MEET OUR ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Owner & Artistic Director of Namari Dance Center
Owner of Namari Dance Conservatory
Founder/Artistic Director of Namari Ballet
Antwan Sessions, native of Charleston, South Carolina started his dancing career while attending North Springs High School located in Sandy Springs, Georgia. There he found his passion for dance. Searching for outside training, Antwan join Total Dance in Adamsville, Georgia where he studied Ballet, Modern, & Jazz dance. Since then he’s attended several dance school under a full scholarship such as, Renaissance International School of Performing Arts (RISPA) in Milton, Georgia, Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment & Arts (AREA), Burklyn Ballet, Tolbert Yilmaz, and Metropolitan Ballet Theatre in Alpharetta, Georgia to name a few. Antwan’s passion for dance has allowed him to perform and teach in places like Denver, San Francisco, Mexico, Canada, China, Europe, Africa and so many more. Some of Antwan’s credits include: Assisting for Georgina Louchiey who’s the Artistic Director/Co Owner of RISPA. He’s danced for Tracy Vogt of Philadanco, Kim Robards of Kim Robards
Dance, Kiki Ely of ATLA, Stephan Reynolds of Cirque Du Soleil, and Jeffrey Page former choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance and Beyonce. Not limiting himself to concert dance, Antwan was the principal dancer for Sea Beach Resort in Egypt for a year, he also danced in former Danity Kane member D. Woods in her music video “Best You Got” toured China with pop artist Christah Ray as well as toured with artist Nikki Jane. He is now the Founder of Lamorris Namari Contemporary Ballet Company, Co-Owner of Namari Dance Conservatory and Artistic Director/Owner of Namari Dance Center.
MEET OUR BALLET MISTRESS
Namari Ballet - Ballet Mistress
Harmony lives and breathes dance. She is a classically trained ballet dancer who at age 12 began spending summers on full scholarship training at the School of American Ballet (NYCB's official school), and then moved to San Francisco to finish her high school years studying on full scholarship with the prestigious San Francisco Ballet. At 18 she accepted a company contract with Boston Ballet, and later danced with Hartford Ballet under Kirk Peterson. Even after retiring as a professional ballerina, she has spent most of her life, well, choreographing life. It's impossible for her to hear music and not dance to it, or see movement and beauty in every moment of life.
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATORY
Associate Director of Namari Conservatory
Hailing from the Windy City, Dana was born, raised and trained in Chicago, IL. She started her training at the age of 4 with Jack and Kathleen Villari at American Dance Center and finished her professional training under the guidance Elizabeth Boitsov at Boitsov Classical Ballet. She has performed professionally with Lamorris Namari Ballet Company (principal), Southwest Ballet Theatre (guest artist), and Boitsov Ballet. Her professional dance career was temporarily interrupted with the blessing of a wonderful husband and 5 beautiful children, which have been her rocks of support in coming out of retirement to perform professionally again and teaching full-time. All of her students, co-workers, and fellow dance professionals are here family and she feels so blessed to be able to share her gifts and experiences.
ANNALISE THOMPSON PEREZ
Annalise Thompson Perez is thrilled to have the opportunity to dance with Namari Ballet. Originally from Corte Madera, CA, she is currently a graduate student studying Biochemistry at Georgia Tech, and is also recently married! Before coming to GA, she taught all levels of ballet at Marin Dance Theatre (San Rafael, CA) and at other dance schools in the SF Bay Area. While there, she performed with Bay Pointe Ballet and Western Ballet, while also taking free lance opportunities. Annalise holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Concert Dance from Juilliard (New York, NY), and received her early training from Marin Dance Theatre under the direction of Margaret Swarthout and Lynn Cox. She dreams about one day using her biochemistry training to become a nutrition coach for both young and professional dancers, to help optimally support their overall physicality and well being. Annalise is grateful to her husband, Val, for his constant support and encouragement!
Gabriela Escalona was born in Caracas, Venezuela and starts her professional training at age 17 under the tutelage of Nina Novak former principal dancer of Ballet Russe of Monte Carlo, 3 years later she graduate from the Nina Novak Ballet Academy, but continued to train and perform as a guest, the next year was invited to be part of the pre-professional ballet program at the Kirov Ballet Academy of Washington DC, in 2015 she return to Venezuela to continue her training and preform in the Ballet Municipal el Hatillo company, under the direction of Rumen Rashev former principal dancer at Sofia Opera in Bulgaria, were she preform the roles of Sugar Plum Fairy in their Nutcracker production, Giselle act II and Grisi in Classical Pas de Quatre among others. In 2017 she joins the main company in the country Compañia de Ballet del Teatro Teresa Carreño. In 2018 she joins Ballet de la Mar, where she worked as a teacher for the school, under the artistic direction of Cristina Fungairino former director of Teatro Teresa Carreno Her repertoire includes, Grand pas classique Pas de Deux , Sylvia Pas de Deux by G. Balanchine, Raymonda
Variation and visión scene Adagio, Snow Queen among others. She currently teaches ballet technique at Namari Dance Center and year round programs and summer intensives at North Atlanta Dance Academy, where she also performs with the school company as a guest artist.
Raised in Jonesborough, Tennessee, Gwynn Root Wolford received her dance training at Johnson City Ballet/CYB in East Tennessee, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA, and various intensives. She studied privately under Pat Holden, Christina Fagundes Turner, Marvin Askew, and others. She has danced with the Louisville Ballet, Columbia Classical Ballet, and the Atlanta Ballet. For three years she was a member of Festival Ballet Providence, where she danced in such works as The Firebird, The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Rubies, Rite of Spring, in Christopher Wheeldon's The American, in Up Close on Hope productions and in Viktor Plotnikov’s House of Bernarda Alba, The Widow's Broom, The Soldier’s Tale and Carmen. Her full repertoire also includes Coppelia, Giselle, The Brown-Forman and Atlanta Ballet Nutcrackers, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Etudes and also works by Tudor, Limon, Helen Pickett and Val Caniparoli. Since moving back to Atlanta she regularly performs with the Atlanta Opera, and in many works by various local artists, including Raianna Brown and EarthGang. She has choreographed and taught all over the East Coast, and is on staff at Dancemakers of Atlanta and the Dance and Music Academy of Woodstock.
LAURA GRACE WENNING
Laura Grace Wenning is a dancer and dance teacher from Alpharetta, Georgia. After completing a Bachelor of Arts in dance from Kennesaw State University they continued dancing under the direction of Antwan Sessions with Namari Ballet. They look forward to a life of creation and exploration through dance and what the world has to offer.
An Atlanta native, Rebecca received her professional training from Atlanta Ballet’s Centre for Dance Education Pre-Professional Division. After graduating from the Conservatory program, she moved to Charlotte, NC where she danced professionally for the contemporary/modern companies Audrey Baran’s Baran Dance and Martha Connerton’s Kinetic Works, as well as performing as a guesting soloist artist with Gay Porter’s Charlotte Youth Ballet. In 2019, Rebecca moved back to Georgia, where she danced with Savannah Ballet Theatre for two consecutive seasons. Now back in the Atlanta area, Rebecca is very excited to be a part of Namari Ballet’s inaugural season.
Sierra Mansfield began her dance training in Tennessee with Chattanooga Ballet where she participated in productions such as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Raymonda, and Sleeping Beauty under the direction of Frank Hay, Joellen Wojtowicz, and Andrew Parker for eleven years. Mansfield continued her training at Chattanooga Highschool Center for Creative Arts under the instruction of Karen Wilson and Jessica Laliberte Bowman where she studied ballet, modern, jazz and tap. Following her high school years, she performed with the Kennesaw State University’s dance company for three semesters in works such as “Slang” choreographed by Sean Nguyen-Hilton as well as “Moondust” choreographed by Ivan Pulinkala. During her time at KSU, she also studied in styles such as contemporary/modern, ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap, and commercial dance. Mansfield not only has experience in the dancing realm, but also in the production aspects of running a show under the instruction of David Tutu. She graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of the Arts degree concentrating in ballet. That being said, Mansfield looks forward to any and all future opportunities involving dance.
If you would like to make an In-Kind Donation to Heart of Namari to go towards other programs held at Namari Dance Center. We ask that you make all checks payable to Heart Of Namari [subject line - preferred program]
and mailed to: 7730 Roswell Rd., STE 103 Sandy Springs, GA 30350
OTHER WAYS TO SUPPORT THE HEART OF NAMARI
Every child deserves the best possible start when their dream is to dance. This 3 Dollar to 3 Million campaign will aid the Heart of Namari's mission in making dance more available to all individuals, regardless of background, age, physical ability or income in the Atlanta area & give back to the community.
Your support will help us achieve our goals and allow more students the beautiful gift to dance; tapping into their inner strength, beauty, and artistry.
NAMARI DANCE CENTER
21-22 PERFORMANCE COMPANY
Artistic Director - Antwan Sessions
Assistant Artistic Director - Shervoski Moreland
ND2 Company is Namari Dance Center's premier level performing company made up of strong talented dancers who have performance quality, artistry, and beautiful classical ballet training.
ND2 is the face of Namari Dance Center at local and national talent competitions, conventions, community performances, film, television, and marketing material. Dancers apart of ND2 are focused and fully commit themselves to all requirements and guidelines that are required of ND2. Expectations to be in this company are extremely high for all dancers, parents and faculty. Dancers in this company are expected to dance on an intermediate to advance level and train constantly in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, Namari Technique, & Tap dance.
ND2 Company members will be performing in Namari Dance Center's Annual Curtain Call "UPON A DREAM" on Sunday, May 22nd, 2022.