Kimbrlee Childress credits her work in classical ballet, modern, and jazz as important elements in forming her own popular style of dance. Equally at home in everything from tap to contemporary, allows her to have an uncanny ability to be versatile and creative. Kimbrlee has toured with nationally known competitions, conventions, and is working on stage and in the music television industry. Kimbrlee's students have won regional and national honors in all age divisions. Some have even pursued their careers to be seen on Broadway, television, or the big screen. She was a longtime assistant to the legendary Frank Hatchett and was seen assisting him throughout the country. Kimbrlee also received extensive training from fourth generation (Isadora) Duncan dancer, Ann Cogley, to become a fifth generation dancer herself. Her talent has allowed her to choreograph and perform from LA to New York. Kimbrlee is now pursuing a certification in zoo and aquarium sciences, hoping to one day combine her gift, love, and art of movement with her passion for the conservation of earth’s creatures.
Kimbrlee will be teaching Basic Tap Skills and Vocabulary, Intermediate Classic Tap Standards, Advanced Tap Improvisation, and Beginner/Int. Basic Time Steps and Standards.
Simone Brooks is originally from Bloomington, Illinois. She has been dancing for over 30 years and teaching professionally for over 15 years. She is also an actress and model, starting at the young age of 3. She appeared in the movie "Blankman" as "crying girl" when she was 12 years old.
At 15 years of age, Simone had the opportunity to perform as a back up dancer for Paula Abdul for two years, along with renowned choreographer Chris Judd.
She has also worked professional as a dancer and actress in Hollywood.
At 22, Simone ran her own studio for 3 years before performing and teaching on Carnival Cruise Lines.
Her career later took her to Branson, Missouri where she was the main lead character in Cirque Du Soleil. She also worked in a well-known magic show in Vegas with Kirby VanBurch where she was the choreographer for the show. She had to deal with lions, and tigers "oh my"!
She has participated in "Dancing With the Stars" in Houston, and her choreography and teaching has been seen throughout the Houston area.
She is also a proud mother of twins and has been teaching for various different studios in Houston and throughout the Kingwood/Humble area. She is trained in jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, contemporary, special needs, acting conventions, gymnastics, hip-hop, ballroom stepping and modern.
This is her first year at Houston City Dance and she is very excited in teaching and helping in the growth of the studio.
Dorena Battaglino studied Broadway-style tap, jazz, and ballet for thirteen years at the Shirley Wolfe Dance Studio in Plano, Texas, beginning at age four. While earning a Chemical Engineering degree, she choreographed annual musicals: Damn Yankees, Oklahoma!, Sugar, and the Faculty Follies. In the San Francisco Bay Area, she was active as an actor, improv artist, dancer, and choreographer in the local community theatre scene. Choreographing tap-rich 42nd Street was a personal favorite. She was also the inaugural Resident Staff Choreographer of the Oakland Lyric Opera and staged Amahl and the Night Visitors with guest artists from San Francisco Opera.
Dorena discovered the world of rhythm tap while studying with Karen Callaway Williams in NJ. Since then, she continues her professional development by taking class regularly with masters at tap festivals.
While living in Scotland for three years, she studied Scottish step dancing. Among her performances, she was invited to dance at Natalie MacMaster’s Aberdeen concert.
Dorena returned to Texas in 2015, and wants to share a passion for tap dance with youth and adults by teaching rudiments, choreography, improvisation techniques, music theory, and history.
Dorena will be teaching Advanced Time Steps, Open Level Scottish Step Dancing, and Intermediate Broadway Choreography as well as leading our Teacher Workshop.
Elijah Alhadji Gibson – Is the founder and Artistic Director of Social Movement Contemporary Dance, a dance organization dedicated to the advancement of social consciousness through Creative Arts and community engagement. Originally from San Diego, California, he attended the San Diego School for the Performing Arts. Mr. Gibson continued his education and studied dance in college and received his Master of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, with a focus on dance history, somatic studies, and pedagogy. In 1999, Gibson joined the world-renowned Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago where he toured nationally and internationally for eight years. He has worked with or performed the works of the late Gus Giordano, Margo Sappington, Christopher Huggins, Jon Lehrer, Mia Michaels, Liz Imperio, Randy Duncan, Tony Powell, Ron De Jesus, and Davis Robertson among many others. He’s also had the privilege of guest performing with Instruments of Movement, Cirqua Rivera Dance Theater, Thodos Dance Chicago, and Especialty Tap Chicago just to name a few. He has performed and taught throughout the United States as well as in Germany, France, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Latvia, Spain, Ecuador, Canada, and Mexico. Mr. Gibson has served on the faculties of RDA Midwest, Gus Giordano Jazz Intensive, American College Dance Festival Association, Jazz Dance World Congress, Dance Masters of Wisconsin, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Leon Dance Arts NY, Embrace Dance Convention, and Key West Modern Dance just to name a few. Dance companies have performed his choreography nationally and internationally such as Nomi Lamad, Inaside Dance Chicago, Thodos Dance Chicago, Jayson Tisa Dance Company, City Dance Company of Houston, Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago II, and Naway Dance Company, as well by university dance ensembles throughout the country. Mr. Gibson has been fortunate to dabble in every aspect of the arts from dance, theater, and film.
Elijah will be teaching Advanced Tap Technique and Turns as well as Intermediate Rhythms and Contra Rhythms.