We are proud to present to you our Season 3 Project Choreographers. They are an exceptional group of community dance leaders & we are beyond thrilled to watch their work develop this season. Scroll down to learn more about them.
Amparo Amor Padilla was born in Boston, Massachusetts in the summer of 1994. She started her dance training in New York at the age of three with ballet and tap. As she became older expanded her dance training to jazz, hip-hop and modern. She attended Lumiere ballet under Svetlana Caton and Venti Petrov in Vaganova technique. In the summer of 2008 she moved from Long Island, NY to Orlando where she started taking classes at Orlando Ballet and realized that dance wasn't just a hobby anymore. She attended summer programs at Orlando ballet, Nashville ballet and Dance Theatre of Harlem. In 2012 she was accepted into New World School of the Arts where she was trained in ballet, pointe, Límon, Graham, Horton, Laban notation, composition, Alexander technique, Pilates, yoga and anatomy. As part of the bachelor program she took dance teaching methods where she fell in love with teaching the next generation of dancer. After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2016 she returned to the central Florida area to teach and spread dance wisdom.
Shianne is a Tampa native, who began dancing at the age of three. She is currently a senior at The University of Tampa where she is majoring in Dance and Psychology. In addition to performing with Hillsborough Community College and The University of Tampa, she has performed in “The Running Show” with Monica Bill Barnes. She has also completed residencies with Axis Dance Company, Cakeface, Orange Grove Dance, Holly Johnston, and Jon Lehrer. Her future aspirations are to continue her love of dance education and dive deeper into choreography and performance theory.
Lindsey Gunn has been a dancer since the age of 2. She grew up in a dance studio that her mom owns in Lutz, FL, called Contempo School of Dance. Lindsey is a graduate of USF, earning her BA in Dance Studies. She is currently in the process of completing her Dance Medicine and Science certificate. Lindsey is now the competitive director and dance instructor at Contempo. She loves everything and everything related to dance.
Kaylee began dancing at age three at a local studio in Jacksonville, Florida. She studied at Florida State College at Jacksonville where she received her Associates Degree with a focus in dance. She was a member of DanceWorks, the college repertory company, while working on her degree. She transferred to The University of South Florida to continue her studies, and pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. After her first semester, she was selected to travel abroad for USF’s Dance in Paris semester program, where she studied dance and choreography in multiple European countries for four months. While in Europe, Kaylee’s perspective on dance (and the world) changed, and when she returned to the states, she began exploring who she was and how she wanted to show up in the world (both as a human and a dancer). She started focusing a lot on a practice called Ecstatic Dance, a free-form movement practice, as well as strengthening her relationship with God (The Divine, Source Energy, Universe, etc). She has experienced radical healing, and deep connection with God through movement, and sees movement as an opportunity to build community, play, and connect with the body and it’s wisdom. Kaylee has trained in different styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, contemporary, and modern, but her biggest interest is in improvisational dance and the Flow State. She’s also interested in exploring how other art forms and movement practices can enhance dance creation. She currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida, is a certified yoga instructor, and holds guided improv dance classes in the community for others to experience the healing she has personally experienced through movement.
Kelsey Keil-Fuchs graduated cum laude from Webster University in 2012 where she earned a BA in Dance. In addition to classical and modern studies, Kelsey pursued performance art, post-modern dance, and dance for film to contribute to her degree. In 2010, Kelsey participated in the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC where she trained intensively with acknowledged faculty and performed in the reconstruction of Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite. Through Webster University’s study abroad program, Kelsey studied traditional Thai dance at Patravadi Performing Arts School in Thailand where she taught, choreographed, and performed. Following graduation, Kelsey lived in Israel training, choreographing, and performing in the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company International “Dance Journey” Study Abroad Program. While living in Israel, Kelsey focused on studying contact improvisation, in addition to studying Gaga technique with Batsheva Dance Company members. In 2013, Kelsey returned to St. Louis, MO where she became a choreographer and performer for Leverage Dance Theater and two years later for Consuming Kinetics Dance Company. Since moving to Florida in 2019, Kelsey has been teaching improvisational dance and contact improvisation for Ecstatic Dance St. Pete and in collaboration with her dear friend Arthur.
Anna Smith began taking ballet classes at the age of 5 in Brandon, Manitoba. She fell in love with ballet and continued her training in Tucson, AZ at Arizona Ballet Theatre under Cecily Winslow Bressel, Norman Walker, and Rochelle Zide-Booth. Anna is a graduate of Mercyhurst University where she received her BA in dance with a choreography concentration under the direction of Tauna Hunter. While still in college, Anna was a company member with Lake Erie Ballet where she performed solos in The Nutcracker and various contemporary ballets. After graduation, Anna performed with Charlottesville Ballet as a trainee and Tampa Ballet Theatre as a professional artist. Currently, Anna teaches ballet and coaches dance teams in Lutz, FL while in her second season dancing with Brandon Ballet.
As long as she can remember, all Hailey Rogers wanted out of life was to dance. That memory has guided her life. Hailey graduated from Santa Fe College with an AA in dance in 2015. She began teaching later that same year at Studio 19 Centre for Performing Arts in Eustis, FL and is still currently on staff there. She also teaches intensives & master classes throughout Central Florida. Hailey has taken classes training with John Lehrer Dance Company and Stephanie Batten Bland, and she continues to train with artists throughout Orlando. In 2020 Hailey founded her own dance company, Tarantism Unfolds Contemporary. Since then, she has directed two dance films, River and Unseen. Hailey is a resident choreographer Season 2 (2021) with Central Florida Choreographers Collaboration. She directed & produced Tarantism Unfolds Contemporary’s first showcase, Fleeting Cycles, Fall 2021 and it was a great success. Teaching and creating is the most fulfilling job Hailey has ever had and all she wants is to pass that love for dance into the next generation.
Emily Schwartz pursued dance at a young age. She attended Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts and Florida School for Dance Education in her high school years where she trained under Jan Hanniford, Maria Konrad, Michele Zehner, Jerry Opdenaker, and Ronda Johnson. In her performance focus, she received opportunities to be in pieces set by Jennifer Archibald, Margo Sappington, Solomon Dumas, Levi Marsman, and Melissa Rector. She attended various summer programs as well, including Hubbard Street Dance and University of the Arts, where she learned and performed reparatory pieces in her training. In high school, she also found a love for choreography, setting pieces for Future Stars, Reach (A Dance Collective), and the Dreyfoos Senior Showcase, along with choreographing solos for recitals, YoungArts Auditions, and peers' college auditions. She began her university career attending the University of South Florida as a dance major where she performed in BFA showcases and Student Dance Production Board concerts. She later switched majors and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Forensices Behavioral Healthcare. Through her college career, she continued to choreograph and pursue dance opportunities through Golden Bulls Dance Team, Latin Dance Club, USD Dance Marathon, and Student Dance Production Board. Emily currently works as a Team Leader in the Visual Graphics & Media department of McKinsey and Company. She channels her creative side through her work, selling art commissions, and continuing to take hip hop, contemporary, and ballet classes in her free time.
Rebecca J. Greene grew up in Palm Beach County and from a young age started her dance training at Susan Lyle Studios that is now called Ballet East. In 2006 she moved to central Florida with her family. Rebecca has been married to her husband Jason for 24 years and has 4 amazing teens. Rebecca has danced all her life and has been teaching at Studio 19 Centre For Performing Arts in Eustis for the past 12 years, in addition to teaching at E.A.D. Elevations Academy of Dance in Ocala for the last five years. Rebecca is a board member of the Lake Marion ballet 501c3 nonprofit group. She has also choreographed liturgical and praise dances at many churches. Rebecca treasures working with her students to improve technique and their artistic abilities. Teaching dance is where she gets to share her passion and vision with others while having fun. When not in the studio Rebecca enjoys being a substitute teacher with the ability to travel to various schools to assist in the classroom.
Madison Jane Ruff is a Canadian artist whose love of movement runs deep. She has performed works by Peggy Baker, Christopher House, Julia Sasso, Jasmine Ellis and many more. During her formative training years she studied various techniques including: Graham, Horton, Limon, Bouffon and contact improvisation. She was a Nextfest artist from 2011-2014, working both as a choreographer and dancer for the multi art festival. A graduate from The Victoria School of the Arts and The School of Toronto Dance Theater, she moved to Florida in 2018. Madison is passionate about creating diverse movement that stems from organic places. She is influenced heavily by music of all kinds, the natural flow and movement of the body, architecture and improvisation. This is her first season with CFCC and she is overjoyed to be a part of this collaboration.
Hannah Townend is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida where she studied under John Parks, Michael Foley, Andee Scott, Bliss Kohlmyer, Jeanne Travers, Paula Nunez, Osmany Montano, and Andrew Carroll. She has performed original guest works by Robert Moses, Alex Ketley, and Ulysses Dove’s "Vespers" (staged by Alfred Dove).
She has studied in various summer programs under Kevin Quinauo, Catherine Denecy, and Wanjiru Kimuyu in France, and Jennifer Archibald, Attila Joey, and Heidi Henderson in America.
Hannah is a keen choreographer whose perception of intellectual ideas in communication theory shapes her movement invention and quality. As a woman whose truest identity lies in her faith in Jesus Christ, her work in intrinsically Christian. Her belief that humans were created for community, relationship, and intimacy informs her movement and choreography. Her works have been performed in concerts and festivals in Tampa and Atlanta.
Her extensive knowledge in both communication and movement theory allows her to express the relationship between the intellectual and artistic through dance performance. Armed with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance and a BA in Communication, Hannah hopes to continue to make work that challenges the mind, body, and soul in the Tampa Bay area in her own dance company.
Land O Lakes, FL
Teri Lea is the founder and director of Ignite Performing Arts. She has been in film, video and theater production for over 25 years and worked in New York City in all aspects of the entertainment industry, including Producing, Casting, Set Design, Wardrobe, and Choreography. She’s worked with artists such as Ashanti, Creed, Ric Flair, Mudvayne, Method Man, and clients such as the Daytona International Speedway, Sony BMG, Island Def Jam, and Netflix. She has a BFA in Theater with a minor in dance choreography, but began her training as a child in Key West, FL. Her experience spans from Theater, Dance Performances, and Cabaret shows, to Film, TV and Commercials. Her acting credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nunsense, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Baby with the Bathwater, Not Every Beginning is Beautiful, and Emma. As a dancer, she began training at age 3 and choreographed her first staged piece at just 12 years old. From there, she was hooked! Choreography has always come naturally to her, and she founded, choreographed for, and directed her first dance team at the age of 15. What started with 3 girls, quickly grew to over 150 men and women of all ages and experience levels. Since then, she founded several performance dance teams throughout Florida, New Jersey, and New York and has created pieces in a variety of styles, including - but not limited to - hip hop, lyrical, ballet, contemporary, modern, prop, musical theater, liturgical and drama to music. She teaches as a guest instructor at Silva Dance Academy and her work can be seen in community events, church productions, competitions, and music videos just to name a few. She’s written, directed, choreographed and performed in shows such as Yet Another Church Christmas Production, This is Not The End, The King Is Here, A Christmas Story: The Lost Translation, Luminaire, and the hit comedy, A Star is Born. She has always had a deep desire to bring excellence to the performing arts throughout her local community, as well as within the Church. Out of this desire, Ignite Performing Arts was born. Her passion goes beyond just storytelling, but is rooted in the mission to change lives.
From humble beginnings growing up in Sellersburg, Indiana, Madeleine (Maddie) Wilcox is a 21-year-old Bachelor’s in Fine Arts candidate at the University of South Florida that has been studying dance seriously for the past 15 years. Madeleine has years of dance training experience in ballet, modern dance, contemporary, jazz, hip-hip, salsa, and improvisation. She has received rigorous dance training beginning at an early age from attending the Louisville Ballet School in Louisville, Kentucky and has received scholarships and trained with a variety of summer programs including the Cincinnati Ballet, Kirov Academy of Ballet, Next Generation Ballet, Florida State University, and the American Ballet Theatre summer program. Madeleine has choreographic experience that ranges from choreographed work that was premiered at the South East Regional Ballet Association Emerging Choreographers Showcase in North Carolina at the 2015 Regional Dance America Festival, to just recently premiering her newest choreographed solo work at the 2022 USF Student Dance Concert. As a collegiate dancer she has been casted by Andrew Carroll, Sadie Lehmker, Paula Nunez, and Michael Foley for dance concert pieces at the University of South Florida Dance Department’s Fall and Spring Dance Concerts and has experience with dance film work, such as the work done by CFCC. Madeleine has summer residency experience as the Head Resident Assistant at the 2021 Next Generation Ballet Summer Intensive in Tampa, Florida and currently works as a faculty teacher at DanceBox Studio in downtown Tampa when not attending her college dance classes. Madeleine is set to graduate from the University of South Florida in the spring of 2023 and will be taking her artistic talents abroad by attending the 2022 University of South Florida Dance in Paris Summer Program to work to achieve her goal of dancing professionally on cruise lines and in a professional company one day.
It all began with a mouse…. Carla first fell in love with dance after seeing her cousin perform as Minnie Mouse at the age of five. After begging to study dance for an entire year, her parents finally relented and her fate was sealed. Years later, Carla graduated from the Pinellas County Center for the Arts’ dance program before moving to New York City where she graduated from The Juilliard School with a BFA in Dance. At Juilliard, Carla’s training included intensive study of ballet technique (Vaganova, Cecchetti and Bournonville), modern technique (Graham, Limon and Taylor) and dance composition with several highly regarded teachers in dance, including Benjamin Harkarvy, Ethel Winter, Carolyn Adams, Linda Kent, Alfredo Corvino, Hector Zaraspe, Doris Rudko and Anna Sokolow. While there, Carla performed works by Martha Graham, Paul Taylor, Jose Limon, Alwin Nikolais, Anna Sokolow, Mark Morris and Doris Humphrey, including Diversion of Angels, Esplanade, Missa Brevis, Tensile Involvement, Rooms, Beautiful Day and the role of Mother in Day on Earth. After graduating from Juilliard, Carla toured the country for 8 years with the Avodah Dance Ensemble and Omega Dance Company as a performer and teacher of modern dance. In 2001, she returned to Florida and started her next great adventure – motherhood. Her passion for teaching dance led her to return to the dance world where she became the Modern Dance Director of New Tampa Dance Theatre. From 2005 – 2019, Carla taught modern and ballet technique to hundreds of students and choreographed more than 50 works for New Tampa Dance Theatre and Dance Theatre of Tampa. In 2020, Carla joined the ballet faculty of Contempo Dance Studio in Lutz, FL and first became involved with the Central Florida Choreographers Collaboration (CFCC). Carla was selected as a Project Choreograph for CFCC’s 2020 Dance Film and 2021 Dance Film. Her CFCC 2020 Dance Film project, Path of Resistance, was selected for the Moving Currents New Grounds Dance Festival (2020), FilmFest by Rogue Dancer: L’enfant Showcase (2021) and Lift-Off First-Time Filmmaker Showcase (2021). Her CFCC 2021 Dance Film project, I’m Not Okay, was selected as a Finalist for the Accord Cine Fest (2022). In addition to her professional dance career, Carla has more than 25 years of experience in sales and business development, including 13 years as a professional fundraiser, and she is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE). Carla is currently the Director of Philanthropy at Gulfside Healthcare Services where she leads a small-but-mighty development team that is responsible for securing annual, major and planned gifts, as well as producing special fundraising events. Previously, she has been the Director of Corporate Giving and Sponsorship at the Straz Center for Performing Arts, the Associate Publisher of Stage Directions Magazine and the Operations Manager of pointe shoe manufacturer Gaynor Minden. Proud to be a 6th generation Floridian, Carla is a graduate of both the Leadership Tampa and Leadership Pasco programs. She currently serves as a Board Member of Leadership Pasco and is a Paul Harris Fellow in Rotary. In addition, Carla is a 1st degree black belt in tae kwon do and was a national champion at the US Open for Martial Arts in 2012 and the Battle of Atlanta in 2013. Carla has been married to her husband Robert for 20 years and she has two teenage children, Naomi and Joshua, who are her pride and joy.