©2019 by Starfish Dallas- Homeless Awareness.

Bios from our talented Participants

Grace Buckley:

Since graduating from Colgate University in 2007, Grace has become a sought after dancer/choreographer/teacher across the USA. Grace has performed as a member of DeMaDance Company, Willow Oak Contemporary Ballet and Rasta Thomas’ BAD BOYS of DANCE. Grace tours the world as Ballet Mistress & performer for Rasta Thomas’ “ROMEO & JULIET”, choreographed by Adrienne Canterna. She is on faculty at Steps on Broadway in New York and NYCDA. Most recently, Grace has been a guest artist with BAD BOYS of BALLET in gala performances around the world and was assistant choreographer to Adrienne Canterna for the workshop of the new rock-ballet “POE”. Grace will continues to tour the world as Ballet Mistress for other SweetBird shows like Rasta Thomas’ “ROCK the Ballet”.

 

Jakob Karr:

I was trained by a woman named Melissa Stokes at a studio in Clermont, FL called Shooting Start School of Performing Arts. I danced and competed there for 7 years before moving to NYC where I attended the Fordham/Ailey BFA program for one year.

Aside from dance performance, I love to choreograph and teach. I am equally excited about all aspects of dance. Stepping outside the world of dance though, I love to read and write and be a bit of a nerd at times.

The first big project I ever worked on was the 6th season of So You Think You Can Dance. I made it all the way through the season to the finale where I was announced the Runner Up. A few months after that I was invited by Adam Shankman to perform at the Academy Awards, which is something that I consider to be one of the most incredible performances I have been a part of to date.

We all have superstars and legends that we will always look up to but I find that most of my inspiration comes from the people who are more commonly in my life. My friends, mentors and family. Especially in the world of dance, I feel that you see growth each and every day and it is most prevalent within those that you know and love.

My favorite quote comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson. He says "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment."

Bombshell:

Created in 2016, Bombshell Dance Project is a contemporary dance company founded by Emily Bernet and Taylor Rodman in their hometown of Dallas, Texas,since its creation, Bombshell Dance Project has been presented by the Dallas Arts District, Barnstorm Dance Festival, Dance Gallery Festival, and Austin Dance Festival, and Commissioned by Ballet Dallas, The BostonConservatory, Booker T. Washington HSPVA, Dallas Youth Repertory, and Wanderlust Dance Project.

The mission of Bombshell Dance Project is to investigate the depth of the female choreographic voice. We seek to challenge our perceptions of humanity through the creation and presentation of innovative dance works, exploring the juxtapositions between strength and subtlety; power and sensuality, we present a collaborative environment, inviting audiences to take ownership of a shared artistic experience.

Brian Stevens:

Brian Stevens grew up in the Dallas Fort Worth area where he received his training from top instructors including Gayle Corkery, Justin Giles and Dana Bailey. He furthered his education on scholarship at the Broadway Dance Center in NYC and The Edge Performing Arts Center in LA. Throughout his training Brian assisted for Tremaine and Dupree Dance Conventions across the country. Assisting faculty members of these nationally recognized dance conventions allowed Brian to have a hands on experience in teaching other dancers movement and technique. The assistant opportunity also helped him to further create his unique choreography style in contemporary and jazz.

 

Brian is currently the Artistic Director of Wanderlust Dance Project, named as one of “Theater Jones Top Ten Dance Performances of 2016”. Wanderlust Dance Project is “the first and only Non-Profit 501(c)(3) of it’s kind, where pre-professionals learn and rehearse from some of the dance industry’s top choreographers, while dancing alongside working professional dancers”. Brian is also the Artistic Director of KJ Dance’s pre-professional dance company, Pulse. Under his direction the company has been nationally recognized as New York City Dance Alliance’s Outstanding Studio. His choreography for large and small groups, solos, duets, and trios have won multiple high scores in the country. Under his mentorship Brian has had individual nationally recognized dancers as well. Brian tours the country with the Dupree Dance Convention faculty as a choreographer and instructor. He is the founder and designer of the internationally recognized costume company, Artistic Dance Designs, which launched in 2013. Brian teaches at a number of dance intensives and workshops including the North Texas Summer Dance Intensive, Dallas Repertoire Ballet Intensive, Dancers Give Back Dallas and Dallas DanceFest. He travels teaching Master classes and setting choreography at studios, schools and professional companies across the country.

 

Zion:

The Zion Dance Project is a growing platform and outlet for Christian artists and is comprised of dancers around the world in various dance careers and dance journeys.

We provide  professional dancers with the opportunity to present high quality and unabashedly faith-filled art, both online and in theater settings. Dancers around the world are invited to share testimonies, advice, prayer and dances that share the light of Christ. 

 

ZDP seeks to foster God-centered collaborations in innovative ways. With this platform, ZDP hopes to bring more of an awareness to artists of the spiritual principle and power of integrating one's dance and faith together.

 

Justin Giles:

Justin Giles was born in Irmo, SC to a decorated, multi-sport athlete and a seasoned professional dancer/performer. His father groomed his sills on the field while his mother trained him in the dance studio. After much success as an athlete and dancer, he began touring the US as an assistant to renowned choreographers and on the convention circuit. At the age of 21 Justin was asked to travel to Seoul, Korea to instruct and perform with the highly respected POZ Dance Theatre. Justin returned home inspired, thus making the decision to start his own company.

 

Today SoulEscape is considered one of the most innovative and inspiring professional dance companies in the US. His work has been described as "inventive", "awe-inspiring", "raw", and "naturally beautiful" by show audiences. Justin's innate ability to story tell sets his work apart and continues to bring a new dimension to the professional company realm. Justin continues to work with dancers from all over the world, and maintains that his true calling is connecting with and inspiring the next generations of young artist. He is known for his natural approach to teaching and continues to be one of the most sought after choreographers and teachers in the industry.

 

Cory Finn:

Cory Finn is one of the most highly sought after master tap teachers in the country. His unique rhythmic style, along with genuine care for his students keep him in high demand. Cory has performed with various tap companies and stage productions including Rhapsody in Taps, Power Tap, and Men at Work, to name a few. He has also had the honor of working with such tap legends as: Gregory Hines, Henry Le Tang, Sam Weber, and Mark Mendoca. 

 

Cory has taught on numerous touring convention circuits including: Nuvo, LA Underground, LA Dance Magic, Hollywood Vibe, Pacific Coast Dance Fest, and Hollywood. Some of his commercial credits include Toyota, Taco-Bell, Dr. Pepper, and Disney. Cory continues to set his award winning choreography on dance companies and studios all over the country. His students have gone on to perform in every medium of the entertainment industry on stages all over the world. Cory is thrilled to have joined the KJ family.

 

KJ Dance: 

The 2018-19 dance season marks the twenty six year anniversary of service to the DFW area for KJ Dance. KJ Dance Plano was established in 1993. In 2015, our growth continued by opening the doors to a second location, KJ Dance Frisco.

 

The KJ faculty is committed to keeping standards high and working diligently to offer a relevant, creative and inspirational dance environment. It’s a dancer’s world at KJ. The KJ Family embraces dancers at every level. Beginning through pre professional students seamlessly develop and challenge themselves as they explore and the art of dance.

 

KJ provides a safe nurturing environment where dance is the vessel by which a student can gain self esteem and valuable skills including teamwork and leadership. Our program teaches honesty, integrity, loyalty and dedication through the art of dance. It is our desire to train dancers that exemplify grace, poise and selflessness.