Founder & Director
Kay Harris started her professional dance career at the age of nineteen. She has had the opportunity to meet and dance for such famous acts at Vivica Foxx and more. At twenty four, she stopped her professional career to become a choreographer and instructor. Her works include, choreographing for Debbie Allen's, "Dancing in the Wings", "Amazing Grace", "The Wiz" and more. She has since added director to her list of accomplishments. Kay Harris has danced with Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Duke Ellington School of the Arts dancers. Most recently her choreography received five stars In Debbie' Allen's "Dancing in the Wings" and the Broadway Musical "The Wiz". She has been dancing as a principle and ensemble dancer all over the Unites States for over fifteen years. Some of her students have gone on to perform for professional dance companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem. All of these accomplishments pale in comparison to what she feels is her greatest accomplishment, becoming a mom. Her passion for teaching starts in her heart, takes flight in her classroom and flows into each of her students, which motivates her to continue to inspire others.
Demetia Hopkins began her dance training at the Orange School of Performing Arts under the direction of her uncle, Ricardo Porter. Ms. Hopkins graduated with honors from the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. Program in 2009 while a member of Ailey II. In 2010 she joined the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. During her six year tenure in the company she was honored to perform ballets by prestigious choreographers such as Bill T. Jones, Kyle Abraham, Jiri Kylian, Robert Battle, Wayne McGregor, Ulysses Dove, Matthew Rushing, Ronald K. Brown, Ohad Naharin, Judith Jamison, and a multitude of roles from Alvin Ailey’s repertory including his signature solo Cry. Ms. Hopkins was most recently seen in the Tony Award winning musical "Oklahoma!" on Broadway where she served as principal understudy for Dream Laury, Associate Choreographer, and Dance Captain. In 2018, she choreographed a production of Leonard Bernstein’s "Mass" presented at the historic Paramount Theater in Charlottesville, VA. She has performed with the Francesca Harper Project, Project-Inc, Mimi Garrard, and with performing arts pioneer Dianne McIntyre. Ms. Hopkins was cited on the Huffpost list of “26 Black Female Choreographers and Dancers You Should Know,” named one of Dance Magazines “Top 25 To Watch” in 2014, and was a recipient of a Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts in 2011. Ms. Hopkins is currently a freelance artist and dance educator based in New York and Central Virginia. She is proud to be Co-Artistic Director of the Orange School of Performing Arts.
Nya Harris is a dancer and actress. Recently Nya was accepted into the Ailey and CAL Arts Programs. She has performed at the Kennedy Center and on National television along side Debbie Allen at The Special Olympics in the opening ceremony. Nya has enjoyed many stage appearances since the young age of five. Some of her debut performances include "The Wiz", and Debbie Allen's "Dancing in the Wings". She has performed for actress Vivica Foxx, and beside our very own First Lady Michelle Obama, Stevie Wonder, Debbie Allen, and Cathie Nicholas. Her greatest achievements include performing for the opening ceremony for "The Special Olympics" with Debbie Allen and performing alongside Ballet West's professional Ballet Company at The Kennedy Center in "The Nutcracker". When Nya isn't dancing or acting, she enjoys reading, playing the piano and hanging out with her friends. Her career goals include auditioning for a professional ballet company and becoming an actress that can use her platform to create major change in the world.
Natalie Carr moved to Stafford, VA in 2017 with her husband and three children. Being part of a military family, Mrs. Natalie has had the opportunity to teach dance for 25 years in many locations around the US. She began her dance training at a very young age with Beverly Stewart, also her mother, in Florida. Her training continued in ballet, tap, modern, and jazz with Northwest Florida Ballet, Delia McDaniel, and summer scholarships to various schools. As a young adult she danced with First City Dance Theatre and The Dance Center Company in Pensacola, FL. By the age of 18, Natalie was teaching and choreographing for concerts, fashion shows, events, and musical productions. Military life has led to her teaching at a number of dance studios: Dance Plus, the Dance Centre, Dancemakers, MCAS Iwakuni Japan homeschool drama, Stafford Parks and Recreation Dance Department, Fort Walton Beach Dance, Okatie Youth Ballet, Kingdom Builder's homeschool dance, and Gift of Dance. This has given her the ability to choreograph for productions including, "Alladin", "Little Mermaid", "Peter Pan", "Snow Queen", "The Wizard of Oz", and "The Nutcracker". She has also enjoyed dance for worship and has choreographed for various worship events. Her greatest joy is teach students technique, positive self esteem, and a passion for dance that will last a lifetime.
Ivy Dozier became a member of our UCPA faculty in January of 2018. It was clear that she was born with a natural passion for dance, teaching and the performing arts. In early years of childhood, Ivy trained heavily in gymnastics, tumbling and cheerleading, building her athleticism and quality of performance. Her dance career began in 2006 at Mt. Hope Baptist Church where she studied liturgical dance for several years. In 2011, she studied Ballet at Ari's House of Dance in Fredericksburg, VA, was cast as part of the ensemble for Colonial Forge High School's rendition of the musical Hairspray! and earned a spot on CFHS dance team, where the focus was pom, jazz and hip-hop. Ivy's dance career accelerated when she began attending Virginia State University where she joined Sankofa Dance Theatre and "P.A.N.I.C. 2000" (a performing arts organization that originated in Brooklyn, NY) where she was deeply immersed in training various styles of dance (African, Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary and Hip-Hop). In 2016, Ivy began studying Hip-Hop intensely when she joined P.A.N.I.C. 2000. She has also had the pleasure of training with and choreographing for Richmond Urban Dance Company in Richmond, VA. Through compassion, expression and proper technique, Ivy believes that all students have the ability to excel in the arts!
Aaliyah is a former dancer and DI collegiate gymnast of William and Mary. She began training in both sports at the age of 4 and continued to compete and perform in a variety of dance recitals, Junior Olympic and Collegiate gymnastics competitions. Her greatest achievement includes garnering all-league distinction at the championship meet three times within her collegiate gymnastics career on the floor exercise. Aaliyah was also selected to attend a showcase under the instruction of M&S Studio of the Performing Arts and Sabine’s pre-professional program where she was offered representation opportunities from numerous talent agencies for acting and dance. Aaliyah also has a background coaching gymnastics and dance for the Naval Academy, in addition to numerous local community gymnastics centers. Her passion for coaching comes from the fulfillment of helping others to build their confidence, learn new skills, and to achieve personal growth both inside and outside of the dance studio.