South Shore Dance Alliance


Executive Director and Founder of South Shore Dance Alliance

Instructor: Jazz and Modern Jazz Technique, Ballet


Larry Brewer studied ballet at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ruth Page Dance Academy, Dance Theater of Harlem, The Alvin Ailey School, and the Chuck Davis African American Dance Company.  He first began performing in 1975 with the Gary Theater Ensemble. Since that time, he has performed with the IU African American Dance Company, IU Modern Dance Company, Indiana University Ballet Department, and the Windfall Dancers all located in Bloomington, Indiana.  In addition, he has performed with several local dance companies, Sesame Street Live 1988 tour, several variety shows, and trade shows.  In February, 2000, he began (and continues) teaching dance for the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts  in Gary. Seeing the amazing potential in the young dancers throughout the Northwest Indiana region, he began to develop  his plans for a dance company and studio, which became a reality in 2002. Brewer recently received the Quality of Life Council Sustainability Award (2009) and was an Education 2010 finalist in the College Mentors for Kids: Inspire/Power of Mentoring Awards. To contact Larry, call the studio at 219-513-9368 or email 



Dancer: The Bloc Agency, Los Angeles


Kacie began her dance training in 2001 with Larry Brewer at the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts. (It was also at Emerson where Kacie and Renaldo Maurice danced and performed together, winning IHSDTA ensemble and solo championships.) She continued her training at Ballet Chicago, Alvin Ailey, the Debbie Allen Academy, and majored in dance at Wright State University. She is currently a dancer for the Bloc Agency, Los Angeles, and she is currently dancing with Rihanna's Anti World Tour. She also appeared on NBC's live production of "The Wiz" and has also performed with Helene Fischer in Germany on television and stage. Kacie has also performed as a featured dancer with Disney and for the Cee Lo Green Loberace show in Las Vegas. She will be residing part time in the Northwest Indiana area.

Company Member: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, New York City


Renaldo Maurice Gardner attended the Emerson School for Visual and Performing Arts and studied with Larry Brewer and Michael Davis from sixth grade until receiving an Ailey School NYC scholarship at the end of his junior year. Since 2011, he has been a company member of the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, based in New York City. Renaldo was also a scholarship student at Ballet Chicago and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, and had an internship at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance. In 2008, he received second place in modern dance from the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and received the Dizzy Feet Foundation Scholarship in 2009. In February 2012, Renaldo was honored with the key to the city of Gary, Indiana, his hometown.

SSDA Faculty: Ballet (Vaganova Technique)  


Cheryl Barnes teaches classical ballet in the Russian Vaganova System of Training that fuses the best from Russian, Italian, and French styles of classical ballet. She received her training from Madame Elizabeth Boitsov, artistic director of Boitsov Classical Ballet Company and School who holds a Master of Arts Degree in Ballet Teaching and Choreography from the State Bolshoi Theatre University of Theatrical Arts in Moscow. Ms. Barnes has an extensive portfolio of teaching experience and has used that knowledge to train and graduate students from the Vaganova Eight Level/Year System of Training at the Boitsov Classical Ballet School. She has performed all major classical roles including the pas de deux from the wedding scene from the ballet "Don Quixote"; nocturne, waltz, and mazurka from the ballet "Les Sylphides"; and the leading role of the "Witch" in Madame Boitsovs' original ballet "Hansel and Gretel". Ms.Barnes has extensive performing experience in many venues across the United States and in a full spectrum of dance forms from traditional Afrikan to modern to Russian classical ballet. She was also nominated for Best Performance in a Music/Dance Program at the  Annual Ira Aldridge Black Theater Alliance Awards for her solo "Russian Bride" from the ballet "Swan Lake." Ms. Barnes maintains her position as soloist and teacher for Boitsov Classical Ballet Company and School and Ballet Mistress/Company Member for Najwa Dance Corps which is a living anthology of the Afrikan-American experience in dance, both in Chicago. Recently Ms. Barnes accepted a position as a faculty dance instructor for Wirt-Emerson Visual and Performing Arts High Ability Academy in Gary, Indiana.

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SSDA Faculty: Master Classes/Modern and Contemporary

Company Member: Thodos Dance Chicago  


A native of Gary, Indiana, Briana Robinson began dancing at her church at a young age. Ms. Robinson’s formal dance training began at the age of eleven, at the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts, under the direction of Larry Brewer and Michal Davis. In 2013, Ms. Robinson graduated and received her Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from The Juilliard School in New York City, where she had the opportunity to perform works by Ohad Naharin and William Forsythe. After graduating, Ms.Robinson became one of the dance captains in Julie Taymor’s production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Brooklyn, NY.


Briana made her professional choreographic debut, in the summer of 2015. She premiered "Go Ahead And Turn Back" at the Athenaeum Theatre, as a part of Thodos Dance Chicago's "New Dances", choreography initiative. Briana is very thankful for the many opportunities she's had to perform, choreograph, and teach in her hometown and in the surrounding Chicago area.  Ms. Robinson is looking forward to continually sharing her passion for movement, and is excited to begin her second season with Thodos Dance Chicago.


SSDA Faculty: Tap

Company Member: Tapmen  


Jessica first began dancing when she was eight years old at Ginny Mount School of Dance in Collierville, TN. From there, continued her dance training and received a BA in Dance from Western Kentucky University in 2012. While at WKU she danced in the WKU Dance Company and even traveled abroad to perform in Italy. Jessica formerly danced with Chicago Tap Theatre (CTT) under the direction of Mark Yonally. With CTT she performed often in the Chicago area and has toured with them in Spain and France. She is currently a company member with the Tapmen tap company under the direction of Tristan Bruns.

SSDA Faculty: Modern (Horton and Graham techniques)

Company Member/Emerging Instructor and Choreographer: Deeply Rooted Dance Theater  


Joshua Ishmon began dancing at an early age and continued with formal training entering the Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts in sixth grade until his graduation in 2007. He has also trained with Ballet Chicago and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in Chicago and  is a gifted choreographer. He currently is First Company Dancer/Teacher/Emerging Choreographer with Deeply Rooted in Chicago.


Upon graduating from Emerson School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Asia continued her studies at the Alvin Ailey School in New York. Asia has an extensive dance performance and teaching background. She is especially proud of her television debut in 2009 as a Made (dance) coach on an episode of MTV’s MADE. In 2011, Asia's Dance Factory was founded. Asia also completed 3 seasons, 2010-2013, with the NBA as a dancer for the six-time Champions Chicago Bulls, The Luvabulls. Currently, she is the choreographer for the West SideTheatre Guild, and continues to travel expanding Asia's Dance Factory!


South Shore Dance Alliance