Dance Theatre of Harlem

Dancing Through Barriers® Teaching Artists


Elisabeth Archer graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Conservatory of Dance at Purchase College, SUNY, with a minor in arts management. She was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, where she received her foundational training from the Alabama Ballet. She is honored to have performed works by Gabrielle Lamb, Manuel Vignoulle, Merce Cunningham, Kimberely Bartosik, George Balanchine, and Agnes De Mille. As a young professional dancer, teacher, and emerging choreographer, Elisabeth hopes to use to dance to further an understanding of what community means in this shifting world.

Lettie Battle, a New York University M.F.A. alumna, has performed at the Grammy Awards, El DeBarge’s video “Rhythm of the Night,” Women of Brewster Place,” “Showgirls,” the movies “The Wiz” and the “Color Purple” and was featured in the French film “La Vie a Noir a Paris. Her contributions to the theater/dance departments include Towson State University, University of the District of Columbia, Howard University, Bowie State University, and North Carolina A & T University. Traveling to Shoresh, Israel to study with the internationally renowned cognitive psychologist Professor Reuven Feuerstein, she has become a certified trainer of Instrumental Enrichment and Mediated Learning Experience (IE/MLE), an intense cognitive intervention program.  That experience lead to her being a featured teacher in the Award Winning Canadian film “The Mind of a Child.”  Her combined love of theatre and teaching is realized as a Teaching Artist for the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and the Dance Institute of Washington. (Former Schools John Jay School of Law, PS 244 -Brooklyn, etc)

Tina Bush began her professional career dancing with Jubilations Dance Company and went on to dance with Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Jean Erdman Dance Company, The Jamison Project, Forces of Nature  and several other NYC based Modern Dance Companies. Tina’s credits include television: Reading Rainbow, Roseanne Barr at The Apollo; Film: Alma’s Rainbow; Stage: PORGY and Bess and Carmen Jones, to name a few.

As a Dance Educator, Tina has worked extensively with The Ailey School where she served as the Rehearsal Director for the Students Performance Group (SPG) for 19 years. She is also a renowned master teacher of Horton and has taught extensively in K-12, higher education, dance conservatories and professionals of the allied arts, as well as serving as Director for the Bridgeport AileyCamp program from its beginning in 1999 until it’s break in 2014. As Choreographer, she has created TRANSITIONS  for The Ailey/Fordham BFA Freshman, In2ition for ASPG (Ailey Student Performance Group), Time for Dances for a Variable Population, Optimistic for Neighborhood Studios of Fairfield County Dance II program along with several other works for SPG, Professional Performing Arts School (NYC), Bridgeport AileyCamp summer concerts and many other  recitals for various youth programs.

Tina loves sharing her creative talents and is grateful to be able to enhance abilities of others to express themselves freely and confidently, as she believes both teacher and student learn and grow together.

Kalena Brown was born in Bronx, NY and raised in New Jersey. She is an Alumni from Penn State University with a dual degree in Dance and Psychology (BA). She has studied various genres of dance such as West African Dance, ballet, jazz, hip-hop, and modern dance. She trained and studied at many programs such as Dancemaker, the NYU Tisch Dance Program, the Martha Graham School, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Professional Division Summer Intensive Program where she studied with some of the most prestigious choreographers and teachers such as Keith Alexander and Quenia Ribeiro. She was a part of the Repertory Company at Center for Modern Dance Education (CMDE) in Hackensack, New Jersey. While at Penn State Kalena was a part of the Afi-Mojah Dance Company and attended the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA). Kalena danced and choreographed for Forza Malizia Dance Company and danced for VatishDance Theatre. She has choreographed many musicals including Footloose, Lion King Jr., and The Wiz, FAME Jr., and High School Musical Jr. Kalena is now a teaching artist for Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers Art Education Program and continues to teach and choreograph throughout the New York/New Jersey Area.

Rita Castro,  Porto, Portugal (M.A) graduated from NYU Steinhardt Dance Education Master’s Program, ABT Ballet Pedagogy Concentration in December 2016.  In 2011, she became an external student in the National Conservatory of Dance in Lisbon, where she trained with Vaganova certified teachers. She was a member of two contemporary dance companies in Portugal, DLWorks and Project ANIMA, where she also taught ballet, modern, creative movement and jazz dance. Between 2013 and 2015, Ms. Rita was full-time faculty at the Regional Conservatory of Alhandra, in Lisbon. She is also ABT certified teacher in all levels. Ms. Rita currently teaches at Dance Theatre of Harlem and is a Teaching Artist for American Ballet Theatre’s Outreach programs.

Devika Chandnani is a performing artist curious about where dance intersects with leadership, self-esteem and social connections. She began her training in 2012 at The Danceworx Performing Arts Academy and danced with Navdhara India Dance Theater in Mumbai. She graduated from the Ailey/Fordham BFA in 2019 and Summa Cum Laude in Economics at Fordham University. Currently, she is performing in Third Rail Project’s Then She Fell and dances site-specific works with Stray Projects, Rovaco Dance Company, The Lindsey Hanson Collective and Amirov Dance Theater. She has been fortunate to work closely with choreographers like Francesca Harper, Adam Barruch, Chuck Wilt and Cameron McKinney. She teaches the Horton technique at WR Arts, Dance Theater of Harlem and The Ailey School. She is committed to educating via dance and strongly believes in the physical and emotional autonomy that the art form has to offer.

Rachael Davidson obtained her BS in education and a minor in Dramatic Arts at SUNY Geneseo, where she also studied classical ballet (Jonette Lancos) modern (Jacqueline McCausland), jazz, and theatre. In 1993, Rachael received her M.A. in Dance education from New York University while training under the tutelage of June Lewis, Mary Anthony and Charles Moore.  In addition to her studies, Rachael has taught, choreographed and directed several productions for many school, churches, production companies and dance schools throughout the Tri-State area for over 15 years.  Her credits include: Brooklyn Academy of Music, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, WNYW Fox 5 Christmas and Easter Specials. Currently, Rachael is a teacher for InterVision’s Theater Arts Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Dance Theater of Harlem (D.T.H), The Center for Arts Education (C.A.E) and a member of the National Dance Education Association (NDEO), National Liturgical Dance Network and the Allen Liturgical Dance Company. (Former Schools: PS 139-Brooklyn, PS 234-Queens, etc)


Bethania Gomes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,  joined Dance Theatre of Harlem in 1992 as an apprentice in the Company, became a soloist in 2001, and was promoted to principal dancer in 2002.  Ms. Gomes began her dance training in 1990 at the Dance Theatre of Harlem School.  She has performed as a guest artist with Complexions, and danced with the Artist Formerly Known as Prince and the New Power Generation.  At Dance Theatre of Harlem, Ms. Gomes has danced principal roles in Romeo and Juliet, Firebird, Le Corsaire, Return, South African Suite, Signs and Wonders, Adagietto #5, The Greatest, The Four Temperaments and Concerto in F. Me. Gomes had recently joined DTH Dancing Through Barriers® as a teaching artist. (Former Schools: PS 210 -Manhattan, Community Health of the Heights, etc))

Luz M. Iturbe Ortiz, San Juan, Puerto Rico, began her formal ballet training at the age of 8 at Escuela de Bellas Artes de Carolina in Puerto Rico. In 2010 was part of the corps of ballet of Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico. A year later of achieve a college degree in Marketing and a certification in Entrepreneurship at the University of Puerto Rico, she decided to follow her passion and traveled to New York in 2013 to attend the Dance Theatre of Harlem Summer Intensive Program. Afterwards joined the DTH school’s Professional Training Program. Currently, she  is a freelance professional dancer and dance teacher in New York. Luz has danced with Brooklyn Ballet, Ballet for Young Audiences, R. Evolución Latina, Pajarillo Pintao, among others and has been sharing her passion for dance and movement to kids as a dance teacher in the city.

Kallie Leski started dancing at her local studio in Colorado Springs at age 12 and immediately fell in love with dance. One tap class turned into years of training and at 19 she moved to NYC to study dance at Marymount Manhattan College. Since graduating in 2016 with her BA in Dance Teaching Techniques, Kallie has been teaching, choreographing and performing in NYC. She has performed works by Charice Barton, Charissa Barton, Alexander Ekman, Jamal Sims, Jessica Hendrix, Bill T. Jones, Sidra Bell, the 92Y Musical Theater Lab, Alberto del Saz, Suzanne McHugh, and BABEL. She has also danced with Al Blackstone, Josh Prince, Ahmad Simmons, Joshua Bergasse, Catherine Cabeen, Elena Comendador, MADBOOTS’ Austin Diaz and Jonathan Campbell, Larry Keigwin, and Loni Landon to name a few. Kallie is currently producing her own choreography and teaching with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Broadway Dance Center’s Children & Teens’ Program and Hamilton Dance Studio.

Samantha McLoughlin is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She began her teaching career in Canada when she was 18 years old. Samantha loves working in educating through dance. She teaches her classes with the philosophy of whenever hugging someone smaller than you never be the first to let go, you never know how long they need it. Samantha is a very fun and outgoing teacher who concentrates on technique, musicality and finding joy and fun in dance. She also works with Mark Morris Dance Center, Blooming BeBe, Instages and created curriculum and taught at Shadow Box Theatre. She is extremely excited to be part of the Dance Theatre of Harlem Community. She is also the founder of Sammy Dance, NY.

Natalie Stehly is an artist, dancer, maker, and teacher. She graduated with highest honors from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign earning her BFA in Dance. In addition to teaching dance, Natalie is a certified RYT 200 yoga teacher and has extensively researched the Alexander Technique amongst other somatic practices. Natalie has had the pleasure of performing in works by Elise Frost, Mauriah Kraker, Leah Wilks, Kendra Portier, Charli Brissey, Linda Lehovec, Paige Cunningham Caldarella, Nico Brown, Renée Wadleigh, and Rachel Rizzuto.

Theara J. Ward (Dancing Through Barriers® Associate) began her professional career with the Dance Theater of Harlem at thirteen years old and has travelled extensively.  She made her Broadway debut, featured in BLACK AND BLUE. Originated role of ‘Ghost of Christmas Future’ in “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” at Madison Square Garden. She has appeared on television, in commercials. Recent appearances: “The Mile Long Opera,“ music by David Lang, ”for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuff” by Ntozake Shange with Project1Voice and “On Earth Together,” a community project with Ronald K. Brown and Evidence, A Dance Company. She works with arts education programs in the New York area: “Dancing Through Barriers,” Dance Theatre of Harlem, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Mickey D. & Friends. Theara has taught at Belhaven College, CADD (Collegium for African Diaspora Dance) and “A Time To Dance: Black Theology Through the Arts.” Duke University. Theara was recently a panelist at for the “Arthur Mitchell: Harlem’s Ballet Trailblazer” exhibit at Columbia University. Theara’s Off Broadway credits include “ The Mecca Tales,”, by Rohina Malik as choreographic consultant and she has also penned her one woman show, “From The Heart Of A Sistah: A Chorepoem.

Zalika Proctor Warren has performed with the Dance Theatre of Harlem for four seasons, touring world-wide, and dancing several soloist and principal roles before a career change into the full-time ministry.  Outside of her professional dance experience, Zalika has received training as a dance instructor through Dance Education Laboratory and Dance Theatre of Harlem.  She has taught ballet for numerous organizations including the Harrisburg Dance Conservatory, the Tappan Zee Dance Group, the HOPE School of the Arts, and recently the HOPE Performing Arts Camp. She also piloted the popular “Pre-Ballet for Pre-K” class for the City of Yonkers Parks and Recreation Department.  Zalika has served as a teaching artist for DTH since 2008. (Recent Schools: Collaborative Arts MS-Queens, PS 160, etc)

Madeline Warriner is a freelance dancer currently performing with a collective under Van Lier Fellow, Shantelle Courvoisier Jackson. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Rutgers University with a BFA in Dance and an EdM in Dance Education. She was awarded the Future Outstanding Professional Award by NJAHPERD and was considered at the state level for the New Jersey Department of Education’s Distinguished Student Teacher Award. She has performed works by Doug Elkins, Manuel Vignouelle, Robert Battle, Douglass Dunn, Randy James and Jay T. Jenkins. In addition to teaching and performing dance, she teaches Yoga to children and adults throughout Manhattan. (Community Health of the Heights, PS 90 Brooklyn, PS 45K, etc)

Maxwell Waterman is a native of Brooklyn, NY, and a descendant of Barbadian heritage. His professional dance training comprises of the Ailey Extension, the Ailey School, and the Joffrey Ballet School. He has performed works by Clifton Brown, Michael Leon Thomas, Earl Mosley, Ronald K. Brown, Germaul Barnes, Nathaniel Hunt (Ailey II), to name a few. After receiving a B.S. in Dance from Long Island University-Brooklyn Campus, Mr. Waterman began working in arts organizations, such as the acclaimed, Brooklyn Arts Exchange, and the AbunDance Academy of the Arts; he is also a company member of Ntrinsik Movement. Currently, Mr. Waterman is completing his Masters in Dance Education under the Arnhold Graduate Dance Education Program at Hunter College. He plans to use his value of spiritual consciousness to create a future that encourages us to become the best versions of ourselves. Mr. Waterman is proud to be on board as a Teaching Artist for Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers arts education program.

Terri Ayanna Wright (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) obtained a BFA with honors from Fordham University and The Ailey School, through which she performed with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and works by Hope Boykin, Matthew Rushing, Martha Graham, and Nathan Trice. She has also studied at The Alonzo King LINES Ballet Summer Intensive on merit scholarship, as a recipient of the Homer Avila Award. After graduating with a dual degree in dance and computer science, Ms. Wright toured domestically and internationally with Ailey II, under the artistic direction of Troy Powell. Since completing her seasons with Ailey II, she has performed with Buglisi Dance Theatre, and is currently in her second season with Carolyn Dorfman Dance. Ms. Wright is also a founding member and the company manager of MATHETA Dance, a project-based afro-modern dance company under the artistic direction of Khensani Mathebula. When not performing, she enjoys choreographing, creating dance visuals and teaching Horton as an instructor with The Ailey Extension.

Sophia Morris-Pittman (Arts Education and Community Outreach Manager) received her MFA in Media Studies & Communications and her BS in Business with a minor in Communications from Champlain College (Vermont). She was student advisor and coordinator of student services for Champlain College’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion where she created and implemented campus-wide diversity education, programming and collaborative opportunities for the college’s students, staff, faculty and community partners. She also created and implemented the college’s first undergraduate dance credit offerings. Her background also includes program development, K-12 arts education, documentary film making, curriculum design, assessment/evaluation and grant writing. Sophia is also an alumna of Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Professional Program and Ensemble.

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