Principal & Artistic Director
Tanisha Gibbons is the Principal, founder and Artistic Director of Gentle Steps Arts Academy. This NIFCA award winning Dancer and choreographer has worked consistently with budding dancers over the past 9 years. She attained an Associate Degree in Dance from the Barbados Community College in 2011 and is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in Education at the Erdiston Teachers’ Training College as well as her Associate with internationally accredited Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance (ISTD). She holds both an Intermediate and Advance Level certificate in Modern Theatre Dance as well as a gold level certificate in Latin Dance, under the ISTD.
(Technical Director & Marketing Assistant)
Dr. Yvonne Weekes
TUESDAI POUNDER – Senior Modern
Miss Pounder, a recipient of the Prime Minister's scholarship, Madame Ifill Award and the Arden's Clarke Founder's Trophy in 2008 for her self-choreographed piece entitled "Fallen in Agony" started her journey as a dancer at age nine and was exposed to various genres of dance, namely ballet (RAD certification through Grade 1 to Intermediate Foundation). Apart from dance, Miss pounder is pursuing her Master's Degree in Business Administration with Specialism in HR Management.
STEFANIE TAKEI-TAYLOR – Junior & Senior Ballet
Mrs Takei-Taylor was born in California where she trained at Pasadena Dance Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, and Austin Ballet. She then went on to receive a BFA in dance from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts as a Trustee Scholar and later a Masters in Tourism Marketing from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus.
KEMAL MARSHALL – Junior Modern
Kemal at the age of 21 holds Associate Degrees in Theatre Arts and Dance from the Barbados Community College. He continues to mold his craft as a practitioner while creating movements and teaching to the next generation of dancers. Kemal aspires to become a professional dancer and choreographer - “for dance is more than just movement it’s a lifestyle”.
LUCI HAMMANS - Drama
Luci is a playwright, director and theatre arts educator. She has worked alongside diverse communities ranging from young children to the young at heart. After receiving her Bachelors of Arts, in Applied Performance: Community and Education at the Birmingham School of Acting she began specializing in the collaborative process of creating authentic, community-focused work to address social issues.
NICOLE GRAHAM – Vocal Coach
Mrs Graham better known as ‘Nicovia’ is a gospel artist, session singer/song writer and trained Teacher with over 16 years’ experience in music and performance. She has a grade 8 distinction from LCM Popular music vocals and a 99% pass rate in coaching over 40 students for the LMC Popular Music Vocal Exams.
RENE' J. BLACKMAN - Hip Hop Coach
René J. Blackman began his formal dance training with Praise Academy of Dance Barbados in 2003. In 2004 he went on to pursue further dance training as a scholarship student and company member of the Hudson Repertory Centre for the Performing Arts in Jersey City, New Jersey. Upon returning to Barbados, Blackman joined the teaching staff of Praise Academy as a Hip Hop and Modern dance instructor, and also became one of its youngest resident choreographers. As a company member he travelled throughout the Caribbean, the US, England, South Africa and Mozambique, performing and conducting workshops. His work as a dancer and choreographer has also been recognized on the NIFCA stage where he has been a multiple award winner. Blackman holds an Associate Degree in Applied Arts (Dance) from the Barbados Community College and is the founder and artistic director of the Barefoot Project.