Dance Staff

Sahana Balasubramanya

Bharatanatyam
Twenty seven year-old Sahana is one of the most promising young artists of today. She has trained at Ganesa Natyalaya, Delhi, under the renowned Guru Saroja Vaidyanathan for fifteen years in the Tanjavur style of Bharatanatyam. She has also received advanced training under renowned Bharatanatyam dancers Rama Vaidyanathan & Anuradha Venkataraman. Sahana is currently pursuing a Ph.D in Mathematics at Vanderbilt University, USA, where she also serves as the instructor in Bharatanatyam at the Vanderbilt Dance Program.

Sahana has performed widely across the world as a solo performer and received critical acclaim for the same. An empanelled artiste with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, she has also received the Sahitya Kala Parishad scholarship for dance. She has been conferred with several awards for contribution to classical dance, like ‘Nritya Mani’, ‘Nritya Vilasini’ & ‘Naatya Taraang Yuva Puraskar’ to name a few.   She has conducted dance workshops in India and abroad and was selected to be the lead dancer for the Bharatanatyam segment, in the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, 2010, held at Delhi.

Ben Blevins

Hip-Hop
A native to Kingsport, TN, Ben Blevins got his start at the age of 13 training in Tap, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip- Hop styles at Holloway Dance School. Ben has been passionate about his training since the beginning and had found a love for sharing his craft with others.  Ben began teaching Hip-Hop and Tap styles at the age of 16 as well as performing lead roles such as the Brigadier and Trepak for Intercity Ballet Theatre’s ‘The Nutcracker.’  Ben has continued his dance training at conventions such as Monsters of Hip Hop, The Pulse on Tour, and Excel in Motion, and has received a number of scholarships including The Ailey Extension scholarship in New York City.  Ben recently moved to the Nashville area to seek further opportunity in the dance industry. Since moving , Ben has appeared in a  video for country music star, Thomas Rhett and has also been featured in a video with hip hop artist Tally from the Lifetime series ‘The Rap Game.’  Ben is continuing his journey in the performance industry while teaching and hopes to instill his love for the arts in all of his students while providing a safe space to learn and grow in their own movement.

 

 

Dorse Brown

Hip Hop
At the age of 7, Dorse Brown began his Hip Hop dance career in his hometown of Little Rock, AR.  He graduated from the University of Memphis with a Bachelors Degree in Music, a concentration in Recording Technology, and a minor in Dance. 

While training, Brown received a Young Artist Talent Scholarship to attend the American Dance Festival and also had the opportunity to appear and compete on the 5th season of the television show, “So You Think You Can Dance”.  He is so honored to have trained and danced with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in Dayton, Ohio from 2011- 2015. While in the city of Dayton, he was able to reach the community by leading various hip-hop cyphers; and participated on hip-hop Culture panels.

After Dayton, Brown moved to Nashville, TN where his traveling opportunities continued with Guest Artist Residencies at various Universities. In January of 2016, he went back to his hip-hop roots with a Royal Caribbean Cruise line contract. The time with Royal Caribbean gave him the chance to train and perform as an Aerialist while being a hip-hop soloist. He’s grateful to continue training and growing as an Aerialist as well as a Dancer with Fall. Traveling to so many different places fulfilling his dreams and passion he gives all of the glory and honor to God and thanks to his wife, family and friends for their continuous support. 

 

Nomalanga Eniafe

West African Dance / Fitness
Nomalanga teaches movements based upon traditional African dance forms. Her style and class regime is designed to bring forth new life and new energy through the power of rhythm and dance. Her students develop a new consciousness about themselves and traditional African culture. Nomalanga has traveled to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky to teach and perform her art.

Jen Jen Lin

Modern
Holds a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, IL. While in Taiwan, she was the artistic director and choreographer for the Lan-Yang Chinese Folklore Performing Dance Company, the group toured internationally extensively. In the U.S., she danced full-time in a modern dance company (Jan Erkert & Dancers) in Chicago, taught dance full-time at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and was an assistant professor of dance at the Trinity College in Hartford, CT. Her modern dance composition won the “Boston Moves” competition and presented in Majestic Theater in Boston. In Nashville she founded Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville (CAAN), a not for profit performing arts organization and was the choreographer and the artistic director for several dance productions produced by CAAN. Ms. Lin also collaborated with Vanderbilt Blair School of Music presenting modern dances: “Snow Lotus” &“Qu Yuan.” ”Snow Lotus” was played live by Vanderbilt Wood Symphony, and music for “Qu Yuan” was played live by Vanderbilt Blakemore Trio. In 2012, Ms. Lin choreographed “Dragon Tales” dance theater production at the Ingram Hall, Vanderbilt Blair School of Music, and “Qi,” a site specific modern dance project for the Shelby Park 100 Years Anniversary Celebration. She is Carell Artist in Residency for the Harpeth Hall School in the Spring 2013.

Mary Elizabeth Tinervin

Mary Elizabeth Tinervin is from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina where she was fortunate to have been trained by Karena Brock-Carlyle who was named a principal dancer of the American Ballet Theatre in 1973, and her husband John Carlyle who danced professionally with City Center Dance Theatre, the Tampa Ballet and the Savannah Ballet.In high school she had the opportunity to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts and studied with Melissa Hayden, Gina Vidal, Nina Danilova, and Frank Smith. She also attended summer intensives at the American Ballet Theatre, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, Orlando Ballet Theatre, Juilliard School, Columbia City Ballet and ConfiDance in Amsterdam. Mary Elizabeth graduated from Dean College with a B.A. magna cum laude in Dance Performance, during which time she also was a company member with PVB Repertory Company. After graduating from college she danced with Spindle City Ballet, Margot Parsons Dance Visions, Island Moving Company as well as teaching at Dean College and local studios all over the Boston area. She then went on to New York University receiving a M.A. in Teaching Dance in the Professions with a concentration in American Ballet Theatre Pedagogy.Her focus as a teacher has been to ensure that her students build a core foundation of dance technique that includes a philosophy and methodology in all forms of dance, and an intellectual curiosity to understand how dance is evolving in today’s society. She has focused on different styles of learning, helping shape young and impressionable minds in a nurturing environment to reach their full potential as a individual, student and for a career in dance.

Maria Maggipinto

Modern
Maria Maggipinto began dancing in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee. She went on to study with the School of the Minnesota Dance Theatre in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She received her BS in education from UT Knoxville with a major in dance. After graduation she moved to New York City and danced with several modern companies there including Carol Fonda Dance Company and Offspring Dance Company. Maria has choreographed pieces in Nashville for Vanderbilt Dance Theatre, University School of Nashville, Let It Rain Ministries, and Belmont Church. She has enjoyed teaching modern dance, improvisation, and dance conditioning classes for the Vanderbilt Dance Program during their summer intensives, and currently teaches intermediate modern for VDP during the school year.

Alfred Marcelli

Accompanist
Alfred Marcelli started out playing in his teens, for college and high school dances in New Jersey.  Later on he played for New Jersey Ballet, Garden State Ballet and Montclair State University, both Ballet and Modern classes.

Alfred also played Master classes for both Edward Villela and Paul Sutherland..  In New York City he played at Steps, Broadway Dance, and with Pearl Lang for the Martha Graham Dance Company…He also played on stage at Radio City Music Hall, for 300 live shows.
After moving to Nashville, 10 years ago,  he first played for Jennifer McNamara at the Governor School of Dance at  M.T.S.U.
Currently he plays for Vanderbilt University and Nashville Ballet Company, Academy, and Community Classes. Alfred loves classic country, rock, and writing his own music which he plays for classes.  He started out playing guitar, at a very young age, then went on to learn to play a Hammond Organ and Piano.  He currently plays a Motif Synthesizer and is making plans to record his own music at a recording studio on Music Row.

Laurel Walker

Ballet
A native of Western North Carolina, Laurel holds a Masters of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. While at NYU, she was a member of the Second Avenue Dance Company where she performed works by Deborah Jowitt, Kyle Abraham and choreographed two original works, “20/20 Insight” and “Efflorescence”. As a Graduate Fellow, Ms. Walker also served as the Asst. Production Director of Tisch Theater & Dance. 

During her undergraduate tenure at The University of Alabama where she received her B.A., Laurel was a 4-year member of the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre. Her performances included original works by Cornelius Carter, Sarah M. Barry and Qianping Guo. Laurel also had the opportunity to perform José Limón’s “There Is A Time”, staged by Clay Taliaferro. Additionally, she was awarded leading roles in Swan Lake, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, La Bayadère and The Nutcracker.

Ms. Walker has recently relocated to the Nashville area after spending four years as the Dance Instructor of Shelton State in Tuscaloosa, AL, Dance Etc of Hoover, AL and Choreographer for Tuscaloosa Theater. Laurel credits Madame Marilyn Cloutier, her first ballet teacher/mentor, with an early desire and passion for expressing life and storytelling through movement and arts innovation.

 

Aaron Walters

Accompanist
Aaron is a Nashville based composer, producer, and performer hailing from Upstate NY. Aaron earned his Bachelors of Music from Ithaca college with a dual-major in Music Composition and Percussion Performance. Not long after, Aaron became a musician for the Department of Dance at SUNY College at Brockport in Brockport, NY where he worked with Maria Maloney (a former member of the Trisha Brown Dance Company), dance historian and Jacob’s Pillow scholar-in-residence Maura Keefe, and world-renown choreographer and dancer David Dorfman.

Currently, Aaron is pursuing a Masters of Music in Commercial Music Composition and Arranging at Belmont University. He continues his career as a drummer, pianist, guitarist, bassist, singer, band leader, producer/engineer, and composer/arranger in recording sessions and on live stages with numerous professionals. Aaron has sold his compositions to musicians all over the world and remains a regularly gigging musician for dance, playing for several classes, professional companies, and dance conventions across the country. He is a strong advocate for a greater understanding of the connection between music and movement.

Rachel Vassar

Tap
Rachel is a recent graduate of Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Dance . She began taking dance classes at the age of five at Precision Dance in Columbia, TN. She continued studying through high school and now into college. At the age of thirteen, she began working as a Teaching Assistant and decided that she wanted to make a career out of dance. Rachel has five years’ experience with teaching techniques in Ballet, Tap, and Jazz to all ages, and choreographing for studio recitals.