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Guest Artists

Guest Artists

Guest Artists

East By North Dance Theatre

Born out of a love for pure movement, East by North Dance Theatre was formed under the idea that simple or compounding thought can be expressed through vivid movement. Founded and directed by Sarah Nachbauer and Jon Eden, East by North represents the unrestricted and improvisational spirit that they feel symbolizes a new wave of modern theatrical dance.

For more than a decade, Jon and Sarah have toured and performed as soloists all around the world. They have performed in over 15 different countries, across 4 continents and in some of the world’s most prestigious theaters. Jon and Sarah have also acted as creative assistants with multiple companies on numerous world premieres as well as artistically contributing to corporate events and projects for MOMIX, Catapult Entertainment, Moving On, Katharine Helen Fisher Dance Company, Kohler, Mercedes-Benz, Wynn Casinos, Pirelli, Cannon, Cialis, Target, Columbus Day Parade NYC, Girl Scouts of America, Mayflower, Marriott, MAC Cosmetics, Bose, Lancôme, and Aveda just to name a few. Jon and Sarah also appeared on Season 8 of America’s Got Talent with the shadow company Catapult Entertainment, making it al the way to the finals. They have appeared in music videos for the artists MGMT and ARK, as well on TV shows for HBO, Showtime, CBS, STARZ and the History Channel. Together they have taught at the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, Terpsichore Dance Center, and have conducted master classes throughout the United States. They are Creative Consultants for acclaimed photographer Robert Whitman as well as with Cardinal Theatricals under the direction of Andrew Rasmussen.

Their on stage work has been reviewed as “A highly intimate display of body control”, “Elegant”, Mystical”, and “The perfect blend of fluid movement and stillness.” The company is based in New York City. @eastbynorthdance East by North Dance Theatre

Kilowatt Dance Theater

Kilowatt Dance Theater is a jazz dance company based in New York City. Since its inception in 2014, they have created works that specialize in the early roots of jazz dance such as swing, lindy hop, shag, charleston, and blues. These early styles of jazz are uniquely woven in with more contemporary dance techniques of today. The blend of movement along with the powerfully expressive themes they generate, creates a truly original experience for the audience. The electric energy and intensity of the dancers has been described in Broadway World as "masterful partnering with 'aw shucks' ease". Over the past few years, Kilowatt Dance Theater has performed for such notable programs as Jacob's Pillow's Inside Out Series, Battery Dance Festival, Lincoln Center's Midsummer Night's Swing, and The NY Jazz Choreography Project.

ValNeda Dance (Latin Professional Ballroom)

Valentyn Isaiev: Valentyn was born and raised in Ukraine. He started ballroom dancing at the age of 6 year old. After competing in Ukraine and being awarded many regional titles, he was offered the opportunity to perform on the Norwegian cruise ship for 6 months and performed ballroom dancing traveling around Asian island and Australia. Valentyn decided to move to the United States to continue competing and training. He moved to the USA at the age of 24 and continued to excel his skills while gaining titles.

Neda Andriekute: Neda was born and raised in Lithuania. She started dancing at 5 in the choreography school learning different styles such as ballet, contemporary, folk dance, ballroom, jazz. At the age of 9, Neda turned her focus on the professional ballroom dance career. She competed ballroom and latin scene throughout Lithuania, Germany, Baltic States. After receiving many national titles throughout all age devisions, she also made appearances on Lithuanian TV shows. Neda then moved to the USA at 20 to continue to train with the top dance teachers in the world. In 2019, Neda was invited to perform for Vogue magazine at CFDA fashion show. She had an opportunity to work with the Vogue artistic director Anna Wintour and represent Christopher John Roger’s collection while performing ballroom dancing. Besides competing and training in the USA, Neda also created her own dance clothing brand called Neda Design.

ValNeda Dance: After meeting each other in New York City in 2019 they now both call NY home, and teach, compete and train throughout NY area as well as representing New York all over the United States. In the first three years dancing together, they are Finalists in the major USA dance championships and are now competing in the Professional division. Their major titles:

  • Winners of Constitution State Dance Championships 2021
  • Runners up at The DBDC 2021 Dance Championships
  • Top 3 at Miami Vibe Dancesport Championship 2021
  • Finalists at The United States Dance Championships 2021
  • Top 3 at Windy City Open Championships 2022

ValNeda Dance instagram page.

John Manzari

John Manzari is an Ovation Award and Helen Hayes Award nominated artist. Broadway: Funny Girl. Off Broadway: Maurice Hines: Tappin’ Thru Life. Stage: 42ND Street, The Wiz is 40, Sophisticated Ladies. Concert Dance: The First Set, Chasing Magic, A Little Old A Little New.TV: The Kennedy Center at 50, The View, Michael Feinstein at the Rainbow Room, The Jerry Lewis Telethon. Film: To Everything I Love, Slip, Maurice Hines: Bring Them Back.

Naomi Funaki

Naomi Funaki is a tap dancer from Tokyo, Japan, currently living in New York City working with New York based company, Caleb Teicher & Company, Music From The Sole and Ayodele Casel. She is also an alumni of The School at Jacob’s Pillow for their tap program of 2017. Other performance credits include “Tap Family Reunion”, Vail Dance Festival, Dance Against Cancer (Lincoln Center), and Ayodele Casel and Arturo O’Farrill (Joyce Theater). The MET Gala, Works & Process (Guggenheim) , “Infinity” in Tokyo. And “Chasing Magic “ (Joyce Theatre).

Nicole Loizides Albruzzese - Moving On

(Dancer, CEO and Artistic Director of Moving On, Choreographer, Creative Director, Producer) In addition to performing for NYC Contemporary, Ballet Hispanico, and Momix for a collective 25 years, Nicole has been featured on the cover of Dance Magazine and performed on Live with Regis and Kelly. She’s performed for HM Queen Elizabeth and HM Prince Charles at the Royal Variety Show in Liverpool, England, appeared in MOMIXs Target commercial, and helped re-create Le Rêve at The Wynn, Las Vegas while also coaching performers in Cirque Du Soleil. After dancing and teaching in over 45 countries, Nicole has settled back home on Long Island with her husband Lou to create MOVING ON, A Live Arts Company. She’s choreographed for the 2014 Sochi Olympics, directed Abu Dhabi’s 44th National Day celebration, and been an advisor and choreographer for numerous galas both local and afar. In addition to creating unique events for clients, Nicole hosts the Gold Coast Dance Festival on Long Island, for which she’s been granted a citation by Nassau County, is an adjunct professor at LIU Post Campus, the interim Artistic Director at New York Dance Theatre, and a Board Member at Orkestai Farm in Oyster Bay, NY. Her company, MOVING ON, premiered their first full length show, The Unhidden, in 2019 and will make a return in the Fall of 2022. She looks forward most to offering unique experiences that challenge the public to unplug and reconnect with One another and the natural world around them. “Dance offers a powerful shared experience, by which no one person is the same. It’s this very concept that allows Art to both speak and listen simultaneously allowing us a moment of pure connection”. -NLA

MOVING ON is best known for their colorful play with fabric, props, costumes, and use of light. They have been reviewed as “blurring the lines between dance, puppetry, and visual art”. As Long Island’s premiere Live Arts Company, combining contemporary dance with visual effect, they provide a much needed new form of semi- immersive theatre to the region. Founder and Artistic Director Nicole L. Albruzzese is inspired by natural phenomenon and driven to offer unique experiences that challenge the public to unplug and reconnect with One another and the natural world around them. To stay up to date please follow

Mal Stein (Composer/Drummer/Percussionist/Keyboardist)

Adjunct Instructor at NYU, Accompanist for the Paul Taylor Dance Co. Doug Varone Dance Co. Tisch School of Dance and Marymount College. Commissioned by Susan Dodge to write music for The Amelia Island Dance Festival 2021, Commissioned to write music for Joffrey Ballet's Winter White Show.

Mal's written music has been performed by Modern Dancers as well as Mid East Dancers. He has toured Europe with Spiritual Folk/World Music band Epiphany Project in support of their CD "Epiphany Project Live in Germany"…H_aBu95Zg4eFyHPpj

Toured Finland and the U.S With World Music band Mad Juana Played at the Montreal Jazz Festival with Mid East Jazz band Taksim.

Guest Teacher at Fairleigh Dickinson University. Teaching a Class on World Music and Rhythms Teaches drums/percussion privately.

Carlos Garland

Carlos was born and was raised in Jacksonville, Florida. When Carlos first started hisdance training, he trained equally in many styles of dance. Becoming a versatile dancer was a fun challenge and passionate goal to him. It later on became essential in order to create and sustain a career in dance. Prior to dancing, Carlos has a martial arts background in Taekwondo and is a second-degree black belt! It was in Jacksonville where Carlos trained in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, acrobatics, breakdance, dance teaching methods, choreography methods and various world ethnic dances at Lavilla School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and Jacksonville University College of Fine Arts. Carlos’ first professional dance performance was at the age of 15 for “Jacksonville Symphony’s: First Coast Nutcracker.” There he performed in front of thousands as the “Lead Russian”, a position previously held and handed to him by one of his first male dance teachers. During his curricular studies, Carlos sought out many opportunities for training and performing in Jacksonville. He trained in and performed contemporary, lyrical, jazz-funk, and African dance with companies by Kavin Grant: Ka'mia and A Rhythm Nation. Carlos also trained and performed with his hip-hop dance crew, Systematic. With Systematic Dance Crew, Carlos achieved his first national television debut, and together they won BET’s “106th & Park’s” dance competition twice!

Later on, Carlos danced with Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys Of Dance and performed in their hit show "Rock The Ballet." With Bad Boys he has toured over 8 countries in Europe, along with Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the U.S for 3 years! After his tour finished, Carlos became a top 20 finalist on the Fox TV show “So You Think You Can Dance” Season 10!

Next, while living in NYC, Carlos performed with the Broadway cast of "Spider-man Turn Off The Dark" in their final Gypsy Of The Year performance. He also performed as the principal character in the off-Broadway show, "iLuminate, Artists of Light" with the company iLuminate (as seen on America's Got Talent). During this time he became an instructor at Broadway Dance Center and Steps On Broadway in NYC and still teaches there when in the area.

He is steadily traveling, choreographing, teaching masterclasses and conducting private lessons with many dance students. A proof of his passion as an instructor is that up to date, Carlos has now taught and choreographed at over 75 dance schools around the world! He has now created in order to benefit the dance community and is the director of a pre-professional dance company, the Dancelook Apprentice Program, a dance program designed to help young students gain knowledge and exposure towards a professional artistic career. | Insta: @spidermancarlos

Rhythm Theory Tap Ensemble

Rhythm Theory Tap Ensemble is a Florida-based professional tap ensemble. The choreography we perform is created the same way a composer would write a symphony, emphasizing different parts for each instrument working together to create one composition. The methods we use to compose, rehearse and perform come from concepts and processes in Music Theory, which gave us the idea for the name Rhythm Theory. We have performed at several choreography and dance showcases all over Florida, including the Dunedin Tap Festival and Fusion Fest in Orlando, FL. We also have many dance films and choreography videos on multiple viewing platforms that have reached audiences all over the world.

The Florida Ballet

Established in 1978 by Michael and Laurie Byrd, The Florida Ballet is a non-profit organization celebrating forty years of dance in the Jacksonville community. Its mission is to enrich and inspire the cultural landscape of the community through the education and art of classical ballet. Numerous initiatives are utilized to advance the organization’s mission, as well as, support the promotion of dance.

The Florida Ballet’s Conservatory and Training programs provide dance education to students ages 3 through adult, beginner through pre-professional. Community outreach programs, such as after-school enrichment opportunities, in-school performances and demonstrations, serve individuals of all ages and abilities. Additionally, the organization presents over 40 classical and contemporary performances annually bringing the magic of dance to thousands in the Jacksonville area and beyond.

Jacksonville Dance Theatre

Founded in 2012 and located in Jacksonville, Florida, Jacksonville Dance Theatre is a contemporary modern dance company dedicated to creating and promoting excellence in the field of professional dance on local, national, and international stages. JDT is committed to creative innovation and exchange through choreographic projects, concert dance performance, movement intervention outreach, and dance education. Led by Artistic Director, Rebecca R. Levy, and Executive Director, Katie McCaughan, the company has produced 10 robust local seasons as well as touring and festivals internationally and throughout the country. JDT co-produces its annual repertory concert each Spring with the historic Florida Theatre in downtown Jacksonville.

JDT has commissioned new and existing works from choreographers Jonah Bokaer, James Boyd, Emily Cargill, Bryn Cohn, Roberto Forleo, Lana Heylock, Jay Jackson, Bliss Kholmeyer, Lisa D. Long, James Morrow, Brian Palmer, Mikey Rioux, Talani Torres, JoAnna Ursal, and Pioneer Winter, among others. Jacksonville Dance Theatre performs repertory works choreographed by the company’s artistic director and resident choreographers, and frequently commissions its performers and local artists to create new works on the company.

JDT sees the power of the human body as a canvas for art, education, storytelling, performance, entertainment, and wellness. With a diverse group of company members, JDT is constantly broadening its style to form new cohesive performances that reach a wide range of populations. JDT is committed to creating opportunities for all people regardless of race, gender, age, ability, sexual identity or orientation, cultural or socioeconomic background, and feels strongly that dance is a universal art form that is meant to engage and inspire all people. JDT runs weekly dance, fitness, and movement awareness classes at the Florida Ballet as well as a week-long summer dance intensive each July.

In 2015, JDT launched the first annual Jacksonville Dance Film Festival to bring dance for the camera to the First Coast. Curated by Tiffany S. Santeiro, the festival screens films from all over the globe and challenges and expands the way we see both dance and film.

JDT is supported in part by funding from: the City of Jacksonville and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Cultural Service Grant Program; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture; the Beaches Women’s Club; and ruckus. advertising + public relations. JDT is a 2021 Here to Be grant recipient from the lululemon corporation. Here to Be is lululemon’s social impact program that disrupts inequity in well being through movement, mindfulness, and advocacy. Jacksonville Dance Theatre is Here to Be an agent of healing, change, and wellness equity in the City of Jacksonville.

JDT was a recipient of the 2016 and 2018 Florida East Coast PNC Arts Alive grant program and was supported in 2016 and 2020 by grants from the Art Ventures Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida. Past support also includes performer grants from StageFund, corporate sponsorship from Harbinger, Kress Agency, and Community First Credit Union, and major gifts from Jeff Chartrand, Nancy Chartrand, Mark & Meredith Frisch, in addition to a decade of support from private donors. For more information visit

Marco Tacandong

Marco Tacandong is a dancer, choreographer, and educator from Jacksonville, Florida who is trained in modern, contemporary and hip hop styles. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Jacksonville University where he studied various styles from the faculty and guest artists. He has participated in dance intensives and programs such as Archcore40 by Jennifer Archibald, The Artful Balance of Business and Dance by Sorah Yang, and Jacksonville Dance Theatre’s Shape/Shift Intensive. Marco was a part of a hip hop dance crew in Jacksonville called WreckLess, and Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Dance Repertory Company, danceWORKS. Being a member of danceWORKS for two years provided him with a diverse set of influences in his art and leadership skills. Throughout his career in dance, he has created, performed and produced numerous works that were presented on shows, events, and video projects. He also taught hip hop and contemporary at several dance studios in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra with the intention to provide deliberate instruction while cultivating a fun and safe space to move and create.

Three Hearts Dance

Three Hearts Dance, originally founded in 2013, works to create storytelling experiences with optimism, artistry, and love. Our artistry is based on life experience- the steps of our journey that have shaped who we have become. Through our collective artistry, we hope to inspire audiences to move beyond where they have been and aim toward a bold life of freedom. Join the Three Hearts Dance Story by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube!

Saltmarsh Dance

Suzanne Saltmarsh is a contemporary dance artist, teacher, and choreographer. Born in San Francisco, California to an artist mother and military father; she is the sixth of seven children. At the age of seven, Suzanne moved from the West Coast to the East Coast and began her long journey of dance training. She formed a strong foundation in ballet through many years of intense training before she went on to graduate from Florida State University, and the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance where she focused strongly on performance and choreography. During her time at Graham, Ms. Saltmarsh was awarded a full scholarship from the Gregory Peck foundation to support training. She then went on to become certified in Martha Graham technique. Some of the opportunities Suzanne’s dancing has allowed her throughout the years includes performing for Queen Elizabeth in Dallas Texas 1991, being a performer for final tour Ella Fitzgerald, and opening headliner for Harry Bellafonte; concert performers for Kennedy Center. She danced for various well-known companies both in the US and internationally, including the Martha Graham Dance Company, Dallas Black Dance Theater, San Francisco Opera Ballet, and Labayen Dance/SF, and many more. She has also had the opportunity to perform works by various leading choreographers like Max Stone, Donald McKayle, and Donald Byrd, amongst many others. In the mid 90’s she began to explore a more contemporary vernacular mixed with music, visual arts, and theater. Performing in cutting edge spaces in San Francisco and New York City, Ms. Saltmarsh gained a reputation for creating movement choreography that pushed social and political boundaries. She went on to earn her MFA at Jacksonville University in 2014 where the focus of her degree was on the collaboration with different disciplines in the arts. Her choreography was featured in Italian film, “The Making of a Dream” by The Ambrosoli Foundation. Ms. Saltmarsh will also be presenting choreography in the DAP Festival in Italy for the second year in a row. In the US Ms. Saltmarsh is a teacher, choreographer, and mentor for several top schools and companies such as Alonzo King SF Dance Center, San Franscisco SOTA, Jacksonville University (2013-2015), Douglas Anderson SOTA, LaVilla, and Marin Ballet, sharing her choreographic and mentorship capabilities throughout the US and Europe. In 1999, she formed her own pick-up company, Saltmarsh Dance, in San Francisco, CA. Ms. Saltmarsh currently resides in Jacksonville, Florida where she is a Founding Member/Secretary of Advisory Arts Council for Jacksonville FL, CID member of International Dance Council, the Artistic Director for the Community Nutcracker of Jacksonville, FL, and is currently the owner and studio director of a conservatory dance program, SaltmarshDANCE where her mission is to educate, inspire, and collaborate with dancers through a profound respect for all the Arts.

The LaVilla School of the Arts

The LaVilla School of the Arts prepares students to meet the high quality academic and pre-professional arts curricula at the high school level; to nurture knowledgeable life-long supporters of the arts; and to provide in-school and out-of-school opportunities that enhance creativity, aesthetic and critical thinking skills, self-discipline, leadership, teamwork, and an appreciation for cultural diversity.