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2017 Dancing Stars of Columbus, GA

Georgia

Dancing Stars of Columbus

Stephen Akinduro

Stephen Akinduro has been dancing since his secondary school and college days in Nigeria. He has a love for the Latin styles (especially Salsa, Merengue and Bachata), African styles, and also hip-hop routines. He was active in his dance teams at the International School Ibadan and the University of Lagos, both in Nigeria. Having also lived in Europe, Stephen developed an appreciation for other cultural dances. He started taking more Latin dance classes when he returned to the United States in the 1990s. He is also a Zumba fitness enthusiast and loves using Zumba to stay fit. Stephen is passionate about the subject of Alzheimer's and dementia related illnesses as he currently has a family member diagnosed with dementia and lost his paternal grandfather to Alzheimer's several years ago

 

Dancing Stars of Columbus

Brantley Arrington

Brantley Arrington has recently moved back to Columbus after spending over 10 years in Chicago and Texas dancing professionally. He completed his first degree in Early Childhood Education and Teacher Certification from Columbus State University. Brantley was awarded the Nordan Fine Arts Full Dance Scholarship from Texas Christian University in Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX and earned his second degree graduating Magna Cum Laude in Ballet Performance/Choreography. To further his dance education, Brantley completed his Master of Arts degree in Teaching with an emphasis in Education and Dance from North Park University – Chicago, IL, graduating with honors. He is a current member of the Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and Dance Masters of America where he is certified, through rigorous testing, to instruct classes of all levels in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Tap. Throughout Brantley’s performance career, he has had the opportunity to be a member and guest artist with several professional dance companies; dancing throughout the nation and internationally. His diverse stylistic performances include River North Dance Chicago, Inaside Chicago Dance, Texas Ballet Company, Joel Hall Chicago Dance Company, Texas Ballet Concerto, Chicago Lyric Opera Works, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre Midwest and principal soloist with Chicago Ballet Arts Scholastica. He is the former resident choreographer for the Lane Theater in Chicago. His choreography highlights include Annie, Gypsy, The Wiz, High School Musical, Guys and Dolls, and Grease. Currently, Brantley is the Owner and Artistic Director of Academy Dance Center in Columbus. His classes include Ballet, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Partnering, and Competition Team instruction. This is Brantley’s third year participating in “Dancing Stars of Columbus.” In 2014, he and his partner, Ginny Lawrence, were the Judges Choice winners and in 2015, he and his partner, Marie Moshell, were the People’s Choice winners.

 

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 Adam Bell

I started dancing in HS in Newburgh, NY. Where I established my love for Theatre and Dance. I graduated from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Manhattan in 2005. Since graduation I have spent many years performing for The Orange County Ballet in NY and The Bucks County Playhouse in PA. Along with onstage work my career is in Lighting design and Electrician work for Theatre. Following that career I moved to GA in 2010 and am now serving as the Lighting Coordinator for RiverCenter. I missed Dance so much that one day at the gym I saw a Zumba class and went in. 4 months later I was a licensed Instructor. I have now been an instructor here in Columbus for 4 years. I enjoy proving to every student that they can be successful and find passion in dance if they only try.

 

 Adrianne Bell

 

 Dancing Stars of Columbus

 Maria Burnley

 Born in Kyushu, Japan, Maria spent her early years growing up in Columbus, Ga. She is the oldest of 7 siblings. After graduating from Columbus High, and attending Columbus State, she pursued her dancing career in Miami, Fla. where she started with the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. After a few years, she transferred to the Fred Astaire Dance Studio where she started her pro-am and professional dance competitions. Maria was named top female teacher in the Cross Country Dance Championships 5 times, as well as a finalist in the World Professional Dance Championships at Madison Square Gardens in New York City.   She moved back to Columbus 10 years ago from Miami to take care of her mother who passed away 4 years ago of Alzheimers.  She now teaches group classes at Columbus State University as well as private lessons at Macons Place in Cataula.  Maria has participated in the 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2014 Dancing Stars of Columbus.  She is blessed to be able to dance for a charity so dear to her heart.      

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 Estela Costa

Estela Costa is from São Paulo, Brazil.  She began to dance  Ballet at the age of 4 years old and continued dancing for several years in both Ballet and Jazz dance classes. Due to a knee injury she had to be away from dance classes for a while. Later she decided to pursue another passion and attended drama school. After finishing college she decided to combine her two passions, art and dance, and joined the Art Therapy School.  Her conclusive test article was to integrate body language and Visual Arts as a therapeutic process. When she moved to Sao Paulo’s country side, she resumed to her Ballet classes at Angela Dantas Studio, who follows the Royal Ballet method, and started her career as a Ballet teacher. Since then new passions have come about, such as Aerial Silk and other acrobatic art movements. Teaching Ballet has brought back an even deeper passion for dance and she loves working with students to help them achieve their goals in dancing.

 

 Josh Edens

Joshua Edens

Born into a military family at Martin Army Community Hospital on Ft Benning, Joshua has lived almost his entire life in the Columbus area. Joshua attended and graduated from Chattahoochee County School System for all of his elementary, middle and high school education. Now a Senior at Columbus State University, majoring in Exercise Science, Joshua plans to go for his Masters in Occupational Health and Safety. Joshua’s dance career began only seven years ago at Company C, Acamdey of Dance in Columbus, Georgia. As a member of the competitive team, Joshua has been awarded numerous Top Overall placements, special judge’s recognitions, first place rankings at several regional competitions and also received the title of “2014 Mr. StarQuest.” Not only does he continue to train in various styles of dance including hip-hop, contemporary, ballet, tap and jazz, but he also serves as an Instructor for Company C, Academy of Dance. Joshua has had the opportunity to participate in the Miss Georgia pageant as a featured dancer the past five years, has taught multiple summer dance camps for Columbus State University’s Continued Education “Activ8” program, as well as choreograph and coach multiple high school dance and cheerleading teams. Joshua is returning as one of the PROS for the second year and is ready to make this year even better than last year. Having a niece with a super rare disease, Late Infantile Batten Disease, raising money for associations that are trying to find a cure or promote awareness for any diseases, makes Joshua work even harder.

 

Dancing Stars of Columbus

Traci Gary

A native of Columbus, Georgia, Traci began dancing at the age of 3 at Patty Taylor’s Academy of Fine Arts where she was a member of the dance company and competition team. She is a dance instructor at Capella’s Dance Studio and has developed choreography for various teams and pageant competitors in Georgia and Alabama. Along with her passion for dance, she has a passion to help others with two and four legs, so when she’s not dancing, you can find her volunteering in our community.

 

 

Brace Luquire

 

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Cole Sanner

Dancing the majority of his life in multiple states such as California, Florida, and Texas, Cole always knew dancing was where his heart was. During his teenage years, he took ballroom dance lessons in all partner dances with his sister, his original partner. At eighteen, a family tragedy took him from his home studio of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, all the way to Houston, Texas. This is when he thought his dance life was over as he was perusing his cosmetology license and no longer had the funds to support his passion. When it was time to leave Florida, the manager of the studio pulled him aside and informed him that he had organized it so that as soon as Cole got you Houston, he would immediately begin an intensive training class to become a professional. Six weeks later, with an honors score on his professional examination, he embarked on his professional dance journey and hasn't looked back. Within a year of being professional Cole took his first world title in a professional competition in San Juan, Peurto Rico. Going on to become top competitor and teacher against over 200 teachers in his company for four years in a row, he has always enjoyed dancing and changing the lives of everyone of every age who embarks on a personal dance journey. The dances that Cole can offer on any level include but are not limited to: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz, Quickstep, Argentine Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba, East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, Jitterbug, Whip, Lindy, Mambo, Bolero, Samba, Jive, Paso Doble, Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia, Lambada, Two Step, Country Waltz, Polka, and Nightclub Two Step. Three years ago, Cole expanded his horizons and became a certified yoga instructor by obtaining his certification after completing a 200 Hour teacher training. Wanting to bring all of his expertise to Columbus and spread the richness of life these art forms have brought his life, Coles immediate plan now that he has become the newest member of the Capella dance family is to teach HOT yoga half of the time, and dance the other half of the time at Capella.

 

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Dr. Shikha Shah

  Dr. Shikha Shah is a family physician at  Columbus  Georgia,  She  runs her own private practice, Columbus family Medicine LLC, she has been dancing since  she was three years old in India. She has a love for the Indian classical dance and is trained in kathak, she also loves to do Bollywood style dancing., Dr. Shikha shah also performed as one of the stars  in 2016  DWTS here at columbus GA, She is  passionate about her patients and takes keen interest in  patients with alzheimers, she is active member of Rotary international and she devotes her free time to a lot of social service events here in united states and back in India.

" We are really a composite of our life experiences- Memory layered upon memory and Alzheimer's steals that away."


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Janie Sutcliff

Janie began dancing at the age of 3. At age 9, she began taking classes at The Columbus Ballet Conservatory. She played multiple roles in the Nutcracker, to include Clara, Marzipan, Snow Queen, and Sugarplum Fairy, and she also participated in various spring productions such as Coppelia, Cinderella, Firebird, and Swan Lake. Janie attended multiple summer dance intensives with several companies, to include ABT and Joffrey.  She attended The University of Alabama, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance. While working on her degree, she served as a counselor for ABT in Tuscaloosa’s summer intensive and participated in teaching programs at multiple middle schools, teaching creative movement classes for children ages 5-12.  She helped develop a barre toning class with Columbus State University’s Continuing Education program where her students ranged from 18-80 years old.  She continues to work with The Columbus Ballet as a teacher for 5 years, currently teaching a Choreography class.