Adam W. McKinney is a former member of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Béjart Ballet Lausanne, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and Milwaukee Ballet Company. He has led dance work across the U.S. and in Canada, England, Ghana, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Mexico, Palestine, Serbia, Spain and South Africa. He served as a U.S. Embassy Culture Connect Envoy to South Africa through the U.S. State Department in Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg respectively. Named one of the most influential African Americans in Milwaukee, WI by St. Vincent DePaul, McKinney is the Co-Director of DNAWORKS, an arts and service organization committed to healing through the arts and dialogue (www.dnaworks.org). McKinney was recently chosen as a School of American Ballet (SAB) National Teaching Fellow-an opportunity to engage in national conversations about diversity in classical ballet. He holds a BFA in Dance Performance with high honors from Butler University and an MA in Dance Studies with concentrations in Race and Trauma theories from NYU-Gallatin. McKinney is an Assistant Professor of Dance at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth.
Ashanti Williams is a proud graduate of Texas Christian University where she completed the BFA program in Modern Dance from The School for Classical and Contemporary Dance. Originally from Dallas, TX, Ashanti received her early training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, lyrical and hip hop from Kitty Carter's Dance Factory.
With over 10 years of experience, Ashanti has taught dance all over the metroplex, specializing in Jazz and Contemporary styles, and is very excited to share her knowledge and skills set with the dancers of Texas Dance Conservatory.
Crystal Derrick is a Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts alumna. She graduated Cum Laude with her BFA in Dance from Sam Houston State University. Ms. Crystal began her training at Margo Dean's School of Ballet and eventually became an apprentice for Ballet Concerto. She has had the honor of working with many artists over the years, such as Astrid Von Ussar, Bruce Marks, Luis Montero, Nathalie Krassovska and more. During college, she was an apprentice for Rednerrus Feil Dance Company and upon graduation became a member of the company and the costume mistress. She has taught at multiple studios in Houston, The Woodlands, and Cypress, Texas, but is so overjoyed to be back in Fort Worth and working at Texas Dance Conservatory.
Jackie Millan is a Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts alumna with over 25 years of dance experience. She recently moved back to Texas and is excited to bring her talents to Texas Dance Conservatory. Miss Jackie graduated Magna cum laude with her BA in Dance from Hunter College in New York City with department honors in dance and an academic scholarship. While at Hunter she had the opportunity to work with Vicky Shick, Kendra Portier, Jennifer Nugent, and more. Since graduating, Jackie has danced with MWest & Company and Bolly Dhamaal Dance. She currently dances with imPULSE dance project. Miss Jackie has taught dance in New York, New Jersey, and Texas. She completed the National Dance Institute’s Teaching Artist Training and several workshops with Associated Dance Teachers of New Jersey. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and continuously improving her own skills and abilities.
Krista Jennings Langford began her dance training outside of Atlanta, GA at the Lawrenceville School of Ballet (LSB) under the direction of Phyllis Allen. At LSB she trained in classical ballet, jazz, and modern dance and performed with Southern Ballet Theatre (SBT), a semi-professional company. With SBT she performed lead and soloist roles in classical ballets (including The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Giselle, and Alice in Wonderland) as well as a diverse range of works by area choreographers. During her studies at LSB she was fortunate to work as a teacher's assistant as part of a teacher training program, teaching her first ballet class as a high school senior. In addition, Krista's choreography was selected to be performed at Regional Dance America's Southeastern region's Emerging Choreographer's Showcase in 2004.
Krista moved to Fort Worth in 2004 to study Dance and English at Texas Christian University. A Dean's Scholar and recipient of the Jerry Bywaters Cochran Scholarship for excellence in Modern Dance, her dance studies included ballet and modern dance technique as well as teaching methods, improvisation, and choreography. While at TCU, Krista presented a concert of her own choreographic work as part of a grant she was awarded for Undergraduate Creative Research. In 2008, she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance and a BA in Writing.
A freelance performer, choreographer, and dance educator, Krista currently performs with imPULSE Dance Project and wild goose chase dance and teaches ballet and contemporary/modern dance for Kids Who Care, Arlington Classical Ballet Academy, and Texas Ballet Theater School. She is also a co-founding director of FurtherDance Fort Worth, a non-profit organization which seeks to foster community and professional development, within the Fort Worth contemporary dance landscape. Find out more about Krista's work at kjlangford.com.
Laura Barbee began her movement training in her home town of Tyler, Texas. She continued her education by earning a BFA in Ballet and Modern Dance at Texas Christian University. Her earlier training was molded by local teachers and through summer intensives at Dallas Ballet Center, Ballet Austin, and American Ballet Theater. TCU allowed her the great experience of working with the late Fernando Bujones who so clearly defined American classical ballet. During this time a love for more contemporary and modern work was cultivated through faculty members and artists such as Jessica Lang. She continued her studies on scholarship with Dance Theater of Harlem, LINES Ballet, and at Bates Dance Festival.
Professionally, Laura has worked with Alonzo King, Atlanta Ballet, Christian von Howard (von Howard Project), Elizabeth Gillaspy (Nymbal), Lauri Stallings, Lydia Johnson Dance, and Susan Douglas Roberts (wild goose chase). Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, Festival Internacional Brincos (Guatemala), World Dance Alliance-Americas (University of Wisconson - Madison, Dance Theatre Workshop - New York City), Fort Worth Dance Festival, and American College Dance Festival has offered a wide range of experience in local and international venues.
With a passion for teaching, she enters the TCU Theatre department with excitement. Laura began teaching at local Fort Worth dance studios and schools. She went on to teach at the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education and LINES Ballet's BFA, Training, and Summer programs. Laura is also certified in the GYROTONIC Expansion System (R) and enjoys guiding people in movement to improve their daily life.
Laura Barbee was born and raised in Tyler, Texas. She earned her BFA in Ballet & Modern Dance from Texas Christian University. She has gone on to teach and perform nationally and internationally in such places as Atlanta, Edinburgh (Scotland), Guatemala, Madison, New York City, and San Francisco. Laura is also very active as a certified trainer in the GYROTONIC ® Expansions System and GYROKINESIS ®. Currently, she is honored to be an Adjunct Faculty member with TCU’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance and an instructor with some of Fort Worth’s local dance schools. Fort Worth is now happily her home, and Laura’s greatest joy is her four-year old son.
Sarah Tipton received her early dance training at Adamson Ballet School in Katy, Texas. Sarah continued her formal training at the Houston Ballet Academy where she had the opportunity to perform in The Nutcracker and Etudes. Sarah is an alumna of Texas Christian University and received her BFA in Ballet and her minor in Arts Administration in 2009. After graduation, Sarah joined Ad Deum Dance Company under the direction of Randall Flinn and performed locally and abroad for six seasons. From 2012 to 2016 Sarah was an instructor for the Houston Ballet Academy's Lower School, as well as for their Education Outreach Program and Adult Program.
Sarah is excited to return to Fort Worth and is honored to join the faculty at Texas Dance Conservatory.
Shelly Torres began her dance training at the age of 3 in Burley, Idaho. During her youth Mrs. Torres danced competitively as well as danced several character parts in a wide variety of ballet performances. Mrs. Torres moved to Texas to attend Baylor University in 2009. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Education with a degree in physical education and a minor in dance in 2013. While at Baylor, Mrs. Torres served as a member and officer in the Baylor Dance Company for 4 years where she was president of the company for two years, giving her many opportunities to choreograph and produce dance shows. In 2013, Mrs. Torres received the award for Outstanding Graduate in All Level Physical Education.
Mrs. Torres has taught a variety of styles of dance to ages 2 and up to adult in the Waco and Fort Worth community. She has Texas educator certification in dance, physical education, as well as English as a second language. Mrs. Torres has a love for teaching dance to all levels of students and believes the art of dance can lead to lifelong healthy activity, as well as instill leadership skills, creativity, and confidence in young people. Mrs. Torres strives for positive growth within her classroom, and has the expectation that all students can achieve more through dance than they thought possible. She endeavors to have her students present themselves with poise and professionalism no matter what level of dancer they may be. Mrs. Torres is overjoyed to be on dance faculty at FWAFA since 2014 and Texas Dance Conservatory since it opened. She is looking forward to a fantastic year with her students and colleagues.
What I most appreciate about Texas Dance Conservatory is that my children are taught by fully trained dance professionals. I know they will train safely while being pushed to advance their technical skills.