Shanice Whittaker - Program Coordinator
Shanice has been dancing for over 20+ years; getting her start as a competitive dancer and cheerleader at the age of 5. Shanice has extensive experience in hip-hop, tap, contemporary, ballet, west African, jazz, step, and praise dance. Shanice has organized various dance productions, competed in multiple arenas, functioned as lead choreographer of her dance teams, and led as creative director of local performing arts productions.
Currently she is an HR professional with an MBA-HRM from the University of Phoenix. Shanice is a proud member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority Inc. and a practicing Christian under True Faith Community Baptist Church (Antioch). She is the founder of Soul Movement Dance Company which focuses on inspirational movement and development in various genres of dance. She encourages the desire to move and be active for physical, mental, and spiritual wellness and healing. She enjoys the beach, binging movies, and time with Prince Louie “Mr. Fluff” - her puppy!
Frankie Lee Peterson III - Ballet and Strength Conditioning Instructor
Frankie Lee is an Izzie Award nominee who received his BFA in contemporary dance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in May 2014, where he performed works by Larry Keigwin, Alwin Nikolai, Maurya Kerr, Shen Wei, Juel Lane, Doug Elkins and Merce Cunningham. He has been a consistent scholarship student and faculty assistant at the American Dance Festival, where he performed works by Ohad Naharin, Mark Dendy, Titiana Bagonava & Donald McKayle. He has performed works by Jeremy McQueen at “The Young Choreographers Festival”, “The Capezio ACE Awards”, “Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Series”, and by Mark Dendy in the World Premier of his site specific work, “Ritual Cyclical”, part of NYC Lincoln Center out of Doors. He recently attended/assisted Springboard Danse Montreal, where he performed works by Johannes Wieland & Helen Simoneau. He has shared his instructional work at LINES Dance Center, Alvarado Elementary School, and Mills College to name a few. He now resides in Texas where he is expanding his works under his brand .fLee dance - which stand for Fleeked, Loving, Enlightened, & Educating.
Roshonda Parker- Instructor
Ms. Parker is originally from Oakland, CA, balancing a career in the performance, creation, and technical aspects of dance; as well as running her own massage business. She has been dancing since the age of 7 years old, beginning with hip-hop. Now, she studies Afro house and Kuduro dance in Angola.
She joined the Afro Urban Society and has made space and taken on work that allows her to support others, spark conversation, create collaboratively, and pursue endless possibilities in the dance scene.
Jesse Byrd Jr. - Storyteller
Jesse Byrd is a 33-year-old African-American children’s book creator and dual-native of California and Louisiana. At 6 feet 8 inches tall, Jesse paid for his college education playing basketball at one of the top 10 Public Academic Universities in the country (UC Santa Barbara). After 3 years working on a secret project for Google at their headquarters in California, Jesse decided to pursue his true love of creating stories for readers young and old. Jesse’s debut novel, King Penguin, was highly praised and won awards at both the Los Angeles and Paris Annual Book Festivals, placing top 10 for the year in its category. His two picture books: “Sunny Days” and “Real Jungle Tales” have received awards in four major competitions worldwide. Jesse’s favorites are French toast with sliced strawberries, reading, writing, film, video games, and freshly popped popcorn. You can purchase Jesse’s stories on Amazon.