The Billie Supports the Development of the Next Generation of Artists: The Billie Holiday Theatre is a beacon for world-class art rooted in racial justice in the heart of Bed-Stuy: producing, presenting, and commissioning new and classic works and festivals in theater, dance, music, visual arts, and film; providing artistic and institutional residencies; and serving ages 3 to 103 with educational programming.

The YAA Pre-Professional Training Program includes 4 classes per week taught by an esteemed faculty in addition to specialized workshops and annual performance opportunities locally and nationally. The YAA Pre-Professional Training Program is an incubator for students who show the highest potential for a career in dance or in a career that requires discipline and focus. The diverse curriculum will provide building blocks for preparing dancers to audition for college dance programs and conservatories. This intimate curriculum-based program provides a nurturing environment where each student’s discipline technique and artistry can flourish and be nourished.

MISSION

Pre-Professional Dance Training Program (PPTP) is driven by the mission to further the development of the next generation of artists and to provide the student with the highest level of instruction in contemporary modern dance forms, traditional African dance, hip hop and classical ballet.

The faculty and comprehensive curriculum will ensure that students are technically accomplished and fully equipped to apply for university/conservatory institutions and are prepared to audition in the professional dance world. In order to nurture each student’s full potential, the PPTP program will emphasize personal attention and mentoring. Students will learn performance skills, a deep understanding of proper dance technique, professional attitude and artistic expression.

PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS AND INFORMATION

  • Dancers are required to participate in ALL weekly classes and rehearsals: Wed – Fri 5:30pm – 7pm & Sat 4-6pm
  • Dancers must remain in good academic standing, maintaining a 3.0 GPA or above.
  • Dancers will study Ballet, African, Contemporary, Modern Horton and participate in special workshops, including; choreography/composition, musical theater, Afro-beat, Afro Caribbean dance forms, improvisation, body conditioning, yoga, nutrition, floor barre, and dance history.
  • 32 weeks of class instruction
  • Additional Specialized masterclass (Broadway Dance, Rockettes, Afro Beats, Audition, Jazz, Composition/Choreography, Improvisation)
  • Winter and Spring Intensives
  • Summer Institute in Dance, Drama and Drumming
  • 22 year partnership with BAM’s DanceAfrica
  • 300 plus students reached annually
  • Renowned leadership team and faculty | 12:1 ratio
  • Performance opportunities for all students
  • The Billie Holiday Theatre – performance home for Youth Arts Academy
  • To enroll in the summer intensive follow the link, select your payment option, and complete check out.
  • Once you have completed your purchase (package/contract) select the enrollments tab and select “enroll now” for the level you want to enroll your child in and follow the prompts.
  • Once fully enrolled you are all set and we will send out informational emails as we get closer to the intensive

**Make sure you are purchasing and enrolling using your child’s name. If you would like to add additional people to your account select your name at the top right corner > add family

FACULTY

ARCELL CABUAG

ARCELL CABUAG

Education Director

Arcell Cabuag is a Filipino American native of San Jose, California where he trained with Charlie McGowan, Debbie Wilson, Keith Banks, and Soozi Childers.

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In 1995, he moved to New York City and attended the Alvin Ailey School where he was first introduced to Ronald K. Brown and EVIDENCE, A Dance Company. His professional experience prior includes dancing in: Rock the House for Paramount Pictures, The Shoji Tabuchi Show in Branson, MO, the Richard Rodgers Centennial Production of The King and I, the episode Choreographed on Law and Order SVU, and a “Codorinu” commercial with Pilobolus shot and aired in Barcelona.

Arcell enjoys serving the dance community teaching master-classes and setting EVIDENCE repertory to dance institutions including; Boston Conservatory, University of the Arts, Coker College, NYU TISCH, University of Massachusetts, Connecticut College, Marymount Manhattan College, The Alvin Ailey  BFA Program, the Jikei School Dance International Program throughout Japan, the Peridance Certificate Program, Dance Attack Studio, the Center of Creative Arts of St. Louis, the New Orleans Ballet Association Summer Intensive, and as the resident teacher and co-director of the National Choreography Institute.

Arcell is currently a professor at Long Island University, (Brooklyn Campus) and a Co-Director of the Bedford Stuyvesant Center For Arts & Culture Youth Arts Academy Pre-Professional Training program/Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble.

Arcell has assisted Brown in setting original works on Philadanco, MUNTU Drum and Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, MalPaso of Havana Cuba, TU Dance Company and was the associate choreographer for the Tony Award winning production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Broadway and National tour).

Arcell has performed globally with EVIDENCE since 1997 and was appointed to be the Associate Artistic Director in 2004.  Arcell is a proud recipient of the 2004 New York Dance and Performance “BESSIE” Dancer Award.

RONALD K BROWN

RONALD K BROWN

Dance

Ronald K. Brown founded Evidence, A Dance Company in 1985. He’s worked with Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Jennifer Muller/The Works and other choreographers and artists. 

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Brown has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire, Ko-Thi Dance Company,  Philadanco, Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago and Ballet Hispanico.

He has collaborated with such artists as composer/designer Omotayo Wunmi Olaiya, the late writer Craig G. Harris, director Ernie McClintock’s Jazz Actors Theater, choreographers Patricia Hoffbauer and Rokiya Kone, and composers Robert Een, Oliver Lake, Bernadette Speech, David Simons, and Don Meissner

He choreographed Regina Taylor’s award-winning play, Crowns and won an AUDELCO Award for his work on that production.  Brown has won a Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography in the Tony winning  The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, adapted by Suzan Lori Parks, arrangement by Diedre Murray & directed by Diane Paulus.  

In addition Brown was named Def Dance Jam Workshop Mentor of the Year in 2000 and has received; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, and The Ailey Apex Award for teaching.   Brown is a member of Stage Directors & Choreographers Society.

KAREN THORNTON

KAREN THORNTON

YAA Program Manager

Karen Thornton hails from Brooklyn, New York and proud of it. She studied dance at the Clark Center for Performing Arts, Broadway Dance Center (New York & Japan)..

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..Steps, Martha Graham School, Dance Theater of Harlem, Brooklyn College, and a member of the Alvin Ailey 3rd Company. Karen’s television credits include, The New Show, Best Talk in Town, The McCreary Report, Deja View, Liberty Weekend Celebration Closing Ceremonies, The Audelco Awards, The Essence Awards, Here and Now, The Caribbean Music Awards, Kennedy Center Honors (Judith Jamison).

Karen recently started her own company KTD/Ascension Arts to showcase her talents as a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She has studied under a plethora of teachers, all masters in their craft and art. She is grateful to them all for pouring into her dreams and allowing her to carry on a wondrous legacy of world humanity through dance. Karen was The Artistic director of the Restoration Dance Theatre from 2002 to 2014. She has been the Restoration Dance Africa Director since 2002, Karen is presently the Program Manager for the Youth Arts Academy. Karen thanks her family and friends for their continued support, and as always “To God be the glory”.

COURTNEY COCHRAN

COURTNEY COCHRAN

Ballet

Courtney Cochran  is a New York City based freelance dancer and choreographer. She trained with Sacramento Ballet and Crockett Deane Ballet (CDB).

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Courtney was selected as an emerging choreographer at the 2008 Regional Dance America Festival. She continued her training with Alonzo King LINES BFA Program under the direction of Martina Hotchkiss, and then Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Professional Training Program under the direction of Robert Garland.

Since moving to New York in 2013, she has choreographed on DTH’s Training Program, and has debuted work for both Brooklyn Ballet’s First Look program and Norte Maar’s CounterPointe. Courtney spent four seasons with Brooklyn Ballet with various roles in The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, The Four Temperaments and has been a guest artist with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Sierra Nevada Ballet, and The Black Iris Project.

MAMA ANDARA KOUMBA

MAMA ANDARA KOUMBA

Sabar Dance

Born as Myrtle Primus, on  the  small island  of  Carriacou, Grenada in the Eastern Caribbean Islands, Mama Andara Koumba  constantly  felt the beat of Africa, synonymous with her own heart.

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It was that heartbeat that propelled her to study with the late Winston Fleary.

TALU GREEN

TALU GREEN

Drummer

Percussionist and Composer Rasaan ‘Talu’ Green’s performances include ones with Fela! on Broadway, the Brooklyn Nets, Sousatzka the Musical, and MAZE, along with band collaborations with Ms. Patti Labelle, Ms. Lauryn Hill, The Roots, Aloe Blacc, and Estelle.

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Green has performed globally in Africa, North America, Australia & New Zealand, and Europe. He is a resident musician with Chop & Quench and Resura Arkestra, and provides musical arrangements for dance companies and master workshops throughout New York City. He holds a BFA in Music from Long Island University.

FREDDIE MOORE

FREDDIE MOORE

Horton

Freddie Moore New Jersey native Freddie Moore began his formal dance training at The Ailey School where he attended the Certificate and Scholarship Programs. Moore has danced with Ailey II, Donald Byrd/The Group, and Artistic Director of Footprints Dance Company. 

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Courtney was selected as an emerging choreographer at the 2008 Regional Dance America Festival. She continued her training with Alonzo King LINES BFA Program under the direction of Martina Hotchkiss, and then Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Professional Training Program under the direction of Robert Garland.

Since moving to New York in 2013, she has choreographed on DTH’s Training Program, and has debuted work for both Brooklyn Ballet’s First Look program and Norte Maar’s CounterPointe. Courtney spent four seasons with Brooklyn Ballet with various roles in The Nutcracker, Les Sylphides, The Four Temperaments and has been a guest artist with Dance Theatre of Harlem, Sierra Nevada Ballet, and The Black Iris Project.

Isaiah K. Harvey

Isaiah K. Harvey

Horton

Isaiah K. Harvey began his early dance training at Innervisions Theater Arts Center in his hometown Queens, New York. After high school, he attended Montclair State University (MSU), where he earned his Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance in May 2018.

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In addition to MSU, he also trained at the Earl Mosley Institute of the Arts, Dance Theatre of Harlem and at The Ailey School as the recipient of the Bob Fosse Gwen Verdon Scholarship. Harvey has performed Alvin Ailey’s Memorial with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, with singer/actress Andra Day, and danced at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. His performance credits include, Earl Mosley Diversity of Dance, Black Iris Project: Vibrant Voices, and was a back up dancer for RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 13 Contestant Olivia Lux. Through out his training and career he has performed works by Ulysses Dove, Camille A. Brown, Ronald K. Brown, Rennie Harris and danced professionally with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. In addition to dancing professionally, Harvey shares his knowledge of dance through various teaching avenues throughout New York City and as a certified Lester Horton Technique Instructor. Harvey joined EVIDENCE in 2022.

SHAYLA ALAYRE CALDWELL

SHAYLA ALAYRE CALDWELL

Hip Hop

A native of New Haven, Connecticut. She began dancing at a very young age with mother, dance teacher and mentor, Shari Caldwell. 

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She became heavily influenced by traditional West African dance after being introduced to Guinean culture by Aly Tatchol Camara. She was further introduced to various styles of dance and a plethora of choreographers, performing artists as well as the importance of composition while attending the Educational Center for the Arts and Earl Mosley’s Institute of the Arts in CT.

She was accepted into the B.F.A program at Virginia Commonwealth University and studied briefly before landing a dream position as performing artist in Ronald K. Brown/ Evidence, A Dance Company in 2011. She was honored to be promoted to assistant rehearsal director after six years. It was a pleasure for her to find a balance between concert theater and commercial work as she landed gigs touring and teaching hip hop styles.  A few highlights of her dance career include representing the USA at the International Festival of Ballet held in Cali, Colombia, performing at the infamous Joyce Theater, Fire Island, Delacorte Theater in Central Park, The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and being featured in the New York Times courtesy of RKB/ Evidence.

She has also taught and assisted dance classes at various theaters, performing art schools and universities as community outreach and fitness awareness. She is currently an adjunct professor at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts teaching hip hop, modern contemporary fused with traditional West African styles. She has recently returned to Evidence, after a hiatus, as rehearsal director and guest artist.

SHAYLIN WATSON

SHAYLIN WATSON

Ballet

Born in Lanham, MD. Trained at Duke Ellington School of the Arts under Charles Augins & Katherine Smith. Obtained a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Choreography and Performance from UNC Greensboro. 

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Shaylin is a recipient of the EVIDENCE dance workshop series Beth Young Scholarship and has also received scholarships to intensives such as American Dance Festival and UNC School of the Arts. She has performed works by choreographers such as Clarice Young, T Lang, Christopher Huggins, Marcus White, and Shen Wei. She had the opportunity to assist setting repertory for EVIDENCE on students at the New Orleans Ballet Association (2021). Shaylin became a company member of EVIDENCE in 2019.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Your health and safety remain our biggest priority as we are deeply committed to maintaining a healthy environment for all students, staff, faculty and parents. We will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Center for Disease Control, New York State, and New York City as circumstances continue to change. It is critical that we do everything we can to use the Restoration studio space safely, prevent the spread of COVID-19, and protect all those who enter and exit the building.

Arrival and Screening
  • Upon arriving at Restoration, anyone entering the building will be required to undergo the following:
  • A mask must be worn at all times; face coverings with vents are not permitted.
  • Complete a COVID-19 symptom screening questionnaire as required by the city of New York which can be completed on your cell phone device.
  • Submit to contactless temperature checks at entry. If your temperature reads above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, this is considered a fever and you will not be allowed to enter the building.
  • Wipe down cell phone with sanitary wipes before checking in your cell phone.
  • Use hand sanitizer.
In-Building Protocols

To ensure a safe learning and professional environment, please adhere to the following:

  • Wash hands often for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Remain six feet apart from others.
  • If using the elevator, limit elevator capacity to no more than two people.
Cleaning Protocols

The Billie Holiday Theater Youth Arts Academy is committed to ensuring the highest standard of cleaning and sanitizing throughout the building, including:

  • Daily enhanced cleaning and disinfection in accordance with CDC and health official recommendations.
  • Air purifiers and enhanced ventilation; MERV-13 filters are used to filter out particles for coughs/sneezes, steam, and vapor.
  • In addition to Restoration cleaning staff daily cleaning, students will be a rotation schedule to dry clean floors and wipe surfaces.
Vaccination Policy

The Billie Holiday Theater Youth Arts Academy requires that all staff, Teaching Artist, accompanist, faculty and students be fully vaccinated before October 13, 2021. If students are not fully vaccinated by October 13, 2021, we will offer the classes on zoom until proof of a completed vaccination card. We will continue to monitor all health and safety information from official sources. 

If any student, instructor, staff member, or visitor who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or receives a positive COVID-19 test: if on site, please isolate and e-mail: ksmith@restorationplaza.org and jbuckner@retorationplaza.org immediately for guidance on proper next steps to take.