Faculty: Fall 2017
Kevin Thomas (Ballet)
Kevin began his dance training at the age of 7 with Studio de La Voliere in Montreal, Canada and owes much of his success to Carmen Renaud who pushed him and exposed him to Ballet. Mr. Thomas went on to study at Ecole Superieure de Danse du Quebec in Montreal, Canada, and has danced with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens as a soloist, Cleveland/San Jose Ballet as a principal and the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) in New York City as a principal dancer. Mr. Thomas’ credits include leading roles in The Prodigal Son, Dialogues, The Four Temperaments, Othello, Adrian (Angel on Earth), A Song for Dead Warriors, Troy Games, Equuis, Dougla, The Nutcracker (Prince and Cavalier), Tarantella, Agon, Who Cares, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Don Quixote, Consort Lessons, and Aureole. Mr. Thomas has made guest appearances with the Royal Ballet in London, Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New York and Fleming Flindt and Peter Schaufuss in Denmark. He has also appeared on Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera. Mr. Thomas has served as Ballet Master for New Ballet Ensemble & School and has choreographed for Opera Memphis, Hattiloo Repertory Theatre, New Ballet Ensemble, Orpheum Theatre, Flint Institute of Music, University of Memphis and Collage Dance Collective. Mr. Thomas has served as a guest ballet teacher for several dance programs around the U.S., including Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, the University of Utah, and the Tennessee Association of Dance. Mr. Thomas sits on the Dance Advisory Board of Middle Tennessee State University.
Linda Bernabei Retter
Linda is the owner of Retter’s Academy of Dance in Los Angeles where she’s created working dancers, choreographers and producers for 26 years. She has received the awards Woman of the Year by The National Association of Professional Woman (NAPW), National Dance Educator of the Year 2010 by Company Dance Convention, National Luminary Award Recipient 2008 by Mom’s in Business Network. Internationally recognized by Joe Tremaine Dance Convention, Dance Masters of America, Professional Teachers Association, Al Gilbert Seminars, and Hoctor’s Dance Caravan, among others. Linda has appeared in national Dance Publications Dance Spirit, Dance Teacher, Dancer, Dance and Fitness, Dance Teacher Now, and Dancer Magazine. Linda has performed with Bette Midler, Robert Guillaume, Lionel Richie, Billy Crystal, Tom Jones, Andy Gibb, Sammy Davis, Jr., Michael Jackson, and more. Linda was a regular on the TV show The Midnight Special with Jeff Kutashs’ Dancin’ Machine. She was a Solid Gold dancer (Riviera Hotel, Las Vegas), and was assistant to choreographer, Mr. Kevin Carlisle.
Darryl Retter (Tap)
Darryl is the owner of MusicWorks and Retter’s Academy of Dance in Los Angeles for 26 years and currently on faculty with Dance Makers, Adrenaline, and Hollywood Vibe, has been teaching dance for over 30 years.
His dance studio business classes have been offered to thousands of dance studio owners. Rooted in research and experience, Darryl’s business classes offer concepts that make sense to artists. Dance studios that have implemented elements of Darryl’s business classes have seen growth in their businesses as well as their student body. Darryl’s tap classes are always fun and upbeat. Experimenting with new tap patterns and their connection to the music on every level, students leave feeling accomplished and fall in love with tap all over again.
Cailin Manning (Hip Hop)
Cailin Manning began her dance training at a young age in Franklin, TN. Having trained in all styles, she continued her education by receiving a BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio where she worked with choreographers such as Abby Zbikowski, Joshua Manculich, Ann Sofie Clemmenson, Stephen Koplowitz, Ohad Fishof/Noa Zuk, & others. As a sophomore, Manning’s duet with Tadas Varaneckas, Blended Hues, premiered at the 2015 Midwest American College Dance Festival Conference. Manning’s senior choreographic work From Four to Two, a 10 minute piece based on anthropological studies of humans, won her the BellaMoxi Emerging Choreographic Artist Festival in Chicago Illinois in 2016 & an article in Dance Informa Magazine. While at OSU Manning curated a love for dance film: her film Unveiling was accepted/premiered at both 30FPS Film Festival in Columbus Ohio &the Jacksonville Film Festival in Jacksonville, Florida. Manning has set work for Seven Dance Company, The Collaborative Dance Project, Susan Petry & The Gift Project, Found Youth, & dance studios in the MidWest & Nashville. Manning returned home to Nashville to continue to dive into the growing dance scene & bring her knowledge back to the community. Manning’s solo Time premiered at the Raw Artists Collective & her duet Keep On premiered at the Tenacity Kreative Collective Showcase in 2017. Her piece Entity won Best Overall Choreography at Turn it Up Dance Competition & her quartette One Shot won Best Overall Modern/Contemporary Routine. Manning’s continues to work closely with dancers and choreographers in the Nashville area to create dance film & video. Her latest dance film Humble will be reset for the NashFeel Artists Showcase in the summer of 2017. Having worked with Found Movement Group sporadically throughout her time at OSU, Manning completed her first season with the company in 2017. Manning is excited to take on a new role as Associate Director under Artistic Director Stacie Flood-Popp and collaborate on their upcoming 2017-2018 season.
An exciting teacher, choreographer and adjudicator, Annie Day graduated with honors from Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana earning a B.A. degree in Dance. As a performer, Ms. Day’s highlights include performing throughout the U.S. and Germany with Jazz Dance Theatre South, working with jazz legend Gus Giordano and industrials for clients including Adidas, Milliken Carpets, Herbalife International and Carpet One.
Among her teaching credits are private and public schools, universities, dance camps and arts schools across the U.S and Germany. Annie teaches for several major dance organizations each year including D.M.A., D.E.A., Dance Olympus, Boston Dance Teachers Club, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Southern Association of Dance Masters and others. Her innovative and demanding classes have also challenged students at the North Carolina School of the Arts, Lexington School for the Deaf, Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Alabama School of Fine Arts and Wake Forest University.
Ms. Day choreographs annually for several dance companies and her work has been honored at the Southeastern Regional Ballet Festival (S.E.R.B.A.) and Panoply Festival of the Arts. As Construction Supervisor for Jazzhand, LLC. Annie’s duties have included building $300,000 and $1,250,000 dance studio projects and consultant work for dance studio design and construction projects in the Atlanta area and throughout the southeast. With her graphic designer hat on, Ms. Day designs many of the logos, posters and t-shirts for their various projects.
Annie Day’s well-rounded background and diverse professional experience combine to make her an innovator and leader in the field of Dance!
Marcus R. Alford
Born in Tripoli, Libya, Marcus Alford found his way to several continents as an Air Force brat. He eventually landed at the University of Alabama where he earned a B.A. degree. Inspired by his dance teachers, he headed to Chicago where he choreographed, taught, danced and toured with the legendary Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago for a decade.
Mr. Alford has been on the faculty of every major dance organization including D.M.A., D.E.A., Internationale Tanz Werkstatt, Southeastern Regional Ballet Association, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, and many others. Marcus’ high energy jazz classes have also inspired students at the Festival of the World in Hungary, The American College Dance Festival, The International Ballet Competition, Jackson, MS, Hubbard Street Dance Studio, Chicago and the North Carolina School of the Arts. He currently serves of the faculty of the Kennesaw State University Department of Dance.
In 1986, Marcus founded “JAZZ ON TAP” (the Metro Atlanta Jazz and Tap Dance Festival) which has grown to be one of the largest dance events of its kind in the U.S. featuring master classes and performances involving 2,500 dancers annually. In 1991, he authored Jazz Danceology, now a standard in the libraries of jazz dancers, teachers and universities everywhere. Alford’s company, Jazz Dance Theatre South, founded in 1986, toured the U.S. and Europe for 15 years presenting the highest caliber of concert jazz and tap. Serving the Ballet community with its own festival, Mr. Alford founded “BalletFest Atlanta” in 2003.
Marcus Alford has performed in and/or choreographed many award winning industrials and TV/video projects. With Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Marcus danced “The Rehearsal”, an Emmy Award winner. His “Customer is King” (Media Mix, London/Atlanta) won a Telly Award for outstanding television and video production and “Alcatel is Here” (Networld / Interop Communications Show) won the Best of Show award. Mr. Alford’s industrial work includes clients such as Kohler Corporation, Sprint, I.B.M., and N.F.L. Commissioners. His concert choreography can be seen on companies throughout the dance world.
Marcus loves to share the wonderful art and excitement of dance with all!