DANCE FACULTY

Alonzo Hall (Ballet) grew up in Plainfield, NJ and began his dance training at his city's local dance studio at the age of eleven. Upon graduating high school he enrolled into Bloomfield College and studied music production and sound engineering. Hall later attended Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts where he received his B.F.A in Dance under the direction of Paulette Sears and Julia Ritter. Hall was a member of the school's pre-professional dance company known as University Dance Works under the direction of Randy James. Hall had the opportunity to perform works by Ronald K. Brown, Benoit-Swan Pouffer, Xiao-Xiong Zhang, Randy James, Ferdinand Dejesus, and Marie Alonzo-Snyder.

Leslie Lucy (Hip-Hop) received her training from Premier Dance Theater, NJ and Broadway Dance Center in NYC. She began her professional dance career performing in numerous music videos, touring Europe with Jodeci and dancing "back-up" for several Hip-Hop and R&B artists. She has performed as a "back-up" dancer on: Soul Train, The Party Machine, HBO's Def Comedy Jam, and BET. She has also danced on MTV's "The Grind" for three years. Leslie also includes movie credits to her resume. She has appeared in films such as "The Money Train", "Drop Squad", and "Substitute 2". Miss Lucy is currently a dance mentor for an all girls adolescent program called "Best Friends" and is presently teaching for Maria Priadka School of Dance and Newark School of the Arts.

Clarissa Newby-Phillips (Dance Director) received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts, and a Masters of Arts degree in Dance In Higher Education from New York University. Mrs. Phillips holds N.J. Certification in Dance: Teacher of Vocational Arts and Production. Her professional career experiences include: Dance Specialist and Day Camp Director of YWCA of West Essex and Hudson in Orange, NJ; Teacher of Jazz Dance, Rutgers University Mason Gross, New Brunswick, NJ; New Jersey Performing Arts Center United Way Artist-in-Resident where her dance work was selected to be presented for Judith Jamison at the annual Women's Day Luncheon, Newark, NJ. She has taught Dance Education at Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts, East Orange, NJ. She was also Director of Dance at the prestigious Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey. Clarissa is currently Adjunct Professor in the division of Humanities and Social Sciences at Northampton Community College in Allentown, PA and Teacher of Performing Arts at Adelaide L Sanford Charter School, Newark, NJ. "Dancing with excellence portrays growth of body and mind."

Crystal Newby-Reynolds (Jazz Dance) studied dance at the official schools of the Garden State Ballet and Gallman's Newark Dance Theatre. She performed professionally with Gallman's Dance Theatre and the Baltimore Tilt Dance Company. Mrs. Newby-Reynolds is a graduate of Morgan State University, Baltimore, MD where she studied dance and physical education earning a B.S. and was honored with an "Outstanding Senior Award." She was also the recipient of the Dorothy Stanley Scholarship Fund which provided a scholarship to study dance at the Alvin Ailey School, New York. She received a Master of Arts from New York University after studying Performing Arts Administration and Dance Education. Her passion and love for dance is seen throughout the community, for she teaches and choreographs dances for children and adults in the public schools, churches and for various organizations. She is the Dance Ministry Director for St. Matthew AME Church, Orange, NJ. She has served on numerous committees to develop dance curriculum for the public school. Mrs. Newby-Reynolds taught dance at Whitney E. Houston Academy of Creative & Performing Arts, East Orange, NJ where her students have performed for numerous events including NJPAC, the New Jersey Educational Law Center’s "Kids in Concert" and a campaign pep rally for Senator Barack Obama. She founded the Arts Conservatory, Inc. in pursuit of her vision to "Empower people through dance." She is currently the dance teacher and lead teacher for the performing arts department of Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts (Elementary).

Maurice Chestnut (Tap Dance) Newark native Maurice Chestnut began dancing at the age of five, under the direction of Mr. Alfred Gallman. As one of taps’ brightest young stars, he was featured on The Sally Jesse Raphael Show in the "My Kid's A Star" segment. He was a gold medalist in the NAACP Act-So competition and was crowned "Top Dog Performer" at The Apollo Theater. In 2003, Maurice was recruited by tap master Savion Glover, to join the national touring company of the Tony Award winning Bring In 'Da Noise, Bring In 'Da Funk. Maurice received critical favor in that role. He has continued to work with Savion as a member of his Improvography and Bare Soundz tours, as well as performing in productions such as Classical Savion, Tappin' Into Monk, Invitation To The Dancer and on ABC-TV's Dancing With The Stars. Off-Broadway credits include Shades of Harlem, The Wiz, Bubbling Brown Sugar directed by George Faison at Atlanta's Fox Theater and Can I Hit That. In addition to performing with his own band, he is often invited to perform or tour as a special guest with such prominent jazz musicians as Christian McBride, Cyrus Chestnut and Thelonius Monk III. His high profile engagements have included the JVC Jazz Festival, the Playboy Jazz Festival, The Apollo Theater and Birdland, as well as appearances at Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe with the Geri Allen Trio. As his appearance on BET's 106th and Park demonstrated, watching him dance is like walking through Harlem in the 1940's... while bumping a hip-hop beat.

Ashley Newby -