Associate Artistic Director of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Matthew Rushing was born in Los Angeles, CA. He began his dance training with Kashmir Blake in Inglewood, California and later continued his training at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He is the recipient of a Spotlight Award and Dance Magazine Award and was named a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. He was a scholarship student at The Ailey School and later became a member of Ailey II, where he danced for a year.
During his career, Mr. Rushing has performed as a guest artist for galas in Vail, Colorado, as well as in Austria, Canada, France, Italy, and Russia. He has performed for Presidents George H. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, as well as at the 2010 White House Dance Series. During his time with the Ailey Company, he has choreographed three ballets: Acceptance In Surrender (2005), a collaboration with Hope Boykin and Abdur-Rahim Jackson, Uptown (2009), a tribute to the Harlem Renaissance, and ODETTA (2014), a celebration of "The queen of American folk." In 2012 he created Moan, which was set on Philadanco and premiered at The Joyce Theater. Mr. Rushing joined the Ailey Company in 1992 and became Rehearsal Director in June 2010.
Bahamian Dancer with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
Courtney Celeste Spears (Baltimore MD) who is of Bahamian descent, is a professional dancer with the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and has performed in over 15 countries including France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Japan. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with honors from The Ailey/Fordham BFA Program with a degree in dance and Communications/Media studies. While dancing professionally, Ms. Spears has continued her studies, recently completing Harvard Business School's Crossover into Business program for professional athletes and was also nominated for a New York Emmy for her leading role in The Black Iris Project's "A Mother's Rite" within the same year. She has been featured in publications such as Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, Self, Allure, and Vanity Fair as a signed model with Wilhelmina Models. As a dedicated mentor and entrepreneur, Ms. Spears is the Co-Founder and Director of her own company, ArtSea Dance, which brings world class dance entertainment and education to the caribbean, specifically The Bahamas. Most recently, Ms. Spears assisted in the development of a new dance education program, based in the Cayman Islands called Current, which was in collaboration with Carribean Connection by Palm Heights. The program offered classes for aspiring dancers on the island based in modern, ballet, & architecture & concluded with a live performance for the community. Ms. Spears aims to empower young dancers to think outside of the box and continues to use her own platform to uplift the next generation of artists.
Dr. Sheyi Ojofeitimi
Senior Physical Therapist with The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater
CEO of Synthesis Physical Therapist, Co-Director of The Dance Ready Project
Dr. Sheyi Ojofeitimi, DPT, OCS, CFMT, CIDN - Dr. Sheyi Ojofeitimi is the Director of Therapy Services and the Covid -
19 Response Coordinator at Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation, CEO of Synthesis Physical Therapy, and Co-
founder of the Dance Ready Project. A licensed physical therapist for 20 years Dr. Sheyi oversees the care of Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation’s staff, pre—professional and professional dancers. She has worked with several, and
several Broadway & Off-Broadway shows including Wicked, Once On This Island, Avenue Q, The Book Of Mormon and Free Style Love Supreme. For ten years served as senior research associate at the Analysis of Dance and Movement (ADAM) Center, a biomechanics laboratory conducting research on movement and injury patterns in dancers. She is author 17 peer-reviewed journal articles. Dr. Sheyi is a Certified Functional Manual Therapist (CFMT), Orthopedic Clinical Specialist (OCS) and has advanced training in the Thoracic Ring Approach. She trained in visceral mobilization, craniosacral therapy, integrative dry needling (IDN) and Fascial Counter Strain technique. She is a specialist in the treatment of lumbo-pelvic/sacro- coccygeal dysfunctions and has a passionate interest in connection between dysbiosis (gut dysfunction), mental health, sleep and chronic pain/disease Dr. Sheyi received a Bachelor of Arts from Fordham University, Master of Physical Therapy from West Virginia University, and Doctor Physical Therapy from Alabama State University.
Master Jazz Teacher & Professional Dancer
A Philadelphia native, Miss Wright began her career at The Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco!). Going through the ranks, Miss Wright joined the training program while in high school, was selected to join Danco II, and after 2 seasons, left and finished her Bachelor’s in Dance Education. A week to the day of graduation she had her first performance with Philadanco. She has worked with and performed work by numerous choreographers during her time at Philadanco including Elisa Monte, Ron Brown, George Faison, and Talley Beatty to name a few. Upon leaving Philadanco, Miss Wright enjoyed her Broadway debut in Maurice Hines’ Hot Feet as a featured member in the ensemble and doing the leading role before the show closed. Miss Wright has gone on to perform in a number of shows including The Color Purple and Sophisticated Ladies. Miss Wright has done some television and film work including Beloved, The Great Observer, A Bridezilla Promo, and a podcast go project. With her Bachelor’s in Education, Miss Wright found time to teach while dancing at Philadanco. Miss Wright has been a lecturer at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Miss Wright has also taught and choreographed stateside and abroad. While in New York, Miss Wright has choreographed for Universoul Circus, a commercial for Party City, and a production of Dreamgirls. Currently Miss Wright is on faculty at The Ailey School teaching in the Professional Division.
Founder of Bahamian Physiotherapy Clinic, Aktiv Body Rehab
Cordero J. E. Bonamy was born in Nassau, Bahamas to John and Brenda Bonamy. He completed his secondary education at St. John’s College and later attended Dickinson State University in Dickinson, ND, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2011. Cordero then went on to further his studies at the University of the West Indies- Mona where he received his Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy in 2016. Returning home at the end of 2016, Cordero devoted his time to volunteering and raising physiotherapy awareness in the Bahamas, while working at a private clinic. Discovering his love for volunteering, Cordero founded the community service group; Pop Up Physios in 2017 with his peers. His desire to assist others combined with his extensive knowledge base fuels him to help patients regain function as best as possible. Cordero’s main goal, due to his passion for sports, is to become one of the premier sports physiotherapists hailing from the Bahamas.