Jazz Roots Dance

The Moving Beauty Series proudly presents:

 Jazz Roots Dance

Sue Samuels

Artistic Director. Choreographer.


Jazz Roots Dance performs on Thursday March 5th, 2015 in The Series.

Deliciously enjoyable, with the commonplace angst of today’s dance trends, Jazz Roots Dance is a refreshing reminder that dance can be equally enjoyable and cathartic. This isn’t slap happy mindless entertainment- this is dance that makes the audience want to get up and dance their troubles away. Led by showbiz veteran, Sue Samuels, the blending of jazz dance with her classical ballet training makes the style unique. The foundation for her style is through her work as a teacher. Ms. Samuels she trains her dancers in the classic jazz style emphasizes strong and proper body alignment and clean technique. Her classes include a jazz barre warm-up, floor exercises, which she accompanies on Conga Drum, and classic jazz isolations. Her choreography is based on the dynamics of musicality using strong movements which emanate from the hips and chest, creating an overall visual picture of the music.


Sue Samuels

Performance and choreographic credits include lead dancer and assistant choreographer in such shows as “The Fifth Dimension On Broadway” at the Uris Theater, “Got Tu Go Disco” at the Minskoff Theater on Broadway, “The Johnny Hallyday Show” in Paris, “The Brazil Export Show” in Rio de Janeiro to name a few. Televised credits include “All My Children,” “Jerry Lewis Telethon,” “Contemporary Women,” “The Arthritis Telethon” with Melba Moore,” “Zoom,” and numerous commercials and industrials for Dr. Pepper, 7 Up, Wheat Thins, Head & Shoulders, Adidas, Glaxo, Members Only among others.  Sue’s most recent performing credit was two years traveling nationally for the Schiff Vitamin Company as a “Move Free Dancer”.

Ms. Samuels (Choreographer) is the Artistic Director of Jazz Roots Dance Company, which she formed in 2009 to preserve and promote the Classic Jazz Dance style, a real American dance form.  Ms Samuels recently produced the Company’s First Season and Gala at the Peridance Capezio Center and took Jazz Roots Dance on tour to L.A.   Choreography has been the cornerstone of Ms. Samuels’ artistic career and most of the Jazz Roots Dance Company repertory is choreographed by her. She has been commissioned to choreograph works for Companies in Japan, Finland and Brazil and she holds workshops for students of all levels to learn and perform her choreography.

Kelly Carrol (Choreographer)

Kelly began her dance training in Chicago and spent three years touring internationally with the Lenore Sutton acro-dance company. She came to New York and began a long career as a triple threat performing on Broadway, television, film, night clubs and international concert venues. Kelly choreographed a revival of Jesus Christ Superstar at the Longacre Theater on Broadway, Jazz Age Revisited music video, Rockula music video, The Gaslight Club Speakeasy review, and a special dance segment for As The World Turns. She also created choreography for the lead and back-up singers of musical acts such as Vickie Sue Robinson’s international tour, 70s Disco Revival at Radio City Music Hall, and The Harlettes. Kelly has been lovingly choreographing for Jazz Roots Dance Company since its inception.

Judy Emmett (Choreographer)

Judy performed in Night Clubs and production shows throughout the US for 18 years. danced in Las Vegas night club shows at the Sahara Hotel with choreographer Jerry Jackson, the Marina Hotel with choreographer Ron Lewis, and many years at the Flamingo Hilton where she both danced and ice skated. Her early training took place in and around Tampa, Florida. She was a member of the Tampa Civic Ballet and Central Florida Ballet. Judy most recently toured with the Move Free Dancers, promoting Schiff vitamins. She lives in Stamford CT where she taught for 10 years at Classical Kids. She also taught at D’Valda and Sirico Dance Center in Fairfield CT. Judy has been inspired by the dancers of Jazz Roots Dance and is excited to be apart of the creative team for Jazz on the Westside!

Bri White (Rehearsal Director, Lead Dancer)

Bri graduated from Wichita State University with a BFA in Dance. After graduating she spent two years in Chicago performing in several projects and teaching. When she moved to New York she became one of the founding members of Jazz Roots Dance and is currently the featured soloist, dance captain and rehearsal assistant. Her performance credits include Ballet Wichita, Wichita Contemporary Dance Theatre, Mid-American Dance Theatre and Alithea Mime Theatre.

ubrey Kate Hensley

Aubrey studied at the Rock School and Kansas City Ballet as a recipient of The Kansas Culture Trust, sponsored by the Koch Foundation. Ms. Hensley graduated from Wichita State University with a BFA in Dance, where she performed with Wichita Contemporary Dance Theater and Mid-America Dance Theater. Aubrey toured with Alithea Mime Theatre and performed in the Warsaw International Mime Festival. She also was a Featured Performer with the Crown Uptown Theater and was with Ballet Wichita as a Principal Dancer for six years.

Elena Wood

Elena grew up training in Theater Jazz, Ballroom & Musical Comedy at The Walter Schalk School of Dance in Wilton, CT. In 2011, she graduated from Hamilton College with a BA in Chemistry and Dance, where she studied Ballet and Contemporary under the artistic direction of Leslie Norton, Elaine Heekin, and Bruce Walczyk. Aside from dance, Elena works on the Global Skincare Product Development Team at Estée Lauder. Elena has been a member of Jazz Roots Dance since August 2011.

Laura Stecher

Laura started with rhythmic gymnastics on a high competition level in Germany when she was little. At 19 she switched her focus to dance and studied at New York City Dance School in Stuttgart/Germany. Laura won Gold for her Solo Performance at ESDU Austrian Opens and again at ESDU World Dance Masters in Porec/Croatia, where she was awarded as best female talent, best dancer and received the Diamond Star for the highest score in the entire competition. She danced in the Musical Bonifatius and in Die Päpstin as Swing and Dance Captain in Fula, Hameln and Erfurt/Germany. She moved to NYC to study dance at Joffrey Ballet School on scholarship. She danced in music video clips from Basement Batmen as well as at New York Fashion week.

Lainie Berman

Lainie is a graduate of Florida State University, where she received a BFA in Dance.  She is from Plantation, Florida where she originally began her dance training.  She has been dancing for nineteen years and has performed with Perpetual Motion Dance Company for eight years and performed in many performances while at FSU.  Since her arrival in New York she has continued her dance and choreographic training and has been performing at numerous venues throughout the city.  Lainie has been dancing with Jazz Roots Dance Company for the main part of her time in NYC and looks forward to continuing performing with the company.

Bonnie Jackson

Bonnie is a Queens based freelance dancer. She began her training at the age of three at June Parodi School of Dance. Jackson continues her studies at Broadway Dance Center and is expanding her skill set into improvisation and vocal performance.  In 2013, She made her Off-Broadway debut in The Nutcracker and the Mouse King  at Theatre Row. Soon after, Jackson became a Company Member of Sue Samuel’s Jazz Roots Dance Company.

Pablo Ito

Pablo Ito is originally from Kanagawa, Japan.  He started his career as an actor in Okinawa, Japan and is now in New York studying acting at HB Studios.  Pablo appeared in some short films including Above The Clouds and Room Tone, and in some theater productions in Japan such as Broadway Night in Okinawa, and the musical The Heartbreak Hotel.  In November, he appeared in Miss Saigon by Clocktower Players.  He is happy to be on stage with Jazz Roots Dance Company.

Katy Tabb

A native of Seattle, WA, Katy went on to receive her B.A. in Dance from
Chapman University. As a contemporary dancer, she has toured
internationally with Los Angeles based dance companies, Vox Dance Theatre,
Kybele Dance Theatre, and Benita Bike’s DanceArt. As a musical theatre
performer, she has performed in productions such as SPAMALOT, FUNNY GIRL,
CHICAGO, 42nd STREET, THE PRODUCERS, 9 TO 5, and WHITE CHRISTMAS (to name a few), as well as choreographed productions of CATS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and ANYTHING GOES. Katy is very grateful to be working with the talented artists of Jazz Roots Dance.

Arthur Cuardros

Arthur started his dance training at Lompoc school of dance and with Debbie Allen in Los Angles. After high school he trained with University North Carolina School of the arts and The Alvin Ailey School of Dance in New York City. Past show credits include: Little Matchstick Girl, Petruchska, La Cage Aux Folles, Joseph….. Dreamcoat, Legally Blonde, 9to5, It’s A Wonderful Life, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, and In the Heights. He has also traveled the world dancing for Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruise Line.

Michael A. Blackmon

Michael’s credits include John in Miss Saigon;  Fakir Secret Garden; Judas Jesus Christ Superstar; Sergeant Boys from Syracuse; Pedro Man of La Mancha; Linville Damn Yankees; Horse (U/S) Full Monty; Sir Dinadin Camelot; Scarlet Pimpernel; Bye Bye Birdie with Anne Reinking and Tommy Tune; I Left My Heart the Tony Bennett Project; Broadway Soul; Carnival Cruise Lines; Sandcastle on Guam USA; Ballet for Young Audiences; Directive Dance Ensemble; Carnegie Hall; Debbie Reynold’s Hotel and MGM in Las Vegas and many other revues and cabarets.  TV and Film credits include As the World Turns, Kellogg’s Krispix Commercial, and Bert and Ernie’s Guide to Friendship.