An internationally renowned dancer, choreograpgher and coach.Rasta Thomas is the founder of the Bad Boys of Dance ballet company and is also the artistic director of the ShowBiz National Talent Competition.
Alvaro Palau of Cali, Colombia, received his training at the Colombian Ballet Institute, Incolballet as well as workshops in Cuba, in New York with David Howard, and at the Houston School of Ballet. Mr. Palau danced soloist and principal roles and has had roles created for him with The Washington Ballet for 12 years, ARKA Ballet, Carolina Ballet Theatre, National Ballet of Venezuela, and the Cali Ballet in his native Colombia. Mr. Palau toured extensively internationally with all of the ballet companies above, in addition to dancing in festivals such as the Havana Festival in Cuba; Festivals in Rome and Florence in Italy; the Umbrella Festival in South Africa; the International Festival in Miami, Florida; the AIDS Foundation in Austin, Texas; and performances at the White House and in the Memorial Day show in Washington, D.C. As a classical ballet teacher, he is currently faculty at Catholic University of America.
Trained at various prestigious schools, including Texas Ballet Theatre School, Debbie Allen Dance Academy, Theatre of Harlem School, The Ailey School, Dance, Brandon Russel studied a variety of dance techniques and composition, under the tutelage of Larry White and Nathan Montoya. at Southern Methodist University. He has performed with Dance Theatre of Harlem Ensemble (DTH) under the directorship of Arthur Mitchell, Pascal Rioult Dance Theatre, Lydia Johnson Dance, Errol Grimes Dance Group, Nanette Bearden Contemporary Ballet, Balance Dance Theater, Texas Ballet Theater, Subtle Changes Inc and Bad Boys of Dance. Mr. Russell has taught at DTH, the Kirov Academy of DC, Paul Taylor Intensive, Showbiz Xtreme and served as a founding choreographer, ballet master and Director of Operations for Bad Boys of Dance. Currently, he is an instructor of classical ballet and contemporary dance at The University of Maryland Baltimore County.He is currently faculty at University of MBC.
MARIANA GATTO DURAN
Trained with internationally renowned Ballet Masters – Vladimir Djouloukhadze, Pamela Herera, Ludmila Morkovina, Sofiane Sylve, Victor Ullate, and Karin Averty, Mariana Gatto Duran developed skills in classical and contemporary ballet, and flamenco. Among her awards are Grand Prix at the Balanchine International Festival (Competition), Kutaisi, Georgia (2018) and Grand Prix at the Vienna International Ballet Experience (Competition), Vienna, Austria (2016). Ms. Gatto-Duran worked with renowned Ballet Masters, including Rafael Amargo and Soñia Dorado, and performed at the Teatro Calderón with Spain Espectaculo (Madrid, Spain), the Teatre Apolo with Dionisio (Barcelona Spain), the Kennedy Center with the Washington Ballet and Joffrey Ballet (Washington, DC), the Sydney Harmon Hall Center for the Arts with the Washington Ballet (Washington, DC), and the Wolf Trap with Gypsy Kings Concert Tour (Vienna, VA).
Trained in Ballet and Modern Dance at Texas Christian University, Debbie Clark has been involved in Dance and Musical Theater for over 45 years. Debbie’s professional career includes performing for Princess Cruises, Cunard Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines; Harrah’s Casinos, Grand Casinos and Bally’s Casinos, She has danced with local dance companies including Virginia Ballet, DC Dance Theatre, Rincones and Company, and Capitol Movement. Ms. Clark is Director of the Bender JCC School of Dance.