President: Mary Beth Henderson
Mary Beth Henderson has been teaching for over 30 years and owned her own dance school for over 10 years. She earned her BFA in Drama and Dance from ECU, with a concentration in teaching. Mary Beth held the title of Mrs. Dance NC/SC representing Dance Masters of America and is a former Miss Dance USA. She was honored by the YWCA Woman of Achievement and was awarded for excellence in “The Arts” for the Cape Fear Region. Mary Beth is certified to teach by test through the teacher training organization Dance Masters of America and served on the NC board for 9 years. Mary Beth takes pride in continued education and awareness in the arts. She has received numerous awards for choreography in the competitive dance arena and has been honored and recognized by Wilmington Theatre awards.
On the international scene, Mary Beth was a principle dancer for: Disney, Kings Production, Royal Cruise Lines, and many other “Off Broadway” venues and touring Companies. She has been featured in national commercials, television, and film.
Mary Beth continued to practice her craft, in the Wilmington Theatre community as an actress, choreographer and teacher. She finds great joy working in the community and supporting the arts. She directed the “Youth Gala” for the Grand Opening of Thalian Hall and for over 20 years has placed choreography on youth in the area for Thalian Hall’s,” NYC Nutcracker for Young Audiences. She has worked extensively for Opera House Theatre Co., Thalian Association, TACT, Upper Room Theatre, Best Foot Forward, Wilmington City Ballet, as well as theatre and choral programs at New Hanover High School, Laney High School, Costal Christian High School, and numerous other schools and church programs in the area.
In the community, Mary Beth has worked as a volunteer for The NC Azalea Festival, Children’s area and stage for over 20 years. She is a teacher at Evolution Dance Complex and volunteers in the area for Meals on Wheels, Lower Cape Fear Volunteer Center, Good Shepherd, Sunshine Helpers and Hurricane relief organizations: Samaritan’s Purse and Convoy of Hope.
Mary Beth feels her greatest accomplishment is her marriage of 30 years to her husband and their four children.
Vice President: Joshua Bailey
Joshua Bailey has spent more than a decade as a North Carolina educator. Having taught in both charter and traditional public schools, Joshua’s teaching experience includes middle school language arts and social studies, high school English, and the arts. Mr. Bailey has been awarded numerous leadership positions, including a “Teacher of the Year” nomination in 2017.
Joshua is also an active member of Wilmington’s theater arts community–in the past five years, he’s participated in over 25 productions as an actor, writer, and director.
Joshua graduated magna cum laude from the University of Kentucky, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Japanese Studies.
Secretary: Jordan Wolfe
Jordan Wolfe earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Theatre from Jamestown College, a Master of Arts in Theatre from the University of North Dakota, and a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Regionally, Jordan serves as Head of Theatre at Coastal Carolina Community College, where he teaches an assortment of classes across arts-related disciplines including acting, stagecraft, theatre history, and directing.
He is the director and artistic head of the New River Players and a founding member of the Green Glass Theatre Co. As well, Jordan has worked across the country as a professional actor and director.
When not in the classroom he enjoys going to theatre, watching movies, hiking, kayaking, and rooting for all Chicago sports.
Treasurer: Linda Kalnen
Linda is one of four Dance Masters of America (DMA) members to hold its highest educational recognition from Teachers Training School deemed “Certified Master’s in Dance Direction”. She is a past President of Carolina Dance Masters, Chapter 15 and national past Co-Chair of UNITY Dance, a coalition of America’s National Dance Organizations.
Ms. Kalnen owned private sector dance schools for over 40 years, choreographed musicals for community theaters, middle, and high schools. She founded and was Artistic Director for the non-profit Jacksonville Civic Ballet Company producing well known full length ballets. No stranger to television either as her career began at age 14 choreographing and performing locally, later in commercials for KFC and Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.
Ms. Linda as she’s affectionally known earned a SAG/AFTRA card from her role is several films including Super Mario Brothers and Black Knight choreographed by Paula Abdul. A recognized master class Dance and Musical Theater instructor for DMA chapters and other organizations, a judge for dance competitions, title competitions and pageants was born into a family of artistic and academic instructors. Her daughter and granddaughter are both academic instructors while her son recently retired from the USAF.
Linda’s hobby is playing the piano, enjoys singing in the church choir and recently married her high school boyfriend.
Member at Large: Jennie Leonard
Jennie Leonard has been teaching art in the public and private sector for nearly 15 years. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Art and Animation from Savannah College of Art and Design, she is the creator of Mini Monets, a local art class for children ages three and
Jenny’s vision includes a wide variety of lessons that will expose children not only to different types of artistic creation, but to literature, math, and science foundations. “Sharing my talent, knowledge, and experience with children is something very special to me. It is amazing to see the joy in a child’s eye when they are creating art,” she says. “Children have such vivid imaginations. Through Wilmington School of the Arts, they’ll be able to express imagination and emotion. They won’t feel pressured to color inside the lines.”
She strives to give young artists the ability to think creatively in finding solutions where the answers are not given.
Member at Large: Kevin Lee-y Green
Dancer and choreographer Kevin Lee-y Green is a native of Bolivia, North Carolina and a graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied contemporary dance and ballet. Over a 15-year career, he has worked with acclaimed dance artists including Camille A. Brown, David Parsons, Clay Taliafero, Sean Sullivan (Limon), Dianne Markham (Louis & Nikolai), and Brenda Daniels (Cunningham).
Kevin is the founder of Techmoja Dance and Theater Company— an inclusive and diverse dance and theater company created in partnership with his mother, community leader and culture bearer Donna Joyner Green. The mission of Techmoja is to enliven community, create a deep sense of cultural understanding, and connect people across boundaries through the creative process and performance. Techmoja brings people together, enriches communities, and centers diversity as a positive social value.
Under Kevin’s guidance, Techmoja recently launched performances at several stagings: Dixon Place in NYC; NC Dance Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina; Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, North Carolina; and opened for renowned composer Daniel Bernard Roumain. As part of his commitment to working at the intersection of art and community, Kevin works to create innovative and impactful arts programming and initiatives, especially among urban and rural youth of color.
He has developed community engagement programs at Dreams Center for Art Education and at Snipes Academy of Arts and Design that strengthen youth interest and participation in the performing arts, and create a space for students and their families to engage with artists and each other.
Member at Large: Cathy Lewis
Cathy H. Lewis is a retired special educator with 33 years of experience in New Hanover County Schools. My joy was working with the students and helping parents advocate for their children. I also enjoyed helping teachers understand the special education laws as it applied to the students and how to implement the IEP in the classroom. Mostly, I enjoyed just being a listening ear.
When not working, I enjoy reading, meeting new people and spending time with my family.I am also the very proud mother of two adult sons. The arts played a major role in the career choices they made. One through art and the other through music.Because of my experiences with my sons, I look forward to seeing this school develop from the ground up.