Our Team


Our Team

Mari Watson
Founder
Mari Watson is originally from St.Louis MO. She began her dance training at the Center of Creative Arts (COCA) as a scholarship student, and went on to the Univ. of Missouri, Kansas City, where she received her BFA in Dance and Minor in Musical Theater. While studying in school she received multiple scholarships to study at well-respected dances schools, including Stephens College, The Alvin Ailey American Dance Center & Debbie Allen Dance Academy. After receiving her degree, Mari had opportunities to work with Dallas Black Dance Co., Garth Fagan Dance, and Vashti Dance Theater. She later decided to pursue musical theater and was accepted into the Actors Equity Association. She began performing in musicals such as Show Boat and 42nd Street as well as many other Off-Broadway shows. She is proud to have helped facilitate programs with the Unified Dance Team, I Will Graduate, and Broadway Bound Kids. She currently works as the Assistant Director of a Non Profit Arts Program in Brooklyn, NYC. She has worked with Atlantic and Motown Records recording artist such as GG.Lizay, Exit 21, Kat Graham and others in her pursuit to becoming an Artistic Creative Director. In 2015, She started her company "How to Dance", LLC which focuses on teaching and instructing the youth in dance skills, audition techniques, and performance coaching from different perspectives of the dance industry. Mari acknowledges that her dance career was inspired by being able to work with phenomenal dance professionals, and hopes that her business will flourish and she too will be able to touch many beginner dancers lives.
Phylicia Felix
Instructor
Phylicia Felix is a trained dancer and movement creator from Birmingham, Alabama. She began her dance studies in Alabama School of Fine Arts community program. She trained and studied at Northwestern State University where she received a B.S. in Theatre with a concentration in concert dance. Phylicia was a student of not only the American College Dance Festival, she also was a student at the American Dance Festival at Duke University in 2010. Her performance resume includes musical theatre productions such as The Merry Widow, where she was the dance captain, and South Pacific where she performed the role of Liat. Phylicia moved to New York where she continues to train and dance. She was a company member with Vashiti Dance Company and Roots in Revolution. Her personal style is a combination of release technique modern and classic jazz. Phylicia has three years of teaching experience in New York city where she continues to share her love and passion for movement creation with the youth of New York.
Sherrell Whitmire
Instructor
Sherrell is a native of Columbus, Ohio. After receiving her BFA in Dance from The Ohio State University she moved to New York City in 2013 for Broadway Dance Center Professional Semester program. Sherrell has gone on to perform in the National Equity tour of Sid the Science kid Live! , serving as dance captain. She has appeared on various television shows on MTV, NBC, PBS,ABC and is currently an NFL cheerleader and children's dance instructor.
Hettie Barnhill
Instructor
Hettie Barnhill is a Broadway entertainer, mentor & choreographer. Hettie was last seen performing in the production "Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark" on Broadway. She debuted on Broadway in 2009 as an original cast member in the three time Tony Award winning production of "FELA!", a musical directed and choreographed by Bill T. Jones and book by Jim Lewis, based on the life and music of the late Nigerian singer Fela Kuti. Her second original cast Broadway show was the Tony Award nominated production "Leap Of Faith". A musical based on the 1992 movie "Leap of Faith" starring Steve Martin. Directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, with music by Alan Menken. Recently Hettie was seen in Law & Order: SVU. She finished filming for Bolden! the feature film and awaits as the project is in post-production. Off stage, Hettie uses her art as therapy for people in need. She volunteers her time through organizations such as Broadway Serves, an organization devoted to providing opportunities for community service to Broadway and theater professionals, also Wonder Women, whose mission is to raise awareness and provide women with opportunities for professional, personal and community development. Lastly, since 2006, Hettie has been involved with A Long Walk Home, Inc., a non-profit organization that uses art therapy and the visual and performance arts to document, to educate and to bring about social change. Providing safe and entertaining forums through which the public learns about healing from trauma. (Rape and Violence) Hettie shares with them what has been given to her - - a passion for the arts, a love for dance and a listening ear. Hettie began dancing at Pelagie Green Wren Dance Academy when she was 3 years old and later at the Katherine Dunham Center of Performing Arts School. She is a graduate of COCA Pre-Professional Program & COCAdance and a 2002 graduate of Central Visual Performing Arts High School of St. Louis, Missouri. During high school she spent her summers as a student at The Alvin Ailey Theater. Hettie is a recurring featured professional at The Mohonk Mountain House, A National Historic Landmark in Upstate NY. During a themed Couples Romantic Getaway hosted by Mohonk she uses the art of dance to improve communication within couples, keeping the flame bright as well as providing evening entertainment.
Jacob Lewis
Instructor
Jacob Lewis (Hazelwood, MO) is a recent graduate from the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program in Dance. In 2010, he was inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts and was a finalist for the NDEO Artistic Merit, Leadership and Academic Achievement Award. Mr. Lewis has worked with choreographers Dwight Rhoden, Norbert De La Cruz III, Victor Quijada, Katarzyna (Kate) Skarpetowska, Darrell Grand Moultrie, and members from Pilobolus. In 2013 and 2014, he performed in Alvin Ailey’s Memoria during Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s New York City Center season. This is his second season with Ailey II.
Ronald Belger
Instructor
Ronald O Belger, originally from St.Louis, Mo began his dance training at the Center of Creative Arts. Ronald continued his education at the University of Missouri- Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. Later he continued his studies at the Dance Theatre of Harlem and The Ailey School both as a scholarship recipient. He has performed master works of Paul Taylor and George Balanchine. He has also pee formed works of Troy Powell, Earl Mosley, Pedro Ruiz and Germaul Barnes
Kelly Marsh
Instructor
Kelly Marsh IV is a recent graduated of the Univ. North Carolina School of the Arts with a BFA degree in Dance concentration in Ballet. Kelly started dancing at the age of 14. He took his studies in dance further by being a scholarship recipient at the COCA then was accepted into the Alvin Ailey School as a fellowship student. He has been accepted to numerous summer programs such as Perry Mansfield and Alvin Ailey Summer Intensive. Richmond Ballet, American Ballet Theater collegiate program, Cedar Lake and The Dance Theater of Harlem. Kelly has performed works by many established choreographers such as William Forsythe, Dwight Rhoden, George Balanchine, Merco Cunningham, Eliot Feld, Ethan Steifel, Susan Jaffe and Darrell Grand Moultrie. Kelly joined Complexions in 2013.
Dean Reed
Instructor
Dean Reed loves to push to the maximum potential while being a warm & supportive instructor. He started his dance career after high school. Being self taught, he was introduced to Hip Hop, Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Street Jazz & Contemporary choreography. He has taught at Matthews-Dickey Boys & Girls Club, Jennings Family Investment Center, M.O.M ( Ministry On The Move), Wohl Community Center of St. Louis Rec & Park and Matiff Dance & Entertainment Company just to name a few. After booking a tour as a freelance dancer (CIY; Christ In Youth, Believe Tour) he audition and joined, a non-profit youth outreach organization, Matiff Dance and Entertainment Company of St. Louis, Missouri, for 3 years was able to expand his knowledge of the dance. During his membership with Matiff, He became a Dancer/Choreographer/Assistant Director where he was able to train and train others under choreographers and directors such as Tiffanie Standfield, Anthony “Redd” Williams, Gil Vazquez, A'Drey Vinogradov and Maxx Vega. Through training he was able to work for COCA (Center of Creative Arts), Matiff Dance and Entertainment Company and Ministries On The Move (M.O.M). Through that experience he had the opportunity to work as an assistant/dancer with the COCA Family Theater Series “In The Loop 1 & 2” The Black Rep and Grandel’s “Dancing In The Streets”. Today, continues to share his passion for dance and hopes to spread his love and passion for the dance culture.