KSU Dance Festival 2023

Kennesaw State University's 2023 Dance Festival will be held February 4-5, 2023. This unique platform supports and celebrates the work of high school dancers. Through diverse dance classes, workshops, seminars, and performance opportunities, high school students immersed themselves in the professional practice of dance. A panel of three nationally recognized dance artists adjudicated the two evening performances and provided detailed feedback to the emerging choreographers and performers.    

The weekend-long Festival aims to build community engagement between KSU's Department of Dance and performing arts high schools and dance studios.

Welcome, Dancers!

Registration for this event is now closed. Please join us next year! 


  • Name
    • photo of marsha barsky

      Chair of the Department of Dance and Associate Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-7620
      CP 306O

      Marsha Barsky is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Dance at KSU.  She has 20 years of experience fostering and implementing creative and educational programs for both the public and private sectors. She is a lifelong learner, who continues to hone her craft by engaging widely with contemporary approaches to dance, somatics, and holistic wellness for dancers and non-dancers. She brings insights from her ongoing research to awaken creative well-being and enliven mindful movement practices.

      From 2008-2018, she served as director and choreographer for Nashville-based Company Rose. The company presented works at the Frist Art Museum, and performed in venues throughout the Southeastern region. In 2019, she received a Tennessee Arts Commission Individual Fellowship Award for her choreography. As a dancer, she has performed with the Desert Dance Theatre and Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, and in works by Isadora Duncan, Stefanie Batton-Bland, Sean Curren, Bill Evans Pat Graney, Gabriel Masson, Ana Baer, Kim Neal Nofsinger, Ivan Pulinkala and Katherine Duke.  

      Previously, Marsha was an Associate Professor and Director of Dance at Middle Tennessee State University, where she developed Tennessee's first bachelor's degree in Dance, and prior to that she was the Director of the Vanderbilt University Dance Program. She has taught at numerous venues, festivals and conferences throughout the US, and in Canada, France, Switzerland and Spain. In 2017, she was named Foreign Expert in Dance at Chengdu University, China, and in May 2020 she served as a visiting scholar at the Kroeger College of Public Affairs at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

      Marsha received her BFA in Dance from Arizona State University, and her MFA in Performance, Choreography and Somatics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. In 2002, she was certified at the ShambhavAnanda Eldorado yoga teacher training in Boulder, Colorado. In 2011, she graduated from the North Carolina Alexander Technique Program (under the direction of Robin Gilmore), and in 2019 she completed her Gyrokinesisà ® certification in Mà ¼nstertal, Germany.

    • photo of mccree okelley

      Associate Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-7682
      CP 306K

      McCree O'Kelley is an Assistant Professor at Kennesaw State University. He began his ballet training with Ann Brodie and the Carolina Ballet in Columbia, SC. At 16, he moved to New York City, accepting a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet. He furthered his dance training at the North Carolina School of the Arts studying with Duncan Noble, Melissa Hayden and Warren Conover.

      His versatile career as a professional dancer included performing with the Atlanta Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Broadway National Tour of Cats as Mr. Mistoffelees. His vast repertoire includes Balanchine's Serenade (Waltz Man), Allegro Brillante, Rubies, Who Cares, Stars and Stripes, Western Symphony, Lila York's Celts (Green Man) and Gloria, Kevin O'Day's Viola Alone...(with one exception), Lynne Taylor-Corbett's Great Galloping Gottschalk (Men's Duet), Twyla Tharp's Deuce Coupe, Alan Hineline's Twist and Thresholds, Martha Graham's Diversion of Angels (Red Man), Val Caniparoli's Open Veins, Lew Christensen's Con Amore, Ben Stevenson's Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland and Michael Pink's Dracula and Hunchback of Notre Dame.

      As a choreographer he has created works for the KSU Dance Company, Pacific Symphony, Alliance Theater, Trainees of Cincinnati Ballet, Ballet Spartanburg, Carolina Ballet, Ballet Southeast, Atlanta Dance Theater, Dance Converse, Theater Converse, Center Stage and Workshop Theater of South Carolina. In 2016 he was selected as one of four finalists for Ballet Arkansas's choreographic competition, Visions. In 2016 and 2018 his works were selected to be performed in the New Voices Concert at the Alabama Dance Festival. In 2019 his work Pariah was selected for Off the EDGE and was performed by the KSU Dance Company at the Rialto Center for the Arts.

      McCree recently served as Interim Chair of the Department of Dance at Kennesaw State University. Previously, he was an assistant professor of dance at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, where he was the artistic director of Dance Converse. He has served on the faculty of the American Academy of Ballet, the University of South Carolina Conservatory of Dance, the Atlanta Ballet Summer Program, Ballet Spartanburg and the University of California, Irvine. He holds a BA in Dance from the University of South Carolina and an MFA in Dance from the University of CA, Irvine.

    • photo of lisa lock

      Artistic Director and Associate Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-7961
      CP 306M

      B.F.A and M.F.A. Ballet, California Institute of the Arts and Ballet Diploma, Grande Ecole de Danse, Bern, Switzerland
      Areas of Emphasis: Modern Dance, Body Conditioning

      Lisa K. Lock is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Kennesaw State University, where she teaches Modern, Ballet, Improvisation and Choreography.

      As a solo artist, Lisa has performed her critically-acclaimed choreography internationally, as well as all over the U.S. Choreography for companies include: La Danserie in Los Angeles, Georgia Ballet, and Full Radius Dance in Atlanta, Cleveland Opera, Verb Ballets, Ohio Dance Theater, Dancing Wheels, and the former Cleveland Dance Theater in Ohio.

      Lisa comes with many years of teaching experience both in the University system and the private studio setting. Recent festivals and intensive workshop teaching include: Complexion Contemporary Ballet, the International Ballet Intensive, KSU Dance Fest and Summer Intensive.

    • photo of andrea knowlton

      Assistant Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      Andrea Knowlton is a Choreographer, Educator, and the Artistic Director of DANCE AEGIS, a movement based creative platform. Knowlton creates for both stage and screen in concert and commercial realms. Her work often integrates dance with film, media, and interactive technology. She has presented choreography in venues all over New York City, and Los Angeles. Her dance films and music videos have received national and international screenings. Knowlton's focus as an artist is on process, collaboration, and interdisciplinary conversation. Her choreographic work is inspired by the living body and its relationship to science and technology. She is interested in media, and its ability to diminish or magnify our innate human qualities. She has worked extensively as an Arts Integration Specialist, using dance to teach academic subjects to K-12 students across Los Angeles. As a teaching artist, she works with students of all ages in studio environments. She has been on faculty at Pasadena City College, and California State University Long Beach. Knowlton is a certified Yoga Instructor.  She holds a BFA in Dance/Choreography from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC, and an MFA in Choreography/Integrated Media from California Institute of the Arts.

    • photo of dasha chapman

      Assistant Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

    • photo of autumn eckman

      Assistant Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 305F

    • photo of natalie berry

      Part-Time Assistant Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      M.F.A. Ballet, University of Oklahoma
      Areas of Emphasis: Ballet, History, General Education

      A native of Arkansas, Natalie Berry received her Master of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in Ballet from the University of Oklahoma in 2002. Upon graduation, Berry was honored with the OU School of Dance White Buffalo Mask Award. Since then, she has taught for Winthrop University and Brenau University and has been on faculty at Kennesaw State University since 2009 and Reinhardt University since 2022. She has been a guest teacher at Coker College, Middle Tennessee State University, Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, N.C. and York County Ballet in Rock Hill, S.C. among others. Berry was invited by the Dekalb County School of the Arts to teach and stage original works and continues to have an ongoing relationship with the program. She has taught at various summer programs including the Summer Wind Youth Ballet, Kennesaw State Summer Dance Clinic, Sawnee Ballet and many more. She was co-director of the Summer Wind Youth Ballet for one season and helped choreograph and stage the mainstage production. She was the Ballet Mistress for Dancentre South in Woodstock, Ga. where she staged the annual production of The Nutcracker as well as choreographed original works that were performed throughout the southeast. She was commissioned by Ballet Arkansas to create a work on their pre-professional dancers and her work garnered acclaim. Her choreography has been awarded honorable mention for two years at the Panoply Choreography Contest. She currently teaches at Dance and Music Academy of Woodstock and serves as their Ballet Director. Berry is an ABTà ® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABTà ® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABTà ® National Training Curriculum. She has been trained in Balanced Body Mat Pilates teacher training and holds certification in Progressing Ballet Technique.

      Berry has performed with Ballet Arkansas, Oklahoma Festival Ballet and the Alex Spitzer Dance Company. She has studied with such notable teachers such as Dennis Marshall, Dennis Poole, Robert Weiss, David Howard, Alonzo King, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Patricia McBride, Bill Evans and Miguel Terekhov. She has danced in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Gaite Parisienne, Carmina Burina, The Sleeping Beauty, Postmark Graceland and Serenade among other original works.

    • Part-Time Instructor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      B.S. in Journalism with a minor in Dance from the University of FloridaTammy Everhart has been teaching dance and movement for more than 30 years. She received her early dance training in Clearwater, Florida with Gayle and Phyllis Tutterow, Nilo Toledo and Peggy Wallace. Tammy earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism with a minor in Dance from the University of Florida, where she danced with the UF Dance Company under the direction of Dr. Rusti Brandman. After college Tammy began working in Journalism in Florida, and later in Sales and Marketing in Georgia, while continuing to teach Jazz, Tap, Ballet and Modern dance several days each week. By 2000 she finally gave in to her passion, gave up her corporate job, and opened a successful dance studio in Kennesaw, Georgia. Since then, Tammy has trained many successful and now professional dancers.

      Tammy has produced original shows at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina for more than 10 years, and recently collaborated with the Georgia Youth Symphony Orchestra on 3 works including an original composition by GYSO Philharmonia Director Dr. Steven Eric Hawk. She directs a local youth performance company that provides a creative outlet for dancers who want to serve their community by performing in a non-competitive environment. Her dancers can be seen on festival stages and charity fundraisers throughout Cobb and Cherokee Counties, making dance accessible to all members of the community.

      Tammy currently focuses on training and educating Tap dancers of all ages. She continues to share her passion for dance with her students at Great Gig Dance Co., and is thrilled to be teaching Tap at Kennesaw State University!

    • photo of caitlinn gray

      Part-Time Instructor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      Area of Emphasis: JazzBorn in NYC, Caitlin Gray's diverse background, which includes dance, gymnastics and circus arts, has made her a much sought-after teacher and choreographer. She believes that teaching is an integral part of giving back to the dance community and has taught master classes all over the U.S. and abroad, including South Africa, United Kingdom, U.A.E., Turkey, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Canada and Australia.

      Caitlin has most-notably worked with director Baz Luhrmann and Oscar-winner Catherine Martin on both the World and Australian premieres of their film "The Great Gatsby", earning rave reviews. She has also choreographed for the CBS show, "Reckless", featuring Cam Gigandet ("Twilight", "Burlesque") and Anna Wood. Caitlin has worked extensively with Sony Music, choreographing live performances and music videos for many of their artists, including The Veronicas ("You Ruin Me'" Australian Grammy Winner, Best Video of the Year) and Bonnie Anderson ("Blackout","Rodeo"). Additional credits include the BMW Series 5 Launch in Singapore, featuring activist Lewis Pugh, Marina Bay Sands "Beyond Expectations" in Tokyo, featuring David Beckham, NBC Kids, Miss USA, Speedo International's Olympic Product Launch, featuring Michael Phelps, Liberty Bowl Halftime Show, featuring American Idol winner Taylor Hicks, and several music tours, including performances on the Big Time Rush Tour.

      Caitlin has been on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in NYC for 13 years.  She is also resident choreographer for the NCAA Division 1 Nationally-ranked University of Denver Gymnastics team. 

      Since moving to Atlanta two years ago, Caitlin has choreographed "The Moors," "Eurydice", "Spring Awakening"' and created an original, immersive, site-specific experience, called "The Haunting" which successfully ran at Moon River Brewing Company in Savannah for 7 straight months.  She is also currently on faculty at Kennesaw State University and Oglethorpe University, and represented as a choreographer with Xcel Talent. 

      For more information, check out Caitlin's website or on instagram @caitlingraycreative.

    • Part-Time Assistant Professor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      Ed.D. Instructional Leadership, Argosy University
      M.S. Dance Movement Therapy, Hunter College
      B.F.A. Dance Theater and Education,  Herbert H. Lehman College
      Area of Emphasis: African Dance

      Theresa M. Howard is an enthusiastic professional that has combined expertise in Health and Human Services and the Arts. Ms. Howard has committed over 40 years in a career in Mental Health, Substance Abuse, Prevention, Aging Services, Dance and Education. She has a unique balance in her work, by blending the Arts and providing supportive services to those in need. She has worked in a variety of Healthcare, Government, and Education settings. Her strength comes through her passion of bringing out the best in people.

      Ms. Howard is a native of New York and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Theatre and Education from Herbert H. Lehman College, Master of Science in Dance Movement Therapy from Hunter College, and a Doctor of Education in Instructional Leadership from Argosy University. She is a registered Dance Movement Therapist, Certified Preventionist iV, Certified Addiction Counselor II, and a Certified Yoga instructor.

      Theresa M. Howard is an accomplished professional dancer and dance educator, proficient in African dance, classical ballet, modern dance, jazz, tap, and belly dance techniques. Ms.Howard has performed and been a guest performer with many prominent dance ensembles for over 40 years. These included: Chuck Davis African-American Dance Ensemble, Joan Miller and the Chamber Arts Players, Eleo Pomare, Rod Rogers Dance Company, Giwayen Mata, Barefoot Ballet, Manga African Dance Ensemble, Alvin Ailey's "Revelations" at Herbert H. Lehman College, and has performed in several of Ballethnic Dance Company's signature dances: Urban Nutcracker, Leopard Tale, Flying West, and Jazzy Sleeping Beauty. Ms. Howard performed in several DanceAfrica events, the 1996 Summer Olympics and Para Olympics, and has danced in several music videos, and performed as an extra in the movie "Remember The Titans." Ms. Howard was the choreographer for several plays, including the award winning play "Ruined" which was performed at Kennesaw State University. She has performed for dignitaries such as Andrew Young, Desmond Tutu, The King and Secretary of Travel for Oshogbo State, Nigeria, four-time defensive player of the year Dikembe Mutumbo, Fulton County Commissioners, and mayors for the City of Atlanta, East Point and College Park, Georgia.

      Ms. Howard is a part-time Assistant Professor of Dance at Kennesaw State University and has conducted dance classes and workshops at Gwinnett Technical College, Emory University, Georgia Tech University, Swarthmore College, Pace Academy, The Lovett School, Trinity School, Gate City Elementary School and has choreographed Coronation Events for Clark College. Ms. Howard has been a guest artist and dance educator for artist in residency programs throughout the United States. She also instructs African dance classes at Ballethnic Academy of Dance, Lilburn School of Dance, Fulton County Aviation Cultural Community Center, and Dance Canvas Summer Intensives.

      Ms. Howard's community involvement includes providing dance and African drum instruction to Youth Enrichment Programs, Senior Citizen programs, and Fulton County Drug Court. Ms. Howard is founder, director, instructor, and choreographer for the M.O.D.E. "Edeliegba," Senior Dance Ensemble, a traveling dance troupe comprised of male and female senior citizens aged 60 years and older.

      Ms. Howard has travelled to West, North, and East Africa as a cultural exchange dance instructor/educator and has shared her knowledge both in Africa and in the states.

      Theresa M. Howard is the recipient of the Ballethnic Academy of Dance 2017 Service Award, 2012 Legacy Award, 2012 Fulton County Focus Award, 2008 Pinnacle Leadership Award, 2007 Winterfest Volunteer Angel Award, and 2006 W.O.M.E.N Award.

    • Part-Time Instructor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      B.F.A. Dance, Brenau University; Area of Emphasis: Ballet, Musical Theatre, Jazz

      Carolyn Crumpton Perry has been member of the adjunct dance faculty at Kennesaw State University since 2006. She teaches all levels of Ballet as well as Musical Theatre dance.

      Ms. Perry began her formal dance training in Wilmington, NC with the Wilmington Civic Ballet where she studied with many professional dancers from the North Carolina School of the Arts, Raleigh Dance Theatre, and most notably her mother, Annette Crumpton. She pursued dance in her collegiate years at Brenau University where she graduated summa cum laude in 1992 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Arts Management and Dance Performance. She later returned to Brenau and received her certification in Dance Education for both public and private school systems.

      Ms. Perry moved to New York City immediately after graduation from Brenau to further her dance training and perform. While in New York, she was a manager of the Broadway Dance Center and performed with the New York Dance Ensemble's tour of the "Firebird." Her time in NYC gave her the opportunity to study ballet with legendary dance instructors, such as Finis Jhung, Madame Darvash, Nenette Charisse, and David Howard, to name a few. At that time, she also studied musical theatre, tap, and jazz with Chet Walker, Robert Tucker, Crystal Chapman, Germaine Goodson, Frank Hatchett, and Sheila Barker.

      Upon relocation back to Georgia, Ms. Perry danced for the Georgia Ballet Professional Company for eight years under the direction of Iris Hensley. At the Georgia Ballet she had the opportunity to perform many signature roles: Serenade as Dark Angel; Where the Wild Things as Dream Max; The Nutcracker- as Arabian Pas de Deux, Spanish, Waltz of the Flowers, Snow; Swan Lake as Neapolitan Variation, corps de ballet; Five Guys Named Moe as Pas de deux; Giselle as Friends, corps de ballet; and Carmen in corps de ballet.

      Ms. Perry's ballet performing repertoire also includes leading roles staged by marina Levasheva for the Bravo Dance Center: Paquita, Les Slyphides, Don Quixote, and Sleeping Beauty.

      In addition to ballet, Ms. Perry also performed for Bacchus Productions under the direction of Ginny King. With Bacchus, she danced for many industrial shows, and corporate events in the Atlanta area and other states. Most notably, she was one of sixteen featured dancers for the 75th Anniversary of the Fox Theatre.

      Ms. Perry discovered her true passion of teaching at the Bravo Dance Center with Director/Owner Janet Rowthorn. She has been teaching students of all ages and all styles in dance for eighteen years. Ms. Perry continues her position as Program Coordinator and Company Director for Bravo Dance Center. She has proudly conceived, directed and choreographed several outstanding children ballets for the students at Bravo such as: Dancing Happily Ever After (2011) Whimsical Wistful Wiz (2010) Bravo Backyardigans (2009) Peter Rabbit (2008) (2005) Angelina and the Four Seasons (2007)

      Ms. Perry's name is also often associated with winter guard programs, and Drum and Bugle corps in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. She spent many years training dancers and choreographing prestigious programs to perform across the country. She choreographed for the award-winning Pride of Cincinnati from 1999-2005. She worked with other programs such as Phantom Regiment, Bluecoats, and Cavaliers. In Marietta, she instructed dance and choreographed for Lassiter High School's band and winter guard program. In 2000-2001, Ms. Perry implemented the first, and only dance program for Harrison High School.

      Ms. Perry continues to share her love of dance and her expertise at Kennesaw State University, Bravo Dance Center, and now Mount Paran Christian School's Performing Arts department. 

    • photo of paul stevens

      Accompanist (Temp)

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      A native of Atlanta, Paul Stevens obtained a music performance degree in 2012 from the University of Georgia where he studied percussion with Timothy Adams, former principal timpanist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Although solidly grounded in classical music, Paul remains versatile, moving fluidly between jazz, rock, electronic, and experimental contemporary styles. He maintains a busy schedule as a freelance musician, composer, and educator, playing anything from vibraphone to musical saw. Paul has given concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and South America, including world premiers at the 2011 and the 2012 soundSCAPE Composition & Performance Festival in Maccagno, Italy, the 2015 South By Southwest music festival in Austin, Texas, and the 2015 So Percussion Summer Institute at Princeton University. Current projects include the Albany Symphony Orchestra, corporate keynote ROC Ensemble, and electro-pop duo Moloq. As a composer, Paul's works have been performed in Spain, Israel, and throughout the United States.

    • photo of johnny hayes

      Part-Time Instructor of Dance

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      Johnny "Barago" Hayes a native of East St.Louis, holds a Master of Arts Degree in Education. He is a certified school teacher and has been a professional percussionist of African drums for over forty years. He performed with the Katherine Dunham School of Performing Arts for twenty years, and continues to provide African pPercussion instruction to students in Atlanta and surrounding cities. Johnny "Barago" Hayes has been a percussionist at Kennesaw State University since the year 2013, and was music director for fourteen years at the Uhuru dance company in Atlanta, Georgia. He performed in the 1996 World Olympics, Dance Africa, National Black Arts Festivals, and has toured throughout the United States with several dance companies. He currently performs with Ballethnic, Uhuru, Manga, Total, and Edeliegba Dance Companies.

      Johnny "Barago" Hayes is a recipient of the Katherine Dunham Legacy Keeper Award, and the African Dance Community Seed Setter Award in recognition for contributions to the community. As an educator and percussionist of African drums, Johnny "Barago" Hayes is determined to preserve and promote the culture of African percussion music, by providing classes and workshops to adults and youth.

    • photo of kyla zollitsch

      Accompanist (Temp)

      (470) 578-2852
      CP 306

      Kyla Cummins Zollitsch earned her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Portland State University. She toured extensively through out the west coast and accompanied for Portland State, Reed College and Lewis and Clark. Kyla has accompanied for the Atlanta Ballet, Alaska Dance Theatre, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Milwaukee Ballet and Kennesaw State University. Kyla also played for numerous guest ballet companies including, but not limited to, Alvin Ailey, Lines Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.Kyla currently owns a full-time piano studio where her students have won many local competitions and festivals. She resides in beautiful Rome, GA with her husband Matt and two dogs Zoey and Xena.

  • Sarah Hillmer

    photo of sarah hilmer
    Sarah Hillmer
    An Atlanta native, Sarah Hillmer has dedicated over 18 years to the professional dance world as a dancer, assistant to choreographers, ballet master, stager, educator and creator. 

    Her company credits include the Atlanta Ballet, glo-as a founding member, and staibdance. During Sarah’s tenure as Ballet Master at the Atlanta Ballet, she worked alongside world-renowned figures in the ballet world, and coached dancers in seminal works by Ohad Naharin, Jiří Kylián, Wayne McGregor, Gustavo Ramírez Sansano, John McFall, Helgi Tomasson, Gemma Bond, Craig Davidson, Ricardo Amarante and Yuri Possokhov. It was during her time at the Atlanta Ballet that ongoing artistic relationships with Twyla Tharp and Helen Pickett were forged. She was instrumental in the building of their full-length ballets and continues to stage their work globally. Sarah’s work as a stager and assistant have taken her to Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, Smuin Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, UNCSA, UArts, Pennsylvania Ballet, Scottish Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Boston Ballet and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

    In 2017 Sarah formed ImmerseATL, a dance training & mentorship program for emerging artists that serves as a gateway to the professional world of contemporary dance in Atlanta and beyond. ImmerseATL provides classes, mentorships, performance opportunities, and professional connections for its Artists who join the year-long program.

    Sarah is an active member of the Atlanta dance scene, serving as a guest teacher for Kennesaw State University, Brenau University, Spelman College, Emory University and Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. As a choreographer, Sarah has been commissioned to create work for Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi, Backside of the Tent Productions, Emory Dance Company and Admix Project. In 2019, Sarah was a co-collaborator with George Staib on staibdance’s production of “fence”, which was funded by a grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts, National Dance Project.

    Since August 2019, Sarah has been the managing director for staibdance. During her tenure, she has planned and managed 5 national tours, annual workshops, (MC)2, Atlanta’s first multi-cultural dance festival, as well as a docuseries based on (MC)2 and a podcast series, Secret Architecture: the process of process.


    Jordan Keyon Moncrief

    photo of jordan keyon moncrief
    Jordan Keyon Moncrief
    Jordan Keyon Moncrief is a teacher, choreographer and performer who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He has worked for Platinum National Dance Competition for 10 seasons as a judge, backstage manager and a regional director. He has also worked for Eurotard Dancewear as their west coast sales representative. As a teacher, he was previously on staff at DeKalb School of the Arts, a premier performing arts magnet school, and is the former associate artistic director of Dancentre South Company. As a master class teacher, he has been a favorite on the staff of SPARK Summer Dance Intensive, Joel Ruminer’s Dance Camps, Jazz On Tap and the Southern Association of Dance Masters. As a guest artist, he has performed with and choreographed for Dancentre South Company, Owensboro Dance Theatre, Sawnee Ballet Theatre and First Floor Tanz in Hagen, Germany. Most recently, Jordan performed in Hairspray with City Springs Theatre Company, Queen: Aretha at Aurora with Aurora Theatre, and Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s productions of Aida, A Chorus Line, Peter Pan and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. He has choreographed Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Stage Door Players, Fun Home at Out of Box Theatre and La Cage Aux Folles and The Rocky Horror Show at Out Front Theatre Company. He was a featured dancer on Lifetime‘s Drop Dead Diva and in Apple TV+‘s feature film, The Banker. Jordan was selected for Dance Canvas' 2017 Choreographer Career Development Initiative and his choreographic work, "Ever Evolving", premiered in Dance Canvas' "Introducing the Next..." at The Ferst Center for the Arts. His work has also been showcased at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, recognized by Dance Spirit Magazine, and awarded "Best Choreography" by Platinum National Dance Competition and Panoply Festival of the Arts Choreography Competition. Jordan is thrilled to share his passion for dance and the arts.

    Jamal White

    photo of jamal white
    Jamal White
    Jamal White (Birmingham, AL) was raised in Atlanta, GA and began his training at and Dance Makers of Atlanta under the direction of Denise and Lynise Heard. He studied as a scholarship student at Ballethnic Dance Academy, Virginia School of the Arts and trained in intensive programs at Kirov Academy of Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Dance Theatre of Harlem, and London Contemporary Dance School. In 2011, Mr. White received a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University, since he has performed works by choreographers such as Nicolo Fonte, George Balanchine, Dwight Rhoden, Alvin Ailey, Stijn Celis, Richard Siegal, and Hofesh Shechter. He has also performed in Rasta Thomas' Rock the Ballet, Missouri Ballet Theater, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Alvin Ailey II, Collage Dance Collective, and currently BODYTRAFFIC. Jamal has made creations at Southern Methodist University, Dean College, London Contemporary Dance School, Troy University , BODYTRAFFIC, Deeply Rooted Youth Ensemble and The Ailey School. Jamal has also taught and created for many arts exchange and outreach programs in the United States and abroad such as Steps on Broadway, Trinity Laban Conservatory of Music and Dance, and the Ailey School. He’s had the pleasure of creating a new work for Company D; A Memphis based contemporary dance company for adults with down syndrome. Jamal is currently on the ballet faculty at Celebrity Dance Convention, Artistic Fellow at BODYTRAFFIC, one of the founding members of The Black Artists Dance Collective, and studying at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in the M.F.A Choreography program.




  • More information coming soon!
  • KSU High School Festival 2023 Guidelines

    The 2023 KSU Dance Festival take place on Saturday, February 4th and Sunday, February 5th 2023.

    1. All students must be current high school-age students.               

    2. The Festival is open to High School Dance programs and Dance Studios. There are no individual student registration options. 

    3. Early Registration runs from October 1st, 2022 through October 31st, 2022 is $110 per student.

    4. Regular Registration runs from November 1st, 2022 through December 16th, 2022 at $120 per student.

    5. Each group may bring 3 chaperone/faculty at no additional charge. 

    6. All Festival attendees must be registered. No unregistered guest will be allowed into or at any Festival location or event. 

    7. Chaperones/faculty must be onsite at all times while their students are present. 

    8. There is an initial cap of 25 students per organization. On December 1st, 2022, if the Festival has not sold-out, this cap will be lifted and groups can register additional students until the Festival is at capacity.

    9. All classes take place at the Department of Dance Facilities at Chastain Pointe just off the main Kennesaw Campus. All parking is free for the Festival week-end. 

    10. Lunch will be provided each day at the KSU Commons on the main Kennesaw campus. This is a food court-type facility with a variety of meals to accommodate all tastes and dietary restrictions. 

    11. The afternoon Student Showcase will take place at the Stillwell Theater on the main Kennesaw Campus. This is a short walk from the Commons. There is no charge to participate in the Student showcase. Each group may present one work. Please see the Student Showcase guidelines. 

    12. There are two Evening Concerts. Each group may present one work total between these two concerts. There is an additional $100 fee to perform in the Evening concerts. Please see concert guidelines for more details. 

    13. The Evening Concerts will take place on the Marietta Campus at the Dance Theater. 

    14. The Evening Concerts are private and only open to registered Festival Attendees. At Saturday morning check-in, each group will be given 2 tickets to each concert to use for outside guest. There are no additional tickets available for the concerts. 

    Additional information will be posted on the Festival Website. Emails with additional registration details and weekly updates will be sent to the group contact once they have registered. Questions can be emailed.


    Important Dates

    • Early Festival Registration Opens: October 1, 2022.  
    • Regular Registration Opens: November 1, 2022
    • Festival Registration Closes December 16, 2022 
    • KSU Dance Festival: February 4 and 5, 2023 
  • High School Festival Schedule ‘23

    Day 1 - Feb. 4, 2023

    8:15 Orientation (Gym)

    9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Classical Ballet Eckman/ Zollitch Afro-Caribbean Dance Chapman Contemporary Modern Knowlton Easy Flow Ballet
    Commercial Jazz Gray Yoga Barsky  
    10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Variations O’Kelley/Zollitsch Tap
    Modern Safety Release Hawkains Musical Theater Tedder Commercial Jazz Gray

    History of Afro Caribbean Dance Lecture Chapman


    12:00 – 1:00 p.m. - Lunch at the Commons

    1:15 – 02:30 p.m. Musical Theater Tedder Tap
    Contemporary Jazz Eckman Choreography Lock African Howard/Hayes Meditation Ragsdale KSU Dance Program Introduction for ParentsBarsky
    2:45 – 4:00 p.m. Contemporary Ballet Hillmer Folkdance
    Musical Theater Moncrief African Howard/Hayes Meditation Ragsdale KSU Dance Program Introduction for Dance Educators Barsky

    6:00 p.m. - Evening Concert at the Dance Theater

    Day 2 - Feb. 5, 2023

    9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Classical Ballet Terminus/ Zollitsch Easy Flow Ballet Perry Contemporary Modern Lock/Stevens Indian Dance Thakurta Contemporary Hip Hop Louis Breath Work for Dancers Hawkains Festival Meeting Barsky
    10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Contemporary Ballet Terminus/Zollitsch Indian Dance Thakurta Improvisation Hawkains/Stevens Haitian Dance Chapman Contemporary Hip Hop Louis Dance Film Making Knowlton  

    12:00 – 12:45 p.m. - Lunch at the Commons
    1:00 – 1:45 p.m. -  Student Showcase at Stillwell Theater


    2:15 – 3:30 p.m. Afro-Caribbean Dance Chapman Folkdance
    Audition KSU Dance Major Bates Dance Festival Terminus and KSU Summer Intensives O’Kelley/Lock Zollitsch/Stevens Moving Mindfully Barsky Musical Theater Tedder Injury Prevention 

    5:00 p.m. - Evening Concert with KSU Dance Company at the Dance Theater