Our Leaders

NCDA Board of Directors

Executive Committee:

Justin Tornow

 PRESIDENT ~ Justin Tornow, Durham
Justin Tornow is an NC native currently living in Durham, NC. She is the artistic director of COMPANY, an independent choreographer and teacher, a producer of the local artist series PROMPTS, a co-founder of Durham Independent Dance Artists (DIDA,) and a co-collaborator with Julia Edwards on a site-specific project called MOVEable. Justin’s presents work regularly in North Carolina, New York, and Philadelphia. In 2010, Justin received an MFA in Choreography from UNC-Greensboro, lived and worked in NYC until 2013, and then moved to Durham, NC. Justin is an adjunct teaching artist at UNCG, a member of the Black Box Dance Theater company in Raleigh, NC, and began serving as President of the North Carolina Dance Alliance in July 2014. www.justintornow.com


Kelly SwindalVICE PRESIDENT/MARKETING CHAIR~ Kelly Swindell, Greensboro
Kelly Swindell, a native of the Piedmont of North Carolina, has been a dancer for most of her life. As a child, she wanted to be a ballerina. Then, she was bitten by the contemporary bug and hasn’t turned back since. Kelly’s training includes NC School of the Arts (now UNCSA), UNCG, Jacob’s Pillow, and the American Dance Festival. She has worked with regional and national choreographers, including Jan Van Dyke, John Gamble, Sherone Price, Jack Arnold, Mark Dendy, Mark Morris, Joachim Schloemer, Bopi Patterson, Virgina Freeman Dupont, Donna Goffredo, and Christina Hawley Pressley. She’s a founding member of Gamble/Van Dyke Dance and is delighted to be back as a performing artist in the Triad working with both Van Dyke Dance Group and John Gamble Dance Theater. She earned a M.F.A. in performing arts management at UNC School of the Arts and a B.A. in history from UNC-Greensboro. Kelly works in public relations and marketing with Feisty PR, is a newly-elected board member with the North Carolina Dance Alliance, and a mom to two creative beasts, Zoe the artist and Sam the tuba man.


Kimberly Quick TREASURER ~ Kimberly Quick, Fayetteville
Kimberly Quick holds a BA in dance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Over the last several years she has worked as an Arts Administrator with the American Dance Festival and the Dance Exchange (formerly known as the Liz Lerman Dance Exchange). She has a passion for dance and continues to support the field. Currently, she is the dance teacher at Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville, NC.



Sara TourekSECRETARY/ AWARDS CHAIR ~Sara Tourek, Greensboro
Sara Ruth Tourek holds a Master of Fine Arts in dance/choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance technique from Ohio Universtiy. Sara is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Dance at Elon University. Before residing in North Carolina, Sara lived and worked in New York City. She has choreographed and performed in many states including: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Texas, West Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Sara has a wide range of teaching experience including classical ballet, pointe, contemporary dance, choreography, and dance appreciation; Sara also serves as the lead dance instructor at Governor’s School West.


Christine Fisher

 PAST PRESIDENT ~ Christine Fisher, Greensboro
Christine Kiernan Fisher has served on the DSA faculty since 2007. She holds a BFA in ballet from Columbia College and an MFA in performance and choreography from UNC-Greensboro. A choreographer, performer, sometimes-lighting designer and stage manager… Christine has performed with Random Dance Company, 2B Tribe Dance Theater, Jan Van Dyke Dance Group, and continues to work with Informall Theater Company and John Gamble Dance Theater. She has served on the faculties of Columbia College, UNC-Greensboro, and Weaver Academy for Performing and Visual Arts. She is an active choreographer and performer through out the southeast, notably in The Greensboro Fringe Festival, The American Dance Festival’s “Acts To Follow,” the NC Dance Festival, NC Dances and as a guest with Blank Slate Dance. Her work has been commissioned by The Sun Valley Ballet in Idaho and the Power Company in SC. She co-facilitates a bi-monthly contact improv jam with her husband and is the current president of NC Dance Alliance and lead dance teacher for Durham Public Schools.


Kindal Blattner EVENTS CHAIR ~ Kindal Blattner-Buterin, Greensboro
Kindal started her dance education and career in Phoenix, AZ, receiving a B.F.A in dance education from Arizona State University in 1996. After performing with Desert Dance Theatre in Phoenix and teaching briefly at Southeast Missouri State University, she moved to Greensboro and earned an M.F.A. in dance at UNCG in 2003. Kindal spent five years in Winston-Salem teaching dance at West Forsyth High School, before pursuing massage therapy training at GTCC. After spending 20 years as a dancer, performer and teacher, Kindal is now a self-employed licensed massage therapist. She enjoys reading, wine, and playing with her new little boy. She has been dancing with John Gamble Dance Theater since 2004.

Members At-Large


Erin ElliotErin Elliott, Charlotte
Erin Elliott began dancing and performing in musical theatre in the first grade and hasn’t stopped. Erin received her Bachelor’s degree in dance education from East Carolina University whereupon she was hired as a dance teacher in the Public Schools of Robeson County. She currently teaches dance at Lumberton High School and is the dance chair for the county. In addition to her role in the classroom, Erin works as the lead choreographer for the PSRC Studio One Lab Series. Since earning a Master’s degree in arts administration from Winthrop University in 2012, Erin has also become the part-time managing director for Purple Door Productions, a newly formed Robeson County theatre group for which she also choreographs and performs.


IMG_2796Emily Morgan, Winston Salem
Emily is a dancer, choreographer, and teacher. She has taught at both the high school and college levels, most recently co-directing the magnet dance program at Parkland Magnet High School. This fall she will join the faculty at Winthrop University. Emily holds an MFA in Dance/Choreography from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and a BA in dance From Denison University in Granville, OH.




NCDA Staff

MANAGING DIRECTOR ~ Caroline Williford
Caroline Williford is a choreographer, dancer, artist of multiple disciplines, and arts administrator. She has a BA in International Studies: Global Women’s Issues/Anthropology/Creative Writing from UNC-Chapel Hill, and completed graduate studies in photography and video production at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. She combines her lifelong studies of dance and visual arts through choreography, allowing the genres of photography, video and film to influence her work. She is a co-director of Choreo Collective, a collective of modern dancers and choreographers in Durham, NC. She has most recently shown work at the Asheville Fringe Festival 2014, and has previously shown work throughout NC, with Choreo Collective, Five Chick Posse, as an independent artist on the NC Dance Festival Tour, at the American Dance Festival, and the LOOM2 and LOOM3 visual/performing art shows. She has also shown work with Thread Dance Theater in Brooklyn, New York, and with Gravity’s Angel dance company in England. Her work was awarded the Independent Weekly’s annual “Best of Dance” in 2003 and 2004. She has served as the Managing Director of the NCDA since 2003. She is also a founder of the Triangle Dance Forum and is in her 15th year as videographer for the American Dance Festival. In addition to her dance related pursuits, she spends time as a shepherd in the NC mountains.