2023 Faculty & Judges
our Faculty chair is Ericka Olgaard email@example.com
Mark Yonally Tap for Fall Convention
Mark Yonally has been performing for 41 years and teaching for 34. He has performed in over eight countries as a soloist and as a principal dancer and choreographer with the Bill Evans Dance Company and Especially Tap Chicago. He is the Founding Artistic Director of Chicago Tap Theatre (in residence at the Visceral Dance Center), which presents a 3 show season in Chicago every year as well as touring nationally and internationally. In 2016 he choreographed and danced the lead in TimeSteps (a time travel love tragedy tap opera), which was selected as the Best New Production of 2016 in the Dance Magazine reader’s poll. That same season Chicago Tap Theatre made the Top 10 list in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Windy City Media and SeeChicagoDance.
As an educator, Yonally has made a name for himself with his high energy, engaging and deep approach to tap education. His teaching typically encompasses technique, combinations, rhythm and improv games, history, theory and music literacy. He has taught in a multitude of settings and scales the materials and energy to each group. He has been proud to teach and perform multiple times for CNADM and WDM. He has taught for the Chicago Tap Summit, Twin Cities Tap Festival, the Maui Tap Experience, the New York City Tap Festival and others. Mark judges for Ovation Dance Challenge and In10sity. Twenty years ago he created the first Rhythm Tap syllabus for Oklahoma City University, where he taught some of the leading dance artists of today. He is a frequent guest teacher at Hope College. 15 years ago he created the Feel the Rhythm methodology to teach tap dancing to populations who are deaf and hard of hearing. Currently he is the producer and creator of Music for Education, a new project to create music to teach dance that is accessible, fun and full of information for teachers and kids.
Karen Prall - African for Fall Convention
Karen Prall is an Associate Professor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. There she teaches traditional and contemporary Africal, Afrobeat, and Afro/Modern dance styles. She serves as the artistic director/founder of the WSU African dance company, To Sangana. Her research and physical study have been conducted and presented in Brazzaville, Congo; Kinshasa, Congo; Paramiribo, Suriname; Ghana; Paris, France; Ecole des Sables in Senegal; Scotland; Hananna, Cuba; and Monrovia, Liberia.
She has served as a consultant, choreographer, and supporter to Ballet Zoe Banjay, a cultural dance and drum company in Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa. She has been a guest instructor for the World Dance course at Oakland University in 2021. She is also the founder and director of The Art of Motion Dance Theater in Detroit. She developed the online class Spicy Seasoned for the mature in 2020 and continues to provide now fact-to-face. She is a former member of Tanawa of N.Y., the first Congolese drum and dance company in the U.S. and is a former member of Bichinis Bia Congo of Ann Arbor. Karen is also a current member of the International Association of Blacks in Dance.
Karen enjoys assisting students in understanding our past on this journey while navigating the future. The youth can walk faster but the elder knows the road.
Danielle Sheather - Modern at Fall Convention
Danielle Lydia Sheather, MFA (www.daniellelydiasheather.com) is currently serving as Assistant Professor at Southern Utah University. Most recently she developed and wrote the curriculum for the progressive jazz dance track at SUU to represent a more equitable education allowing jazz dance to now be on par with both ballet and modern dance training. She has previously served as Clinical Assistant Professor at the University at Buffalo, Guest Artist and Instructor at East Carolina University and is an ABT® Certified Teacher in Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. She is also a certified Yoga Instructor and has taught for New York Yoga and Sonic Yoga in NYC. She enjoys teaching master classes for Dance Masters of America's Teachers Training School and the SHIP Program. Danielle received her MFA from the University of Arizona as a University Fellow and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University at Buffalo Honors College with a BFA in Dance and BA in Psychology. Professional credits include Stiletto Entertainment/Holland America Cruise Lines, Artpark, Sesame Street Live, Busch Garden Europe, Dance Jam, The International Dance Festival, Truthdance, BalaSole Dance Company, New York Fashion Week, National Commercials for Busch Gardens Europe and specs for Bacardi, Chain Reaction, and Diamante Pictures.
Aleksandra Nelson - Ballet for Fall Convention
Aleksandra Wojda Nelson is originally from Chicago where she trained extensively with Giordano Dance Chicago. Upon graduating from Northwestern University, she competed as a top 20 dancer on season 2 of SYTYCD. After moving to Los Angeles, she pursued her professional dance career by performing on television, commercials, industrials, and music videos. Her love for live performance also brought her the opportunity to dance with the professional modern company, Clairobscur Dance, under the direction of Laurie Sefton. All the while pursuing her dance career, she also cultivated her passion for educating young dancers. She has been on faculty at RAD since 2010. She is currently teaching and judging on faculty with Platinum Dance Collective. Her choreography has earned recognition at several dance competitions, and she loves being able to travel across the U.S. teaching her master classes and setting her choreography.
Cara Joelle Noveskey - Hip Hop for Fall Convention
Cara Joelle Noveskey has taught Hip Hop for 15 years & is passionate teaching students about the history, foundations, & misunderstandings of this popular genre. She sheds light on the urban challenges this dance form represents through pieces she choreographs. She is naturally drawn to Hip Hop because of its freedom of expression, strong use of energy, & carefree fun that dancers can experience when letting go & giving the movement all they have.
Miss Cara is Nationally accredited in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, & Modern with Dance Master’s of America & holds her Acrobatic certification in Michigan with DMM; as well as her teaching certificates with the Cecchetti Council of America for levels up to Grade 2 & has also taught Lyrical & Musical Theatre for many years; the latter being her first love. She has performed with professional companies in Michigan & attended many different workshops & conventions with leading educators, her favorites being Savion Glover & Lynn Kurdziel Formatto.
She just finished performing in a stage Musical called “Disaster”, playing the Disco Diva Levora Verona. She enjoys exploring new dance movement, being in nature, meditation, & writing poetry. She owns an organic salon outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan where she also lives with her two cats Chat (Sha) & Burton.
Kate DeGood - Highland Dance at Fall Convention
Kate DeGood fell in love with Highland Dance at the age of 7, and is now grateful for the opportunity to share her passion with others through teaching and judging! Over the last 30 years, Kate’s competitive dancing career has brought worldwide championship success in every age category. She is a 7–time US Champion and has placed in the top 6 in the World Championships 8 times, including 2 times as First Runner-up. She is the holder of over 100 major championship titles throughout the United States, Canada, Scotland, and Australia. Kate is a Fellow of the BATD and SDTA, Chairperson of the BATD Great Lakes Region and an R.S.O.B.H.D. Judge, and passed the exam at the youngest possible age of 21.
Kate teaches at the Kate DeGood School of Dance in Michigan, as well as remotely. She especially enjoys helping Premier dancers advance to Championship level, studying and training candidates in Highland theory, creating choreography, and teaching workshops internationally.