2018-19 High School:
9th grade: Dueninufay Dance Company with Ms. Nina from Feb 25-March 1st
After school rehearsal TBA
Hello, I am African/Gullah Dance instructor and production director Ms. Nina. I live for the art of sharing dance with individuals because I love the way it uplifts the spirit of myself & the people who I get the opportunity to engage with.
I am proud to acknowledge that I’ve been honored in several newspaper articles in the Post & Courier, highlighted in a few magazines (Geechee One Magazine & Charleston Magazine) have paintings of myself dancing featured in art galleries and museums from Cuba to the U.S. created by a famous Cuban artist by the name of Reynier Llanes. I was granted the opportunity to help direct a Nickelodeon commercial highlighting Charleston’s history and culture this year (in which members from our dance company Deninufay starred in). I was chosen to be the face of a well-known festival of The University of North Carolina by the name of “People by the Sea” and was also broadcasted and featured on CNN in honor of Charleston’s 9 who died in the Charleston Massacre of the Emmanuel Nine. I am a living testimony that hard work pays off!
Currently, I am one of the co-owners/dance instructors of Deninufay African
Drum & Dance Co. and love working with our kids and also with my momma & siblings
in this extraordinary company. Recently I stepped out on faith and started my very own dance team/production on James Island by the name of “Turn Up & Dance Productions”. There I teach kids the art of several different genres of dance such as West African, stepping, hip-hop, ballet, contemporary, jazz, afro-beat, and also swing to name a few. I also implement the art of self-love, love and care for others and also sister/brotherhood and building future leaders in my lessons as well. Recently a few siblings and I came together and organized a new band by the name of “The De’Gullah Band”. Networking and connecting with different Artistic firms such as: Engaging Creative Minds, North Charleston Cultural Arts Department, The City of Charleston Cultural Arts Department and World Music Café is what I love to do on my spare time. While working with these different firms I am blessed with opportunities to visit several public and private schools in the Charleston/Berkley district and share my art form of West African Drum & Dance. Dance keeps me busy but because it is one of my passions it doesn’t feel like work at all. I am honored to represent my culture in a magnificent way.
10th grade James Jiang from Dec 10-14th
After school rehearsal on Wednesday December 12th, James Jiang is having his after school rehearsal from 3:30-5:30 for the Sophomore class.
Originally from Guangzhou, China, James Jiang did not discover his passion for dance until after moving to the United States in 1999. At the age of 19, he fell in love with ballroom dance and began his training in Charlotte, under the direction of Tatiana Kazakova and Max Kozhevnikov. Over his 15 years of dance experience, James has won many local and national International Latin championships–Heritage, Atlanta Open, Ohio Star Ball, to name a few.
James specializes in Ballroom Dancing in both International and American style. He taught locally at the former Elite Ballroom International studio and currently teaches at Ballroom Dance Club Charleston and Holy City Salsa. James has participated in the local Dancing with the ARK Stars as a professional over the last 3 years, winning the crown in 2016 with his star and coming in as 1st runner up in 2015. As an instructor for over 10 years, James is known for his attention to detail and technique and sharing his love of dance with students of all levels. In his spare time. James enjoys spending time with his wife and two beautiful children, London and Liam.
11th grade Ashley Pagett from Jan 28-Feb 1st
After school rehearsal January 30th 3:30-5:30pm
Ashley Padgett Perry is a lifelong dancer who as a youth trained under Nancy Giles at Southern Strutt Dance Studio in Columbia South Carolina. In her years as a competitive dancer, Ashley placed both regionally and nationally at various competitions and was able to study under artists such as Dee Caspary, Ray Leeper, Mia Michaels, and technical guru Paula Morgan. Looking to continue her dance career, Ashley moved to Charleston, South Carolina where she auditioned for The Charleston Dance Project. After auditioning, Ashley was featured as a principal dancer and performed in their critically acclaimed shows “Ebb and Flow” and “Funktionslust”. In 2013 Ashley was selected to perform in the world renowned Spoleto Festival as a dancer in the Opera “Le Villi” . Ashley has since focused on her passion to create technically sound dancers and innovative movement and choreography through teaching in the Charleston area. Currently Ashley is working with Tapio School of Dance-Gymnastics, traveling as a judge for Stage One Dance, and is starting a new season of Artist Guest in Residence with Charleston County School of the Arts.
12th grade Brian McGinnis from Jan 7-11th
After school rehearsal for Seniors is Jan 8th.
Brian McGinnis began dancing at the age of seven with Jo Ann Warren in Worcester, Massachusetts. His early childhood was spent tap dancing on linoleum floors at local nursing homes, hospitals, and the nearby shopping malls of the community he grew up in. Eventually, during his summers as a teeneager he performed at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, and Walt Disney World, and in the winter he toured with a local ballet company perfecting each role between a party-boy and the main squeeze in the Nutcracker. He attended and graduated with a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School under the directorship of Benjamin Harkarvy, and thereafter NYC became his home. Brian immersed himself for many faithful years in the companies of Lar Lubovitch, Elisa Monte, David Parsons and Jacqueline Buglisi, and had the opportunity to perform at Jacob’s Pillow, Lincoln Center, The Cultural Center of the Philippines, The Bolshoi Theatre, American Dance Festival, The Joyce Theatre, NYC City Center, The Kennedy Center, Millenium Park, The Shubert Theatre, and The Spoleto Festival, Italy. During those informative years he also learned to self-produce workshops, masterclasses and performance residencies, gaining more perspective on dance, and how it was affecting him pedagogically. This led him to graduate school at The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he earned his MFA in Dance. He lived in Chicago once for a year, touring with Hubbard Street Dance, and then a second time which was most recently four five years when he was on faculty at ChiArts, Chicago’s Public Performing Arts High School, and Visceral Dance Center in the heart of the windy city. In 2017 he joined Boston Conservatory at Berklee as an associate professor where he now teaches Junior Dance Composition, Freshman Dance Composition, Senior Modern Technique, and Senior Seminar. This semester, his classes are collaborating and presenting a performance with the Music Composition Department at Berklee, and he will direct rehearsals for choreographers Roderick George and Margo Sappington for this years conservatories main stage productions. Poetics of Space, his newest creation premiered this fall, and is in collaboration with visual artist Fotini Christophillis, and composer Pedro Osuna Ardoy. This past year he was the recipient of the student nominated Best of Berklee Award, received a Faculty Travel Grant, and Faculty Development Fellowship from Berklee College of Music to conduct pedagogical research in Israel for a movement method he is developing. Brian also holds an Associates Degree in Occupational Science for Massage Therapy from The Swedish Institute in NYC, he is a Massachusetts state licensed Massage Therapist.
Note: all HS dancers take class from each HS guest artist