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 began her dance training at the age of three, where she was classically trained in Ballet at Pensacola School of Ballet in Pensacola, FL. At the age of fourteen, she began training at a Pre-Professional level in Ballet, Jazz and Lyrical at Sheffield School of the Dance in Mobile, AL
During her years of training, she not only performed as a concert dancer, but also as a competitive one. She has won numerous Overall High Score and Technical Awards as a group dancer and soloist at regional and national level competitions.
After a serious foot injury in 2013, Ms. Tiffany turned her focus towards teaching. With this new change in focus, Ms. Tiffany emphasizes that “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!”
Ms. Tiffany graduated Cum Laude from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) with a BFA in Graphic Design. When not working at the studio she does freelance graphic design and family outdoor portrait photography. Ms. Tiffany and her military husband, Keith, have been in the Virginia Beach area on and off since 2008. They have a small dog, Lucy, and they will be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary this October.
This will be her second year with us at Music in Motion and she is looking forward to teaching our students Ballet, Pointe, Flexibility, Leaps and Turns as well as choreographing a lyrical piece for our performance company.
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 of 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, La Source, and more. She was also fortunate to attend summer programs at San Francisco Ballet for 2 years, Boston Ballet, and The Chautauqua Institution. She has also served as a summer counselor for the Pacific Northwest Ballet Program.
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 on the affiliated school and trainee program. She is extremely grateful to have been privately mentored by Patricia McBride. Miranda has 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 to choreograph a new work later performed by Nevada Ballet company members.
Miranda is currently back at home to attend a nursing program before returning to the world of dance. “Working with young dancers is a unique and rewarding experience. They all approach and process everything differently, leading them to express their art in different ways. My role is to help clear that path and give them the courage to express their voice.”
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.
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.
Missi Yatsko, Youth Hip-Hop
Missi became involved in performing arts when 3 years old. Her background and training encompasses dance, acting, singing, modeling, musical theatre, choreographing, and teaching. Growing up, under the tutelage of Beth Townsend at both Beth’s School of Dance and Premiere Dance Center, she a junior and senior company member, as well as a competition team member. She competed until the age of 21. Her dance education includes ballet/pointe, lyrical/contemporary, tap, jazz, hip hop, and broadway/musical. She has trained with Broadway Dance Center’s Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine, Mia Michaels, Marcea Lang, Wade Robson, Brendan Herschel, and Marty Dew.
Missi was a member of the Cox Coquettes, and the ODU Monarch Dance Team. She went on to coach the Cox Coquettes.
She has danced professionally for Paramount, taught hip hop and vocals (musical theatre) at various workshops and summer programs for Grace Atkins, local patron of the arts, principal in a CBN commercial, participant in musicals with Little Theatre of Virginia Beach, participant and title holder for local Miss America Organization, quarter-finalist for Seventeen Cover Model Search, and accepted as cast member at Opry Land for both dance and vocals.
Missi also attended and graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College with a B.A. in both Criminal Justice and Interdivisional Studies, with Magna Cum Laude honors. She went on to attend Regent Law School, where she was a graduate teaching assistant and assisted in opening a non-profit for ethical formation and legal education reform.
Her passion and love of performance art has led her back to the world of dance and MIM! She is excited to share this passion with her students.
Whitney Doudera, Toddler Creative Movement
WHITNEY DOUDERA is a Virginia Beach native. She began dancing at the age of 5 and throughout her years as a teen, has won numerous awards in regional and national competitions. After graduating from Kempsville High School, she was accepted into Shenandoah University’s dance program where she received a BA in Dance Performance. During college Whitney had the opportunity to study and perform dance with Ulyanovsk State University in Ulyanovsk, Russia. After college, she was cast as the lead female tapper for the show ‘Dancing on Common Ground’, which was based in Atlanta, Georgia and toured nationally.
Whitney has been teaching for 20 years now. She began her teaching career here in Virginia Beach, and then after college moved to FL where she was the director of Atlantic High Schools dance department and dance team. She also taught jazz, tap, and modern at Kinetic Dance Expressions in South Daytona Beach FL. She has done choreography for High School Musical, which was performed at Disney World’s Christmas Parade and televised nationally. Whitney’s choreography has received multiple choreography, high score, and judges awards in various regional and national dance competitions. Whitney is a member of the Dance Teachers Association of Virginia and has her certification from Dance Masters of America in ballet, tap, jazz, and modern. Whitney expresses that, “I hope to inspire and show my love of dance through my teaching and choreography. I love to shape young minds and be a role model to all of my students inside and outside of the classroom”
Dizon and EJ, Boys Hip-Hop and Breakdancing
Elijah Ramirez and Chris Dizon have been dancing since 2007, 11 years in total. They became established in Virginia Beach and have been through performances, music videos and have competed in competitions all along the East Coast. They look forward to training the next generation of Hip-Hop & Breakdancers in Virginia and passing on what their teachers have taught them.
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.
Joey Many, Boys Breakdancing/Hip-Hop
Joey moved Orlando FL when he was 14. A tough age to make new friends, he noticed the kids who were “break-dancing”. He immediately made friends with the dancers and it became a lifestyle right away. Joey formed a crew with his friends and performed at pep rallies and competed against local high-schools. As a professional dancer, Joey has worked at Universal Studios and performed as a dancer for music videos and opening up for performers at concerts.
In order to capture the essence and culture of breakdancing, Joey returned to competing with his crew, the Floor Junkiez. With this crew he has competed across Florida, the US and the World.
Joey has been actively dancing for 19 years. Dance has done everything from keeping him on a positive life path, to travelling the world, to meeting new friends. Joey is inspired to share his passion for dance and Hip-Hop culture and history with the students and can't wait to start at Music In Motion!