Star Makers Dance studio
dance classes for young children
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Our Teachers and Choreographers

Stephanie R. Ogunnaike
Director and Founder


A native of Long Island, New York, Mrs. Stephanie R. Ogunnaike began her dance career at the young age of five years old. Stephanie studied tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, and hip hop, in addition to dancing competitively. Stephanie has continued to study dance, attending various dance conventions and workshops studying under various dance masters.

Stephanie has been teaching dance in the Washington D.C. area since 2001. As a student at Howard University, Stephanie began volunteering her time by working in after school programs as a dance instructor. As a sophomore in college, Stephanie founded the Meridian Dance D.I.V.A.S. Competitive Dance team, an organization with the mission of providing inner city girls the opportunity to dance and perform. The D.I.V.A.S. went on to win such achievements as: three time champions of the world famous Amateur Night at the Apollo, Dance Arts Plus 2004 National Champions, and Showstopper American Dance Championship 2005 National Champions. Her former students have gone on to dance with the Jr. Redskins Dance Team, the Dance Theatre of Harlem residency program, they have performed with Debbie Allan, and have gone on to dance in College and beyond.

After seeing that there was an apparent need for a studio in D.C. that would offer students affordable quality dance instruction, and opportunities to perform in not only local recitals but outside the city and nationally on the competitive level, in September of 2005, Stephanie opened Star Makers Academy of Dance. The Mission of Star Makers Academy of Dance is to teach its students that no matter ones background, through hard work and perseverance, there is no limit to what they can achieve. Since its opening, Star Makers has been very successful at fulfilling this mission. Under the direction of Ms. Stephanie, the Star Makers Academy of Dance Competitive Team has consistently won numerous Overall High Score Awards at various regional and national competitions. Star Makers Dancers are nationally recognized for their outstanding training, dynamic choregraphy, and showmanship on stage.  Over the years, Ms. Stephanie has continuously won numerous choreography awards, teacher awards, and top studio awards. Ms. Stephanie has also served as a judge for several national competitions and has served as choreographer at various dance workshops.

Stephanie holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in History from Howard University, with additional work towards her  Master degree in Teaching. In addition to teaching and directing at Star Makers, Ms. Stephanie is also a high school History with in the Washington D.C Public School System. Stephanie and her husband Seyi reside in Bowie Maryland, and  are the proud parents of beautiful 4 year old twins. 

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Shannon White
Jazz, Tap, and Hip Hop Instructor, and Competition Team Choreographer


Shannon White was born on June 10, 1989 in Atlanta, Georgia. She began dancing at the age of five and fell in love with all aspects of artistic motion. Shannon joined a dance company at age nine and perfected her performance and technique through competing on the local and national level until the age of 16. In her junior and senior years of high school, Shannon was the captain of the dance team for the marching band, ranked superior in their county.

Shannon explored a different aspect of movement in college where she performed as a Howard Bision cheerleader for three years at Howard University. She has recently graduated Cum Laude from Howard with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Shannon has been dancing for R.A.M.P.A.G.E. performance group for two years and serves as the Associate Artistic Director for R.A.M.P.A.G.E.

Shannon expands her love for artistic motion into other art forms including drawing, singing, and makeup artistry. She also writes fashion features for various online and local magazines. In the future, Shannon hopes to continue to dance professionally and is looking forward to future stage and film opportunities.

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Shannon Little 

Twirly Twos, Baby Ballet-Tap, Jazz, and Tap Instructor and Competition Team Choreographer

Shannon Little is a native of Southern MD, and this will be her second year as a Star Makers instructor. Shannon began dancing at the age of the two and has trained extensively in various genres, developing proficiency in jazz, tap, hip hop, and modern styles. She has numerous years of competition and performance experience, along with strong capability in choreography and instruction.

Shannon received a B.A. in Philosophy and Certificate in African-American studies from the University of Maryland at College Park. During her time at UMD, Shannon was a member of Dynamic Hip Hop dance team (2008-2011) and the Founder/Artistic Director of Prima Dolls dance team (2011). She also danced professionally with Capitol Movement Inc. during her senior year (2012) where she had the opportunity to work under many esteemed choreographers. Shannon continues to study her craft and is currently a member of Until Further Notice (UFN) dance company.

In addition to teaching, Shannon is also a Museum Educator and a Visual Artist (shannonsartwerkk.com). Shannon absolutely loves her Star Makers family and is very excited for the upcoming season!

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Alyse Jones 

Alyse C. Jones, a native of Flint, MI, is a graduate of Spelman College of Atlanta, GA, and The
George Washington University of Washington, DC. Currently, she is a Consulting Teacher in
Prince Georges' County Public Schools in Maryland. A passionate believer in the power of Arts in
Education, Alyse is blessed to have been one of the founding members of the innovative all
female dance company, Just Tap, and now Sole Defined. She has travelled the world for
audiences of all ages, including The International Children's Festival of Turino, Italy, Wolf Trap
Theater, Tapology of Flint MI, Sole Defined at the Atlas Theater Intersections Festival, and the
Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center. With the passion and drive to “educate the masses”
about percussive dance, she is currently a tap dance instructor servicing youth ages 6-13 in
beginning and intermediate tap levels in the Washington D.C. area. A true performer, and lover of
the stage and limelight, Alyse strongly believes that dance is a means of self-expression, and her
dedication to the art has help shape her into the women she is today.
Alyse C. Jones, a native of Flint, MI, is a graduate of Spelman College of Atlanta, GA, and The
George Washington University of Washington, DC. Currently, she is a Consulting Teacher in
Prince Georges' County Public Schools in Maryland. A passionate believer in the power of Arts in
Education, Alyse is blessed to have been one of the founding members of the innovative all
female dance company, Just Tap, and now Sole Defined. She has travelled the world for
audiences of all ages, including The International Children's Festival of Turino, Italy, Wolf Trap
Theater, Tapology of Flint MI, Sole Defined at the Atlas Theater Intersections Festival, and the
Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center. With the passion and drive to “educate the masses”
about percussive dance, she is currently a tap dance instructor servicing youth ages 6-13 in
beginning and intermediate tap levels in the Washington D.C. area. A true performer, and lover of
the stage and limelight, Alyse strongly believes that dance is a means of self-expression, and her
dedication to the art has help shape her into the women she is today.

Tap Instructor 

Alyse C. Jones, a native of Flint, MI, is a graduate of Spelman College of Atlanta, GA, and The George Washington University of Washington, DC.   Currently, she is a Consulting Teacher in Prince Georges' County Public Schools in Maryland. A passionate believer in the power of Arts in Education, Alyse is blessed to have been one of the founding members of the innovative all female dance company, Just Tap, and now Sole Defined.  She has travelled the world for audiences of all ages, including The International Children's Festival of Turino, Italy, Wolf Trap Theater, Tapology of Flint MI, Sole Defined at the Atlas Theater Intersections Festival, and the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center.  With the passion and drive to “educate the masses” about percussive dance, she is currently a tap dance instructor servicing youth ages 6-13 in beginning and intermediate tap levels in the Washington D.C. area. A true performer, and lover of the stage and limelight, Alyse strongly believes that dance is a means of self-expression, and her dedication to the art has help shape her into the women she is today. 

 

Zari Davis 

Jazz, Pre Ballet, and Lyrical Instructor 

Zari Davis is a PG County, Md native and has been teaching in the area for 5 years. Zari began dancing at the age of 5 and trained in hip hop, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and modern. She has many years of competition and performance experience. She has danced on many stages including BET’s 106&Park, Lincoln Theatre and the Kennedy Center. In high school she became a part of Capitol Movement Inc. pre-professional company and later she began dancing with their adult professional company where she still dances today.  She went on to major in dance and business finance at Temple University where she also danced on their Diamond Gems dance team. She was also a member of Dance Institute of Washington’s adult company, Reflections, under the late Fabian Barnes of Dance Theatre of Harlem. Along with continuing her dance career and being a StarMakers teacher, Zari also teaches at many schools in the DC area.  

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Jasmine Burriss

Ballet and Modern Instructor

Native of Upper Marlboro, MD, Jasmine Burriss is a recent graduate of the Dance and Choreography Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jasmine graduated high school from Suitland High School in Forestville, MD where she trained in their Visual and Performing Arts Program. During her time at VCU she performed in multiple Senior Project Concerts as well as faculty works. She also has worked with different professional artists such as Doug Varone, Nathan Trice, Dawn Marie Bazemore, Johnnie Mercer, and Christopher Huggins. In 2015, she had the pleasure of performing with Philadanco’s Second Company at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, PA. This past year, Jasmine was also granted the opportunity to present her work in Jacob’s Pillow’s choreography showcase. Jasmine has taught and set work on students at the Richmond Ballet School as well as in smaller local studios. Currently, she is still teaching dance and dancing professionally with UNUM Dance Collective, a dance company based in Baltimore, MD.

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Alonzo "Deshawn" Morton

Ballet and Modern Instructor

Alonzo “Deshawn” Morton has been involved in the arts his entire life gaining experience in both the visual and performing arts. Alonzo began dancing at the age of 16 at the Tacoma School of The Arts, an arts magnet high school located in the downtown area of .Tacoma, Washington. There, he studied modern dance technique. Outside of his school setting, he trained and performed with the Tacoma City Ballet Company and studied for a summer in NYC with the Dance Theater of Harlem. Alonzo continued his dance training at the University of Arizona, where he received his BFA in dance in their triple emphasis program based in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz dance techniques.

Alonzo’s professional experience spans from the commercial stage all of the way to the commercial world. He has also worked with notable choreographers such as Donald Byrd and Tammy Dyke-Compton. He has danced in commercials for Hughes Federal Credit Union and performed in The Moore Theater in Seattle’s Musical Production of Black Nativity. He has been teaching and choreographing for 7 years, and has won multiple choreography awards from national dance competitions. Alonzo is currently a freelance dancer and choreographer working in the Washington, DC area and is excited to continue sharing his love, passion, and knowledge of dance with others

 

 

Office Staff

Oluseyi Ogunnake (Mr. Seyi)
Accounts Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Makers Academy of Dance - Washington DC

STAR MAKERS ACADEMY OF DANCE
13711 Annapolis Rd #105 | Bowie, MD 20720 | info@starmakersdancedc.com | (240) 245-4350

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