1225 Berkeley Street, Durham North Carolina 27705
Dominique Garrett: Hip Hop
Dominique was born and raised right here in Durham and as a child, dance was the last thing on his mind. In 6th grade he attended Kestrel Heights School where he and his classmates were introduced to performing arts right here at Walltown! Dominique instantly fell in love with dance. Walltown took him in as family and began training Dominique in ballet, modern, and jazz. He has had intense ballet training at Bounds Dance Studio in Chapel Hill and was a member of Triangle Youth Ballet. Dominique was accepted into the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem for Ballet but continued his studies at Southern High School instead. As the years passed he slowly lost interest in the technical side of dance and began perfecting his hip-hop dance style. He has performed at the 2006 Gospel Choice Awards in Atlanta and is currently a guest teacher at 9th Street Dance studio. Dominique’s style of dance is influenced by Michael Jackson with a little bit of funk and a whole lot of swag
Kimberly (Kim) Palmer: Jazz, Hip Hop,
Jr. and Sr. Company
Kimberly (Kim) Palmer is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography. A native of Durham, NC, Kim began her training at Walltown Children’s Theatre in 2001. During her high school years she danced with Durham School of the Arts Dance Company, Walltown Children’s Theatre Dance Company, and Collage African American Dance Company. During her years at VCU, Kim has been seen in works by Daniel Guirtzman, Scott Putman, Gerri Houlihan, Chris Burnside, Amaranth Contemporary Dance Company, and Christian von Howard. Kim also performed in the reconstruction of the seminal work, Shelter by Jawole Will Jo Zollar, founder and artistic director of Urban Bush Women. Kim loves teaching and choreographing and being a mom to her son MJ.
Jessie Parmelee: Ballet, Stretch & Alignment
Born and raised in Arizona, Jessie comes from a diverse performing background. A classically trained ballerina, she danced professionally all over the country with companies such as the Louisville Ballet, American National Ballet, and Albany Berkshire Ballet. As a principal dancer with Inland Pacific Ballet, she performed many prominent roles including Sugar Plum Fairy (The Nutcracker) and Fairy Godmother (Cinderella). She was honored to be a part of Disney’s 50th Anniversary Celebration as an entertainer aboard the Disney Magic cruise ship. Later on in her career, Jessie expanded her horizons to include musical theater, performing in Phantom, CATS, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Spamalot, andThe Producers, to name a few. Jessie is also a certified Pilates instructor with a specialization in dance and is passionate about shaping the performers of tomorrow.
Defacto Thezpian: Creative Rap
It’s a word uniquely uttered by Hip Hop artist Defacto Thezpian that seems ideal when tasked with finding an adjective to describe the rising star from Durham, North Carolina.
A long-time stage actor (hence the name), Defacto Thezpian’s lyrical prowess continues to have him mentioned as an elite in the Triangle area. Seen on notable blogs like 2DopeBoyz & HipHopDX, as well as festival stages like A3C & YouBloomLA. It should come as no surprise that Defacto has already shared the stage with notable artists Nappy Roots, Well$, Joshua Gunn, Audio Push, Snow Tha Product, Pac Div, Young Dirt, as well as Professor Toon and The Real Laww.
Defacto Thezpian’s blend of music is eclectic and unique; a great compromise between the organic warmth of old school hip-hop and the focus and versatility of modern productions. It’s all about tight analog-like beats, lush melody and Defacto’s schnozy lyrical flow.
Listen to his music and you’ll hear the true tales of a young male with tales that are similar to his peers, but shared in a manner that forces listeners to hit the playback button again and again.
Rissi Palmer: Songwriting and Voice
Since releasing her self-titled CD in October 2007, singer-songwriter Rissi Palmer has received widespread media attention including The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, People Magazine, GIANT, New York Post, VIBE, CBS Saturday Early Show, Huffington Post, Extra, CNN, Rolling Stone, PerezHilton.com, as well as an appearance on the nationally syndicated Tavis Smiley Show and NPR’s The State of Things.
Palmer's singles "Country Girl,” “Hold On To Me,” and “No Air” were all on the Billboard Country Charts, making her the first African-American woman to have a song on the country charts in 20 years. She recorded an exclusive EP for Starbucks, her videos were fan favorites on CMT and GAC and she has been an invited performer at the White House and the Grand Ole Opry on numerous occasions. Rissi’s songs have appeared on television shows such as Saving Grace, Army Wives, and Heartland and in the feature film The Woodsman starring Kevin Bacon. Ms. Palmer is also the co creator and co-host of “The Relative Pitch”, an open mic for youth 18 and under held monthly in Raleigh, NC.
Having written her first song at 6 and receiving her first publishing deal at the age of 19, Rissi has taken her years of songwriting in Nashville and New York City and created a curriculum for students who are interested in lyric and music composition. She is passionate about helping her students find and develop their own unique voice and style by teaching the differences and similarities of various genres (i.e. Country, R&B, Pop, Rock, Indie, etc), encouraging students keep a journal, and using various exercises to dissect and learn the techniques of great songwriters of yesterday and today.
Dilsey Davis: Acting, Improv
Dilsey Davis is a writer, producer, director and actor who enjoys using the magic of storytelling and the moving image to shape and influence culture. She has been working in the film and television industry for over 18 years. Mrs. Davis has studied acting at UNC-Chapel Hill, HB Studio in New York, Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and Lesly Khan Studios in Los Angeles.
She is the founder and president of Café con Leche Media (CCL Media). CCL Media is an independent media production company in Atlanta, GA and Durham, NC dedicated to creating high quality projects. Mrs. Davis has created television programs and short films that combine both entertainment and messaging to effectively reach underserved audiences. Her work includes the award winning short film The Other Side, adapted from a children’s book of the same name. She also created, produced and directed the African short Wedding Day starring the popular South African actor Kenneth Nkosi (District 9, Tsotsi, No 1 Ladies Detective Agency). Most notably, she was the creator, producer and director of the award-winning “Nuestro Barrio” (Our Neighborhood), the first Spanish language series to air on English language television in the United States. In addition, she has produced a children’s short animation series entitled Adventures with Fit and Newt, as well as a multiple commercials, public service announcements, and industrial videos.
She is currently writing and developing two new film projects under her company’s banner, while working as a story consultant for a Los Angeles based production company.
Emma Crossman: Ballet
Emma Lindsay Crossman had been dancing since the age of three. She has grown up training and performing with a youth ballet company in Denver, Colorado known as International Youth Ballet. Emma attended Denver School of the Arts as a dance major for seven years. Her dance background includes training in ballet, contemporary, character, modern, and jazz. She has also had the opportunity to spend her summers training at dance intensives including Joffrey Ballet School (NYC), Bolshoi Ballet Academy (Moscow), Alonzo King LINES ballet, and Interlochen School of the Arts. She is currently pursing a major in Dance at Duke University.
Saydenu Tukan: Ballet, Hip Hop, Acting
Saydenu Tukan is a native of Durham, NC and studied the Performing Arts from Elementary through High School. Initially her focus was singing and acting until she began studying dance under Marie Middletown-Hopkins at Riverside High School. Upon graduating, she relocated to Charlotte where she received her Bachelors of Arts in Dance, with a concentration in performance and choreography from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While at UNCC she intensively studied Ballet (Vaganova technique), and modern dance techniques such as Graham, Horton, Limon and Dunham. She also studied Latin dance, traditional West African dance and Improvisational movement. Upon graduation, she worked as Dance Director at a dance school and gymnastics gym in Charlotte, where she taught students from ages 3 to 17. Saydenu is the co-cofounder of a dance company called Kanker. She and her partner JoEl create, perform and teach AfroBeat (A vernacular dance style from West Africa) choreography around the U.S. Saydenu is extremely happy and blessed to be an instructor at Walltown Children’s Theatre.
Grace Wallace: Tap, Jazz, Tumbling
Grace Wallace is from Asheville, NC and she has danced since she was 3 years old. Grace started to compete when she was five years old and she has won several National and Regional Dance Competitions. She is experienced in all styles of dance, tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet, lyrical, hip-hop, african, and acrobatics to name a few. Grace attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she was on the Goldduster Dance Team all four years of her schooling. The last two years she was the captain, she is a three time Collegiate All-American and also a three time Most Valuable Performer voted on by her teammates. Grace also received her Dance Minor from UNC-Charlotte. Grace truly enjoys teaching and sharing her passion for dance with students.
Jenn Travis: Ballet, Pointe
A Renaissance woman with a powerful academic and professional résumé and extensive dance experience, Jenn seeks to fulfill her lifelong obsessions with movement, nature, and line by serving the community as a dance teacher. She aspires to create dance lessons that are imaginative, athletic, and creative to both inspire and nurture the developing artist. Throughout her travels, she has enjoyed taking classes with The Washington Ballet, Joy of Motion Dance Center, Miami City Ballet and Broadway Dance Center, among many other studios. She has been featured as a dancer with AU Creative There Movement, Auburn University Theatre DAUnce and Caribbean Dance Company. Aside from currently being associated with the North Carolina Dance Educators Organization, she is a teacher with Wake County Public Schools.
Rob Jiggets: Drumming
Rob Jiggetts is a native of New York City where he earned his B.S. in Psychology from Brooklyn College. He is a musician, producer and actor. He began playing drums at age five and has since added full percussion and bass guitar to his repertoire. He taught both middle school and high school music classes in Washington D.C. He is the co-leader of the funk band, NU EPIPHANY and plays with various local Jazz, R&B, Funk and Country Bands. Rob is also a DJ for 90.7 FM WNCU and is excited to help Walltown Children's Theatre impact the lives of more people.
Rishi Subrahmanyan: Guitar
My name is Rishi Subrahmanyan, and I am an undergraduate student at Duke University. Music has always been one of the most important parts of my life. I started playing the piano when I was around 6 years old, and I began taking violin lessons when I was around 9 years old. In high school, I taught myself how to play guitar and started to compose music. From relaxing me in stressful situations to creating friendships over a shared passion, music has helped me in so many ways. I hope to share my love for music with students of all ages!
Jessie Howard: Lyrical
Jessie Howard has been studying dance since she was nine years old at Walltown Children’s Theatre where she especially enjoys jazz and ballet. Jessie dances in both the WCT Senior Company and the Durham School of the Arts Dance Company. She has also danced competitively in numerous regional competitions and conventions and participated in a range of productions, clinics and workshops as a dancer. In addition to dance, Jessie has performed as an actress in several Durham productions, including a lead role in the Durham Nutcracker in 2016. A sophomore this year, Jessie was a member of the National Juniors Honor Society and is working hard to become a pharmacist in the future. She enjoys working with younger children; she taught at WCT Summer camp in 2016 and teaches lyrical and ballet at WCT during the regular year. As an instructor, Jessie strives to motivate and encourage her students to believe that they can do anything they put their minds to—especially when they think they can’t!
1225 Berkeley Street, Durham North Carolina 27705