About Us > Instructors
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
Nicola Bullock is a Pilates teacher and dancer living in Durham. She stumbled upon Pilates while living in Chicago 8 years ago, fell in love with it, and pursued her teaching certificate in New York City. Nicola has practiced and taught the method for 6 years, and is herself evidence of the strength, stretching, balance, and coordination benefits!
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 Tina 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 a 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 teach beginner hoop dance at Ninth Street.
Lauren Proctor Diesenroth has pursued a love of dance for over twenty years. Recently certified as a Pilates Mat instructor, she has been studying the Pilates method for nearly a decade and feels that its many benefits are ideal for the well-being of both dancers and non-dancers.
Michelle "LaRubia" 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.
Adriana Freiberger has studied yoga for ten years and has taught for five; she has also trained in the Brazilian martial art of capoeira for nine years and has studied the related Brazilian dances intensively for the past three years.
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!
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.
Ashonda Johnson has been dancing for 16 years. She has studied contemporary, modern, jazz, and hip hop and has performed with the North Carolina Theatre Conservatory. Ashonda also cheers for numerous sports teams, both competitive and recreational.
LeBrandi Johnson began dancing at age 5 and continued through high school and college. She performed African and multi-cultural dance with DanceVisions and La Raza de mil Colores at NCSU, and guest performed with the Duke University Dance Ensemble and with Ron K. Brown at the Kennedy Center. LeBrandi teaches hip-hop, AfroFusion and preschool dance.
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.
Jessi Knight majored in dance at Duke University; she taught and performed in the Triangle before moving to Denver,CO to dance professionally with Cleo Parker Robinson Dance. After four years, Jessi moved back to NC, where she has continued to perform and teach at local studios and Duke University.
Laurie LaBean is a certified Blue and Green Belt instructor and a licensed massage therapist who has been studying health and healing for the last 9 years. When she began dancing Nia®, she realized the incredible power Nia has to heal the body, mind and spirit. In her Nia classes she fosters an environment free of judgment where participants can just have fun!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Deepika Potarazu hails from Washington DC. She began studying Indian classical dance as a child and frequently travels to India, where she has won many awards and much critical acclaim for her performances. Deepika is also a member of the Duke Bhangra team and love teaching Bollywood dance.
McDaniel Roberts is a principle dancer with the African American Dance Ensemble and the Artistic Director of The Harambee Collective. He has performed with a number of companies, including the Cultural Movement African Dance Company and NCCU Dance Group. McDaniel has traveled and performed around the United States and abroad exploring various dance styles and rhythms. He pays homage to his ancestors and current mentors, as well as to his family and Almighty God who gives him strength.
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.
Megan Kelly Tisdale has been Irish Dancing for over 30 years. She has performed all over the world and competed at the Open Championship level and at multiple regional, national, and world championships. She loves to teach both traditional steps and ceilis as well as contemporary choreography. Megan teaches all levels of Irish dancers and hopes she encourages students to love it as much as she does!
Matt Vazquez was "bitten by the swing and blues bug" in his teens and began teaching swing dance in the year 2000.
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.