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Parks and Recreation

Metro Parks Dance Division Faculty

Dance Division Staff

Kathryn Wilkening

Supervisor, Creative Movement

Kathryn Wilkening comes to Metro Parks and Recreation from 92nd Street Y in New York City, where she served as manager and then assistant director of the 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center. While at 92Y, she coordinated a range of programs including a full schedule of adult, children and teen classes, three performance series, social dance parties, Dance Education Laboratory, Dance/Movement Therapy Training, a company-in-residence and a dance lecture series. She was also involved with the Arts Achieve project, funded by an Investing in Innovation five-year grant, partnering with Carnegie Hall, Cooper-Hewitt, Studio in a School, Arts Connection and the New York City Department of Education to assess and improve arts achievement of students in elementary, middle and high school and measure the impact of higher arts achievement on other subject areas. She was recently invited to serve on the editorial board of National Dance Education Organization’s new journal, Dance Education in Practice. Kathryn grew up in Franklin, TN and moved to New York to earn her bachelor’s degree in Dance Education from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education. She served on the board of the American Dance Guild in 2003-2004 and co-chaired two annual conferences during that time. While working full-time at 92Y, she maintained an active performing, choreographing and teaching schedule. She presented work at the Ailey Citigroup Theater, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center, 92nd Street Y as part of the New York Jazz Choreography Project; at Brooklyn Arts Exchange and the Bushwick Starr as part of Alphabet Arts’ Puppets and Poets project; and presented her full evening work, Metamorphopolis, at Spoke the Hub after being selected as their 2010 Winter Follies winner. She created and hosted dance-a-raoke, a cabaret-style dance improv game show presented in 2009-2010 at 92YTribeca. She recently performed in Going to Tahiti’s original production of Bella’s Dream by Dana Boll and has performed with Renata Celichowska, Nancy Allison, Azul Dance Theatre, Mora XXIII in collaboration with members from The Hold Steady, Graceann Dorse, Nancy Smith, Amir Khosrowpour and Dave Broome, among others. She taught modern dance for children at 92Y and Spoke the Hub.

Guest Instructors

James Barrett

Contemporary Modern; Yoga for Adults

Shirley Blackburn

Director emeritus; Centennial Youth Ballet Primary Division

Shirley Blackburn holds degrees in dance (Stephens College, Columbia, MO) and English (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN). She recently retired as director of dance for the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, where she oversaw a multi-faceted program that included classes in ballet, creative rhythms, Flamenco, dance for musical theater, and tap as well as three performance groups: Centennial Youth Ballet, Music City Ballroom Kids, and Metro Parks’ Swinging Seniors. She reviewed dance for The Tennessean for 21 years and has contributed articles to professional dance publications including Pointe Magazine. She served on the board of the Tennessee Association of Dance for nine years and received that organization’s Margaret Martin Award for furthering the public image and accessibility of dance in Tennessee. She has studied ballet with Petrus Bosman, Bryan Koulman, John White, Robert Barnett, Manny Rowe, André Eglevsky, and Andrei Ustinov. Modern teachers include Harriette Ann Gray, David Wood, Ernest Morgan, Mary Anthony, Donna Rizzo, Yuriko Kikuchi, and Tom Pazik. She attended summer courses at American Dance Festival and Birmingham Southern College. She has completed teachers’ training courses at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet School (certificate) and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet (certificate). She has been certified in the Vaganova method of teaching ballet (Grades 1-3) by John White of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet. She currently teaches beginning level ballet for Metro Parks and Belmont University.

Windship Boyd

Afro-Contemporary

Windship Boyd is a dancer who has been teaching, performing and (especially) learning in West Africa since 2005. She has choreographed for dancers in Senegal and Burkina Faso and has hosted trips Guinea Conakry with Sory Diabaté to learn more about that culture and art.

Michal Christian Harvey

Centennial Youth Ballet Primary Division

A Nashville native, Michal Harvey trained with The Centennial Youth Ballet under the direction of Shirley Blackburn and Kathleen Callaghan. Michal earned a B.A in Dance from Belhaven University and a Pilates mat Certification through the Physical Mind Institute of New York. Since graduation in 2010, she has pursued a number of performance opportunities with regional companies in Jackson, Mississippi, Jerusalem, Israel, and with Fort Worth’s Ballet Concerto, where she danced professionally for three years. In 2013 Michal relocated back to Nashville and assumed a full-time teaching position with The School of Nashville Ballet. In 2019 Michal received her master’s degree in Organizational Leadership and Communication from Belmont University. She currently works at Belmont, is pursuing her Pilates reformer certification and enjoys instructing in Centennial’s Primary Division.

Roxanne Crew

Theater Jazz

Roxanne has loved dance since she was young, training in a variety of styles such as ballet, modern, jazz, lyrical, tap, and hip hop. In 2012, she received her BFA in Dance with an Education minor from Jacksonville University. Since then, she has entertained as a high-kick dancer at Universal Studios Florida, danced on Chicago rooftops with Wake Up! Waltz, and performs with Epiphany Dance Partners here in Nashville. Roxanne enjoys sharing her love for dance with her students at two local dance schools, and is excited to be part of the wonderful program at Metro Parks Dance!

Katie Eliason

Centennial Youth Ballet

Originally from Manchester, Conn., Katie Eliason began her dance training at Hartford Ballet under the direction of Susan Brooker and Franco De Vita. While at Hartford Ballet, she was in Kirk Peterson’s American Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. She also was the inaugural recipient of the Francine Goldfarb Scholarship in 2005. Eliason spent her summers furthering her training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts and Walnut Hill, among others. Eliason danced with BalletMet Columbus and Atlanta Ballet as a trainee prior to joining NB2 in 2010. While at Atlanta Ballet, she danced in John McFall’s Peter Pan and Lauri Stalling’s Big. In her three years as a member of Nashville Ballet second company, Eliason had the pleasure of performing in many Community Engagement productions across Tennessee as well as participating in W.I.P. (Works In Progress), a project to benefit local animal shelters. She has been featured as The Cat in Nashville Ballet Artistic Director & CEO Paul Vasterling’s Peter and the Wolf and a soloist in Kelsey Bartman’s Sonata Representativa. Eliason has had the opportunity to dance with the company in such performances as Vasterling’s Carmina Burana, Peter Pan and The Ben Folds Project. Eliason was also in Gina Patterson’s …but the flowers have yet to come, Dominic Walsh’s The Whistling and Christopher Bruce's Moonshine. When not dancing, Eliason is an avid reader, a budding chef and loves exploring all Nashville has to offer.

Nomalanga Eniafe

Afro-Caribbean

Nomalanga Eniafe teaches movements based upon traditional African dance forms. Her style and class regime is designed to bring forth new life and new energy through the power of rhythm and dance. Her students develop a new consciousness about themselves and traditional African culture. Nomalanga has traveled to Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio and Kentucky to teach and perform her art.

Augusto Cesar Francisco da Silva

Ballet for Adults

Emily Gilfillan

Centennial Youth Ballet

Emily began her ballet training in Australia when she was 8 years old. She completed her ballet training under the direction of Hilary Kaplan and Archie McKenzie at Alegria Dance Studios in Sydney. From there, she gained a place at Ballet Chicago Studio Company under directors Daniel Duell and Patricia Blair where she performed many lead roles, including Arabian in the Nutcracker and an original role created by Duell for her in the annual Spring Repertory. Upon returning to Australia in 2008, Emily earned her PhD in Arts Management and Dance Studies from Macquarie University. Emily has also established herself as a ballet teacher with a decade of experience in Sydney, Australia. Working with Hilary Kaplan and Archie McKenzie at Alegria Dance Studios, Emily has assisted in the training of elite pre-professional students, preparing them for international competitions and the world’s top ballet schools. Students have gone to the finals of the Prix de Lausanne and have earned places in schools such as the Royal Ballet School (Upper), the English National Ballet School and Rambert School of Ballet and Contemporary Dance. Her teaching philosophy aims to establish a clean technical foundation with the aim to generate passionate and versatile dancers.

Lizzy Graves

Creative Movement

Lizzy was born in Vacaville, CA and grew up dancing at Vacaville Ballet Theatre. She moved to Nashville, TN in 2009 where she trained at Nashville Ballet until 2014, performing works by Paul Vasterling and Banning Bouldin. She lived in Vancouver, Canada for two years to dance at ArtsUmbrella under Artemis Gordon, performing works by Lesley Telford, Crystal Pite, Marie Chouinard, James Kudelka, and Medhi Walerski. She also had the opportunity to work with Cindy Salgado, Eric Beauchesne, Johnathan Alsberry, Tom Weinberger and Doug Letheren. Since joining New Dialect in 2016, Lizzy has participated in numerous outreach performances to the Nashville community. She has also collaborated in Third Voice as dancer and rehearsal assistant. She teaches and choreographs at dance studios across Middle Tennessee and has been commissioned by New Dialect to create a piece for Third Voice. At Grassland Dance Academy and Third Voice, she is collaborating with local composers to create original music for the performances. Outside the studio, she is pursuing an Accounting Degree at Belmont University and assists Kevin and Banning Bouldin administratively. She also works with New Beginnings, a local non-profit fitness and nutrition center for women.

Andrea Greene

Ballet for Adults, Centennial Youth Ballet

Andrea Vierra Greene, a native of Connecticut, trained at the Washington Academy of Performing Arts Conservatory High School and Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. Following four years with Atlanta Ballet, she went on to dance with Nashville Ballet for six years. After a year of freelancing, she returned to Nashville as a member of contemporary collective New Dialect. Through the years she performed in various works by John McFall, Paul Vasterling, and Banning Bouldin, among other directors and choreographers from around the world. Some memorable pieces in which she was featured include Vasterling’s Nutcracker and Macbeth, Dominic Walsh’s The Whistling, Sarah Slipper’s Post Cards from the Boys, Christopher Stuart’s Forever, You Said Forever, James Canfield’s Jungle, McFall’s Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty, and the lead role in Bruce Wells’ Snow White. She has danced in numerous places across the country and abroad, and was fortunate enough to work with such notable artists as Alejandro Cerrudo, Brian Enos, Gina Patterson, Dawn Scannell, and Olivier Wevers. She has also danced with the NW Dance Project, National Choreographers Initiative, Texture Contemporary Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Nashville In Motion, and has performed in several music videos. An emerging choreographer, she cofounded the choreography project Works In Progress, or W.I.P., in 2007. She has had the pleasure of creating works for Texture Contemporary Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Chattanooga Ballet, and Nashville Dance Center. She was awarded the Tennessee Arts Commission 2014 Individual Artist Fellowship in Choreography. And in 2016, she choreographed and danced in American Idol finalist Danny Gokey’s music video “Tell Your Heart to Beat Again”. Andrea is currently teaching, choreographing and dancing in Nashville, Tennessee.

Kari Gregg

Ballet, Primary Division; Pilates

Kari has studied dance her entire life and the art of moving is something she constantly craves. She began her passion of dance at the age of 4 at a studio in central Indiana. Soon, she was accepted at an early age into Butler University’s early admittance program in Indianapolis to focus more on her classical ballet training. Kari continued with Butler University and received her Bachelor of Science in dance and arts administration. She also spent a summer studying with four distinguished teachers at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kari launched her professional dance career both domestically and abroad. For the past 15 years, she has performed in cities all across the United States including 10 years with the Radio City Rockettes. Kari recognized early on the benefits of practicing Pilates as a way of cross training for her professional dance career and took it with her throughout her travels. She was immediately drawn to the disciplined traditional method of Pilates, and thus became certified by the New York Pilates Studio® Teacher Certification Program. Her continuing education includes but is not limited to an additional certificate through the Pilates Youth Organization, ABT National Training Curriculum Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 3 and Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology for Dance Education through Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in New York City.

Carly Priscilla Hill

Centennial Youth Ballet Secondary Division, Creative Movement

Carly is a dance educator and choreographer in Nashville, TN. She is trained primarily in classical ballet and has also studied modern, jazz, and contemporary dance. Carly received her BFA in Dance Education from The University of Tennessee at Martin and her MA in Ballet Pedagogy from New York University in partnership with American Ballet Theatre. She is fully certified in ABT’s National Training Curriculum. Carly is currently a faculty member at Rejoice School of Ballet and Metro Parks Dance Division.

Becca Hoback

Contemporary Modern, Centennial Youth Ballet

A Wisconsin native, Becca began dancing at age four and trained at the Milwaukee Ballet School and the UNC School of the Arts. She worked as an apprentice with the Montgomery Ballet before moving to Nashville to work as a second company member at Nashville Ballet. There, she began work with Banning Bouldin and joined New Dialect in June 2013. Becca has participated in the Netherlands Dance Theatre summer intensive, the Gaga intensive, the chuthis Movement Intensive, and Springboard Danse Montreal. She works as an assistant to choreographer Banning Bouldin, and has performed in works by Alex Ketley, Peter Chu, Bryan Arias, Yin Yue, Idan Sharabi, Léon & Lightfoot, Marco Goecke, Belinda McGuire, Fernando Melo, and Katharine Hawthorne. She has taught master classes classes at Belmont University, Perry Mansfield, & SALT Contemporary Dance, and she regularly teaches around the city of Nashville at Harpeth Hall, Metro Dance, and The Ensworth School.

Andrea Howat

Dance Fit

Andrea began her dance training 20 years ago at a studio in the northern suburbs of Chicago. There she studied jazz, ballet, lyrical, hip hop, and tap with several of Chicago’s finest instructors. Discovering her love for rhythm tap, Andrea pursued her passion for hoofing all the way to Chicago’s South Side. For two years she studied under Idella Reed-Davis at the Sammy Dyer School of the Theatre, one of the oldest known tap schools in the country. Before leaving for college, Andrea was honored to dance with M.A.D.D. Rhythms, a rhythm tap company comprised of some of the finest tappers in the business including Martin “Tre” Dumas III, Bril Barrett, and Jumaane Taylor. In 2007, Andrea received her Bachelor’s Degree in Musical Theatre and Dance from Palm Beach Atlantic University in South Florida. While there, she was featured in several musicals including “Me and My Girl”, “Kiss Me Kate”, and most notably as the Witch in “Into the Woods”. Acting as dance captain, Andrea also had the opportunity to reset the original Broadway choreography for “West Side Story”. Ms. Howat has been brought in as a substitute tap teacher for beginner through advanced levels both at the renown Joel Hall Dance Center and the Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago. In 2009, she directed and choreographed her first full-length musical, “Thoroughly Modern Millie” with the GreenRoom Theater. Relocating to Nashville, Ms. Howat has continued to hand down the tap legacy she has inherited by teaching at area dance studios. Andrea loves to laugh and is known in the studio for her enthusiasm for dance, rhythm, and music. She hopes to inspire others to create art that is excellent and to use their passion and abilities to make an impact beyond themselves.

Jen-Jen Lin

Tai Chi

Julia Marx

Rainbowdance, Dancing with Parkinson’s

Julia Marx holds an M.F.A in modern dance and has danced professionally for choreographers in Utah, San Francisco, and Boston. She has taught creative movement to young children for more than 15 years in schools, studios, after-school programs and community centers. Julia is passionate about teaching children to use the elements of dance to explore movement and their unique forms of expression. Julia is also a registered dance/movement therapist and mental health counselor with particular expertise working with children with disabilities and has completed the teacher training workshop offered by Dance for PD®.

Kat Mathis

Dance Fit

Emma Morrison

Creative Movement, Contemporary Modern

Before beginning her dance education, Emma trained as a rhythmic gymnast from 2004-2008 and competed in the Junior Olympics. Gymnastics introduced her to ballet, in term introducing her to everything the dance world has to offer. In 2009 she began taking ballet, modern, and jazz at the Franklin School of Performing Arts in Franklin, TN. In the summer of 2009 and 2010 she received a scholarship to BalletMET's summer intensive in Columbus, OH. In the fall of 2011 she was awarded the Kitty Sharp Scholarship from the Tennessee Association of Dance. That same fall, she was awarded Student of the Year at my home studio, FSPA. In the summer of 2011, she went to the UNCSA 4 week intensive as a contemporary major, where she received training from Trish Casey, Dianne Markham, and Juel Lane. In the fall of 2012, she had the honor being invited by FSPA to teach beginner modern, ballet, and creative movement, which sparked her love for teaching. In 2013, she spent six weeks in North Carolina at Duke University for the American Dance Festival's 80th Anniversary Season where she had the opportunity to train with teachers and choreographers that included Jesse Zarritt, Pamela Pietro, Michelle Gibson, and Twyla Tharp. After that incredibly enriching summer, she came back home to Nashville where she began training weekly with Banning Bouldin and is currently a part of her company New Dialect. She is excited to be a part of the growth of the company, and also to be a part of the growing dance community in Nashville!

Mallory Mundy

Dance Fit

Phylicia Roybal

Discover Dance, Contemporary Modern

Phylicia is a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her Bachelor degree in Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in 2011. She is currently an artist working with New Dialect Dance company under the direction of Banning Bouldin. She has had the privilege of working with Ronn Stewart and Cocodāco Dance Project, Kibbutz contemporary dance company, Catherine Cabeen - Hyphen and Moving People Dance. She has had the opportunity to work with artists such as Rami Be’er, Donald Mckayle, Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Bobby Mc Ferrin. Phylicia has taught at renowned programs such as The Nashville Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet Academy Chicago, The Youth American Grand Prix, Northwestern University, The Hispanic Family Foundation Baila program, Foster Dance Studios, Ensworth High School, and Stage Right Performing arts. She continues to find inspiration through experimental movement and improvisation.

Erin Styron

Tap, Movement and Stretch

Erin Styron, a Franklin native, began her journey with dance at age five. She was classically trained in modern, ballet, tap, and jazz. In 2013, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance with a concentration in dance education as well as dance and disabilities from The Ohio State University. Erin has performed and studied with several distinguished choreographers including Meghan Durham-Wall, Susan Hadley, Bebe Miller, Olivier Tarpaga and Abby Yager.Now, Erin is an active company member with Epiphany Dance*Partners under the direction of Lisa Spradley.In conjunction with performing, she has presented choreography and taught dance students at local studios and universities in Columbus and Nashville. Erin believes that dance can be for everyone and every body, and enjoys sharing her passion for dance with children and adults of all abilities.