Shirley Ann Bryant (Artistic Director) a native Detroiter, who graduated from Detroit Northern High School, BA in Computer Science from Marygrove College. Shirley was introduced to modern dance at the age of 10. Training includes Modern, Jazz, African and Dunham dance techniques locally and out of state. She studied under local artist Jacqueline Hillsman, BaBa Ali Abdullah, MaMa Fabio Manzira, Carole Morisseau, Jeri Sterrett, Greg Curry and Crystal White-Cade. She has performed in plays and festivals throughout the Detroit Metropolitan area. Her dance experience includes: Afro-Dance Workshop (1979-1982), Experimental Movement (1980-1982) artistic director Jacquelyn Hillsman, International African Cultural Arts Exchange Center (1991-1994) artistic director Ali Abdullah, Detroit City Dance Company (1995 - 1996) artistic director Carole Morisseau and Jazz & Spirit Dance Theatre of Detroit (1997-1998, 2002) artistic director Jeri Sterrett. She has worked as an IT Specialist since 1987. Founder of ‘Body Rhythm Dance Theatre’. She was a 2014 Knight Foundation award winner for her Detroit musical, Black Bottom's Paradise a Musical.
Ta’Rajee Omar (Rehearsal Director, Teacher, Choreographer, Dancer), born in Detroit, Michigan, started her dance training at the age of seven at Wendy’s School of Dance (Wendy Morris) in Detroit, Michigan in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, African, and Modern, then continued her training at Fem Fatale Dance Studio (Rita Mosley) in Oak Park, Michigan. After graduating high school, she decided to continue her dance training at Wayne State University. During her time at Wayne State University she performed in the faculty works of Meg Paul, Jeff Rebudal. Proceeding her training at Wayne State, she has had the privilege of working with talented artist such as; Janis Brenner, Nathan Trice, Wanjiru Kamayu., Jennifer Archibald (ArchCore40), Ronald K. Brown, Francesca Harper, Jawole Zollar. She has worked with visual artists Sameer Redy, Indigo Artists Collective, and Nick Cave, and collaborates with Brooklyn based dance company Brother(hood) Dance. A model in New York Designer Rachel Comey New York City Fashion Week (2015), and was featured on the Vogue website and a recipient of the Moving Beauty Series December 2017 Commission. Ta’Rajee joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2013.
Christopher Woolfolk (Artistic Asistant, Teacher, Choreographer, Dancer) Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Chris’ journey into the world of dance began at Wayne State University, where he switched from an engineering major to a dance educa-tion major and earned his Bachelor of Science in Dance Education. Woolfolk is a versatile artist, celebrated for his roles as a dancer, educator, and choreogra-pher. His unwavering dedication to his craft led him to the prestigious Deeply Rooted Dance Theater in Chicago, where he honed his skills under the mentorship of dance luminaries Kevin Iega Jeff and Gary Abbott. Returning to his Detroit roots, Woolfolk discovered his artistic sanctuary at Body Rhythm Dance Theatre, forging a dynamic artistic connection with Shirley Bryant, a visionary choreographer, director, and teacher. Mr. Woolfolk has collaborated extensively with visionary artists such as Aku Kadogo, Marlies Yearby, Biba Bell, and Ta’Rajee Omar. Mr. Woolfolk continues to explore opportunities to expand his artistic palette as he recently broke onto acting in a hit Afro futuristic Techno Choreopoem entitled Salt City created and written by Detroit poetry legend Jessica Care Moore and directed by Kadogo. Together with Ta’Rajee Omar, he co-founded the groundbreaking (Re)Claim Series, an innovative training platform delving into the multifaceted realms of identity, culture, and art and it’s importance and correlations to life.
Olivia Alise Bryant (Dancer) born and raised in Southfield, MI. She is a graduate from Southfield A&T High School. She is currently in college working on a double major in dance and nursing concentration. She trained at Body Rhythm Dance Theatre starting at the age of 3. Her dance training consist of Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, African, Hip Hop and Lester Horton technique. She has participated in summer intensive with Dance Theater of Harlem, Complexions Contemporary Ballet and Debbie Allen Dance Academy. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2019.
Sierra Phelps (Dancer) is a Houston native who graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Africana Studies. Developing her passion for dance at the age of 8, Sierra has continued to explore her artistry within the styles of modern, ballet, contemporary, tap, and jazz. She attended several dance studios, but was not transformed by the quality and essence of movement until joining Urban Souls Dance Company under the direction of Harrison Guy. Within the company, Sierra expanded her repertoire as a student of Graham and Dunham techniques as well African dance. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2021.
Davonna Snipes (Dancer) born and raised in Detroit, graduated from Murry Wright High school. She has a Bachelor of Science in Software Development, from ITT Technical Institute and currently works as a Business Analyst. In high school under artistic director Kimberly Traver, she began training in Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Contemporary, African, Hip Hop, and Ballroom. Davonna also danced under artistic director Jeri Sterrett of Jazz and Spirit Dance Theatre of Detroit from 2016-2019. She began taking community class in 2014 at Body Rhythm Dance Theatre. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2021.
Sondra Kariem (Dancer) is a Detroit native who graduated from Cass Technical High School. She attended for undergrad with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication. She has a Master’s Degree in Counseling from Oakland University. Sondra started dancing at the age of 2. The first dance company that she joined was Cuban Festival Dance Company. She continued to dance with local instructors such as Karen Prall, Penny Godboldo, Sandra Jones-Kariem, Anthony Smith, etc. Sondra’s dance training consists of African, Cuban, Modern, Ballet, Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Liturgical, etc. Sondra has attended various workshops with Katherine Dunam, Clifford Fears, and Alvin Ailey Dance Company. While at Eastern Michigan University, Sondra joined Diversion Dance Troupe. In 2018, Sondra was selected to join the Debbie Allen’s Summer Intensive. Sondra teaches dance and cheerleading to children ages 5 to 14. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2021. She will continue to pursue her love for dance for many years to come.
Bre'Ahynna Barton (Dancer) born in Detroit Michigan, started her dancing journey training in modern, jazz, tap, praise, contemporary, and majorette. She graduated from Cass Technical High School, where she trained under Lisa Reynolds and Anthony Smith while also being a majorette dancer and choreographer for Cass Tech Marching Band Majorettes. Bre'Ahynna trained at Dancetera Dance Studio and Booth Dance Academy under director Tammie Booth. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2021.
Emily Elise Bryant (Dancer) born and raised in Southfield, Mi. She graduated from Southfield University High School and has a BS in nursing concentration from EMU, her goal is to be a Pediatric Nurse. She trained at Body Rhythm Dance Theatre starting at the age of 3. Her dance training consist of Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, African, Hip Hop and Lester Horton technique. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Theatre in 2021.
Kiarra Ambrose (Dancer) is a Detroit native who graduated from Renaissance High School. Upon graduation, she attended Eastern Michigan University, where she received a Bachelor of Science for Secondary Education with a concentration in Mathematics and Language, Literature and Writing. She also holds a Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. As a child, she danced at Artistry in Motion Dance School and later at Renaissance High School as a part of Dance Workshop under the direction of Gina Ellis. Once she graduated from high school, she continued pursuing her love for dance by joining Diversion Dance Troupe at Eastern Michigan University. She joined Body Rhythm Dance Company in 2012.
Takyra Jackson (Dancer) born and raised in Detroit, Mi. s a graduate from University Preparatory High School where she trained under Michelle Briscoe and Tiffany Veal. She started her dance journey training in ballet, modern, contemporary, and praise. Takyra trained at Booth Dance Academy under director Tammie Booth. This is Takyra's first year with the company.