FEATURED NATIONAL GUEST ARTIST 2014: Rhonda cinotto (jazz dance)


Rhonda Cinotto (MDF Guest Artist and performer) currently teaches in the dance programs at the University of Washington and the Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences. She recently co-choreographed and produced an evening of jazz dance called Contemporary Jazz Dance Project of Seattle. Rhonda graduated with her M.F.A in dance in 2007 from the University of Washington. After graduating, she spent a year teaching modern and jazz at Western Michigan University. Prior to entering the M.F.A program, she was a member of Spectrum Dance Theater, performing works by Anne Reinking, Dwight Rhoden, Daniel Buraczeski, Daniel Ezralow, Frank Chaves, Lar Lubovitch, Margo Sappington and Donald Byrd, among others.

FEATURED GUEST ARTIST 2018: STEVE ZEE


Steve is a globe-trotting master tap dancer and teacher who has trained and performed with the Nicholas Brothers, Gregory Hines and countless other tap notables. He has taught and performed across the United States, Europe, South America and in China, edited two oral histories housed at prestigious scholarly institutions and been a member of the Jazz Tap Ensemble and Rhapsody In Taps. Check out his Ted Talk  "Tap Dancing Is The Story Of America" and his article that was recently published by Dance Magazine. Steve is the man behind Tap Academy Online, the world’s first subscription-based tap training program and currently teaches lessons in two languages to subscribers in 20+ countries on four continents. Steve has taught at countless tap festivals both international and domestic such as LA Tapfest, Big Apple Tap Festival, Chicago Human Rhythm Project, Joinville Festival de Dança, Limoges Festival de Claquettes, China International Tap Dance Festival and many, many more. When not traveling to teach and perform, Steve can be found in the Dance Departments at CSU, Long Beach and Santa Monica College and giving master classes at various dance studios in Southern California. He is also the lead tap teacher for The Gabriella Foundation which gives extremely low-cost dance lessons to under-served youth in Los Angeles.

MDF Faculty

FEATURED NATIONAL GUEST ARTIST 2015: dEsHONA pEPPER-Robertson (aFRICAN dANCE)


Robertson emerged as a principal dancer for Dayton Contemporary where her performance career spanned twelve years. She received training from and was cast in ballets by some of the most famous choreographers and teachers in the field: Talley Beatty, Maria Benitez, Merce Cunningham, Ron Brown, Bill T. Jones, Bebe Miller, Anna Sokolow, James Truitte, Doug Varone, Kevin Ward and Jawole Zollar, to name a few. She performed the dances of these historic and contemporary figures in theatres across the United States including the Kennedy Center, Washington DC, the Joyce Theatre, New York, NY, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival and in Bermuda, France, Germany, Russia, and Poland. In 1998 she received the Josie award created by Dayton Contemporary founder, the late Jeraldyne Blunden. At the pinnacle of her artistic achievement, as a dancer, Robertson accepted a job to direct the dance department at Stivers School for the Arts. Today she mines the depth of historic, contemporary and personal phenomenon through her choreography for young dancers whose child’s eyes freshen the cycle of creation. As teacher, rehearsal coach, and most importantly, choreographer, DeShona allows students to investigate historic events that have preceded them, such as the Birmingham church bombings privileged in her dance, 4 Denise, Carole, Addie, and Cynthia (2006). In 2008, Robertson received the Excellence in Teaching Award at Stivers. Mrs. Robertson holds a Master’s in Education from Antioch University Midwest, a BFA degree in Dance and a BA in Business Marketing from Barat College Conservatory of DePaul. She has taken graduate classes at the University of Dayton and The Ohio State University. She is a member of Omega Baptist Church and lives in Dayton, with her husband and son.

PAST Faculty