Angela Armstrong, dancer, choreographer and teacher has performed with Blue Moves Modern Dance Company since 1990 and choreographed since 1992. Ms. Armstrong graduated from MTSU in 1994 with a B.B.A. Degree in Finance, and then in 1999, received her M.S. Degree from MTSU with an emphasis in Health and Physical Education. Currently, she is dance and Pilates faculty at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU). She has received four national honors in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers and is a six-time honoree at MTSU as a teacher “who makes a difference”. With a constant focus on education, in April of 2009, she made history on campus by being the first non-HBCU (Historically Black College/University) to host the national conference of the Black College Dance Exchange. At this conference, she brought world renowned Alvin Ailey II and Dallas Black Dance Theatre II dance companies to perform, teach and bring a wealth of culture to MTSU. Since 1997, she has served as Director of the MTSU Performing Arts Company and has presented a series of 26 dance concerts on campus and shown 20 choreographic works. Although she has many obligations, her heart is devoted to Blue Moves and her Blue Moves family.
Lee Anne (Allen) Carmack is a co-founder, contributing choreographer, and company member of Blue Moves Modern Dance Company. After completing a master’s degree in English literature and an exhausting career in corporate America, she now happily spends her time as a wife, mother, yoga teacher and volunteer. She recently launched her on-line business venture, www.yardsalefrog.com. She is also a member of Rutherford Cable, Arts in Rutherford (AIR), and the Northfield Elementary PTO. Lee Anne wants to thank her incredibly wonderful family and friends for all their support and tolerance over the last 20 years.
Holly Cannon-Hesse has been with Blue Moves since 1993.She has performed and created choreography for almost 17 years. Holly is a happy stay at home mom who teaches dance on the side. She is currently teaching with Second Story Studio and with the Tennessee Performing Arts Center education program, ArtSmart. Holly loves to work with children because it is like discovering dance all over again each time she steps into a classroom.
Amanda Cantrell Roche is a co-founder of Blue Moves and has remained a choreographer and performing member for two decades. She has studied modern dance under several instructors and currently continues her training through the Vanderbilt Dance Program. Her choreography tends towards subjects dear to her heart, such as motherhood and human rights issues, though she has been known to choreograph dances which are totally whimsical and frivolous. She is also a co-founder of the human rights group One Human Race 4 Justice. Amanda works as a Teaching Artist for TPAC’s aesthetic education program, ArtSmart, as well as for the Tennessee Arts Commission, and also enjoys offering adult workshops and classes in creative process and personal growth. Her alchemy is most powerful when she combines a trilogy of her deepest passions: dance, writing and social justice. www.amandacroche.com
Laura Filtness currently works as a School Counselor and Exercise/Pilates Instructor. She receiveda B.S. in Health and Human Performance and a M.Ed. in Professional Counseling at Middle Tennessee State University. She is certified in Pilates, Yoga, and group exercise. Laura has been fortunate to attend such conferences as the MTSU Summer Dance Intensive, the Black College Dance Exchange, and the Horton Intensive in Daytona Florida. She was also blessed with the opportunity of being a past president and senior company member of the MTSU Performing Arts Company. When she is not dancing she is spending time with her two rambunctious animals Brooklyn and Fidget.
Rachel Flores Taliaferro is a Nashville native, having grown up and danced in and around Nashville for over 20 years. Rachel started dancing at the age of four in a small community studio. She attended the school of Nashville Ballet all through middle and high school, as well as many other studios in her burning desire to learn different styles of dance. At the age of sixteen she received her certificate to teach tap, jazz, ballet and gymnastics from the Southern Association of Dance Masters. In 2002, she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing Arts with a Dance Emphasis from Western Kentucky University. Since her graduation, Rachel has worked professionally all over the southeast as a professional dancer, choreographer, as well as costume designer. Rachel also currently teaches ballet, tap, jazz, modern, creative movement and tumbling at several different studios in the Nashville area. This is Rachel’s sixth year with Blue Moves and she is proud to premiere her new piece “Rain Dance” in the show “Deep Blue.”
Valerie Hackworth was trained in the Cecchetti style of ballet, Martha Graham technique, and classical jazz at Chattanooga Ballet for eight years. After taking a year off, she continued her training at Middle Tennessee State University. Valerie has broadened her horizons by attending dance Intensives and learning Lester Horton technique, and was a member of the MTSU Performing Arts Company for eight years choreographing and performing styles of dance from hip hop to lyrical. She has danced and choreographed with Blue Moves since 1998. Currently, Valerie is a Library Assistant working on her Master’s of Science in Computer Information Systems and dreams of becoming a Mechanical Engineer and building rockets for NASA.
Renata McGraw is the newest member of Blue Moves. She received her early training in Ballet and Jazz in Germany, then moved on to study Ballet, Modern and Jazz at the School of Nashville Ballet and the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, VA. Renata is a 2010 graduate of the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with a B.F.A in Dance and German Studies. At the University of Cincinnati, Renata performed in several pieces, including the medical documentary “Cardiac Dance-The Spirals of Life”, Swan Lake, La Bayadere, and Walpurgisnacht to name a few. She was also involved in several projects as choreographer. From 2008-2010 she also served as Costume Mistress to the Dance Department of the University of Cincinnati. Renata currently works as a Tax Administrator and teaches dance on the side. She is also currently working towards a Paralegal certificate.
Jacqueline Springfield is a professional actor, teacher, dancer and choreographer. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Theatre and Dance Department at Middle Tennessee State University. Her teaching credits include Metro Theatre Company, Center of Creative Arts (COCA, St. Louis) Urban Arts Program, Win-Win Resolutions, North Carolina Theatre for Young People, and American College Dance Festival. Jacqueline is a co-founder and original member of Jaha Dance Ensemble, a company that specializes in West African dance. She holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Stephanie Walker currently works as a Teaching Artist for Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Art Smart Aesthetic Education program and teaches dance in Rutherford County. She also directs the dance ministry at the Destiny Center in Murfreesboro, TN. Working with various churches in the Bible Belt, she enjoys the challenge of expanding the traditional theory and form of ‘Christian Dance’. Stephanie was trained in contemporary dance performance at the Wesley Institute near Sydney, Australia where she also performed throughout the Eastern Region of Australia. She is grateful for another opportunity to perform with Blues Moves.