Joanna Chockett

Juliana Dalton

Stephanie Dawkins

Carrie Dedrick

Erica Hidalgo-Monroy

Corin Illsley

Nikki Kelly

Lisa Kipley

Andria Maxwell

Melinda Merritt

Casey Pottle

Kara Robertson

 

 Joanna Chockett

DSC_0287-websiteJoanna’s dance training encompasses a wide variety of styles including Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Tap, Jazz and Hip Hop, as well as choreography and performance techniques.  She received her pre-collegiate dance training from both weDANCE Academy and Jessica Morgan School of Dance, then continued her studies at James Madison University, graduating cum laude, in 2011, with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance (Dance Concentration).  At JMU she was awarded the Marlene and Peter Coe Visual & Arts Scholarship (2008-2011), served as the Public Relations Chair of the Dance Theatre Student Organization (2010-2011) and was a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.  In addition, Joanna studied in numerous summer intensives, including the Manhattan Dance Project, Z Mullins Summer Dance intensive, North-Atlantic American College Dance Festival (Ohio University), Mark Morris Summer Dance Intensive (New York), and the American College Dance Festival (Elon, NC).

Joanna danced with the Associate Dance Ensemble, the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, and the Virginia Repertory Dance Company, all at JMU.  During 2012-13 she danced with the Dogwood Dance Project (Richmond, Va.), and she has recently rejoined that company.  Joanna also enjoys choreographing, and has a number of pieces to her credit.

Joanna taught her first classes, at weDANCE Academy, in 2006-07 (Adult Tap and Jazz Technique).  She taught Master Classes for dance majors and was the Student Director of the Freshman Dance Ensemble, both at JMU.  In 2016, she taught Master Classes at DOORS School and to the Ggaba Church Dance Crew, both in Kampala, Uganda.  From 2009-16, Joanna worked with Young Life Ministries, first in Virginia (2010-13) and then in New York (2014-16).  After returning to Richmond in 2016, Joanna joined the weDANCE staff to teach Modern Dance for Combustion Dance Camp and, currently, teaches yearly classes in Modern and Hip Hop styles to children.  Joanna also serves as a substitute teacher for all styles of dance

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Juliana Dalton

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Juliana began dancing in a local studio at the age of 3 and has been training at weDANCE Academy since its inception.  She has studied extensively in a broad range of styles, including ballet, ballet pointe, modern, jazz, hip hop, tap, and musical theatre.  Juliana performs with both weDANCE Company Ballet and weDANCE Ensemble and, for over a decade, has been seen in numerous dancing roles in Glorious Christmas Nights, Master’s Plan, and weDANCE productions including “In the Beginning . . . Intelligent Design,” “After the Rain” (2010 and 2014), “Daniel . . . Dance With Destiny,” “Heal Our Land,” “The Master’s Dance” (2015) in which she performed the solo ballet role of the Samaritan Woman, and “Moses” (2016) .  She served as a contributing choreographer for WEAG Kids Productions in 2014, 2015 and 2016 and the 2015 and 2016 WEAG Youth Productions.

Juliana is an active member of many programs at West End Assembly of God and has assisted with many tasks in the area of children’s, youth and dance ministry.  From 2013, she served as an Assistant Teacher for Pre-School Foundations and weDANCE Summer Camp and a substitute teacher for children’s dance classes in all styles.  In 2014, she was Dance School Assistant for Miracles in Motion.  In Summer 2015, she joined the Prism Dance Camp team, teaching Hip Hop to elementary aged children.  Juliana, who currently is studying dance a Christopher Newport University, serves, as her schedule allows, as a substitute teacher for children and youth in all styles of dance.

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Stephanie Dawkins

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Following four years of intensive instruction in modern, ballet, jazz, lyrical and tap at Henrico County’s Center for the Arts, Stephanie studied both modern and improvisational dance at James Madison University where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree with a major in Social Work and a minor in Humanitarian Affairs.  In 2015, she earned a Masters in Social Work from VCU.  She currently is employed as a Therapeutic Day Treatment Counselor, and will soon complete the process to become a LCSW.

Stephanie danced competitively for six years, during which time her hip hop team won several national titles.  Her performance credits include the National High School Dance Festival (Miami, Florida), Dancing with the Stars (JMU), “No Man’s Land” (GCN 2009), and Shadrach in “Daniel” (weDANCE 2012) and featured dancer in “Finding Christmas” (GCN 2016).  Her choreography has been showcased at VCU’s Grace Street Theatre.  Stephanie, a long-time attendee of WEAG, danced with the Youth Choir Dance Team in 2009 and 2010 and has served as a substitute weDANCE teacher throughout the past several years.  She completed WEAG’s Family Life Youth Internship (2011) and, since that time, has served as a WEAG Youth leader.

Stephanie taught and choreographed for weDANCE Intermediate and Advanced Ensembles in Fall 2014 and currently serves as a substitute teacher for all styles of dance.  -Back to Top-

Carrie Dedrick

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Carrie, who has over 20 years of training in jazz, ballet, tap, musical theatre, lyrical, modern and acrobatics, graduated from Bridgewater College, where she danced and choreographed for the Bridgewater Dance Team as well as the dance worship group, the Bridgewater Lyrical Ensemble.  She also toured with the Bridgewater Concert Choir and Vocal Ensemble, travelling to Ireland and Scotland to perform in 2011.  After earning degrees in English and Communication Studies, Carrie moved to Richmond, which she now considers home. She has several years of studio teaching experience and also previously taught preschool at Rainbow Station.

Carrie has danced competitively in jazz, tap, musical theatre, and lyrical, where judges have always commented on her bright smile! She loves musicals and has enjoyed performing in many shows including “Footloose,” “Guys and Dolls,” “George M!” “Thumbelina,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and “The Baker’s Wife.”  Carrie served as a contributing choreographer, and was a featured dancer in “Under the Same Stars” (GCN 2014), was a contributing choreographer and featured dancer for “Sincerely Yours” (GCN 2015) and served as choreography assistant for and featured dancer in “Finding Christmas” (GCN 2016).  She danced the solo role “Angel of Death” in “Moses” (weDANCE 2016).  When she is not dancing, you can likely find Carrie marathon running “at turtle speed.” She and her husband attend WEAG’s Gym Service.

Carrie teaches Jazz C, Intermediate Jazz, Advanced Jazz and Musical Theatre and serves as a substitute teacher for all styles of dance.  -Back to Top-

Erica Hidalgo-Monroy

From a young age, Erica trained extensively in tap, jazz, ballet and lyrical dance.  While attending WEAG in middle and high school, Erica performed with the Youth Choir and in Glorious Christmas Nights, including as a featured tap dancer in GCN 1999.  In college, while earning her BA, she trained and performed with the Lynchburg College Dance Company, also choreographing a variety of numbers for their dance concerts and performing in many student-choreographed projects across the spectrum of dance styles.  Following college graduation, Erica continued her formal dance training in Northern Virginia, focusing primarily on tap, and performing for several years with the tap company, Step-Aside.  She routinely participates in regional tap festivals and has been fortunate to take master classes with such highly-regarded tappers as Diane Walker, Michelle Dorrance and Barbara Duffy.  Erica also enjoys her ongoing training in ballroom dancing. An engaging performer, Erica delighted audiences with both her ballroom and tap dancing skills in “Streets of Gold” (GCN 2012) and “A Storybook Christmas” (GCN 2013).  She also served on the dance leadership team and performed in “Under the Same Stars” (GCN 2014), “Sincerely Yours” (GCN 2015), and “Finding Christmas” (GCN 2016).

Erica teaches weDANCE classes in tap and jazz to children, youth and adults.  -Back to Top-

Corin Illsley

Corin began her dance training with The Crossroads School of the Arts at the age of eight.  She continued to concentrate in ballet at Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet. She entered Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy in 2006, where she discovered modern and contemporary dance.  Two years later she was asked by Shenandoah University ‘s Dance Department to attend during high school.  Corin has performed works by Doug Varone, Netta Yerushalmy, Christian von Howard, Judith Steel, and Maurice Fraga.  She also performed as Noah’s wife in “After the Rain” (weDANCE 2014) and the Spirit of God in “Moses” (weDANCE 2016).    Corin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography.

Corin, who joined the weDANCE Staff in 2013, teaches modern, jazz, ballet and ballet pointe to children, youth and adults.  She also serves as teacher/choreographer for weDANCE Intermediate and Advanced Ensembles and Company Ballet.  -Back to Top-

 

Melinda Merritt

weAcademies is pleased announce the addition of Melinda Merritt to the weDANCE teaching staff.  Melinda brings a wealth of training and experience in a variety of styles, including tap, lyrical, ballet, and jazz.  She trained in Central New York under the Direction of Lucille Bach Stewart and Norma Broderick of Broderick-Ezzo Dance Studios and has trained with Master Instructors and Dancers including, Gus Giordano, Frank Hatchet, Roni Malher and Danny Hoctor.  Melinda and Norma Broderick partnered in development of a successful dance studio in Oswego, New York.  In addition, Melinda owned and operated a dance studio under the name of Broadway Babies with sites in Mexico, New York and Pulaski, New York.  Her competition dance teams have been highly rated at both regional and national levels.

Melinda relocated to Richmond in the late 90s and, since 1999, has served as a dance instructor with Richmond’s City Dance Program, also working in the area of curriculum development for ages 3 through adult and organizing performances for City Dance Program’s traveling competition dance troupe.  In addition, Melinda, who enjoys teaching students of all ages, has developed and taught creative movement and dance classes for area schools.

Melinda taught tap and jazz for weDANCE Academy in 2015-16, and currently serves as a substitute teach in a variety of styles of dance.  -Back to Top-

Nikki Kelly

Nikki, who holds a Master’s Degree in Teaching from Virginia Commonwealth University, is a homegrown WEAG performer who began developing her God-given talent and ministry potential at a young age in the WEAG Youth Choir and as a cast member of a variety of WEAG productions, including Glorious Christmas Nights in which she has sung, danced, and played a variety of dramatic roles from Jesus’ mother Mary for several years to “Mary Had a Little Lamb” (GCN 2006).  She appeared as Faith in “Under the Same Stars” (GCN 2014), and, most recently, as a lead Tantilla Dancer and mother Mary in “Finding Christmas” (GCN 2016).  She performed in James River High School’s award-winning Mixed Show Choir and has participated as a soloist/ensemble singer on many praise and worship teams.  Currently, she is the choreographer for the WEAG Youth Choir and a soloist/ensemble singer with the WEAG Sunday services Praise and Worship Team, and serves as WEAG’s Worship Administrator.  Nikki also is frequent contributing choreographer for GCN, including “Sincerely Yours” (GCN 2015), and both she and her husband, John, served as choreography assistants for the Tantilla Ballroom scene in “Finding Christmas” (GCN 2016).

Nikki has taught for the Dance Academy for several years and currently teaches hip hop to children, youth and adults, and serves as a substitute teacher for all styles of dance.

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Lisa Kipley

Lisa has over 30 years of dance experience including 19 years of formal training in ballet, modern dance, jazz, theatrical, praise and hip hop at studios and schools in Los Angeles, Princeton, Connecticut (Teaching apprenticeship/certification), New York and Virginia. She has performed with ballet companies, the Creative Performance Group, high school musicals, Glorious Christmas Nights, and “The Deliverer.” In addition, she has choreographed for numerous productions including pieces for the Creative Performance Group, middle and high school musicals and recitals. She is a frequent contributing choreographer for GCN. Lisa also enjoys singing in the WEAG choir and, for the past several years, has taught Sunday school, for ages ranging from Kindergarten through 5th grade.

Lisa has taught dance to all ages in a variety of venues, including St. Andrews Elementary School, Kids-N-Ministry and WEAG Arts Camp and has been involved in physical fitness education and technique for children, youth and adults for nearly a decade.

She currently oversees the preschool-age dance program and shares her expertise in working with young children with various WEAG children’s programs.  Lisa teaches Preschool Foundations classes, as well as ballet and tap to children. -Back to Top-

Andria Maxwell

Andria has long been associated with WEAG dance — having danced in and served as a lead choreographer for WEAG productions, including Glorious Christmas Nights and Master’s Plan, for several years.  Andria choreographed and was lead dancer for the spectacular Roaring 20’s scene in “Streets of Gold” (GCN 2012) and danced in “Daniel . . . Dance with Destiny” and “After the Rain” (role of “Raven”) in 2014.  Andria choreographed the lyrical Angel Dance, and appeared as an Angel on Pointe in “Under the Same Stars” (GCN 2014), choreographed the lyrical and couples’ dances for “Sincerely Yours” (GCN 2015), and choreographed the Angel dances for “Finding Christmas” (GCN 2016). Andria is a gifted, highly trained and experienced dancer and teacher across many styles of dance, but her first dance-love is ballet and she continues to train weekly at the Richmond Ballet.  An active member of WEAG, Andria enjoys participating in summer missions trips.

Andria, who is in her seventh year of teaching with weDance Academy, currently teaches ballet to children, youth and adults.  Andria also was instrumental in developing weDANCE Academy’s ballet/pointe program for youth and adults.

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Casey Pottle

Casey trained at weDANCE Academy (ballet, pointe, modern and jazz), An Cor Rud School of Irish Dance (Irish stepdance), That Dance Thing (ballroom), and Richmond Ballet (ballet and jazz), before attending James Madison University where she received her BA, with an English Major and a Dance Minor.  During her time at JMU, she studied ballet, jazz, improv, and choreography.  A member of the WEAG family from an early age, Casey has performed in many Glorious Christmas Nights, Master’s Plan, and Dance Productions, most recently appearing in “Under the Same Stars” (GCN 2014).  In addition, she has taught Irish step dance at local studios, and, recently, had the privilege of serving as the Assistant to the Director of the London Contemporary Dance Program.

Casey is in her fifth year on the weDANCE staff, teaching Irish step dance to children and youth as well as beginning ballet to youth.  She also serves as a substitute teacher for ballet and modern dance to children, youth and adults.

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Kara Robertson

Kara R headshotDSC_6193-2Kara, the Valedictorian for Henrico High School Center for the Arts class of 2012, received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, where she was a Dean’s List student (2012-2016) and currently works as an Administrative Assistant.  Additionally, she has trained with Richmond Ballet (ballet and pointe), and has studied ballet, modern and jazz in numerous summer intensives, including the ImPulsTanz Veinna National Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria (2015), Doug Varone and Dancers Summer Intensive in Brockport, New York (2014), and the Consorzio Universitario Mediterraneo Orientale in Noto, Sicily (2013).  Kara has danced in and choreographed pieces for numerous VCU Dance Company performances, the Richmond Dance Festival and Henrico High School Center for the Arts.  Her choreography was recently showcased in the National American College Dance Association Gala Concert at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.  Kara has been the recipient of many scholarships and awards, including: VCU Dance Bobby Chandler Award (2016), VCU Dance Outstanding Choreography Award (2016), VCU Provost Scholarship (2012-2016), VCU Dean’s International Study Grant (2015), VCU Dance Double Take Award (2015) and VCU Education Abroad Scholarship (2013).

Kara’s teaching experiences include Master Classes in Modern Dance as well as Choreographic Workshops at Henrico High School Center for the Arts (2015 and 2016) and the VCU PALETTE Program (Promoting Art for Life Enrichment Through Transgenerational Engagement) which connects senior adults and students to engage in the creative arts.

Kara, who joined the weDANCE staff in 2016, currently teaches ballet and ballet pointe to youth and serves as a substitute teacher in all forms of dance

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