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

– Dancers are required to participate in ALL weekly classes and rehearsals (Wednesday – Friday 5:30pm – 7:00pm and Saturday 4-6:00pm)
– 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, dance history, body conditioning, yoga, nutrition, floor barre, and dance history.

IMPORTANT DATES: TBD

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

ADMISSIONS
An audition is required. Dates TBD.

CLASS SCHEDULE: COMING SOON

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.  

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). Courtney was selected as an emerging choreographer at the 2008 Regional Dance America Festival. 

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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

RONALD K BROWN

RONALD K BROWN

Dance

Ronald K. Brown founded Evidence, A Dance Company in1985. He has 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.

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 Insititute 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 Memoria 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.

KAREN THORNTON

KAREN THORNTON

YAA Program Manager

Karen Thornton hails from Brooklyn, New York and proud of it. She has started 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”.

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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During his 25-year career as a dancer and choreographer, Mr. Moore has amassed credits in musicals, national television shows, music videos, and documentaries. A master teacher of the Horton technique, he conducts artist-in-residence workshops in public and private schools and has taught throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean. Mr. Moore has developed performing arts curriculum for schools and community-based programs and he works with churches around the world to develop liturgical dance ministries. He has received many honors for community service including commendations from the NAACP, the New Jersey Senate, the National Black Police Association, the Jersey City Community Outreach Team, and the Public Advocate for the City of New York. Mr. Moore is currently the Rehearsal Director for the Ailey Fordham Student Dancers (AFSD) and a Faculty Advisor in the Professional Division. In addition to teaching Horton at The Ailey School, he is also on faculty at the Hudson Repertory Dance Theater and the Educational Center for the Performing Arts.

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

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Through these dances, the heritage of our African ancestral ethnic groups who were brought to the island are acknowledged and celebrated by the people. 

At the age of 17, she began training with the International African American Ballet, (IAAB) in 1979, where she was educated in the traditional songs and dances of the  13th Century Ancient Malian Empire. It was there that she met  Baba Obara Wali Rahman, who would later be her spouse, director and artistic/ cultural partner.  Following the departure from  IAAB,  Baba Wali formed a new folkloric dance company by the name of Sabar Ak Ru Afriq,  (SARA),  which focused on dances, music and culture from the Senegambian Region of West Africa. Within SARA,  dance company, Mama Andara Koumba would exemplify the  techniques of the Sabar dance styles along with the strategies needed to accomplish them. In 1991,  senior elders Drs. Sarah and Scuddie Mcgee, Art Therapist and Psychologist, introduced both Mama Andara and Baba Wali to Mame Fatou Seck of Senegal W. Africa. 

Mame Seck became the grand elder of  Sabar Ak Ru Afriq , later known as Drumsong Society. Under her supervision, both Mama Andara & Baba Wali were initiated into the spiritual practices of traditional healing from Senegal, known as Ndepp.  Mame Seck, being extremely insightful, assigned her daughter Mame Oulimata Diop, to teach Mama Andara the songs and dances  of the Ndepp.

 

In 2003, Mama Andara began her residency at Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation teaching  dance techniques  from the Senegambia to youth of varying ages  where she worked with students with little or no prior training of the Sabar.  

From 2001   – present, Mama Andara has taught dances within the  NYC public school system while  working as a certified educator. Her continual promotion of the  power, beauty and strength within  African culture  is the nucleus of her driving force. Mama Andara strives to honor the legacy of her late Great Aunt Dr. Pearl Primus, Dancer, Choreographer and Anthropologist through her work onstage and in the community.

HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTOCOL

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.