The Dance Department at BTW High School for the Performing and Visual Arts consists of approximately one hundred and seventy-five dance majors and six full-time dance faculty with additional part-time professionals from the community. Concentrating on ballet and modern dance techniques, the students will also experience jazz, tap, African Dance, Ballet Folklorico, international dance, and repertory; in addition, students are required to experience theoretical studies in composition, dance history, notation, survey of dance, dance production, dance kinesiology, and elements of performance. In 2009, the international magazine, Dance Teacher, released a feature story on the success of the dance curriculum at Booker T. Washington HSPVA.
The 2017-2018 Dance Faculty
Kate Walker, Brian Devine, Michelle Zada-Hall, Zac Hammer, Emily Hunter, Dr. Linda James, and Estela Tejeda
KATE WALKER (Chair)
Kate Walker graduated “magna cum laude” with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, and is currently completing her Masters of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Argosy University. Ms. Walker joined the dance faculty at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in 2008, and has taught master classes around the country. Her performing credits include works by Christopher Huggins, Deborah Wolf, Mark Haim, Pat Graney, Lily Cabatu Weiss, and many others. She was rehearsal director for Dallas Black Dance Theatre II and has had choreographic works commissioned and presented by DBDT II, Brookhaven Community College, The Hockaday School, Contemporary Ballet Dallas, and BTWHSPVA. Kate has been featured in Dance Studio Life and Dance Teacher Magazines for her experience as both a teacher and dancer.
Brian Devine earned his MFA from The Ohio State University and is a summa cum laude graduate of Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. In addition he became a certified Pilate’s instructor in 2006. Born in Tucson, AZ, Mr. Devine began dancing at the age of ten. He continued his training in high school at Interlochen Arts Academy. As a professional dancer, Mr. Devine has performed with companies in the Pacific Northwest and in Ohio. He has performed the works of David Dorfman, Luis Fuente, Jose Limon, Wade Madsen, Mark Morris, Sarah Slipper, and Deborah Wolf. His own choreography has been performed throughout the United States most recently in the Midwest. Mr. Devine was on Faculty at St. Paul’s School (SPS) in Concord, New Hampshire from 2007 to 2010. While at SPS he taught all levels of dance and served as Ballet Master for the St. Paul’s School Ballet Company. His current creative research is in choreography where he is interested in the evolution of site dance. He continues to explore ideas across ballet, pedagogy and ways to train dancers for the fast paced and ever changing world of dance.
MICHELLE ZADA HALL
A native of Columbus, Ohio, Michelle Zada Hall earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Education, with a minor in Physical Education from The Ohio State University. Her thirteen year professional performing career includes dancing as a member of Philadanco’s second company “D/2”, Lula Washing ton Dance Theater, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and five seasons with Dallas Black Dance Theatre while serving as their Costume Mistress as well. In addition to dancing, Michelle has appeared as a featured actress in many local and nationwide commercials and print advertising, including McDonalds and Qdoba Mexican Grill. With a duo passion for performing and education, she has taught for privately owned dance studios and numerous master classes throughout the United States and is currently on staff at Dance Industry in Plano, Texas. This is Michelle’s third year on Dance Faculty at Booker T. Washington HSPVA where she also serves as Director of the World Dance Ensemble.
Mr. Hammer began his dance training at age ten. During his early training, he apprenticed with Ballet Oklahoma under the direction of Bryan Pitts. In 2007, Zan graduated summa cum laude with a BFA in dance performance from Southern Methodist University, where his original choreography was produced as part of the mainstage season. From 2007 to 2010, he toured both abroad and domestically with Parsons Dance, and from 2010 from 2014, was a dancer in the New York City cast of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Other companies include the Nicholas Andre Dance Company, Amy Marshall Dance Company, dre.dance, and Alison Chase Performance. Upon returning to Dallas in 2014, he has worked as an adjunct professor of jazz dance at Southern Methodist University, managed and taught all styles at Preston Center Dance, and has been on faculty at the KD Conservatory. Choreographic works include the DIFFA Fashion Show, The Miss Texas Pageant, the Mary Kay Industrial, and numerous modern and jazz pieces for soloist and groups across the country.
Emily Hunter began her classical dance training under the instruction of Penny Askew in Clinton, Oklahoma and later trained at the University of Iowa on both Dance Department and the Francoise Martinet ballet scholarships. Upon completing her BFA in 2003, she studied at the American Dance Festival on scholarship. Among many professional credits, some highlights include dancing as a founding company member of Bruce Wood Dance Project, serving three times as a faculty member for the Southwest region of Regional Dance America, and being featured in the June/July 2011 issue of Pointe Magazine. She serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors for FurtherDance Fort Worth, of which she is a founding member. In addition to teaching at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, she co-directs Repertory Dance Company I.
DR. LINDA JAMES
Dr. James’ efforts to advance dance include her work as a dance educator, community volunteer and arts advocate. Linda James joined the dance faculty at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) in Dallas, Texas in 1982 where she currently teaches Modern Dance and Ballet Technique, Repertory, Composition, Physical Education, Integration of the Arts and Portfolio. Dr. James and Estela Tejeda co-direct BTWHSPVA’s Repertory Dance Company II. Before joining the dance faculty at BTWHSPVA, Dr. James was a member of the dance faculty at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and served as Assistant Director of the Virginia Dance Theatre.
In 1998, 2001, and 2007, the U. S. Presidential Scholars Program and the U. S. Department of Education honored Dr. James as a Distinguished Teacher through the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts youngARTS program. Students who have trained with Dr. James have been recognized through youngARTS, Texas Young Masters through the Texas Commission for the Arts, and NAACP ACT-SO. Numerous former students have pursued professional careers as dance and musical theater performers, artistic directors, dance educators, song writers and arts administrators. In 2005, Dr. James was named a National Endowment of the Arts/Arts in Journalism Fellow for her work as editor of the Dance Council of North Texas’ quarterly publication–DANCE! North Texas. In 2003, Dr. James, was one of two dance educators in the country to receive a Surdna Fellowship, a national initiative to support the artistic revitalization of outstanding arts teachers in specialized, public arts high schools. The Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance named her Dance Educator of the Year in 1993.
In the mid-nineties, Dr. James collaborated with Dance Umbrella/Austin, the Dance Council, and the San Antonio Dance Umbrella to jointly plan two state-wide dance conferences, the second of which was co-presented by the Texas Commission on the Arts. During her 35 years of service to the Dance Council of North Texas, Dr. James held the offices of Chair of the Board, President, Vice-President, and Secretary, as well as numerous committee assignments. She has served on the Editorial Board of the Congress on Research in Dance, and on the Executive Board of the Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education.
In 2002, her choreography–Le saut des amants–was selected and presented at the Dallas Morning News Dance Festival for an audience of 6,000. Dr. James is a founding member of the BTWHSPVA Faculty Ensemble. She has performed throughout Virginia and Texas in works by Michael Kelly Bruce, James Clouser, Martha Curtis, Lynda Davis, Nada Diachenko, Frank Holder, John Mead, Luis Montero, Bridget Moore, Kenneth Rinker, Yacov Sharir, Holly Williams, and Tibor Zana.
For twenty years, Dr. James served as founder and co-planner for the Dance Council of North Texas’ Dance Planet. The two-day festival presented over 90 dance companies of all idioms to an annual audience of 3,000. For twenty-five years, she served as Editor of the Dance! North Texas, a publication that reaches over 13,000 readers with an interest in dance in North Texas.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Bruce Wood Dance Project. Linda H. James holds a Ph.D. in Dance from Texas Woman’s University where she completed her dissertation—Portrait of a Dance Historian: Archival Cataloging of the Juana de Laban Dance Collection in 1992. She received BA (cum laude) and MA degrees in Dance from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas.
Estela Tejeda is a native of Chicago. She received her MFA from Southern Methodist University where she received a full artistic scholarship. Before coming to Dallas, she lived in New York City where she was a founding member of Sanza Nemo Collective Dance, a company originally based out of Italy, which relocated to New York. She also worked with a number of smaller companies including, Cecilia Marta Dance Company and New York-based Ballet de Puerto Rico where she performed principal roles. In addition, she worked and
performed in collaboration with Compagnie Jus de la Vie in Stockholm, Sweden. Ms. Tejeda has taught internationally as well as regionally for over 15 years and has presented her own works in Europe, New York, Houston, and in the Dallas Fort-Worth area. She completed her fourth year of teaching at Mountain View College and at the Hathaway Academy of Ballet where she serves as co-artistic director for their contemporary ensemble “The Project.” She is eager to begin her work as a faculty member of the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
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