Larry Brewer, Artistic Director
Success has always been about determination, hard work, and having a passion for what you do. Those principles are fundamental to SSDA, and our successful students and former students are proof. Read on...
It's no surprise to us that Renaldo Gardner has made the move! After three successful years with Ailey II in NYC, he's moving on up! Congratulations to our favorite son on his new role as member of the The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's first company! (Photo Credit: Gert Krautbauer)
Bri, we never doubted you for a minute and now your dream since 6th grade is a reality! No one has worked harder or deserves it more than you. You exemplify what our program is about. Your work ethic, your determination, and your focus have put you where you are. South Shore Dance congratulates you on this amazing accomplishment. The Juilliard School in New York City is one the most prestigious arts program in the world, and we know yours will be yet another wonderful success story for their alumni archives!
Congratulations to these SSDA students who auditioned and and were accepted into summer intensive dance programs:
The Ailey School Summer Intensive, NYC: Daria Brown, Samantha Caudle, Diamond Harris, Deja Key, DaMarco Kimble, Brittney Patikis
Ballet Chicago Summer Intensive: Imani Dixon, India Maynor, Chandler Stewart
Deeply Rooted Summer Intensive, Chicago: Daria Brown, Diamond Harris, Deja Key, Devante N'Kosi Pickett, DaMarco Kimble, Brittney Patikis
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble, in Southfield, Michigan, is one of the Midwest’s premier contemporary dance companies, currently celebrating its twentieth professional season this year. Former SSDA dancer, Greg Blackmon recently joined the company after training and performing in New York City for the last 2 years.
Congrats to you, Greg! We love ya!
No surprise to us, Greg…we knew you could do it, and now you'll be in NYC to keep Briana company and hang with Renaldo. Maybe we'll need to open a NYC satellite location soon!
Former SSDA dancer joins Alvin Ailey II company in NYC
Renaldo Gardner [top photo] in promotional photo for Ailey II, [center photo] in April 2007 Emerson SVPA production, "Untitled" and [bottom photo] August 2008 in the Ailey NYC studio: (left to right) Ailey II Associate Artistic Director Troy Powell, Gardner, and Tony Award-winning choreographer George Faison ("The Wiz").
Renaldo Gardner, 18, began training with SSDA in 2002. He left his Gary home in summer of 2007 to complete a year-long fellowship with the NYC Alvin Ailey School, and on his 18th birthday, was signed by their world-renowned Ailey II professional company. Recently returned from Ailey II performances throughout Europe, Gardner begins a US tour this January. Renaldo's resume also includes training with Ballet Chicago and Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre in Chicago and five years as a dance student at Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Gary. Renaldo, you're a wonder and the embodiment of what we mean by "Heart, Soul, Dance". We love you!
SSDA instructor and former student dancing professionally with Deeply Rooted in Chicago Update July 2009: Josh has been promoted to Deeply Rooted's first company. Congratulations, Josh!
Joshua Ishmon, 19, former student and now an instructor for South Shore Dance, is currently a company member of the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater II in Chicago and a gifted choreographer as well. Watch his stunning new works premiering this year for SSDA!
Former SSDA company member and “So You Think You Can Dance” top 40 finalist
Carlton Barnes, 18, former SSDA company member, made it into the top 40 dancers from an audition pool of more than 4,000 for the 2008 season of Fox Television's reality hit, “So You Think You Can Dance.” Barnes made the cut via the series’ Milwaukee audition in March and spent a week in the Las Vegas finals before barely missing the cut for the show (he was one of 20 male dancers considered—only 10 actually make the show). Barnes also completed a successful audition this summer in New York City and was awarded a coveted Alvin Ailey School fellowship and Ailey II apprenticeship. Barnes has trained with SSDA founder Brewer since 2003 as well as attending Emerson SVPA and programs at Ballet Chicago and Deeply Rooted. He is also the 2006 IHSDTA Senior Solo Champion. Congrats to you, Carlton. You're a gifted dancer and a joy to watch!
Current SSDA student takes the lead in Juilliard School Summer Dance Intensive 2008
Briana Robinson [top photo] in our 2008 production "A Tribute to Nina Simone" and [above] SSDA Artistic Director Larry Brewer, Briana, and choreographer Roger Jeffrey at The Juilliard School after Briana's performance of Jeffrey's work "Dos Besos"
Briana Robinson, 16, SSDA student and company member, was accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School Summer Dance Intensive program which took place July 20 through August 8 in New York City. Of the thousands across the nation and world who audition each year for this rigorous dance program, Juilliard accepts only 44 students. Robinson was awarded one of those coveted spots. She also was given the lead role in their summer program finale performance.
Besides intensive ballet training with SSDA for the past five years and her dance studies at Emerson SVPA, Briana has also participated in summer programs with New York City Dance Alliance in New York, and the Ballet Chicago and the Homer Bryant programs in Chicago. Robinson is the 2006 Indiana State High School Dance Team Association (IHSDTA) junior solo champion, and the 2008 small ensemble state champion. Robinson also was featured as guest principal artist in the 2006 and 2007 Indiana Youth Ballet Nutcracker performances.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director and dance legend, Ms. Judith Jamison, with Briana at the Ailey 50th Anniversary Celebration outside New York City Center. What an honor to meet her!!!
More Success Stories...
At South Shore Dance, we believe exposing students to a variety of strong dance environments makes for the best trained and best prepared dancers. To that end, we have established positive relationships with dance education programs in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. As a result, students from the South Shore Dance Alliance are routinely invited to study under some of the best teachers in the United States:
Gregory Blackmon, (pictured above) current SSD student and company member— Deeply Rooted 2008 Summer Intensive, 2008 IHSDTA Small Ensemble State Champion
Katie Memsic, (pictured above, right) current SSD student and company member—completed the Ballet Chicago 2008 Summer Intensive and was accepted into the Ballet Chicago Repertory Company
An’Cherise Taylor, (pictured above, left) current SSD student and company member— Homer Bryant Summer Intensive 2008
Aquanita Yancey, current SSD student and company member—Dance Theater of Harlem Summer Intensive 2007
Davonna Edwards, SSD choreographer and former student—Columbia College Dance Choreography, Deeply Rooted 2, Philadanco
Kacie Garland, former student—Ballet Chicago, Deeply Rooted, Alvin Ailey School, Debbie Allen Academy & Repertory Company
Angelica Harbour, former student—Missouri Valley Ballet, Deeply Rooted 2, Indiana University Modern Dance Major
South Shore Dance Alliance is designated a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
All contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
SSDA Correspondence address: PO Box 916, Griffith, IN 46319
Copyright 2012 South Shore Dance Alliance. All rights reserved.