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53dFounder + Director, Megan Snow: Dance has enhanced Megan’s life in such a way that with a vision in her mind and a toddler on her hip, she leapt at the opportunity to create a dance community that cultivates joy and artistry in its students. As a dance student herself and then later, through a collection of formative experiences instructing and choreographing in the greater Seattle area, she developed a lifelong reverence for the art form. She tucked away her dance shoes to pursue a BA in English with Magna Cum Laude honors (Western Washington University) and a MA in Teaching (University of Washington), dedicating the next several years to working with youth and families, primarily in urban public school settings. Flourish Dance Project was conceptualized in response to a lifetime of experiences witnessing how the movement arts can revitalize and inspire.

JadeSolomonDanceTeaching Artist, Jade Solomon Curtis: Jade received her BFA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and has worked as a company member with Opus Dance Theatre, Alison Chase Performance, Wideman/Davis Dance and Spectrum Dance Theater. While a member of Spectrum Dance Theater, Curtis participated in a cross cultural initiative in Southeast Asia made possible by the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), Dance Motion USA and The United States Department. She has performed with the 5th Avenue Theater, Seattle International Dance Festival, Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas, Provincetown Dance Festival, Northwest African American Museum, Velocity Dance Center’s Fall Kick Off, and Summerstage NYC. Amongst Curtis’ choreographic endeavors, she has created work for The Seattle Art Museum’s premiere of Kehinde Wiley’s: A New Republic and Grammy winning jazz musician and composer, John Clayton.  As the Program Coordinator and Donald Byrd Technique Instructor she led the Professional Division of the School at Spectrum, assisted Donald Byrd with classes and workshops, and taught as a master instructor at the Youth American Grand Prix. Curtis is the subject of an Emmy Award winning biographical film titled, Jade Solomon Curtis by Ralph Bevins of the Seattle Channel and is the Maxcy Inaugural Visiting Fellow at the University of South Carolina.

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Teaching Artist, Alexis Evans-Krueger: Originally from Madison, WI, Alexis relocated to Seattle in 2015, after being selected as a company dancer with the renowned Spectrum Dance Theater. A Magna Cum Laude graduate with a BFA degree in dance from Wright State University, Alexis performed with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company for several seasons. She has worked with numerous choreographers including Crystal Perkins, Ronen Koresh, Ray Mercer, Adam Hougland, Vernard Gilmore, William B McClellan, and Christian Von Howard. Awards include the Tom Hanks Scholarship, Goldenberg’s Theater/Dance Scholarship, Yvonne Brown Collodi College Scholarship, and Dance Masters of Wisconsin Scholarships. She received best choreography awards at the 2015 Dreamstar and Midwest Star Competitions and completed programs at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, ADF Winter Intensive, Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, Point Park University, Piel Morena, and C.N.A.D.M.

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Teaching Artist, Ria Llanto: Dance became an integral part of Ria’s life beginning in early childhood in the Philippines, where she grew up and lived until moving to Seattle in 2012. What began as making up dances with her siblings to perform for their family for fun, grew into studying and performing ballet, jazz, and hip hop with some of the most accomplished dance artists and choreographers in the Philippines (Power Dance and Hot Legs Manila). In Manila, Ria’s dance experiences included organizing and launching a college conference with 150 dancers that grew into a recurring project, reaching international acclaim, performing for audiences of over 16,000 people. During this time, Ria became a resident choreographer and dance teacher at local high school. She also danced with a non-profit organization called inC, a group that believes in teaching arts as an avenue to promote positivity in students, fostering leadership and character development. She has performed in Westlake Dance Center’s “Sign of the Times,” performances and continues to train in hip hop and jazz there.

140126-Ciara_44A1829-B+WTeaching Artist, Ciara McCormack: Originally from Burlington, VT, Ciara was raised in both the Northeast and small town Nebraska. She began dancing at the age of five, and studied strict ballet technique before expanding into other genres. In 2011, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Stephens College with a BFA in Dance and a minor in creative writing. Since graduation, she has worked with numerous professional companies in Nebraska and Seattle. Ciara began teaching in 2008 and has worked with students of all ages in dance studios, theaters, and public schools in the US and Chile. Her passion as an educator is to support growth, encourage a sense of joy and wonder, and facilitate an understanding of the world through creative explorations for mind and body. (Photo credit: August Smith)

Teaching Artist, Anna Nagy: A member of Funky Dynamics, 1inA Million and Fraggle Rock Crew, Anna has been involved in breakdancing and hip hop dance styles for over a decade. Known as B-girl Naj, Anna has participated in hundreds of performances in the Northwest and throughout the country, in addition to competing in national and international battles. Some of her accomplishments include 1st place victories in solo B-girl battles: Smoked in Ohio (2008), Bboy Hodown (2008), Outbreak Canada (2010), and Illin Empire LA (2012). Anna’s skill and enthusiasm for working with youth have paved the way for countless collaborations with dance studios, community centers, and schools across the Seattle metro area, including a partnership with the King County Library System to expose elementary through high school students to breakdance.

Teaching Artist, Prasti Purdum: Prasti began dancing at age five with a ballet class. From there, she fell in love with the art form, and dance has remained an integral part of her life – from childhood, college, marriage, and motherhood. Prasti’s primary training is in ballet (Royal Academy of Dance), but also includes modern, jazz, hip-hop and musical theatre. She received her B.A. in Dance and International Studies from the University of Washington. She was a company member with Deborah Birrane Dance (Seattle, WA), and has also performed with Jerboa Dance (Seattle, WA), Cameo/Carrabba Dance (Seattle, WA), and Gravity 6 Dance Project (Cleveland, OH). She has performed works by Deborah Birrane, Eva Stone, Anna Mansbridge, Rob Kitsos, and Karn Junkinsmith and is thankful to have had the opportunity to train and learn from Delice Teamer, Tessa Williams, Marco Carrabba, Tinka Gutrick-Dailey, Elizabeth Cooper, Jen Salk, Dudley Williams, Shamil Yagudin, Isabel and Javier Dubrocq, Carla Maxwell, and Magali Messac.

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Teaching Artist, Courtney Scheel: Courtney began her dance practice at age five with ballet and tap.  She now holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied and developed a love for modern and contemporary techniques.  She has previously taught dance classes at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York and BAX/Brooklyn Arts Exchange, where she was also Education Assistant of its youth programs.  As a performer she has had the pleasure of working with Philippa Kay Company, Kimberly Brandt, and locally Anna Conner + Co among others. Additionally, Courtney has been a yoga practitioner for over 10 years and received her 200hr teaching certification in 2008.  She is  a Yoga Advisor at 8 Limbs Yoga Center in Capitol Hill.  She resides in West Seattle and is thrilled by the addition of Flourish Dance Project to the neighborhood and honored to be a part of it.

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Teaching Artist, Amanda White: Amanda discovered a love of dance at the early age of four and considers it a joy to share this passion with Flourish’s youngest ballet dancers. Her dance background is extensive, including ballet, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, musical theater, and tap, and is complimented by performance experience, having competed regionally and nationally with a local dance team (Gotta Dance). Amanda began teaching in 2012 and continues to mentor and instruct students at Gotta Dance’s Eastside studio. Her strength as an instructor shows in her commitment to providing a meaningful dance foundation to her young students with tenderness and care. Enthusiastic about nurturing their love of dance and confidence in themselves, she creates an upbeat and inviting learning environment where beginning dancers shine.