National Dance Day Orlando will host its first ever celebration that aims to educate, inspire, and promote the Orlando dance community. This two-part event has been specially designed to promote progressive development of dancers, celebrate Central Florida dance companies with performance opportunities, and further connect the Orlando dance community.


Free dance classes will be held in the Main Hall of Art House Orlando on July 27. Instructors and performers of professional Orlando-based dance companies will share different styles of dance with the attending dance community throughout the morning and afternoon.


The hall will then transform into a dance exhibition that will reopen to the public later in the evening. The exhibition will showcase live dance performances and interactive experiences that further engage viewers and participants.

Doors open at 9:30am. Reservations for classes can only be made in person the day of the event.

Class sizes vary throughout the day. Bleachers are available in the room for teachers/family/friends to observe.



Charlotte Stewart is a new resident of the Orlando area, working as a guest artist with Emotions Dance Company, and is a Disney cast member. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina with a BA in Ballet Performance and Choreography. While at USC, she studied under Stacey Calvert from the New York City Ballet, Tanya Wideman-Davis, and Thaddeus Davis from Dance Theater of Harlem and Donald Byrd/The Group. Miss Stewart has performed Balanchine works such as Serenade, Western Symphony and Stars and Stripes alongside principles from the New York City Ballet in USC’s annual performance and gala, Ballet Stars of New York. Prior to dancing at the University of South Carolina, Charlotte trained in her hometown of Chapel Hill, NC and attended numerous ballet intensives, such as the Joffrey Midwest Intensive (now Magnus Midwest Intensive), Carolina Ballet, and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Miss Stewart is also a Zumba Fitness instructor and looks forward to bringing dance and ballet-inspired fitness and toning classes to group exercise programs in the area.




Rokaya Mikhailenko is currently a company dance member at Voci Modern Dance in Orlando, Florida. Rokaya was first introduced to contact/improvisation in 1999 while studying at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington. While living in The Netherlands, Rokaya trained with Ester Hinz of Berlin, joined advanced contact/improvisation groups, and participated in many "Contact Jams" throughout Amsterdam. Rokaya has taught workshops and classes in Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Eugene, Oregon; and Orlando, Florida. Rokaya is passionate about New Dance Development and actively pursues to make contact/improvisation essential in the modern dance world.




Mary Love Ward is a professional choreographer and classically trained dancer. She is currently performing with her own professional dance company, Mary Love Dance Projects, which is in residence at The Center for Contemporary Dance in Winter Park. Her other professional performance credits include several seasons with DC’s long established modern dance companies, Carla and Company, as well as, Dance Antonini. She has also performed with Nellie Rainwater of NYC Rainwater Dances, Edgeworks of DC, and Fuzion Dance artists in Tampa, FL. As a pre-professional, she was selected to perform with Florida State University’s Dance Repertory Theater, Winthrop University’s Dance Theater, and The Academy of Dance Arts where she performed the works of Petipa, Isadora Duncan, David Dorfman, Liz Lerman, Lynda Davis, Amy Marshall Dance Company, Jack Clark, Sandra Neels among others.  Her choreography has been presented in the Dominican Republic, New York City, Washington, DC, and numerous Florida venues. Her work focuses on reinterpreting classical dance through a contemporary lens with the aide of multimedia integrations, reinterpreting classic themes, and a fusion of dance techniques.  She holds an MFA in dance from Florida State University, a BS in biology from Winthrop University, and is a certified Pilates instructor.




Samuel has most recently emerged as an actor and dancer at the Holy Land Experience, in Orlando, Florida. He was born in the Caribbean Island of San Juan, Puerto Rico. From a young age, he has expressed a passion for drama, dance, and choreography. His career began early in life when he first presented improvised plays with other kids in his community. He founded a company with Light Productions where he produced different projects that focused on bringing out the cry of a decadent society. His productions include: El Payaso que Educo a los Ninos (The Clown that Taught the Kids), Two Imperfect Roses, La Ultima Trompeta (The Last Trumpet), Cautivos en Soledad I & II (Captives in Loneliness I & II), Dance of Heaven, The Last Sacrifice, La Puerta (The Door), Confesiones (Confessions), and currently, Nephesh. Samuel graduated from the Ofelia D'Acosta Academy in Puerto Rico, Dance Inn School, and Dance 4 U School. Samuel has been a part of the Faculty of Dance Revolution & Project Dance in Orlando, Australia, and London. Samuel has taught dance in Argentina, Mexico, and the United States.




Clarissa currently performs in Superstar Parade at Universal Studios, performs tap with Street Beatz, and trains under Studio One, a hip-hop crew seen on America’s Got Talent. Clarissa has focused on a variety of techniques that have contributed to her hip-hop style including popping, locking, whacking and housing. Beyond hip-hop, Clarissa has studied in a wide range of styles including ballet, jazz, tap, lyrical and contemporary. She has also performed for charities, art festivals and hip-hop battles. She has earned top scores at competitions and achieved many performance awards including an all-style battle titled “Queen of the Floor”.  For the past six years, Clarissa has been a dance teacher and choreographer to a wide range of students. Clarissa currently teaches and performs hip-hop, tap, contemporary, and jazz throughout the Orlando area.

The NDDO exhibition will explore sight, sound, interaction, and response with live performances, sculptures and art installations that involve Central Florida dancers and companies. Viewers can sit back and enjoy the sights of performances and experiences around the room. Or viewers can join in the creativity by accepting the invitation to engage more deeply with the evening's festivities through interactive experiences surrounding the hall. This event is a suggested $10 donation with a pay-what-you-wish option at the door.  All proceeds will go towards the further development and continuation of National Dance Day Orlando. This year's event was made possible through an Artist Development Grant provided by United Arts of Central Florida.