Shakurah Grumbacher was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, but spent many of her early years traveling. Ms. Grumbacher began dancing at the age of six. She was soon awarded a scholarship to the Acting Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) in San Francisco, California. While attending A.C.T., she studied dance, acting and improvisational movement. Ms. Grumbacher attended Rockford College where she was a dance major. There she expanded her arts experience by participating in several plays, singing in the Women’s Choir and performing in the Arts Department Showcase. While in Rockford, Ms. Grumbacher was a Rockford Lightning Silver Streak, a cheerleader for a semi-pro basketball team. After leaving Rockford, Ms. Grumbacher moved to Chicago where she taught hip-hop, jazz and modern. In 2003, Ms. Grumbacher relocated to Indiana where she headed up Penn High School’s Marching Band Movement Program, where she led the color guard to their first state title. For the past three years, Ms. Grumbacher has been working with John Glenn’s High School Color Guard and teaching dance.
In the 1970’s and 80’s, JoAnn Barkes danced some of ballet’s most coveted roles as a principal dancer with Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and a soloist with The National Ballet of Canada. With these prominent companies, JoAnn danced in many of the 50 states, Canada, and Europe. She has worked with some of the most celebrated people in the ballet world including: Frederic Franklin, Leonide Massine, John Butler, Patricia Wilde, and Erik Bruhn. JoAnn created the role of Juliet in Lorenzo Monreal’s Romeo and Juliet for Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. In 1979, she won a bronze medal in the senior women’s division of the First International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Since arriving in Michiana, JoAnn Barkes has been active as a teacher, choreographer and coach. She served as ballet mistress, later co-artistic director at Southold Dance Theater during a period of rapid growth for that organization. JoAnn’s students were accepted to summer ballet programs such as Boston Ballet School, Joffrey Ballet School, and San Francisco Ballet School. Two of her students were accepted to the Suzanne Farrell Summer Dance Program at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (which only accepts 32 students per session). In 1998, JoAnn worked with Maestro Tsung Yeh on stage for the symphony’s school shows educating children on music and dance.
Originally from Green Bay Wisconsin, Tara Hennig received her BFA in Dance Performance from Butler University in Indianapolis, focusing on classical ballet and pedagogy. During her four years at Butler she performed many soloist roles with Butler Ballet, as well as dancing professionally with the Gregory Hancock Dance Theater. With GHDT she toured Latvia, performing soloist roles in various cities and venues including the Latvian National Opera House in Riga where she performed for and met the President of Latvia. In 2000 she got hired as lead dancer for Carnival Cruise Lines, and was honored to be in the inaugural casts of the Conquest in 2002, and the Valor in 2004. In 2006 she was promoted to Dance Captain in which she was in charge of teaching, staging, and rehearsing all of the shows, as well as maintaining all costumes and props for multi million dollar production shows. These shows embodied all styles of dance, mostly Broadway, Vegas style, and jazz. She did this on over 12 different Carnival ships for 13 years, visiting many exotic ports of call and performing nightly in front of thousands. Tara retired from Carnival in 2013, after her 15 year professional dance career, and completed her comprehensive BASI Pilates teacher training. She currently teaches Pilates Reformer, Mat, and private equipment classes at Beyond Zen in Granger, ICE Athletic Center in Mishawaka, and ballet, jazz, and contemporary at Citadel Dance and Music Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan. She is very honored to be invited to be a part of the Southold faculty.
Zoé Curry is a South Bend native that found her love for dance at the age of 13; although being a late bloomer to the dance world, she has been able to train in Ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap, African, praise, and poms. Zoe was a part of the Clay High School Poms team all throughout her high school career, and also a fine arts dance major at Clay High School. Becoming a co-captain her senior year she was able to gain many awards at NDA dance camps, becoming an All-American NDA dancer, getting a 3rd place medal in a solo competition and winning the state championship competition jazz team. Zoe is in her second year of college at Indiana University South Bend. She is an Early Education Major with a dance minor. In addition to teaching at Southold, Zoe performs with the IU Dance Company, IU African dance troop, and IU Tap Kickline.
Hannah Fischer, artistic director of Fischer Dance, is a native of South Bend, IN. Fischer recently returned to the area after three years as the Assistant Director of Leverage Dance Theater in St. Louis, Missouri. In this role, Fischer danced, toured, and choreographed for the company; taught company class; developed, implemented and trained artists to deliver Leveraged Learning Initiative educational programs; and acted as co-production manager and assistant artistic director for Leverage’s artistic work. Fischer joined Leverage Dance Theater upon graduating cum laude with a BA in Humanistic Studies and a Student-Designed Major in Digital Media, Dance, and Women’s Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. She was, and continues to be, a key player in the the restructuring of the company into what is now Leverage Dance Theater, an organization committed to training and developing community minded professional dance artists and educators by creating and presenting works of dance art and innovating community needs-integrated dance education. Fischer’s vision was key to establishing the Leveraged Learning Initiative (LLI), which expanded aTrek’s existing educational programming outside of traditional school settings to offer dance programming specifically designed to serve the social and emotional needs of underserved teens.. Since relocating to South Bend, Fischer has continued to collaborate with other artists, both locally and internationally on dance, film, and music projects. Fischer Dance officially launched in December 2014.
Fiona Cameron-Martin started her training at the age of 5 in Hong Kong with her mother Nica Lee, before moving to Australia where she was given a place at the Australian Ballet school. It was there that she received six years of training, being taught by Irina and Sergei Konstantinov, Ai-Gul Gaisina, Margaret Wilson, Slava Zalomski, Tristan Message, Lynette Wills, Michela Kirkaldie, Xiuyun Tang, Jiahong Wang, Lisa Pavane, Leigh Rowles and Marilyn Rowe. After leaving the Australian Ballet School, Fiona had 2 years intensive training Russian Choreographic Academy under Yulia and Maxim Vasilyev. After graduation Fiona moved to Europe to pursue her dream of dancing. Soon after arriving in London she received a contract with the Romanian National Ballet of Bucharest. She had the pleasure to work under the direction of Johan Kobborg. Fiona had the opportunity to dance soloist roles such as: Solo Slave from “Le Corsaire" by Vasili Medvedev, Four couples from “Classical Symphony” by Yuri Possokhov, Four couples in DSCH by Alexei Ratmansky, Pas de six from “La Sylphide" by Johan Kobborg, Cleopatra from “Faust” by Alexa Mezincescu, Courtesan from “Manon” by Sir Kenneth MacMillan. She also danced in “Themes and Variations” by George Balanchine, “Petit Mort” by Jiri Kylian, and “In the Middle Somewhat Elevated” by William Forsythe, among others. While in Romania Fiona also worked with other great teachers, dancers and choreographers such as Sinner and Yannick Boquin, Ethan Stiefel, Patricia Neary, Alina Cojocaru, Johan Kobborg, Elke Schepers, Thierry Guiderdoni, Stephane Dalle, Gennadi Nedvigin, Bruce Sansom and Karl Burnett. In the fall of 2016, Fiona became part of the faculty at Southold Dance Theater and also serves as a Guest Artist for the company. She is happy to be part of this award winning ballet school and beside her husband Calin, is calling South Bend her new home.