Guest Choreographers

 

Stephen Rooks

Steve Rooks was a principle dancer for the Martha Graham Dance company from 1981-1991.  His performance credits with the Graham Company include the Metropolitan Opera House presentation of Diversion of Angels televised for "Celebrate! 100 Years of the Lively Arts at the Met", and as a featured dancer on the television special, "The Martha Graham Company in Japan".

 Mr. Rooks' choreographic credits include a solo--Outside, which was selected to be presented in the 1989 New Choreographers series during the Graham Company's fall season at City Center Theater in New York.  A later work--Cool River, became a part of that company's 1996-1997 repertoire after its World Premier at Lincoln Center.  Mr. Rooks currently serves as resident choreographer for the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre.

 Besides his work as assistant professor of dance at Vassar, Mr. Rooks is also a regular guest instructor at the Alvin Ailey and Martha Graham Schools of Dance.  He has also taught internationally at several dance festivals, as well as the Dallas Black Dance Theater, Ballet Nacional de Mexico, The American Academy of Ballet, and the Houston Ballet.

 

 

 

  Jeff & Natalie Lewis

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Vincent Hardy 

Born in Norfolk, Virginia, and raised in San Diego, California, Hardy grew up struggling with obesity and weighed 315 pounds by eighth grade.  During his struggle, he experienced bullying, fear, and isolation.  Around the time Hardy began high school, he began taking dance classes, and found that movement allowed him to express himself in a way that he couldn't before: "Dance made me feel valued.  When I danced I felt more sure, more confident, more authentic than at any other time.  I became someone else, and that person had power, a voice, and something to say."  Later, Hardy flourished at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts, and his abilities soon earned him a full scholarship to the Academy of Performing Arts in Sand Diego.

Hardy currently teaches at Epicenter for the Arts, Dallas, Texas and Epicenter's Dance Revolution Convention, which is the only faith-based dance convention in the United States.  He is an instructor and choreographer for the Dance Project (Dallas) and Epicenter's Ingredients Dance Company.  Hardy is also a guest choreographer for the Texas Ballet Theatre School Professions Division, as well as Briah Danse (Boulder, CO).

Hardy's teaching experience includes serving on the faculties of Maple Conservatory (Irvine, California), Earl Mosley's Institute of the Arts (Kent, CT), International Dance Academy Hollywood, and the Academy of Performing Arts (San Diego, CA).  Hardy has taught master classes at Towson University Community Dance (Towson, MD) and Ad Deum Dance Company (Houston, TX).

Hardy has also served as a guest choreographer, dancer, and teacher at schools and events worldwide.  His experiences include the Han Yang University of Korea, the Karah Dance Conference in Paris, France, and Oavah Expacio de Danza, Guadaljara, Jalisco, Mexico.

To learn more visit his website Vincent Hardy.

 

   

 

Durell R. Comedy

Durell R. Comedy, a native of Prince Georges County, Maryland, began dancing at the age of 6 with Spirit Wings Dance Company.  He graduated from the Visual & Performing Arts program of Suitland High School in 2004 and magna cum laude from George Mason University, receiving his B.F.A. Degree in Dance Performance in 2008.  Since them, he's worked and performed with Metropolitan Opera, Troy Powell, and Kyle Abraham, among others.  Comedy was a member of the Limon Dance Company from 2009-2015, performing principal and soloist roles.  He's also worked as a soloist dancer with the Baltimore Opera and was a principal dancer and dance captain with Washington National Opera from 2013-2014.  He was an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University's School of Dance in 2014 and was recently awarded the 2016 Distinguished Alumni ward for the College of Visual and Performing Arts of George Mason University.  Comedy began working as an apprentice with MMDG in 2015 and became a company member in 2016.

  

 

 

Caleb Mitchell

Mr. Mitchell was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan where he received early ballet training at the age of 16 under Rose Marie Floyd.  After graduating cum laude in 1998 with a BFA in dance from University of Arizona, Caleb joined Houston Ballet under Ben Stevenson, .B.E.-emeritus and later Stanton Welch, Artistic Director.  During his tenure with Houston Ballet (199802007), Mr. Mitchell performed many featured roles in works by George Balanchine, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Sir Frederick Ashton, Ben Stevenson, O.B.E., Glen Tetley, William Forsythe, Paul Taylor, Christopher Bruce, Ronald Hynd, Lila York, Natalie Weir, Julia Adams, Trey McIntyre, Stanton Welch, James Kudelka, and David Parsons. 

While pursuing his degree at UCI, Caleb danced in featured roles by Professor Jodie Gates (Joffrey Ballet, Frankfurt Ballet) and William Forsythe.  In June 2009, Mr. Mitchell received a MFA in dance, and soon after became full-time dance faculty at Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi.  Currently, at Belhaven University , Mr. Mitchell serves as tenured Assistant Professor of Dance.

Guest teaching and choreographic projects include works set on Neos Dance Company, Hosannah Sacred Arts, dancers from the Houston Ballet, Houston Ballet II, Houston Metropolitan Dance Company, Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet, Ad Deum Dance Company, Le Lien Ballet Theater, Masterworks Art Festival, and University of California, Irvine.  He has also served as guest faculty teacher for the Cecchetti Summer International Festival at Home College and Elvis Cirque du Soliel.  During his tenure at UCI, Mr. Mitchell was Ballet Master for Professor David Allen and in 2008 was awarded the Medici scholar grant to do choreographic research with world renowned choreographer Alonzo King (Lines Ballet) and Jacopo Godani (Frankfurt Ballet) for his thesis.  Cables' recent choreographic project "Sanctuary", a world premier , was a collaborative with world renowned choreographer Dr. Donald McKayle and performed by the Etude Dance Ensemble nd the UCI Symphony Orchestra at UCI Irvine in April 2009.  Creations and guest teaching also include SERPA (2013), Adelphi university, Dance Arts Conservatory, Uptown Dance Company, Brigham Young University, and Southern Methodist University.