|Juliana Dalton||Erica Hidalgo-Monroy||Amaris Opher|
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 performed with both weDANCE Company Ballet and weDANCE Ensemble and, for over a decade, was 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 pursuing graduate studies, teaches hip hop to all ages and jazz to youth and adults.
Born and raised in Texas, Rachel began her formal training in ballet and pointe at Allen Conservatory of Dance at the age of 13. She joined the student company at Allen Civic Ballet in high school and performed in The Nutcracker and other classical and neo-classical repertoire. Also while in high school, Rachel performed in numerous musical theatre productions, including Oklahoma, Godspell, and Once Upon a Mattress. It was during this time that Rachel began to explore her dance design and leadership gifts as she served as choreographer for her school’s productions of Fiddler on the Roof and Annie Jr. Upon graduation, Rachel pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet at Friends University under Stan and Sharon Rogers. She had the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Les Sylphides, and other classical, contemporary and modern repertoire by many esteemed choreographers. She also expanded her dance resume with classes in modern dance, jazz, tap, and musical theatre. Subsequently, Rachel relocated to Virginia, where she has furthered her knowledge and experience in classical and contemporary ballet, training for a year with the Charlottesville Ballet and now a company member with Stavna Ballet. She recently taught weDANCE ballet, pointe, jazz, musical theatre and barre, and served as choreographer for weDANCE Company Ballet.
Rachel’s teaching style places a high priority on skill development as well as developing her students’ appreciation for the art of dance performance. Her teaching credits include classes in ballet, tap, jazz, pre-pointe and advanced pointe to a variety of ages. She is also certified to teach barre.
Although Rachel currently performs with an out-of-town, company, she plans to returning to teach weDANCE workshops and seminars during the 2021-2022 season.
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) and Hold On to Hope (GCN2019). 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.
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 includingFootloose, 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.”
For several years, Carrie taught weDANCE Jazz C, Intermediate Jazz, Advanced Jazz and Musical Theatre for weDANCE Academy, but took a recent sabbatical as she and her husband welcomed their beautiful baby daughter.
Carrie currently serves as a substitute teacher for all styles of dance.
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), Finding Christmas (GCN 2016), A Fantastic Christmas (GCN 2017), Angels and Kings (GCN 2018), and Hold On to Hope (GCN 2019).
Erica teaches weDANCE classes in tap and jazz to children, youth and adults.
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. She served for several years as the choreographer for the WEAG Youth Choir, currently is 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). She and her husband, John, served as choreography assistants for the Tantilla Ballroom scene in Finding Christmas (GCN 2016) and performed as Mary and Joseph in The Fourth King (weDANCE 2017).
Nikki taught hip hop to children, youth and adults for a several years, but currently is on sabbatical from full-time teaching to care for her twin boys. As time allows, she serves as a substitute teacher for all styles of dance.
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 and appeared as Angel on Pointe and other featured dance roles for Finding Christmas(GCN 2016), A Fantastic Christmas (GCN 2017) and Angels and Kings (GCN 2018). She served as lead choreographer and performed lead dance roles in Hold On to Hope (GCN 2019) and Glorious Bethlehem Nights (GCN 2020). She was also seen as the White Witch in Dancing Through Narnia (weDANCE 2019). Andria is a gifted, highly trained and experienced dancer and teacher across many styles of dance, but her first dance-love is ballet. An active member of WEAG, Andria enjoys participating in summer missions trips.
Andria, who is in her twelfth year of teaching with weDance Academy, currently teaches ballet and pointe to children, youth, and adults.
Amaris was practically born and raised at WEAG, making her first stage appearance as Baby Jesus in the church’s annual Christmas extravaganza, Glorious Christmas Nights. From a young age, Amaris trained with weDANCE Academy, including classes in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, modern and hip hop. She also danced with weDANCE Intermediate and Advanced Ensembles and Company Ballet. Amaris was accepted, upon audition, to The Center for the Arts at Henrico High School where she furthered her knowledge and experience in ballet, jazz, modern, tap and hip hop and began to explore her dance design and leadership gifts. She also has studied aerial silks and various components of stage production, including lighting and costuming.
Amaris has performed in WEAG children’s choir productions and youth productions and in numerous years of The Master’s Plan and Glorious Christmas Nights, where she has performed in various dramatic and featured dance roles and as a flying angel and, in 2019, served as co-leader for the GCN Flying Angel Team. Amaris has danced, for nearly a decade, in weDANCE spring productions and was most-recently seen as Mr. Tumnus in Dancing Through Narnia., for which she also served as a specialty dance choreographer.
Since 2015, Amaris has filled a variety of teaching and administrative positions with weDANCE Academy, including: an assistant teacher for ballet, modern and hip hop classes, a teacher for beginning tappers and children’s modern dance, an instructor for flying angels training workshops and the administrator for summer elementary dance camp.
Amaris, who is pursuing paralegal studies, currently serves as a substitute teacher in a variety of styles to all ages.
Kara Robertson is the Artistic Director of Richmond, Virginia’s Karar Dance Company. Since launching the company at their inaugural concert in April 2017, Kara has cultivated a plethora of opportunities for audiences to both see and experience dance through professional performance, education, and professional development programming, reaching audiences both locally and beyond.
In April 2018, Kara initiated Homegrown Choreographers, an online community where choreographers share their creations and the impetus behind their work. This collective aids in the growth of dance across the country by supporting the dance makers themselves. The HOMEGROWN festival supported the presentation of work by dance artists who experienced cancelled performances due to COVID-19.
In an effort to reach audiences virtually in 2020, Kara also created the Interview Series. Kara interviewed professional dance artists Ryan Davis (musician and educator), Rebecca Ferrell (Director of Programs at Dance/USA and educator), and Jonathan Hsu (dance media and educator) virtually. Karar Dance Company shared the Interview Series across social media platforms as a free resource for dance artists. The Interview Series was partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and National Endowment for the Arts.
Kara and her work have received attention by RVA Magazine, CultureWorks Richmond, Virginia this Morning on Channel 6, VCU Alumni in spotlight feature including article “Refined Movement”, and Broadway World.
Kara’s choreographic work demonstrates cross-disciplinary collaboration with local artists. Karar Dance Company was selected for the 2019 Dogtown Presenter’s Series where Kara created “Circadian” over a four-month residency and six-show performance run at Dogtown Dance Theatre. “Circadian” was inspired by the 1950’s and 1960’s collection of photography by Fan Ho entitled “Hong Kong Yesterday’ and features an original score by Ryan Davis, lighting by Weston Corey, costumes by Damion Bond, and set by Crux Scenica. “Affected” features original music by Ryan Davis, “The In-between” features projection by Katy Pumphrey, and dance film “Where to from here?” was cultivated in collaboration with Callie Moore. Kara’s work has also been seen at the American Dance Guild Festival in New York City at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, the Newburgh Illuminated Festival in Newburgh, NY, Small Plates Lorton, and the Richmond Dance Festival.
As a resident at the 2019 Mudhouse Residency in Agios Ioannis, Crete, Kara connected with fellow artists from multiple disciplines and countries around the world while continuing to explore and develop her choreographic voice. She has also attended the 2020 Mark Morris Dance Group Virtual Teaching Artist Seminar and 2018 Chunky Move and Countertechnique Workshop with then Chunky Move Artistic Director, Anouk Van Dijk in New York City. Kara was selected for Doug Varone and Dancers’ DEVICES Choreographic Mentorship and Intensive which culminated in the premiere of her work StandStill at Gibney Dance in August 2016.
Kara, a Richmond native and alumna of Henrico High School Center for the Arts, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2016 earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography and minor in General Business. She was the recipient of the VCU Dance Bobby Chandler Award in Honor of Chris Burnside and Outstanding Choreographer award. Her work Amid was selected by adjudicators from the Mid-Atlantic American College Dance Association to be presented for the National Conference held at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. in 2016. Kara studied at ImPulsTanz Vienna International Dance Festival with support from the VCUarts Dean’s International Study Grant. In Summer 2013, she studied abroad in Sicily under the direction of Melanie Richards on a VCU Summer Study Abroad Scholarship.
Kara taught weDANCE modern classes during the 2020-21 season. In 2021-22 she returns to teach modern dance to children and youth and serve as the teacher/choreographer for weDANCE Intermediate and Advanced Ensembles.