- MFA, Theatre (Dramatic Media), University of Georgia
- BA, Communication (Film & Television), Morehouse College
Robert John Connor has enjoyed more than 20 years as an arts educator and over 40 years of working in the professional world of arts and entertainment. He has worked with some of the best performing arts programs in the country including Tri-Cities High School Visual and Performing Arts Magnet Program, Las Vegas Academy of the Arts and the Fine Arts Magnet Education program at New Manchester High School.
As a professional performer, Robert has appeared in a variety of stage productions including: 110 in the Shade, Once on this Island, Camelot, Crowns, The Club, Urinetown, Queen of the Blues, Higher Ground, Come out of the Rain, Tyler Perry’s I Know I’ve Been Changed and Jezebel.
His directing credits include: In The Heights, Chicago, Cinderella, Hairspray, Jar the Floor, Dreamgirls, The Amen Corner, Romeo & Juliet, Execution of Justice, Black Nativity, Hairspray, Miss Saigon and the world premiere of the amateur production of The Color Purple. Some of his film and television credits include: Star on FOX, Greenleaf (OWN), A Different World, The Cosby Show, the film Glory, and Showtime at the Apollo.
As a musician Robert can be heard on the two-time Stellar award-winning soundtrack to Greenleaf (Season 2) and has recorded and arranged vocals for a variety of artists, jingles for national and international products and has sung with a variety of artists including: Michael Buble, Gladys Knight, Barry Manilow, Byron Cage and Cassi Davis. Robert holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Morehouse College and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre from the University of Georgia with an emphasis on Dramatic Media.
- MFA, Acting, The University of California – Irvine
- BA, Drama, The University of Georgia
Jake Dogias joined the CCCEPA faculty in the fall of 2013. An alumnus of the performing arts magnet program at Pebblebrook, Mr. Dogias holds an MFA in Acting from The Claire Trevor School of the Arts at The University of California – Irvine, and he earned a BA in Drama from The University of Georgia.
Following his formal training, Mr. Dogias lived and worked professionally as an actor both in New York City and Los Angeles, where he was cast in guest roles on numerous television series, including recurring roles on ABC’s “Better Off Ted” and “The Forgotten.” He has performed in countless stage productions, with favorite roles including Mozart in “Amadeus” and his graduate thesis role of Iago in Shakespeare’s “Othello.” Mr. Dogias is a proud member of The Screen Actors Guild and continues to work professionally as an actor in addition to his teaching responsibilities.
Mr. Dogias began his teaching career as an instructor of acting and voice classes for drama majors at The University of California – Irvine. He has worked extensively as a private acting coach, was a senior instructor at a conservatory-style program in Los Angeles for students in grades K-12, and has served as a guest instructor of master classes at a multitude of schools and studios throughout the country.
- Bachelor of Arts in Drama, Scenic Carpentry & Design
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology – Washington University in St. Louis
Like many CCCEPA students, Lindsay’s theatrical training began in high school. Since 2009, Lindsay has frequently served backstage as a carpenter, a costumer, and an assistant stage manager. She studied theatrical design and construction at Washington University in St. Louis – where she designed and produced two mainstage productions as an undergraduate – before completing her degrees and working as a scenic carpenter first in St. Louis. After a brief stint in entertainment at Busch Gardens in Tampa Bay producing less conventional scenic designs (theme park events and attractions), Lindsay moved to Atlanta in 2018. Some of her favorite places to work in town include the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, and Synchronicity Theatre. While in Georgia, she has had the privilege to realize productions as both a scenic designer and as a technical director.
As a technician, balancing the practical necessities of a set piece alongside the artistic desires of the director is a challenge Lindsay enjoys. As a designer, she firmly believes that a scenic design is good only when it serves the larger production vision as a whole. And as a technical director, she strives to make the transition from designer’s imagination, to paper, to reality as seamless and efficient a process as possible. It’s the designer’s job to dream big. It’s the technical director’s to make that happen safely, on time, and on budget. And it’s the technician’s responsibility to get the work done. Lindsay looks forward to introducing new students to all aspects of backstage work and contributing to their training as they progress through school and these different levels of responsibility.
- MEd, Dance Education, Frostburg State University
- BS, Dance Education, University of North Carolina – Greensboro
Denise Reeves, Dance Coordinator and Ballet Instructor, began teaching at the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts in 1994. She was instrumental in facilitating the Dance Department’s expansion to full-time status in 2002. Ms. Reeves holds a master’s degree in education specializing in dance from Frostburg State University, with additional studies at Stanford University and San Jose State University. Her bachelor’s degree in dance education is from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ms. Reeves holds certification by the Royal Academy of Dance and the American Ballet Theatre National Curriculum. In addition, her intense training in the Vaganova method, the Russian style of ballet, allows her to help each student achieve his/her ultimate potential.
Ms. Reeves is zealous about staying current in the world of dance education, and she has a passion for sharing her continued training with her students. She has studied with Ekaterina Shchelkanova at Open World Dance Foundation, providing orphans the opportunity to dance. Additionally, her training has included studies at Harkness Center for Dance Injuries (New York University), The Pennsylvania Academy of Ballet Society (with John White and Rose Flachs), The University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Vail International Dance Competition Teacher’s Course, the Jackson International Ballet Competition Teacher’s Courses, and training with Lisa Howell from Perfect Form Dance Physiotherapy (Australia). Ms. Reeves is certified in the original method of Pilates by the master teacher, Romana Kryzanowska, of The Pilates Studio in New York City. She holds professional affiliations with the National Dance Education and The Corps de Ballet. While dancing with the Georgia Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Santa Clara Ballet, and San Jose Dance Theatre, Reeves performed in Canada, Poland, Soviet Union, and all the Western and South Western United States.
Locally, Ms. Reeves has served as Cobb County Teacher Leader in Dance and served on the dance board of Kennesaw State University. She has directed the School of the Georgia Ballet and the dance division of the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. With more than 35 years of experience in dance education, she has taught ages 3 through adult at multiple area dance studios, including the Atlanta Ballet. She derives great satisfaction from helping students to discover and to fulfill their dreams.
- BSEd, Dance Education, The University of Georgia
Eileen Edwards joined the CCCEPA dance faculty in 2012. She teaches jazz technique styles, including classic jazz technique, modern jazz, and musical theater, to all majors and minors in the CCCEPA Dance Department. Dance history, choreography, and tap are also part of her teaching responsibilities.
Ms. Edwards has more than twenty years of teaching and choreographic experience in private studios and regional theaters, and in both private and public school systems. Prior to CCCEPA, she was on the dance faculty of the performing arts magnet program at North Springs Charter School in Fulton County for ten years, where she choreographed musicals and one act productions for the Georgia Theatre Conference. Her choreography has been seen at high school, collegiate, and international festivals including the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Ms. Edwards holds the BSEd degree in Dance Education from the University of Georgia, where she was twice chosen as the student choreographer for the American College Dance Festival. After UGA, Ms. Edwards moved to Chicago to study with the concert dance companies Joel Hall Dancers, Gus Giordano Dance Chicago, and Hubbard Street. Her training in Chicago included master classes with Fred Benjamin, Milton Myers, Sheila Barker, Luigi and Francis Roach. A lifelong learner, she continues to train by taking master classes and dance teacher workshops in Atlanta and New York City. Ms. Edwards loves challenging all CCCEPA dance students physically and mentally in the studio so that they can become smart, powerful, and well-rounded dancers.
- Lesley University, Master of Arts: Dance/Movement Therapy
- Ashford University, Bachelor of Arts: Education
Mr. Reynolds’ dance training includes Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Dance Theater of Harlem, Paul Taylor, and the Martha Graham School. To list but some of his credits: In 1998, he was selected to perform the lead solo in Paul Taylor’s Company B. In 1999, he performed the leading role in Penumbra’s Black Nativity and performed with the show for three consecutive years. As well as Black Nativity, here in Atlanta with Dominion Entertainment for the past 7 years. He has worked with Christina Aguilera, Deborah Cox, Debbie Allen, Deborah Gibson, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson (30th Anniversary Celebration on NBC), Al Jarreau, Monica, Mya, Usher, Jill Scott, Martha Wash, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, RuPaul, Celine Dion in A New Day, and most recently The Braxtons, 2 Chainz, Janelle Monet, Kandi Burruss, D Woods, Angie Stone, Q Parker, Pastor Shirley Caesar, Keke Wyatt, and Tony Terry.
He has choreographed for Knick City Dancers, New York Liberty, Memphis State University, SUNY at Purchase College, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Las Vegas Gladiators, Southern Methodist University, The Polish National Ballet, and has danced and taught Master Classes in over 50 major cities and all throughout Europe, including Paris, Warsaw, Alexandria, Norway, Greece, London, Montreal, Quebec, Dortmund, Africa, Argentina, Singapore, Sidney, and Zurich, to name a few. While doing all this, he has performed full time, since 2003, as a named character Le Travesti (meaning the transvestite) in Cirque du Soleil’s production of “O” at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas and assisted Cirque in Choreographing “Love”, at the Mirage hotel also in Las Vegas.
Many may remember him for his work in Married to Medicine, The Braxton Family Values, or Housewives of Atlanta. He is also a Principal Dancer in the HBO movie Bessie starring Queen Latifah, World’s Away Directed by James Cameron, and Bolden starring Gary Carr and Robert Ri’chard. Since attending his first ADTA conference in 2017, a lot has happened. With the purchase of a new dance studio, in 2018, he presented Inauthentic Living: A Black Man’s Struggle at the NEADTA conference and followed that up by co-presenting Moving Blind Spots: Cultural Bias in the Movement Repertoire of Dance/Movement Therapists and Foregrounding Social Justice in DMT Education at ADTA. For the past 2 years, Stephan has served as the Creative Director for ADTA and has co-presented various workshops He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University, where he will continue to use the arts as a means of healing and understanding while fostering communication for African American males in his communities.
- Mercer University, Bachelor in Music Education
Mr. Giddens is a graduate of Mercer University, has been a music educator for over 17 years. At New Manchester High School he served as the Fine Arts Magnet Director and had the pleasure of directing the award winning Fame Choirs, and the nationally recognized and award winning a Capella group InToneNation. Mr. Giddens is a sought after show choir choreographer and choral clinician who works with choirs of all ages around the state. He is also the Musical Director for Tinsel Tones Atlanta and Co-founder and Musical Director for the A Cappella group Dressed To Trill. In his spare time Trey can be seen singing around the Atlanta area and preforming with the Atlanta Freedom Bands Color Guard.
- MEd, Lesley University
- BM, Piano Performance, Austin Peay State University
Evelyn White, collaborative pianist and Piano Lab Coordinator, has been a member of the CCCEPA faculty since 2004. She holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Austin Peay State University and a M.Ed from Lesley University. She began playing piano at the age of three and soon began accompanying her parents and playing at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee.
Ms. White has worked professionally as a performer and educator in jazz, gospel, musical theater, and country music. She performed exclusively as a pianist in Atlanta until she met jazz legend, Tony Bennett, who asked her if she ever considered singing. He introduced her to the piano trio style of Nat “King” Cole and helped her develop vocal repertoire. During that time, Ms. White was also under the tutelage of another legendary vocalist, Nancy Wilson. After these two experiences, she was invited to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, where she was a guest artist and clinician for many years. She performed with jazz greats, including: Lionel Hampton, Russell Malone, Lewis Nash, Christian McBride, Ray Brown, Mulgrew Miller, Benny Green, Hank Jones, John Clayton, Roy Hargrove and more. As a result of the festival, Ms. White was a guest of the Russian Ministry of Cultural Affairs and toured with international jazz artists, such as Leonid Vinstskevich, Lembit Saarsalu, and Igor Butman.
She’s been the recipient of APSU’s Outstanding Young Alumna Award, Pebblebrook’s Teacher of the Year and The High 5 for Teachers Award, sponsored by Atlanta’s Fox 5 TV. After traveling and performing for fifteen years, Ms. White returned to Austin Peay as a guest artist and was made an honorary citizen of Montgomery County, Tennessee. Ms. White is dedicated to sharing her musical experiences with young artists and is honored to be a performing artist among them.
- MA, Music (Choral Conducting), George Mason University
- BA, Music (Piano), George Mason University
John-Michael d’Haviland is a collaborative pianist and musical theatre specialist on the vocal faculty in CCCEPA at Pebblebrook High School. He serves as a repertoire and audition coach, an associate choral director, and accompanist for the Ballet and Drama classes. Mr. d’Haviland relocated to Atlanta, in 2014, from Washington, DC, where he served as Director of Choral and Vocal Studies at Georgetown Day High School, guest music director at American University, and was an adjunct choral director for the Washington Youth Choir.
An award-winning music director, Mr. d’Haviland has worked at the Keegan Theatre (DC), and at Arena Stage (DC) and Round House Theater (MD) as a musical theater and vocal instructor. Regional music direction credits include: A Little Night Music, Follies, Dreamgirls, Spring Awakening (VA); Cabaret, (The Keegan Theatre, DC); Caroline, or Change, Ain’t Misbehavin’, (NextStop Theatre, VA); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Rocky Horror Show, Marat/Sade, Rent, (American University, DC); Nero/Pseudo, (WSC Avant Bard, VA); Rocket Boys, (The Legacy Theatre, GA), Violet, (Act3 Productions, GA).
Mr. d’Haviland is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Georgia Music Educators Association, the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Federation of Musicians. He earned a BA in Music (Piano) and an MA in Music (Choral Conducting) from George Mason University.
Jamila (Jah-MEE-lah) Turner is a writer, singer, dancer, director and professional actor residing in Atlanta, GA. She is a proud graduate of the HBCU Tuskegee University with a B.A. in English and holds an M.F.A. in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She also studies the Chubbuck Method under Sherita Starks and Ivana Chubbuck. As a teacher she has had vast experience teaching acting and directing at Columbus State University (CSU) in Columbus, GA, the Springer Opera House Academy, South Fulton County Arts and Paul D. West Middle School. Some theatre and films that she has participated in as an actor, singer, writer, and/or director are HeLa*: Celluvation, Doubt A Parable, Mary McLeod Bethune, “Justus and Pece”, “Oculus”, Hairspray, A Raisin in the Sun(directed), Intimate Apparel (directed, KCATCF nominee for directing), The Detroit Plays(directed staged readings at CSU), Disney’s Lion King Jr. (director), Disney’s Aladdin Jr. (director), and “Gerald’s Hands”. She is very happy to add to the legacy Pebblebrook High School and CCCEPA.
CCCEPA Adjunct Dance Faculty
Drawing on experiences from her own journey, Liz has developed a passion for self-discovery and transformation through movement, meditation, and breathwork.
Liz’s artistry has been featured in popular TV shows and films, including Glee, Empire, Step Up Highwater, Dancing with the Stars, Genius, Behind The Candelabra, America’s Best Dance Crew, Shake It Up, X-factor, and more. She has collaborated with global brands such as Nike, ifit, Nordic Track, and Adidas. Liz has also worked with Usher, Beyonce, Ye, Katy Perry, Ciara, Thomas Rhett, Chayanne, Christina Aguilera, and Ty Dolla Sign.
As a certified breathwork instructor, life coach, and trauma researcher, Liz has studied under renowned experts like Resmaa Manakem and Peter Levine. Her approach is grounded in the belief that our bodies hold the key to unlocking our full potential and that by tuning into our natural rhythms, we can cultivate deep resilience and loving awareness.
Today, she teaches classes, workshops, and 1+1 coaching sessions in a safe and supportive environment, empowering others to remember themselves as powerful creators.
With a diverse background in dance performance, I have had the privilege of collaborating with esteemed choreographers such as Bill T. Jones, Lula Washington, Ligia Lewis, William Forsythe, and d. Sabela grimes, among others. My artistic pursuits have extended to film projects alongside visionaries Solange Knowles and Julien Christian Lutz. My work has been featured in notable programming events of Adidas Originals, 29 Rooms, and the Getty Museum. In 2018, I was recognized by The New York Times as an artist to watch in the Los Angeles dance scene.
Inspired by my upbringing in suburban metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, I delve into the possibilities of stage, site-specific, and durational performances, as well as installations and film. Notable premieres include works such as BL**DY SPAGHETTI and TECHNICAL FOUL, showcased at renowned venues like REDCAT, USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, and Human Resources LA. Additionally, I have had the privilege of presenting in captivating site-specific locations, including the Los Angeles Arts District, residential laundry rooms, and bustling nightclubs.
These collaborative ventures and experiences have profoundly influenced my artistic journey, fueling an unwavering passion for pushing boundaries and capturing the essence of human expression through movement. I warmly invite you to join me on this transformative exploration of artistry.
Now, I am using my creativity and experience to influence the new generation of young dancers, while also inspiring adults to enrich their lives through the power of movement, plant-based nutrition, and valuable content creation. Join me on this journey of self-discovery and growth as we uncover the secrets to unleashing our full potential through dance and holistic well-being. Together, let’s dance our way to a more fulfilling and vibrant life!
BFA in Dance at University of South Florida, also have my AA in Dance from Santa Fe Community College
Chelcee Geddes is a Jacksonville native who began her dance training at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts at the age of three. The movement of dance ignited a passion within her to push her way into graduating with an AA in Dance from Santa Fe Community College and a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance from the University of South Florida. At the University of South Florida, she performed in the works of many notable choreographers such as, Christian Denice, Michael Foley, Katurah Robinson, Damon Rago, and Yaniv Abraham from the Batsheva Dance Company. During her summers, she attended programs with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Philadanco, Garth Fagan, and ArchCore 40. She has taught at Precision Dance Academy in Florida along with many other dance studios in Florida. In addition, has also taught at Pebblebrook High School since 2017 in the styles of Contemporary and Modern Dance. She is now a company member of Atlanta Dance Connection and joined the Company in 2017.
B.S in Psychology from Kennesaw State University.
Training: Devotion Dance, Steps On Broadway, Atlanta Ballet, & Dance 101.
Ricardo Aponte is a local Director/Choreographer and a three time Suzi Award winner, with work featured The Alliance Theatre, Theatrical Outfit, Aurora Theatre, Actor’s Express, Atlanta Lyric, Georgia Ensemble, including TV and industrials productions around the country. He’s also the founder and artistic director of Theatre Platform Project, a theater nonprofit that provides inclusive educational programming to diverse communities.
BA in Dance and Public Relations from The University of Alabama
Owner, DanceFest Productions, Inc.
Allison Michalke Gupton is a native of Powder Springs, Georgia, and graduated with honors from Pebblebrook High School, the Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts. Following high school, Allison graduated cum laude from the University of Alabama earning a B.A. degree in Dance and Public Relations. Allison has worked on and choreographed for several TV and Film projects in Atlanta including: The Last of Robin Hood, The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, The Originals, The Banker, FREAKY, and most recently, she was the Choreographer for the DC Comic film The Suicide Squad. Allison is the Owner of DanceFest Productions, Inc., which produces several dance events throughout the year including BalletFest Atlanta and Jazz on Tap. Allison loves being in the classroom, molding young lives, and watching the art of dance grow and evolve in our world today. @allisongupton
Gary W. Jeter II began dancing in 1997 at Pebble Brook High School for the Performing Arts in Atlanta, Georgia where he graduated in 1999. Gary attended the Alvin Ailey fellowship summer program and received a full director’s scholarship to The University of the Arts, where he graduated in 2003 with a BFA in Dance. After graduation, he was asked to join PHILADANCO!, where he was a principal dancer from 2003 to 2007. Gary has also worked with Fernando Bujones and Eddie Shellman, in addition to dancing with Eleone Dance Theatre.
Gary danced with Complexions Contemporary Ballet from 2007 to 2014, and is now an Artist-in-Residence for the company. He has set works for The University of the Arts, Eleone Dance Theatre, Philadelphia Dance Theatre, Dance 2 and Complexions Contemporary Ballet. Gary joined BalletX in 2014.