About Us > Instructors
Renay Aumiller is the Founder and Artistic Director of RAD | Renay Aumiller Dances, a project-based dance company located in Durham, North Carolina. She holds an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is a Franklin Method® Educator, and an Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University. renayaumillerdances.com
Anna Barker was introduced to Pilates during college, as a strengthening and supportive tool for her dance career. She went on to receive her Pilates Mat Certification in 2009 and taught in Philadelphia and New York City for 5 years. Anna moved back home to Durham, where she received the Pilates apparatus/equipment certification at InsideOutBodyTherapies, and currently teaches at several local studios. She is fascinated by the healing and reconstructive elements of Pilates and has used the system to combat her own dance-related injuries. Anna is thrilled to share her movement experiences in her classes, while not taking herself too seriously!
Neha Batra is a rising junior at UNC Chapel Hill where she studies Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. Neha has been dancing since the age of 4, and began training in Bhangra 6 years ago. She is currently the captain of UNC's bhangra team and has danced at competitions around the country.
Suzanne Beahrs is a modern dancer, teacher and choreographer. She loves teaching multiple styles of dance to both children and adults. She has taught at Dance New Amsterdam, Gibney Dance Center, Mark Morris Dance Center, Dancewave, and others in New York City, and has guest taught at Elon University and North Carolina State University. With her company, Suzanne Beahrs Dance, she has shown work and performed at venues throughout New York City, as well as in Boston, San Francisco, and Tempe, AZ. Suzanne received her MFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. suzannebeahrs.org
Shanda Clifton developed a passion for dance during her junior year of high school. Through determination and hard work, she taught herself to dance by watching YouTube. She has auditioned for NBA and NFL cheerleading teams in both Florida and North Carolina and has performed across North Carolina as a Carolina Flames Cheerleader and Cary Invasion Dancer. In February 2015 she cheered at the CIAA Celebrity Basketball Game in Charlotte, with celebrities such as Keke Palmer, Lil Kim and Lil Romeo in attendance.
Danielle (Dani) Cohen is a native of Los Angeles, where she trained in RAD ballet technique. She performed with the Nashville City Ballet and several dance companies in San Francisco and Los Angeles and, more recently, performed in Perugia, Italy. Dani has earned a master's degree in Education from UNC-CH and a Dance Education certification from UNC-G. She currently teaches modern and contemporary dance at Chapel Hill High School.
ShaLeigh Comerford holds a Masters degree in Visual and Performing Arts and toured with the Roanoke Ballet Theatre of Virginia. She lived for several years in New York City, where she danced with Tina Croll and Company and apprenticed with Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane. In 2005, she formed ShaLeigh Dance Works, a dance-theatre company dedicated to creating socially conscious works. ShaLeigh has just returned from Israel, where she studied Gaga technique with Ohad Naharin and the Batsheva Dance Company
Christina Conley began dancing at age three, focusing her training on jazz, tap, and modern. She holds a BA in modern dance from the George Washington University and is certified in yoga, Pilates mat, and Pilates apparatus. Christina has taught in the Triangle since 2006 and has performed with Killian Manning, Ava Vinesett, for the UNC-G graduate dance department, and recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC. She also practices massage therapy in Chapel Hill.
Tina Joy Craven finds joy and bliss in many forms, but her main passion is movement! In 2005, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Theater Performance and a Minor in Dance Performance from Winthrop University. She is certified Yoga Fit and Kundalini yoga instructor. Tina has taught many movement styles including yoga, African dance, cheerleading and hooping at festivals, wellness centers, schools, movement studios and summer camps in the Southeast. She has been hooping since 2010 and is excited to be teaching again at Ninth Street Dance.
Lauren Diesenroth has pursued a love of dance for over twenty years. Certified as a Pilates Mat instructor in 2009, she has been studying the Pilates method for over 15 years and feels that its many benefits are ideal for the well-being of both dancers and non-dancers.
Michelle Draughon has trained with Latino professionals from all over the country and has been teaching since 1993; she has appeared in hundreds of events and on local television.
Caroline Dyar is a Green and Black Belt Nia teacher who was introduced to Nia in 1999 and began her teaching journey in 2008. Her Nia practice guides her to be aware of sensation, to open her mind to endless possibilities, to allow emotions to flow and release, and to listen to and embrace her unique spirit. Caroline delights in applying what she has learned from Nia to every aspect of her life, and she loves to share the Joy with everybody! Contact Caroline and read the story of her Nia journey by visiting her NiaNow profile: http://www.nianow.com/carolinia
Crystal Ebert is a former rugby player turned Pilates and barre instructor. She started taking barre classes in the DC area back in 2008, when barre was first taking off as an exercise method. She's been teaching Pilates mat classes since 2011and barre classes since 2012. She completed a comprehensive Pilates instructor teacher training in 2013. Her workouts are fun, challenging, and approachable for dancers and non-dancers alike.
Kristin Emery has been dancing for over a decade and has trained in Ballet, Ballroom, Belly Dance, Broadway, Hip-hop, Jazz, and Modern. She minored in Dance at UNCA, where she started a dance club and explored the intersections of dance and technology.
Bernadine Fields began her formal training in lyrical, ballet, pointe and jazz and continued her studies in modern dance at North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem. She graduated with a degree in Dance Education from UNC Greensboro in 2004 and currently teaches dance and is the coordinator for the auxiliary dance team at Southern High School in Durham. She has choreographed for and performed with numerous local companies and directs “Dreams In Motion”, a dance company focusing on commercial hip-hop and contemporary dance.
Whitney Goodman grew up dancing, and spent ten years performing nationally and abroad with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble under the direction of Gene Medler. She currently teaches high school in Durham and dances with Footnotes Tap Ensemble. She loves to teach and spread her passion for tap - a beautiful and expressive American art form!
John Graner started dancing 16 years ago and never stopped. He's been teaching for almost 13 years and is experienced in a range of dances including Lindy Hop, Blues, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, and social ballroom. He enjoys teaching and sharing dance with others in fun and inviting ways. He currently teaches, DJs, and organizes for RDU Blues and DJs for the Lindy Lab.
Seku Grey was born in the south Bronx and was immersed in hip-hop culture by age seven. He has since traveled around the world, from Sweden, China, Cambodia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Paris, and Japan, teaching dance and performing with celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Diplo , Missy Elliott, Zac Efron and more . Seku is blessed to be able to continue to teach the history of his culture with passion. Writing and performing music have also been a passion for Seku, and he has recorded several songs with well-known hip-hop artists and producers like Camp Lo and the Apple Juice Kid. He is currently working on a project with Deepak Chopra: hip-hop with a higher consciousness.
Sakarah Hall-Edge has been dancing most of her life. She studied African dance, ballet, and modern dance, and was on the hip-hop team at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University. She currently teaches hip-hop locally.
Trevor Helms began his movement explorations with martial arts, earning several different black belts. He then began to broaden his movement studies to gymnastics and hip-hop, which eventually led him to modern dance and ballet. He attended many different schools of dance, including the American Dance Festival and the University of Malta, and earned a BFA in Performance and Choreography from UNCG in 2015. He has since been performing, and choreographing all around North Carolina, as well as teaching both children and adults.
Beth Hoke started dancing with tap and ballet classes at the age of four and got her first taste of partner dancing at age six. She has studied and taught a wide variety of partner dance styles, including ballroom, swing, salsa, shag, and country western. Beth says she is never happier than when dancing, and her friendly, upbeat and encouraging teaching style ensures that her students leave class with smiles on their faces
Jeanie “Marisol” Ibañez has always been interested in dance and studied ballet and danced in musicals and summer stock while at university. She has choreographed and danced for the Kansas City and Orlando Lyric Operas, as well as for Epcot Center and other venues. Her flamenco and Spanish dance studies began in NYC at Ballet Hispanico. She has studied in Spain with Milagros Mengibar, Raphael Campallo, Isabel Quintero, and El Veneno and in the U.S. with Carlota Santana, Belen Maya, Leonor Leal, and numerous others. Jeanie endeavors to share her enjoyment of the dance with others.
Steven James hails from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, where he began his movement studies with the martial arts. While a student at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, he studied ballet, jazz, and contemporary dance intensively and performed and choreographed with HINCAPIE and ANDANZA dance companies. Steven came to the Triangle area a year and a half ago and has been teaching both children and adults at local studios.
Stephanie Johnston is a dancer, singer, and Celtic musician who has been performing professionally since her teens. She has appeared in concerts and festivals in Canada and all over the United States, and has recorded two albums with the Carrboro-based Celtic music and dance group, Cucanandy. She began teaching Cape Breton step dancing in 2002 and founded the Asheville, NC percussive dance group, Twistycuffs, in 2006.
Laurie LaBean is a certified Blue and Green Belt instructor and a licensed massage therapist who has been studying health and healing for the last 9 years. When she began dancing Nia®, she realized the incredible power Nia has to heal the body, mind and spirit. In her Nia classes she fosters an environment free of judgment where participants can just have fun!
Nicole Lawson , originally from Sandy Ridge, North Carolina, is a dancer, choreographer, and instructor working in the Research Triangle community. Nicole began working with young children while still a student herself. This will be her sixth year teaching dance to young students. A recent graduate of Meredith College, Nicole received a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies and Spanish with a Certificate in Professional Performance. In addition to her work with Ninth Street Dance, Nicole is also a dancer with Renay Aumiller Dances in Durham, North Carolina.
Alicia and Eduardo Lazarowski moved to the US from their native Argentina US in 1986. They have studied both tango and teaching technique with some of the most renowned tango Maestros, and have danced at some of the most legendary milongas in Buenos Aires. Alicia and Eduardo have performed around NC since 2007 and are very active in the local tango community, Triangle Tango. Check out their website here.
Caroline Leitschuh has been dancing for 12 years and teaching dance for 9 years. She has trained in blues, lindy hop, belly dance, ballroom, jazz, and ballet. She loves working with dancers of all levels and building a safe, supportive dance community. She currently organizes, teaches, and DJs for RDU Blues.
Raina Lucas holds a BA in Dance from Goucher College and an MFA in Choreography from UNC-G. She has taught a variety of dance styles for over ten years, including ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, and musical theater, to both children and adults.
Savita Madan has been dancing for nearly fourteen years and has taught dance for the past seven. She has studied various dance styles ranging from ballet to modern to classical to folk. Among these dance styles, Bhangra is her true passion; she has been a member of UNC's competitive Bhangra Elite team for the last four years.
Laylianah Mahasin has been devoted to the art of Belly Dance for over 11 years. She has studied many styles of belly dance with world-renowned instructors, and is excited to share her knowledge and passion with her students. Laylianah emphasizes the importance of correct technique, while providing a fun and supportive atmosphere for students who are just discovering what amazing belly dancers they can be!
Molly McCambridge holds a degree in dance and film from Hollins University and teaches at a Durham preschool.
Nicolette (Nicki) Miller studied ballet, tap, and jazz as a young girl and later focused primarily on ballet and modern. She studied at the Virginia School of the Arts and at the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Conservatory of Music and Dance. Nicki has performed with several Triangle-area dance companies, including ShaLeigh Dance Works.
Jonathan Okafo has been dancing for eight years and has taught hip-hop to children and adults of all ages for four. He choreographs for local showcases and performances and often teaches workshops for NC Underground Dance.
David Orovitz has practiced various meditative arts for over 40 years, beginning at age 18 by studying meditation with teachers from India. His Tai Chi and Qigong training began in his 30’s in California and continued in the Triangle when he moved to NC. David recently retired at age 62; during his 30-year career as a social worker, he taught clients and staff Meditation and Tai Chi techniques and developed Tai Chi Flow, a movement process that integrates Tai Chi, Qigong and Meditation for physical and mental well-being.
Saliima Owen has delighted in the joy of music and dance since childhood. Since 1999. Saliima has taught, choreographed, and performed dance styles including swing, Latin, hip-hop, belly dance, Hawaiian Hula, and modern dance. Saliima fell in love with Hula & Hawaiian culture many years ago and loves sharing the beauty, versatility, and charm of this dance. She holds a BA in Dance from UNC-Charlotte.
Allie Pfeffer is a North Carolina native and has been studying various dance styles, including ballet, modern, and jazz, since she was a child. She received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and was performing and working as an arts administrator in New York City for 5 years before returning to NC two years ago. She has taught both young children and adults; her adult classes focus on movement that is informed by bodily structures and seek to extend the limits of how we think we're capable of moving.
Jasson Phillips has been dancing and teaching West Coast Swing for many years and competes on the national circuit.
McDaniel Roberts dances with the African American Dance Ensemble and is the Artistic Director of The Harambee Collective. He has performed with many companies, including the NC Central University Dance Group, and has traveled abroad to perform.
Deborah Ross currently studies dance at North Carolina Central University. She has done Liturgical Dance for seven years starting with the founding group of Victory In Praise Dance Ministry of UNC at Chapel Hill. She is now a member of Divine Destiny Dance Ministry at New Covenant Christian Church of Durham, NC.
Carol Ryner taught movement and martial arts for seventeen years, and has also studied a variety of partner dances. A long-time and beloved social dance instructor at NInth Street Dance, she says that dance is her passion and that she teaches with the belief that "if you can walk, you can dance.
Danielle Segretto studied ballet with renowned teachers such as Gelsey Kirkland, Cynthia Gregory and Cynthia Harvey and has danced professionally in Seattle, WA, as well as in North Carolina. She holds a BA in Dance from Winthrop University, a Zumba and Zumbatomic licensure, and is an ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor. Danielle has extensive experience teaching preschool and has her Early Childhood Education Certification for the state of North Carolina.
Aditi Sundaresan is trained in Bharatnatyam, jazz, lyrical, hip-hop, and Bollywood; in 2008, she founded Chapel Hill Chalkaa, a Bollywood fusion dance team at UNC- CH that continues to take the college dance competition circuit by storm. In 2015, Aditi received a Group Fitness Instructor Certification from the National Association of Fitness Certifications to teach Doonya, a Bollywood fitness workout, and made it one of her life missions to teach everyone how to channel their inner Bollywood rockstar!
Natasha Tyler earned a Certificate of Dance from the Alvin Ailey Dance Center and a BS in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. She has performed and taught a variety of dance style for the past eight years, including modern, jazz, hip-hop and African.
Cristina Velasquez studied with Hannan Sultan and has performed with Hannan’s student/professional dance troupe “Zohour al Sultan”. She has assisted with belly dance workshops taught by internationally known dancers, including Mohamed Shahin, Tamalyn Dallal, Bozenka, Tito, Camelia, and Yousry Sharif. Cristina currently performs as a soloist at local events, private parties, and venues around the Triangle and continues to study belly dance at workshops abroad.
Jose Velasquez grew up dancing, but it wasn't until high school that he attended his first hip-hop class. Largely self-taught since then, he has had the honor of opening for several big events, including The Gospel Choice Awards in Atlanta, 102 Jams Super Summer Jam, KC and Jojo and New Edition, and more.
Erika Bianca Vinson began performing hip-hop with Pamoja Dance Company at The University of Georgia. She continued her training with Culture Shock Chicago NFP, through which she met and began touring with recording artist Kid Sister. She has performed in several music videos, international festivals, and on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (NBC). Erika has been an EC Behavioral TA in Chapel Hill for the past two years. She has been a dance teacher for five years and a kids' dance instructor for one year.
Leah Wilks is a Durham-based dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has taught creative movement, release technique, improvisation and composition to kids and adults in a variety of settings. She likes getting her students moving and is constantly inspired by the ways in which they make her imagination grow.
Becca Wilusz began dancing at age three in Hamilton, NJ and grew up competing in NJ and New York City. As a student at Duke, she choreographed and performed with two dance groups and currently dances with nosi dance theater here in Durham. She holds a B.S.E. in biomedical and mechanical engineering and is pursuing a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Duke.
Stephanie Blackmon Woodbeck is a dance artist and teacher based in Hillsborough, NC. She holds a BFA in dance from UNC-G, an Associates Degree in massage therapy from the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences in NYC, and a certificate in Pilates Mat from the PhysicalMind Institute in NYC. Stephanie loves anatomy and physiology and bringing this knowledge into the dance studio. She is the co-founder of Tobacco Road Dance Productions and an active member of the Durham dance community.