Our faculty of Teaching Artists are trained in the Company’s specific physically integrated dance technique to work with students of all ability levels. They are experienced in working with students who use mobility assistance equipment, such as manual and powered wheelchairs, crutches, braces, and walkers. They are also experienced in working with students who have a variety of cognitive and emotional capacity levels. We strive to keep all classes inclusive and pride ourselves in never turning down a student based on ability level or economic status.
Director of Education, Teaching Artist – Sara Lawrence-Sucato hails from Columbus, OH. She graduated with Honors and a degree in Dance Teaching and Choreography from Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA) and is currently studying for a Master’s of Science in Organizational Leadership from the same institution. Sara has worked in various capacities with The Dancing Wheels Company & School since 2006. She danced in the company for sixteen seasons performing works by noted choreographers Marc Brew, Nai Ni Chen, David Dorfman, Christopher Fleming, Catherine Meredith, Stuart Pimsler, David Roussève, Ginger Thatcher, Mark Tomasic, Michael Uthoff and Robert Wesner as well as by internationally renowned choreographers Donald McKayle and Dianne McIntyre. She served as the company’s Tour Manager for thirteen years and as Rehearsal Director for three years.
In her capacity as The Dancing Wheels Company & School’s Director of Education, Sara combines the roles of Director of Outreach & Community Engagement and School Coordinator, oversees the design and implementation of a new company traineeship program, and teaches physically integrated dance technique in residencies, workshops, and master classes for The Dancing Wheels Company & School. Her most recent teaching opportunities have included developing and teaching as a Master Teacher for the Dancing Wheels Teacher Certification program; “DW Experience” 2022; masterclasses at VSA Intersections (Atlanta, GA, and Columbus, OH), “Counter Balance” Inclusive Dance Festival (Chicago, IL), and ACT Conference (Columbus, OH); workshops at ED@LEAD (Raleigh, NC), Ohio Dance Festival (Columbus, OH), Oglebay Institute (Wheeling, WV), Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA), Point Park University (Pittsburgh, PA), and Festival Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo (León, Mexico); and residencies for Cleveland and Northeast Ohio-based organizations including Center for Arts-Inspired Learning, Cleveland Play House, City of Cleveland’s Neighborhood Resource and Recreation Centers (NRRCs), MetroHealth, Medicore Transport and Achievement Centers, Old Trail School, Laurel School, and Julie Billiart School, as well as MOMENTA’s “Chance to Dance” (Columbus, OH) and Arts Partnership (Findlay, OH).
L. Taylor Ashton
Teaching Artist – L. Taylor Ashton, a dance maker and native of Youngstown, Ohio graduated with honors from Kent State University with a BFA in Dance Performance in 2017. Ashton recently received her MFA in dance from Hollins University in conjunction with the Master of Contemporary Dance Education program at Frankfurt University for Music and Performing Arts in Frankfurt, Germany. Ashton’s current work in process, ataba is a multi-medium performance art piece that is anchored in the migration and displacement of Syrian refugees, drawing on her Syrian heritage and family migration story.
Andrea Belser McCormick
Teaching Artist – Andrea Belser McCormick is a Performing and Teaching Artist from Cleveland with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater Studies emphasizing in Dance and Applied Voice from Wright State University. Currently, she teaches various dance and theater acting to all ages with theaters and companies around Northeastern Ohio. Under the stage name Andrea Belser, she has also worked on and off stage as an actor, dancer, singer, choreographer, stage manager, and dresser. You may have last seen her perform in Aida at Karamu House, Freaky Friday at Lakeland Civic Theater, Little Shop of Horrors at French Creek Theater, or The Casual Tree Ward at Convergence-Continuum. Andrea’s awards include 2008 Best Actress in Cleveland and a nomination for the same in 2012.
Teaching Artist – Having started her dance training at the age of three, Dominique has always had a passion for dance. She was accepted as a dance major at the University of Akron where, through the National Center for Choreography, she trained with artists in companies such as Ballet Jazz de Montreal, BodyTraffic, A.I.M. (Abraham In Motion), and Koresh Dance. She also had the privilege to be selected by and perform in works choreographed by Alice Klock (Hubbard Street), Catherine Meredith, NEOS Dance Theatre, and Kora Radella. She had the opportunity to choreograph many pieces, one piece being chosen to be performed at E.J. Thomas Hall alongside the faculty and guest artist pieces. This piece, “Her”, was chosen to be performed at the 2019 American College Dance Association conference. After college, she trained with the Dancing Wheels Company learning the art of wheelchair dance and began to work with The School of Dancing Wheels as a teaching artist. Dominique started her own contemporary fusion dance company, Roots Dance Ohio, in late 2020 to create opportunities for dancers who were struggling to find ways to dance due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s had the privilege of choreographing “Rocketman” for the School of Dancing Wheel’s Performance Ensemble performed at the Playhouse Square’s Allen Theatre and for Cleveland Dance Project showcase. In 2022, she kick-started her commercial dance career by becoming a Striker for the Cleveland Guardians, receiving opportunities to dance in televised numbers featured on ESPN and Bally Sports. Currently, Dominique continues to teach with Dancing Wheel’s school and outreach programs, teaches ballet at a studio in Solon, is continuing to enjoy her time as a Striker, and just started rehearsals for Ballet Legato’s “Giselle”. Dancing Wheels is her dream job, and she is grateful for it every day.
Additional Outreach Teaching Artists:
- McKenzie Beaverson
- Angelina DiFranco
- Cody Krause
- Brian Murphy
- Richard Oaxaca
- Franklin Polk
- DeMarco Sleeper
- Celina Naima Speck
- Trinity Stevens
- Mary Verdi-Fletcher
- Morgan Walker