Instructor & Choreographer
Zahara has over ten years experience
in bellydance instruction and performance and has been seen at a variety of tri-state events (Cincinnati Witches Ball, Newport on the Levee, Carnival Noir, Cincinnati Zoo, Andy's Mediterranean, etc.). She frequently performs with local world-music favorites Mayan Ruins, and teaches bellydance fusion in the Greater Cincinnati area. She's known for her relaxed teaching style, and has been a featured instructor outside Cincinnati (Dayton, Louisville, etc.).
Summer 2019 Notice:
Emily Schuhmann was a blessing to HDT! We are sad to see you go, and while so happy for your new career adventures! Congratulations!
Emily Schuhmann has been teaching creativity, flow, and expressive movement from swing dance, to art, and now yoga since the early 2000’s. Students of all levels can expect traditional as well as more playful approaches to Hatha, Vinyasa, and Yin styles of yoga blended with guided meditation. Emily holds an MFA in contemporary theories and metalsmithing/jewelry design; she studied and completed her 200hr YTC at Yog Peeth in Rishikesh, India. A seasoned teacher: Emily’s taught at U of L, Bellarmine University, and Indiana University in addition to swing dance events all over the Midwest. In her spare time she sews, draws, sculpts, writes, dances, gardens, and is a voracious reader. She loves drawing similarities across disciplines for her students and especially enjoys sneaking in references to the stories from the Bhagavadgita and other yogic texts to give historical or inspirational context to her classes.
Quetzal has been in ballet classes since the age of 3 and dancing on her own long before that. She has taken classes in many dance forms including modern, jazz, tap and contemporary, as well as participated in many social dance events such as contra, swing and blues.
Quetzal has studied several of the ballet techniques and has started to choreograph dances of her own.
She is excited to be continuing her assistant and teaching career with Horizons Dance Theatre. Having started assisting classes at the age of 12, she loves teaching and sharing the art of ballet to all ages and levels.
Nicole Elyce Barnes
Co-Director for New Horizons Latin Dance Socials and Community Event Organizer
Nicole Elyce Barnes is a Louisville, Kentucky native. She began Latin dance in late 2013. After quickly falling in love with the Latin dance scene in 2015, she was asked to join a local group of Rueda de Casino performers. They are “The Ville Casineras,” an all-female team that choreographs and performs routines around Louisville and the surrounding Midwest. Currently, she and a few of her teammates are working towards becoming certified in the MCC curriculum which includes the theory and history of Casino dancing, methodology, and technique.
Nicole is committed to the long-term goal of making connections beyond the dance floor; helping to cultivate a community of support, positivity, acceptance, and the love of dance.
Nicole and Rachel Bucio Grote partnered together in June of 2018 to bring together their love of dance, and supporting the communities of Louisville to bring “New” Horizons Latin Dance Social. These socials include a featured Instructor that teaches a hour Latin dance lesson, followed by many hours of amazing social dancing!
If you have any desire to get more connected to Louisville’s Latin Dance community, feel free to reach out to Nicole, she can help you get there!
Somalia Price was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. At five years old she was introduced to the dancing world. Her first dance class was of course Ballet. Three years later, Somalia began Tap and then Hip-Hop that third year. When Somalia was in school, she joined every dance team the school had to offer. She has been studying Ballet, Jazz, inspirational dancing in church, Hip Hop in after school programs, Majorette stands, to learning African-dance skills. Somalia has always had the "Heart of a Dancer." Somalia started to take class and studied under Lanita Joseph, who is known now as " Sugar Brown," in her early adult years. While being under her training, Somalia had the opportunity to not only learn about the dance styles Afro-Caribbean, Modern, Jazz, Majorette, and Burlesque dancing; she also started her teaching career as well. Somalia has a background in early childhood education. She absolutely loves teaching dance. The youngest child she has taught is two years old. Now, Somalia lives in Louisville, Kentucky. She is learning Latin dance styles, choreographing, performing, and growing as an educated dancer and teacher. She has performed in Americana Performance Benefit hosted by Horizons Dance Theatre. She has been in an eleven woman dance that was choreographed by Rachel Bucio Grote, and Katie Kasari, and performed at the third annual Louisville Dance Series performance on March 31, 2019 in the Eifler Theatre. She enjoys teaching children's dance classes at Horizons Dance Theatre, and looks forward to where and how her dance career continues to unfold in Louisville, KY, and wherever else it may take her.
Instructor & Choreographer
Romana is from Hazard, KY. She graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Molecular Biology and English, then went on to earn a PhD in Microbiology and her MD. A lifelong musician, she discovered Egyptian dance during her graduate studies at University of Louisville in 2008. She immediately began regular studies with local instructors and continues to train weekly as part of local professional troupes. In 2015, Romana embarked upon a journey of sharing her dance and music experience through festivals such as Worldfest in Louisville, KY and joining several local music ensembles such as Sulh in 2017. She began teaching and assembled two troupes. One of those is co-founded with Kelly Creagh and is a professional troupe “Real Live Actual Belly Dancers”, the other is Romana’s own student troupe “Fusion Intrusion.” They both regularly perform throughout the year. While Romana’s initial lie within the realm of Turkish folkdances and their American Cabaret derivatives, she was quickly drawn to the aesthetic of Rachel Brice’s Datura School and choreographs dance-drama style shows derived from Brice’s “fusion” aesthetic.
Romana has studied with international master performers as Ahmed Hussein, Karim Nagi, Simon Sako. She has completed the first two phases of Rachel Brice’s four part accreditation program “8 Elements” at Datura School of Dance and plans to finish her studies within the next two years. She has also completed the first phase of the anthropology-oriented “Journey Through Egypt” program and is planning her own journey to Egypt within the next two years. She has studied with other masters as George Wakim on classical Arab music and oud technique, Amani Jabril concentrating on dances of Iraq, Eva Cernik, Zahra Zuhair, Zoe Jakes, Silvia Salamanca and many, many others. She studies classical Indian dance (bharatanatyam) and karnatic music with the Natyahasta School of Dance in Cincinnati, OH.
Romana is also a novelist, writing science fiction based on her experiences as a physician and scientist, as well as fantasy, based upon her experiences as a human being. She is a multi-instrumentalist concentrating on classical and folk music from around the world, but focusing on Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Afghanistan, India, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and many others with the groups Sulh and the dance-music ensemble Raqs Maqom.
Instructor & Choreographer
Madlen is a teacher and performer of Middle Eastern dance, based in Louisville, Kentucky. Madlen has always been drawn to movement: she began dancing ballet, tap, and jazz as a child, before moving on to gymnastics, figure skating, martial arts, horseback riding, yoga, and pilates. She began studying belly dance in college, and has since studied with a number of international dance artists, including Karim Nagi, Athena Najat, and Suhaila Salimpour.
Madlen has performed throughout the region at galas, university events, private parties, restaurants, lounges, and festivals. She has been described as having “a quiet and strong style mesmerizing those who watch her.” She loves the improvisational nature of Middle Eastern dance and getting lost in live music.
As a teacher, Madlen is intuitive and gentle, encouraging each dancer on their personal journey. Madlen’s classes are focused on building the muscles needed for dance, as well as exploring cultural context, introducing Arabic rhythms, and encouraging respect for the art form.
Instructor & Performer
Bieje Chapman is based in NYC & was born & raised in Louisville, KY. Some of Bieje’s training started right here with The Louisville Ballet School, The Youth Performing Arts High School & The Southeast Players Theatre. Bieje went on to study at the Colorado Ballet School, CT Dance Theatre, The Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, The Singers Forum NYC, NYVocal Coaching & gained her National Certification with the NADTA. Some of Bieje’s performance & teaching credits are: Ballet Arts at NY City Center, The Colorado Shakespeare Fest, WHAS TV, The KY Derby Fest, Manhattan Opera Rep, The Woodbury Ballet, Albano Ballet, Ogunquit Playhouse Hello Dolly starring Sally Struthers/ Cinderella starring Leslie Uggams and was a featured vocalist for the Andy Anselmo Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring Regis Philbin. A fateful spinal injury which sidelined Bieje for 6yrs has led Bieje back to the stage and ballet studio with a new & more joyful outlook & is the inspiration for her new show Awakening Artist on YouTube: Artists Connecting To Their Divine Creative Gifts & www.biejebiejeinlove.com Heart Centered Dance Instruction.
Bieje wants to share the message to all artists to “Love Your Body, Love Each Other, & Love What You Do!”
Instructor & Owner for
Simply Transforming, LLC
Ivey Samake is a Certified Medical
Qi Gong Instructor and is affiliated with Zen Wellness Center in Sun City, Arizona, an organization that has over 30 years of experience.
The organization developed a unique Qi Gong wellness program that is easy to learn and practice, get results as soon you begin to practice, requires little time, and everyone can do it.
Ivey received her Bachelor degree from the University of Louisville in the field of education and an Associate degree in Business from the University of Indiana Southeast. She trained for ten years in an Arthur Murray dance studio during which time she created a unique self-enrichment movement program based on ballroom fundamentals.
Ivey currently serves as Treasurer for the Kentucky Holistic Nursing Association and volunteers for various charitable community service programs. She focuses her educational training and interest on health and wellness holistic teachings, promoting the advancement and raising the awareness of better self-care and well-being.
Ivey Samake BA, AS, CMQGI
Simply Transforming, LLC Owner
Instructor & Choreographer
The music of the ‘60’s, 70’s, & ‘80’s provided an evocative soundscape for Tim’s dance experiences ranging from Disco in the 4th grade at the Beechmont Community Center, to Polka at Octoberfest, to the freeform madness at high school mixers. Tim studied ballet, jazz and tap as part of his theater degree at WKU, and trained as a ballroom dancer/instructor while working as an actor in St Paul, MN. Shortly after Tim moved home to Louisville in the mid ‘90’s, Swing dance made a massive resurgence across America, and as that tapered off in the early 2000’s, Latin dances exploded into the social dance scene. During this same period, Tim has had the pleasure of working with two programs run through the Kentucky Center for the Arts – Arts Reach and, currently, Arts in Healing. Both underscore the power of arts experiences to help us connect with ourselves in the present moment. Tim calls his business Life-Dance because his mission is to help his students connect more deeply with themselves, with each other and with the joy and richness that can bring to their lives.
Actress, Instructor & Choreographer
Throughout the past seven years, Linsey Gessner has visited classrooms and facilitated acting camps throughout the Louisville & New Albany areas. She has great success with motivating and guiding actors who need assistance with auditions or performance anxiety. She creates a safe and comfortable environment for self development and artistic exploration. Linsey is able to adapt her practices for all ages and has worked with kids as young as 3 years old, as well as adults. You will find that she works wonderfully at managing large groups as well as, accommodating those who need individual attention.
When using art therapy and life coaching strategies Linsey has found her practices assist in performance & audition preparation as well as public speaking situations, and behavior modification. Linsey uses breathing activities, articulation warm-ups, yoga stretches and positive affirmation activities to enhance the experience. The outcome of her teachings result in healthy, self aware, confident individuals; who feel worthy and prepared for success.
Ms. Gessner has found that students of all ages who identify with self esteem or sensory differences benefit from her techniques. She has helped many young people on the Neuro diversity spectrum (such as ADHD or Autism) and accommodates them with mindfulness, compassion and direction. She has numerous strategies and customizes on command in order to assist the over active mind and central nervous system.
If you are interested in enriching a child's life with more physical awareness, vocal clarity, and focused imagination strategies, Linsey Gessner is the perfect person to help!
Iris Z. Boyer
Instructor & Choreographer
Iris is from Louisville, Kentucky. She currently attends Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Iris began dance lessons at age 3. Iris studied ballet for five years with Sacred Heart Performing Arts School´s Dance Program. Iris has taken Ballet and Tap for seven years with Ballet Arts Studio. Also, Iris took Pointe Ballet and Modern dance for 2 years at Ballet Arts Studio from 2015-2017.
Iris has choreographed within her Ballet, Tap, & Modern dance classes, as well as co-choreographed with her younger sister for dance school choreography!
The 2017-2018 dance school year was Iris´s first year professionally teaching and choreographing for Horizons Dance Theatre´s Grand Opening year!
Iris is excited for this new chapter in her dance career as she continues to study Ballet, and Tap; to also begin assistant teaching and teaching!
Instructor & Choreographer
Aiesha Dukes began her dance journey at the age of 8, with the Katherine Dunham Dance Company, where she studied several times a week. By the time she was ready to enter college, she had studied every dance style. Her first love was musical theatre, making that her choice of major study for her Bachelor of Arts degree at Southern Illinois University. While attending college, Aiesha also participated in dance classes, on the weekends, with the Southern Illinois Dance Company.
Upon completion of her BA, Aiesha moved to Chicago, performing and choreographing with the Anita Davis Dance Theatre, The Dance Barre, Rumble Arts Center and Ludicrous Theater Company. After her time in Chicago, she returned home, earning a certification from Yoga Alliance and continuing her education with the American College of Sports and Medicine.
Aiesha then moved to New York City, where she performed leading roles in several off-Broadway productions, including: Wild Women of Planet Wongo, Real Housewives of Seacaucus, and Me the People. During her time in NYC, she also worked as an in-home personal trainer and group fitness instructor with Brooklyn Bridge Bootcamp, Lucile Roberts, New York Yoga, and Bring the Gym to Me.
Aiesha is thrilled to join the virtual dance school program of Horizons Dance Theatre and excited to share her expertise and love of dance with the Louisville community.
Amberly M. Simpson
Instructor & Choreographer
Amberly is a dancer, aerialist, and choreographer currently living in Louisville, KY. Before moving to Louisville, she attended Purdue University where she received a minor in Dance, as well as Bachelors degrees in Psychological Sciences and Creative Writing. During this time, she trained and performed with the Purdue Contemporary Dance Company (2011-2015) where she traveled and performed in multiple American College Dance Association Festivals (2013-2015), the American Dance Festival (2013), two TED Talks (2013, 2015), and the Prague Quadrennial (2015), as well as co-directing a production for Obsessive-Compulsive Dance (2014). She later attended Bellarmine University (2015-2017) where she received her Master of the Arts in Teaching for English Language Arts, and is now the full-time Dance teacher at Noe Middle School. Additional performance and choreography credits include Voices HEaRD (2017, 2018), Fund for the Arts Opening Night at Churchill Downs (2017, 2018), Blackbird Dance Theatre (2015-2016), the Allegro Dance Project (2016-2018), and the 6th No Borders Project (2018). She has been a choreographer and performer for Suspend Productions since 2016, including directing/choreographing her first evening-length work, "Only weeds will rise in winter" (2018).
Amberly recently started also working at Dancensations!
Instructor & Choreographer
Kim Root is a dancer, choreographer and teacher based in Louisville, KY. She has performed with The Pat Graney Company in Seattle, WA and with Pooh Kaye/Eccentric Motions in New York and with many independent choreographers.
Kim came of age as a dancer in New York City studying at the studios of Erick Hawkins, Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham and studying with choreographers and teachers like Bebe Miller, Trisha Brown, Barbara Mahler and Susan Klein, Susan Rethorst, Tere O’Connor and many others. Kim has also spent many years exploring improvisation, both as a tool for creative process, as a performance form and as contact improvisation. Kim has a B.A. in Dance from Hunter College and an M.F.A. in Dance/Choreography from The Ohio State University.
She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Dance at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT from 2003-2009 where she taught Modern Dance Technique at all levels, Dance Composition, Repertory and Dance and Technology and advised student projects. Pilates, yoga and other somatic practices have deeply influenced her dance work as well.