Dawn Axam has been choreographing for over 30 years. Dawn received a BFA in Dance and theatre Tisch School ofthe Arts at New York University and a MA from Lesley University in Arts and Education. While an undergraduate student, she pursued extensive study in the areas Ballet, Horton, Graham, Jazz, African Improvisation, theatre and voice under Larry Rhodes, Valmay Stretton, Ohad Nahrin, Patdro Harris, Nadia Creamer, Danny Burchesky, Lynn Simonson, Lom McDoogle, Kay Cummings, Linda Tamey, Ajile , and B.G. Densmore, Oginga Love, and Milton Myers. Dawn was assistant director and choreographer with Jasmine Guy in the world premier of “I Dream.” She has been producing and choreographing for AXAM Dance Theatre Experience, choreographer for Sundays Best 2009, Kanye West in the 2007 BET Hip Hop Awards, and the Tupac Shakur Foundation. She is therecent recipient of The Shuler Awards for directing Once On This Island. Her credits include: Fusion National Tour, Women Hold Up Half the Sky, Chicago, Godspell, Dreamgirls, Little Shop of Horrors, Don’t Bother Me I Can’t Cope, Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, Treemonisha” Shakin’ the Mess Out of Misery, Once On This Island, Langston Hughes Black Nativity, Ain’t Mis Behavin, Bricktop, Bessies Blues, Three Sistahs, and Heart n Soul with Via Theatrical. Dawn Axam is also the Founder and Director of the Axam Dance Theatre Experience; a modern dance company in Atlanta, Georgia.
A native of Atlanta, she began dancing at age five and made her stage debut at age seven with the Atlanta Ballet. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the SUNY at Purchase, N.Y. and pursued her career and further training in New York City, where she studied at the acclaimed Alvin Ailey School on a Merit Scholarship. Her professional credits include: Broadway/Production: Meg Giry in Phantom of the Opera, National Tours: Bonnie Jean in Brigadoon, Fleur in Yeston/Kopit Phantom, Theater: The New York City Opera: Cinderella, Brigadoon, Andrew Lloyd Weber’s Requiem/Variations (World Premiere), Fermina in Man of La Mancha,The Atlanta Opera: The Pearl Fishers, The Marriage of Figaro, Eugene Onegin and Turandot, and the Connecticut Ballet Theater.
Ms. Gould has extensive choreographic and teaching experience ranging from ballet, modern, jazz and musical theater dance. She has taught at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco where she created her own curriculum for the Youth Conservatory. She has taught at the Governors’ Honors Program at Valdosta State and has been the director of the Woodward Academy Middle School Dance Program for 15 years. In 2010, she received her Masters Degree in Education and the Arts from Lesley University. She has truly enjoyed being a part of the Axam Dance Theater Experience, and working with such talented and extraordinary dancers and choreographers.
Salondia is a native of Ft. Gaines, GA and a graduate of Fort Valley State University with a B.S. in Animal Science. She began her artistic career at the tender age of nine as a dancer with Patti Rutland Simpson, a student of the legendary Gus Giordano and director of the critically acclaimed dance company, Patti Rutland Jazz. Salondia relocated to Savannah, GA in August of 1997, began teaching at Maxine Patterson’s School of Dance and became a member of Sankofa Dance Theatre.
As a professional dancer she has had the privilege to work with the “Jazz Master” Gus Giordano, Susan & Michael Quinn, Leon Von Brown, Marcus Alford & Annie Day, James Yarborough, Kris Cangelosi, Dawn and Ajile Axam, Carol Bristol, Kevin Veiga, Kevin Iega Jeff, and many other choreographers. Salondia also studied traditional West African Dance in Senegal, West Africa. She has also had the opportunity to perform at the World Jazz Dance Congress in 1992, five Black College Dance Exchanges, two International Association of Blacks in Dance Conferences, the Savannah Theater production of “FAME” the musical, four Gullah Festivals in Beaufort, South Carolina, the Pan-African Festival in Ghana, West Africa, the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, and the Joyce Soho in New York City. During her time with Sankofa, she served as a choreographer, and Rehearsal Director, before becoming Assistant Artistic Director for the company. Salondia was the Dance Line Coordinator for the Savannah State University Coastal Empire Sound Explosion. Before relocating to Charleston in 2005, where her choreography debuted in May 2006.
In September 2006, she made Atlanta her home and began working in television as Director of Entertainment for Teen City Productions. In 2008 she transitioned back into theater and became the Production Manager for the Fulton County Department of Arts & Culture Southwest Arts Center Performance Theater and Gallery. In 2018, Salondia became the Arts Center Manager for Southwest Arts Center Performance Theater and Gallery, a 42,000 square foot vibrant cultural campus dedicated solely to the arts.
Jimmy Locust has worked with top entertainment industry stars such as Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Paula Abdul, Quincy Jones and Debbie Allen. He has been featured in iconic music videos and films including Rhythm Nation, 1814, and the wedding dance sequence of Coming to America. He has performed at the Grammy Awards, Academy Awards and MTV Video Music Awards. Mr. Locust was one of the head choreographers for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta (opening and closing ceremonies) and was nominated for an American Choreography Award in 2001 for his work on the Warner Brothers’ network television show Nikki. Locust has choreographed commercials for both international and national companies, including Sanyo in Japan with Nicholas Cage and most recently, Rapid Advance in the U.S. He worked on the Justin Bieber Tour in 2010 and choreographed for the CW Television Network’s The Next with hosts John Rich, Joe Jonas, Nelly and Gloria Estefan. For the stage, Locust has choreographed successful theater and high school productions. He has designed dance curricula for numerous community and private education programs and has been a studio owner and master teacher for over fourteen years. He is Artistic Director/Owner of Locust Performing Arts Center in Stamford, Connecticut and Locust Dance Academy in Miramar, Florida. Locust is Founder and Director of Harmony Nation, an educational anti-bullying program that performs for schools and youth organizations. He also directs Locust Contemporary Dance Works, a youth company which performs in New York City, as well as Hip Hop's Finest and FOCUS Hip Hop pre-professional groups. Locust was appointed by the renowned Boca Ballet Theatre in Florida as a returning faculty member.