Faculty Bios

Our students learn in a welcoming and non-competitive environment from faculty and musicians who are experts in their fields. We invite you to read their bios below!

2021 Online Faculty 

Quilan “Cue” Arnold

Quilan “Cue” Arnold (MFA) is a dance professional based out of Brooklyn, New York. He has been a member of companies such as Camille A. Brown and Dancers (NY), Rennie Harris Puremovement (PA), Abby Z and the New Utility (NY), and Enzo Celli Vivo Ballet (NY).  Quilan’s most recent choreographic work, “Searching for a True Move: A Kinesthetic American English Experience,” was virtually presented at Western Washington University (WA) in 2020 and Brigham-Young University (UT) in 2021.  Quilan is the co-founder of the Street/Club Dance podcast, “The Good Foot Podcast,” executive director of the Street/Club Dance documentary, “Build’N Shop,” which is partially funded by the 2018 Ohio State Dance Preservation Grant; and co-founder of the online battle event, “Dominate from a Distance.”  As an educator Quilan currently serves as a faculty member at Hunter College (NY), Marymount Manhattan College (NY), and Towson University (MD). Additionally, Quilan hosts an online Hip-Hop course, “Get Groovy.”

andrea bains

Andrea Bains studied ballet under the direction of Larry Boyette and George Tomal and danced professionally with both The Wisconsin Ballet and The Milwaukee Ballet companies. She was first introduced to Pilates work in the 1970s through Ron Fletcher’s Contrology of Beverly Hills, CA. Upon returning to her home state of Colorado, she continued her ballet training including performances at Ballet Arts Theatre, Colorado Council of the Arts, and Opera Colorado.  Andrea partnered with Mike Dailey in many of these performances, leading to their partnership in ABD, and with Andrea later opening Artistic Body Development South in Centennial, CO in 1999. Andrea has grown the area of the business working with individuals who desire private lessons or require post rehabilitation sessions.

REBECCA BLISS

Rebecca Bliss is a licensed physical therapist with a BFA in Dance from Florida State University. At Florida State, Rebecca was a member of Dance Repertory Theatre and attended ADF as a scholarship student in 2007. Upon graduating, she moved to New York City where she performed with choreographers such as Marjanie Forte. Eventually, Rebecca’s love of studying movement led her to Drexel University, where she received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2018.   

Currently, you can find Rebecca working as a PWR! certified therapist at Fyzical Therapy and Balance Centers, a local outpatient physical therapy clinic. There she enjoys working with a variety of patient populations ranging from dancers recovering from injury, to individuals with Parkinson’s Disease working to improve their balance. You can still find Rebecca performing today, as a member of The Big Red Dance Project with choreographer Gerri Houlihan. Rebecca believes dance is a  powerful instrument for exploring movement, and is excited to be a part of the Dance for Parkinson’s Program and share the joy of dance with others!

Jody Cassell

JodyCassellJody Cassell has been dancing since age four. She is a dancing storyteller, teaching artist in dance, and author of the children’s book Where’s Leon? She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from NYU School of the Arts and Master of Science in Dance/Movement Therapy from Hunter College in NY. Her dance and theater work started with Martha Myers, Dean Emeritus of the American Dance Festival. She performs for young children and families with her Dancing Stories! Stories Come Alive! programs and she performs the quirks of life in her Dancing Stories for Adults! Ms. Cassell served as a Master Artist with Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning through the Arts from 2003-2013. Jody also provides movement for well-being workshops in retirement and memory care facilities. Her current offerings include movement interludes to help those stranded in all-day meetings to stay focused, engaged, and motivated, as well as programs to help caregivers care for themselves. Photo by Catharine Carter

Robbie Cook

Robbie Cook is a dance artist based in Brooklyn, an Assistant Professor of Dance at Hofstra University and a teacher at American Dance Festival since 2012. Other teaching credits include in Sapporo, Japan as a company dancer with Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, i-Dance Festival in Hong Kong, Chadwick School in South Korea, the IUGTE Conference in Austria, Bates Dance Festival from 2011-2018, and Universidad de Las Américas in Puebla, México. Prior to Hofstra, he was on faculty at TCU, Loyola Marymount University, Idyllwild Arts Academy and Shenandoah Conservatory. Robbie has danced with a diverse assortment of choreographers spanning across many dance genres including Michel Kouakou, Rosie Herrera, Teena-Marie Custer, Ishmael Houston-Jones, Douglas Dunn, Liz Gerring, Edwaard Liang, Margaret Jenkins, Padma Menon, Keith Thompson, Stacy Spence, Laurel Jenkins, Third Rail Projects, Jan Erkert, Cheng-Chieh Yu, Noriko Kato; he performed Yvonne Rainer’s Trio A as a duet with Hope Mohr and in David Michalek’s video installation SlowDancing/TrioA and participated twice in Deborah Hay’s SPCP. He holds an MFA in Dance from Bennington College and has most recently worked as a dancer with choreographers James Gregg and Guanglei Hui.

leah cox

Leah Cox is dean of the American Dance Festival and an associate professor of dance at the University of Texas at Austin. Cox is a frequent adjudicator for the American College Dance Association, served on the New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” Award Committee from 2015 to 2018, and was a master teacher for YoungArts. She worked with the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company from 2001 to 2014. Cox began as a company dancer and became the company’s first education director. She developed the company’s educational materials, annual workshops, and highly successful educational licensing program. Her work as education director was featured in the documentary about Bill T. Jones, A Good Man, which aired on PBS nationwide. Cox has been the subject of a cover story feature in Dance Teacher magazine and is regularly sought out by professional publications and organizations for her expertise. Photo by Jim Lafferty

michael dailey

Michael Dailey established Artistic Body Development in 1986 through the training and encouragement of his ballet master Larry Boyette. Mr. Boyette was a seasoned ballet dancer with both the American Ballet Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and practiced the Pilates Method under the instruction of Joseph Pilates himself. Mike took this instruction, and his experience as a dancer with Ballet Arts Theatre, to develop Myopatterning™ and found Artistic Body Development.

Since the creation of the company, Mike has trained numerous students in the study of Pilates and Kinesiology, including an adjunct position at Colorado College, and a private instructorship at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Tracey Durbin

Tracey Durbin moved to Durham from Portland, Oregon where she was an integral part of the Portland dance scene for 25 years. She began her training with Julie Adler in Detroit and  at Interlochen. Tracey trained under Eugene Louis Faccuito, “Luigi,” one of the most famous international jazz teachers of his generation. The Luigi technique and philosophy became the foundation of her teaching. Tracey has choreographed and taught for Northwest Dance Project, Body Vox Dance, Oregon Ballet Theatre and Reed College. She was one of four choreographers chosen for the Northwest Dance Project “Chopin Project” with acclaimed pianist Yekwon Sunwoo and is also a featured artist in the book ‘Beauty is Experience: Dancing 50 and Beyond.’ Tracey currently teaches at NC State ,Ninth St Dance, and ADF.

ORI FLomin

Ori Flomin has been dancing, living, surviving, and thriving in NYC since 1989. He holds an MFA in Dance from Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. His choreography has been presented in NYC and internationally. He has taught dance, Yoga, and Shiatsu massage with prestigious festivals and schools across Europe, Asia, and Australia in addition to colleges around NYC: PARTS, Impulstanz, London Contemporary School, Sasha Waltz, Circuit Est, SUNY Purchase, NYU, Movement Research, Gibney, among others. He’s performed in the works of acclaimed choreographers Stephen Petronio, Maria Hassabi, Neil Greenberg, and Molissa Fenley to name a few.  www.Oriflomin.com

Cara Hagan

Cara Hagan is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is informed by movement, words, digital space, contemplative practice, and community. Ms. Hagan has the pleasure of sharing her artistic pursuits across the United States and abroad. Most recently, Cara has set choreographic works on students at the UNC School of the Arts, Missouri State University, Roehampton University London, Gonzaga University, and on professional dancers at the DanceBARN Festival in Battle Lake, MN. Recent guest artist residencies include Thirak India (Jaipur), James Madison University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Bath Spa University, and DeMontfort University, among others. Further, Cara has made recent performance appearances at the Asheville Wordfest, the Taos Poetry Festival, the On Site/In Sight Dance Festival, Revolve Gallery Asheville, the Performática Festival in Puebla, Mexico, and the Conference on Geopoetics in Edinburgh, Scotland. In installation, Cara’s work has been seen at Art Produce San Diego, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Revolve Gallery Asheville, and at the Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh. A recipient of several grants and awards, Cara received the “Best Southern States Documentary” award for her short film, Sound and Sole from the Southern States Indie Fan Film Fest in Biloxi, MS in January 2019. She was awarded an artist residency at PLAYA Summer Lake for the fall of 2018 and an artist residency at Elsewhere Gallery for spring/summer 2020. She has been funded by the North Carolina Arts Council, the Forsyth County Arts Council, the Appalachian State University Research Council, the Cucalorus Festival, and the Dance Films Association, among other organizations. Ms. Hagan serves on the dance studies faculty at Appalachian State University, as well as serving as director and curator for ADF’s Movies By Movers, an annual, international dance film festival that hosts events at both the American Dance Festival and Appalachian State University. Cara’s creative work can be found in various publications, including literary journals Collective Terrain, Zocalo, Quill and Parchment, the Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing, and Headwaters Journal of Expressive Arts. Her scholarly publications can be found in the International Journal of Screendance, the Journal of Sustainability Education, Transmissions Journal of Media Studies, and in the book, Dance’s Duet with the Camera: Motion Pictures, edited by Telory D. Arendell and Ruth Barnes. Currently, Cara is under contract to complete her first solo-authored book through McFarland Publishing.  www.carahagan.net

Monique Haley

Monique Haley, Assistant Professor of Dance and African American & African Studies at Western Michigan University, holds an MFA in Dance (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and a BFA (University of the Arts). A choreographer, dance educator, and performer, she honors nine years with the former River North Dance Chicago (RNDC) jazz company and musical theatre performances in Chicago and throughout the country. Haley is a 3Arts awardee (2012) for her choreography and dedication to dance in the Chicagoland area. She has choreographed for companies RNDC, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre, DanceWorks Chicago, and Muntu African Dance, to name a few. In addition, she has created dance works for national and regional collegiate programs, such as The University of the Arts and Western Michigan University. Monique is the Diasporic Encounter Method (DEM) creator, which centers African cultural values and rituals in jazz dance pedagogy. DEM is a foundational teaching tool built to inspire an authentic ethos and connection between dancers’ daily jazz practice.

Gerri houlihan

Gerri Houlihan studied at the Juilliard School with Antony Tudor and members of the Martha Graham and Jose Limon dance companies. She performed with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet Company, the Paul Sanasardo Dance Company and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. From 1991-1999 she directed her own company, Houlihan and Dancers, based in Miami, Florida. During that time, she was on the faculty of the New World School of the Arts. Ms. Houlihan serves on the Advisory Board for the American Dance Festival. She has been on the faculty of the ADF from 1981-1983 and from 1987 to the present. As an international representative for ADF, she has participated in 17 international linkage programs in such countries as Korea, China, Mongolia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Estonia, Poland and Russia. She is the recipient of the ADF’s Balasaraswati, Joy Ann Dewey Beinecke Endowed Chair for Distinguished Teaching. She was Co-Dean and then Dean of the ADF School from 2010-2015 and received her MFA from the Hollins/ADF MFA program. She recently retired from Florida State University, where she was the Pearl S. Tyner Distinguished Professor in Teaching and is now Professor Emerita. Currently, she teaches at the ADF studios in Durham and is the Artistic Director of the Big Red Dance Project.

TOMMY NOONAN AND MURIELLE ELIZÉON 

Tommy Noonan and Murielle Elizéon are directors, choreographers, and performers currently based in Saxapahaw, NC. Both their individual and collaborative work has been presented extensively throughout Germany, France, Portugal, Poland, Switzerland, Austria, Spain, Belgium, Finland, and Mexico. Most recently, Tommy Noonan’s solo “John” was presented at the American Dance Festival and Murielle Elizéon choreographed the duet “Je suis belle,” comissioned by the North Carolina Museum of Art and co-created with Tommy.

They regularly teach movement and dance both internationally and locally, and are co-directors of Culture Mill, a performing arts laboratory based in Saxapahaw, NC dedicated to fostering creative community and collaboration through artist residencies, educational outreach and original artistic projects. More on Culture Mill at www.culturemill.org.

Meg Poe

poe_edit

Meg Poe is dedicated to health and happiness through movement and mindful living.  She is a Duke-certified Integrative Health Coach, a Registered Yoga Teacher, and a certified Pilates instructor with a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology from UNC-Chapel Hill.   She has been directly involved in educating and training students in the integration of mindful, healthy movement for over 25 years. A dedicated student comments, “Meg is a skillful practitioner herself and a masterful teacher who knows how to create an atmosphere that is relaxed, respectful, meditative, yet informal and fun. There is no pressure to perform or compete – students are free to adapt the exercises, with Meg’s guidance, to their own abilities and needs.” PoeWellnessSolutions.com

Susan Saenger

Susan Saenger is a Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, a licensed professional counselor in the State of North Carolina, and a certified personal health and fitness trainer (https://www.spryfitnessnc.com/). Susan began dancing when she was just 5 years old and had the formative privilege to be exposed to creative movement at that early age. As a child she spent years studying ballet and modern dance. As an adult she continued her exploration into African Dance, Tai Chi and Yoga. From 1990-1992 Susan performed with Orts Theatre of Dance in Tucson AZ. From 1997-2007, Susan was a member of Choreo Collective, a Triangle-based collective for dancers and choreographers, serving as Treasurer and, later, as Co-Director. She helped produce at least 20 programs of original choreography over 10 years.  In 2011, Susan took the Mark Morris Dance for PD teacher training. She began teaching Dance for Parkinson’s with Lindsay Voorhees in 2014.

Ray Eliot Schwartz

Ray Eliot Schwartz graduated high school from the North Carolina School of the Arts and received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and his MFA from University of Texas-Austin. He was the Head of the Dance Program of the University of the Americas-Puebla in México from 2008 to 2018. He is a founder of Performática: Foro Internacional de Danza Contemporánea y Artes del Movimiento, a research associate at the Center for Mind Body Movement, and a consultant and teaching artist for ArcDanz International Dance Workshop. Ray co-founded four contemporary dance projects in the southern US: Sheep Army, The Zen Monkey Project, Steve’s House Dance Collective, and THEM. He has been a guest artist for diverse populations in the US, South East Asia, South America, and Mexico and has served on the faculty of the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, MELT, the ZMP Summer Dance Intensive, Verano Chilango, Camp_iN, the Colorado College Summer Dance Festival, SFADI, and the Mexican television series showcasing national and international talent in the Mexican contemporary dance scene, Opera Prima@elcolectivo, among others. He is a published scholar who writes in Spanish and English about the interface of somatic movement education and contemporary dance practice. His somatic studies include certifications in Body-Mind Centering® and the Feldenkrais Method®. Additional studies include Zero-Balancing®, Gross Anatomy (Dissection), Bio Mechanics of Sport, Molecular Cell Biology, Cranio-Sacral Therapy, and Traditional Thai Massage. His current research seeks to identify central issues and fundamental aspects of embodiment practice that transcend traditional delivery and invite individuals to consider ensemble and collaboration in new and dynamic ways.

Lindsay Voorhees

Lindsay Voorhees is an occupational therapist (OTR/L), currently working on the spinal cord team at WakeMed Rehab in Raleigh. Trained in ballet from middle school through college, Lindsay has continued to expand her dance repertoire, choreograph, and teach in various capacities, including repertory groups and a therapeutic camp setting for children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders. She believes that, as an embodied creative art, dance has great potential to positively impact mental and physical health, and she is committed to making dance accessible to everyone. Lindsay has been leading the Dance for Parkinson’s program with Susan Saenger since 2014.

Leah Wilks

Leah Wilks is a choreographer, dancer, and teacher based out of Brooklyn, NY (Munsee Lenape and Canarsie land) and Durham, NC (Eno, Lumbee, Shakori, Sissapahaw, and the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation land). At times, she is also a gardener, an elder-care companion, a musician, a facilitator, and a writer. Her research revolves around embodied memory, monuments, and death and dying practices.  Most recently, Leah has been a performer/collaborator in works by Okwui Okpokwasili, Kendra Portier|BAND, Anna Barker/Real Live People, Sara Hook, and Tommy DeFrantz/SLIPPAGE. She holds an MFA in Dance from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she received the Excellence in Teaching for Undergraduate Education Award, and the Wanda M. Nettl Prize for Choreography with collaborator Mauriah Kraker (L+M). Leah also works as a programs manager for the arts non-profit Culture Mill.

jessie young

Jessie Young is a Brooklyn-based choreographer, dancer and teacher. Her practice seeks to construct new paradigms for information-sharing within pre-existing thought systems, artistic and pedagogical lineages inside of dance and movement training. She challenges conventions of image construction and meaning-making through an excavation of corporeal knowledge and perceptual experience, viewing her work as an intrinsically feminist practice. In New York, her work has been presented by Danspace Project (DraftWork) , New York Live Arts, AUNTS (Mt. Tremper residency), Dixon Place, The Current Sessions and the Domestic Performance Agency. Additionally, she has presented her work at FringeArts (Philadelphia,PA) Lion’s Jaw Performance and Dance Festival (Boston, MA) International de Teatro Susana Alexander (Mexico) Fleet Moves Dance Festival (Cape Cod, MA), Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (Urbana Champaign, IL) and extensively in Chicago with institutions such as Links Hall, Chicago Home Theater Festival, Chicago Dance Crash, and The Inconvenience. She has been an artist in residence at  New York Live Arts (Fresh Tracks), Brooklyn Studios for Dance, and Centrum (Port Townsend, WA).  As a performer, she has had the pleasure of working with Abby Z and the New Utility, Julie Mayo, Stephanie Acosta,  Khecari Dance Theater, The Seldoms, Kristina Isabelle Dance Company, The Moving Architects and The Space/Movement Project, among others. Jessie has been on faculty at Lion’s Jaw Performance + Dance Festival, Mark Morris Dance Center and Gina Gibney Dance Center. In addition, she has taught master classes and leads workshops at Bard College, Pieter Performance Space, Beloit College, University of Utah, University of Wisconsin at Madison, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Base: Experimental Arts + Space (Seattle).  She is currently on faculty at Rutgers University and contributes to the online teaching platform Freeskewl. Jessie-Young.com Photo by Whitney Browne