Tag Archives: keira leverton

Two students dance in the fall 2017 Richland College production of "Thriller" Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘DANCE–Take a Walk on the Wild Side!’ Fall Dance Concert

The Richland College dancers may not have moves like Jagger, but they will have moves like jaguars! The fur will be flying at the upcoming fall dance concert, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!,” at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” will involve both students and faculty in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, lyrical, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is a creative endeavor to bring awareness and to inspire a passion for nature and wildlife with a zoological theme, and audiences are invited to attend and engage in a “zoo-rific” opportunity to appreciate dance.

Choreography will include original pieces by Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Kaley Jensen and Lauren Schieffer-Holley. Repertoire will include a tap piece from Dallas legend Buster Cooper, recreated by his granddaughter, guest artist Keira Leverton and performance by her company Choreo Records. Guest artists include Kaley Jensen and Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!

Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

Jensen was born and raised in Atlanta and graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in dance and minor in business. While at BYU, Jensen performed and toured with the Theatre Ballet Company all four years. Jensen has trained on multiple scholarship programs, including the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and Ballet West, as well as achieving academic and international talent awards at the World Dance Movement in Italy. Last May, Jensen completed her M.F.A. in dance at the University of Arizona, where she also deepened her passion for performing, educating and choreographing. Currently, Jensen dances professionally as a company member with Ballet North Texas.

Dallas Black Dance Theater’s Encore!, under the direction of Nycole Ray, is a professional company that consists of eight aspiring artists from around the nation. Since its inception, Encore! has grown in popularity and thrilled audiences with its fresh allure. Encore! provides an opportunity for young artists to develop their dance skills while serving the Dallas/Ft. Worth community and touring around the world with dance performances of the highest artistic quality.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students who value diversity. The program develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“DANCE—Take a Walk on the Wild Side!” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road.


Two students dance in the fall 2017 Richland College production of "Thriller" Richland College Dance Program Presents ‘Utopia’ Spring Dance Concert

The Richland College dance program will transport audiences into a fantastical world of myth and wonder when it presents its spring dance concert, “Utopia,” with performances at 12:30 and 7:30 p.m. April 13.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Utopia” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“We hope to make imaginations bubble with excitement in the unexpected land of ‘Utopia,’ where our audience will experience hope, joy and fantasy right along with the performers,” said Sawyer. “This dance performance seeks to take viewers to a place of innovative art-making where dreams come true.”

Part of the performance will be the short film “In Memoriam,” dedicated to celebrating the creative life of the late Darrell Cleveland, a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor who left a lasting influence on the Dallas-Fort Worth dance community, particularly at Richland College, where he was a regular guest performer in dance productions. With performance and choreography clips interposed with commentary about Cleveland from current and former Richland College students, the film remembers an outstanding member of the local community and hopes to inspire others to make a positive impact within their own spheres of influence.

Dance choreography and film work will include original pieces by Sawyer, Christie Bondade, Cheryl Callon, Cooper Delgado, Lauren Schieffer Holley and Terrance M. Johnson. Featured guest performers include 8&1 Dance Company, directed by Jill S. Rucci, and Choreo Records Tap Company, directed by Keira Leverton.

Jill S. Rucci, founder and artistic director of 8&1 Dance Company, moved to Texas from New York City after being a principal dancer and guest choreographer for Vissi Dance Theater for more than 10 years. Her professional experience has taken her to places including Boston, Los Angeles and Olbia, Italy. For six seasons now, Rucci has grown 8&1 DALLAS into a successful dance company, creating innovative and refreshing works, and in January 2018 she announced the expansion of the 8&1 Dance Company to include 8&1 EAST, to be based in Providence, RI.

Kiera Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Utopia” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/dance.


Richland College Dance Program Celebrates the Unexpected with ‘Serendipity’ Spring Dance Concert
Four Richland College dance students perform in True Colors

Richland College students perform in last year’s ‘True Colors’ dance program.

Expect the unexpected when the Richland College dance program stages its spring dance concert, “Serendipity,” with performances at 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. March 31.

Directed by Richland College dance director Gina Sawyer, “Serendipity” will feature students, faculty members and guest performers in choreography and performance roles, with dance genres including contemporary modern, jazz, tap and hip-hop.

“’Serendipity’ is sure to tickle your fancy with unexpected twists and turns,” said Sawyer. “The dance performances embrace creative thinking and art-making.”

Dance faculty choreography and film work will include original pieces by guest performer Darrell Cleveland and faculty members Nadia Dosal, Christie Nelson, Lauren Schieffer and Sawyer. Additional guest performers and choreographers include Keira Leverton and the Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project.

Darrell Cleveland is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor with 20 years of experience in ballet, jazz and modern dance forms. His experience includes teaching at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, dancing with Toni Braxton and En Vogue, eight seasons with the Dallas Black Dance Theater and choreographing and starring in statewide Texas Lottery commercials.

Keira Leverton comes from a dance background—her grandfather was Buster Cooper, an influential tap dancer who founded the dance program at the Hockaday School. Much of her exposure to the tap community was through tap festivals such as the Chicago Human Rhythm Project and the Third Coast Rhythm Project, and she trained with a variety of professionals, including Gregory Hines and Yuji Uragami. Leverton has performed worldwide at venues such as Radio City Music Hall and Wembley Stadium in London.

The Terrance M. Johnson Dance Project (TMJDP) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses the art of dance to promote community outreach, cultural awareness, social consciousness, art in education and the preservation of live performance art. Its mission is to support the welfare of underserved communities through the creation and implementation of art and culture programs that are rooted in the principles of humanity. The TMJDP professional company is a collective of performing artists that engages audiences with choreographic works that are socially conscious, critically engaging and aesthetically pleasing.

The Richland College dance program provides a challenging teaching and learning environment for students that values diversity and develops artistic excellence, fosters creative and collaborative practices and encourages personal agency and social responsibility in appreciating dance.

“Serendipity” is free and open to the public in the Fannin Performance Hall on the east side of the Richland College campus. Richland College is located at 12800 Abrams Road. Additional information is available at richlandcollege.edu/dance.