Carrie graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in dance and choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2000. During her time at VCU she performed in faculty pieces by Chris Burnside and the late Audrey Jung, and trained with amazing faculty and guest artists such as: Chris Burnside, Barbara Grubel, Arnott Mader, Judy Jacobs, Audrey Jung, Melanie Richards, Nicolas Leicter, Judy Steel, Martha Curtis, Scott Putnam, Taylor 2 Dance Company, BeBe Miller, and many others. She was selected to attend American College Dance Festival in 2000 for her piece “Phantasm”, and again in 2001 for her performance in "Reel Elements". In 2002 she moved to NYC to pursue her performance career. While there, she realized that her true passion in dance was with her students. She returned the following year to continue teaching and has built a modern department at CDC that cannot be matched, and in 2006, she became the owner of CDC.
The founder and artistic director of CDC's acclaimed contemporary company, dELIRIUM (est. 2006), she has received numerous awards for her choreography including Outstanding Contemporary, Outstanding Partnering, Choreographic Distinction Award, Outstanding Concept and her personal favorite; "Most Interesting Use of Music". In 2008, her piece, "The Fly" won 1st place Overall High Score, the "Judge's Choice Award", and a Choreography award. "Apologize", a piece she co-choreographed with Lauren Myers, won 2nd place overall at NYLA Dance competition. Carrie has also done choreography for Cosby High School's dance team, Titania.
Most recently, Carrie performed around the Richmond and D.C. area with rva dance collective. In their first season, rva performed at the Jack Guidone Theater (D.C.), Artworks Studios (RVA) and Grace Street Theater (RVA). Their evening length show, 'breakthrough', received rave reviews by the Richmond Times Dispatch and they were the 2010 recipients of the Theresa Pollak Excellence in Arts Award in dance. She resigned from the company in 2011, after 2 seasons, to focus solely on the studio.
Carrie is thrilled to be in her 11th year as Chesterfield Dance Center's owner and director, and proud to say that this is her 19th year teaching at CDC. She is overwhelmingly grateful to be able to do what she loves every day.
Having grown up in Florida and North Carolina, Katherine has had the opportunity to train at multiple places throughout the east coast. She began her extensive training with Mrs. P’s Dance and Acrobatic Studios in South Florida where she joined the company at the age of 6. While traveling to conventions, Katherine’s earliest influences were Barry Youngblood, Mallory Graham, and her jazz teacher, Scott Benson. When Katherine was entering the sixth grade her family relocated to Cary, North Carolina and began dancing at North Carolina Dance Institute and Cary Ballet Conservatory. She finally found her home at Cary Dance Productions under the direction of Tondalaya Pearson and became a member of the company.
Katherine continued her training throughout high school where she focused on Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, Musical Theater and Hip-hop. On the competitive circuit, Katherine was a scholarship finalist at West Coast Dance Explosion and won a hip-hop scholarship to Los Angeles from Adrenaline Dance Convention. She was also very involved in high school by being a member (Captain) of the dance team, President of Mixed Chorus, and in school musicals; playing "Bonnie" in Anything Goes and choreographed Guys and Dolls her junior year. After high school, she attended East Carolina University and recently graduated with a BFA in Dance Performance. During her time at ECU, Katherine was in multiple faculty and student productions. Her own choreography was well received by her professors and peers due to her high-energy style that focuses on attention to detail and character.
Throughout college, Katherine continued to attend conventions so that she could soak up as much knowledge from a variety of teachers and provide fresh and stimulating techniques to her students. While teaching at a local studio, she also commuted back to Cary to choreograph for her old studio. Due to her success in dance team, Katherine was asked to lead and judge auditions for two high schools in the Raleigh Area and has worked with Manchester and Midlothian High School Dance Teams here in Midlothian.
Katherine prides herself on being a teacher who keeps her choreography and teaching styles fresh and challenging, while maintaining a very strong focus on the technique and athleticism of dance. To her being a dance teacher is an extraordinary opportunity to share her passion of this art form and to motivate students the way that her teachers have motivated her. This is Katherine's 7th year with the CDC family.
Jamie Skates, a native of New York, began her dance training at Coupe Dance Studio under the tutelage of Nenette Charisse. She continued her training at the North Carolina School of the Arts and went on to dance with the Richmond Ballet for four seasons. While in Richmond, she performed in ballets such as Colin Connor's Vestiges, Mauricio Wainrot's Now and Then, Vladimir Angelov's Bouncing Light, Macolm Burn's Cinderella, and Balanchine's Serenade, Valse Fantasie and Who Cares.
Jamie continued her career with the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in Annapolis. She performed roles such as Hester in The Scarlet Letter, Carmen in An American Southwest Carmen, Jo in Little Women, and the Snow Queen and Dewdrop in The Nutcracker. Jamie was Ballet Mistress to the professional company for four years and a Faculty Member in the school teaching ballet, acting for dancers, dance histroy, pre pointe, and pointe for five years. She staged and rehearsed works on the company as well as staged and choreographed works for the school and local high schools.
In 2008, Jamie retired from dancing and moved back to Richmond where she continues to teach dance and spend time with her three beautiful children. This is her 7th year teaching for CDC.
Lauren Stiglich was born and raised in Richmond, Virginia where she trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and modern. She majored in dance at Appomattox Regional Governor’s School for the Arts and Technology. While attending college at Virginia Commonwealth University, Lauren spent her summers living in New York City furthering her dance education. She found a unique niche tap dancing with the bands Party Crashers and Dawg! Mama throughout the Richmond area.
She recently moved back to Virginia after a two year stay in New York City. While living in NYC, Lauren worked as a professional tap dancer in Undertoe Dance Project; performing in numerous shows and venues throughout the five boroughs. She has trained extensively with such greats as Lynn Schwab, Barbara Duffy, Michelle Dorrance, Danny Wallace, Andrew Nemr, Dormeshia Sumbry-Edwards, Jason Samuels Smith, Aaron Tolson, and many others.
With over nine years of teaching experience, Lauren’s tap classes emphasize the importance of technique and musicality. She challenges her students to use their whole body when tap dancing: to loosen their ankles, work from their hips, incorporate and use their arms, engage their core, and feel the groove throughout their body and soul. Lauren plays a variety of genres and styles of music in her classes to highlight her creative and distinct rhythmic abilities. Students learn to clap rhythms, sing rhythms, and count rhythms. Lauren’s newly found passion for playing the drums has greatly expanded her musical knowledge and this is incorporated into her classes as much as possible. She pushes her students to challenge themselves and strive for more than they believe they are capable of. She brings her wealth of knowledge and unique style to her students and dares them to think outside of the box. That is perhaps what Lauren is most passionate about when it comes to tap dance; the idea that this art form is an expression of oneself and that they are no limits to how you choose to do so because tap dance is a rhythmical journey that requires one to not only be a dancer but a musician as well.
Lauren is thrilled to be back teaching with the inspiring faculty at CDC!
Tony E Colden Jr of Portsmouth Virginia began his dance training at the young age of five. Tony began learning genres ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, modern, and African dance at a local studio in Portsmouth Gail Harts Dance Company, and later continued education in the magnet dance program at Chruchland High School.
Tony attended Virginia Commonwealth University where he earned his BFA in Dance and Choreography, and worked with numerous artist, Gerri Houlihan, Heidi Weiss, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Tania Issac, Robert Battle and many faculty as well. Upon graduation from VCU Tony received full scholarship for the Deeply Rooted Dance Productions Summer intensive in Chicago IL where he was an apprentice.
Tony later worked with the Starr Foster Dance Company and began his teaching Journey at Henrico High School in the Center for the Arts Program. Tony is currently still with Henrico, and River City Dance Theater. Tony continues to educate himself to bring forth new and bright ideas to today’s youth. He strives to teach the unspoken language of the body to deepen the structure of his work.
This is Tony's 4th year at Chesterfield Dance Center.
As a Richmond native, Taylor-Leigh began her dance training at the age of 2 at Jessica Morgan School of Dance. After 13 years , and a serious desire to pursue dance, she moved to Chesterfield Dance Center and became a member of dELIRIUM dance company, training in styles of modern, ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, hip hop and musical theater.
While in high school, Taylor-Leigh was a member of the Clover Hill Cavalettes dance team, where she was selected in 2012 to be on the All-Star Dance Team to perform at the NFL Pro Bowl and the Capitol One Bowl. Taylor was also a member of both all girls and mixed show choirs, serving as dance captain her senior year.
Taylor currently has the privilege of studying Dance & Choreography, with a Minor in Medical Humanities, at Virginia Commonwealth University under faculty such as Martha Curtis, Scott Putnam, Melanie Richards, Dr. Gaynell Sherrod, and Judith Steel. In 2014-15, Taylor was a member of VCU's Gold Rush dance team, and has been an avid Lindy hopper in the Richmond's swing dance community since 2013.
Taylor-Leigh is both honored and excited to be back at CDC for her 2nd year of teaching!
Brittany began her early years of training in ballet and jazz. After transitioning to CDC at age 15 she was introduced to many other styles of movement. Modern dance was most influential to her. After graduating high school she decided to stay local and attend Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) to receive a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and choreography. While there she had the pleasure to dance in work created by faculty members Judy Steele, Autumn Proctor Wadell, Eric Rivera and Scott Putman. She also has the opportunity to perform Liz Lerman’s Still Crossing, restaged by Cassie Meador. During her second year at VCU she was granted the annual outstanding performer award for 2015. From January to May of 2016, Brittany traveled abroad to continue her dance education in Paris, France under the direction of Michael Foley. She had the pleasure of training with Nathalie Pubellier, Julien Desplantez, Wanjiru Kamuyu and Kevin Quinaou among others. While in Europe she expanded her travels to explore dance in other countries such as the Netherlands and Italy. Upon graduating in May 2017 she hopes to continue to focus on her passion for performing as well as teaching
This is Brittany's 2nd year teaching at CDC.
Corin Illsley began her dance training with The Crossroads School of the Arts at the age of eight. She continued to concentrate in ballet at The Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet. Later she attended Shenandoah Conservatory Arts Academy in 2006 where she discovered her love for modern and contemporary dance. Two years later she was approached by Shenandoah University‘s dance department and was asked to attend while she was in high school. Illsley has performed works by Doug Varone, Netta Yerushalmy, Jessica Taylor (DAMAGEDANCE), Christian von Howard, Courtney Harris, Judith Steel, and Maurice Fraga. She was apart of the original Richmond Dance Festival in 2014 & 2016. In 2014 she graduated Manga Cum Laude from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned a BFA in Dance and Choreography. Corin Illsley has been teaching ballet from a very young age and is currently dancing with KARAR Dance Company.
Picture and bio coming soon!
Martha Valentine holds a M.Ed. in Dance Education from Temple University and a B.A. in Dance Therapy from Goucher College. Her extensive experience in dance education includes: Dance Department Chair at Oldfields School, Baltimore, MD; Founder and Director of the Children’s Dance Division at Harford Community College, Bel Air, MD and Owner and primary instructor at the Joy of Dance Center, Belcamp, MD.
As the Artistic Director of the Joy of Dance Company Martha enjoyed teaching the history and tradition of ballet through the staging of classical repertory. Favorite ballets include: Paquita, Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake. Martha had the honor to work with the Donetsk, Moscow and Pittsburgh Ballet Companies on their Baltimore productions of The Nutcracker. As a ballet educator Martha is passionate about sharing her love of the art form of ballet with her students. Her emphasis on the clarity of technique; musicality and development of the student-artist accentuate her strengths in the classroom.
Martha is also certified in Pilates Mat and Reformer techniques. She is committed to developing personalized programs for dancers to supplement their dance training to enable them to dance as injury free as possible.
Sheila Gunderman is a native of Tampa, Florida and has lived in Chesterfield, Virginia since 2003 with her husband Dan. She became a certified Zumba® Fitness Instructor in 2007 after taking classes locally and quickly falling in love with the fun and energetic Latin-dance inspired music and choreography. Since then, she has taught Zumba® throughout the Metro Richmond area, bringing her passion for music, movement, health and wellness to every class she leads. Sheila firmly believes everyone, no matter their age, physical fitness or level of coordination, can experience the benefits of adding Zumba® to their weekly fitness routines – benefits that are not just physical: weight loss, greater muscle tone, and improved cardiovascular endurance are often accompanied by increased self-esteem and confidence and overall reduced stress and tension.
Sheila has been connected to dance, choreography, coaching and instruction her entire life. At age 3, she began studying ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, musical theater and hip hop under the direction of Sandra Sears, Artistic Director and Owner of Atelier of Dance in Tampa, Florida. Sheila was captain of the Robinson Starlets dance team in high school, and captain and choreographer of the Carolina Coquettes Dance Team while a student at the University of South Carolina. Throughout college and for several years after, she judged dance auditions and competitions, coached high school dance teams, and taught jazz and lyrical classes to children and adults before becoming a mom in 2011 and again in 2013. Her two young daughters, Lyla and Madeline are both CDC students and are thrilled to be part of the CDC family!