Past faculty have included:
Urbanity Dance (Contemporary)
Betsi Graves, founder and director of Urbanity Dance, is from Orlando, Florida and holds a BA from Boston College. Her dance training includes studies in ballet, jazz, and modern dance under the direction of Gaymarie Tomlinson and later, performing with Southern Ballet Theatre, now Orlando Ballet. At the age of 17, she was selected by Mia Michaels to tour across the U.S. on full scholarship with LA Undergound. She has taught ballet, modern, and jazz at Harvard University, Boston College, Regis College, and Boston Ballet (2002-2012). Graves is an alumna of Jacob’s Pillow Choreographer’s Lab (2006) and Green Street Studios Emerging Artists Program (2008). She dabbled in professional modern dance, dancing for Karen Murphy's Limón-based Falling Flight Project (2008-2010) and as a street performer for Theatre Mama and Cirque du Soleil’s Kooza (2008). As a choreographer, Ms. Graves has garnered grant support from Massachusetts Cultural Council, the City of Boston and Boston Dance Alliance. Recent commissions include works for A Far Cry, UMass, Regis College, Plymouth State, Boston Ballet School, Touch Performance Art, and a diverse array of corporate/commercial clients. Since founding Urbanity Dance in June 2008, the company has experienced a roller coaster of growth; the company was voted “Best of Boston" and shortlisted for Bostinno's 50 on Fire in 2013. In the last three years, Graves' choreography for Urbanity has been presented at Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival Inside/Out, Alvin Ailey Citigroup Theater, Mass MOCA, Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art, and venues across New England, New York, Virginia, Texas, and Florida.
Jackie Nowicki originates from Chicago Illinois, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Western Michigan University, where she was named Presidential Scholar in April 2008. She has performed works by Robert Battle, Lou Conte, Helen Tamiris, George Faison, and Doug Varone, among others. She recently returned from performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, and previously finished a West Coast Tour with Contemporary Dance Company, Shiroun, where she was able to teach master classes at numerous universities and studios throughout the West Coast. Her professional credits also include working with, Derek Mitchell, Brice Mousett, Elizabeth Jones for Carnival 2012, DAMAGEDANCE, and Matthew Neff in the New York Musical Theater Festival’s production of Petrouchka, as well as performing with Ne-Yo for an Xbox Live event in Times Square. As a teacher and choreographer, Jacquelyn worked as a part-time faculty member at Western Michigan University’s Department of Dance, where she returns frequently as a Master Class teacher, and she was hired as Dianne McIntyre’s rehearsal assistant in the restaging of How Long Brethren? at the University of Minnesota. She judges for numerous dance competitions, and has taught at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City, as well as sharing her passion and artistry with numerous schools, studios, and theaters all over the United States.
Jamie began her dance training at the early age of two. She danced in her hometown of Bridgewater, MA for several years and continued her training in Plymouth, MA for the remainder of high school. Jamie attended Dean College where she graduated with her B.A. in dance and has since performed with Boston Community Dance Project, Boston Symphony Orchestra and is currently in her fifth season with Urbanity Dance. In addition to being a dancer for Urbanity's professional company, Jamie was also the director of the former teen summer program at UD and is an instructor for the UD Trainee program. She teaches modern, ballet, jazz and technique classes and has received several awards and recognitions for her work/choreography. Jamie is constantly drawn towards new people and opportunity!
Urbanity Dance (Contemporary)
Meghan (Meg) hails from central Massachusetts where she began her early dance career. She continued her dance education at Dean College and graduated with her BA in Dance in 2012. Since graduation Meg has had the opportunity to dance in prestigious theaters such as the Ailey Theater, Jordan Hall, and the Paramount Theater, and with incredible organizations like Emmanuel Music, A Far Cry and Massachesetts Symphony Orchestra. Recently Meg was honored to be one of the only two female dancers to ever perform Pilobolus' famous founding quartet "Ocellus" alongside fellow Urbanity Dancer Jamie Lovell. Throughout her four seasons with Urbanity, Meg has had the honor of working with many notable choreographers such as Betsi Graves, Marcus Schulkind, Jaclyn Walsh, Carl Flink and Andy Noble. She has also had the opportunity to present her own choreography, collaborating with such organizations as Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra, Boston Children's Choir and Emerson Dance Ensemble. Meg is currently the youth company director at Urbanity Dance and teaches high energy contemporary, jazz and ballet classes throughout Massachusetts.
Ellenore Scott is a New York based professional dancer, master teacher and choreographer. As a dancer, Ellenore was both a finalist (Season Six) and All-Star (Season Eight) on hit television show So You Think You Can Dance?
Ellenore performed for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards, The Ellen Show, Smash, and Glee, she has also performed as a featured background dancer with Janet Jackson. Ellenore teaches internationally and nationally with numerous universities, performing arts schools, and dance conventions. She was commissioned to set work on Glow Dance Company in Stavanger, Norway, Harvard University and Urbanity Dance in Boston.
Ellenore is an Associate Choreographer for several NYMF productions including Volleygirls and Cloned! She is the Founder and Artistic Director of New York City based contemporary dance company, ELSCO Dance and Executive Producer of The Breaking Glass Project, a nationwide program to help mentor and nurture emerging female choreographers. For more information about Ellenore and her projects, please visit www.ELSCOdance.org and www.BreakingGlassProject.org
Boston Ballet (Modern)
Dusty Button was born in South Carolina and began her dance training at the age of 7. At age 16, she moved to New York City to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at American Ballet Theatre. In 2007, Button joined American Ballet Theatre's second company, ABT II, were she performed the lead role in Adam Hougland's Vanished. She completed her training with London's Royal Ballet School on scholarship, graduating with honors and was presented with the Dame Ninette de Valois bursary. While at The Royal Ballet School she performed lead roles in David Bintley's Gallantries and Natalie Weir's Unwritten at the Royal Opera House. She also performed with The Royal Ballet in Sylvia and The Sleeping Beauty. Button was awarded the bronze medal at the Youth American Grand Prix in 2006. In 2008, Button was invited to join Birmingham Royal Ballet where she performed principal roles in many ballets including David Bintley's Cinderella (Skinny, the evil stepsister) and Gallantries; Sir Peter Wright's The Sleeping Beauty (Temperament Fairy); Twyla Tharp's In the Upper Room (Stomper); Kenneth MacMillan's Concerto (3rd Movement); Hans van Manen's Grosse Fugue; and the lead role in The Centre and it's Opposite created for her by Gary Stewart. Button joined Boston Ballet in 2012 as a corps de ballet member. She was promoted to soloist in 2013 and to principal dancer in 2014. Her featured repertoire with Boston Ballet includes Florence Clerc's La Bayadère (Gamzatti, solo Shade); José Martinez's Resonance; Alexander Ekman's Cacti; Sir Frederick Ashton's Cinderella (Fairy Godmother, Winter Fairy); Rudolf Nureyev's Don Quixote (Dryad Queen); Mikko Nissinen's The Nutcracker (Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, Snow Queen) and Swan Lake (Pas de Trois and Pas de Cinq); George Balanchine's Serenade (Dark Angel), Symphony in C (3rd Movement principal), Rubies (Tall Girl) and Emeralds (Lead Couple), and Coppélia (War and Discord, Summer variation); William Forsythe's The Second Detail, and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude; Jorma Elo's Plan to B, Close to Chuck (Reborn), Awake Only, and Bach Cello Suites; Marius Petipa's The Sleeping Beauty (Lilac Fairy); Jiří Kylián's Wings of Wax; Helen Pickett's Eventide; Lila Yorks Celts (Principal Brown Couple); George Balachine's Episodes (Five Pieces); and Jerome Robbins' The Concert (Wife). Button has been featured in Glamour Magazine, Pointe Magazine, Dance Europe, Dance SpiritMagazine, Dance Magazine, Dance Informa and many others. Button was featured on the 2015 Pointe Magazine cover where she was labeled as "A New Brand of Ballerina". Pointe also remarks, "onstage, Dusty defies categorization." She has been a guest performer with companies around the world including American Ballet Theatre, Japan's K Ballet, The Ace Awards, Broadway Underground, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Space Coast Ballet and Ballet Hawaii. She has choreographed works for Birmingham Royal Ballet and Boston Ballet's BB@home series, as well as for various companies and organizations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, and New York.
Plymouth State University (Modern)
Amanda Whitworth has enjoyed performing for companies and choreographers in and around New York City including the Amy Marshall Dance Company, Ann Reinking, Kevin Wynn, the Chasama Theater on Broadway, Ann Carlson, Mark Dendy, Chaos Theory Dance, The Yard, Nathan Trice/RITUALS and Lorraine Chapman: The Company. Mrs. Whitworth has taught hundreds of master classes and participated in residencies at universities, private and public schools across the country. She is the recipient of the Friends of Dance Award from Goucher College, the Monticello Award for Choreography from Regional Dance America and the J.S. Seidman Award from her alma mater New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Since moving to New Hampshire Mrs. Whitworth has collaborated with several organizations promoting arts education through performance including, Theater Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility (TIGER), the Kearsarge Arts Theater Company (KAT Co.), the Educational Theater Collaborative (ETC), and the Ninth State Movement Complex. Mrs. Whitworth obtained her M.E.d from Plymouth State University and is now a doctoral candidate at Franklin Pierce University. Currently, Mrs. Whitworth serves as the Director of Dance at Plymouth State University and is a member of Terminal Hip Dance Theater, a collaborative performance group based in Plymouth, NH. Amanda received a BFA in Dance from New York University.
River North Dance Chicago, So You Think You Can Dance (Contemporary)
Tucker Knox was born in Nashville, TN where he trained for 6 years as a gymnast then pursued training into becoming a dancer. He moved on to study under the renowned Denise Wall and The Kirov Ballet School. After his competition years were over, he attended The Juilliard School in NYC. During his attendance he worked for several New York based companies including Gallim and Jose Limon. He has been highly trained in the Alexander technique, used for correct body alignment to maximum dancing ability, body placement, and in a teaching technique developed by Denise Wall using imagery and touch activation. Later he danced for a company in Chicago, River North Dance Chicago, recognized on a global stage and gave him the opportunity to dance in countries like Switzerland, Germany and Russia. After his company work he then went on So You Think You Can Dance, finishing fourth in males and was then a dance captain of the tour. He is now residing in Boston working for companies and colleges in the area. Recent works include choreographer and performer for Nashville on ABC as well as companies such as Pepsi, Neocon, and Samsung International.
Marcus Schulkind is a founding director of Green Street Studios and has been dancing, teaching, and performing for over thirty-three years. Originally trained in Graham Technique and Graham based variants (Norman Walker, May O’Donnell, Pearl Lang), he went on to study ballet with Antony Tudor and Maggie Black at Julliard, bodywork with Zena Rommett (for whom he taught in New York), and Pilates Technique with Kathy Grant. He has performed nationally and internationally with many major modern dance companies including Lar Lubovitch, Kathy Posin, and Batsheva Dance Company of Isreal. He has taught in the United States, Europe, Canada, and the Middle East. Mr. Schulkind is a nationally recognized dancer, teacher, and choreographer, having received grants from the N.E.A., N.Y.S.C.A., Affiliate Artists Inc., Bank Boston Celebrity Series, and First Night. He has choreographed for Dennis Wayne’s Company, Princeton Ballet, David Brown, Elisa Monte, 5 by 2 Plus, People Dancing, Pick of the Crop, Little Feet, Peanut Butter and Jelly Dance Company, and in Canada for Dance Partout and the National Ballet of Egypt. Since seriously injuring his knee twelve years ago, he has been integrating physical therapies and his five year training of Pilates into his floor barre, modern, and ballet technique classes. Marcus is also a practicing acupuncturist.
Urbanity Dance (Ballet, Horton)
Haley Day was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She began training as a competitive gymnast as a child and started ballet at age 12. She attended University of Missouri, Kansas City, Conservatory of Music and Dance and graduated cum laude in 2013 with her BFA in Dance Performance, dual emphasis in ballet and modern. Haley has been dancing with the professional company for three seasons and has been Urbanity School Principal for two years.
Ashton Lites, also known as Stiggity Stackz, is a Boston native that uses his talents in dance, film, motivational speaking, and music to build a life based around artistry and purpose. With over 10 years of experience training in multiple styles urban and classical, Lites approaches the classroom with useful knowledge all while blending in his extremely high dose of charisma. For more information visit his website at Ashtonlites.com or tune in to his latest work at youtube.com/ashtonlites
Urbanity Dance (Hip Hop)
Alison was born and raised in Ridgefield, CT where she began her dance training at the Ridgefield Conservatory of Dance under the direction of James Robey. She attended Elon University and received a major in Human Services and Public Health. After graduating college, Alison moved to Boston to pursue dance, choreography and teaching professionally. Since moving to Boston, Alison has had the privilege of dancing with Bosoma2 - a contemporary dance company combining vibrant, energetic movement with athletic performance quality. She is currently dancing and performing with one of Boston’s elite hip hop company’s Concept Artists under the artistic direction of Tarikh Campbell and Sean Bjerke. Past performance credits include but are not limited to Sony Music, the Orchard Record Label, Hottspot, World of Dance Boston, Monsters of Hip Hop, and RAW Boston Artists. Alison would like to thank Tarikh Cambell, Sean Bjerke, and James Robey for their profound influences on her dance style and teaching ability.
Urbanity Dance (Improvisation, Choreography)
Alexander Davis is a graduate of Keene State College where he received a BA in English: Writing, and a BA in Theatre and Dance: Choreography and Performance under the mentorship of William Seigh. Alex has performed and presented his choreographic work at conferences, concerts, festivals, in open fields, theaters, art museums, abandoned buildings, street corners, walkways, gardens, churches and (most recently) his mother’s kitchen. In 2014, Alex’s work Slight Displacement was selected by the American College Dance Association to represent New England as an Honorable Mention, at the ACDA National Gala at the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, DC. Alex is currently a company member of Urbanity Dance, voted Boston's Best Dance Company 2015 by Boston Magazine. Alex is also an ensemble member of the Hartford based Judy Dworin Performance Project. Alex has worked with a variety of artists including Betsi Graves, Jessica Muise, Cynthia McLaughlin, Rebecca Stenn, Marcia Murdock, Jennifer Pollins, Dre Rawlings, Candice Salyers, Carl Flink, Marcus Schulkind, Andy Noble, Ryan Landry, and Monica Bill Barnes. Alex is also an accomplished arts administrator, a published memoirist, an exhibited fiber artist, a sexual consent educator, and an ok comedian.
Leilani is a teacher and performer based in Boston, MA. A summa cum laude graduate of Dean College with degrees in Dance and Theater, Ms. Ricardo is currently a member of Kat Nasti Dance and has served as dance captain for theater companies such as Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Maiden Phoenix Theater Co. She has worked as choreographer Yo-el Cassel's assistant including on a project with Boston Landmarks Orchestra. Her Boston debut as an independent choreographer was the 2014 premier of "The Weaver of Raveloe," at the Oberon. As a teacher, Ms. Ricardo is a faculty member for both the Urbanity School and Urbanity In the Community, a Lead Teacher with Boston Ballet's ECI Department, and a Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild instructor. You can pretty much always find her in a studio rehearsing, teaching, or training!