UBUNTU DANCE FESTIVAL Master Teachers #ubuntudancefestival
Guest artist - Melanie Person Melanie Person began her early dance training in Jackson, Mississippi at age six. Upon moving to Columbia, South Carolina a few years later, she continued her dance training at the Calvert-Brodie School of Dance while performing with the Columbia City Ballet. In the winter of 1976, by recommendation of her teacher Ann Brodie, Ms. Person auditioned for the Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) Summer Intensive and was offered a full scholarship. Upon completion of that summer program, she became an apprentice to the professional company and, in 1979, became a full member at the age of 16 after graduating from Professional Children's School. For 12 years, Ms. Person performed with DTH, traveling around the world performing a diverse repertoire. She performed choreography by artistic luminaries including George Balanchine, Geoffrey Holder, Agnes de Mille, Glen Tetley, Garth Fagan and Arthur Mitchell, DTH’s Founder and Artistic Director. Her television credits include performances in NBC’s presentation of DTH’s Creole Giselle, CBS 60 Minutes with Ed Bradley featuring DTH, the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics and the PBS presentation of Live at the Kennedy Center The Making of Firebird. She later went on to earn her B.A. from SUNY Empire State College. In 1999, Denise Jefferson invited her to join the PPAS ballet faculty at The Ailey School and in 2000, Ms. Jefferson appointed her as the Co-Director of the Junior Division alongside Tracy Inman. Shortly thereafter, Ms. Person was made Chair of the ballet department and President of the Emergency Fund for Student Dancers. Ms. Person has been on the faculty of the Dance Theatre of Harlem School, the Ballet Hispánico School, Marymount Manhattan College, Purchase College and as a teaching artist in the New York City Public School System. She is a member of the Council of Dance Administrators, Board of Directors for the National Association of Schools of Dance, and Prix de Lausanne’s 50th anniversary jury panel. Additionally, she has taught as a guest at The Flint Institute of Music, Dance Institute of Washington, Boston Ballet School, and The Adaclam School in French Guyana. Ms. Person has served as an adjudicator for the Youth American Grand Prix and Japan Grand Prix. In 2009, she was named Associate Director of The Ailey School and in 2010, Co-Director with Tracy Inman after Ms. Jefferson’s passing. For over a decade, Ms. Person has been a supervisor of the New Directions Choreography Lab working with Ailey’s Artistic Director Robert Battle to provide opportunities for the next generation of choreographers and dance artists.
Barbara Howse-Diemer Dance Teacher /Choreographer Barbara Howse-Diemer, a native of White Plains, New York, attended Boston Conservatory of Music, where she danced actively and studied choreography. She continued her studies at State University of New York at Brockport where she received her B.S. in Dance. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina after touring the United States, Canada, and Mexico with “The World of Fantasy Players”, a Charlotte based children’s theater company and as a performer and choreographer with the Royal Hanneford Circus. She holds a Teaching Certificate in Dance Education (K-12) from UNC-Charlotte. Mrs.Howse-Diemer taught dance in the Charlotte-Mecklenberg school system for twelve years. While in Charlotte, she choreographed and performed in several musical theater and dance productions as well as serving on the Board of Directors and Education committees of Theater Charlotte and the North Carolina Dance Theater. Mrs. Howse-Diemer was featured in Charlotte School of Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker for over eight seasons where she danced “The Arabian”. Mrs.Howse-Diemer is the Founder and Artistic Director of “Catchin’ On’ Dance Company, a Charlotte based company that performed throughout North and South Carolina for more than fifteen years. She served as Resident Choreographer at Brevard Music Center for thirteen summer seasons. Mrs. Howse-Diemer has received numerous honors that include Dance Educator of the Year for North Carolina, the Candace Torchbearer Award, Charlotte Mint Museum Spirit Award and the National Women’s History Month Honoree. She and her husband, Paul relocated to Columbia in 2001, when she was recruited by Richland One School District and Columbia College for the dance teacher position at Eau Claire HS. Most recently, she retired from Richland One School District after teaching dance for seventeen years at Eau Claire High , where she was awarded 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year. She has served as choreographer at Columbia’s Trustus Theater and Workshop Theater for productions of, The Thing about Men, Crowns, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Wild Party, The Color Purple and Beehive. Mrs. Howse-Diemer received a Masters in Education in Divergent Learning from Columbia College and was awarded Masters in Education Graduate Student of the Year (2008). Now, retired from teaching dance in public school, Ms. Howse-Diemer enjoys retirement by working on her own choreographic/dance projects, crafting, reading and camping with her husband, Paul.
"Queen T" Tremontenia Morgan Tremontenia Morgan, widely known as Queen T, is a passionate and accomplished dancer and artistic director based in Columbia, SC. With a career spanning several decades, she has made significant contributions to the world of dance and cultural expressions. In the late 1990s, Queen T began her journey as a dancer with Ancestors Roots in Baltimore, Maryland, showcasing her talent and dedication. Over the years, she evolved into a principal dancer for XMI African Dance Company, solidifying her position as a prominent figure in the Baltimore dance scene from 1999 to 2005. Her commitment to the art led her to become a dancer for Nazu and Co. from 2005 to 2012. In 2012, Queen T took on the role of Artistic Director at Cultural Expressions in Baltimore, Maryland, where she demonstrated her leadership and artistic vision. Continuing her trajectory, she assumed the role of Artistic Director for Gye Nyame Dance Ensemble in Columbia, SC, from 2015 to the present, showcasing her dedication to preserving and promoting African dance and culture. Her influence extends beyond the stage, as Queen T has been an active member of The South Carolina Arts Commission since 2019. She has graced numerous festivals, community events, museums, churches, schools, and even performed at the World Bank and the Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama. Queen T's commitment to education is evident through her dance workshops conducted in Baltimore, MD, and Columbia, SC. Her cultural immersion includes travels to Ghana, West Africa, in 2018, 2019, and 2020, where she studied Ghanaian dance and culture. She has expertly performed dances from Senegal, Guinea, Ghana, Mali, and the Ivory Coast. In addition to her artistic pursuits, Queen T has actively engaged with the community. She collaborated with the Auntie Karen Foundation in Columbia, SC, teaching West African dance to the youth. Her dedication to education continues at Caughman Elementary, where she teaches dance in the afterschool program since 2019. Queen T's impact reaches fundraising events as well, having performed at the Zoofari fundraiser in the summers of 2018 and 2019. Furthermore, she plays a crucial role in fostering dance education in Columbia, SC, by introducing other dance instructors to conduct workshops. With a rich and diverse career, Queen T stands as a beacon in the world of dance, leaving an indelible mark on both the stage and the communities she touches.
REGISTRATION for Master Classes
Additional information for masterclasses: 1. For Ballet please wear the appropriate dancewear if possible - Leotard, tights (or leggings) and Ballet slippers (for girls). Boys T-shirt, tights (or sweatpants) and slippers. 2. For African and Contemporary, wear loose comfortable dancewear. 3. Although water will be available, you are welcomed to bring your personal water bottle. 4. Classes will begin and end on time. Please do not be late entering the classes out of respect for the Master teachers. 5. For Ballet class hair should be pulled back, off the face unless it is short. . 6. Advance Classes (11 - adults) are for students who have extensive training . Intermediate students (11 - adults) have a good working knowledge of technique . Beginners (8-12 years old) Some previous knowledge helpful but not necessary.
“This project is funded in part by the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts.”