Ilan Nunez, son of New Orleans and Ambergris Caye, Belize, was born to music and has had a life experience which has cemented his life’s calling in entertainment. Ilan was born in the city of Jazz, but was raised on the beautiful island of San Pedro, Ambergris Caye, a combination which only served to enhance his own inborn ability for rhythm and celebration. Ilan began his basic dance training at the age of nine with the only dance company in San Pedro town . Even at that age , his love for his craft was noticed by the company’s director and she decided to push him further than any other student. This push gave Ilan an edge which called for further expansion. In his teen years, Ilan and his brother moved back to the US with their mother . She moved the family to San Antonio, Texas to have them continue an education in a less informal environment. It was here that Ilan also entered into a more formal training for his interests , where he took quickly to classes in dance, vocals, and acting, and where the expansion of talent and effort became the foundation for a career. Ilan attended the North East School of the Arts High School and then Point Park University , so gaining the extra confidence and technical ability needed to peruse his career as a dancer. Ilan has since had the privilege to work with major companies and artists , both as a dancer and choreographer. He has also had the opportunity to teach youth dancers on competitive teams all over the US and abroad. And in all circumstances, he has continued to learn and grow. Ilan’s desire to cover as many learning bases as possible, even took him to do a session at sea with the Norwegian Cruise Line. This period added to his overall experiences in the industry and it was after this first time experience that he decided to make his move to Hollywood where he now is signed with Movement Talent Agency. Since his move Ilan has danced for the LA Opera, starred in The Fair Wells premier music video ” Where is your heart ” and tried his hand at acting in an upcoming dance film. Some of Ilan favorite roles have been as Greg in “A Chorus Line”, as the Evil Prince in “Mask of the Red Death Ballet “, and as a back up dancer ,for singers from “The Voice “and “American Idol “, as part of Larrwell Productions. Be sure to keep an eye out for Ilan Nunez as he keeps fulfilling and conquering on his journey through his life’s calling.
Alex Karigan Farrior is a third-year graduate student pursing an MFA in Classical & Contemporary Dance at Texas Christian University. She is currently a member of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. After graduating summa cum laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from Southern Methodist University, Alex moved to New York City to join Amy Marshall Dance Company. Other company credits include: BODYART, ModArts Dance Collective, and Bruce Wood Dance Project. Alex has also collaborated with renowned dance photographer, Lois Greenfield. She is featured in Ms. Greenfield’s 2011, 2012, and 2013 Breaking Bounds calendars, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Weingarten calendars, as well as her newly published book Lois Greenfield: Moving Still.
As a dance educator, she has taught for Dance Olympus/Dance America, The Hockaday School, Dance Planet, Texas Ballet Theater School, Dallas Independent School District Summer Dance Intensive, Southern Methodist University, Texas Christian University, and University of North Texas. Alex was featured as the “On the Rise” dancer in the December 2015 issue of Dance Magazine.
Brent Oplotnik grew up studying dance at his mother Patricia Oplotnik’s studio Applause Studios in Oklahoma City. At the young age of nine Brent appeared on Univision’s El Sabado Gigante and Star Search. Other television credits include commercial ads for Taco Mayo and 7-11. Brent was a featured solo dancer appearing on Dino’s Christmas Spectacular on QVC and Andy William’s Christmas Spectacular. As a teen, Brent was a featured actor in the Fox Movie of the Week, “Rise and Walk:The Dennis Byrd Story” starring Peter Berg and the HBO Special, “Public Enemy #1” starring Alyssa Milano, Theresa Russell, and Eric Roberts.
Brent has performed live on stage with with names such as Creed, Dino, Jimmy Osmond, Country Superstars Neal McCoy and Randy Travis, Melinda the First Lady of Magic and the late legend, Mr. Christmas, Andy Williams. He was also featured in Dance Spirit magazine with renowned choreographer and master teacher Tymme Reitz.
Brent has created original choreography for numerous shows in Branson, Missouri in addition to directing and choreographing shows for Six Flags theme parks. A master of many styles, Brent has set award winning competition choreography for dancers and dance studios across the country.
He has been an adjudicator for many national organizations including Dance Masters of America, Symposium National Talent Contest, and Epic. Brent is also a Master Teacher on staff with Flow 40 Dance Workshops and recently joined Jackie Sleight’s LA Dance Magic.
He resides, with his wife Marissa and their two sons, in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The couple opened RAGE Dance Center in August of 2012, fulfilling his life-long dream to inspire and educate dancers in his own unique way. Brent’s personality and experience have created a choreographer and master teacher who is anticipated and in demand.
Mr. Adams has been a Ballet Master for the past thirty five years and has earned an enviable reputation as an educator, adjudicator and choreographer. He began his tenure with Dance Masters of America 32 years ago as an instructor of ballet and modern, and is currently on the faculty for multiple DMA chapters, the National Faculty and the Ballet and Jazz Intensives. In addition, he is on the national roster for Adjudicators for Regional Dance America.
Mr. Adams began his early training in Georgia with Maude Evelyn Murphy and Terrell Paulk. He grew up attending the the South East Regional Dance America Festivals where he received many scholarships and accolades. He attended Birmingham Southern College on a full scholarship and was a member of the Birmingham Ballet under the direction of Alfonso Figueroa. In 1976 he moved to New York City to continue his formal training at the Joffrey Ballet under Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino, and had the privilege of spending the summer of 1979 at Jacobs Pillow culminating with an apprenticeship with the American Ballet Theatre. In 1980 he relocated to Dallas to accept a principal contract from George Skibine with the Dallas Ballet. With a strong interest in modern, he became an Artistic Director and Performing Artist with Dancers Unlimited Repertory Company of Dallas. During his time as a performing artist he trained and performed works from such world renowned artist as Moses Pendelton, Bill T. Jones, Peter Pucci, Carol Parker, Matthew Diamond, Doulas Nelson and Judith Jamison. Mr. Adams was a member of Actors Equity and contracted several National tours along with concerts at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. As a choreographer, Mr. Adams continues to produce choreography for the concert stage, regional Dance America Ballet Festivals, fashion shows, national commercials and the leading charity organizations in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. Since 1990 Mr. Adams has produced full length productions for The Crystal Charity Ball, The Junior League Ball, The Dallas Opera Ball, The National Kidney Foundation, DIFFA Dallas and The Art Ball for The Dallas Museum of Art. He has choreographed numerous Industrial shows and has worked as a Ballet coach/ choreographer for the USA Ice Dancing teams. Mr. Adams has produced seven Ballet recordings for the classroom and an instructional video for partnering. Mr. Adams is celebrating his 30th year as co-owner of Preston Center Dance in Dallas, TX. Many of his former students are now performing on Broadway and dance companies throughout the world. As an Artistic Director and Ballet Master he continues to live his passion and share his knowledge of dance with his current students. Dance has been his entire life and what a beautiful life it is. Mr. Adams was honored as the recipient of the 2015 Dance Masters of America Presidents Award.
Dr. Paul Gebb is a native of North Carolina and has lived in Oklahoma since 2007. He holds a BM in Vocal Performance/Musical Theatre from James Madison University, a MFA in Musical Theatre from the University of Central Florida, and an Ed.D. in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University. Prior to beginning his teaching career, his wife and he traveled the world performing on cruise ships, off-Broadway, regional, dinner theatres, and theme parks. He began his teaching career in the K-5 public school system, The New York Film Academy, and soon became the Director of Education for Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma. At Lyric he oversaw the curriculum for the Thelma Gaylord Academy which taught voice, dance, and acting to over 200 students a week. Transitioning onto the Oklahoma City University campus, he became the Coordinator for the MFA program in Dance for the Ann Lacy School for Dance and Entertainment. Today he acts as the Director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, a position he has held since 2012. He is the father of three children, Greyson, Carter, and Townley, and is the husband to Brooke Gebb.
dr. paul gebb
Jaiquan Laurencin is a Hartford, Connecticut native where he began dancing in breakdancing/hip hop, evolving into other styles. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Dance Education from Texas Woman’s University, where he was awarded Undergrad Excellence in Performance his first year. His summers included training at Earl Mosely Institute of the Arts, Noble Motion Dance Intensive and even working for Joffrey Ballet School in Arts Administration. Jaiquan’s passion for dance has led him to sharing his knowledge by educating the younger generation. He has worked with nonprofit organizations, theaters, preprofessional and professional companies along with traveling to multiple dance studios teaching workshops and choreographing works. Companies he has danced for include Dark Circles Contemporary Dance under Joshua Peugh, Pedestrian Dance Movement under Liz Terry and a guest performer with Noble Motion Dance under Andy and Dion Noble. Artists he has worked with include Sidra Bell, Gabrielle Lamb, Gregory Dolbashian, Justin Giles, and Meredith Rainey to name a few. Film credits include dancing in Bastille music video Glory and in a wedding scene for the indie movie Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaaa filmed in New York City. Currently he’s a Dance Director at Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, while teaching and choreographing around Dallas-Fort Worth educating the next generation of artist.
Joshua Allen is the 2008 winner of the Fox hit series “So You Think You Can Dance”. He began his training with programs such as Debbie Allen’s Summer Intensives and performed in shows with the company such as Pepito’s Story. Joshua has done videos and commercials for Honda, McDonalds, US Census and can also be seen in Nickelodeon’s “The Fresh Beat Band”, FX’s “American Horror Story”, NBC’s “Community”, and the feature films Step Up 3D and 2011 remake of Footloose. He has choreographed for Oxygen’s “Dance Your Ass Off.” He has also appeared and performed in the Emmy’s as well as the television shows Ellen DeGeneres, Bonnie Hunt, Good Morning LA, and Celebrity Fit Club along with live shows at Jacob’s Pillow and Six Flags. Along with dancing Joshua also hopes to pursue a career as a recording artist and one day own his own record company. Dance and performing has always been his passion and he looks forward to what lies ahead.
Laura Klima Fehr
Laura Klima-Fehr began dancing at the age of 2 and has experienced the world of competition, recital stage, and pageant performances throughout her entire life. Her love of dance grew through being on stage and the thrill of performing. From being a part of the USA Universal Dance Association team in Paris France, to starting up a dance team at Sterling College – dance has been her first passion. Teaching dance throughout her high school and college years, Laura’s experience gave her a wealth of knowledge in the disciplines of jazz, tap, hip hop, ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, lyrical, and drill. Upon graduating, with her degrees in Business Management, Human Resources, and Marketing, she took on a coaching roll for Hoisington High School Danceline. Within her first year as a coach, her choreography began to get noticed regionally. She grew her professional teaching career by taking on the role of dance director at the recreation commission in her home town. Enrollment number quickly grew to a level that encouraged Laura to open her own studio. In 2014, she opened her first studio Great Bend Kansas, and named it Danceography. Within a year, the studio expanded to a second location in order to provide a dance home for the rapidly growing number of dancers who wanted to follow their love of dance with Miss Laura, and the Christian atmosphere provided at Danceography, where the instructors strive to instill a strong combination of passion, technique and work ethic in every dancer.
Under Miss Laura’s direction, Danceography’s competition team has received #1 rankings on many regional and national levels for many tap, musical theatre, jazz, hip hop, open, and lyrical routines. Her choreography has also received many outstanding awards on regional and national levels for creativity, technique, purpose, storytelling, and costuming. Miss Laura’s love of dance is seen in the way she creates routines, teaches them to her students and critiques their routines, but is probably most evident in through the love her students have found in dance.
As a community member, Laura has had many opportunities to work with the USA pageant through choreography for Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen, Miss Kansas, Miss Sunflower Princess, and with Miss Barton County individual talent numbers. She is currently busy teaching choreography for Great Bend Community Theatre upcoming play “Church Basement Ladies”. She has helped with a number of local variety show numbers, plays, and other performances as well as helping area school drill teams get started. She is passionate about the arts and loves to be involved!
Miss Laura cannot wait to be a judge for Synergy and give feedback to all the wonderful dancers she will get to watch!!
As a master teacher, choreographer, and adjudicator, Leanne has traveled nationwide inspiring and sharing her passion and skill for dance. Beginning her dance education at a young age, she has over 25 years of training and knowledge in the dance industry. As a dancer, she received numerous awards for outstanding performances at dance conventions and competitions such as Tremaine, NYCDA, LA Dance Magic, Dance Caravan, and LA Underground. Leanne began instructing and choreographing at age 17 and has been nationally awarded for her accomplishments. Leanne has a comprehensive background in jazz, tap, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, drill team, musical theatre and ballet. Leanne’s choreographic work for the musical theatre industry include “Footloose”, Gershwin’s “Crazy for You”, and the “Sound of Music.” She is heavily involved in the Dallas and Richardson communities and has had the opportunity to work with organizations such as, the Design Industry For Fighting AIDS, The Miss Outstanding Teen Texas and Miss Texas organizations, many Metroplex school districts and has been a guest speaker for multiple UIL Chapters. She was also honored as a recipient of the 2012 Woman of Achievment Award for the Miss Texas Organization. As a teacher, Leanne joined the Dance Olympus Faculty and toured seasonally for two years. Traveling to cities such as Boston, Chicago, New York, Las Vegas, Omaha, and Houston, she instructed master classes in jazz, tap, and lyrical to over thousands of aspiring dancers. Leanne’s commercial work includes a starring role in the Texas State Lottery commercial “Scratch Dance,” and choreography for the Miss Texas Organization, featured on the TLC network. Leanne’s commitment to her craft has launched her career of instruction and choreography which is innovative, exciting, and progressive.
Matt Clemons is a summa cum laude graduate of Oklahoma City University with a degree in Dance Performance, and has been working professionally in dance and theater for over 20 years. Some performance credits include: Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago (former company member), WICKED (1st National tour and Chicago company), AIDA (1st National Tour), and various regional theaters, cruise ship and theme parks including Walt Disney World. For over a decade Matt served as Assistant Director and Assistant Choreographer for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the world famous Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall in New York City; including working on many of the Spectacular’s touring and sit-down companies across the US. Matt has choreographed for the Netflix series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; has been featured on the cover of Dance Spirit magazine; has been on faculty at the Gus Giordano Dance Center (Evanston, IL) and New Dance Group (New York City); and has taught master classes and workshops across the US for a variety of studios, schools, and colleges. Matt’s choreography has been performed at showcases in Chicago and New York, and has won many awards for dance students at competitions at the regional and national levels, as well as earning many choreography awards. Outside of dance, Matt pursues acting and writing, and holds a certificate from the UCLA
Professional Program in Screenwriting. His screenplays have placed in many top screenplay competitions, and he has had two one-act plays produced in New York City.
Michelle Rambo has been teaching dance for 14 years, which includes styles of hip hop, jazz/funk, contemporary, jazz and tap. She has bachelor’s degrees in Fine Arts in Dance Performance from the University of Central Oklahoma and Kinesiology from East Central University (ECU).She became the first recipient of the ECU Dance Scholarship, where, for two years, she was captain for the Collage Dance Ensemble. She became the Artistic Director for ECU dance minor program. Michelle has received several accolades for her creativity in choreography. She has received numerous choreography awards in the styles of hip hop and contemporary. Received the Dance Spirit Magazine’s Video of the Month Viewer’s Choice Award August 2010. In 2011 she received the Dance Teacher Magazine’s Video of the Month Editor’s Choice Award. Her choreography won state in the hip hop pom category for Seminole High School in 2015. Michelle has performed in the National Dance Association’s Gala Performance in Baltimore, Maryland and Wichita, Kansas. She has performed in the Oklahoma Centennial Parade and Neiman’s Children Christmas Parade. Michelle has had the privilege to teach alongside and learn from some of the best: Hui Cha Poos, Caroline Lewis, Kevin Maher, Keith Clifton, Brian Friedman, Tokyo, Rhonda Miller, Rhapsody James, Jackie Sleight, Huggy Ford, Laurieann Gibson, Mandy Moore, just to name a few. Michelle has been fortunate to choreograph for the well-known professional Race Dance Company located in Oklahoma City, OK. She has choreographed national hip hop pom routines for McLennan Community College and University of Oklahoma (OU). She has taught at the American College Dance Association at Southeast Missouri State University and Anderson Indiana University and the Soul De Soul dance convention as a guest artist in Oklahoma City, OK. Recently Michelle taught for the professional Dallas Black Dance Theatre Summer Intensive in Dallas, Texas. Michelle’s talents have been showcased during the pre-game performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder and at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Currently, Michelle has been focused on teaching and judging for several competition. She continues to spread her energy, knowledge and her love for teaching master classes to everyone who appreciates the art of dance. She’s excited to continue her dance faculty position in the Musical theatre department for the University of Oklahoma (OU).
Patricia Oplotnik is a former Artist in Residence at the prestigious Ann Lacy School of Dance and Arts Management at Oklahoma City University and has more than forty-eight years of teaching experience to her credit. She founded Applause Studios in Oklahoma City and was the Director for 30 years leaving private teaching to work full time at OCU. In 2013 she was honored by being awarded the OCU Outstanding Full Time Faculty Award. A forty-nine year member of Dance Masters of America, Patricia is a Nationally Certified Examiner for tap, ballet, jazz, modern and acrobatics and serves DMA on the Executive Board as a National Area Director. Patricia was awarded an International Tap Adjudication License having trained World Champions and having studied with Masters worldwide and was mentored in France by the famous Heather Cornell. Known as “Fast Pat” she adjudicates and teaches for numerous professional dance organizations and has received many choreography and high place awards throughout her teaching career. Many of her students are now appearing on Broadway and on stages throughout the world. She recently created and filmed new teaching techniques to help speed the development of strong, capable, and multi-styled tap dancers. Her tap tutorials were released two years ago and are receiving accolades by teachers across the country and Canada. Several Universities have put both the Single Sound Theory DVD’s and the Tap Treasures/Time Steps DVDs in their libraries as reference material. Patricia is excited to continue meeting teachers and dancers throughout the dance world !
Sheena Laramore, Artistic Director and Director of Dance Education at Sheena’s Dance Academy in Frisco, Texas is a very accomplished dancer, performer, master teacher, choreographer, instructor, and director with a lifetime of dance training, performance, and teaching experience. Her extensive dance background in classical ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theatre dance have traveled her all over the globe through the years performing, teaching, and spreading her love for dance and the arts to others. Sheena enjoys being creative in her teaching, spreading smiles, making dance class fun, exciting, and a positive challenge.
Ms. Sheena’s academy, Sheena’s Dance Academy, is celebrating 24 years of excellence in dance education and is home to Frisco’s ballet company, The Frisco Ballet. In addition, Ms. Sheena is the executive and artistic director of The Frisco Ballet.
Dancers from Ms. Sheena’s have auditioned and been accepted into some of dances most reputable intensive studies and companies, such as: Bolshoi Ballet Academy, Ballet Chicago, American Ballet Theatre, School of American Ballet, American Academy of Ballet, Joffrey Ballet, Ballet Austin, Orlando Ballet, Paul Taylor, Alvin Ailey, Atlanta Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Boston Ballet, and Gelsey Kirkland Academy. Students under Ms. Sheena’s direction and instruction continue to receive dance scholarships to some of the most respected dance programs, colleges, universities, and conventions throughout the country. Sheena has been awarded countless honors at regional, national, & international levels for her creativity, leadership, knowledge, and choreography. Ms. Sheena’s students have been awarded top honors for their training excellence at regional and national levels, as well as awarded many grand national titles through the years.
Thomas Renner was born and raised in Texas and has been active in the performing arts/fitness industry for over 20 years. Dancing, singing and acting has always been his passion since he was a young boy. He began his dancing career in high school when he joined the top Show Choir! After graduating with his BFA from The Boston Conservatory in 2009, he moved back to Dallas to perform in regional theaters such as Uptown Players, Theatre 3, Lyric Stage, and teach tap/jazz/contemporary at Park Cities Dance.
Living the active lifestyle of theatre and dance, this further lead him to become a personal trainer and grow into the fitness industry. You can occasionally find him dancing and singing in the theatre scene because that is his first true love! He is honored to be brought back to teach for Synergy this year! Best of luck to all the dancers. Follow your BLISS! #Rennergy
Zac Hammer has danced, taught, and choreographed professionally for 20 years. As a New York-based dancer, he toured both abroad and domestically with Parsons Dance, Nicholas Andre Dance Company, Amy Marshall Dance Company, dre.dance, and Alison Chase Performance. From 2010 to 2014, he was a dancer in the New York City cast of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. He has worked for the Mary Kay Industrial, Sally Beauty Supply, Veuve Clicquot, and the Miss Texas and Miss Florida Pageants. His choreographic works include the DIFFA Fashion Show, The Miss Texas Pageant, the Mary Kay Industrial and numerous modern, ballet, and jazz pieces for soloists and dance companies across the country. He has served as an adjunct professor of jazz dance at Southern Methodist University, managed and taught all styles of dance at Preston Center Dance, and was on the musical theatre faculty at the KD Conservatory. In 2016, he joined the dance faculty of Booker T Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, where he is now in his fourth year.
Born and raised in New York City Gregory received his dance training at the Alvin Ailey School, then graduated cum laude from SUNY Purchase dance conservatory. He debuted his own company The DASH Ensemble, in December 2010 at The JOYCE SoHo. DASH Company performance credits include The JOYCE Theater, Baryshnikov Arts Center, NYLA, Guggenheim Works and Process Series, as well as domestic touring all over the U.S. including Dallas, L.A., and North Carolina.
He has additionally created original works for American Ballet Theater, Atlanta Ballet, American Dance Festival, St. Louis Ballet and Hubbard Street 2. He in tandem with Managing Director Lindsey Pettus is also the co-founder of The DASH Academy, a dance and education program for developing artists ages 10-18. His collegiate and training program commissions include Juilliard, Point Park, LINES Ballet, NYU Tisch, Troy University, MOVENYC, and SUNY Purchase. Faculty positions have included Broadway Dance Center, Gibney Dance Center, and Peridance Capezio Center. He has conducted multiple masterclasses around the country including Juilliard, NYU, UNCSA, UC Irvine, SUNY Purchase, Point Park, Movement Lifestyle. In addition, Gregory, alongside fellow choreographer Loni Landon, is the co-founder of The PlaygroundNYC, a choreographic initiative that was voted 25 to Watch in 2013 by Dance Magazine.