Ayande Clarke, Drum Instructor
He is a second–generation African-American percussionist accomplished in his own right. As a student of African Diasporic percussion, Ayanda’s research has included musical traditions of Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Angola, Cuba, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the African-Americas. Ayanda first performed professionally at age 5, and since then, has toured the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe. He has recorded with Master performing artists, and has produced several projects with Palms Down, a percussion-based music ensemble, co-founded by him. Ayanda has several television appearances to his credit and most recently, has recorded and licensed music featured on FOX’s reality series, So You Think You Can Dance. Ayanda received his Bachelor’s degree in Music from Wesleyan University in 1998, and in 2000 completed coursework for his Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology at the same institution. He continues to contribute to the education of young people through the arts by conducting classes, residencies, and lecture/demonstrations in Elementary, Middle, and High Schools. As a founding member and Musical Director of Asase Yaa African-American Dance Theatre, Ayanda seeks to always further his study of the percussive arts, and to continue the maintenance, instruction and creative implementation of musical traditions.
She began dancing at Danse Xpressions, LLC at the age of 2, where she currently teaches Tap, Jazz & Gymnastics. Clarice is currently a freshman in college majoring in Education/Math and minoring in Dance. She is also a member of Queens College Dance Team. Clarice has taught at Danse Xpressions for several years. She enjoys spending time with her family and aspires to achieve higher learning in all that she does. She is a current member of the Danse Xpressions Dance Company (DXDC).
She began dancing at Danse Xpressions, LLC at the age of 2 and continued dancing there until she graduated high school at age 17. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hofstra University, majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Dance. Camille trained with industry professionals such as Heather Waldon of the Sean Curran Dance Company, Amy Marshall, a past member of the Paul Taylor Dance Company and current director of Amy Marshall Dance Company, Dyane Harvey of Forces of Nature Dance Theater and Fritzlyn Hector, a dancer in the off Broadway production STOMP. She was also a member of DanceWorks and President of IMANI Dance Ensemble, a student run performance group that blends Hip-Hop, African, and contemporary styles. She had the privilege of performing at both on and off campus venues, opening up for artists such as Wale, Fat Joe, Sza, Snoop Dogg, Big Sean, and Rick Ross. She currently dances with KaNu Dance Theater and is a teaching artist for the Sports and Arts in Schools Foundation. When she is not dancing, Camille is a production assistant and entertainment writer for Sirius XM & MTV's Sway's Universe. She is also the producer and on air host of The L Spot Show, a television talk show dedicated to sharing unique perspectives on the arts, culture, and community action. She joined the Society of Professional Journalists and has published work for People's Choice, All Hip Hop, Black Dance Magazine, Black Ink newsletters, HerCampus.com, and LongIslandReport.org. This year at Danse Xpressions, Camille taught 1 Tap Class, 1 Gymnastics Class, 2 Ballet Classes, 3 Afro-Caribbean classes, and 1 Modern Class. She is also the director of DXDC and is available for substitute teaching when needed.
Listed in Alphabetical Order
Camille Cruz, Dance Instructor
Clarice Cruz, Dance Instructor
Florence Cruz, Dance Instructor
Florence began dancing at seven years of age. She earned a B.A. in Nutrition at Queens College, her first Masters in Health Administration at Hofstra University, and her second Masters in Education. She is an elementary school teacher for the New York City Department of Education. Florence is a mother of four daughters who take classes.
Kayla Gill, Student Dance Instructor
Kayla began dancing when she was 3 years old, but entered the Danse Xpressions family when she turned 6 years old. She has been dancing at Danse Xpressions for 11 years now. She is a member of Danse Xpression’s newly founded Danse Xpressions Dance Company (DXDC). Kayla also performs with the Elmont Dance Team, which she has been a part of for 3 years now. They are a dance team that performs at pep rallies, basketball games, and will be performing at Senator Jack Martin’s annual 3on3 tournament. Kayla plans to continue her dance career, but also plans to follow her dream of becoming a teacher, which all started here, at Danse Xpressions, where she began student teaching last year. She has realized how much she enjoys teaching and plans to continue teaching when she graduates high school in 2015.
Doreshia Hines, Dance Instructor
She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York where she began her dance training in various disciplines at Leaps and Bounds School of Dance. While studying dance in high school, Doreshia received scholarships to study at various schools in the New York Area, including Martha Graham Center of Contemporary Dance and Harlem School of the Arts. She graduated from Brooklyn High School of the Arts in 2007 with a major in dance. In 2011, she received her BA in Dance from Hunter College. While at Hunter she was a member of the Hunter College Dance company from 2008-2011. She performed at public schools across the five boroughs with the Hunter College Dance Company Lecture Demonstration Touring Group from 2008-2009. While at Hunter, she presented her early works at the Hunter College Studio and the Sylvia and Danny Kaye Playhouse. She was a recipient of the Friars Foundation Scholarship for 3 consecutive years. She currently works with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation as a Recreation Specialist/ Dance Instructor bringing arts to the local community. She creates and teaches an array of dance and fitness programs for toddlers - seniors. She looks forward to continue teaching and learning the art of dance.
Elyshebba Louis-Charles, Dance Instructor
She began dancing at the age of 4, but started dancing with Danse Xpressions, LLC at the age of 6, where she now teaches Gymnastics and Afro, along with Ms. Regina. She is currently in college where she majors in Biology and minors in Visual Arts. She is working towards medical school, in hopes of becoming a Medical Examiner in the near future. She also hopes to own an art studio. She has completed over 200 hours in community service at the New York Hospital Queens in Flushing, Queens.
Patricia (St. Vil) Neal, Co-Owner / Dance Instructor
Patricia began dancing at four years of age. Her dance training ranges from Classical Ballet, Tap, Jazz, African, and Modern. She started teaching dance at 15 and was a member of Eluzions, a dance group that performed and competed at many events in and out of the tri-state area. Eluzions competed and won a talent showcase hosted by New York Newsday and the Queens Council of Arts. Patricia earned both her B.A. and M.S. in Chemistry at New York University. She currently works for a pharmaceutical company, located in NJ. She has two sons, both of which take classes.
Dana Thomas, Dance Instructor
She is a Fashion Merchandising major at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is a freelance fashion stylist & image consultant. She has worked on numerous events such as BET’S Rip The Runway, The Six Flags Gospel Concert Series, and is on her fourth year with Full Figured Fashion Week (NYC). Dana is the founder of the dance group W.A.R.F.A.R.E. located in Long Island, NY. (www.myspace.com/warfaredanceministry). She attends Perfecting Faith Church (Pastor Donnie McClurkin) in Freeport, NY where she is the Lead Dance Coordinator. She is one of the DXDC leaders.
Jessica (St. Vil) Ulysse, Co-Owner / Dance Instructor
She is a graduate of Lehman College, where she received her B.A. in Mass Communications and Dance. She thus continued her training with a partial scholarship from the Alvin Ailey School; where she completed the independent study program. Jessica teaches classes and gives workshops in Ballet, Modern, and Afro-Caribbean dance. Some of her teaching credits include: Pratt Institute, the NAACP, NYC Sports and Arts, and the Dance New England Foundation in Maine. She currently works as a teaching artist for the Alvin Ailey arts in education program and for Purelements arts in education program. She has worked with many choreographers such as Christopher Huggins, Martial Roumain, Marcea Daiter, Sean Curran, Kayoko Sakoh, Kwame Ross, and Dyane Harvey. She has worked and performed with several dance theater companies, such as Feet of Rhythm, The Joan Peter’s Dance Company, Vissi Dance Theater, Tamboula D’ayiti, Opus Dance Theater, the Rod Rodgers dance company, and traveled to Haiti to perform as a guest artist with BFH (The National Ballet Folkloric of Haiti). In the spring of 2011, Jessica worked as a demonstrator/assistant for the Katherine Dunham seminar held at "Tisch School for the Arts" at NYU. Jessica also worked in collaboration with Unimix films; choreographing a short film titled “One More Try”. She is also artistic director/choreographer for KaNu Dance Theater. Jessica was honored in Washington DC by the National Museum of Women and the Haitian Embassy for her accomplishments in dance and for her continued dedication to Haitian culture. Jessica also traveled to Haiti with the New Waves Dance Institute during the summer of 2014, where she was just 1 of 50 dance professionals and educators from around the world that were invited to participate in this particular seminar. While there she studied and explored dance in the Caribbean, and collaborated with other dance professionals. Jessica is extremely grateful for all opportunities she has been given and aspires to continue to enrich her life and the lives of others through the arts. She is a proud mother of a baby girl.