Photos by Krista Langford and Katy Williford Thompson
Laura Barbee was born and raised dancing in Tyler, Texas. She earned her BFA in Ballet and 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® Expansion System and GYROKINESIS®. Currently, she is honored to be an Adjunct Faculty member with TCU’s School for Classical and Contemporary Dance and a teaching artist in DFW, while her greatest joy is her son. laurabarbee.com
Photo Credit: Corey Haynes
Avery-Jai Andrews is a Dallas-based dance artist and entrepreneur pursuing community-centered initiatives. She is a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) and holds a BFA in dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. As a student and freelance artist, Avery-Jai lived, performed and created abroad in Austria, Israel, Italy and Germany. In 2017 she returned to Dallas to found arts organization Don’t Ask Why and create original dance productions. This work led her to her newfound passion, Agora Artists, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts service organization, whose mission is to develop and support the local dance community. Avery-Jai also enjoys her work in the Oak Cliff community as Marketing and Social Media Director for Arts Mission Oak Cliff and Pilates instructor at Duro Pilates. In addition to her projects in Dallas, Avery-Jai is a performer with cullen+them, a NY-based company that aims to create an empathetic community through socially-conscious movement and text work. Most recently, Avery-Jai has been tasked with organizing the official BTWHSPVA Alumni Association. As a Creative and Dallasite, she is committed to making Dallas a haven for artists.
Photo Credit @browngirladventure
Sarah Matzke is dance artist and educator whose primary research focuses on embodied cognition, phenomenology and the role of experiential learning theory in education. Matzke holds a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography from Jacksonville University. She has been a guest artist in the United States, South America, Southeastern Asia, and the Middle East. She is the co-founder of a non-profit organization that equips leaders in developing countries to use somatic movement for healing and community reconstruction. Matzke is Adjunct Faculty at Texas Christian University and The University of Texas at Dallas. sarahmatzke.co
Erika Record-Sparks, MFA, BFA, E-RYT 200, is a choreographer, educator, yoga teacher, and freelance artist based in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. She identifies as a “creativa”, creating dances, engaging lessons, photographs, infographics, artwork, logos, websites, yoga sequences, somatic experiences, festival environments and more. Erika’s choreographic projects have been produced locally, regionally, and internationally, and as a dancer she has performed across the United States and also in Chile. She has been commissioned to create work for Out on a Limb Dance Company, Moving Body Dance Company, Texas Woman's University Dance Department, Kilgore College Dance Department, and the Arlington Heights Fine Arts Program, among others. Erika teaches in the dance programs at Texas Woman’s University and Tarrant County College. She additionally instructs several yoga classes per week in Denton and Decatur while also working as a freelance photographer and graphic designer in her spare time. With her marketing and design experience, Erika has created logos, branding, and websites for international dance artists and performing groups, as well as serving as the festival administrator for the Texas Dance Improvisation Festival since 2017. Erika dances professionally as an Associate Member of Out on a Limb Dance Company, which operates out of Waco, TX. Erika graduated with an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a BFA in Dance from Texas State University, both of which she was awarded recognitions and scholarships for choreographic excellence. Erika is a certified to teach yoga and Pilates mat, and recently earned the designation "experienced registered yoga teacher" (E-RYT) after instructing more than 1000 hours of yoga. recordmoves.com