Brooke Gebb is a native of Arkansas and holds a BPA in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University. Prior to beginning her teaching career, she traveled performing on cruise ships, off-Broadway, regional, dinner theatres, and theme parks. She began her teaching career in the public school system, teaching dance at Lake Mary High School in Lake Mary, Florida. She eventually transitioned to K-5 education and became the Dance Coordinator and Fine Arts Chair at the Pinewood Fine Arts Magnet School in Orlando, Florida where she rewrote and oversaw the dance curriculum for the entire Orange County Public School District. Teaching credits also include Dance Masters of America, Lyric Academy, Cotillion NWOKC, New York Film Institute, The Dance Effect, I Love Dance, the University of Oklahoma and numerous studios across the country. She performs locally with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic POPS and sings in a band. Brooke is married to Dr. Paul Gebb an Associate Professor or Dance and Entertainment at OCU, and they have three young children.
Ms. Lauren Alston
Ms. Lauren Alston is a native of Columbia, South Carolina. Her dance career began under the direction of Donna Lewis (Founder of Dee Crump School of Dance) and later flourished under the direction of Dale Lam (Director of Columbia City Jazz Dance School). While under the guidance of Dale Lam, she was taught by many reputable choreographers including: Stacey Calvert (Principle Dancer at New York City Ballet), Nick Lazzarini (Winner of So You Think You Can Dance), Travis Wall (Emmy Award Winner and Co-Owner of Shaping Sound), and Trey Holloway (Back up Dancer for Whitney Houston). Ms. Alston’s professional career began at age 16, when she was invited by the Chinese Cultural Council to tour various cities in China for 32 days and perform over 40 shows. Soon after, she performed in several music videos and commercials, to include but not limited to, Huggies, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden, and Carolina Imports. As she continued her quest to fulfill her artistic zeal, she became Co-Director of Columbia City Jazz’s Company II, Hip Hop and Jazz Competition Team Director at Griffin School of Dance, Creative Director for DJ Bois Obscur, and national and regional judge and instructor for several dance competitions and convention. As her ambition continues to cultivate, Ms. Alston looks forward to sharing her passion and insight with more eager artists.
Fiona Martinek is a dance instructor and choreographer based out of NYC. After graduating Oklahoma City University with a degree in Dance Performance, she began her professional performing career in her Arizona hometown dancing with the Phoenix Opera. During her time in the west coast she also focused on dance conditioning as a Certified Instructor of The S.E.E.D. Method. She has performed and taught aboard Princess Cruises, and was a featured dancer in the National Tour of Sweet Charity. Regional theater credits include Singin’ in the Rain, White Christmas, Hello Dolly, The Producers, My Fair Lady, Will Rogers Follies to name a few. Having fulfilled all of her performing dreams, Fiona now teaches a variety of dance styles at studios in New York and Connecticut. She shares her joy of educating dancers as she travels nationwide to teach intensives/workshops and judge dance competitions. She is passionate about the versatility in today’s industry and is eager to inspire young dancers to become better technicians and performers.
Darwin Black of Newark, New Jersey started his dancing at the age of 16. In 2006, he graduated from Newark Arts High School under the direction of Ronnie D. Carney and Kim Richardson. Darwin furthered his training under Nancy Turano with the New Jersey Dance Theatre Ensemble. After a year of training at Alvin Ailey American Dance as a Fellowship Student under the Oprah Winfrey Scholarship, he began his professional career with the Miami Contemporary Dance Company, performing repertory by Ray Sullivan. Darwin later joined The Sacramento Ballet, performing ballets by George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp, Trey McIntyre and Matthew Neenan, to name a few. After three years with The Sacramento Ballet, he joined Pascal Rioult Dance Theater, dancing and touring throughout the United States. Mr. Black danced as a freelance artist for Alaska Dance Theatre, Lustig Dance Theatre, Montgomery Ballet and Nimbus Dance Works, and he toured throughout Europe with Momix. Darwin later joined TU Dance under the leadership of Toni-Pierce Sands & Uri Sands. For four seasons he danced World premiere works by Uri Sands, Francesca Harper, Kyle Abraham, Gioconda Barbuto, and Katrin Hall. Darwin is spreading his wings into Choreography. His first Original work by the Saint Paul Ballet "OFF THE BASE" premiered at The Cowles Center March of 2017 . October of 2017 he Premiered "N.L.I.F" (Never Live In Fear) for Minnesota Dance Theatre. Darwin is currently Creating Two New World Premieres for the Madison Ballet for 2020/2021 Fall and Spring Seasons.
Tara Carpenter grew up dancing at her mother's dance studio in Texas starting at the age of three. She has trained in all styles of dance from some of the top teachers in the Nation at Houston Met Dance Center in Houston, Broadway Dance Center in New York City, and Millennium Dance Complex in LA to name a few. She attended the University of Houston studying dance and marketing. Tara was the Director of The Dance Factory for 15 years where she led the competitive dance teams to success earning numerous high score, choreography, and teacher awards. She was also the Director of the award winning Duchesne Dance Team in Houston, TX. Her choreography has been performed at Disney World and at the Tanzommer Dance Festival in Innsbruck, Austria. Tara currently teaches ballet, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and technique classes to all ages and levels. She also choreographs for award winning dance teams across Texas. Tara has traveled as a dance competition judge for the past 12 years. She is very excited to be a part of The Dance Effect family this season!
Dr. Paul Gebb
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.
Okewa Garrett began his dance training at the age of 12 at the Traci Hall Dance Studio in his hometown of Philadelphia, PA. There he studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Tap and Hip Hop. He later furthered his training at the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) under the direction of Ladeva Davis. Okewa has trained at the most prestigious Schools of Dance, including Philadanco, The Joffery Ballet, and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre as a Fellowship Student. Okewa is a former principle dancer with the Elcone Dance Theatre, and was a guest artist with Rebecca Davis Dance Company. He has had teaching and performance opportunities throughout the U.S., Europe and Africa. In 2010, Okewa had the chance to dance on tour with the music industry’s biggest artist dancing background for Monica on Trey Songz’ Passion Pain Pleasure Tour. Mr. Garrett has also performed with Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, Ruben Studdard, Vickie Winans, the Grammy Award winning Gospel legends the Dixie Hummingbirds, and toured with former Destinys Child member, Kelly Rowland, on Chris Brown’s F.A.M.E. Tour as one of the six Motivators/backup dancers. Mr. Garrett has showcased his dance talent in numerous music videos that can be seen on major networks, the Film, “Leave It On The Floor”, as well as, being recognized for his first place Competitive Hip Hop winning choreography. Currently Oweka lives in Las Vegas, Nevada performing nightly in one of the cities most legendary shows.
Amee Boughter is a Pittsburgh native and has been dancing, teaching, and choreographing since a very young age. She has also trained at Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School and NYC’s Dance With Me Studio with Val Chmerkovskiy, Maks Chmerkovskiy, and Tony Dovalani from Dancing With the Stars and strongly believes in furthering her dance education to better herself and students. Amee graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and was the president of the dance ensemble while attending. She is currently instructing and choreographing multiple genres of dance at a studio in Western Pennsylvania and her choreography has received many awards, invitations to Nationals as well as special judges recognition. Amee has been tasked to choreograph flash mobs and you can also see Amee in the movie “Abduction” where she was cast as an extra. Amee’s long list of choreography includes several musicals, including: RENT, Peter Pan Junior, Seussical the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, and Pocahontas and she instructs and choreographs for several children’s theatre workshops in Western PA.
Amy Pollard-Yarberry, based in Wichita, KS works as a dance educator in the fields of studio and college dance, dance team, and guest choreography. She is a graduate of Wichita State University where she earned a BFA in Dance and BBA in Business Management. Amy has performed under many choreographers even touring to Taiwan and Italy with the Wichita Contemporary Dance Theater. Amy is currently an adjunct professor at Wichita State University. At Wichita State Amy currently teaches hip-hop, jazz, and modern dance. She is in her thirteenth year of teaching at a residential studio and her sixth year as the company director for the studio’s competition team. In addition to her studio employment, Amy is entering her sixth season as the head coach of the Newton High School Railiner Dance Team. Amy has received many awards for outstanding choreography at local and national events. She spent ten years working with the world-renowned National Dance Alliance. In her role as Head Instructor with the National Dance Alliance she traveled around the country teaching all styles of dance to high school and collegiate dance teams nationwide. She also enjoys traveling to guest teach and choreograph at studios and dance teams throughout the country. Amy works with Innovative Choreography with their studio touring group; with Innovative Choreography, she is able to work with students all over the Midwest, bringing new and exciting workshops to dance studios. Recently Amy Pollard joined The Dance Effect, where she travels across the country to teach at their fall intensives and judge at their spring competitions. Amy’s life is dance and she loves every minute of it.
From just another small-town girl with big dreams, to a globe-trotting professional performer, Gretchen McCutcheon has gotten to live (dance!) some of her wildest dreams. Despite a severe spinal surgery where doctors told her she may never walk again, much less dance, she refused to let anyone else dim her future, and so at just 16 years old, her professional dance career kicked off! Her extensive training in ballet, jazz, theatre, contemporary, tap, hip hop, and ballroom has led her to stages all over the world. Some of her recent credits to date include The Carolina Opry Christmas Spectacular, (feat. Dancer), Good Vibrations! (feat. Dancer and contemporary soloist), Viking Ocean Cruises (Lead female dancer), MTV’s TRL (feat. Dancer), various music videos, live events, and gigs throughout NYC, and her favorite credit-- Disney Cruise Line! Gretchen has called The Walt Disney Company home for two years and counting, and has had the pleasure of performing in 6 different Disney Cruise Line shows. Getting to be a Mainstage Dancer/Jedi/Sword-fighter/Puppeteer with Mickey, all the princesses, and even some Stormtroopers made all the hard work growing up in the dance studio, conventions, and competitions worth it. When not traveling for performances, Gretchen spends her time in New York City, training and working closely with some of the industry's top choreographers. She hopes to pass on her knowledge, inspiration, and maybe even a little magic to the next generation of up and coming dancers!For more information about Gretchen or to contact for bookings, visit www.GretchenMcCutcheon.com.
Michelle Rambo has been teaching dance for over eleven years, which includes styles of hip hop, jazz/funk, contemporary and jazz. 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 choreography awards for a contemporary routine in ‘Amongst Us’ and in hip hop routines ‘Elevator’ in 2009 and ‘She Ain’t Got’ in 2010. She received the Dance Spirit Magazine’s Video of the Month Viewer’s Choice Award for ‘She Ain’t Got’ in August 2010. In 2011, her high school hip hop routine, ‘Do You Remember’, received the Dance Teacher Magazine’s Video of the Month Editor’s Choice Award. Her choreography recently won state in 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 some of the best: Keith Clifton, Jackie Sleight, Rhonda Miller, Huggy Ford and Lauren Gaul, just to name a few. Michelle has been fortunate to choreograph for the well-known professional Race Dance Company located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has choreographed national hip hop pom routines for McLennan Community College and University of Oklahoma (OU). She recently taught at the Soul De Soul dance convention as a guest artist in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She has taught at the American College Dance Association at Southeast Missouri State University and Anderson Indiana University. Michelle’s talents have been showcased during the pre-game performance for the Oklahoma City Thunder Basketball and at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Currently, Michelle has been focused on judging for The Dance Effect Competitions and Act 1. She continues to spread her energy, knowledge and her love for teaching master classes to everyone who appreciates the art of dance. Michelle is setting her sights on new horizons in other parts of Oklahoma and Texas, while starting her new dance faculty position in the Musical Theatre department for the University of Oklahoma (OU).
Sabrina is a graduate of The Ohio State University, Colorado University and Emory University. She also studied and performed with BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio in addition to training at The Ohio State University. She teaches Business Law by day and Dance by night. She is affiliated with The Tap Legacy Foundation, Catastrophe, Pulse, BDC, F2F Dance and Oui Danse. She is also a graduate of the prestigious intern program at Broadway Dance Center in New York City, where she continuously trains. She has studied under great choreographers and dancers such as Wes Veldnik, Mia Michaels and Derek Mitchell. She has performed with Walt Disney in Florida and Disney Cruise Lines and Carnival Cruise Lines. She is a well-known choreographer and resident teacher at a few prestigious studios in sunny California, however, she judges and instructs Master classes all over the United States. She is involved with the production of the hit TV show Dance Moms in the 4th,5th, 6th and 7th seasons. Her favorite show performed was Fuerza Bruta in New York City! Sabrina’s passion is dance, she lives and breathes it!
Thomas knew his passion in life was helping people achieve goals they never thought possible. Upon completion of his BFA in Musical Theater from The Boston Conservatory he returned to Dallas and pursued theatre and dance. In 2011, he felt an emotional shift after completing his NASM Personal Training certification to truly create a life of helping others. This launched his fitness career in the Fall of 2012 teaching indoor cycling with Flywheel Sports. Since then, he’s become a certified group fitness specialist, fitness nutritional specialist, and a YTT 200hr certified Yoga instructor. Currently, he teaches for multiple fitness formats for Equinox, CycleBar, We Yogis, and City Yoga. Outside of group fitness, he takes on Personal Training clients at Park Cities Personal Training and private yoga clients. His passion for teaching continues, especially dance to kids. This is a time in a kids life where they're most impressionable and being there for the kids as a model and teacher gives him the most joy. Being a part of the Dance Effect is incredibly important and he's overjoyed to be back and ready to go!
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.
Tara Webbe Filomena Cacciatore
Tara W F Cacciatore (St. Louis, MO) graduated with honors from Webster University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with an emphasis in ballet and modern. She has studied in New York City, Chicago, Washington DC, St. Louis, and The Twin Cities with renowned artists and teachers in companies she has performed with as well as guest artists and summer intensives. Tara has been featured on PBS for her solo role in Jessica Lang's "Anonymous" in the New Dance Horizon's first season of touring as well as in Dance Magazine's October 2012 issue, St. Louis Post Dispatch, News Channel Four, Twin Cities Pioneer Press, The Star Tribune, and The New York Times.
Tara has taught and choreographed in universities, on professional companies, in student based studios and under her own Project: le.Lux. Before moving to St. Paul, MN she was an adjunct professor at The University of Missouri St. Louis in their theater and dance department teaching modern and jazz with an additional writing emphasis on the history of dance. She, most recently, had the opportunity to choreograph at Webster University and assist in setting work on Grand Rapids Ballet. Cacciatore choreographs full length works for her pre-professional company Project III which donates all proceeds to women’s homes and teaches/choreographs for her studio as Artistic Director/Owner of Momentum Dance Project.
Cacciatore's choreography can be seen on the Higher Education Channel for her full length piece commission in a co-hosted concert "(un)Bridled". Her choreography has been selected twice for The American College Dance Festival as well as adjudicated and chosen for their Gala Performance before graduating from college. Cacciatore was the recipient of the Chalot Douglas Trust Award for Excellence in the Performing Arts in 2010 and has continued to receive recognition for her choreography in awards and commissions.
Tara is a former company member of four seasons with TU Dance, a contemporary modern/ballet company, under the artistic direction of Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands performing locally as well as touring regionally and nationally. In her professional career she has most enjoyed performing works of recognized choreographers such as Giocando Barbuto, Katrina Hall, Francesca Harper, Jessica Lang, and Uri Sands. She has performed in acclaimed theaters like The Joyce Theater in New York, New NY and The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Cacciatore is also a former company member of Karlovsky & Company and Common Thread Contemporary Dance Company as well as a guest artist with a-Trek Dance Collective and ANONNYArts. Before moving to the Twin Cities, choreographers of influence include Iyun Harrison, Christine Kardell, Dawn Karlovsky, Eddy Ocampo, Jennifer Medina, Jimena Paz, and Beckah Voigt.
Jessica Connelly was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska where her love for performing began. As an adult, she moved to Los Angeles to continue her training and begin her dance career. She started performing on Cruise Ships and has been traveling and dancing ever since! In addition to the cruise lines she has worked in Musical Theater and Dinner Shows. Jessica was trained in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, and loves to teach them all!! She has recently moved to Park City, Utah where she is training with Ballet West Academy and teaching the students at Dance Tech! Teaching and seeing students progress is something Jessica loves and finds inspiration from.
Tracey Boon is a 2008 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. She is originally from St. Louis, MO and started dancing at the age of nine when her family moved to Huntsville, Alabama. She trained at North Alabama Dance Center in the disciplines of classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and lyrical/modern. While at NADC, Tracey performed in several award winning pieces. Tracey also danced and performed as a Senior Company Member of the pre-professional ballet company Pointe Station, Inc. During college, Tracey continued to pursue her career as a dancer and teacher. She worked for several of Birmingham's notable dance studios and began making her mark as a choreographer working with Birmingham schools and theatre companies to include Birmingham's historic Virginia Samford Theatre. Upon graduation, she moved back home to Huntsville to teach and choreograph for several of North Alabama's finest dance schools where her choreography consistently won top awards. She is now the Owner and Director of Progressive Academy of Dance, a new up and coming dance school in the North Alabama area. She also travels as a dance teacher, choreographer, and judge inspiring young people to purse their passions through dance.
Jamie is an award winning teacher and has been described as a “Powerhouse” and continues to strive to inspire her students on a daily basis. She received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. in Dance and has been involved in the dance industry for 36 years. As much as she loves performing, teaching is her true passion. Jamie has traveled the world doing what she loves and there is no end in sight. Jamie was the founder of the dance program at Tarrant County College- Southeast Campus, and served as the director of the program for eight years. During her time at TCC she was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award for her work with the dance program. She also filled the role of Department Chair of Fine Arts, overseeing the Art, Dance and Music departments. She also founded Common Thread Dance Theatre and currently serves as the Artistic Director. Most recently she was the director and choreographer for Six Flags Over Texas Fright Fest, for “Dead Man’s Party” and “Arania’s Nightmare.” Her performance credits include 2 contracts with Celebrity Cruise Lines, Six Flags Over Texas, Superbowl XXXVIII, House of Blues, The Miss Texas Pageant and has tapped alongside Tony Award winner, Tommy Tune. Jamie is currently setting choreography on Collin County Community College and Eastfield College company dancers and she is excited to join The Dance Effect!
Kaycie Lee Hall
Kaycie Lee Hall started dancing at 2 years old and is now a Co-owner of Main Street Performing Arts Center in Belton Missouri. She is also the head of the dance department at Kansas City Metropolitan School of the Arts. Growing up Kaycie was a competitive dancer winning multiple state and national titles. Kaycie also did local theatre in Kansas City. She was in Honk! Fiddler on the Roof, Bye Bye Birdie receiving a Cappie nomination for ‘Best Dancer in a Musical’ and played Belle in Beauty and the Beast receiving her second nomination for ‘Best Lead Actress in a Musical’. Kaycie also did pageants growing up. She won the titles of Miss Belton and Miss Missouri Outstanding Teen for the Miss America Organization. Kaycie was trained by her mother Michelle Mellinger until she reached college where she attended the American Musical and Dramatics Academy in New York City. She graduated with a degree in Dance Theatre. Since graduation, Kaycie has been on multiple television networks acting and dancing. She has been seen on networks such as NBC, CBS, HBO, Amazon Prime, Hulu, MTV and was featured on a Chinese Television show. Kaycie also spent a year dancing with the Radio City Rockettes and attended the first ever Rockette Summer Intensive held at Radio City Music Hall last summer. Kaycie has also had the honor of choreographing for the Miss Missouri Scholarship Program and has traveled to Miss America in Atlantic City New Jersey as a talent coach for contestants. Kaycie feels so lucky to share her love and passion of dance with other dancers across the nation.
Jaiquan Laurencin is an educator, performer, and choreographer born and raised in Hartford, Connecticut where he studied under his mentor Jolet Creary in multiple styles. After moving to Texas, 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. During these years he was able to train at Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, attend multiple dance festivals, compete with a hip hop company and take summer intensives such as Noble Motion Dance Intensive. As a performer he has danced for companies such 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. Along with getting the opportunity to be on film, perform at fashion shows and appear in music videos such as Bastille’s music video Glory. He has worked with nonprofit organizations such as theaters, preprofessional and professional companies and multiple dance studios teaching workshops and choreographing works. Currently he’s a Dance Director at Grand Prairie Fine Arts Academy, while teaching and choreographing around Dallas-Fort Worth, hoping to grow and inspire the next generation of artist.