Winifred R. Harris
Winifred R. Harris is a multi-faceted artist, teacher, and community activist. As a choreographer, she consciously balances the inherently beautiful escapism of dance and the social realities that form today’s aesthetic and cultural values. She enjoys working with fantasies and dreams, as well understanding and taking responsibility for issues grounded in reality. In short, Ms. Harris is a visionary who creates art as conversation, a connective tissue to the world, and a means to see beyond what we think of as “limits.” Her work is a strong balance of technical prowess and expression through gesture. Ms. Harris began her training under the guidance of Denver’s critically acclaimed Cleo Parker Robinson. She then went on to dance professionally for Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble for 10 years, Dallas Black Dance Theater immediately following, and also enjoyed a solo stint in New York and abroad during that time. In October 1991, Ms. Harris relocated and made her home in Los Angeles, founding the critically lauded and award nominated Winifred R. Harris’ Between Lines – a contemporary modern dance company. During the past fifteen years of Ms. Harris’ work as a choreographer, she has garnered special notice from both the Los Angeles Times and the California Arts Council for LA Cultural Affairs. In recognition of her work, she has been nominated for the Lester Horton Choreography Award as well as the Alpert Award. In recognition of her dedication and commitment in bringing dance to underprivileged youth through her teaching efforts within the Los Angeles community, Ms. Harris has received several awards from the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.
Co-Director of Young Soul’s In Motion/Hip Hop Instructor
Renesha Berry began her career in 2003 when she moved to California to pursue her passion and love of dance. She then initiated training in ballet and jazz at the age of 16 at Bre Dance Studio in Riverside, California under the guidance of Clifford Breland. Berry began teaching dance and choreography in high school, where she created her first dance program for SanBernardino High School. Following graduation she was hired on as the dance coach to continue the dance program. Further more, Berry remained establishing numerous dance teams and programs along the way and thus began her venture as a choreographer.
Director of Outreach and Community Engagement, West African/Modern Instructor
Alyse West is originally form Detroit Michigan, and grew up in Long Grove, Illinois. She was first introduced to concert dance through Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre, in Chicago Illinois. She earned a BFA in dance from Howard University, graduating in 2012. She has participated in the Bates Dance Festival (2006), American Dance Festival (2007), and Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute (2010). She relocated to Denver as a member of Cleo Parker Robinson Dance 2 in (2012) and danced as a member of Cleo’s second company for 4 seasons. During that time she simultaneously engaged with the community as a teaching artist in the Denver Metropolitan area. She has had the pleasure of working with esteemed choreographers such as Camille Brown, Zane Booker, Hope Boykin, Frank Chavez, Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Ray Mercer and many more. She is thrilled to join the staff of Your Soul’s Movement and is looking forward to the working with such an inspiring group of students.
Scott Merchant has been a Vocal Teacher, Mentor and Director for over 16 years; teaching healthy singing to all ages in all genres. Scott started his vocal training and education at Potsdam State University and continued with a licentiate at McGill University in Montreal. Scott attended of Denver University and is the only student in the history of DU to be the Lead Tenor for 5 years in a row. Scott is a leading Tenor and Member of the Tuscia Festival Opera Company in Viterbo, Italy under the direction of Maestro Stefano Vignati with members of the Rome Symphony Orchestra. An internationally recognized Tenor and Vocal Instructor at the International Lyric Academy in Rome, Mr. Merchant has performed many Operatic roles in Europe, Canada, America and has been reviewed by Rome’s largest newspaper “Il Messagero” as “An interesting voice with youth and beauty that is a true investment in the future generation of Opera”. Scott enjoys teaching young people to sing everything their hearts desire from Broadway to Pop, Rock to Classical and loves helping each person discover their TrueVoice.
Ballet/Creative Movement/Jazz/Tap Instructor
Hunter Kephart is a Nebraska Native with eighteen years of dance experience. She fell in love with the art at the early age of two. Growing up with a grandmother, mother and aunt as former dancers she always had the utmost support for her talent. Her passion grew through the years as she started competing and attending workshops. She was the captain of her high school dance team for two years and helped lead them to place in the state competition. Hunter was awarded the title of All American in 2012 by the Universal Dance Association and represented The United States in the London New Years Day parade. After graduation Hunter joined FreakWorks Entertainment and began choreographing and dancing for their shows. She has been teaching younger children for five years as an assistant and then lead dance instructor. In her free time she enjoys reading, hula hooping, and hiking with her dog, Smooch. Hunter recently moved to Colorado and lives in Lakewood.
Monica Parra was born and raised in San Diego, CA. At 19 she attended the Ailey School in New York City where she was accepted into the Fellowship Program. She graduated from California State University, Fullerton in 2011 where she received her BA in Dance. For the last 4 years she has been living and working in Los Angeles as a professional dancer and ballet teacher. She worked closely with the non-profit organization Jubilee Consortium helping with their Health Justice Programs. Monica recently relocated to Denver, Colorado and is excited to be teaching at Your Soul’s Movement!
Emily graduated in 2014 from Western Oregon University (WOU) with Bachelors of Arts degrees in dance and psychology and a minor in French. Emily began dancing at the age of five and trained in many idioms of dance including ballet, modern, jazz, and contemporary. She has attended American College Dance Festivals and several dance intensives, most notably, in Salzburg, Austria where she trained and performed with dancers and instructors from around the world. She has performed multiple roles including Clara, Arabian and the Sugar Plum Fairy in “The Nutcracker”, a swan and princess in “Swan Lake”, and Giselle in “Giselle”. She performed with Oregon Ballet Theater dancers in Anne Mueller’s choreography at the Walla Walla Dance Festival. At WOU, Maurice Watson and Brian Enos cast Emily in guest artist works. Choreography is a passion of Emily’s and her piece “Vitality” premiered in May 2014 at Spring Dance Concert in Monmouth, OR. Professionally, Emily was a company member for Kim Robards Dance (KRD), in Aurora Colorado in 2015 and 2016 and worked briefly under Winifred R. Harris with her Between Lines company. Emily is taking a break from dancing professionally to heal from an injury and enjoys teaching more in the meantime. She has taught for KRD and now teaches at Your Souls Movement academy as well as instructing for Colorado Ballet’s educational outreach program.
Franca Telesio Smith
Martha Graham Technique Instructor
Franca Telesio (Smith) trained for 11 years in Caracas, Venezuela, then in England at Dance Educational Trust where she received her teacher’s diploma. Martha Graham’s visit to England prompted the development of Franca’s passion for Modern dance. Subsequently she trained for four years with Robert Cohan, Mary Hinkson, Ethel Winter, Jane Dudley, William Louther and Noemi Lapzeson. Franca joined the London Contemporary Dance Theatre and toured extensively throughout Europe and the British Isles. She was a guest performer and teacher in Finland, Sweden and Universidad Centeral de Caracas, where she was offered an Artistic Directorship. In Denver, Franca performed and choreographed with David Taylor Dance Theatre, Jan Justis, and Denver Contemporary Dance Theatre, as well as created her own One-Woman Show.
Modern/Jazz/Contemporary and Outreach Instructor
Ashley (Ash) Phan graduated from Bard College in 2016 with a BA in Dance, where she received the Ana Itelman Prize for Performance. Ashley was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington where she began her training at Tacoma City Ballet, Barefoot Studios, and Tacoma School of the Arts. She has studied both Ballet and Modern techniques alongside choreography and composition. Ashley is pleased to have performed works by Zvi Gothiner and Peter Kyle. As well as study under the faculty at Bard College including Jesse Zarrit, Cori Olinghouse, and Leah Cox. She also enjoyed working for the American Dance Festival as the Schedule and Faculty Coordinator for their 2016 summer schools.
Ms. Renzetti was prima ballerina at Colorado Ballet for twelve years, as well as a principal dancer with several companies around the world including London Festival Ballet (now English National Ballet), Scapino Ballet of Holland, Iranian National Ballet, and Tampa Ballet. She has danced many principal roles in the classical repertoire including Cinderella, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker, Swanilda in Coppelia, Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, and Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. She also enjoyed roles in George Balanchine’s Serenade and Concerto Barocco. She studied with Bene Arnold, Willam Christensen, Larry Boyette, Margaret Craske, Marina Stavitskaya, Larisa Sklyanskaya, and Martin Fredmann. She studied teaching with Jurgen Schneider, Karen Morell and Nadia Tikhonova. Her pedagogical influences include Marina Stavitskaya, Alexander Minz, Natasha Krassovska, and Willam Christiansen and her ballet studies are augmented by years of study in Feldenkrais, Alexander Technique and Tai Chi. Ms. Renzetti specializes in teaching beginning through professional levels of classical ballet technique, pointe, and variations. During her three-year tenure as Academy Director of Colorado Ballet (1995-1999), she founded Colorado Ballet II. She later earned an MFA in Dance-Choreography at the University of Iowa, and an MA in Counseling Psychology at CU Denver. She then worked as a therapist for Lost and Found Family Counseling Center from 2006-2011. She has been a guest teacher and choreographer in Japan and Taiwan, and was an Adjunct Professor of Ballet at the University of Colorado. She has taught for Colorado Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, and Tampa Ballet and presently teaches and is Rehearsal Director for Ballet Ariel. She had a private counseling practice, specializing in work with dancers and other artists throughout their careers.
Co-Director of Young Soul’s in Motion/Tap and Jazz Instructor
Rebecca Leslie Wright was born in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pa. and moved to Virginia at the age of three. Shortly after moving to Virginia Rebecca started dance lessons at the local YMCA and was bitten by the Dance Bug. She begged her mother for more classes and spent several formative years at the Martinique School of Dance where she performed many lead roles in recitals and was a part of The Night Before Christmas for two seasons. When she knew she was serious about dancing Rebecca began her life at The Richmond Ballet where she performed in The Nutcracker for four years and one season of Coppelia. In her first year at VCU Rebecca was chosen to take part in a restaging of Martha Graham’s “Panorama” and performed with the company at the Carpenter Center. She has studied under many guest artists such as Ron Brown, Nicolas Leichter, Gus Solomons Jr., and had a number of performing experiences while in the Dance and Choreography Department. Rebecca was also fortunate enough to be a part of works chosen to go to two American College Dance Festivals. In her studies at the university Rebecca took a big interest in Hawaiian Dance taught by Audrey Jung. She has been able to use this art for special school demonstrations, parties, and events. When her faith pulled her in the direction of Liturgical Dance she worked with a group of young girls at a local church as their Dance Choir Director, performed an interpretational dance for the Virginia Baptist’s Women Missions Board, and many solo pieces in various local churches. Attending many Liturgical Dance Seminars developed her spiritual dance skills then she took her dance and Theatre skills into the mission field during two trips to Brasil. As Co- Director of Pulse Dance Collective with Marianne Kelley she performed and choreographed for the company in Virginia. Over 8 years ago Rebecca moved to Colorado and found it abundant with Arts opportunities and got involved performing, teaching, and choreographing. Rebecca has taught for over 20 years and enjoys working with youth and adults to bring the passion and dedication of dance into their lives.
Andrea (Andy) Clements
Ballet and Creative Movement Instructor
Andrea began dancing as soon as she could stand on her own two feet. However, it wasn’t until she was accepted into the Royal Ballet School at age 10 that she began to realize she wanted dance to be her profession! After that she moved to Saint Louis, Missouri where she trained with Ludmila Dokoudovsky, Antoni Zalewski, Paul Gartland, and Gen Horiuchi at the Saint Louis Ballet, and Ballet Midwest. She was also given the opportunity to perform numerous lead roles in the two companies’ professional touring engagements. During her time in Saint Louis Andrea spent her summers attending various summer dance programs across the country including Pacific Northwest Ballet, Chautauqua Ballet, and Miami City Ballet. After one summer at Miami City Ballet she was asked to stay on for the academic year to study and teach in the school and perform with the company. Her time spent there dancing under Edward Villella and learning from Nancy Raffa gave her priceless experiences and knowledge. However, after a few years she was recruited by the Boston Ballet to dance with their company and teach in their school. While in Boston, Andrea felt the call to try new things and decided to go to University as well as completing an Ashram-style yoga teaching certification. She achieved her Bachelor’s degree in Art History and her Master’s degree in Educational Psychology from the University of Colorado while teaching ballet at various schools in the Boulder area. She now lives in the Denver area with her son, her fiancé, their two dogs, and three cats! She joins the Colorado Ballet Academy staff enthusiastically looking forward to spreading her love of movement, while learning from and with each student she has the privilege to teach!
String Instrument Instructor
Cellist Beth Rosbach has resided in Colorado since 2001. Known for her musical versatility, Ms. Rosbach has performed with bands, orchestras and chamber music groups throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. She has appeared on stage with musicians as diverse as bluesman Otis Taylor, cellist Lynn Harrell, pop and electronic musician Moby, and newgrass band Railroad Earth. Ms. Rosbach has played on dozens of recordings, including noted Denver singer-songwriter Covenhoven. In 2016 she performed in a faculty recital at the University of Colorado-Boulder featuring the music of Pulizer Prize finalist Carter Pann. In 2011 Ms. Rosbach founded Sphere Ensemble, the Denver-based string chamber group noted for its 21st century take on classical music. She is an enthusiastic advocate for musician wellness, including studies of the Alexander Technique.
Ms. Rosbach holds cello performance degrees from The University of Colorado and The University of Oklahoma. She joined the chamber music coaching staff with Off the Hook Arts (Fort Collins) in 2016, and maintains a flourishing private teaching studio in Boulder.
Bataki Cambrelen comes to Your Soul’s Movement Performing Arts with over 16 years of drumming experience. His teaching includes drumming techniques, rhythms from different countries, and his knowledge of numerous percussive instruments. During Bataki’s class students with short attention spans are pulled into focus. When using the style he coined “Listen to Learn” children have had positive results concentrating better in school. This experience takes students from basic rhythms to building on complex additions into stylish embellishments. Bataki creates an experience that enables the student to feel their soul through drum while encouraging chanting or call and response participation. His class is designed to be informative and entertaining which makes it enjoyable for all ages and abilities. His community involvement and dedicated manner to his work has earned him multiple achievement awards from Denver and Colorado Cultural Arts organizations. Bataki has been Musical Director of Bonfils Theatre, appeared on television shows, performed with greats such as Gregory Hines, and attended a number of local festivals and community events. He has lectured and demonstrated at Universities and many workshops. When Bataki isn’t composing or singing he is working on cars; repairing and welding both Foreign and Classic American vehicles. Come see what music you can make with Bataki Cambrelen and find what moves your soul.
Andres Diaz is originally from Texas and has been in Denver for about 10 years. Andrés leads the band Montropo and is the guitarist for the band Smoke and Honey, an Indie Folk band. His talents include vocals, acoustic and electric guitars and keys.