Summer Institute : Dance : Faculty

Courses in the Dance program are taught by an eclectic group of choreographers, performers, and educators from across the globe.  The majority of our faculty teach in the degree programs at UArts. Our expert faculty is comprised of seasoned educators and dedicated artists who enjoy the opportunity to share their expertise and collaborate with the next generation of dancers.

*Please note: this list reflects a selection of our 2016 Summer Institute instructors.  Check back for updates about the 2017 faculty.

Donna Faye Burchfield
The program is overseen by Donna Faye Burchfield, director of the University of the Arts School of Dance. Burchfield has a BFA and MFA in Dance from Texas Christian University and most recently served as dean of the American Dance Festival (ADF). She has also served as artistic director of the Hollins University/ADF Master of Fine Arts in Dance program and chair of the school's Dance department. Burchfield has worked with dancers and dance programs in many capacities, including developing curriculum that is at the forefront of modern dance. She has traveled extensively throughout the world, visiting more than 150 colleges, universities, dance programs and dance companies, teaching master classes, auditioning students and giving lectures. She has received numerous awards and commissions for her choreographic work and research.


Coordinating the program since 2011, Ashley Anderson & Jen McGinn both hold B.A.’s from Hollins University and M.F.A.’s in Dance from the Hollins University/American Dance Festival program. They have each been guest artists at many universities and high schools. Jen presents her choreography on the East coast while Ashley presents her choreography in the Southwest. You can find more information about their work at and


Other members of the Pre-College Dance faculty and guest artists have included:

Dinita Askew began her formal training in Modern dance (Horton) under the instruction of Faye Snow at the age of 15 at Franklin Learning Center High. At the age of 16, she joined Eleone's second company in 1999 under the direction of Shawn Lamere Williams and trained with Philadanco's Summer Intensive Training Program in 2000, 2001, and 2002. She continued her studies in Modern, Ballet, and Jazz at The University of the Arts where she earned her B.F.A. Degree in Dance. She expanded her knowledge of the many forms of hip-hop and funk styles and has been choreographing, and teaching various levels and age groups ranging from six to adults as well as children with special needs. Besides teaching local master classes and residencies, she has also taught a 2 week residency at the 13th Contemporary Dance Festival in Bytom Poland, and a 2 week residency at Illadelph Legends Hip Hop Intensive and performed abroad in Puebla Mexico, New Castle New England UK, Bytom Poland, Brampton, Ontario, and North Bay Canada. Other past engagements include; recording artist Jasmin Jai, Mashonda and Ms. Jade 2002-2003, Dance Theater Workshop 2004 & 2005, Jacobs Pillow 2004 & 2005, APAP 2006, 2007, and 2009, Zenone Dance Collective "Poem" 2006, Montazh Performing Arts Company "PHRESH" choreographer/ dancer 2006, Illstyle and Peace Productions "Same Spirit Different Movement" and lead actress in "Things Happen" Play 2003- 2007, etc. As of December 2007, Dinita became a member of Rennie Harris Puremovement. In the summer of 2008 she was promoted to Dance Captain. With the passion to motivate, inspire and educate, it could only be recognized with a reward. In March 2009, she was promoted to Rehearsal Director of RHPM. Dinita is a versatile dancer, creative choreographer, and a strong performer who uses movement as a tool to represent her personality and passion for her artistry.

Maggie Cloud grew up in Sarasota, Florida and graduated from Florida State University with a BFA in Dance. Since moving to New York in 2009, she has performed in works by choreographers Lauren Bakst, Kim Brandt, Diana Crum, Moriah Evans, John Jasperse, Burr Johnson, Jen McGinn, Sarah Michelson, Pam Tanowitz, Gillian Walsh, and Emily Wexler.

Lanette Costas began her training at The Bronx Dance Theatre.  She is a graduate of New York’s High School of the Performing Arts, received a BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and an MFA from Hollins University/American Dance Festival.  Ms. Costas danced a featured role in Disney’s The Lion King (first National Tour).  Her professional concert dance credits include Ailey II, Donald Byrd/The Group, Elisa Monte Dance, Fred Benjamin Dance Company, and Earl Mosley's diversity of Dance.  Her regional credits include The Tin Pan Alley Rag for which she was the Dance Captain and If This Hat Could Talk where she was the choreographic assistant to Tony Award winner George Faison. Ms. Costas toured as a soloist with the Spiritual Singers of Harlem under the direction of Linda Twine and danced for the New Jersey Nets under the direction of Natasha Baron and choreographer Dominick DeFranco.  Her television credits include the music video “Off the Books” with Big Pun, the Beatnuts, and Cuban Link.  CBS’ Kennedy Center Honors where she performed for President Clinton in honor of Judith Jamison.  She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Lar Lubovitch, Robert Battle, Joyce Trisler, Donald Byrd, Talley Beatty, Kevin Wynn, Ron K. Brown, George Faison, and Garth Fagan.  Ms. Costas has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia, and South America. She has taught in various New York City schools through City Center teach outreach program and as a representative of Ailey II and Elisa Monte has taught master classes in High Schools and Universities throughout the country.

AKA Ras Mikey C is currently a guestlecturer at the University of Limerick, Ireland where he is continuing his research and development of Ethio-Modern Dance while pursuing his PhD in Arts Practice Research. RAS recently completed his MA in Ethnochoreology at the University of Limerick and he has a B.F.A in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts. He has taught, performed, and choreographed dance and other performing arts world-wide with his company Fore I’m a Versatile Entertainer (F.I.V.E.) Productions ( RAS Mikey has collaborated with Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Raven-Symone, Ethiopian Television, and Ethiopian singer Aster Aweke to name a few. He has co-produced numerous shows some of which were Adama Ethiopia 2000 (The African Millennium) and Reggae by the Nile. RAS's works are a reflection of his spirit and his passion for the performing arts as a cultural and social movement. His objective is to bridge the gaps of cultural traditions and popular culture through education and production in the performing arts and related projects.

Meredith Glisson is a multidisciplinary performing artist and teacher who received her post baccalaureate in advanced studies in 2010, la Formation Supérieure de l’Interprète à l’Auteur at the Centre Chorégraphique National de Rillieux-la-Pape/Compagnie Maguy Marin in partnership with l’Université Lumière Lyon 2 under a 3ème année de Licence Professionelle with the Départements Arts de la Scène, de l’Image et de l’Ecran, et Anthropologie. She received in 2005 her B.A. in Dance and French at Hollins University under the direction of Donna Faye Burchfield. She was awarded the Herbert Berghof (HB) acting studio scholarship in 2012, 2013 and interned at The Performing Garage with The Wooster Group in 2013. She is a founding member of Chez Bushwick Inc. and served as their foreign correspondent and board member from 2006-09. She is a performer and collaborator with The Troupe, a creative production company, directed by Zack Winokur including residencies, performances and teaching opportunities at Baryshnikov Arts Center, Mt. Tremper Arts, Summer Stages Dance and The Yard. She has performed at La Biennale di Venezia in Jan Lauwers’s The Slow Lie and also participated in a workshop with Gisèle Vienne. She has been a Master Lecturer in composition and performance courses at University of the Arts since 2011 and coordinates international residencies for students during January term and studying abroad. She is also the facilitator and faculty member of UArts Dance Study Cycles, an innovative international program of intensive dance study with artistic exchange specifically for advanced undergraduate students or recent graduates seeking to build new networks across geographies.

Rochelle Haynes is a native of Dallas, Texas. She received her BFA in modern dance from UArts. Rochelle traveled throughout the US as part of Tap Team Two and Company and has been teaching tap for over 21 years across the US as well as Prague and the Czech Republic. She is currently in her ninth year as the Guest Artist in Residence for Tap Ties at Moravian College and has been on faculty at UArts since 2005. She has been fortunate to perform with tap greats Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Nicole Hockenberry, Germaine Ingram and Dorothy Wasserman. In 2011 she had the wonderful opportunity to perform original choreography of Bill BoJangles Robinson and Charles “Honi” Coles of the Copasetics in New York at Symphony Space Theater.

Ayo Janeen Jackson received her BFA at North Carolina School of the Arts. She is a former member of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Ballet Preljocaj, and the original cast of Spider-Man on Broadway. Her choreography has been presented in New York venues such as PS122, Aaron Davis Hall, and DTW. Ayo received both a Chris Hellman Award and a Special Project Grant from the Princess Grace Foundation. She danced for the French pop star Mylène Farmer and worked on several projects with Julie Taymor: the movie Across the Universeand Grendel, an opera. Last year Ms. Jackson worked on Super Fly, the Musical, (dir. Bill T. Jones) as the associate choreographer, the film Black Nativity, dir. by Kasi Lemmons, and Anna Nicole, the opera (CityOpera).

Burr Johnson is a dancer and choreographer based in New York City. He holds a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. Burr works with choreographers John Jasperse, Helen Simoneau, Christopher Williams, and Shen Wei. He also performed in two reconstructions of Laura Dean’s dances: "Tympani" (1980/2008) and "Infinity" (1990/2009). In 2013, he premiered Christopher Williams' choreography in Peter Sellars' opera "The Indian Queen". His choreographic work has been presented through Movement Research at Judson Church, Underexposed at Dixon Place, OneArmRed, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, Emergency Glitter at Abron's Art Center, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, Danspace Project, and New York Live Arts. He has taught dance classes as a guest at Henrico Center for the Arts, Parkland Magnet High School, The University of Utah, The American Dance Festival, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Salem College. In moments away from dance Burr enjoys gardening and cats.

Jungeun Kim  (aka j.e.) is a choreographer, dancer and media designer.  She holds a MFA in Dance from ADF/Hollins University and MALS in Visual and Performing Arts from Hollins University.  Her works has been shown in Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Roanoke, Carlisle, Grimsby (UK), and Seoul (South Korea).  She has worked with artists such as Amanda K. Miller, Sarah Skaggs, Thomas F. DeFrantz/SLIPPAGE, Susan Rethorst, Helen Simoneau Danse and Jane Comfort & Co.  She has been a guest artist at Dickinson College, American Dance Festival, Hollins University, University of the Arts Pre-College Summer Institute, and The Modern Dance Promotion of Korea.  She was a nEW Festival Artist-in-residence for 2011-2012.  Currently she teaches at the University of the Arts.  J.e. hails from Seoul, South Korea.

Nicholas Leichter has taught throughout the United States and at festivals in Africa, Asia, Canada, and Eastern and Western Europe, and has been on faculty at Tisch School of the Arts, Bates Dance Festival, and the American Dance Festival in Durham, New York, Russia, Korea and Shanghai. Leichter has created over 25 works for his own company, including Carmina Burana and Rite of Spring commissioned by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. Recent commissions include The Barnard Project, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, University of The Arts, je danse donc je suis in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and The Chicago Dancing Festival. Leichter has been artist-in-residence and guest artist at many institutions including CSU Summer Arts, Sarah Lawrence College, Hollins University, George Washington University, University of Houston, Muhlenberg College, and Idaho State University. Leichter received the 2006 Mariam McGlone Emerging Choreographer Award from Wesleyan University. In 2008, he received a Choreographer Fellowship from NYFA and a National Performance Network/Network of Cultural Centers of Color Artist-of-Color Residency Award at Sacramento State. He received the 2009 Copperfoot Award for Choreography from Wayne State University. Leichter is the 2012 Young Arts Mentor in Choreography, a 2013 Young Arts Master Teacher, a 2012/13 Artist in Residence at Pentacle Danceworks inc. acting as choreography mentor for the senior class at Frank Sinatra High School for the Performing Arts, and the 13/14 Visiting Lecturer in Dance at Wayne State University.

James McGinn is a contemporary performer and choreographer working in and between dance, theater, & performance. He was born and raised in Sarasota, FL by a Scottish figure painter and American Cecchetti ballerina. James spent a decade of his youth studying/performing/teaching at the American Dance Festival and received a BA in Liberal Arts from Eugene Lang College/The New School '08. While enrolled in the '12-14 Research Cycle at P.A.R.T.S. in Brussels, he attended the '13 danceWEB program at Impulstanz in Vienna. James has been greatly influenced by performing in works by Jonah Bokaer, Wally Cardona, Miguel Gutierrez, Ishmael Houston-Jones, John Jasperse, Daniel Linehan, Jen McGinn, Judith Sánchez Ruiz, Marten Spangberg, and Robert Steijn, among others. His choreographic work has been performed in the US, Europe, and Africa and was presented in the 2011 American Realness Festival.

Shannon Murphy is an Ohio native. After graduatingfrom Point Park University, Murphy began her exploration into somatic and movement healing arts. She is now a level three Franklin Method Educator, one of select few in the United States. Her work has been presented at the Goose Route Dance Festival, inFlux, newMoves, the CEC and more. She has performed with artists including: Kate Watson-Wallace, Dance Theater X, Kosoko Performance Group, Nichole Canuso, Robert Battle, Wally Cardona & Rennie Harris. She is a faculty member at UArts and also teaches at PARD and for the Koresh School of Dance/Koresh Youth Ensemble.

Sara Procopio is a dancer, teacher and arts administrator. She is a founding member and former Artistic Associate of Shen Wei Dance Arts (2000-2012). Sara has performed and taught at renowned venues and festivals throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and the United States. As an independent teaching artist, she has taught at colleges and universities across the country, several studios in New York City and internationally at the Korea International Dance Festival in Seoul and the Paolo Grassi School of Milan. Sara has been on faculty at the American Dance Festival since 2008 and served as adjunct faculty at The University of the Arts since 2011. She has also created choreographic work for young artists at Greenville Fine Arts Center and BAXco at Brooklyn Arts Exchange. Currently, Sara serves as Coordinator of Dance Study Cycles at UArts and performs in the work of choreographer/media artist Jonah Bokaer, and also as a guest artist with Shen Wei Dance Arts.

Wayne St. David is the head of the Jazz/Theatre Dance department at the University of The Arts. St. David has been an ambassador for arts and culture for over 30 years. Wayne has interjected his vigorous and dynamic Jazz technique into musical theatre and concert dance productions throughout the nation and internationally wide. He has received numerous honors for his efforts, including the Cultures Build Communities Ground Award; Independence Foundation Cross-Cultural Movements and Ground Arts Fellowship Award; the Pew Charitable Trusts Dance Advance Program Fellowship Award; and the Mary Louise Beitzel Award for Distinguished Teaching, to name a few. Wayne has a BFA in Dance form the University of the Arts.

Michael Sheridan is director of the Ballet curriculum at UArt and assistant to the Artistic Director at Pennsylania Ballet. Raised in St. Petersburg, Fla., he began his ballet training at age 8. He was invited to join Milwaukee Ballet in 1982 and in 1987 joined the newly formed Pennsylvania-Milwaukee Ballet, remaining with the Pennsylvania Ballet when the collaboration ended. After an impressive professional career spanning over 20 years, he retired from the stage in 2002. Michael’s repertoire includes many solo and principal roles in the works of such noted choreographers as Alvin Ailey, George Balanchine, August Bournonville, John Cranko, Merce Cunningham, Agnes de Mille, Peter Martins, Ben Stevenson, Paul Taylor, Anthony Tudor, and Hans van Manen. He has premiered original works by Ib Anderson, Gerard Charles, Christopher d’Amboise, Choo San Goh, Jean Grand-Maitre, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Richard Tanner, Matthew Neenan and Robert Weiss. In 1993, Michael co-founded Shut Up & Dance, an annual AIDS benefit for MANNA presented by the Dancers of Pennsylvania Ballet. He is a two-time recipient of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship for Emerging Choreographers and was awarded a 2005 Rocky Award presented by the Philadelphia Live Arts-Fringe Festival. He has served as children's ballet master for Pennsylvania Ballet's production of “La Sylphide” and also as children's rehearsal assistant for George Balanchine's “The Nutcracker” and “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” He served as principal instructor for Pennsylvania Ballet's Pre-Professional Division from 2003 to 2006. He has been a guest instructor for the Orlando Ballet School, Next Generation Ballet and the Rock School, to name a few. In 2010, he was credited as Pennsylvania Ballet Liaison in Darren Aronofsky’s Academy Award-winning feature film “Black Swan.” Michael has been a member of the faculty of the University of the Arts’ School of Dance since the fall of 2005.

Katie Swords is a New York City based contemporary choreographer, dancer, and teacher.  A performer with, and co-founder of, VIA Dance Collaborative, she has also worked with choreographers Daniel Charon, Satoshi Haga, Elizabeth Sargent, Helen Simoneau, and Adrienne Westwood.  Her choreography has been shown at theatrical venues and universities in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, and North Carolina; her work has also been presented abroad--in Mexico, Ireland, Austria, and France.  Images of Swords made by the noted dance photographer Lois Greenfield were featured in Shutterbug magazine.  Swords received her B.F.A. degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and her M.F.A. from Hollins University/The American Dance Festival.  She has taught modern dance technique at institutions in Los Angeles, North Carolina, New York City, and--since 2011--at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Deborah Vinton is a Fellow of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD), London, England, and Fellow of the Cecchetti United States of America (CUSA). The Maestro Cecchetti Final Diploma was awarded to Ms. Vinton in 1995, in London, England. She became a Cecchetti Examiner in 1986 and has served on the CUSA Board of Directors for the past twenty-five years. Ms. Vinton received four years of intensive professional Cecchetti training in London, under the tutelage of two former students of Enrico Cecchetti, Nesta Brooking, and Laura Wilson. Ms. Vinton performed with the Royal Ballet Choreographic Group, and Maryland Ballet, where she performed respectively in London and in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area. During her professional career, Ms. Vinton worked with Danny Diamond, Anton Dolin, Edward Villella, and Violette Verdy among others. She has been on staff for twenty-two years and continues teaching at the Visual and Performing Arts Center at Booker High School in Sarasota. In 2003, Ms. Vinton founded the West Coast Civic Ballet in Sarasota, Florida and served as Executive and Artistic Director. Ms. Vinton is very pleased to be returning to the University of the Arts Pre-College Summer Institute in July 2014 where she will teach Ballet, Pointe, Repertory and Electives for the fourth summer.


Emily Wexler has worked as an artist based in Brooklyn since 2004. She has had the opportunity to create and perform alongside many incredible artists including Rebecca Brooks, Kim Brandt, Karinne Keithley Syers, and Yvonne Meier, among others. Her work has been seen in venues and settings throughout the U.S. and abroad. Most recently, she was honored with a Bessie nomination for her performance in Yvonne Meier’s Mad Heidi and also honored with the Department of Cultural Affair's SPARC Program Grant in partnership with the Brooklyn Arts Council, to make a new work with the Senior Citizens in Coney Island who were affected by Hurricane Sandy. Currently she is teaching Dance History/Theory/Criticism at The University of the Arts.

*current uarts faculty
**recent guest to uarts school of dance

List of faculty is subject to change each summer