2017-2018 North Carolina Wolf Trap Teaching Artists
Erin Badger-Coffey was born and raised in the uptown Charlotte neighborhood of Fourth Ward. She discovered her love of dance at a young age through experiences with creative dance and movement. Erin continued to explore the world of dance through classes in ballet, tap and jazz from Elementary through Middle School. Erin attended and graduated from Northwest School of the Arts High School with a major in modern dance. After auditioning she was accepted to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she studied modern, ballet, improvisation and choreography. Erin graduated from UNCSA with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Contemporary Dance. Due to repeated injuries she began to explore aspects of dance and movement other than performance including yoga, pilates and aerial dance. Erin applied and was accepted to Pratt Institute in the Masters for Dance/Movement Therapy Program. Having always enjoyed working with children Erin helped design and start a dance/movement program for children and adults with disabilities where she utilized the Zumba Basic 1 License and Yoga for Kids Certification. Erin is excited about using her knowledge and love of dance/movement to support the teachers and their students in incorporating the arts in their Preschool experience.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “Having always used dance/movement for creative expression and emotional release in my own life, I believe the arts to be essential to the development and education of children.”
Nicia Carla is the founding Artistic Director of PaperHouse Theatre. She is a graduate of Winthrop University’s Theatre Department where she earned a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis on Performance. She has worked extensively with The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, where she was a Core Artist for several years, with the combined duties of acting, directing and teaching for the company. She has taught a wide variety of ages from creative drama for 3 year olds to intensive preprofessional training for teens as an instructor of the Ensemble Company. She has also been a teaching artist for the Neighborhood Bridges program for over 7 years partnering with CMS classroom teachers for a 12-week residency with 4th graders that focuses on writing, storytelling and performance. As an actor she has worked with many companies in the area, with CTC some favorites include Eva in And Then They Came for Me, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, and the Snail with the Mail in Frog and Toad. Nicia’s directing credits include: Venus in Fur, Theatre Charlotte; Around the World in 80 Days, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte; The School for Wives, PaperHouse Theatre; among many others. She is currently working on her third season as Artistic Director for PaperHouse Theatre, acting, directing and developing workshops to go into schools to strengthen the connection between the work on stage and the work of being human.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “Art is a process, a way of looking at the world; not something reserved for the chosen few.”
Sarah Council is a contemporary modern dance choreographer and teaching artist. She is the artistic director of Sarah Council Dance Projects (SCDP); a dance company she founded in 2007. SCDP has performed and taught extensively throughout New York City and the east coast region. In 2014, Council, relocated from NYC to Charlotte, North Carolina. As a teaching artist, Council believes that the creative process is empowering and transformative for individuals and communities. Sharing this process is a passion and priority for SCDP. In this effort, Council has conducted residencies, presented lecture demonstrations and taught master classes and dance-making workshops to people of all ages and abilities throughout New York City, New Jersey, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Florida. She has worked with arts education organizations such as Together in Dance (NYC), The New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJ), The Wolf Trap Institute of Early Learning for the Arts (DC/NJ), American Dance institute (DC), Dance Place (DC) and Joy of Motion (DC). SCDP has received support from the Queens Council on the Arts, The Puffin Foundation and The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. Council’s choreography, described by the Washington post as “…uncommonly honest and expressive”, has been presented in numerous venues in NYC including: The Green Building, The 92nd St. Y, The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, Times Square Arts Center. The Flea Theater, The Secret Theater, The LABA Theater, The Riverside Theatre, Green Space, Triskelion Arts, Topaz Arts, Merce Cunningham Studio, Dance New Amsterdam, Gowanus Arts, Times Square Arts Center. Council’s work has also been presented at the following venues in Washington, DC, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Florida: Dance Place (DC), The Jack Guidone Theater (DC), Franklin Marshall University (PA), Glema Mahr Center for the Arts (KY) and Jacksonville Episcopal School (FL).
Educational philosophy: “Arts education experiences that engage students in the creative process are empowering and transformative; producing confident, innovative thinkers, who embrace creative problem solving and collaboration. These 21st century skills are important in all areas of life and learning.
Dance-making develops the whole person; physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. I adopt a process oriented approach to dance education that offers unique opportunities for learners of all styles; providing a platform for self- expression and creative risk-taking in an inclusive respectful environment. These collaborative experiences also foster understanding and community as students learn from one another, accepting that there are a variety of ways to see and solve a problem. As classroom curriculum areas are explored through movement, students are exposed to new ways to engage with curriculum and their learning is deepened and enriched. Arts education contributes to the health and development of imaginative individuals who connect meaningfully to the world around them and value the arts as an important part of their life and communities.”
Regina Epps is a recent graduate of East Carolina University’s Theatre Department. There she received a BFA in Theatre for Youth Performance. She performed in several of East Carolina Children’s Theatre productions such as The Hobbit, The Fantastic Mr. Fox and A Christmas Carol. Since graduation she has worked with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte extensively. Her jobs have included Summer Camp Counselor, Assistant Stage Manager of Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s student productions and Class Assistant for both Early Childhood Creative Drama classes and School of Theatre Training Classes. Now she serves as an Early Childhood Teaching Artist for camps and school year classes. She is excited to be a new member of the Wolf Trap family and to bring her love of Theatre to students.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: I love that when we are young we fully can believe a story and get excited for it. It’s amazing! To look into a child’s eyes and see the wonder. As adults, many times we can watch something amazing but we are fully aware of the ‘Man behind the curtain’ but it’s truly an honor to be a teacher and be able to create those moments for children through Theatre and see in them something that so many of us would like to get back.
Lindsey Ryan Horne
Lindsey Ryan Horne is musician and educator born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a graduate of Northwest School of the Arts, she went on to study opera performance at Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas. She received a B.A. in Music and English from Queens University of Charlotte, and an MFA in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Lindsey has served on the piano and voice faculty of Community School of the Arts of Charlotte for over a decade. As a certified instructor in the Orff Schulwerk method of teaching music to the very young, she’s used her self-designed curriculum in several preschools throughout Charlotte. She served as the Music Director for the Noda School of Arts for seven years, and is entering her tenth year as Music Director for the gospel choir at the Brookstone School of Charlotte. She’s written, recorded and produced several collections of children’s songs, including two CD’s of original songs for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s literacy pilot program, Get Ready with Words. In addition to performing with several local bands, she’s in the process of recording her third solo record. Lindsey was awarded the ARNA Midsummer Music Residency in Southern Sweden in 2016, and the NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship in Songwriting in 2017.
Sonia “Rocio” Gonzalez
Dance/Movement and Music
Sonia “Rocio” Gonzalez is originally from Colombia. Her love for music and dancing developed at a very early age. Currently, Rocio is an experienced North Carolina Wolf Trap Teaching Artist, reaching out to teachers and hundreds of children in the area, and also serves as a mentor and coach for new teaching artists. She participates with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Education Institute as a teaching artist for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding area’s school systems. She has been part of the Latin American Festival, local library programs and cultural events. She volunteered for the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County bilingual storytelling program, Conexiones que cuentan. She also volunteers for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School system. She was a member of the “Coro Acuña” for five years and recorded their first album. She was also a member of the Charlotte Philharmonic Chorus. Rocio holds a B.S. from Gardner-Webb University and two Associate degrees from Central Piedmont Community College.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “My love for music and dancing developed at a very early age, and I want to share that love with others, especially young children.”
Amy Dorr Messer
Amy Dorr Messer has been teaching for 12 plus years. Her biggest passion is children. She lights up with enthusiasm and joy while teaching children of all ages. Amy has been dancing since she could walk and has worked with choreographers such as: Mia Michaels, Tyce Diorio, Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, Twitch and many more. She has taken training to be the very best choreographer she can be. Amy’s first love is Hip-Hop Even though she also teaches Jazz, Creative Movement, Street Dance, Gymnastics and Tumbling. She is passionate about her style and believes that Hip-Hop is the most expressive dance style. She loves to teach Children to find their own creative styles, and self-expression.
Amy is also an entrepreneur running her own business and is now teaching classes in movement, dance, and gymnastics in several schools and arts institutes in the Charlotte area. She has been a teacher at Open Door studios for the past several years. She strives to work as hard as possible to do over and beyond any obstacle that may arise. Amy is full of life and her teaching abilities speak for themselves. Amy is delighted to have the opportunity to Rise up and teach the next generation of children. It is her goal to be a role model both inside and outside of the classroom.
Amy’s motto: You should never be content in your art. You always have room to learn, teach, and grow within in the walls of your art. Be who you are and teach from the heart.
David Novak has been telling stories professionally since 1978. His background includes many years training and professional experience in the theatre. He has also worked extensively with pantomime, clowning and creative dramatics. He holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Southern Methodist University and an MFA in Performance from U.C. San Diego. In 1995 and 1996 he was the Master Storyteller for the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Awarded the Circle of Excellence from the National Storytelling Network, David Novak is a veteran of the National Storytelling Festival. His performances at numerous theatres and festivals include The Cincinnati Playhouse, the Czech Childrens’ Theatre Festival, Hawaiian Talking Island and Sydney International Storytelling Conference. He regularly tours international schools throughout China. David’s tour-de-force performance as R. Buckminster Fuller, toured to Wroclaw Institute of Technology in Poland. David is an A+ Fellow with North Carolina Arts Council, offering professional development in Arts Integrated Curriculum throughout the state. David lives in Asheville.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “We learn from experience. Arts are immersive and provide rich creative experience from which to learn.”
Allison Rhinehardt has been an actress, singer and dancer her entire life, performing all over the United States, Canada and Japan. She has a degree from the University of Alabama in Special Education with K-12th certification and a minor in Dance. Allison spent several years teaching Kindergarten and 1st grade at the Northwest School for Hearing Impaired Children, then moved on to Nashville Christian School as a Resource Teacher for Kindergarten through 12th grade. After moving to Charlotte and becoming a mother of 4, Allison moved into a more part time role as Pre-K teacher for Assurance UMC. Allison has been heavily involved with Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for the last 4 years, both on stage and as a Teaching Artist. Some favorite shows with CTC include The Secret Garden, Pinkalicious, The Reluctant Dragon and Ella’s Big Chance. Allison is also active with other companies around Charlotte including Theatre Charlotte, Queen City Theatre Company, Three Bone Theatre and Matthews Playhouse. The ability to combine her two greatest passions, teaching and theatre, fills Allison with great joy!
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “There is that smaller world which is the stage, and that larger stage which is the world.” Isaac Goldberg
Amber Rose Romero
Amber Rose Romero is enjoying the beginnings of an excited career in opera, working with singers, coaches and directors from notable organizations such as the Metropolitan Opera, L.A. Opera, Washington Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Palm Beach Opera and many more. Last season Mrs. Romero made her debut with the Palm Beach Masterworks chorale as the soprano soloist in Handel’s Messiah, and in the summer of 2016 Mrs. Romero sang the role of le rossingol in Ravels l’enfant et les sortileges, and the role of the Sandmann from Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel with the Miami Summer Music Festival. In 2015, Mrs. Romero sang the Role of Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus with Florida’s newest company Opera Fusion, in their Emerging Artists Project where she enjoyed great success, and continued to work with the company in various outreach projects. In addition to her most recent engagements, Mrs. Romero has also performed as a soloist for Chorale Society of the Palm Beaches, the Symphonic Band of the Palm Beaches, the PBA Women’s Chorale, PBA Concert Choir, and the PBA Opera workshop program. She is also the 3rd place winner of the 2015 St. Petersburg Opera Guild Competition, and 1st place winner of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Concerto Competition in 2013, the 2012 NATS Intracoastal Chapter Auditions, and the 2012 Music Federation Club Competition. In 2013 Mrs. Romero completed her Bachelors Degree in Vocal Performance at Palm Beach Atlantic University. She currently resides in North Carolina as a teaching artist with North Carolina Wolf Trap and teaches with her own private music studio.
Lea Evelyn Tatich
Lea Evelyn Tatich has centered her life around her love for music. She grew up in a musical home watching her mother teach piano lessons daily and away from home listening to her mother play the organ and direct church choirs. She began studying piano and voice at an early age and continued her educational training in music at Furman University and Florida State University. It was through a graduate internship with the National Endowment for the Arts, Arts in Education Program in Washington, DC where she first studied the significant value that arts can make in education for children PreK-12th grade. For the past 18 years she has focused her interests in music for the preschool age child. She is a trained Kindermusik instructor and has developed her own music curriculum for various preschools in the Charlotte area. Lea Evelyn also teaches private piano and voice lessons from her home to students ages Kindergarten to adult. Music is definitely Lea Evelyn’s natural form of artistic expression and voice is the instrument through which she feels most comfortable performing. She has sung as a member of the Charlotte Oratorio Singers, Carolina Voices and several church choirs and ensembles in South Carolina, North Carolina and Florida.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “I believe that children communicate their emotions best through artistic expressions such as music. When music is used or played around children, children will naturally respond to rhythm, pitch, dynamics, even before a child can communicate through spoken words. I strongly believe that music strengthens a child’s physical, mental, emotional and even academic development.”
Karey Tom is thrilled to begin her first year as a Wolf Trap Teaching Artist. Karey is a graduate of Hollins University’s Theatre Department where she earned a BFA in Theatre arts with a minor in French and English. Some of her favorite theatrical roles include Marks in Talking With, Karey in Godspell, Le Baron in the Madwoman of Chaillot, and Sharon in the east coast premiere of Rhythms. Karey is the founding Director of Charlotte Kids Yoga where she partners with local organizations to bring Yoga & Mindfulness into classrooms, libraries, and homes. In 2015 she completed her 500 hour Yoga Therapy certification through Subtle Yoga Asheville and is currently the Director of Subtle Kids Yoga where she is offering professional training for teachers and parents.
Karey integrates mindful movements, music and improvisation during her children’s classes and summer camps. Her community partners include Myers Park Baptist/Cornwell Center, Charlotte Lab School, Charlotte Montessori School, Speech Garden Institute, Pineville Elementary and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. In the summer you will also find Karey volunteering with Charlotte Freedom School partners.
Teaching Artist Philosophy: “Every day is a new opportunity to begin again. Don’t be afraid to try something new or to fail.”
Camerin Watson received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in dance performance and choreography from University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May of 2007. At school she specifically studied and performed Safety Release Technique (SRT) with BJ Sullivan. After graduation Camerin moved to Washington DC where she performed and taught dance through Dance Place and Mason/Rhynes Productions. Camerin has since returned to Charlotte, NC where she offers SRT to a variety of age groups in addition to teaching ballet, creative movement, jazz and choreography. She won the Charlotte Emerging Dance Award for Choreography two years in a row for her work with youth performers. She has recently performed works by Jessica Stewart, Wanda Ebright, Jackie O’Toole, Valerie Ifill and Leah Cox. Ms. Watson is currently an Artistic Director of TAPROOT an imaginative performance group devising work that combines theater and movement techniques. Camerin has presented work individually and with TAPROOT at the Asheville, Greensboro and Atlanta Fringe Festivals, as part of the North Carolina Dance Festival, 2012 Democratic National Convention, and Pecha Kucha Night Charlotte Vol. 9, 10 and 11, in addition to two full length productions of TAPROOT’s Ophelos. Ms. Watson has also joined with several local dance artists to annually produce Wine and Dance.