Natasha Cooper: Artistic DirectorNatasha Cooper
has been dancing for over 20 years and received a BA in Dance and Arts Administration from Elon University. She is an ABT® Certified Teacher Primary through Level 3. Additional credits include: Parsons Dance Company intern, Broadway Dance Center, Baltimore School for the Arts, Elmhurst Ballet School, UK, Baltimore Actors Theatre Conservatory, and The American Academy of Ballet. Natasha currently teaches Middle and Upper School dance and is the choreographer for Upper School Musicals at SPSG. Natasha also directs TDC’s Senior and Junior Company, teaches Jazz and Ballet I-Ballet IV.
Darius BarnesDarius Barnes
attended Baltimore School for the Arts and the School of American Ballet where he received the Rudolf Nureyev and Estelle Dennis Scholarships. In 2008 he joined New York City Ballet’s corps de ballet and in 2010, he joined the Suzanne Farrell Ballet. He made his Broadway debut as a principal in the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis. Credits include Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark
, the first national tour of Memphis, NBC's SMASH
, the Metropolitan Opera, Radio City Christmas Spectacular
on Broadway and the national tour, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Gutherie Theatre’s production of A Midsummers Night Dream
, the revival encore Cabin in the Sky
, and the revival of Sweet Charity
with Sutton Foster. He is currently in pre-production of Broadway original Roald Dahl’s Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
. Darius has choreographed award winning dances for TDC’s company during summer intensives.
Maya BasikMaya Basik
received a BA in Dance from Muhlenberg College. She studied in Arezzo, Tuscany under a variety of Italian and International Dance and Physical Theatre artists and professors. In 2013 she studied and performed with ClancyWorks, a resident company at Dance Place in Northeast DC. Maya has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Program at Charm City Yoga. She currently co-directs TDC’s Senior and Junior Company and teaches Ballet and Contemporary.
Doug BaumDoug Baum
started dancing in Maryland at Mid-Atlantic Center for the Performing Arts, and he graduated from Baltimore School for the Arts in 2006. In 2010, Doug received his B.F.A. from Fordham University in collaboration with the Ailey School where he apprenticed with Ailey ll for two years. Doug has toured the world with Rasta Thomas Bad Boys of Dance, Compagnie Flak, and Les Ballet Jazz, and he be a dancer in the feature film Step Up
. Doug has completed three seasons with Zhukov Dance Theater in addition to guesting with Jose Mateo Ballet Theater, Ezdanza, Thang Dao Dance Company, & Company XIV. Doug recently filmed Narcissus: An Ancient Roman Pantomime
for PBS/NSKG. He is currently touring as a company dancer with Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Doug has choreographed award winning dances for TDC’s company during summer intensives.
Will B. BellWill Bell
began his formal training in the dance competition circuit at the age of 15 in the Baltimore area. Will attended Towson University as a finalist for the "Maryland Distinguished Scholar for Talent in the Arts" scholarship and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance Performance with a concentration in Education for K-12. Will also trained at the Ailey School in NYC and the Lines Ballet School in San Francisco, CA. While at Towson University, he worked under Linda Denise Fisher Harrell (former Ailey principal dancer), Troy Powell (Ailey II Artistic Director) and Runqiao Du (Former Washington Ballet principal dancer). Will moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career in commercial dance, where he has worked with television and movie choreographers such as Kitty McNamee, Denise Faye, Melanie Williams, Sean van der Wilt, and others. Will’s latest choreography of Adele’s “All I Ask”, has received rave reviews across the world with the video going viral. Will has most recently performed in the musical Endless Shock in Tokyo, Japan as well as NBC’s Hairspray Live!
Amber MerrickAmber Merrick
received a BFA in Dance Performance from Towson University and also had the pleasure of studying abroad at Palucca Schule Dresden in Dresden, Germany. She began her training at the Baltimore School for the Arts, and continued with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Miami City Ballet, and American Ballet Theater. Professional credits include Die Theater Chemnitz, Oakland Ballet Company, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, and Cirque du Soleil’s Paramour on Broadway. Ms. Merrick has previously taught at Dallas Black Dance Academy and Supernova Dance Company.
Julia PiperJulia Piper
trained in ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and musical theatre in Ann Arbor, Michigan before moving to Baltimore to continue her studies as a Dance and Environmental Studies double major at Goucher College. In addition to dance, Julia studies voice and flute, and started tapping as a way to make music! As a junior at Goucher, Julia is the musical director of Pizzazz, Goucher's Musical Theatre Club, a co-founder of their Tap Club, and a Dance Mentor. Julia currently TA’s 7th & 8th grade dance at SPSG and teaches Musical Theatre and Primary Ballet at TDC.
Lauren RenckLauren Renck
is a professional dancer, choreographer, teacher, and adjudicator based out of New York City. Originally from Pennsylvania, Lauren was a scholarship student at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts. She continued her studies at Elon University and earned a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography. Lauren has studied at various schools and training programs such as Broadway Dance Center, Steps on Broadway, the Rockette Summer Intensive, Code 3 with Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and the American College Dance Festival. As a member of the Elon Dance Company, she spent her undergraduate career performing with various companies and in festivals across the U.S. and Europe including the North Carolina Dance Alliance, NC Triad Choreographers Showcase, and Les Semaines de la Danse in Aurallic, France. She also appeared in the HBO drama Vinyl
, directed by Martin Scorsese. During the holiday season, Lauren performs as a Rockette in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
. She also worked with Tony Award-winning choreographer, Warren Carlyle, in the preproduction of The New York Spring Spectacular
, which premiered at Radio City Music Hall in Spring 2015.
Alaina TaryAlaina Tary
studied ballet and modern at Baltimore School for the Arts. She continued training at The Juilliard School under the direction of Lawrence Rhodes, receiving a BFA in Dance. Alaina danced with Bowen-McCauley Dance Company for two seasons in Washington, DC. She performed in a number of Broadway reviews and pop shows, in addition to flying as an aerial artist for Celebrity Cruises. On board these ships, Alaina's cirque style led to a performing tour with the Ringling Brother's and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She toured with the world renowned "Radio City Rockettes" in The Radio City Christmas Spectacular
. Alaina currently co-directs TDC’s Junior and Senior Company, and teaches Jazz and Ballet.