BOTH sessions will be held at RJ's Ellisville!
2021 Intensive Faculty
We are so excited to welcome MERISSA GASSEL back to RJ's Summer Intensive. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Merissa grew up as competition kid, assisting and touring with conventions since the young age of 14 . Her professional career began at 15 when she was given the opportunity to dance as a member of Dee Caspary's IV Dance Company. Since then she has also performed as a principle dancer for Justin Giles’ Soulescape, and Tessandra Chavez’s Unity LA. These three companies have allowed her to perform coast to coast in shows such as the Elan Awards in NYC and numerous "World of Dance" exhibitions held in Los Angeles. Merissa has worked on halftimes for both the Liberty Bowl and the Orange Bowl featuring "Train", in addition to the opening number of Nigel Lythgoe's Dizzy Feet Foundation Gala and Capezio's 125th Anniversary show held at New York's City Center. She also can be seen dancing on a recent episode of ABC's "The Secret Life of An American Teenager"' and for Jake Owen on the 2015 CMT Awards. Her appreciation for growing up in a dance studio, along with having been given many opportunities at a young age, brought out her strong desire to teach and help mold young dancers. She has been on staff at DC Dance Factory in Nashville, TN since 2013 and tours with Adrenaline dance convention, which allows her to travel and share her love and passion for movement across the country.
NICK BASS is originally from Nashville, Tennessee. He has spent most of his working career in Los Angeles, CA. Nick has worked with Michael Jackson, Usher, Justin Timberlake, Janet Jackson, NeYo, Beyonce, Ciara, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, Omarion, Nelly Furtado, Kylie Minogue, Jamie Foxx, Chris Brown, Prince, Neyo, Boa, Madonna and many others. Nick has performed multiple times on the Grammy's, MTV Video Music Awards, American Music Awards, BET Awards, and The Dove awards. He has also performed on and at The Superbowl, The NBA Allstar game, Saturday Night Live, Will and Grace, TRL, The View, Good Morning America, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen, 106th and Park, Showtime at the Apollo, The Soultrain, The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, X-Factor, American Idol, and So You Think You Dance..He has performed on Dancing with the Stars twice, one of the times was a choreographer as well. He has toured the world on tours like Justin Timberlake's "Future, Sex, Love Show" and Janet Jackson's "Rock Witch U", both of which he was an additional choreographer. He was in rehearsals with Michael Jackson for his sold out 50 show production "This Is It". Nick can be seen in the "This Is It" documentary that hit theaters in 2009. Nick loves teaching all over the world when time allows.
We are thrilled to welcome back industry master, Miss DALE LAM. She is currently the Artistic Director of Columbia City Jazz Conservatory in South Carolina. Dale was named "Top Private Studio/Conservatory Teacher" by Dance Teacher Magazine and was also appointed ambassador to the The Dance Teacher Summit in 2015! Formally a professor of dance at University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., Dale has taught internationally at the Kiradjiev Cultural Center in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Danz Studio in Costa Rica, and the Singapore Dance Association at Lasalle College of the Arts in Singapore. She also has extensive training in massage therapy, gyro tonics, body placement, injury prevention, and strength training. Dale is known for her inspiring and thoughtful dance artistry and choreography.
Welcome back Miss COURTNEY BARCLAY! Born and raised in Southern California, Courtney Barclay received her dance training from any and every teacher, studio and convention around. A graduate of Orange County School of the Arts, Courtney went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with two degrees in World Arts and Cultures/Dance as well as in Communication Studies. Upon graduating college, Courtney became the Creative Director of Evoke Dance Movement in Carlsbad, CA. Miss Courtney has choreographed many award winning pieces for both RJ's studios over the years!
Miss ANDREA DOBBINS is our very own hometown girl! Andrea grew up in St. Louis and danced competitively at RJ’s Ellisville under the direction of Gretchen Stanton. After graduating Parkway South, Andrea headed out west to attend Chapman University in Orange, California to study dance. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance. She now lives in Los Angeles pursuing commercial dance professionally. She currently is touring with the dance convention, Adrenaline, as an assistant for choreographers such as Sonya Tayeh, Marty Kudelka and Nick Bass. She is also a member of IAMFORCE Dance Company; and on-camera based company under the direction of Chehon Wespi-Tschopp. She has been featured on Nike and House of Hoops commercials and has also choreographed for artists such as Marshmello and the documentary, G-Funk, starring Snoop Dogg.