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January
27 & 28

Hey y'all

Are you ready for a Music City Celebration?

Join us for our Nashville Celebration Dance Festival.

Embassy Suites Cool Springs

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820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, TN 37067
615-515-5151

2024 Nashville Faculty

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Kayla Rowser Tazik
 

Originally from Conyers, Ga., Kayla Rowser trained with Georgia Youth Ballet at the Magdalena Maury School of Classical Ballet in Fayetteville, Ga., under the direction of Magdalena Maury, Jonsie Pollock, and Magda Aunon. 

After graduating high school, Rowser joined Charleston Ballet Theatre for a season before joining Nashville Ballet's second company, NB2, in 2007. In her two years as a trainee, she performed with the main company in several series before being promoted to an apprentice.

After being promoted to company member in 2010, Rowser performed as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella in Paul Vasterling's Cinderella and Juliet in Vasterling’s Romeo and Juliet. Other notable roles in Vasterling's works include the Sugar Plum Fairy and Snow Queen in Nashville's Nutcracker, Fortuna in Carmina Burana, and Layla in Layla and the Majnun. Rowser was also featured in Christopher Bruce's Sergeant Early's Dream, as the Russian Girl in Balanchine's Serenade, and she danced the title role in Vasterling's Firebird. In 2018, Rowser performed as the third movement principal in Balanchine's Western Symphony in addition to dancing in Jiří Kylián’s Sechs Tanze and Petite Mort, and as a principal in Christopher Wheeldon's Ghosts. Other contemporary works include pieces by Christopher Stuart, Jennifer Archibald, Gina Patterson, Matthew Neenan, and Salvatore Aiello among others.

 

Rowser has been named one of Dance Magazine's "Top 25 to Watch”' and has been featured in The New York Times, Pointe Magazine, The Washington Post, and Huffington Post. She has performed in the Kansas City Dance Festival, Spoleto Dance Festival, Spring to Dance in St. Louis, and with Nashville Ballet at the Kennedy Center. She has taught across the U.S including accepting an invitation to teach master classes at Yale University. Rowser was also awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship by the Tennessee Arts Commission in 2015 for her artistic achievements, and she was honored as one of the Nashville Business 100 Leading African Americans in 2018. Since retiring after a 14 year performance career in 2020, Rowser continues to accept speaking engagements and enjoys teaching and mentoring students, and she is finishing her undergraduate degree in communications from The University of Arkansas.

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Whitney Nicole Hampton
 

Whitney Nicole, professional dancer/singer, has trained in all styles of dance but especially enjoys jazz and contemporary dance. In 2014, she started her career at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida performing in the parades and shows all around the property and modeling for advertisements. By 2017, she was signed to MSA agency and began a new journey as a dancer/singer with Carnival Cruise Lines where she traveled and performed in and around the Bahamas, Mexico, and Hawaii. Currently residing in Los Angeles, California, she is living and working as an industry professional. Here Whitney Nicole has had the opportunity work with skeleton crews on several music videos and as a featured extra on HBO’s hit show Insecure. She was credited as a dancer in Beyoncés Black Is King visual album as well as cast in Netflix’s “The Prom” movie as a dancer/singer and the 62nd annual Grammy awards also as a dancer/singer. Most recently, she has been signed as a dancer through MTA Agency.

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Scarlet Ryals
 

Scarlet Ryals is originally from Memphis, TN. She has studied dance for over thirty years and credits her success to continuing education in all areas of the dance industry. She is proficiently trained in jazz, tap, hip hop and gymnastics with a concentration in classical ballet, contemporary, and lyrical. She received her formal dance teacher training at Ballet Memphis where she taught for seven years before opening the Mid-South's only pre-professional dance company, Essentials Dance Company, in 2001.

 

Her students have received hundreds of awards and scholarships on both the regional and national levels. Scarlet's achievements as a choreographer have been recognized at the most prestigious dance competitions and conventions, winning top choreography awards regionally and nationally. Her cutting edge and insightful contemporary choreography, fun jazz and musical theater pieces with crisp lines, and high scoring gymnastic floor routines are sought out nationwide.

 

 

In addition, she is the founder of Technique Transformation, an in-studio touring company that provides classes for both students and teachers that take an in-depth exploration of all things technical. Scarlet also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and is a judge for prestigious talent competitions nationwide. 

Lauren DiPietro
 

Lauren DiPietro began her career as a competitive dancer and choreographer in Massachusetts, and is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC. Lauren is currently an NBA dancer for the New York City Knicks. She most recently portrayed Lisa in Royal Caribbean's production of Mamma Mia!, was a dancer and aerialist in Blue Planet, and has performed with artists such as Jordin Sparks, The Pointer Sisters, and Patti Labelle. Lauren is currently a choreographer and teacher at several studios in the New York City area and throughout New England. 

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Zach Saunders
 

Originally from Columbus, OH and currently residing in Los Angeles, CA, Zach has created a name for himself not only as a phenomenal dancer and performer, but also as a sought after teacher and educator. His career has allowed him multiple performance opportunities across film, television, and stage. Select credits include: Warner Bros. feature film, ‘Project X,’ ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,’ assisting the legendary Michael Rooney on the television project, ‘Hit Record,’ starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tony Danza, a Ford Super Bowl commercial starring James Franco, performing with China’s top 5 artists on Hunan TV’s New Years Countdown, and a world tour with pop artist Adam Tyler. Most Recently he worked with the band Walk The Moon as the assistant choreographer for the popular “Shut Up and Dance” music video. Zach cites tap as his truest love, and credits much of his training and artistry to both Gregg Russell, as well as Parris Mann and Rashida Kahn. Zach has had the pleasure of teaching and choreographing at studios both nationally and internationally, and can be found on tour with Art of Movement national dance convention, as well as teaching for three competitive studios in the greater Los Angeles area, where he hopes to inspire the next generation to love and appreciate dance as much as he does. Zach’s goal is to approach every class with a kind and constructive eye, pushing the dancers to not only believe in their movement, but most importantly in themselves.

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Sydney Jordan
 

Sydney Jordan is currently a Professional NBA Dancer residing in Denver, Colorado. Originally from the Nashville area, Sydney began dancing at a young age training in all styles of dance. Sydney holds an undergraduate degree in Dance at the University of Tampa, double minoring in Film & Media Arts and Psychology. While studying brain-compatible dance education, with Susannah LeMarquand at the University of Tampa, Sydney began her professional dance career. She performed multiple seasons at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. She attended international trips with JUNTOS Collective to Guatemala and Mexico. Sydney is an experienced photographer and videographer, who started her own photography business in 2020. She screened her most recent film at American College Dance Association, where she also showcased her choreography in both the Formal and Informal Concerts. She choreographed for both Fall and Spring Dance Happening at the University of Tampa, where she also designed and operated lighting. Sydney choreographed and assisted in directing a dance film for WEDU, with Christopher Boulton, that was aired on PBS. As she continues her professional experience as an NBA Dancer, Sydney continues to run her photography business, Sydney is currently the Marketing Manager for Boundless Coaching.

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