DANJ’s contemporary classes are led by a active professional performers, choreographers and educators including Jason Luks, Terk Lewis Waters, Angelica Stiskin, Jaclyn Walsh, and Katy Guth. In addition, some of the industry’s top contemporary choreographers have visited DANJ to teach and choreograph pieces, as we’ll as the next generation of leading choreographers, including DANJ Alum Chris Kinsey (Boston Conservatory), Kristilee Maiella (Montclair), Briele Melahn (SUNY Purchase), and Conner Bormann (Juilliard).
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Jason Luks is a performer, choreographer and teacher. He is currently on faculty at the Joffrey Ballet School teaching Musical Theater. He was recently a member of the Tony Award nominated Falsettos (Broadway) choreography team working with Director James Lapine. He worked with Josh Prince and Pulitzer Prize winner, Director James Lapine, on the choreography for "Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing." Jason's performance credits include “White Christmas” (Broadway), “On The Town" (Barrington Stage), “My One And Only” (Stages St. Louis), Tap Stars (international tour), Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and MTV’s Video Music Awards. Jason performed at the Kennedy Center for Presidents Obama and Bush. He was the Adult World Tap Dance Solo Champion at the International Dance Organization’s World Tap Dance Championships (’03), and ADA’s national Young Choreographer of the Year (’05). Jason’s choreography has been presented on Broadway's Walter Kerr Theater (Falsettos), the Kennedy Center, and Symphony Space NYC. He is a guest teacher at many conventions including NYCDA, ASH, Syncopate, and Tap the Map. Jason graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Dance.
Terk Lewis Waters, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Artist in Residence, joined Complexions in 2010, performing works by Dwight Rhoden, Desmond Richardson, Jae Man William Forsyth and Marcelo Gomes. Terk has taught at The Joffrey Ballet School, Marymount Manhattan University, Western Michigan University, Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey Extension Program, American College Dance Festival, NYCDA, The Pulse, and Complexions intensives. After training with the City Ballet of San Diego and River North Chicago, Terk received his BFA in Dance from Western Michigan University where he performed in works by Ron De Jesus, Frank Chavez and Antony Tudor. "I believe greatness resides in Terk Waters. He is not just a really good dancer but a dancer rare for his generation." - Darrell Wood, Critic, NYC Dance Stuff
Angelica Stiskin is the Director of Joffrey Ballet School's Contemporary and Jazz Program. She earned her BFA in Dance at Marymount Manhattan College under the direction of Katie Langan, performing works by Shen Wei, Robert Battle and Lar Lubovitch. Her credits include ASH Contemporary Dance Company, and American Dance Artists, dancing with Travis Wall and Rasta Thomas. Angelica performed a self-choreographed solo at Jerome Robbins Theater as an advocate for solo artistry in concert dance. She is widely recognized for her versatility as a performer and teacher and has assisted Emmy Award winning Mia Michaels.
Angelica's "My Rooms" explores the compartments of the human spirit. The bold voices that direct decision can easily be the same voices that distract from reality. Her choreography is the guide through the rooms we create to survive circumstance. The dancing follows the tour between head and heart, leading us into the rooms we hide in to save ourselves from the truth.
Chris Kinsey graduated with a BFA in contemporary dance performance at Boston Conservatory (class of 2018) as a scholarship recipient. While at the conservatory, Chris has created three works, and has performed the work of Shapiro and Smith, Doug Varone and Aszure Barton. He spent his summer’s studying abroad at Impulstanz, Henny Jurriens and Springboard Danse Montreal. Chris currently dances for MADBOOTS DANCE, under the direction of Jonathan Campbell and Austin Diaz. As a choreographer, his work has been shown at Boston Contemporary Dance Festival (2017), TRACKS Boston (2017), Institute of Contemporary Art (2017), and the Choreographers Canvas in NYC (2014). Chris earned ADA's coveted Young Choreographer of the Year (2015).
Jaclyn Walsh was a principal dancer of Keigwin + Company from 2011 thru 2017, was named by Dance Spirit magazine as one of the dance world's thirteen "Hottest Young Choreographers" and by Dance Magazine as one of the dance industry's "Top 25 to Watch." Her choreography has been presented at numerous dance festivals and conservatories/universities including: Perceptions Contemporary Dance Festival, American Dance Guild Festival, Boston Contemporary Dance Festival, NYU’s Past/Forward, NY City Parks Foundation SummerStage Main Stage, Joffrey Ballet School, and Montclair State University. She received Broadway Care’s coveted Choreography Award at the Joyce. Jaclyn choreographed and performed in Vienna Teng's music video "Level Up." She was named a finalist in the Capezio A.C.E. Awards for choreographic excellence in 2018 for "Appalachian Spring" and in 2016 for "Off The Grid", both choreographed for and presented by DANJ dancers. Jaclyn received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she performed works by Susan Marshall and Ronald K. Brown and received the Tisch Achievement Scholarship in Dance. Jaclyn is on faculty at Crunch Fitness and BDC’s Contemporary Variations Series.
Ashley Lindsey graduated from the University North Carolina School of the Arts. He has since performed with the Limon Dance Company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, Defero Dance Collective, VIA Dance Collaborative, and Jessica Gaynor Dance Company. Ashley worked with choreographers Jason Parsons, Mia Michaels, Lauren Adams and Suzi Taylor; and created works for the North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC, American Youth Grand Prix, CC& Co Dance Complex, Plumb Performing Arts Center, and Defro Dance Collective. Ashley has taught at UNCSA, Duke University, Elon College, and Jose Limon Workshops. He was a 2013 finalist for the Capezio ACE Awards.
Jourdan Epstein began her dance training at Summit School of Dance and won 1st place at the prestigious Youth America Grand Prix. While training at Ballet Arts Minnesota, Jourdan received a scholarship to attend the Walnut Hill School. Jourdan earned her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School. The following year, as a Complexions apprentice, she performed Benoit-Swan Pouffer’s choreography in Fashion Week. Jourdan has studied at ABT, The Juilliard School, Kirov, Kaatsbaan International Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet. She was a member of Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company from 2011 to 2014 before joining Rasta Thomas’ Romeo and Juliet.
Jenn Freeman is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer. Her live performances include MTV’s VMAs, The Jimmy Fallon Show, Comedy Central’s Awards, and The Rolling Stone's 50th Anniversary Tour. She has assisted in the development of large scale productions for Florence and the Machine, Madonna, The X-Factor, LA Ballet, The Brit Awards, and Cirque du Soleil. Jenn has assisted renowned choreographers including Sonya Tayeh, Mia Michaels, Chris Dupre, Cherice Barton, and Chris Jacobsen. Jenn is currently collaborating with Charlotte Boye-Christensen for NOW International/Interdisciplinary Dance Company. Jenn received a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Dance Magazine has called Dee Caspary “the modern day Fosse.” His TV credits includes Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing with the Stars. Dee has directed and choreographed live events for Billboard Live, Hard Rock Café, Oakley, Key Club, and The Stone Movement. He was a Choreographer and Director for Justin Timberlake’s FutureSex/LoveShow. Dee choreographed for Odyssey Dance Theatre and Evolution Dance Company. His work has debuted at the El Portal Theatre, premiering A Time No More, The Glass Case, The Last Letter, and Inferno of Sin. Dee has worked with Kenny Ortega, Peggy Holmes, Jerry Evans, and Bonnie Story-Baker.
Katy Guth began dancing at the age of three and competing at the age of eight. Her training focused on Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre. She continued her dance eduction at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and dance seminars hosted by Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America. Katy began her teaching career in 2001 while attending East Stroudsburg University of PA. In addition to her teaching experience, with expertise teaching young children and teens, Katy is an established choreographer and has received numerous awards recognizing her work. Katy manages the Sparta location for The Dance Academy of North Jersey.