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Lecturers and Adjunct Faculty

Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton currently holds an appointment as Instructor of Dance. Sarah completed the Master of Fine Arts in Dance at Texas Woman’s University and is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Sam Houston State University, where she earned the BFA in Dance. She is currently a member of Out On a Limb Dance Company and Contemporary Dance/Fort Worth. She has also performed professionally with the Kista Tucker Dance Company and MAMandSCHLECTE Dance. Sarah has enjoyed teaching master classes at Tarrant County College, The Exchange dance festival, The American College Dance Festival, The Out on a Limb Dance Company Annual Workshop, Baylor University, Sam Houston State University, The Texas Ballet Theater Summer Workshop, and the CD/FW school. Contributing to her body of knowledge is her comprehensive mat and equipment Pilates certification through Balanced Body University.


Laura Barbee

Laura Barbee earned the BFA in Ballet & Modern Dance at TCU. She continued her studies, on scholarship, with Dance Theater of Harlem and LINES Ballet.  Professionally, Laura has worked with Alonzo King, Atlanta Ballet, Christian von Howard (VonHowardProject), Elizabeth Gillaspy (Nymbal), Lauri Stallings, Lydia Johnson Dance, and Susan Douglas Roberts (wild goose chase). She has performed locally and internationally at the Edinburgh Fringe, Festival Internacional Brincos (Guatemala), World Dance Alliance-Americas (Madison, WI) and at the WDA Global Summit (Dance Theatre Workshop, NYC).  Her teaching credits include the Atlanta Ballet Center for Dance Education as well as the LINES Ballet BFA Training and LINES Ballet Summer programs. Laura is certified in the GYROTONIC Expansion System ®.




Rivkah began studying Middle Eastern dances in 1996, and taught at the University of Texas Arlington from 2004 until 2011. She owned her own dance studio in Fort Worth from 2011 until 2013, and now teaches small classes locally and across the country in various workshops and seminars. Rivkah has travelled to Egypt, Turkey, France, England, Germany, Morocco, and Spain to further her investigation of the intersection of culture and dance. Since 2003 she has studied primarily with native Egyptian dance masters. She is currently expanding her dance education to include Flamenco.


Alex Karigan

Alex Karigan Farrior was born in Toronto, Ontario and raised in Dallas, Texas. She received a B.F.A. from Southern Methodist University and an M.F.A. in Classical & Contemporary Dance with a Graduate Certificate in Gender and Women’s Studies from Texas Christian University. She is currently Associate Artistic Director and company member of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. Other professional credits include: Amy Marshall Dance Company, BODYART, ModArts Dance Collective, and Bruce Wood Dance Project. Alex has also collaborated with renowned dance photographer, Lois Greenfield. She is featured in her 2011-2013 Breaking Bounds calendars, 2013-2016 Weingarten calendars, as well as her newly published book Lois Greenfield: Moving Still. Alex was also featured as the “On the Rise” dancer in the December 2015 issue of Dance Magazine. Alex continues to research implementing critical pedagogy in dance education.

Photo by Sergio Garcia courtesy of Dark Circles Contemporary Dance USA:


Michele Gifford


In her twelve year career at New York City Ballet, Michele Gifford performed many soloist and principal roles including George Balanchine’s Apollo, Rubies, Agon, and Stars and Stripes. She also originated many roles including Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite, Christopher Wheeldon’s Slavonic Dances, and David Parsons’ Touch. In 2000, Michele joined Texas Ballet Theater under Ben Stevenson. She performed several principal roles, including Stevenson’s Coppelia, Four Last Songs, and Peer Gynt along with Balanchine’s Allegro Brilliante and The Four Temperaments. She continues to perform as a Principal guest artist. As a Balanchine Repetiteur, Michele has staged and coached several ballets including Who Cares?, Walpurgisnaught, Serenade, and Valse Fantiasie. She is a certified GYROTONIC instructor and owns her own studio, Studio G, in Fort Worth, TX.


Lily Sloan

A Michigan native, Lily Sloan earned the B.A. in Dance from Oakland University and the M.F.A. from Texas Woman’s University. She has taught at the University of North Texas; North Central Texas College; Richland College; and Columbia College, SC.  She is Co-Director of Big Rig Dance Collective, a collaborative group of dance artists that aim to connect diverse communities through accessible performances, community classes, and collaborative events.  An independent artist, she has performed and/or presented work in Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Washington D.C., Italy, and Mexico. Recently, She has performed works by Stafford Berry Jr., Mark Dendy, Jordan Fuchs, and Sarah Gamblin.  She continues to explore, perform, and create innovative performances, combining her interests in alternative venues, multimedia, and improvisation.
Photo Credit:  Jesse Scroggins



Laura West Strawser, a Fort Worth native, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance Performance with honors from Oklahoma City University. A successful career in musical theatre, performing in numerous national tours, regional theatre, and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, led her to New York City where she completed the re:AB® Pilates Teacher Training Program.  Laura moved back to Fort Worth and opened NYA PilatesSM, a thriving classical Pilates studio on Fort Worth’s West side.   Laura is a member of Authentic Pilates Union (APU), and takes Continuing Education with industry leaders Brooke Siler, Mari Windsor, Kathy Ross-Nash, Chris Robinson, Amy Alpers, Chacha Guerrero, and Cary Regan. She continues to choreograph at Casa Manana, Granbury Opera House, West Virginia Public Theatre, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, and Theatre Arlington.


Dian Clough West

Dian Clough West received a B.F.A degree in Ballet/Theater and Secondary Teachers Certification from Texas Christian University. Her performing background included musicals at Casa Mañana, work in childrens' theater and choreography for Casa Manana, Stage West, TCU and area industrial shows. She has studied extensively in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. Dian is the owner and director of the Dian Clough West Dance Studio. Many of her students have enjoyed professional careers appearing on Broadway in "The Music Man", "Fosse", "42nd Street", "A Chorus Line" and currently "Chicago" and "Hair". They also perform annually as Rockettes in "The Radio City Christmas Spectacular". Other credits include national commercials and tours with Madonna and Justin Timberlake.