Helen Hayes has been teaching modern and jazz at Joy of Motion for 27 years. She is dedicated to building community through dance and believes that dance builds strong minds and strong bodies. As the Director of the Dance Institute, she oversees the Youth Dance Ensemble, the American Dance Conservatory and LEAP! (JOM’s adult conservatory training program for adults) and serves as a core faculty member. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in dance. She has danced professionally with the Maryland Dance Theater, Perlo/Bloom and Co., Cathy Paine and Friends, Deborah Riley Dance Projects and Dupont Alley Dance Company. Touring internationally, she has been featured on Good Morning Hong Kong. She has performed throughout the United States including the Honors Gala in tribute to Chita Rivera at the Kennedy Center. Hayes was the co-founder of CrossCurrents Dance Company (former Resident Arts Partner at Joy of Motion) which she co-directed from 1996-2008. She spent the summer of 2002 teaching jazz and modern in Varna, Bulgaria at the International Ballet Competition. She was on the adjunct faculty at the University of MD in 2006 and has taught numerous master classes in the United States and abroad.
Under Hayes’ direction, the Youth Dance Ensemble has won the Metro DC Dance Award for Most Outstanding Youth Performance in 2006, 2010 and 2012. In 2009, Hayes was the recipient of the prestigious Metro DC Dance Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance Education. Several of her students have gone on to enjoy professional careers in repertory dance companies on Broadway and form their own professional dance companies.
Vanessa Rowan oversees the finance, HR, office administration, and studio operations. Vanessa began her career in public accounting at KPMG, where she worked in the Development and Exempt Organizations practice, providing tax review, preparation, and consulting services for nonprofit organizations across the country. Prior to joining Joy of Motion, Vanessa worked as the Senior Accountant for Special Projects at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she specialized in accounting for contributed revenue, investments, the Center’s endowment, and special events. She also has been a student at Joy of Motion since 2003. Vanessa holds a BA from Muhlenberg College in Accounting and Dance, a Masters of Accounting with a Tax Emphasis from the College of William and Mary’s Raymond A. Mason School of Business, and a CPA license.
Julia Harman Cain, Director of External Relations, heads up fundraising, marketing, and communications for Joy of Motion’s myriad artistic, educational, and community engagement programs. Prior to joining Joy of Motion in 2013, she was the Managing Director of Forum Theatre, where she oversaw development, finance, marketing, audience services, and company management. She previously worked at the National Children’s Museum, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Ford’s Theatre, and the Catalogue for Philanthropy. She has served on grant review panels for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Arts Council of Fairfax County, and she is a proud member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP), as well as a Notary Public, commissioned in the District. Julia holds a BA in Comparative Literature and a certificate in Theater & Dance from Princeton University. She is currently earning her MBA from Johns Hopkins University.
Sarah Chapin, Director of Production, is responsible for managing the Jack Guidone Theater and the many shows Joy of Motion produces throughout the performing season, as well as being administrative support for our Youth Performance Companies.
She has trained extensively in modern, Contact Improvisation, Performance Improvisation, and Lindy Hop, and has also studied ballet, West African technique, blues dance, and the Brazilian social dance form forró. An avid social dancer, she travels to Lindy Exchanges around the U.S.
She holds degrees in Dance and Portuguese from Middlebury College in Middlebury VT. A North Carolina native and an adopted Vermonter, Sarah comes to Joy of Motion most recently from Bennington VT, where she served as the Dance Technical Director and Master Electrician at Bennington College. She maintains an active freelance career as a theatrical electrician, technician, and stage manager.
Krystal Odom has been dancing her entire life but began her formal training at the Jones-Haywood School of Ballet. She has performed with the Jones-Haywood Youth Dancers, Bren-Car Dancers, and in Adrian Vincent James’ 40th Anniversary in Dance and the Arts. She has taught ballet and tap at the New School of Dance and Arts and Bren-Car School of Dance. She has taught hip hop with the D.A.R.E.® Dance program since 2007. She is very excited to continue teaching ballet and hip hop at Joy of Motion Dance Center.
Ginn is a dance artist, educator, administrator, and advocate. A native of Winchester, VA, she received her early training from Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet and summer programs at places such as Richmond Ballet and Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. Ginn graduated cum laude from Bucknell University with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Dance, and choreographed three original works and performed pieces by Salim Gauwloos, Tara Madsen, Matthew Neenan, and John Lehrer during her four years in the Bucknell Dance Company.
Ginn’s career in the professional dance field has been multifaceted. She has taught dance at American Dance Institute, Adventure-Theatre MTC, John Kerr Elementary School, Lewisburg Arts Festival, Move This World, and Vostrikov’s Academy of Ballet. Ginn has performed with Beth Elliot Dance Group, DC Contemporary Dance Theater, Karen Reedy Dance, NetCo Dance Company, and Washington Reflections Dance Company. Most recently, Ginn worked for Dance/USA, a national dance service organization, first as Development Associate and later as Director of Programs.
In addition to her work at Joy of Motion, she currently performs with Dancethos and Metropolitan Ballet Theater Ensemble, and as a guest artist with Company E which included travelling with the company on tour to Kazakhstan and Cuba in 2016. She also holds a 200 hour registered yoga certification and enjoys practicing and teaching yoga.
Kelly Kunst grew up studying every style of dance she could find! She focused on ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and lyrical in an intensive ballet program as well as a competition setting. She spent her summers studying at the prestigious Ballet Regent Institute and American Ballet Theater Summer Intensives. Kunst went on to earn her BPA in Dance Performance from Oklahoma City University where she was a magna cum laude graduate after completing coursework in pedagogy, choreography, anatomy, and physiology in addition to ballet, tap, jazz, theater dance, voice, and acting. While at OCU she was a dancer and line captain for the American Spirit Dance Company, dancer, and rehearsal captain for the Spirit of Grace Liturgical Dance Company, as well as performer and choreographer for the annual choreography showcase. Kunst can be found teaching ballet, jazz, modern, tap, contemporary, and Broadway jazz, as well as multiple fitness classes, throughout the DMV. Since moving back to the area in 2003, she has taught at Joy of Motion Dance Center, University of Maryland, College Park, the Washington School of Ballet, and Dancemakers, has choreographed for multiple productions at the National Presbyterian School, and coaches and choreographs for dancers competing in regional and national dance competitions and pageants. When not dancing, she also loves all things fitness and is a competitive bodybuilder.
Jennifer Dobbins, Youth Dance Ensemble Co-Director
Jenifer Dobbins is a passionate dance educator, choreographer, theater technician, and arts organizer, advocate, and administrator. Her passion for ballet pedagogy has led her to licensure in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet, through the Cecchetti Council of America. Her philosophy for teaching is anatomically sound, inclusive, and nurturing. A graduate of UMBC Department of Dance, Jen performed with Baltimore Dance Project and received an Undergraduate Research Award to study with the Jose Limon Foundation. Jen has performed and choreographed in the DMV for over 15 years, specializing in technology driven and theatrically inquisitive works. As an educator, Jen has taught dance regionally for over 12 years and her students have won numerous awards and scholarships, with many going on to dance in college and professionally. Jen is exhilarated to be a part of the Joy of Motion Faculty.
Elizabeth Malone, Youth Dance Ensemble Co-Director
Elizabeth Malone is from Bellingham, Washington, where she began to study ballet, modern, flamenco, tap, hip hop, and jazz. In 2004 she completed the Teacher’s Summer Seminar at Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. Malone holds a BFA in Dance from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. While there, she focused on performance, teaching, and choreography of ballet and modern dances. Malone danced for ARC Dance Company in Seattle, Washington for two seasons before moving to the East Coast. She now dances and teaches with ReVision Dance Company in Washington, DC, and for Joy of Motion Dance Center.