Dance Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
The Coppin Institute for Intergenerational Arts program offering dance and holistic healing arts classes for teens, adults and senior citizens and dance performance workshops taught by renowned national and international dance educators who have extensive dance training in their field of expertise.
Vanessa L. Jackson-Coles
Associate Professor, Director (Ballet, Distance Education)
Vanessa Jackson Coles is an Associate Professor and Director of the Coppin State University Dance program. She was the first CAPA (Creative and Performing Artists) Scholar at the University of Maryland College Park and a graduate teaching assistant at Temple University where she received her MFA dance. She has taught at The Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University, Towson University, University of Maryland at College Park, and directed the dance program at The Community College of Baltimore County for several years prior to coming to Coppin. She also has a MA in Instructional Technology Systems received from the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and recently received her 200 hour yoga certification. Vanessa has received several City and State grants for her Kids in Motion Outreach program.
Reggie Glass is a dancer, choreographer and educator. He hails from Petersburg, VA and now resides in Mount Rainier, MD. Reggie holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Virginia State University and a Master of Arts degree in Dance from American University. He has had the honor of training and dancing with Gesel Mason, Carla Perlo, Adrienne Clancy and Ann Halligan-Donahue. He is also a founding member of DC’s all male dance company, Edgeworks Dance Theater, founded and directed by Helanius J. Wilkins. Reggie is a two time Metro DC Dance award winner and one of the first recipients of The Community Foundation’s Creative Initiative grants. Currently, Reggie is the director of the performance collective group, THEMOVEMENT!
Keira Hart-Mendoza is the artistic director of UpRooted Dance, a theatrical contemporary dance company based in Washington DC. She holds an MFA in Dance from Arizona State University and BA’s in Dance and Media Arts & Design from James Madison University. She moved to the Washington DC area after living in Charlottesville Virginia for two and half years where she was teaching dance at the University of Virginia. She has worked with musicians, filmmakers, engineers, actors, motion capture technology, and fashion design. Keira’s choreography and award winning Dance for the Camera work has been shown both nationally and internationally in Arizona, Washington, across the state of Virginia, North Carolina, the DC-Metro Area, and in Mexico. Keira has also worked as a guest artist at James Madison University, the University of Virginia, and Dance Arizona Repertory Theater Company. Keira’s interest lies in the visual aspects of dance, and her work often reflects her interest in costumes design and set design.
Alice Howes joined the Coppin State University as a full-time dance faculty and director of the Coppin State University Dance Ensemble in 2011. She has also taught at American University, Lamar University, and Salisbury University. She holds a B.A. degree in dance and English from James Madison University and an M.F.A. in dance from Sam Houston State University. She has also earned a Certificate of Movement Analysis from the Laban Institute for Movement Studies. She served from 1995 to 2004 as artistic director and resident choreographer of Sister’s Trousers Dance Company, a modern dance ensemble based in Washington, D.C. Her choreography has appeared in several selective showcases at venues such as D.C.’s Dance Place and Kennedy Center.
Paula Le Vere
Paula Le Vere was first introduced to dance 32 years ago through the art form of ballet. Over the course of her career, Paula has studied with some of the well known names of the ballet world: Sylvester Campbell with The Baltimore School for the Arts, Laura Alonzo with the Cuban Ballet Company in Cuba, Arthur Mitchell with Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Fredrick Franklin of the Ballet Russe. Through her intense studies, Paula was able to perform major ballets such as Giselle, The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Firebird and other notable ballets. Paula also appeared as a guest soloist on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood. In 1993, she earned a B.A. in dance from Point Park University where she was a positive influence in the lives of toddlers and young adults through her teachings of ballet. Most importantly, Paula has found a love in being a positive role model to the children she has guided and instructed throughout her profession. Paula has shared her knowledge and passion for the art of ballet through volunteer work with the inner city. Furthering Paula’s accomplishments, she formed a youth ensemble, Union City Youth Ensemble, for the inner city kids of New Jersey. Paula's love for dance brought her back where it all began in Baltimore, Maryland. Paula was given a great opportunity to build the dance program at Meade Senior High School where she was director of the dance company. She formed a thriving after school dance program, Dance Happens, Incorporated, through Mount Royal Recreation Center for Baltimore’s inner city kids. Currently, Paula is teaching for The Baltimore School for the Arts TWIGS program, ConneXions School for the Arts, and Dance Happens, Incorporated.
Darby Iva Pack is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Performance/Choreography. She has studied extensively in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, African Dance and Choreography. She has studied under, to name a few, Gus Solomons, Jr., David Dorfman, Nicholas Leichter, Eddie Taketa, Gesel Mason, Stephanie Powell and Joe Goode. Her work has been presented at The Kennedy Center, the American College Dance Festival, Salisbury State University, The Black College Dance Exchange, The International Association of Blacks in Dance Conference, Baltimore Museum of Art, Coppin State University & Morgan State University. Currently, Ms. Pack is teaching at Coppin State University, directs a Liturgical Dance Company and teaches at Liturgical Dance Conferences in churches around the USA. She mentors many churches in Dance Ministry in Maryland.
Diana Prout-Marbley is a graduate of Howard University with a BFA in dance performance. She has performed throughout the east coast at various liturgical conferences and most recently has performed at the Hippodrome Theater for the 2005 Dance Baltimore; Morgan State University and other community projects. She is a certified Pilates instructor who teaches throughout the Baltimore community.
Magira Ross originally of Denver, Colorado, graduated with honors from the University of Maryland with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts and she earned a Master of Dance Education from Temple University. She teaches extensively in Maryland and Pennsylvania schools, studios and community-building venues. She has studied ballet, Horton, Limon, and Cunningham techniques, and varied African Diasporic dance forms including Dunham, Umfundalai, Capoeira and West African Dance. She studied and performed with the late Dr. Pearl Primus, Dr. Sherrill Johnson of Howard University, Phoenix Repertory Dance Company, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence at Skidmore College and with Kariamu and Company in Philadelphia. Magi is a two time Educators Fellow of Bates College in Maine, a recipient of the Sarah Hilsendager Award for Professional Educators and a recent recipient of the Leeway Art and Change Award in Philadelphia. Her movement style is an eclectic blend of modern, funk and African Diasporic dances. She is the founder of My Sister's Keeper Dance Collaborative, The Moving Spirit Dance Collective and a founding member of The Return to Goree African Dance Company. She performs currently with Troupe DaDa African Dance and Drum and she collaborates with various artists in Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, Washington DC and Maine. Magi currently creates, lives and works in Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Jill Vasbinder holds an MFA from the Conservatory of Dance from Purchase College, and an Arts Administrative Masters Certificate. She completed her Bachelor of Arts in Dance and Anthropology from the Barnard College at Columbia University. Jill is a proud graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts. Jill received numerous scholarships after completing her studies at the School for the Arts such as Purchase Nutcracker Scholarship and Harkness Dance Scholarship, to mention a few. She also worked at the American Dance Festival. Jill is currently an adjunct faculty at University of Maryland at Baltimore County and The Community College of Baltimore County. She has extensive dance administrative experience working with the Hartford Children's Theater and diverse audiences. Jill is also a certified Pilates and ballroom dance instructor.
BRAVO Community Outreach Youth Instructors
Community Dance Instructor (Modern)
Community Dance Instructor (Ballet)
Lorenzo "golo" Evans
Community Dance Instructor (Hip Hop)
Community Dance Instructor (Musical Theater/Acting/Jazz)
Actress/Singer/Choreographer CJay Philip made her Broadway debut in Big The Musical, she was also in the Broadway productions of Street Corner Symphony and Hairspray where she was Dance Captain for the Broadway and touring companies. CJay has toured as Lorrell in Dreamgirls and Paulette in Legally Blonde. CJay is currently the artistic director of Dance & Bmore a Baltimore based contemporary company that serves children by engaging entire families through dance.
Community Dance Instructor (Tap)
Student Intern Modern/Jazz)
Jenise Akilah Anthony is the current President of the Coppin State University Dance Ensemble. She is a native of Trinidad and Tobago where she received most of her formal training. She began dancing with the Les Effort Dance Company at age 5 eventually enrolled in the Beverly Hinds Dance Theatre. At age 16, she joined the Caribbean School of Dancing where she received distinctions in five Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) Jazz and Modern Dance Examination. Jenise was soon inducted into the Metamorphosis Dance Company where she participated in shows like “Tribute” and was a soloist in “Soiree.” In 2006, she joined the Keturah Dance Ministry as choreographer and co-leader. In fall 2008, she left Trinidad on full scholarship to pursue certification in Dance. At Coppin State University, she enrolled in the Dance Program and participated in dance festivals like the ACDFA and IABD. She received the solo part in “Lynching” choreographed by Trudy Cobbs. In 2009, Ms. Anthony was awarded the Most Outstanding Dancer award. Last year, she continued her career as founder and Assistant Director of the 1st Liturgical Dance Conference at Coppin. This year, she was chosen, along with two other dancers to represent her college at the adjudication concert at ACDFA in March.
Student Intern (Ballet)
Student Intern (Hip Hop/Stepping)