JATA-HOME|About Us Contact US


FOLUKÉ-JATA (Jeffrey and the Artists), DETROIT, MI

 ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
 LAUREN MICHELLE-RENEE TAYLOR, is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the Wayne State University Maggie Allesee Department of Dance, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Education/K-12 Certification, with 5 years of teaching experience with the Detroit Metropolitan area. As a member of the DuffyLit Teen Ensemble, Lauren performed in Paris, France; Barcelona, Spain and Sydney, Australia in the 2000 Olympics. With the Followers of David Liturgical Dance Ministry, from Lane Metropolitan CME Church, she performed with Foluké & The Cleveland School of the Arts collaborative concerts under the tutelage of Mr. Terence Greene. In 2008, Lauren was nominated for the prestigious ACDFA/Dance Magazine Awards for both Outstanding Student Choreographer and Outstanding Student Performer, for her choreographed work A Woman’s Window. Lauren proudly serves as Artistic Director of Foluké-Jeffrey & The Artists Dance Company, founded by the late Scott Jeffrey Bartell.  
 
 
LARESSA BATSON Laressa was born and raised in Flint, MI. She is certified to teach STOTT Pilates and the GYROTONIC® Method. Her goals are to help people understand how their individual bodies work, and to teach them how to stay strong and healthy. She enjoys working with all body types and ages, and prides herself in being able to modify exercises to each individual. She is a very detailed instructor, and likes to focus on how well her clients do the exercises by correcting their form, rather than just giving a generic workout.  Along with teaching Pilates and GYROTONIC®, Laressa is also a professional dancer. She started her training under Dan Durkacy at the Flint Dance Center, and continued her training under Karen Mills-Jennings at the Flint School of Performing Arts. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dance Degree (Cum Luade) from Wayne State University in 2011. She currently dances with two dance companies: Foluke’-Jeffrey and the Artists (Artistic Director, Lauren M-R Taylor), and Big Red Wall (Artistic Director, Erika “Red” Stowall).
  
 
RICHARD GRAHAM II, is artistically known as Ric or Ricci Lebeau. Ric began dancing in the 5th grade with tap at Elizabeth Courville Elementary School in Detroit, MI. This is where his love for the art of dance developed and expanded. Ric stopped studying dance in a school setting but continued to groom his craft in church, with various forms of inspirational dance; including Liturgical, miming, and Hip Hop Praise. In 2012, Ric suffered the loss of movement in his legs, due to a rare form of arthritis. In September of 2014, Ric began dancing with Foluké-Jeffrey & The Artists, in memory of the late Scott Jeffrey Bartell. 
 
 
LOGAN M. McCLENDON, started dancing as a self-taught kid in his living room memorizing music videos! Dance was a hobby until he decided to study Dance in academia for 1 year at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan & 4 years at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He now dances for Foluké Jeffrey & The Artists and is Social Media Chair. Dance is something that chose him. He used to run from the calling of Dance& now he chooses to embrace it daily.  
 

LYDIA ALEXIS PORTER, graduated from Wayne State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Education and is currently the dance teacher at Marvin L. Winans Academy of Performing Arts Elementary School. She has studied ballet (pointe), modern, jazz, tap, and African dance and has traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina where she studied the Argentine Tango. She has performed as a principal dancer in the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, Louisiana and took the opportunity of a lifetime to perform with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra also as a principal dancer. As a proud member of Foluké-Jeffrey & The Artists Dance Company, Lydia also holds the title of Administrative Assistant. Lydia plans to go back to school to get her Masters in Kinesiology: Occupational Therapy for Children. 

 
 DANIELLE WALLACE, off to a late start, began her training at the age of 14 under the instruction of Gina Ellis, as a dancer in the Renaissance Dance Workshop. She attended college at Michigan State University, where she was a member of the Urban Dreams Hip Hop Dance Team, MSU Dance Orchesis and the only African American member of the MSU Dance Team. Upon graduating, Danielle went on to claim a spot as a Detroit Pride Cheerleader for the Detroit Lions 2013/14 seasons. Outside of her work with the team, she taught dance for after school programs for the Detroit Public School System, as well as performed in her own right through Vanity Rose Productions. More recently, she has become a member of the Foluké -Jeffrey & The Artists Dance Company, while teaching after school dance at Bunche Academy in Ecorse, MI.
 
 KARLA LANE WILLIAMS, is a native to Michigan. She began her early dance training under Beverly Stone at MBS Training Center in Oak Park, Michigan. Karla credits her love of dance to her sister, as they would often mimic music videos and perform for their mother. Her passion for dance helped her further her education as she graduated Cum Laude from Marygrove College with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Dance Performance. After graduation, she continued her dance training in American Ballroom at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio. Karla has had the honor to work with and performed for various master choreographers. Her goal is to inspire children to dream big and to realize their potential.