Meet the Faculty
NATHAN GRISWOLD (Ballet & Contemporary Creation & Rep) Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Nathan Griswold finished his formal dance training with special recognition at the Ben Stevenson Academy in Houston, Texas. Over the past 20 years as a professional dancer, he has performed with the Houston Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Ballett Augsburg, National Theatre Mannheim, The Alliance Theater, and on TV. In 2104 he co-founded a 501(c)3 non-profit performance and process company, “Fly on a Wall”. Over the past 9 years with Fly on a Wall, Nathan has created choreographic works using many mediums and helped elevate the dance community in the Atlanta Metro area.
NATHAN YOUNG (Ballet) Originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, Nathan began his training at the age of 13 at the Arkansas Academy of Dance. He attended summer training programs such at Ballet West, Joffrey Ballet, and Long Beach Ballet. In 2013, Nathan graduated from the University of Oklahoma, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Performance. Nathan then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, dancing for the Nashville Ballet for four seasons. He is now in his sixth season with Grand Rapids Ballet. Nathan has performed in notable works by Christopher Wheeldon, Jiří Kylián, Jennifer Archibald, Trey McIntyre, Val Caniparoli, Danielle Rowe, and Yuri Possokhov.
KRISSY JOHNSON DODGE (Ballet) has been with Nashville Ballet for the past 20 years. She first joined the company in 2003 and enjoyed a decade long career where she performed numerous principal roles with the company and original works by Paul Vasterling. After retiring from the stage she then joined the NB faculty and has been working with the second company, Professional Training Division and Day Program for the past ten years. Mrs. Dodge has choreographed several original works for the Professional Division that were performed in the Contemporary Showcase. She also received her BA in Dance Performance from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA before joining the company back in 2003. She loves teaching and ensures her classroom is a safe place to grow, be challenged and to passionately grow artistically as well as technically.
PHYLICIA ROYBAL (Ballet), a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico, began her passion for movement at age 10. She went on to receive a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts at the University of Arizona in 2011. Upon graduating, Phylicia also received the Gurtrude Shurr Memorial Award in Modern dance. In her professional career she has had the privilege of working with, New Dialect Dance company (Nashville), under the direction of Banning Bouldin, Ronn Stewart and Cocodāco Dance Project (Chicago), Kibbutz contemporary dance company (Israel), Catherine Cabeen - Hyphen (Seattle) and Moving People Dance (Santa Fe). Throughout her dance career she has had the opportunity to also work with artists such as Roy Assaf, Rami Be’er, Donald McKayle, Robert Moses, Gail Gilbert, Kevin Iega Jeff, and Bobby Mc Ferrin. Phylicia has taught at renowned programs such as The Nashville Ballet, The Joffrey Ballet Academy Chicago, The Youth American Grand Prix, Northwestern University, The Hispanic Family Foundation Baila program, Foster Dance Studios, Ensworth High School, Stage Right Performing arts, American Academy of Dance and Metro Parks Dance Division. While residing in Nashville, she performed a solo work at the Animata Arts Festival in 2019 and more recently her second solo work as part of Pollen’s artist platform in 2020. She currently teaches Gyrokinesis®️ in the Nashville area and enjoys connecting to people through movement. She continues to find inspiration through experimental and somatic based movement and improvisation.
AARON ALLEN, JR. (Contemporary) is a Contemporary dance artist from Chattanooga, Tennessee whose research and choreographic practices are driven by African Diasporic forms and personal experiences centered around identity and safety. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Dance Performance from Middle Tennessee State University, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Colorado Boulder. Creating safe spaces for movers to be themselves has been a constant guide in his technique classes and choreographic works. Aaron has performed in numerous cities, including Shanghai, China, Chicago, Illinois, Washington, D.C., Oberlin, Ohio, and Tallahassee, Florida. Aaron has also performed with numerous musical artists over the past 4 years most notably he performed with the Weeknd at Super Bowl 55 in Tampa, Florida. During the summer of 2022, Aaron was awarded an individual arts Fellowship through the TN Arts Commission. Aaron is excited to step into a new role as a Tenure-track Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of Southern Mississippi in the Fall of 2023.
JOI WARE (Contemporary / Jazz) is a native of Dallas, TX where she began her formal training at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center under the direction of Christy Ryzman. There she got to work with notable choreographers such as Benoit Swan-Pouffer, Jessica Hendricks, and Jon Bond. In high school, she attended the prestigious Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where she performed works by Robert Battle, Lar Lubovitch, Sidra Bell, and many more. Joi is a graduate of Point Park University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and a Bachelor of Science in Sports, Arts, and Entertainment Management. At Point Park, she had the opportunity to work with choreographers such as Garfield Lemonius, Joshua L. Peugh, Christopher Huggins, and others. Joi has attended summer dance intensives with San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M, Bates Dance Festival, and Springboard Danse Montreal. In 2019, Joi moved to Nashville to join New Dialect. She has enjoyed being part of Nashville's tight knit yet growing dance scene as a freelance artist. Joi has created and danced in independent projects with Oz Arts, Apple, CMT, and multiple musical artists. She has also had the pleasure of being part of productions with Bombshell Dance Project, David Flores Productions, and PYDANCE.
KARI GREGG (Progressing Ballet Technique) has studied dance her entire life and the art of moving is something she constantly craves. She began her passion of dance at the age of 4 at a studio in central Indiana. Soon, she was accepted at an early age into Butler University’s early admittance program in Indianapolis to focus more on her classical ballet training. Kari continued with Butler University and received her Bachelor of Science in dance and arts administration. She also spent a summer studying with four distinguished teachers at the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. Kari launched her professional dance career both domestically and abroad. For the past 15 years, she has performed in cities all across the United States including 10 years with the Radio City Rockettes. Kari recognized early on the benefits of practicing Pilates as a way of cross training for her professional dance career and took it with her throughout her travels. She was immediately drawn to the disciplined traditional method of Pilates, and thus became certified by the New York Pilates Studio® Teacher Certification Program. Her continuing education includes but is not limited to an additional certificate through the Pilates Youth Organization, ABT National Training Curriculum Certified Teacher in Pre-Primary through Level 3 and Functional Anatomy & Kinesiology for Dance Education through Harkness Center for Dance Injuries in New York City.
JASMINE DOMINIQUE (Afro-Brazilian) After graduating from Nashville School for the Arts, a passion to connect with others led Jasmine to pursue her education in the field of Psychology. In 2007 she graduated with a Bachelor of Psychology from Tennessee State University and in 2009 she graduated with a Master of Counseling Psychology from the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Though education has allotted her with the opportunity to reach diverse groups with diverse needs, Jasmine sought to incorporate more artistic principles into her professional practice. In 2012, Jasmine traveled abroad to live in Salvador Bahia, Brazil. For two years she immersed herself in the country's rich and indigenous history. Jasmine trained and studied various forms of Brazilian dance including orixa dance, samba dance and modern/contemporary dance. In 2015, she returned to her hometown Nashville, TN where she teaches and utilizes Afro-Brazilian dance as a tool to foster holistic health. Jasmine's class is an experience that is designed to be fun, but to also share the power of traditional rhythms and movement!
NATASHA CALDWELL (Yoga) moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music, but her primary occupation for the last 15 years has been teaching Iyengar Yoga. She earned her certification under the tutelage of Jan Campbell, Gary Jaeger, and Lois Steinberg, and is also a Certified Yoga Therapist. She believes that any activity can be infused with magic through mindfulness, and her favorite magical activities include spending time with her kids and exploring various types of movement, like figure skating and ballet.
KRISTEN KABUTAN (Yoga) Kristen Kabutan received her yoga certification through Sanctuary Yoga in 2012 after many years of practicing and truly seeing the transformative impact that yoga can have on a person’s life. She also completed her certification in Trauma Informed Yoga in February of 2016. Kristen uses yoga and breathing techniques to assist people with self-regulation, awareness, mindfulness and cultivating peace.
DIANA LEMENSE, E-RYT200 (Yoga)
Diana teaches an alignment based yoga class where movement and breath are offered as objects of meditation. Her classes emphasize integrity, and offer students practices to cultivate a greater awareness of and capacity for stability and freedom on and off the mat. “I teach to empower my students to make good and healthy choices to benefit themselves, the people they love and our world.”
A native of Wisconsin, Diana moved to Nashville in 2013 and began teaching at the Harpeth Hall School where she currently teaches Yoga in the Upper School Wellness Department, and choreographs and teaches for the Harpeth Hall Dance Company. In Wisconsin she taught dance performance, composition and history at the Peck School of the Arts at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee for 15 years and performed with Danceworks Performance Company for a decade.
TANTSOVA GRUPA (Folk Dance) (Bulgarian for "dance group") is a Nashville-based musical ensemble created in 2009 to accompany the Nashville International Folk Dancers (www.nifddance.com). The band's repertoire includes village dances from Armenia, Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Israel, Macedonia, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine. Current musicians are Mary Lou Durham, fiddle;Tim Murphy, fiddle, guitar, accordion; Amberly Rosen, fiddle and dance teaching; Alexa Voytek, fiddle and hurdy-gurdy; Janet Epstein, recorders and dance teaching; Sam Frazee, guitar; Michael Lewandowski, mandolin; Laura Bouffard, clarinet; Holly Tashian, upright bass; and William Wiggins, percussion.
LINDSAY MCNEAL ISON PT, MS, OCS (Dancer Health Seminar) Physical Therapist; Clinic Director, Susan Underwood Physical Therapy; Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist; APTA Certified Advanced Clinical Instructor. Lindsay is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and the University of Alabama-Birmingham where she received her Master of Science in Physical Therapy. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Health Professions Education at A.T. Still University and serves as an adjunct instructor in the Belmont University School of Physical Therapy. Lindsay’s clinical focus is on general orthopedics with an emphasis on manual therapy and performing arts medicine. She is active in treating dancers at Nashville Ballet and other middle Tennessee dance organizations including Tennessee’s Governor’s School for the Arts. Her post-graduate training includes NYU’s Harkness Center for Dance Injuries certificate program, as well as ongoing training through Michigan State University’s Manual Medicine Series and visceral manipulation through the Barral Institute. Lindsay also has experience managing pelvic floor dysfunction and women’s health issues. Lindsay enjoys reading, traveling, making music with her husband, dancing with her daughter, and attending music and dance performances. She is an avid Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan! Music and dance have always been an integral part of Lindsay’s life and she enjoys using her first-hand performance knowledge to facilitate the recovery of all of her patients.
DANIELLA PARISOT (Pedagogy) Daniella Parisot originally from southern Connecticut, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Pedagogy and Dance Performance from The Hartt School at the University of Hartford. During her time at there, she had the opportunity to perform works by George Balanchine, José Limón, Claudia Schreier, Norbert De La Cruz III, Hilda Morales, Stephen Pier, and many others. She was then a company artist with Ballet Hartford where she worked with and performed works by choreographers including Elizabeth McMillian, Silas Farley, Michelle Thompson-Ulerich, and Mikhail Fokine. During her formal pedagogy education, Daniella was closely mentored and studied under Stephen Pier, (Hamburg Ballet, The Royal Danish Ballet, José Limón Company, Company Wayne McGregor, the Julliard School and many more), Carol Roderick, (who was a member of the professional division faculties of Boston Ballet School, Royal Winnipeg Ballet, The HARID Conservatory, Tulsa Ballet School, The Hartt School Community Division and who credits her formal pedagogical training of former Bolshoi Ballet’s the late Jürgen Schneider and the Kirov/Mariinsky’s Gabriela Komleva). Daniella credits them, as well as her other pedagogy mentors, Hilda Morales, (American Ballet Theater, Pennsylvania Ballet/Philadelphia Ballet), and Debra Collins-Ryder (Hartford Ballet) for having a major influence on her passion and style of teaching. She was on the ballet faculty and the office administrator for the Hartt School Community Division before moving to Nashville in 2019 to work closely with the growing dance community as a freelance choreographer, dancer and teacher. While in Nashville, she has been on faculty for Harpeth Hall and currently teaches and choreographs for the Centennial Youth Ballet at the Metro Parks Dance Division. She is also a certified Progressing Ballet Technique © instructor.