Samantha Russell is from Hattiesburg, MS where she recently completed her degree in Dance Performance and Choreography at the University of Southern Mississippi. While at USM Samantha was recognized in her department for "Outstanding Junior" and "Most Memorable Senior Piece." Samantha attended the American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina while completing her undergrad where she studied under numerous artists including: Elizabeth Corbett (Forsythe Company), Jennifer Nugent (Bill T. Jones Company) Teena Marie Custer (Venus Fly Trap Crew), Pamela Pietro (Anthony Morgan Dance Company), Gerri Houlihan (Lar Lubovitch Dance Company) and Sherone Price (Chuck Davis African American Dance Ensemble). Samantha loves sharing her passion for dance with her students and enjoys teaching many styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and contemporary. Samantha just recently finished her first season with Arrows International Dance Company and is currently living and teaching in Edmond, OKC and Midwest City.
Gillian Dodd started dancing and the young age of four at Norther Plains Ballet company in Bismarck, North Dakota and studied under Hollis Macintosh. During her time there she was promoted into their studio ballet company,promoted to pointe and performed in lead roles in company productions that included Snow White and The Nutcracker. After moving to Oklahoma Gillian danced with the Oklahoma City Ballet School, and The Dance Department under the owner Karen Clark and Tasha Hinex, head coach for Oklahoma City University. Gillian has vast experience competing in hip hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, and modern, and has won multiple high score awards including multiple platinum and diamond awards in the categories of hip hop and lyrical. Gillian also continued her ballet and pointe training and added tap and tumbling classes throughout her high school years.
Gillian joined the team at Ascend Studios in 2016 and is so happy to continue her dancing with us!