2017-2018 Guest Choreographers
Marcus JohnsonMarcus has performed pieces by Antony Tudor, Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Kirven Douthit-Boyd, Alicia Graf-Mack, Michael Uthoff, Maurya Ker, Nejla Yatkins, Hanna Brictson, Gina Patterson and Lara Teeter. In the summer of 2011 he performed the Antony Tudor masterpiece Dark Elegies for the Corps De Ballet in Kansas City, Missouri. Marcus trained with the Perry Mansfield School, Kansas City Ballet, “Real World” with Jon Lehrer and Lehrerdance, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Marcus received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance with honors from Webster University. Currently living in Saint Louis, Marcus is an artist with “The Helix Effect”, guest artist with the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO), freelance competitive and concert dance choreographer, and judge with the Revolution Talent Competition. Marcus is proud to be a DMA certified teacher teaching Ballet, Contemporary, Lyrical, and Hip Hop around the St.Louis area.
Paige Walden-JohnsonPaige has been a dancer all her life starting with Pre-Ballet class at Bonnie Williams Dance Studio at the age of 4. However, she expanded her life as an artist when she began her studies at Webster University. At Webster she became more than a dancer when she found her love of choreography and performance art. Off of Webster's campus she has studied modern dance, choreography, ballet, tap, jazz, classical Thai and improvisation at the American Dance Festival in North Carolina, East Auckland Performing Arts in New Zealand, Principia College Winter Intensive, the American College Dance Festival, and Patradvidi's Vic Hua-Hin in Thailand. Her versatile creative voice has been presented in many forms of performance. She has performed with Karlovsky and Company Dance as a company member, Leverage Dance Theater as an apprentice, and in collaborative freelance work in the Saint Louis Fringe Festival. Walden-Johnson has choreographed for the St. Louis Fringe Festival, Finite/Infinite (2016) as well as Embracing Contact (2015), for American Dance Troupe for three years, for Leverage Dance Theater's 2013 Pas de Chat concert, a dance for film To Cause a Dream in which has been presented in Editions Futura gallery in Paris, an evening length improvisational piece The Day After (2013), and Webster University's Opera production of scenes from Orpheus and The Merry Widow along side the directors Nathan Troup and David Toulson. Walden-Johnson is now studio manager and a dance instructor at Central Studio. In addition to her studio career, she is the founder of CommUNITY Arts Festival—a two week festival that provides St. Louis an opportunity to counteract the rise in violent crimes by educating and healing the community through art. This project has brought together Saint Louis’s artistic companies such as MADCO, Big Muddy Dance Company, and Common Thread Dance Company for two weekends performances of performances at the Marcelle and the Grandel Theater. The festival will also provide free community workshops with local organizations and speakers such as the Angel Band Project, Saint Louis University Hospital, Crimes Victim Advocacy Center, and the FBI to educate and heal Saint Louis. All benefits from the festivals support this year’s artist survivor, Rain Stippec. When Paige is not managing a studio or the festival she enjoys teaching, choreographing, and performing along her artistic partner and husband, Marcus Johnson.
Audrey SimesAudrey Simes (Los Angeles, CA) trained with Tracy Vonder Haar, Jennifer Narin-Smith, and Diane De Franco Brown in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theater before moving to St. Louis in 2008. She graduated with a Self-Designed Interdisciplinary Major in Performance Art from Webster University in 2012. Simes integrated the Dance, Visual Arts, Music, and Media Communications Departments working with Beckah Reed, Iyun Harrison, Jimena Paz, Alicia Mack-Graf, and guest artists from Alvin Ailey, Philadanco, David Dorfman Dance, and Cirque du Soleil. Simes attended American College Dance Festivals and the New York University Summer Dance Intensive working with Ron K. Brown, Robert Battle, and Gina Gibney. Simes’ works have been exhibited in concert with the Big Muddy Dance Company, Leverage Dance Theater, Consuming Kinetics Dance Company, the Saint Louis International Film Festival, Greensboro Dance Film Festival, Pinnacles Gallery in Townsville, Australia, Artica, Copenhagen Artists in Residence, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Museum, the Mad Art Gallery, Duet Gallery, and the Saint Lou Fringe Festival. Her studies, choreographic works, and performances have taken her abroad to Hong Kong, Beijing, China, and Hua Hin, Thailand.
- Geoffrey Alexander (Contemporary) - Dancer, The Big Muddy Dance Company
- Amara Barner (Contemporary) - Dancer, RUBBERBANDance Group
- Allison Claire (Hip Hop) - Dancer, Janet Jackson
- Jun Cai (Contemporary) - Freelance Dancer/Choreographer
- Alicia Gbaho (West African) - Artistic Director, Beyond Measure Dance Theatre
- Darrion Gallegos (Hip Hop) - Dancer, Clear Talent Group
- Matt Luck (Contemporary) - Freelance Dancer/Choreographer
- Jennifer Medina (Contemporary) - Artistic Director, Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company
- Lauren Ponder (Jazz) - Former Head Coach, Regis University Dance Team
- Kameron N. Saunders (Contemporary) - Freelance Dancer/Choreographer