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TRAVIS KELLEY - EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Before assuming ownership of RAFA, Travis enjoyed an extensive professional dance career. During this time, he danced as a Principal with Dayton Ballet in Ohio, on Broadway in Billy Joel and Twyla Tharp's Tony Award-winning Movin' Out, Showboat at Carnegie Hall, Candide at Lincoln Center, the First National Tour of Dirty Dancing, as the Principal role of "Ephraim" in the First National Tour of Seven Brides for Seven BrothersGuys and Dolls at AMTSJ, a featured dancer in The 2006 Kennedy Center Honors on CBS, commercials, music videos, films and many other wonderful experiences along the way. He brings with him all of this real world experience and industry knowledge to help guide and inspire this next generation of young artists at RAFA. 

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angela hendrickson - ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Angela Hendrickson began her classical training at RAFA under the direction of Lynette Mason Gregg, Richard Monroe, and Suzanne Longley, followed by Soili Arvola, Leo Ahonen, Olga Kostritsky, and Louis Fuente. She was the 1991 NYC Scholarship recipient, which afforded her the opportunity to train with the Joffrey Ballet Academy. She attended the High School for Performing and Visual Arts, and Houston Ballet Academy where she was able to work with Clara Cravey and Steven Brule. Angela studied Modern Dance at Alvin Ailey in their professional division. Angela is invaluable to our program and has been shaping generations of young dancers at RAFA for over 15 years. 

 
 
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KATHRYN MORGAN - INSTRUCTOR

Katie danced with New York City Ballet from 2006 to 2012 (as a Soloist 2009-2012). In that time she performed lead roles in the works of George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon, August Bournonville, Peter Martins and Jerome Robbins. Additionally she has performed as a guest artist with ballet companies all around the world.  Her awards, feature roles, and achievements as an internationally renowned artist and teacher are too numerous to list here, but may be found on her WEBSITE. Katie now dedicates her time to advising and educating young dancers to give them the tools they need to pursue their dreams, and is happy to call RAFA her home.  

 
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BEVERLY WILLIAMS- INSTRUCTOR

Ms. Bev is a dedicated educator with a B.A. and a M.F.A. from the University of Houston, and has continued studies in Humanities at the University of Houston and in Dance at Sam Houston State University. Ms. Bev is a high-energy teacher of dance in all dance genres for all levels.  She has taught internationally at colleges, universities, dance studios and dance companies. She enjoyed a long performing career in professional ballet, Broadway and films, and is a well known choreographer featured at Sam Houston State University, ISAS Arts Festivals, City Ballet of Houston, London, Scotland and Wales Tours 2005, and in London with the Royal Academy of Dance. She is currently publishing Fine Art Education textbooks for schools across the country. Ms. Bev contributes the joys and successes in her life to the students and artists she has had the pleasure to work and share with.  Their love and accomplishments are the driving force that propels her to always believe in the journey of discovery that the Fine Arts provide us all.         

 
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brenden winkfield - instructor

Brenden began his career on Long Island, New York. He began formal training in Tap Jazz and Ballet at local studios before broadened his studies into modern, lyrical, hip hop and contemporary. After eight years of intense training in NYC, he moved to Houston and was hired by Royal Carribbean Cruise Lines, Princess Cruise Lines, and Holland-America Cruise Lines as a dancer and performer on their entertainment fleets. After several years dancing on the open seas, he joined Tokyo Disney's "Big Band Beat" production show in Tokyo, Japan. Upon returning to the USA, Brenden was featured on season 14 of  So You Think You Can Dance. Brenden is finally back in Houston, hoping to use all he has learned in his years as a professional to mold his students into real performers. 

 
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COURTNEY CHILTON - INSTRUCTOR

Courtney is an actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and teaching artist. She has performed in theatre, opera, concert dance, and corporate entertainment across the country, working with such companies as Theatre Under the Stars, Houston Grand Opera, Casa Manana, and Westchester Broadway Theatre. Courtney has choreographed and directed shows such as Nunsense, Grease, Oklahoma, 9 to 5, Beauty And The Beast, West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, and The Little Mermaid. She incorporates style, character, and technique in all her choreography, creating a cohesive world and language in dance and theatre. As a teacher Courtney has taught acting and dance nationally with such schools and organizations as Main Street Theater, Humphrey's School of Musical Theatre, Presbyterian School of Houston, Golda Och Academy, and the University of Tulsa. Whether a beginning acting class or advanced modern dance class, she strikes a balance of technique and self-expression, helping her students grow, explore, and learn more than just the arts.


GUEST TEACHERS

 
ABI STAFFORD

ABI STAFFORD - PRINCIPAL NEW YORK CITY BALLET

Ms. Stafford entered the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, full time in the fall of 1998. At SAB, she performed the role of Clarinet in Jerome Robbins' Fanfare and a role in Christopher Wheeldon's Scènes de Ballet for the SAB's Annual Workshop performances. Ms. Stafford was invited to become an apprentice with New York City Ballet in November 1999 and joined the corps de ballet in January 2000. She was promoted to the rank of soloist in January 2002 and principal dancer in December 2007.

 
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JAMAL STORY - VARIOUS

Recently a dancer on Cher’s Dressed to Kill Tour, Jamal has also worked with Madonna, Complexions, and Donald Byrd/the Group. He performed on Broadway in the original casts of both The Color Purple and Motown: the Musical. An advocate for arts education, Jamal serves on the SAG-AFTRA New York Board and co-chairs the National Committee for Dance in this newly merged union. With two degrees from Southern Methodist University, Jamal incorporates a firm basis in pedagogy and kinesiology in his teaching.

 
MATT DIBBLE

MATTHEW DIBBLE - TWYLA THARP DANCE

Matthew Dibble began his training at the Royal Ballet School. After five years with the company he danced with K Ballet in Japan and joined Twyla Tharp Dance in the US where he danced roles on Broadway in Movin’ Out and Come Fly Away. Matthew also danced for the Scottish Ballet, Christopher Wheeldon and Benjamin Millepied. Today, he dances and sets works for Twyla Tharp around the world.

 
HEATER LANG

HEATHER LANG - VARIOUS

As an actor, dancer, and performance-maker some of her favorite projects include: playing lead and featured roles in Happy We'll Be and Freddie Falls in Love directed by Al Blackstone, dancing in Remains choreographed by John Jasperse at the Brooklyn Academy of Music,  performing on Broadway with An American In Paris, working closely with Julie Taymor on Spider-Man: Turn Off the DarkGrendel, and Across the Universe, dancing as a Radio City Rockette at Radio City Music Hall, dancing at the Met Opera and playing an infected mutant in I am Legend.

 
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RYAN E. KELLY - VARIOUS

Ryan attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts for dance. Credits include: Wicked on Broaday, Wicked 1st, 2nd national tours, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nights on Broadway III, Cats, Sweet Charity, and Music Man, dance captain and assistant for Pippin at the Goodspeed Opera House. TV/Film credits: Saturday Night Live 8 epsisodes, Smurfs movie, Across the Universe, Nurse Jackie, Manhattan Love Story, Mozart in the Jungle, America’s Got Talent, Two and Half Men, Jimmy Fallon, A Night on of too many Stars on Comedy Central. Ryan loves helping young artists discover their individuality as performers and supports everyone in a positive way.