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LARK WALLIS JOHNSTON
CREATIVE DRAMA for Children
Lark is a certified theatre instructor and has taught and performed on stage in theatres across the Metroplex. Along with her husband, Seth Johnston, Lark is co-founder of the independent theater company Drag Strip Courage. Lark has taught theatre in the Fort Worth ISD and currently teaches a music classes in a private school setting. Lark is also on the Board of Directors for A5A and has chaired the National Tap Dance Day silent auction for the past 10 years.
ART FOR CHILDREN
Donna has had an exciting career teaching children and adults in fine arts, creative writing, literature, history and more in both public and private schools. She believes everyone should be able to realize and expand their own creativity. Donna has a B.A. from TCU and a M..Ed. from SMU.
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Parker Anderson is a Musician, Artist and Creator based in Fort Worth, Texas. Drumming since 2001 he was recently awarded Fort Worth Weekly Best Drum Performance 2018. Assistant Director of The Mondo Drummers, (501c3) Parker hopes to inspire younger generations of drummers by offering group and private drum classes. Mondo Drummers also participates in community outreach performances at places like Fort Worth Public Libraries, Cooks Children’s Hospital, Sister Cities International, Main Street Arts Festival, and The Fort Worth Community Arts Center. Parker also supports multiple rock and roll, experimental and jazz acts in the metroplex, as well as touring nationally. His band Dead Vinyl recently received 8 Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards including Best Rock Band and Artist of the Year.
Parker has been working in Dance Accompaniment at Texas Christian University since 2012. He is constantly inspired by the collaborative process working with dancers presents and is curious on how that work continues to grow and shape his life.
BASS (UPRIGHT & ELECTRIC), TRUMPET, and FLUTE
Chris began playing trumpet in Park Forest Illinois School System in 1966. He holds a degree from Drury College in Springfield Illinois. Chris has toured extensivly across the US playing with various artists a various instruments including the French Horn, Flute and Bass. He has recently retired from a career as an Orchestra teacher with the Fort Worth ISD. He has performed locally with Johnny Case, Jubilee Theater, Arts, Fifth Avenue, The Joe Rogers Trio and many local jazz clubs.
Railey Tassin is excited to be a new teacher at Arts Fifth Avenue. She has worked as an assistant dance teacher at her hometown dance studio of 16 years, Taylor Dance Studio. She was trained in jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical/contemporary, hip-hop and of course TAP. During this time she was able to teach teach technique and choreography to students of all ages and levels in a variety of dance styles. She was active in her theater department in high school and worked as a leader and role model for children that participated in and attended our performances, as well as a children’s day camp we hosted.
Jennifer has been working in different aspects of the arts community for over 30 years. Jen began her dance training at the age of three, studying various forms of dance from jazz, tap and ballet to modern, African, Flamenco and more. She began teaching when she was sixteen years old and has instructed students not only in the U.S.but also in Mexico and China. She has worked and performed for Six Flags America, Texas Ballet Theater, Double JJ & Golf Resort, Artisan Center Theater, as well as for Arts Fifth Avenue. Jennifer is also a choreographer in the D/FW Metroplex having choreographed such productions as Camelot, Phantom the Musical, Scrooged, Sound of Music, Shrek the Musical, Guys and Dolls, Fiddler on the Roof, Aladdin Jr., High School Musical, Seussical and many more. She is proud to be a dance teacher in the D/FW Metroplex working with up and coming performers, including right here at Arts Fifth Avenue.
Annabelle is excited to be joining the Arts Fifth Avenue team as a tap instructor. Annabelle began dancing at the age of three and hasn't stopped since. She has trained in jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, modern, lyrical, musical theatre, and tap. She was born in Huntsville, Alabama and moved to Athens, Georgia where she became hooked on musical theatre. She has followed that passion all the way out to Fort Worth, Texas where she studies Musical Theatre at Texas Christian University. Working with children has been another passion of hers as she spends her summers working as a camp counselor back in Alabama. Combining her two loves of dance and teaching kids makes working at Arts Fifth Avenue an absolute pleasure.
THEATER ARTS for Children
Shelley has had a lifelong love of the performing arts and studied throughout childhood and beyond. She was involved with the Puppetry Festival at Hip Pocket Theater, World Theater Day Parade in Dallas, and a Readers’ Theater performance of Where The Wild Things Are. As a teacher in private schools, she directed various performances including videos, Mardi Gras parades, Chinese New Year, enactments of favorite stories and child-led plays. She has served as an adult mentor for Destination Imagination.
Jenna has been working as a choreographer/performer in DFW since 2013. You may have seen her perform in past productions with Texas the Musical, Theatre Three, Amphibian Stage Productions, Prism Theatrics, Jubilee Theatre, Texas Christian University's Boar’s Head Festival and the Festival of American Song with composers Jason Robert Brown and Ricky Ian Gordon. Jenna choreographs for competitions, pageants, regional theatre, audition prep, religious services, as well as coaches voice students throughout Texas. Her dances have won honors including the “Personality Award” and “Best Choreography” and have been described as “electrifying.". Her goals for dance are to continue her education across styles as well as transfer her choreography, performing, and directing skills to film. You can follow Jenna’s adventures on Facebook, YouTube (Jenna Meador), & Instagram (@jenna_meador.)
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Legend states Eli could tap before he could walk. Motherly sources report that he was in tap classes in his very first months of life, albeit in a baby sash carrier. But by two, rhythm was already in his nature and his tapping speed would steadily increase from there. At sixteen he was accepted as among the top 60 tap dancers in North America under the age of twenty. This allowed him to attend exclusive workshops in New York with the biggest names in modern tap. His journey with Arts 5th Ave began in 2008 and he's been teaching there since. Schooling and military sometimes pull Eli away but he always returns as a mainstay, believing that Arts 5th offers an experience to Fort Worth's art scene that is truly unique and special to behold. Eli graduated from Arlington Heights HS in 2008. Studied dance pedagogy at Oklahoma City University and graduated with a B.A. in 2012. He received his M.A. in Government overseas in 2014 and is a proud Texas National Guardsman.
VOICE & PIANO
Hailing from Atlanta, GA, Brandi Pace is a singer, pianist, and songwriter. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in jazz studies from Howard University in Washington, DC, where she concentrated on voice and took classical and jazz piano. At Howard, she was a member of the critically acclaimed vocal ensemble Afro Blue, where she had the opportunity to share the stage with jazz greats Geri Allen, Carmen Lundy, Andy Bey, Jimmy Cobb, Nneena Freelon, and Bobby McFerin. Mrs. Pace began teaching children's jazz choir at Arts Fifth Avenue's summer playhouses in 2009, and also teaches private jazz voice and piano. She has performed at Arts Fifth Avenue, The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, and Bass Hall. Brandi also teaches elementary music for Fort Worth ISD.
Julie discovered yoga after 9/11/2001 when she took a trip to Costa Rica and was hooked. Since then, she has practiced yoga on and off over the years until becoming fully devoted after having her babies. She began practicing at Arts 5th Avenue about 5 yrs ago and has hardly missed a night since! She now has her 200 hour certification from the Urban Yoga Deep Study and teaching apprenticeship including the study of pranayama, asana, meditation, and the chakra system. She teaches at both Arts 5th Avenue and Urban Yoga. Julie lives on the Southside and loves supporting the local arts. Her classes are for all people, all levels, everybody! You will learn to slow down and Be Present while moving along with your breath and connecting mind, body, spirit! Yoga is a way of life, a way to breathe, a way to connect!
ART FOR TEENS & ADULTS
Glenna is a Fort Worth native and received her Bachlor of FIne Arts from TCU. While living in Mexico, Glenna also studied at the University of the Americas in Mexico City, the Institute Allende and the Institutio Nacional de Bellas Artes in San Miguel de Allnde. She also apprenticed for at the Enruiqe Mirlada Sculpture Studio and the Manola Ruiz Ceramics Studio in Mexico City. Glenna's work has been shown in galleries in Mexico City, Sante Fe, Denver, Dallas and Fort Worth. In addition to her work in sculpture, painting and ceramics, Glenna also has a strong dance background. She studied with Mia Slavenska and while living in San Miguel de Allende, Glenna taught ballet at the Nacional de Belle Artes. Glenna moved to Santa Fe, NM in 1981 and while there she again taught ballet and choreographed several musicals while teaching ceramics and sculpture at the community college.
EDDIE DUNLAP/MONDO Drummers
A native of Fort Worth, Eddie began playing professionally at the age of 10 and has over 30 years of experience in drum set, hand drums and percussion. He's performed with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Mose Alison, Master Cylinder, French Tap Dancer Sarah Petronio and West African dancer Titus Fotso. He has hosted workshops through the Van Cliburn Foundation with the Brazilian percussion group Uakti and internationally renowned percussionist Evelyn Glennie. You may have heard him over the past 20 years working on musicals with local theaters such as Jubilee Theater, Circle Theater and Hip Pocket Theater. Eddie is the founder and artistic director of Mondo Drummers.
Bruce began his musical career in high school playing and writing music as a founding member of the band “Eastborne”. He majored in music at Southwest Community College and completed his degree at North Texas State University. As part of the popular trio, “Williams, Scott, and Whitfield” and other bands, he performed at clubs and venues in Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas. He has opened for many national touring acts including Loudon Wainwright III, Michael McMurtry, John Martyn, John Cale, Sara Hickman, Graham Parker, Bella Fleck, Dwight Yoakum, and Luther Vandross. He collaborates with Kerri Kreiman and Contemporary Dance Fort Worth, has a one man show about the Life of Woodie Guthrie and was the Program/Technical Director for Imagination Celebration from 1992 until 2011. He has been teaching since 1975 and taught Beginning Guitar I & II for extended education classes at TCU. Bruce has been teaching at Arts Fifth Avenue since 2012.
Abi Abel is a Fort Worth native and a life long tapper. This actress/singer/dancer/choreographer began her dance training at age 3 with Frances Lea and at 8 she began studying under her tap mentor Larry Howard. in Annie. At Casa Manana, she worked with and studied with many great actors, directors, and choreographers. Some of her favorite shows regionally include Anything Goes , Annie Get Your Gun, Moon Over Buffalo, 42nd Street and she appeared as a feature dancer in numerous commercials. A graduate of Texas A&M, Abi studied Journalism and Philosophy but chose to get her entertainment education in the world of professional theatre and dance. A tap educator, performer and choreographer around DFW; her choreography credits include Into the Woods, Fiddler on the Roof, Addams Family, Drowsy Chaperone, Carrie the Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha, Young Frankenstein, Peter Pan, RENT, Little Shop of Horrors, Spamalot, and American Idiot.
Dale's background is primarily in ballet and he has over fifteen years of study and performance experience with Margo Dean and is a lifetime member of Ballet Concerto. TAP came into Dale's life by accident. While taking class from Gracey, she needed to take a leave of absence and she asked Dale to teach her classes; the rest is history. Dale has studied with Tex Clyde, Gracey Tune and French Tap Master, Sarah Petronio. Dale enjoys all styles of music and believes "Dance Keeps You Young."
A consummate tap artist, April holds a BS in Eucation from the University of Texas. She worked in the public and private school system for many years. April has taught Tap at Arts Fifth Avenue for four years and is a member of the Legacy Tap Project and LaFeet Tap Ensemble. She continues her tap education with master classes sponsored by the Rhythm Junkies, Legacy Tap Project, and the Tapestry Dance Company.
A dynamic singer, actress and musical director, Peggy has her BFA in Music from the University of Tulsa. She is a founding member/performer of Hip Pocket Theatre. She is recognized locally for conducting workshops for Imagination Celebration, the Fort Worth Independent School District and the "I Have A Dream" Foundation. Peggy has been active in the Hip Pocket Theatre's outreach programs at Cook Children's and John Peter Smith Hospital and is currently working to establish and implement AFA's outreach program in assisted living and senior facilities in our neighborhood.
Gracey Tune is one of only a handful of internationally recognized women exhibiting
extraordinary talent in the field of tap dancing. A recipient of the Outstanding Woman
in the Arts Award from the City of Fort Worth, Gracey was inducted into the Texas
Women’s Hall of Fame by Gov. Ann Richards in 1983. The Dance Council Inc. of North
Texas honored her with the inaugural Texas Tap Legends Award in 2005 and the Tarrant County Theatre League
presented her with the Elston Brooks Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. She is a frequent guest artist at major events in the world of tap. She provided choreography for the productions of “Steppin’ Out” and “My One and Only” on Broadway; performed with and produced shows for tap legends Cholly Atkins, Savion Glover, Sarah Petronio, Ron Young and her internationally recognized brother, Tommy Tune; and continues to teach and perform at Arts Fifth Avenue.