Music in Motion Founder and Lauren's mother, Darlene Davenport, was pregnant with Lauren on stage in the very first performance in February of 1986 in which the Children's Dance Theater of Virginia was invited to perform as Music in Motion. Some people joke they were born to dance, Lauren was actually dancing before she was born!
Lauren took classes at Music in Motion from age 3 to 18 and progressed through the Junior & Senior companies. She continued her passion in dance, receiving her BFA in Performance & Choreography with honors from the Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, VA. As a student at SU, Lauren was a senior member of the traveling performance & recruiting company, the only undergraduate upon which a solo piece has been choreographed and the rehearsal director for the Dance/USA grant re-staging of a Murray Louis masterwork. She attended summer programs with Parsons Dance Company, Peridance NYC and The American Dance Festival at Duke University.
Lauren danced professionally for 2 years with Danco 2, the second company of classical modern dance company Philadanco! Lauren has performed throughout the Eastern Seaboard including performances dedicated to Katherine Dunham, Pearl Primus and the International Association of Blacks in Dance and has worked with choreographers Anthony Burrell, Donald Lunsford and Iquail Shaheed. Additional professional dance works Lauren participated in in Philadelphia include; ContempraDance Theater, Rain Ross Dance, Darcy Lyons Dance Works and Nick Cave Soundsuits.
Lauren is a comprehensively trained Pilates instructor with Power Pilates of NYC. She has taught Pilates to 100's of clients in the top podiatric, chiropractic, physical therapy and boutique fitness centers in Philadelphia.
Jessica Newcomb, Assistant Director of Programming
Jessica is a graduate of Old Dominion University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Dance. While at Old Dominion, Jessica was named Outstanding Student of the Year within all of the Arts and Communication departments. Jessica has danced professionally both in and out of college with Second Wind Dance Company, dame (dancers and mina estrada), and TRDance Ensemble. She has also performed and choreographed for University Dance Theatre, To the Nines Productions, Granby Theater, and The Miss Virginia Pageants. Jessica has performed on various stages throughout the country including The Piccolo Spoletto Festival in Charleston, SC and Even in Silence in New York City. Jessica is the co-artistic director of Music in Motion® Dance Company. She continues to grow and learn as both a teacher and dancer and will be traveling to New York City for continuing dance education at The Dance Teacher Summit.
Jessica Keesler; Early Childhood Classes all styles
Jessica Keesler is a Music In Motion alum, having trained here as a student and a company member. Jessica currently choreographs for the Music In Motion Dance Company and teaches Ballet 1, Tap/Tumble, Ballet/Tap/Tumble, Hip-Hop 1 and Modern 1/2. She is proficient in all styles of dance including Jazz, ballet, tap, modern and musical theater. She is beloved by her students as a kind, technical and compassionate, yet firm educator. Jessica currently is a full time employee of the Virginia Beach City Public Schools as a special education teacher.
Tiffany Tate, Lyrical & Ballet Instructor
Ms. Tiffany joins us from Rhode Island after settling into Hampton Roads with her military husband. Tiffany studied primarily Lyrical & Ballet as a student in Florida and Alabama and went onwards to a competitive and performing career in her youth before suffering an injury that led her to her teaching career.
"Dancing is my passion and I enjoy sharing my love for it with my students. As a teacher, I always strive to give the students a positive environment to learn and grow as young dancers. I am a firm believer that technique is the basis of all dance, and I motivate my students to work hard while allowing them to express themselves through artistry, unique choreography and their individual talents. I truly enjoy watching my students understand the value of hard work and dedication and seeing them grow as technical dancers that love to dance just as much as I do!"
Miranda Hashemi, Ballet & Pointe
Miranda started her dance training at Denise Wall's Dance Energy at the age of 6. While at Denise's she was a member the the junior company, studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Flamenco, and Hip hop. At 14 she moved to Carlisle, PA to study at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet for 4 years. During this time she was fortunate to dance many corps, soloist and principal roles in both Classical and Balanchine ballets such as Serenade, Swan Lake, Giselle, Coppelia, Divestment no.15, Raymonda,George Balanchine's:The Nutcracker and more.
Miranda went on to join Charlotte Ballet as a trainee and then Apprentice for 2 years. During her time with Charlotte Ballet she had the opportunity perform many new works and choreograph from the affiliated school. She was also fortunate to be privately mentored by Patricia McBride. Miranda has also danced as a Company member with Nevada Ballet, performing in Las Vegas's primary ballet company. While at Nevada Ballet she collaborated with Cirque du Soleil performing new works by Cirque choreographers. She was also given the opportunity choreograph a new work later performed by company members.
Miranda is currently back at home to attend a nursing program before returning to the world of dance. She is anxious to get in the studios, and get to work. She is looking forward to a great upcoming year!
Auriel Mitchell, Acro & Tap
Auriel’s love of dance began in 2000 at the prestigious Encore Theatrical Arts Project in Fairfax, Virginia, where she performed at Wolf Trap, the Fairfax County Fair and competed in many dance competitions with New York Dance Alliance. Auriel attended Chantilly High School, in Chantilly, Virginia, where she was a member of the Thespian Honor Society. Since graduating in 2010, she has taught multiple genres including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, and Hip Hop with several dance and gymnastic companies in Virginia and Colorado. In 2015, she also became a certified yoga teacher. What Auriel loves most about teaching dance is seeing students grow and develop their self-confidence, self-esteem and belief in themselves through the art of dance.
Richard Corbin, Acro & Tumbling
Richard Corbin is a dance teacher and tumbling coach who began training at the age of 12 through the local Parks and Recreation program. He proved to be a natural and left for a much larger facility in a neighboring city called Gymnastics World. There he was taught tumbling as well as the various apparatus required in men’s gymnastics. At the age of 19 he auditioned as a dancer for Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Richard impressed the choreographer with his acrobatic talents and ability to pick up choreography. He was hired a costume character and took advantage of the free dance and gymnastics classes offered by the park. Richard then went on to work for three season at the Busch Gardens performing as a dancer. This ultimately led to him auditioning for PGT Entertainment through which he performed as a dancer and acrobatics specialist on some of the world’s most luxurious cruise ships.
Brandon Harris, Boys Hip-Hop
Brandon is a native of Chesapeake, Virginia and works as an educator in the Virginia Beach City Public Schools system. After having danced for over 10 years, Brandon continues to share his love of dance with the community, especially for youth! A graduate of George Mason University, he has studied hip hop, African and Afro-Cuban dance styles and during his tenure at the university, he served as Vice-President and choreographer for the hip hop team, Urbanknowlogy 101. While living in the Washington, D.C. area, Brandon had also trained with Culture Shock, Washington D.C.'s Scholarship Hip Hop Team. Now, Brandon works as the Executive Director for CREWcial, a local, young-adult, hip hop dance team. As an instructor, healthy expression and measurable fitness and wellness are primary goals that he places for each student, either young or young at heart.
Julika Cuffy, Hip-Hop
A Hampton Roads native from Virginia, Julika started to dance at a young age in her home church, where she was taught the basics of hip hop and liturgical dancing. It wasn't until 2013 when she started training with an urban dance crew (CREWcial), where she learned the basics and fundamentals of other dance genres. Her training continued at Movement Lifestyle 2013, Culture Shock DC, Kodachrome, as well as competitions in Prelude DMV & Carolina. In the summer of 2014 Julika became Artistic Director of CREWcial and continued to travel and train. While living in VA she also became a hip hop instructor for many different studios and recreational centers. Julika has lived in Maryland and has been aa member of Capitol Movement Dance Company and Culture Shock DC. Teaching positions include at New Hope Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland. We welcome Julika to the Music In Motion staff and she hopes to continue to share her passion of dance with others around her.
Shaye Arluk; Co-Director of Performance Team, Outreach, Charity and Recruiting Director
Shaye Arluk began dancing at Music in Motion® at the age of five, studying ballet, Pointe, modern, and jazz. She was a member of the Children’s Dance Theatre and later the Music and Motion® dance company throughout high school. She continued her dance training in contemporary, jazz, and hip hop at Cornell University in New York and in Richmond , VA both studying and performing in many local venues. Since moving back to Virginia Beach she has been teaching children’s and adult Hip Hop dance classes at the Simon Family Jewish Community Center in Virginia Beach. She is the co-artistic director of Music in Motion® Dance Company. In addition, Shaye has her Masters of Science in Exercise Physiology from Old Dominion University.
Sheena Jeffers, Guest Instructor Tap
A long time choreographer for MIMDance Company, faculty member at the Governor's School for the Arts in Norfolk, with a BFA in Dance Education from ODU. Ms. Sheena's teaching philosophy is to pass along dance history and proper dance technique, while inspiring within individuals the desire to stay hungry and keep learning; to foster progress, live as role model, and travel a journey with students; to instill confidence, track growth and share a prevailing hope for the future.