Guest Artist

Lisa Montes

Lisa Montes began studying and performing Spanish dancing at the age of seven with her grandmother, Dame Maria del Carmen. She is highly trained in the classical, regional and Flamenco dances of Spain. Some highlights of her career include dancing with the Michigan Opera Theater in Bizet’s Carmen and performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in their presentation of the music of Manuel de Falla. In 2007, Lisa was invited to perform and teach a master class in the U.K. and later by Henry Ford Community College’s Full Circle Dance Company in 2011.

Phil Simmons

Phil Simmons is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, and spent the 15 years prior to coming to Eastern as a working actor, singer, dancer, and casting assistant in New York City. He performed opposite comic great Rip Taylor as Hysterium in the Broadway First National Tour of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and with Tony Award winner Ron Holgate in the Broadway First National Tour of The Man of LaMancha. Favorite roles include fellow Oklahoman Will Rogers in The Will Rogers Follies and Ozzie in the European Tour of On the Town.

Linda Cleveland Simmons

Linda Cleveland Simmons is a Senior Lecturer in the Maggie Allesee Department of Dance at Wayne State University (WSU), and Director of the WSU Dance Company. She earned a B.S. degree in Dance Education at WSU, then studied at Clark Center in New York City with James Truitte, Thelma Hill, Pepsi Bethel and Collette Barry (of Finis Jhung) before returning to WSU to earn a M.Ed. degree.

Jhoanna Agudelo

Jhoanna Agudelo was born to dance 30 years ago at the well known world salsa capital, Cali, Colombia. She started dancing along her father’s side and looking at his movement while copying everything she saw. Less than a decade later she was dancing and performing everywhere around her native city of Cali.

Dame Maria del Carmen

The late Maria del Carmen’s career in Spanish dance began at the age of thirteen in New York City. Recognized for her true “Spanish style” and charisma, she has performed throughout the United States, Canada and various South and Central American countries as both a soloist and a choreographer. Following her marriage, she decided to remain in the Michigan area to teach Spanish Dance. In 1990, she was awarded the title, “Dame” by King Juan Carlos of Spain in recognition of her work in Spanish art and culture.

Melanie George

Melanie George is the Dance Program Director and full-time Instructor of dance at American University. Melanie is a performer, choreographer, writer and teacher of dance, and a Certified Movement Analyst. Melanie has an extensive teaching history including positions with The Roeper School for the Gifted and Talented, and the Washington School of Ballet. From 2004-2008, she was an Assistant Professor of Dance and Dance Education Program Coordinator at Kent State University. Her choreography includes works for concert dance, theater, musical theater and voice.

Barbara Selinger

Barbara Selinger co-founded DDC in 1980 and has created more than eighty major works for DDC and other dance companies. Barbara is the only Michigan dance artist awarded six Creative Artist Grants from the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs. Her choreography, celebrated for its humanity and ability to stimulate the senses through visually striking images, has been presented in concerts and performance demonstrations throughout the state of Michigan and in Detroit, Chicago, New York City and elsewhere.

Lisa Allai-Stop

Ms. Allai-Stop has been involved in the metro Detroit dance community since childhood. She is the director of the Lincoln Park Dance Company and the Tropical Wahines Polynesian Dance Troupe. Ms. Allai-Stop has studied various forms of dance through the years including classes with artists from the American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Hubbard Street Dance Company and the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii. Ms. Allai-Stop has had the privilege of studying privately with Professor Robert L. Reed, Gregg Russell and Detroit’s own Lloyd Storey.

Greg Patterson

Dance Program Director and Associate Professor of Dance at Oakland University and a certified McEntire Method Pilates instructor. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Patterson Rhythm Pace Dance Co (PRP). Born in Toledo, Ohio, he received his B.S. from Bowling Green State University (1985) and his M.F.A. from the University of Michigan (1987). He has been dancing and teaching professionally across the nation and abroad for over twenty-five years. Mr.

Sonya Tayeh

Sonya Tayeh was born in Brooklyn, New York and received a B.S. in Dance from Wayne State University. Stage credits include: The Last goodbye (Williamstown theatre); Spring Awakening (San Jose Repertory Theater); The Endurance to Move, Battles, The Root of Me (Tayeh Dance, El Portal Theater); Quixotic Dance Company (Kansas City, MO); The Dance Company of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA).


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