Springboard
Teaching Artists

Abra-Kid-Abra

Abra-Kid-Abra

St. Louis magician Jeff Lefton founded Abra-Kid-Abra in 2005. As a child, magic improved Jeff’s confidence and helped him come out of his shell. Jeff went on to perform at Hollywood’s Magic Castle in Las Vegas, and on a national tour for General Motors. He founded...

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho

Alicia Sunshine Gbaho began her dance studies at the Katherine Dunham Center in East St. Louis, IL. Upon graduation from high school, she furthered her dance studies at Illinois State University. Her specialties include Jazz, West African, and Hip Hop. The lists of...

Alisha Harris

Alisha Harris

Alisha Harris' interest in yoga started during her college years when her father gifted her with her first yoga mat. She wasn't practicing yoga at the time, but her father encouraged her to try something new. After taking yoga classes at a recreation center on campus,...

Aparna Tara

Aparna Tara

Aparna Tara is a multicultural, multilingual movement artist. She aims to co-create learning spaces with her students that encourage respectful exploration of dance and culture. Aparna’s dance background includes Bharatanatyam, yoga, West African dance, sabar, Indian...

Bekah Harbison

Bekah Harbison

Bekah Harbison is a St. Louis-based director, producer, and teaching artist who is thrilled to join the Springboard to Learning team. Bekah is the founder of Aligned Theatre Collective, a person-centered, all ages theatre company and has directed for organizations...

Beyond Measure Dance Theater

Beyond Measure Dance Theater

Founded in 2007, in St. Louis, Missouri, Beyond Measure Dance Theater (BMDT) has been labeled a “preeminent Afro-Fusion Dance Company!” Artistic fusion is the language of this company, as is expressed through its combinations of poetry, visual art, folk tales, and...

Bobby Norfolk

Bobby Norfolk

2024 Exemplary Teaching Artist Bobby Norfolk began his career as a National Park Service ranger at the Gateway Arch in St. Louis utilizing his degree in history.  After performing in comedy clubs and repertory theaters in the area, he found his true calling when...

Branislav Tomich

Branislav Tomich

BRANISLAV TOMICH is an award winning New York actor/playwright/educator who recently relocated to his hometown of St. Louis. Mr. Tomich has performed in New York City at Carnegie Hall, The Original Improvisation, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, La Mama, and New York...

Carmen Guynn

Carmen Guynn

Carmen R. Guynn is a native of St. Louis, Missouri and the Owner/ Artistic Director of Almas Del Ritmo Dance Company. The dance company is the first Latin Dance Company in St. Louis, and has made appearances on the OWN’s Network popular TV show Welcome to Sweetie Pies...

Christopher Alex Chablé

Christopher Alex Chablé

Christopher Alex Chablé is a father and community artist in Saint Louis. He began teaching Capoeira Angola in 2010 under the tutelage of Master of Capoeira Gidalto Pereira Dias in the Capoeira Angola Sports Center, one of the oldest schools established in Salvador,...

Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly

Daniel Kelly has over 20 years of experience in professional and educational theatre. He played the role of Shakespeare and also Hamlet’s uncle, Claudius, in productions of the 2010 Shakespeare Festival St. Louis Education Tour. He was a teaching artist and Director...

Daniel Romano

Daniel Romano

Daniel Romano is a puppeteer, a storyteller, a teacher and a folklorist. He has performed at the International Institute's Festival of Nations, The Shaw Neighborhood Arts Festival, the Catawba Farm Fest in Virginia and at schools, libraries and centers throughout the...

David Novak

David Novak

Highly prized for his ability to bring ancient tales, classic myths, and original stories to life and enthrall audiences of all ages, American storyteller, David Novak, is in demand for his school presentations, stage plays, keynotes, and workshops. Smithsonian...

DeAnna Massie

DeAnna Massie

DeAnna Massie has both an MFA and ED.D. degrees and is a teaching artist, actor, and researcher specializing in improvisation and performance. DeAnna is an eighteen-year veteran of improv who has toured the United States as a performer and is one of only 52 Certified...

Diadié Bathily

Diadié Bathily

Diadié Bathily has danced professionally for over 30 years and has performed professionally for Marie-Rose Guiraud’s Les Guirivoires, Adama Drame, Wara Danse (his company in the Ivory Coast), and Diadié Bathily Dance (in the United States). Bathily is an experienced...

Diana Barrios

Diana Barrios

Diana Barrios has been the primary creator and instructor of various Springboard to Learning programs presented in partnership with Leverage Dance Theater since 2005. She is the creator of “Moving With Science”, “Moving Through Math (adapted with permission from Math...

Dianne Moran

Dianne Moran

Dianne Moran spent 15 years experience as a professional folklorist, living historian and Chautauqua Scholar presenting solo and duo (stories/music) performances throughout the mid west and NY. Included are performances, workshops and residencies for St. Louis Zoo,...

Dino O’Dell

Dino O’Dell

Whether he's counting monsters, fixing spaceships or swimming in peanut butter, Dino's interactive songs and tall tales engage curiosity, inspire laughter and stir the imagination. Before 2003, Dino was an elementary music and drama teacher by day and a folk-rock and...

Ed Reggi

Ed Reggi

Ed Reggi is a professional actor who grew up in the Big Apple. After earning his BFA from Fontbonne University, he moved to Chicago and joined The Second City. He holds a Regional Emmy for his television work and was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s nationally syndicated...

Erin Badger-Coffey

Erin Badger-Coffey

Erin Badger-Coffey discovered her love of dance at a young age through experiences with creative dance and movement. She graduated from Northwest School of the Arts High School with a major in Modern Dance. After auditioning in 2000, Erin was accepted to the...

Fanfare

Fanfare

Fanfare plays a variety of styles of music with a great deal of, well...FANFARE! Fanfare features the lead vocalist Kittie Moller whose vocals will capture and enthrall you. The music they play will take you all over the sound spectrum with music that includes Motown,...

Fannie Belle Lebby

Fannie Belle Lebby

Fannie Belle Lebby is a Woodie Award nominee who had written, directed, and stared in many theatre productions.  Including her one woman show, Ladies of the Blues, including portrayals of blues artist/jazz singer Alberta Hunter and comedienne Moms Mabley. Fannie has...

FIRE DOG

FIRE DOG

The three piece rock and roll band, FIRE DOG, was formed in 2006 by singer/songwriter and teaching artist, Mark Pagano. As a band they have released four albums of original music, played over 250 shows, and toured throughout the country. In 2009, FIRE DOG took on the...

Gina Bon-Perez

Gina Bon-Perez

Gina Bon-Perez is a passionate and dedicated dance educator who’s mentored and trained dancers for over thirty years. She received her BA in Performing Arts from Lindenwood University and during that time also studied ballet with Gary Hubbler at Webster University....

Glen “Papa” Wright

Glen “Papa” Wright

Glen “Papa” Wright is a percussionist who has been teaching and performing for over 45 years. For 23 years he taught percussion at St. Louis Conservatory and Schools for the Arts (CASA) in St. Louis, MO. He taught St. Louis Community College’s Applied Music students...

Glynis Brooks

Glynis Brooks

Glynis is a Performing Artist with a host of experience in Theatre, Storytelling, Stand-up Comedy, Film, and Television. She is most noted for creating and performing a series of one-woman shows including Harriet Tubman, An American Hero, America, Act One, Desperate...

Hassie Davis

Hassie Davis

Hassie Davis is a 30+ year veteran in the Arts community having worked extensively locally and nationally as an actress and teaching artist. She also works as an arts administrator for CHIPS Health & Wellness Center where she is Program Coordinator for the teen...

Jeff Koziatek

Jeff Koziatek

Jeff Koziatek is a nationally recognized and award winning entertainer, speaker and producer. For more than 17 years, Jeff has worked professionally in the entertainment industry, performing more than 3,000 shows across the country in just the last eleven...

Jenny Battenberg

Jenny Battenberg

Jenny Battenberg has taught dance in the St. Louis area since 2001 in modern, hip-hop, jazz, ballet, and tap. She also taught Leverage Dance Theater’s arts-integrated programs in school and after school. She trained and worked as a dancer, dance educator, model, and...

John “Br. John” Anderson

John “Br. John” Anderson

John "Br. John" Anderson is a renown, motivational storyteller, cultural historian and tribute vocalist. For over 30 years, he has performed throughout the United States and the Caribbean. With an extensive experience in theater, Br. John shares his passion for...

Joia World Percussion

Joia World Percussion

Brilliant, clear, and shining jewel is the translation of Joia (from Portuguese). The musical translation in St. Louis is a dynamic, world percussion ensemble with a contagious, primal pulse. Joia’s ensemble presents many types of exciting percussive performances to...

Jordan Woods

Jordan Woods

Jordan Woods is a choreographer, educator, and performer local to St. Louis. Usually seen directing/choreographing, his credits include the Overdue productions of Sondheim: A Musical Review, Spring Awakening, and Children of Eden; Rebel and Misfits premiere production...

Karen Young

Karen Young

Storyteller and writer Karen Young creates and tells stories "for the young at heart and ancient in spirit." She brings history and folklore alive with her vivid character portrayals which educate and entertain audiences of all ages. Working with classroom teachers,...

Kenya Ajanaku

Kenya Ajanaku

Kenya Ajanaku is a nationally known drummer and storyteller whose talents have captivated his audiences for over 26 years. His signature program, "Rhythms and Folklore of Africa," is a unique combination of storytelling, drumming, and dance. Kenya started his career...

Kunama Mtendaji

Kunama Mtendaji

Kunama Mtendaji is a veteran teacher and performer of storytelling, music and dance. He was born into a family that excelled in the oral tradition on his mother's side and musical instrumentation on his father's side. He learned traditional drumming and dance of the...

Lesli Henderson

Lesli Henderson

2024 Exemplary Teaching Artist Lesli Henderson is excited to be a part of Springboard to Learning. She brings over 30 years of teaching experience in the Hazelwood School District. She has taught all academic subjects but has a passion for teaching math and science....

Leverage Dance Theater

Leverage Dance Theater

Leverage Dance Theater is a not for profit organization of St. Louis based dance artists dedicated to the development of local contemporary modern dance programs. Our primary activities include creating opportunities for the advanced training and development of dance...

Linda Kram

Linda Kram

Linda Kram has been teaching for over 27 years. She currently teaches science and outdoor education at a daycare in University City. She has BA degrees in English and Education and continues to be a lifelong learner. Linda is a member of Gateway Storytellers and...

Linda Wheatland Smith

Linda Wheatland Smith

Linda Smith has been singing folksongs with children for over twenty years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in movement therapy from Webster University and has studied voice and guitar since 1976. She taught movement, drama and most recently her Sing Out residency to...

Margaret Hassenstab

Margaret Hassenstab

Margaret Hassenstab is a dance teaching artist who found her calling in Arts Integration. She holds a BFA in Dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and danced professionally in New York City for 11 years, including six seasons in Radio City's Christmas Spectacular at...

Marilyn Lane

Marilyn Lane

Marilyn spent 18 years as a children’s librarian, and it was this experience that really sparked her interest in storytelling. She joined St. Louis Gateway Storytellers and also took a storytelling course offered at UM-St. Louis. She participated in numerous workshops...

Mark Pagano

Mark Pagano

Mark Pagano is a musician and educator with more than 15 years experience. As an educator, he has worked with young people in various settings, from New City School to ARCHS and Center for Survivors. He has written and released 5 albums of original material and toured...

Michelle Dillard

Michelle Dillard

Michelle Dillard holds an MA in Theatre and a BA in Corporate Communication. She is an actor; voiceover artist; director; playwright; certified coach/speaker; author of “Her Story Our Story,” a devotional for women; on-camera talent; and teaching artist. She has...

Moacyr Marchini

Moacyr Marchini

Moacyr Marchini, a native of Brazil, learned traditional samba music when he was growing up in Sao Paulo. Batucadas (percussion ensembles) and pagodes (a style of vocal music with a samba rhythm) could be heard on the streets corners, in open bars, on the beaches, in...

Pacia Elaine Anderson

Pacia Elaine Anderson

Pacia Elaine Anderson is a visual, spoken, and teaching Word Artist who uses language in its many expressed forms to tell vivid stories, record and share history, and as a vehicle for both introspection and communal connection. She has shared her poetic offerings on...

Pam Cordia

Pam Cordia

Pam Cordia is a results-oriented, performance-based educator with the experience, knowledge, and passion to foster a desire within students to achieve – using music, rhythm, writing, and mnemonic devices. She has a broad depth of experience, including self-contained...

Paul Vandivort

Paul Vandivort

Learning how to make puppets in the Heart of the Beast, and Bedlam Theaters in Minneapolis, Paul has since dedicated his life to the art of children’s performance. He uses puppets to spark children’s interest in reading, as well as foster their critical thinking...

Peppy Puppet Troupe

Peppy Puppet Troupe

Peppy Puppet Troupe was formed in 2009 by two St. Louis puppeteers, Michelle O’Donnell and Stan Gulick. They perform entertaining and educational puppet shows with a strong story line and humor. They utilize talking mouth puppets, hand puppets and a live actor. Their...

Rhythms in Anoa Dance Theatre

Rhythms in Anoa Dance Theatre

Rhythms in Anoa Dance Theatre is a St. Louis-based performing arts trio, led by Founding Artistic Director, Deborah Ahmed. Started in 1983, it is an ensemble dedicated to the highest artistic quality in its expression of various performing art forms. Deborah has done...

Rick Kramer

Rick Kramer

Rick Kramer lived in Brazil and speaks fluent Portuguese. He studied at the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba, as well as with master percussionists Jorge Alabe, Giavanni Hidalgo, Jesus Madeira, and others. He is Remo Drum Corporation Health Rhythms Certified. He...

Robert Poe

Robert Poe

A native of South Carolina, Robert Poe has enjoyed a professional dancing career since 2004. For 19 years he has performed with classical and contemporary dance companies across the Southeast and Midwest. Since coming to St. Louis in 2011, he became a founding member...

Rodney Lindor and Ensemble

Rodney Lindor and Ensemble

Rodney Lindor is a professional musician and dancer who has taught about the culture of Haiti for decades.  He is a well-respected part of the community and specializes in promoting cultural recognition and cultural diversity.  Through his programs, he give students...

Samba Bom

Samba Bom

Samba Bom duo (with the option of adding a dance instructor) is an ensemble that plays authentic Brazilian music in presentations at schools, festivals and private events. The group features Vince Golomski, keyboard and percussion; Mr Mo Marchini, percussion,...

Sandra Griffin

Sandra Griffin

Sandra Ure Griffin is an artist, writer, and teacher currently living in St. Louis, MO. She is the author/illustrator of Earth Circles (New York: Walker, 1989), The Big and Little ABC, and the author of Only One Wish. She recently self-published Bristol and Quinn, the...

Sarah Anne Patz

Sarah Anne Patz

Sarah Anne Patz has over four decades of experience teaching dance and movement arts for students at the preschool, elementary, and college level. She has taught with Springboard to Learning since 2010. Her current Springboard programs are Moving With Character,...

Sarah Council

Sarah Council

Sarah Council is a contemporary modern dance choreographer and teaching artist with 20 years of experience, based in North Carolina. Thanks to the wonders of technology, she has been asked to work with Missouri students from the comforts of her home. She is the...

Sherry Norfolk

Sherry Norfolk

2024 Exemplary Teaching Artist Sherry Norfolk is an award-winning storyteller, author and teaching artist, performing, and leading residencies and professional development workshops nationally and internationally. As a performing artist, she is a dynamic storyteller,...

Sky Kingsland

Sky Kingsland

Sky Kingsland has been drumming since 1990, his passion being West African drumming, which he has studied with many teachers in the U.S and in Mali. He has taught West African Percussion  for music therapists at Maryville University, and currently teaches at St. Louis...

StagePlay Learning

StagePlay Learning

The mission of StagePlay Learning is to turn theatre skills into life skills. Our educational and touring branch makes learning interactive by turning any school classroom, gym or auditorium into the premiere children’s theatre. Tress Kurzym is the founder of...

Thomasina Clarke

Thomasina Clarke

Thomasina Clarke is an accomplished actress, director, musician, writer, and retired middle school drama instructor. She began acting in the first grade and has grown to perform with several local theatre companies - Unity Theatre Ensemble, Metro Theatre Circus (now...