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Program Director

Mila Parrish

Mila Parrish is the Director of Dance Education. Parrish joined the faculty of the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts in August 2012 and in that short time she has established instructional initiatives including, Dancers Connect a free community dance program, iDance NC a curriculum of dance instruction using videoconferencing and interactive technologies, reconstruction initiatives and community service programs.

Parrish is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in pedagogy and interdisciplinary instruction giving numerous professional development workshops, and over 70 national and international conference sessions, panels and presentations thought the US and in Canada, China, Finland, Brazil, Greece, Portugal and the Netherlands including the Keynote Address on Dance and Technology at the Taipei Dance Education Research Consortium in Taipei, Taiwan. Her pedagogy and community scholarship has been celebrated in Dance Magazine and Dancer Teacher Now publications.

She has served on the Executive Board of the National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) as the Director of Technology, Dance and the Child International (daCi) as the Newsletter Editor, the Dance Notation Bureau (DNB) and the Journal for Learning in the Arts (JLTA). Her scholarship and publications have established new trends in dance technology, integrated curriculum and teacher training in the digital arena. Parrish has published in a wide range of journals, including Journal of Dance Education, Journal of Learning in the Arts, and the International Journal of Dance Education and is the recipient of grant support exceeding $1.1M for her own work and has served as PI and as a collaborator on NSF, USDOE, AZDOE, ASU VP of Research grant support exceeding $2.1M. Of her many honors include the 2011 Advocacy Award for leadership in dance education from the SCDA. The award is granted to individuals who have made sustained contributions dance in the areas of advocacy, innovation in pedagogy, quality of community initiatives and personal leadership and integrity.

Program Coordinator

Kaitlyn Jessee

Kaitlyn Jessee is a Freshman at UNCG, she is studying geography and dance. Kaitlyn just recently moved to North Carolina from her hometown, Longmont Colorado. Kaitlyn has been dancing for 14 years and has performed numerous times, including twice at Disneyland. She enjoys working with children and hopes to make a career out of it someday. Kaitlyn also plays several instruments, but her favorite to play is the oboe.


Melinda Waegerle

Melinda Waegerle is an Assistant Professor of Dance Education and the Coordinator for Undergraduate Dance Education at UNCG. Her work focuses on dance and interdisciplinary work across the curriculum. She is a Senior Fellow for the A+ Schools Program (a nationally recognized school reform effort). She has taught in a variety of public school settings across the nation and is currently teaching dance at Jesse Wharton Elementary as part of her research. Her work has appeared in several publications including Dance Teacher Magazine. Her joy is in helping others discover the power of dance to express the internal to the outside world. Other interests include science, the great outdoors and reading mysteries.


Francine Monet Brantley

Francine Monet Brantley is a junior at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Dance with K-12 dance teacher licensure. Born in Manhattan, New York and raised in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Francine was not able to start taking formal dance classes at a young age, however, her courageous dance journey and passion for all performing arts, began at the age of 5. Ms. Brantley has been a part of many plays, musicals, numerous church productions, band concerts, as well as speaking events. Out of all of her many gifts she is mostly regarded for her ability to create and perform dance. Her most notable performance was at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts, for the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Jabberwock 2015 where she performed an inspirational solo and served as the assistant choreographer for the cotillion program. Francine desires to continue to use her God-given gifts to inspire and strengthen others.


Isabelle Collazo

Isabelle Collazo is a dance artist and educator from Chicago, IL. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Dance with K-12 licensure at UNCG and is very excited to be teaching this year with Dancers Connect! Isabelle recently completed a six-month cultural exchange program where she taught American dance forms at a private arts school in Yangzhou, China. She has taught dance and Yoga in Chicago schools and community centers with various organizations including The Chicago Ballet Center, River North Dance Chicago, Forward Momentum, and Mindful Practices. Her teaching has focused on working with diverse populations and integrating dance, yoga, social emotional wellness, and technology. She has studied dance and choreography in Taiwan, France, and Germany. Isabelle holds a BFA in Dance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a 200-hour Registered Yoga Teacher.


Kelly Albright

Kelly Albright is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Dance with K-12 dance teacher licensure. She was born in Burlington, North Carolina and began her dance journey at the age of 5 at the Centre of Performing Arts in Graham, NC under the direction of Joanna Warren and Tori Melbg. Ms. Albright has competed and won many solo, duo, group, and production awards including the Beale Fletcher Entertainment award as well as placing 1st overall in the regional competition. After graduation Ms. Albright plans to teach dance and coach dance team in public high school in NC. Kelly is a member of our UNCG Dance Team, the Spartan G's and is delighted to be celebrating her 3rd semester working with the Dancer's Connect program.


Katie Allison

Katie Allison danced for 14 years at the In Motion Dance Center in Winston-Salem, NC under the direction of Michelle Nicholson. She was on the studios competition team for 9 years and taught as an assistant dance teacher for 2 years. She attended Davie County High School studying under Ms. Terri Winchell and participated in the dance program for all four years in order to expand her knowledge of dance technique and choreography. Katie attended the North Carolina Governor's School for dance in 2014. After receiving her BFA in dance with K-12 dance teacher licensure, Katie plans to combine her passions for dance and working with children.


Amari Jones

Amari Jones is a Dance Major with a Minor in Entrepreneurship. She has been dancing her whole life with a focus on self expression found in contemporary dance. Amiri loves teaching young children and worked as a Camp Counselor teaching children ages 5­-12 years old at the Lake Lynn Park and Recreational Center in Raleigh NC. As a dance education major at UNCG she is deepening her creative practice focusing artistic expression and her personal movement signature.


Haley Marcin

Haley Marcin is from Park Ridge Illinois, a suburb just north of Chicago. She has been dancing for 15 years in all styles of dance including ballet, pointe, contemporary, modern, lyrical, jazz, hip hop and tap. An accomplished choreographer and teacher, she choreographed several dances for her high school dance company as team captain and has taught dance for the past 3 years. Haley is thrilled to be attending UNCG as a BFA dance major with a K-12 Licensure. She is so excited to be teaching and spreading her passion and knowledge with her students.


Adrienne Powell

Adrienne Powell is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro majoring in Dance and Biology. She was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina and began her dance training at the age of 7 at Linda Kinlaw School of Dance under the direction of Linda Kinlaw. Ms. Powell danced competitively for five years and won many solo, group, and special judges awards. She has also trained under distinguished artists in master classes, dance conventions, and at the University of North Carolina at School of the Arts summer intensives. Upon graduating, Ms. Powell plans to pursue a career in performance and choreography. She discovered an enjoyment for choreography and teaching dance during her three years of student teaching in high school. She is excited to share her love for dance with the Dancers Connect program for a second semester.


Tara Rooks

Tara Rooks is a freshman dance major at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Tara is from Lexington, South Carolina. She has trained with numerous teachers including Star Graham, Danyele Gardner and Ashley Howell. As a competitive dancer for the past 8 years, Tara has won several awards and scholarships at both a regional and national level Including Miss Teen Nexstar 2013 and 2015 3rd place title winner at Kids Artistic Revue National Competition. Ms. Rooks has taught various style of dance including ballet, jazz, musical theatre, tap, and acro at the South Carolina Dance Company. She is ecstatic to be apart of Dancers’ Connect this semester and to be able to share her passion of dance with others. She hopes to plant a seed in children’s hearts that will blossom into a love for the art of dance.


Nia Sadler

Nia Sadler is Dance Education major at UNCG. She began her training at Triple Threat DanCenter and Kinetic Dance Studio in Winston-Salem, NC working under Holly Grubbs, Kimi Cibery, and Grace Sheran. She attended Paisley IB Magnet School and West Forsyth High School focusing on dance and IB classes during her high school career during her high school career. A focused and dedicated student, Ms, Sadler graduated a year early to begin her degree in dance. Upon graduation, she plans to teach public high school or private school setting. She has always had a love for teaching and looks forward to sharing her passion for dance and the arts in the Dancer's Connect program.