Sara Randazzo - Artistic Director
Sara Randazzo has a rich and varied career in dance including performing, choreographing, directing, producing and teaching. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University and an Associate Degree in Health Sciences from Washtenaw Community College She received her Physical Therapist Assistant licensure in 2012. Most recently she has had the opportunity to assist Heather Southwick, PT at the Boston Ballet learning about the unique injuries and preventative interventions for dancers.Sara is a STOTT certified Pilates instructor in Mat and Reformer and uses Pilates to help the dancers to prevent injury and promote postural alignment. Sara holds her Cecchetti teaching certificates for grades I-III.Sara has studied Jazz/Tap intensively for the past 20 years in Chicago, and New York with many great teachers including Brenda Bufalino, Sam Weber, Josh Hilberman, Billy Siegenfeld (Jump Rhythm Jazz Technique), Ed Kresley (Broadway Jazz).
Sara has choreographed for several dance companies including the Performing Arts Dance Theatre in Howell, Company Dance Traverse in Traverse City, Dance Arts of Chelsea, and the Ypsilanti Area Dancers. She spent the 2002-2003 academic year developing a Movement Physical Education program for the Ypsilanti Public School District. She is currently on faculty for the Dance Arts of Chelsea, the Department of Music, Theater and Dance at the University of Michigan and Randazzo Dance. Sara is the founder and director of Sole Full of Rhythm Tap Ensemble. (www.solefullofrhythm.com) The ensemble tours schools, performs at festivals and produces annual Jazz concerts with live musicians, promoting Jazz/Tap as an uniquely American art form.
Roya Panahi - Assistant Artistic Director
Roya studied ballet, jazz and tap with Marjorie and Sara Randazzo at Randazzo Dance and ballet and at the University of Michigan. Additional ballet training consisted of summer study at the at the National Academy of the Arts, Southwest Ballet Center, Ellis-DuBoulay School of Ballet, Lou Conte Dance Studio and Marygrove College. She has performed with the Ypsilanti Area Dancers, Ballet Repertory in Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor Civic Theater. Roy has been an instructor at Randazzo Dance for many years. She has also choreographed for the Ypsilant Area Dancers and served as assistant to the artistic directors. Roya has received her MA degree in Clinical Psychology and a Specialist Degree in School Psychology from the University of Detroit-Mercy. As a psychologist, she has researched the benefits of dance on the self-concepts of young children.
Audrey Slough - Assistant Artistic Director
Audrey Slough has been learning, performing, teaching, or choreographing for Randazzo Dance and its affiliate companies for the past 20 years. She began with ballet lessons at the age of four, but quickly expanded her scope to include tap, jazz, and contemporary dance. In addition to studying with the esteemed staff of Randazzo, Audrey has received intensive training through summer programs with the Cecchetti Council of America, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Washington School of Ballet, Boston Ballet, and the Point Tap Festival. Along with her work as an assistant artist director for RDC, Audrey is heavily involved with Randazzo’s affiliate tap and jazz company, Sole Full of Rhythm, as a company member and active board member.
Audrey received her Bachelor’s from Kalamazoo College in Studio Art, where she focused on sculpture and performance art. Since graduating, Audrey has continued to broaden her understanding of and connection to dance. She has done this primarily by studying for her teacher’s certificates in the Cecchetti method under Laura McCarthy, along with her roles with Sole Full of Rhythm and Randazzo Dance Company. She takes great pride in sharing her love of dance and strives to foster passion for the art form within her students at Randazzo.
Christine Sampier - Guest Choreographer and Dancer
Christine started dancing at the age of 4 at Randazzo Dance Studio. She started with ballet and then began taking jazz and tap later on. Christine was also a member of Community High Dance Body, where she learned modern dance and began choreographing all styles of dance for the group. She continued dancing at Washtenaw Community College with Noonie Anderson and Gayle Martin. Christine has had the pleasure of dancing with Ypsilanti Area Dancers, Patchwerk Dance Troupe, Dance 4 Unity and Factory Dance Co. She has taken master classes with Ed Kressley, Tony Randazzo, Peter Sparling and Jefferson Baum. She has performed in numerous Nutcracker performances, at Heritage Festivals, the Ann Arbor Art Fair and several showcases in Ypsilanti.
Currently Christine is directing and producing her second Nutcracker based out of Washtenaw Community College and is a principal dancer for Rare Paragon Gems, headed by Gayle Martin.