Julie Meyer has worked for over 30 years in the non-profit sector as volunteer, staff, management, founder, and board member for organizations in the areas of social services, international development and policy, health care, social justice, and education. She has worked with grassroots and activist organizations, the community service sector and the philanthropic community. In addition to her extensive management experience, Ms. Meyer has helped found numerous organizations and re-structure others to better fulfill their goals. She is currently working as a nonprofit interim executive. Previously, she was the Executive Director of The Next Step Public Charter School in Columbia Heights, DC’s oldest charter school, for thirteen years. TNS is a bilingual GED and ESL program for older “disconnected” youth ages 16-24 with full-time day and part-time evening programs and extensive wraparound services. Ms. Meyer oversaw the school’s rapid growth in size and program offerings, facility acquisition, re-chartering and re-accreditation, and rise to Tier 1 rank. She has been a dedicated advocate for disconnected youth, immigrants, and other marginalized communities. Ms. Meyer was a founder of the New England Central America Network, The Lambi Fund of Haiti and Grantmakers Without Borders. She is fluent in Spanish and has worked primarily in the areas of Latin American policy and development, the local, DC Latino community, and education issues. She is a lifelong lover of dance and has been an adult student at Joy of Motion for over 18 years.
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.
Sarah Chapin (she/her), 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.
Elizabeth Watson, Business Operations Manager
Elizabeth Watson earned her BA in Dance and Choreography from Mercyhurst University in 2010 and upon graduation, Elizabeth performed as a soloist with Ballet Theatre of Ohio in Akron, Ohio. In 2011, Elizabeth moved to Tucson, Arizona where she performed with numerous local dance companies and was instrumental in the opening and management of the Animas Center for Pilates, Yoga, and Dance. In May 2015, Elizabeth earned her MFA in Dance from the University of Arizona where she performed soloist works by James Clouser, Jory Hancock, and Melissa Lowe. Elizabeth was a professional company member with the Tucson-based contemporary dance company, Artifact Dance Project, for two years before moving to DC. She was also the owner and creator of the bakery, The Bakerina.
Elizabeth comes to Joy of Motion from HillVets; a non-profit that provides veterans with education, contacts, and resources to gain the skills and experience needed to excel in Second Service careers on Capitol Hill. As their Director of Programs and Communications, Elizabeth designed curriculum and systems for HillVets’ programs and created partner relations with Members of Congress and private organizations. Prior to HillVets, Elizabeth served as the Business Services Coordinator for the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership and the Alexandria Small Business Development Center as well as a project and communications assistant for large initiatives such as the announcement of Amazon HQ2.
Elizabeth also served as the Community Manager for Capitol Post; a business incubator, accelerator, and co-working space for military veterans and their spouses. Externally, Elizabeth performed professionally with Gin Dance Company from June of 2016 until August of 2019 and continues to perform with District Dance Company in Gaithersburg, MD. She also serves on the Board for Local Motion Dance Project and is the incoming Chair of Dance Metro DC.
When she is not dancing or teaching or putting out fires, Elizabeth enjoys running, spin classes, whipping up new recipes from her obsessively large recipe book collection, or playing with her corgi puppy, Karen.
Maggie Leigh Walker, Marketing Manager, handles marketing and communications for Joy of Motion’s numerous artistic and educational programs. Prior to joining Joy of Motion as a staff member in 2016, she was the Marketing Manager at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland. She has also worked at Montgomery College’s Cultural Arts Center and Adventure Theatre-MTC. Maggie has also been a student at Joy of Motion on and off since 2007.
In addition to her work for Joy of Motion, Maggie is active in DC theatre. Recent local credits include Keegan Theatre’s Hands on a Hardbody and Elves and the Shoemaker (Fiona); Open Circle Theatre’s The Who’s Tommy (Acid Queen); Adventure Theatre-MTC’s Pinkalicious; 1st Stage’s Bat Boy (Helen Hayes Nominated Production). She holds a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre Performance from the Catholic University of America.
Desmond “Dez” Jordan, a dancer and choreographer, served as Executive Director of Kaution Dance, as well as Assistant Choreographer for Impact Entertainment’s Hip Hop Company. He later joined Fierce Collabo and became team captain in the 2014-15 season. He has performed at World of Dance NYC, Monsters of Hip Hop, Prelude DMV, National Dance Day DC, Toronto Pride, Capital Pride, and Cherry Blossom Parade with artist such as Deborah Cox, Debbie Reynolds and Radio Disney’s: Kicking Daisies. Dez also teaches youth and adult hip hop classes at Joy of Motion. Come dance with him!