Jason Davis (Ballet Master) - Dance Teacher
Jason Davis is a native of Tucson, Arizona, where he began his dance training with Mary-Beth Cabana at Ballet Arts. He attended numerous summer dance programs, including the Kirov Academy of Ballet (under the direction of Oleg Vinogradov), School of American Ballet, San Francisco Ballet School, Pacific Northwest Ballet School, and Ballet Aspen. He joined the Universal Ballet Academy (Kirov Academy) at age fifteen. In 1992 he entered the San Francisco Ballet School and after one year he joined the company. For eleven seasons Jason performed with SFB in many classic ballets as well as choreography originated by Mark Morris, Stanton Welch, Yuri Possokov, James Kudelka, William Forsythe, and Helgi Tomasson, among others.
Jason has been teaching ballet for more than fifteen years and is licensed by the State of Oregon. He guest teaches on various faculties, including Boston Ballet School, Nevada Ballet Theatre, Vancouver Dance Theatre, Columbia Dance Ensemble, the Northwest Dance Project, and Repertory Ballet of New Mexico. Jason directs the Young Musicians and Artists Summer Program. Currently he is the ballet teacher at Arts and Communication Magnet Academy (ACMA) in Beaverton and is the assistant director for Dance West, ACMA’s pre-professional youth company. He is also on the faculty of the Northwest Dance Project.
Jason enjoys setting and creating works for TPB and ACMA as well as creating works for the Oregon Symphony’s Kids Concerts. Jason has directed and choreographed productions for the Vancouver Dance Theatre, including the full-length Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Nutcracker, Swan Lake Act III, and Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra.
Randy Davis (Jazz/Modern/Tap) - Dance Teacher
Texas born, Randy Andre’ Davis was raised in Germany and then Portland, Oregon. It was in Portland, Oregon that Randy began his dancing ‘career’ when he joined an experimental magnet program within the public school system. “Dancin’ Davis” hasn’t stopped!
Randy has been seen in numerous Broadway shows and National tours throughout his career. One of his favorites was the colorful Broadway revival of “Guys & Dolls” with Peter Gallagher, Faith Prince, and Nathan Lane where he featured in the Crapshooter Ballet. In “Cats,” Randy performed the challenging and beloved role of Mistoffelles; Noodler the Pirate in Cathy Rigby’s “Peter Pan.” Essential as Dance Captain, Randy assisted in the Broadway production of “All Shook Up.” When theater history was made by the opening of “Harlem Song” at the famed Apollo Theatre, Randy Davis’ name was among the select actors chosen to appear.
In addition to his skills as a dancer, singer and actor, Randy is known for his choreography work. He assisted in the restaging of the National Tour of “All Shook Up” and became the Children’s Director and Stager for the National Tour of “Whistle Down the Wind.” In Japan, Randy choreographed the “Japanese Musical Review” for one of Tokyo’s theaters. Across the country, Randy’s choreography has been in demand by numerous upscale dance studios for the restaging of “Guys & Dolls,” “All Shook Up,” as well as numerous other musicals.
On his first visit to the White House, Randy performed a tap solo at the request of the White House after having seen Randy’s performance in “Hot Mikado.” The second visit was a part of Black History Month celebrations. Randy and the cast of “Harlem Song” were invited to visit and perform in honor of the history of both the show’s content and the Apollo Theatre.
Kemba Shannon - Dance Teacher
Kemba received her BFA from Towson State University and trained at the Alvin Ailey American Theater, Martha Graham School, The Edge, Lula Washington, Peridance, and Morgan State University. She has taught dance classes at UCLA, Loyola Marymount, El Camino College, Portland State University, and others. Kemba’s stage credits include The Lion King (LA cast), The Color Purple (Broadway cast), Zumanity (Cirque du Soleil), Aida, and FAME. Kemba’s ambition and drive have won her world recognition with musical icons such as Madonna (Drowned World Tour), P!nk (Try This World Tour), Celine Dion (Taking Chances World Tour), Rihanna (Nike RockStar World Tour), Kanye West, R. Kelly, and Fantasia to name a few. Her television credits include American Dreams (NBC), Oscars (Chicago Performance), MTV Music Awards (P!nk performance), the Emmys (Kristen Bell performance), World Music Awards (Kanye West and R. Kelly performances), NAACP Awards, and the Grammys. Kemba currently teaches at Arts Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, Oregon where she teaches dance to students every day. She would like to thank her parents, teachers, and friends for believing in her.
Julane Stites - Artistic Director (Retired June 23)
Julane Stites has been a dedicated dance educator in the Northwest since her return to Portland in 1980. She co-directed “The Stites Center” with her mother, dancer & master teacher, Merleen Stites. From 1981 to 1999, she also taught at Jefferson High school and worked in many capacities; from teacher and choreographer to dance department head and Artistic Director of the Jefferson Dancers for the last 7 of those years. In June of 1999, Julane was invited to join The Beaverton School District by former Principal, Paula Kinney and BSD Superintendent, Yvonne Katz. She was to be part of a team to develop a performing and visual arts school in a rigorous academic environment. Tasked with developing a comprehensive dance program, beginning thru pre-professional, Julane jumped in with two feet, viewing it as an opportunity to share her vast background with a community committed to quality arts education.
Raised in her mother’s studio, dance was her playground… “Born in a leotard”, her mother used to say. Her skills matured at a very young age. At twelve, she was selected to perform with the Bolshoi Ballet’s Northwest debut in a segment called “The Dancing School” in which she was the lead child. By the age of 16, she was featured as Principal dancer, actress and singer in two original Broadway cast productions, “The Happy Time” and “Promises, Promises”. Her credits also include appearances on The David Frost Show, Saturday Night Live, The Tony Awards, The Ed Sullivan Show and numerous commercials and industrial shows in the New York /Los Angeles area.
Through the years, Julane compiled a large body of choreographic works and has been honored by dance communities nationally and locally. She received recognition for her choreography of “Yellowjackets”, a jazz trio that won 1st place at “The National Fred Astaire” contest in NY City. Her choreography has been performed by The Jefferson Dancers, Dance West, and Seabury Hall Dancers at The National and Regional High School Dance Festivals from 1998 to 2020.
Specializing in tailoring work for commercials and industrial shows, her credits also include choreography for Knotts Berry Farm, Disneyland, Columbia Sportswear and Avia. As the reference dancer and choreographer for Will Vinton’s “California Raisins” commercials, her work reached international audiences.
Locally, Julane worked on musical productions for many years for The Civic Theater, David Douglas and Gresham High Schools and was honored with “The Willie Award” for best choreography of the Civic Theater’s production of “West Side Story”. She received and managed many grants including a $50,000 PGE Grant for The Jefferson Dancers, two FAME grants for ACMA, The Washington County Arts Council grant, The BSD Kids Count Grant and the Jordan Schnitzer “Wonder Award”, a 10,000.00 grant, gifted by The Oregon Symphony in 2017 for her years of work with The Oregon Symphony.
“I look forward to pursuing multiple interests and learning more about life, learning new skills and spending much needed time with my husband, 5 children, 11 grandchildren, immediate family and longtime friends. They have always been my rock. How blessed I have been to do what I love and what I do best for a living. Rubbing shoulders with my colleagues, who I admire and deeply respect, has been an honor. It has challenged me to reach in and find my best self.
As I take my leave from ACMA and enter into the next chapter of my life, I am full.
Through the years I learned as much from my students as they did from me. If in some small way I have impacted their lives positively, I am deeply gratified. Isn’t that what every teacher lives for?”