a B.F.A in Dance Performance and Choreography. She is delighted to be making her debut at Elon University in the Black History Month Concert and is thankful for the support of her family and friends.

Gia Nguyen

Gia Nguyen is a junior double major in BFA Dance Performance and Choreography and BA Sociology. She is from Collegeville, PA where she began her dance training at On Edge Movement as a competitive company member. She has had the honor to perform in all of the dance shows presented here at Elon such as Dancing in the Landscape, Black History Month Dance Concert as well as both Fall and Spring Dance Concerts. She is thrilled to be back for her third year and is overjoyed to be a part of yet another amazing Elon Dance production. This year, she has the privilege of presenting choreography for the first time in Fall Dance Concert as well as performing in the show as a dancer. She is beyond grateful for this opportunity to showcase her work and hopes that the audience enjoys her narrative through art.

Khairi Morrow

Khairi Morrow is a sophomore double major in Dance Science and Public Health with minors in Biology, Exercise Science, and African/African American Studies. She is from Atlanta, Georgia, where she began her dance training at ETD Studios, Carla's Dance Factory, and performing arts through her high school as a competitive company member. This year Khairi will be in Dancing in the Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert. She also serves in various leadership positions on campus and throughout the community.

Sarah Rothacker

Sarah Rothacker is a Junior at Elon University majoring in Dance Performance and Choreography (BFA) and Communication Design (BA) from Dublin, OH. While at Elon she has been given the opportunity to perform in Dancing in the LandscapeFall Dance Concert, Black History Month Concert and Spring Dance Concert along with various student works including Semicolon last fall, and The Rhoades Grant Dance Concert later this semester. She has had the opportunity to study dance in Los Angeles this past Summer and plans to dance at the study abroad program in Florence, Italy in Summer 2024.

Maya Simmons

Maya Simmons is a senior from Atlanta, Georgia. She will be earning her B.F.A in Dance Performance & Choreography and B.A. in English this spring. She is proud to have performed with the Florence Dance Festival, American Dance Festival, Ash and Elm Dance Co., NC Dance Project, and in a multitude of performances here at Elon every semester. She is grateful to have had her choreographic work presented in Fall Dance Concert 2022 and Dancing in the Landscape 2023! She is so excited to perform in her final Black History Month!

Kayla Spalding

Kayla Spalding is a dancer and choreographer from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is a senior at Elon University, majoring in both Dance Performance and Choreography (BFA) and History (AB). During her time at Elon, she has performed in Dancing In The Landscape, Fall Dance Concert, Black History Month Dance Concert, and Spring Dance Concert all four years. Kayla has also presented work during the Dancing In The Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert at Elon. She also performed in both the Richmond Dance Festival and Florence Dance Festival this past year. Kayla is incredibly thankful for all her opportunities throughout her time at Elon!

Renell Taylor

Renell Taylor is a senior Music Theatre and Arts Administration double major. Renell has been in multiple Elon productions such as Damn Yankees, 42nd Street, The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin, and more. Renell is super excited to be performing some of his original choreography in his final performances at Elon. He would like to thank his family, his friends, and the amazing mentors and professors that have continued to support him.

Aleah Newman

Aleah Newman Is a sophomore BFA Dance Major from Chicago who has been dancing from a young age in various styles and spent four years dancing with Inaside Chicago Dance's Pre-professional company. She is so happy to continue her study of dance here at Elon.

Lila Snodgrass

Lila Snograss is a sophomore from Pittsburgh double majoring in Dance Performance and Choreography and mathematics. This summer, Lila attended the American Dance Festival, where she had the opportunity to perform for Abdel R. Salaam. At Elon last semester, Lila performed in Dancing in the Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert. She also started her research involving the intersection between math and dance through knot theory. In January, she traveled to Ghana to study West African dance and will perform a piece from the trip in this concert. Lila is so excited to be part of this performance!

Brooke Goldstein

Brooke Goldstein is a sophomore student from Rockland County, New York. She is pursuing a double major in Dance Performance and Choreography and Sociology. This summer, Brooke completed a choreography intensive with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Brooke has performed in Dancing in the Landscape (2022), Black History Month Dance Concert (2023), and Spring Dance Concert (2023). She has also understudied for the 2022 Fall Dance Concert and performed in the 2023 Fall Dance Concert.

Lindsey Goldstein

Lindsey is a sophomore Dance Performance and Choreography major from Lynnfield, MA. She has been dancing since she was three years old, following the footsteps of her mom and grandma. This is her second year performing in the Fall Dance Concert, and she is so excited for you to see the show! This year, Lindsey also performed in Dancing in the Landscape and will be performing in the Black History Month Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert.

Nate Krohmer

Nate is happy you could come see today's show! A sophomore musical theatre major, he has had the opportunity to be a part of Chris Rayis's Deep Water Ballad production and reading this summer in NYC. As always, he thanks his family and friends for their support.

Evelyn Ealey

Evelyn Ealey is a second year at Elon University pursuing a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography and Strategic Communications. She is from Fort Mill, South Carolina and is so excited to be a part of the Black History Month Dance Concert. She has enjoyed participating in Dancing in the Landscape and the Fall Dance Concert this year, and is eager for the upcoming Spring Dance Concert.

Chase Butler

Tuba/ sousaphone player since 7th grade. Studied at North Carolina A&T and member of the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. Protégé and son to the great Charles Lee Butler.

Charlz Butler

North Carolina Agricultural and Technological University trumpet major graduate.

Bashir Shakur

Bashir Shakur is a percussionist, composer, performer, educator, and recording artist whose unique blend of improvisational, and traditional percussion can be found on his latest release entitled “Visible”, with acclaimed Zimbabwean dancer Nora Chipoumare. In addition to his work with Nora, Bashir has recorded, performed, and/or toured with an array of diverse artist Including: Chuck Davis, Camille Yarborough (foremother of Rap), DJ Grandmaster Flash, Waley Reyes Jr. (drummer for Santana), The Sunday Special Band, The North Carolina Philharmonic Orchestra, Bessie award winner Jawole Jo Zollar and Reggae superstar Freddie McGregor. One of Bashir’s latest creations is his youth leadership program “Buckets and Beats”. Created in 2014 with funding from the Alvin Ailey Arts in Education program. Shakur developed a cost effective, empowering and fun 14-week percussion study with 3rd and 5th graders, using just two drumsticks and a bucket. Also playing with his acoustic Jazz, World, and Urban Music band “B-Shak Rhythm and Soul”. This quartet of adventurous musicians was assembled in 2012 and has been described as Be-bop Jazz, meets Afro-Beat, meets trance-inducing Urban Music.Shakur has been an artist-in-residence and or faculty member at many Institution’s including: The Brooklyn Music School, New York University, Florida State University, Florida A&M University, American Dance Festival, Williams College and is currently on staff at Elon University. Mr. Shakur would like to thank Allah for all of his many gifts and blessings.

Eli Wittmann

A local to Greensboro, NC, Eli is a professional guitarist, performer and instructor.

Hannah Harris

Hannah is getting her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography, along with a degree in Cinema Arts and Television. She grew up living across the country in various states. Hannah enjoys sharing her art of storytelling through choreography and began her choreographic journey as a freshman in high school. Where she attended a performing arts school for dance at Weaver Academy where she trained in various dance styles. This has contributed to her passion for teaching and currently leads classes for children ages 3-18 at Burlington Dance Center in North Carolina. In 2018 she joined a company that partners with Broadway in New York City. When she is training at Broadway Artist Alliance she is mentored by Broadway performers and dances in front of casting agencies and managers.

Souleymane Solo Sana

Souleymane Solo Sana is an accomplished traditional dancer from Mali, West Africa. Dedicated to the preservation of traditional dance, music, and culture Solo is committed to continuous research to maintain an accurate representation and disbursement of traditional information, movement, and rhythm.  A former principal member of one of the premiere companies of Mali,  Ballet Du District de Bamako, he is a leader among artists.   Solo’s presence at local ceremonies and festivals in Mali has always been in high demand, performing with renown griots and musicians as well as internationally known artists such as Djeneba Seck and Oumou Sangare.  With an extensive knowledge of traditional dances of the Mande culture he is highly sought after as an instructor for private and group lessons teaching students from around the world including internationally acclaimed dancers, university instructors, and Broadway performers.  Currently Solo splits his time between teaching and performing in the United States and running Kono Gnaga, his NGO in Mali with a mission to preserve traditional dance and music.   Solo made his choreographic premiere in New York City in the Spring of 2014 and has most recently embarked on the creation of Sira Koro, a dance and music ensemble in Mali, where he serves as Artistic Director and choreographer with a mission to bring new perspective to traditions while simultaneously providing opportunities for young artists in Mali.

Michelle N. Gibson

Michelle N. Gibson is a choreographer, cultural ambassador, educator, performing artist, and present candidate of Katherine Dunham Technique Certification. New Orleans Own incorporates much of the city’s culture in her teaching practice and choreographic aesthetic through  lectures and workshops entitled The New Orleans Original BuckShop LLC. Gibson received her BFA in Dance from Tulane University and her MFA in Dance from Hollins University/American Dance Festival at Duke University. Michelle is also a alum of Xavier Prep High School and the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Gibson is a long time educator, currently serving as faculty member for nine years with the American Dance Festival at Duke University and dance faculty at the Booker T. Washington High School of Performing and Visual Arts. As an freelance artist, New Orleans native, and presently living in Dallas TX Michelle is dedicating her energies, pedagogical practice, and performance based research geared toward cultivating the community and the world aboard.

Aaliyah Pugh

Aaliyah Pugh is a sophomore from Cary, North Carolina and she's majoring in Digital Marketing with a minor in dance. Holly Springs School of Dance is her home studio and she joined the Springs Dance Company in the eighth grade. Aaliyah also danced in Carolina Ballet's Nutcracker in the sixth grade. She was on the dance team and in Honors dance at her High School for 3 years. This is her first show in the Elon dance program, and she's so grateful that she was given this wonderful opportunity to showcase her talents while embracing black culture.

Sophie Seitchik

Sophie Seitchik is a sophomore from Woodstock, MD pursuing her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography and BS in Dance Science. This semester, she will be part of the Black History Month Dance Concert, Spring Dance Concert, The Matriarchy, as well as a student research project performance on SURF Day. She is so excited to be performing for you today!