Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Dancers 

Karah Abiog (Company Member/Instructor)
originally from Saratoga, California, received her BFA in dance from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. For three years she danced and toured with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble. She has worked with Tally Beatty, Ronald K. Brown, Katherine Dunham, Dianne McIntyre, Donald McKayle and David Rousseve and performed with recording artists Roberta Flack, Ray Charles and Dionne Warwick. She performs and teaches in Brazil annually at the International Dance Seminar of Brasilia. Since 1997, she has been blessed with the pleasure of dancing with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.

Elana D. Anderson (Company Member/ Instructor/Choreographer)
is a performer, instructor, and choreographer. She is an adjunct member of the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Ensemble, the Corps de Ballet for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and an instructor for the Studio One Dance Conservatory, and the Pathways to Development Program. Ms. Anderson became a member of the artistic team of Deeply Rooted Productions in 1998, and currently serves as the modern dance instructor for its Professional Training Program. She has worked extensively in television, film, opera and the concert dance stage for over twenty-five years. A devoted mother, crafts person, and consummate artist, she has gained the insight, stamina, and determination to succeed at what has come to be her life’s work:  the enlightenment of other lives through art.

Adriene Patrice Barber (Apprentice)
began her formal dance training at the Duke Ellington Senior High School of the Arts, in Washington, DC. While at Ellington, Ms. Barber performed works by Charles Augins, Saundra Fourtne-Green and Katherine Smith. She was also a scholarship student of Dance Theater of Harlem and the Ailey School. An Ailey/Fordham BFA graduate, Ms. Barber has performed works by Sean Curran, Earl Mosely, Helen Pickett, Jennifer Muller, David Parsons, Martha Graham, and Milton Myers. Ms. Barber also performed in “Memoria” with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and was an ensemble member of Bailiwick Chicago’s production of AIDA. She thanks her family for their love and support as she continues to journey and grow in her artistry. Adriene joined DRDTII in 2009 and matriculated into DRDT in 2011.

Michael Bishop(Apprentice)
a native of Gulfport, MS started dancing at the age of 21 at Belhaven University where he later graduated with a BFA in dance. During his senior year in college Michael received the Bezalel award for outstanding artistic achievement. While studying at Belhaven University Michael Danced professionally with TALK Dance Company and toured Russia. Michael also served as assistant to the choreographer during the IBC competition in the summer of 2010 under the choreographer Christopher Caines. Michael has recently moved to New York to pursue is career as a dancer and choreographer. Michael has performed with David Gordon’s Pick Up Company. This is Michael’s first season with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.

 Brian Brooks (Rehearsal Director/ Instructor/Choreographer)

was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and raised in Teaneck, New Jersey. He began his dance training at the Dance Theater of Harlem, and later moved on to Alvin Ailey American Dance Center. Since then, Brian has performed with such companies as FootPrints Dance Company, Forces of Nature, Philadelphia Company (Philidanco), Joseph Holmes Chicago Dance Theater, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater; the touring company of Vinette Carole’s “Your Arms Too Short Box with God,” Donald Byrd/The Group, and Earl Moseley’s Diversity of Dance.

Pierre Clark (Apprentice)
is a native of Chicago and started training at the age of 18 at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Shortly after college, he began his Deeply Rooted process. Inside of being a part of Deeply Rooted, he ventured out to Milwaukee Dance Connection, Quick Reaction Forces of Nature and “Beauty and the Beast”: of Disney World. Pierre’s first season with Deeply Rooted was in 2006.

Tracey Franklin (Rehearsal Director/Company Member)
A native of Chicago, Tracey Franklin began her training at the age of 16 at Joseph Holmes Dance Theater. She moved on to study at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and is a graduate of their Certificate Program. Franklin has worked with noted choreographers such as Donald Byrd, Kevin Iega Jeff, Alonzo King, Donald McKayle, and Milton Myers. She was a four-year member of Dallas Black Dance Theatre. Tracey’s first season with Deeply Rooted Dance Theater was in 2004.

DeeAnna Hiett (Company Member/Instructor)
a native of Texas, began her training with Pamela Erwin at the Dance Factory. Given a scholarship, she continued her training at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and soon joined Ailey II. She was a charter member of the Jamison Project, under the direction of Judith Jamison and later returned to dance with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. She has participated in various commercial works ranging from the American Express Industrial to an Issey Miyake Fashion show, as well as appearing as guest artist with several companies – including the Kansas City Ballet. Hiett has assisted and choreographed for the Lyric Opera and the Coterie Theater. She has taught at numerous schools and universities and worked with a wide range of choreographers.  DeeAnna currently dances with The Wylliams/Henry Danse Theater in Kansas City and Deeply Rooted Productions.

Joshua L. Ishmon (Company Member/Emerging Instructor and Choreographer)
was born and raised in Gary, Indiana.  He is a graduate of Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts where he studied under Larry Brewer, Michal Davis, and Porsha Woodson-Reese. Ishmon has also studied under the teachers of Ballet Chicago and M.A.D.D. Rhythms. During his high school years at Emerson, Ishmon competed in the Indiana High School Dance Team Association where he contributed to Emerson’s outstanding reputation for talent and passion.  The IHSDTA endowed him with the title of the “tall glass of talent.” He has performed on stage since he was 7 years old – whether at dance concerts or musical theater projects with the West Side Theater Guild of Gary, Indiana. Joshua is ecstatic about becoming a member of the Deeply Rooted Dance Theater family and plans to be here for a long while.

Shantelle C. Jackson (Company Member)
attended the Cleveland School of the Arts where she majored in dance. While there, she studied with the Urban Dance Collective under Terrence Greene; The Y.A. R. D. under Bill Wade; and the Pilobolus Dance Company under Allison Chase. She has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra and was awarded a talent scholarship from the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Upon graduation, Shantelle performed and studied with Dayton Contemporary Dance Second Company, and Earl Moseley’s Summer Institute. She began to choreograph and perform at Ohio University, where she graduated with a B.F. A. in Dance, Performance, and Choreography in June of 2008. Since then she has been enjoying dancing with Deeply Rooted.

Cecelia Webster Jones (Company Member/ Instructor)
is a native of Denver, Colorado where she trained in dance at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School.  Jones continued her dance education at the Denver School of the Arts and the Ailey School.  She returned to Denver to perform with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble and worked with choreographers Donald McKayle, Christopher Huggins, Kevin Iega Jeff, Roger C. Jeffrey, Milton Meyers, and Cleo Parker Robinson.  Jones is the Director of Dance Education at the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance School in Denver and makes guest appearances in the Cleo Parker Robison Dance Ensemble.

Carmel Louis (Company Member/ Instructor)
began her training at the age of four in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In Chicago she continued studying at Mayfair Academy and Chicago Dance Medium: Dancespace until going to college. After taking some time off to finish her degree in Computer Science, she returned to dance training at Columbia College and Joel Hall Dance Center. She originally began working with Deeply Rooted Productions through the training program in 1998. She progressed through the apprenticeship program and is now a company member. Carmel has worked with a number of independent choreographers throughout Chicago and has been a guest artist with Instruments of Movement. Her performing credits also include the musical theater production of Black Nativity produced by the Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Nijawwon Matthews (Company Member)
is a native of Auburn, New York and studied under Sean McLeod, founder of the New York Institute of Dance & Education. Matthews follows McLeod as the second African American in dance from Auburn to garner work as a performer, teacher, and choreographer. He trained throughout Central New York and at the age of 16, under the direction of Yvonne Villano-Hassett, became a principal dancer and soloist with the Absolute Dance Company. Matthews’ studies include ballet (Balanchine, Cecchetti, Vaganova), modern (Horton, Graham), jazz, and hip-hop. Nijawwon has also landed opportunities with several companies including the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, PHILADANCO, and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company. Notable choreographers who Matthews has worked with include Donald McKayle, Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Milton Myers, Cecilia Marta, Jennifer Muller, Christopher Huggins, and Chester Whitmore. Nijawwon enjoys connecting with colleagues and audience members alike. He looks forward to collaborating with artists, and creating opportunities for dancers to work in a professional environment.

Carolina Monnerat (Rehearsal Director/Company Member/ Instructor)
is a native of Brazil. She is a graduate of the Vaganova technique and has worked with Eugenia Feodorova, as a soloist in ballets such as Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Paquita, and Sleeping Beauty, among others. Carolina has worked with renowned choreographers and ballet masters including Kevin Iega Jeff, Gary Abbott, Dwight Rhoden, Milton Myers, Vera Timachova, Alexander Gorbatsevich and Galina Shlyapina. When not performing, Carolina works with film and video and is currently producing two documentaries on dance: “On Point,” an upcoming documentary about Deeply Rooted Dance Theater; as well as a a feature length film. She has been a company member since 2001.

Erin Murphy (Apprentice) was born and raised in White Lake, MI, where she began her  early training from The Dance Shoppe of Waterford, MI. She went on to graduate with honors from Grand Valley State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Dance. She has also studied at the Joffrey Ballet School’s Contemporary Dance program as a scholarship student. Her performance credits include principal roles in choreography by Thang Dao and Patrick Corbin, as well as performing with the Spinal Tap World Tour – Unwigged and Unplugged. Upon graduating, she became a founding member of Grand Rapids Dance project, a contemporary and modern dance company. Erin joined DRDTII in 2009 and matriculated into DRDT in 2011.

Angela Nicole Patmon (Company Member)
an Ohio native, began dancing at the age of three at Dublin Dance Centre and continued her training at Columbus Dance Arts Academy and Ballet Met Columbus.  Ms. Patmon graduated Cum Laude from Ohio University as a Templeton Scholar receiving her BFA on full scholarship.  In addition, Ms. Patmon received two grants to conduct research on dance attending the Conference on Research for Dance and the International Association of Blacks in Dance in addition to traveling the country training and performing with the Doug Varone and Dancer’s Intensive, Earl Mosely’s Institute of the Arts, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s Summer Intensive, and the Alvin Ailey Dance School.  After graduation, Ms. Patmon was a company member of Joel Hall’s Dance is A Language and was a company member of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater’s second company for two years.  Ms. Patmon thanks God and her wonderful family for their support that have allowed her to perform under greats such as Joel Hall, Telly Fowler, Terrence Poplar, Scott Rink, Ursula Payne, Christopher Huggins, Thaddeus Davis, Tanya Wideman, Earl Mosely, Stefanie Batten Bland, and many more!  Ms. Patmon joined Deeply Rooted in 2008.

Susanne Payne (Apprentice)
born and raised in Dayton, OH where she danced for the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company’s pre-professional and professional repertory touring company for seven years, studying under and performing works by such noted choreographers as Eleo Pomare, Donald Byrd, Rennie Harris, Ron K. Brown, Donald McKayle, and Talley Beatty.  In 2008 Ms. Payne earned the coveted JOSIE Award, an award voted on by her peers in the professional dance community.  Susie received her B.F.A. in Dance with a minor in Psychology from Wright State University, as a Martin Sheen Artistic Scholar. She has studied intensely at accredited schools such as New York University/Tisch School of the Arts, Idyllwild Arts Academy, and Interlochen.  Ms. Payne is a NASM-certified personal trainer and has been teaching and choreographing for over nine years.  She would like to thank Gary and Iega for the opportunity to join Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre in 2010.

Drew Shuler (Company Member)
was born and raised in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He began his dance training at Dillard Center For the Arts at age 14 and eventually received his B.F.A in Dance Performance from the University of South Florida in Tampa. He then went on to study at the Alvin Ailey School as an Alvin Ailey scholar, performing choreography by Alvin Ailey, Troy Powell, Jiri Kylian, Hans Van Manen, and David Parsons. He attended the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival: Contemporary Traditions Program, in 2006 and 2007 as a full-scholarship recipient under the wings of Mr. Milton Myers. Drew has performed with Buglisi Dance Theater in NYC, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance in Kansas City, Missouri and works with The Francesca Harper Project based in NYC. Drew’s first season with Deeply Rooted was in 2006.

Demetrius Tabron (Company Member)
A native of Washington, DC, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at University North Carolina School of the Arts. He was classically trained under Dance Theatre of Harlem Residency and school. He continued training at Ellington School of the Arts under the tutelage of Sandra Fortune-Green. He was a dancer for Eisenhower Dance Ensemble and SD/Prism Dance Theatre. He taught for Eisenhower Center for Dance and guest taught for Oakland University Dance Department (Michigan). His musical theater credits: Michigan Lyric Opera’s Amahl and the Night Visitors, Broadway Bound Children’s Theatre premiere God Lives In Glass and Seattle Opera’s Don Quichotte and Orphee et Eurydice. He has guest artist with Dance Institute of Washington Spirit of Kwanzaa (Washington, DC) and Evergreen City Ballet Nutcracker  Cavalier  (Seattle). He performed notable works by Louis Falco, Alonzo King, David Parsons, Merce Cunningham, Camille A. Brown, to name a few. His choreographic works has been presented nationally at Merce Cunningham Studios, SD/Prism Dance Theatre, and Oakland University’s Varner Hall.

Purcell Turner (Company Member/Instructor)
was born in Columbus, Ohio where she trained at BalletMet with the distinguished April Berry and Yoko Ichino.  She continued her dance education at such institutions as the American Dance Festival, Juilliard, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and Ohio University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Honors Tutorial College with a degree in Dance.  Kathleen has recently relocated from Cleveland, Ohio where she was a member of Cleveland Contemporary Dance Theater.  She has worked with artists such as Ronald K. Brown, Craig “Bopi” Patterson, Murray Louis, Shapiro and Smith and has performed at the Kennedy Center and various venues in New York City.  She was honored to play the role of “Mary” in Karamu’s Black Nativity for its 90th Anniversary season.  Ms. Turner is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and is overjoyed to be a member of Deeply Rooted Dance Theater.