Our Instructors

 

Terrie “Ajile” Axam, dancer/choreographer, arts educator, and cultural arts entertainer, is the founder and artistic director of Dancical Productions, Inc.  Ms. Axam has a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University and a Masters in Creative Arts Education from Rutgers University. She was the first to receive a teaching certification in dance in the state of Georgia. From 1994 to 1995, Ms. Axam toured as a vocalist and choreographer for the world renowned and socially conscious hip-hop and R&B group; Arrested Development. Ms. Axam has been recognized as “Ms. Bronze Georgia”, a “Bronze Jubilee” Award Recipient, and was named a “Fun, Fearless Female” by Cosmopolitan magazine in 1997. In addition, Ms. Axam has performed with balladeer Peabo Bryson and actor Avery Brooks. She was lead vocalist for Alex Haley’s research production “Roots” while she attended Barnard College of Columbia University. She appeared in the HBO special “Ms, Evers Boys.” She has performed in Senegal, West Africa, and as U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, and serving as guest tutor at Edna Maley College in Kingston, Jamaica. Ms, Axam’s original dance technique, Mojah, was featured on a CNN special and she has taught the unique dance style internationally. Mojah was featured at the Performing Africa Visualizing Africa Conference at Ohio State University 2007 and has been taught on a regular basis at Penn State University.

Dawn Axam, Instructor of Modern (Horton), earned her BFA in dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Dawn served as director of Tri-Cities High School of Visual and Performing Arts Dance Department for seven years. She has served as director of Musical Theatre at Brenau University and Bethune-Cookman College. Dawn has studied under Terrie Ajile Axam, Oginga Love, Milton Myers, Liz Lerman, Otis Salid, Robert Small, Bill T. Jones, Harry Bryce and more. Dawn’ experience in performing, teaching, and directing adds to the diverse instruction by Total Dance. Dawn Axam is the Founder and Director of the Axam Dance Theatre Experience, a modern dance company in Atlanta, GA.

Kikora Austin Franklin, guest instructor and choreographer, has trained since childhood under the direction of Terrie Ajile Axam. She is a former member of the Atlanta Hawks Dance Team. Kikora has performed with Just Us Theater Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and has appeared on national television and local plays. In 1998, Kikora graduated Magna Cum Laude from Howard University. Kikora received her JD/MPA from Georgia State University’s College of Law and the Andrew School of Policy Studies in 2001, Kikora is currently a professor of dance at Penn State University.

Trisha Lindsay, a new member of Total Dance Company and an instructor of Urban Reggae Folk dance.  She is a graduate of Edna Manley College in Kingston Jamaica where she received her BA degree in Dance.  Ms. Lindsay was a principal dance and dance teacher with Praise Academy of Dance Jamaica.  She has traveled and taught in Australia, England, Paris, Texas and New York.

Greyling “Oginga” Love conducts workshops in drumming and West African dance.  He developed his talents through the Katherine Dunham Performing Arts Center in East St. Louis, Illinois, where he studied, taught and performed for 15 years as a percussionist, dancer, actor and pianist. Oginga earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Louis University. He has completed two seminars in Kingston, Jamaica where he studied at the Jamaican School of Dance. Mr. Love has performed and toured locally and nationally.

Al Morrison, instructor of Intermediate/Advanced Ballet performed with the Atlanta Ballet Company from 1997-2003. He has also danced with the Donald Byrd Company from 1991-1997, where he was the lead dancer for 7 years. Al taught master classes in Kansas City at the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Alley from 2001-2015.

Kanica North, a member of Total Dance Company.  She is an instructor of Modern dance teaching Graham technique and workshops in Kinesiology.  Ms. North received her BSA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Dance and Kinesiology.  Her training includes Tri-Cities High School Magnet Dance Program and Total Dance/Dancical Productions, Inc.

Samara Rowland, instructor of Beginning Ballet, has studied ballet at the prestigious Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts. There she studied under Elena Tchernikova, former coach to Baryshnikov and ballet mistress of ABT. Samara is certified in the Vaganova technique and teaches beginning and intermediate level ballet classes at Total Dance Studio. Currently, Samara is a member of the Atlanta Festival Ballet in Stockbridge, Georgia.

Leo “Da Venci” White, instructor of Hip Hop, was born in Augusta, Georgia. He has been trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, African, Hip-hop, and break-dancing. Graduating from Tri–Cities High School Conservatory Magnet program, Leo shined in both Dance and Musical Theatre, and was awarded the Top Dance award in 2013. He is currently a Hip-hop dance instructor at Total Dance Studio. He is also an upcoming recording artist who sings and raps. Leo was featured in The Color Purple, West side Story, Chicago, and Black Nativity directed by Robert Connor and Dawn Axam. He was a student choreographer for Southwest Arts Center dance showcase. Featured dancer in D. Woods video, Foolish Dreamer and “Keep Calm/Dance To This. He is also a Former student at Full Sail University Studying Recording. Da Venci is out pursuing his career teaching, learning, performing, recording, inspiring, and working on changing the world with his talents.