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About US

The Story

In 2013, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker received a United States Patent and Trademark Click here to view official Trademark Document.

Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker is an adaptation of E.T.A. Hoffman’s classical Nutcracker Ballet. 

We invite you to take a journey with Clare, a young African-American girl embarks on a magical Christmas journey in the retelling of E.T.A. Hoffman’s classical Nutcracker ballet. Set against a backdrop of 19th-century brownstones and modern high-rises in Harlem, New York, Clare’s journey begins with the family traditional holiday party. Following the family holiday party, Clare returns to the parlor to embrace her Chocolate Nutcracker gift she received from her Aunt Pearl. She falls asleep and her enchanting dream takes her on a magical journey around the world and to enchanting lands with the Chocolate Nutcracker, who is transformed into a handsome Chocolate Nutcracker Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy. The scenes are filled with the pageantry of dazzling costumes and exciting dance moves performed in ballet, jazz, modern, swing, gospel and hip hop. A youth orchestra delights the audience with the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. 

Orlando Community Arts

Orlando Community Arts, Inc. (OCA) is a 501 c 3 organization with a mission to give Arts access to the underserved communities. Since its inception, Orlando Community Arts, Inc., has maintained an unwavering commitment to presenting a memorable and magical production, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker.

This holiday production recaptures the rich pageantry of traditions and flair that epitomizes culture and diversity. Through the years, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker, has cultivated a strong and loyal following of families, business associates and community leaders. 

Orlando Community Arts, Inc., is community at its best as children and youth continue the tradition of performing on stage while engaging with local and national artists. Artists who have performed in Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker include Savion Glover, Choreographer, Tony Award winner; Jasmine Guy, Actress; and Vickie Winans, American Gospel Recording Artist.

Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker is described as Soulful, Bold, Colorful, Exciting, Lively and Delightful! A holiday treat for the entire family.

our staff

Beverly Page

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President & CEO, Orlando Community Arts

Published Author

Entreprenuer

Educator

Beverly Page is the President & CEO of Orlando Community Arts, Inc. She is a 1978 graduate of South Carolina State University. She earned a Bachelor Degree (B.A.) in Drama/minor in Speech Communication. She has a Master’s Degree (M.A.) in Education and post-graduate credentials in Educational Leadership/Supervision from Winthrop University. Beverly has post graduate credentials from Furman University in Theater Directing. Her professional credits are in Production Management, Stage Management, Playwriting, Costume Management, and Fundraising. Recognizing the need for diversity and inclusion in the Nutcracker, she wrote the book, Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker. 

In 2013 Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker, received a United States Patent and Trademark. She has further extended her artistic talents in designing the Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker doll and wooden Chocolate Nutcrackers which are now available on Walmart.com and Etsy.com. Beverly is described by her peers as an Outstanding leader, entrepreneur, innovative, very professional, committed with a profound sense of purpose. She is listed as an Outstanding Woman of America and has received numerous community recognition for her commitment to the Arts.

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Marlee Henderson

Guest Artist, Choreographer, 

Owner of Motiv Dance Studio

Marlee Hightower is a professional dancer, choreographer and visual artist based in Orlando Florida.  

 

Marlee has been blessed to work on several national commercials and videos for companies such as Samsung, Mattel, TJ Maxx, Party City, Motorola, and Puma. Another highlight was landing a cameo in Pharrel William’s star-studded “Happy” video, and even dancing with Janet Jackson on select stops of her “Unbreakable” Tour. 

In 2015, Marlee’s family opened Orlando’s first open-class hip hop/choreography studio, called Motiv Dance. In 2016, Marlee started a dance team of her own called, Motiv Crew; which she now co-directs with fellow dancer/choreographer, Dario Boatner. In 2018, Marlee and Motiv Crew appeared on NBC’s World Of Dance, Season 3. In 2020, Marlee became co-owner and artistic director of Motiv Dance Studio. 

Production staff

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Josann Battle

Associate Production Manager

Born into a family of Broadway performers, including three-time Tony Award-winning choreographer Hinton Battle, Josan Battle's fate was predetermined to a career as a dancer, choreographer, and Executive Producer. Ms. Battle honed her skills over 28 years of studying dance and teaching in Germany, France, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Florida as a principal dancer with the Center for Contemporary Dance. She also gained extensive experience with her own dance company, "Xplosive Dance and Entertainment," touring Germany and France. Ms. Battle's career took a technical turn as she became a creative and executive producer for live broadcasts and music videos with Microsoft, HIMSS, The National Association of Realtors, and Thomas McClary of the Commodores name a few.

"My childhood found me in the dance classes, rehearsals, and backstages of world-renowned, legendary performers and performances that captivated audiences. I was amazed at what the human body was capable of," she recalls. You will find Ms. Battle as a featured performer in many music videos, commercials, tv series, and movies. "Becoming a dance teacher and performer was a natural progression for me," Ms. Battle states. She utilizes all of her experiences to create fun, dynamic performances that focus on the pure joy that comes from movement.

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Julie Coleman

Entrepreneur/Choreographer,

Orlando School of Cultural Dance

The founder and president of the Orlando School of Cultural Dance for 28 years, Julie Coleman wrote grants and administered programs for area children and showcased their talents in the annual Cultural Dance Extravaganza Showcase at what is now Bob Carr Theater. She collaborated with the Department of Juvenile Justice and the City of Orlando to bring arts education to children who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to experience the arts. In addition to running the school, Ms. Coleman taught African dance and African history as an adjunct professor at the University of Central Florida and provided lecture/demonstrations of dance for students of Orange County Public Schools and more. 

After serving on the Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs Advisory Council for 3 years, she is now a part of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and committed to helping to support the vision of an all-inclusive arts community.

Currently, Julie Coleman is a Certified Elevation Life Coach of Life Begins Now, Inc and a Radio Show Host for Life Begins Now Talk Radio on Caribbean Rhythms Radio Network (CRRNETWORK.COM/CRRFM.COM)

It's a pleasure to be a part of this year's Clare and the Chocolate Nutcracker.

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Nastasshi Lewis

Community Director/Choreographer, The Believe Academy

Actress "Aunt Pearl"

Nastasshi Lewis born and raised in Orlando, Florida is the founder of The Believe Dance Academy. Her mission as the founder of this academy is to build self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-love. The academy has given young girls the opportunity to perform for Magic Johnson, and they were the first featured dance academy to partnered with star 94.5 for the MLK Parade and featured in the “Never Too Much” music video for CeCe Teneal.

 

Nastasshi Lewis has led at Central Florida YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Private Instructure, Cheerleader Director for the Central Florida Lions and more…  As a community leader she serves and thrives for teaching the youth about the entertainment industry and uplifting women to embrace the best version of themselves. 

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Anicia LaCount

Art Director

Anicia LaCount is a Florida native, originally from Miami, Florida. She currently lives in Kissimmee, Florida. A graduate from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Studio Art, specializing in Graphic Design. This freelance graphic designer has over 20 years of experience developing a broad range of design products.

 Brittany Dennis 

African Choreographer

Brittany Dennis also known as Tejumade Temidayo is a well known dancer all over Orlando. She started dancing at the age of 8 , at the Orlando School Of Cultural Dance where she fell in love with the style African Dance. She’s also trained at and performed with many other dance companies like Orlando school of cultural Dance,Orlando Ballet now known as Southern Ballet ,Ajose Afrikan , and Tam Tam Congo just to name a few. She was one of the main dancers in Disney’s Animal Kingdom street band known as Burudika from 2016-2019. She is now a performer with Sea World Orlando where she is still living out her dream as a character/dance performer.

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Music Coordinator

I am Christina Savarese-Leos and  my business is Beautiful Serenity.  I was born Overbrook, West Philadelphia, Pa., raised in Newtown Square, Pa. but I live in Lakewood, Co. 

 

I have been a dancer since I was 2 years old. Dance and music will always be life for me. I am mostly self taught when it comes to mixing music, social media, advertising, forms designing, hair & makeup, choreography, & event planning.

Engerlyn Méndez : Venezuelan Native, with over 21 years of teaching experience in flamenco and hip hop in veneZuela, Spain, Israel and Miami (United States). she has Won Several awards for her profound choreography throughout the world.  She produced more than 24 shows of her own with her dance studio EVOLUTION DANCE in veneZuela, is currently in Orlando creating her community of dancers, under a special learning method with a new project at Avalon Dance.

Engerlyn Mendez

Flamenco Choreographer

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João Pedro Mascarenhas

Visual Artist

I am a digital artist specializing in scenery, backgrounds, themes, and world building. My style can vary from realistic to animated with bold use of colors and atmosphere. I’ve been drawing ever since I was a kid and there is nothing I enjoy doing more than this.

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JAWUAN HILL

Stage Manager

Jawuan Hill is a BFA Acting Major presently attending The Juilliard School. In addition to attending Duke Ellington School for the Arts from 2017 to 2018, Hill graduated from the Charles J. Colgan Senior High School in the theater program in 2021. 
Hill completed his theater studies at the British American Drama Academy in London, England, and began stage managing with Colgan Studios and the Hilton Performing Arts Center during his high school career.  At the Hilton Performing Arts Center, Juwuan recently finished directing the play Akeelah and the Bee, marking his directorial debut. His Stage Management credits read as follows: Trifles; Curse You Jack Dalton; A Raisin in the Sun; Bedfellows; Black Nativity and Les Miserables. 

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Montez Rashun Walker

Choreographer,

The Port St Joe, Florida native is a young man with great passion for dance. It began at the age of 14 at New Life Christian Center. Montez has a very diverse love for all genres of dance, such as Hip-Hop, Jazz, Contemporary and Modern African. However, he takes a greater focus in liturgical (Praise) dance. His mission is to shine a different light and transform the perspective of inspirational (liturgical) dance. Montez has worked with Disney, Tasha Cobbs Leonard , and Sean Bankhead company. He uses his gift to inspire youth with an organization he created called Levite, Montez believes he is called to this generation which is often considered misfits and wants to impart to them that you can be a lover of God and express yourself through your unique gift. Montez also encourages his dancers to embrace their Art no matter how different they may be and to always let your light SHINE. 

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T'KeA Le GRANDE

Founder/ Director, Avalon Dance Company

T’Kea Le Grande is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania .Lovingly called “Miss T’ by her students.  Miss T is the Owner of Avalon Dance and Author of the children's book" I can Dance Too". 

She was trained and influenced by the premier leadership of the Philadanco Dance Company as well as  Debbie Apalucci the then choreographer of the Philadelphia 76ers Dance Team. 

T'Kea Le Grande is trained in Limon, Graham , and Horton  techniques and while in college was influenced by the teachings of companies such as Limon and Ailey II. T’Kea promoted the art of dance through a variety of marketing campaigns to include TV commercials, radio, and billboards throughout Central Florida.  

Valerie Poku

Ballet Mistress / Choreographer

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Valerie grew up in Jackson, NJ, and began her Dance training at a young age. After leaving New York City, Valerie became part of the “Ambiance Dance Company" (University, MD) and later continued her dance studies by training and performing with the Princeton Repertoire Ballet (Princeton, NJ) In addition, Valerie studied tap at Savion Glover’s The Hooferz Club (Newark, NJ).  Owner of Asaye Dance Company in Long branch, NJ.  and the Artistic Consultant for the Tala Shruti School of Dance (New Brunswick, NJ). Valerie has worked with artists like Will Wingfield from SYTYCD fame, created and maintained creative partnerships with organizations like the American Heart Association, where she would teach and perform at special events and galas; Choreographed and performed live with Musical R&B, and Pop artists, and choreographed music videos and for comedic variety sets at comedy shows.  She has even choreographed legendary plays such as Langston Hughes, Black Nativity with the Dunbar Repertory Company at the Count Basie theatre, (Red Bank, NJ) and was invited to perform at the “Black Poetry Festival” in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Vashnie Ambu Marquart has been dancing since the age of two. She has always had a fascination for the sound of music, and dancing to the delight of everyone around her. Her goal in the fine arts is to maintain a vibrant and dynamic personality through dance, drama, and modelling. Vashnie’s formal training began with Bharatnatyam at the Padmini Institute of Fine Arts. She has also attended the Sadhanalaya School of Kuchipudi Dance, where she celebrated her Kuchipudi Rangrapavesam (Achievement of Bachelor’s Degree) in 1998 under the guru Smt. Sadhana Paranji. Since the start of her dance career, Vashnie has performed nationwide including Rhode Island, Maryland, Virginia, Minneapolis, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and internationally as well as Guyana, Canada and Jamaica. Vashnie continues to volunteer her time as one of the advisors of The Natraj Center for the Performing Arts. She currently resides in Orlando, Florida where she is the Clinical Research Coordinator for Cardiovascular Research at Orlando Health Heart & Vascular Institute.      

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Bollywood Choreographer

Vashnie Ambu Marquart

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Romona Suba Kanhai

Bollywood Assistant Choreographer 

Ramona Suba Kanhai has been dancing since the age of 5. She started off at Natraj Center of Performing Arts in New York and then joined Vashnie Dance Academy where she was a student and instructor. Aside from dancing Ramona is a graduate of the University of Central Florida where she obtained her Masters in Healthcare Informatics. Now Ramona works as a Clinical Analyst and enjoys traveling and experiencing the food of different cultures. 

Michael Pagan- Technical Director 

© Orlando Community Arts, Inc. - 2021-2022.

All rights reserved.