Christina started her career with PRJ as a principal dancer in 2007 and performed for three seasons, which included a sold out performance at The Ailey Citigroup Theatre in New York City in 2008. She then went on to pursue her professional training from Troy University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies/Dance Minor. During college, she was a member of the Troy Dance Repertory Ensemble (TDRE) where she took on the roles as a dancer, choreographer and dance captain. While with TDRE, she traveled to China on a study abroad/dance concert tour in 2010. In 2011 she was a Development Intern for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Upon graduating, she traveled to Manteo, NC to dance professionally with The Lost Colony, a historical symphonic drama. In an addition to Patti Rutland Jazz, she is also a guest principal dancer/ choreographer with DraMAStic Dance Works in Onancock, VA. With them, she originated the role of Giselle in Giselle: A Twisted Tale. Christina’s was the Associate Artistic Director and Operations Manager with PRJ for three years and now is the Artistic Director. She is the studio director for The PRJ Dance Centre. She would like to dedicate this year to her family.
“To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.”
~Agnes De Mille
Christina Green Hicks
Kat is a fifth year company member, and we are very pleased to have her technique and charisma on board. Kat has been dancing since the age of 3. She received her training from Onstage Dance School and The Dothan School of Dance. In her youth she performed various roles within the community:Molly in Dothan High School's production of "Annie", Clara in SEADAC's "The Nutcracker " and Dorothy in SEADAC’s, ”The Wizard of Oz". Kat took a break from the world of dance to focus inwardly and build a family. She made her first appearance with PRJ in 2012 as a guest artist in “Mindscape”. Kat had previously taught at CentreStage Dance Centre in Enterprise, AL and at Girard Elementary School with the PRJ Outreach Program. She is currently on staff with PRJ Dance Centre, and within PRJ's Outreach Program with Evergreen Preschool Ministries and Headstart Elementary. Kat looks forward to sharing the stage with her new dance family.
"It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
Alexandra McGriff is in her fourth year as a company member and second year as a faculty member with Patti Rutland Jazz. At fourteen she began competing and through dedicated training attained many regional and national awards including the 2015 senior elite duo/trio national title with her sister Elizabeth through the Platinum National Dance Competition. During the off season, she attended teacher certification classes at Acrobatics Arts and is now qualified as a module one acro teacher. She is excited to be working with the PRJ Performance Team this year and hopes to share her love for dance with all the students at the PRJ Dance Center.
"Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life." - Jack Kerouac
Elizabeth McGriff is a fourth year company member and second year instructor at the PRJ Dance Center. She began competing at fourteen and was dedicated to training which resulted in many regional and national awards including the 2015 senior elite duo/trio national title with her sister Alexandra through the Platinum National Dance Competition. Over the summer she attended Acrobatic Arts teacher certification classes and is now qualified as a module one acro teacher. She looks forward to working with the PRJ Performance Team and sharing her talents with all the students at the PRJ Dance Center.
“It is the quality of ones convictions that determines success, not the number of followers” Remus Lupin
Ryan is in his third year as a company member and is a choreographer, dancer, actor, and artistic director. He is proud alumnus of Troy University and a native of Montgomery, AL. Along with teaching workshops and training camps, his career highlights include: performances with Christina Fulton; SYTYCD; and performances under the artistic direction of Rob Hoffman and Travis Payne. Ryan is excited to share his work with you all and is grateful to God for his many blessings!
“Don’t get so caught up in society’s image of success that you lose sight of yourself.”
Veronica Taylor, age 22, began dancing at age 2 and continued to train through her childhood to today. She grew up studying Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical, and Hip-Hop at The Kelly School of Dance under Kathy Campbell and Vince Johnson. At age 6 she began twirling baton and twirled as a majorette in high school and now trains others in baton as well. She attended Chipola College as a Theatre major for years 2013-2015 where she learned to sing, build stage sets, and work a sound system and lights for a show. In 2015 she auditioned for the PRJ Dance Company and became an apprentice dancer for the season where she performed in Santa's Workshop, Spotlight on Broadway, and Playlist. Loving the continuous challenges PRJ gave her to exceed her dance skill, she auditioned again and is excited to begin her first year as a Principle Dancer for Patti Rutland Jazz Dance company for the 2016 year. She is a dance instructor at PRJ as the Adult Ballet Instructor, the Cultural Arts Center as a Ballet Instructor, and also at To The Pointe Dance Academy teaching tap, leaps and turns, baton, and pointe. She is also happy to begin teaching dance at Highlands Elementary School with the PRJ outreach program.
"I want to be a healer, and love all things that grow and are not barren" -Eowyn-Lord of the Rings
"There's some good in this world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for" -Samwise -Lord of the Rings
Jameka is a fifth year company member from Abbeville, AL. She apprenticed with PRJ in 2014 and performed in SOAR. With hard work and training, she was awarded the spot of a Company Member for the past five seasons. She worked for the Southeast Alabama Medical Center’s Child Development Center for five years. She is also the Director of Dance at Northview Christian Church, and she has been a part of this ministry for twelve years now. She has choreographed for Be U: Beautifully Unique non-profit and also was an assistant coached for the Onyx Stars Dance Center. She has recently been exploring her love for Musical Theatre and is involved with Southeast Alabama Community Theatre. Jameka teaches PRJ outreach classes at Selma Street Elementary School, Cloverdale Elementary School, and Vaughn Blumberg Center. She is also a teacher at the Patti Rutland Jazz Dance Center.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you have to do something you’ve never done!”
Kerry received a B.F.A. in dance from Marymount Manhattan College. As the result of a choreography and performance focused dance degree, Kerry's own choreographic works have been presented in collaboration with Troy University, Pikes Peak community College, The Confucius Institute, the Southeast Alabama Dance, and Shachah Touring Company. Kerry's more recent endeavors include teaching dance and choreographing works for Northridge Dance Conservatory, the Roy J. Wasson High School Performing Arts Academy, as well as dancing professionally with the Ormao Dance Company. Currently, Kerry serves as faculty with Lucretia's School of Dance, the Patti Rutland Jazz Dance Center, and PRJ's BEYONDance outreach program. An Alabama native, Kerry is extremely excited to be back in the southeast region of the United States and is honored to have the opportunity to perform with Patti Rutland Jazz Professional Company as a second year principal dancers this season.
Ryan Miller started dancing at the age of seven at various studios across the southeast such as Strausbaugh Dance Center (now known as PCDA) and Patti Rutland Jazz. At the age of nineteen, he moved to Chicago where he performed with Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, and other choreographers throughout the city. He performed works created by Lucas Crandall, the associate director of Hubbard Street Chicago, John Lehrer, Shapiro and Smith, and Lar Lubavitz. He was selected to perform alongside members of Joffrey Ballet, Hubbard Street, River North, and other various dance companies to perform in the closing number of Chicago’s Dance for Life Benefit, choreographed by Ryan Duncan. Ryan then moved to Austin Texas where he became a competition director for eight years at Capital City Dance Company and started a pre-professional program for young dancers. His choreography has been performed in the Alvin Ailey Citi Group Theater, Ruth Page Theatre Chicago, and Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. He is now home in Dothan, AL teaching and performing at Patti Rutland Jazz.
Elisha Burroughs is in his 4th season with PRJ, and 3rd season as a principal dancer. He began dancing right after high school in 2012 and began teaching hip-hop in fall of 2013. Although he started off completely self-taught, later on he received hip-hop training in Chicago from Robert Hoffman and Ava Bernstine. His training continued to diversify upon joining the company, adding jazz, ballet, contemporary, and modern styles. Elisha looks to continue training and meeting new people along this journey.
“We are all here for and because of one another.”
Bio coming soon!
Lauren returns to Dothan all the way from Owensboro Kentucky. Where she trained for 13 years with Joy Johnson and Owensboro dance theater. Lauren has worked as a counselor for jazz on tap on tour, and has performed throughout the country as well as Costa Rica. She received her professional training at Western Kentucky University; Where she was a company member and dance major with a stage electrics minor. She worked wardrobe and electrics for a variety mix of touring broadway shows including Beauty and the Beast and Drowsy Chaperone. Lauren recently expanded her talents into the color guard world. She taught movement and choreographed for multiple award winning high schools in the Kentucky and Tennessee region. She was a principal dancer for Patti Rutland jazz for three seasons and One Love dance company out of Lexington Kentucky for one season. She is extremely excited to be returning to Patti Rutland Jazz and to be teaching in the Outreach program again and for the Patti Rutland Jazz Dance Center!
Deanna is so excited to be part of Patti Rutland Jazz this season. She attended dance and theater training in Dothan from the age of five on into her youth at Onstage Dance Academy. As a youth/teen she also performed with SEACT, SEADAC, The Understudy Dinner Theater, and Chipola College. After leaving the Dothan area she went on to South Florida to receive training from Ballet Florida, learned to ice skate and attended professional auditions around the Tampa Bay area. Deanna returned to North Florida in 2009. Upon her return to the tri-state area she began teaching, choreographing competition solos and developed choreography for White Christmas,Theater Tallahassee, Footloose, Spanish Trail Playhouse, and Holiday Extravaganza, Chipola College music department. Deanna began training in Tallahassee in 2010 with Southeast Academy of Performing Arts under the direction of Natalia Botha and Charles Hagen. In 2015 Deanna joined Pas de Vie Ballet Company where she performed in a variety of classical and contemporary ballet pieces such as; The Nutcracker, Rodeo, Sleeping Beauty, Graduation Ball, Czerny and Totomotion. Currently Deanna runs a small classical ballet based studio called Agape Dance in Marianna, FL. Her goal is to provide quality dance training, outreach through out the community and inspire people to realize that their dreams are never out of reach. God has a unique path for all of us but it is up to us to take that step of faith.
“Your Word is a lamp to guide my FEET and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
Our Apprentice Dancers
Not pictured: Faith Echols and Leesha Warren
Faith is a third-year apprentice with Patti Rutland Jazz. Her passion for dance started at age 3 at Kelly School of Dance under the instruction of Kathy Burk. At age 5, she furthered her dance education under the instruction of Michelle Windham at Performing Arts Spectrum. Faith joined the Performing Arts Spectrum competition team at age 6 and has danced competitively every year thereafter. In the summer of 2014, she moved to Oz Dance Center training under the instruction of former PRJ dancer, Camille Whaley. Last spring she joined Patti Rutland Jazz Dance Center where she is happy to have found a dance home to continue her dance training. She trains in several forms of dance though her favorite is classical ballet.
“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. And God whose word I praise - in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me”
Arianna is a second year apprentice dancer from Dothan, Alabama. She began dancing at the age of 9 and received her training at the Kelly School of Dance in Dothan, Alabama, where she was also a teacher assistant for two years. She also received training at the PRJ dance center where she was on the performance team for 3 years and is currently in her first year of teaching tap. During her time as a competition dancer, she has been awarded with many scholarships and special judges’ awards for her passion, emotion and talent. In 2013, she was one of four dancers chosen in an audition at Dance Educators of America Nationals in Las Vegas to be represented by Jim Keith at The Movement Talent Agency as a commercial dancer! She enjoys to dance and it is quite evident when you watch her perform. “If God is for Us, Who can be against Us!”