Youth Arts Academy Leadership

Ronald K. Alexander, Director of Youth Arts Academy,  is an independent arts consultant, dance educator, and choreographer. He has performed with companies such as the National Ballet of Canada, the Iranian National Ballet, the Frankfurt and Hamburg Ballet Companies, and the Metropolitan Opera Ballet in New York City. Ronald has held administrative and artistic positions in public, private and not-for-profit venues across NYC, including: Chairman of the Dance Department of the Harlem School of the Arts; Principal of the High School for Contemporary Arts and School Administrator at the Dance Theatre of Harlem under Arthur Mitchell.  Mr. Alexander has an MFA in Dance from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, and a certificate in School Supervision and Administration from the City College of New York. He has served as the Academic Principal of the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts (2008-2011) as well as a faculty member. Mr. Alexander was the subject of Five Teachers, Five Venues, a 2011 article in Dance Teacher Magazine. He is currently the Director of Youth Arts Academy at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Youth Arts Academy in Brooklyn, NY and teaches ballet the Ailey School, the Joffrey School New York, the French Academie of Ballet and Peridance Capezio Center.

Ronald K. Brown, Co-Artistic Director of the Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble, founded Evidence, A Dance Company in 1985.  He has worked with Mary Anthony Dance Theater, Jennifer Muller/The Works and other choreographers and artists.  Brown has set works on Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Cleo Parker Robinson Ensemble, Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Jeune Ballet d’Afrique Noire, Ko-Thi Dance Company,  Philadanco, Muntu Dance Theater of Chicago and Ballet Hispanico.  He has collaborated with such artists as composer/ designer Omotayo Wunmi Olaiya, the late writer Craig G. Harris, director Ernie McClintock’s Jazz Actors Theater, choreographers Patricia Hoffbauer and Rokiya Kone. He choreographed Regina Taylor’s award-winning play, Crowns and won an AUDELCO Award for his work on that production.  Brown has won a Fred & Adele Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography in the Tony winning  The Gershwin's Porgy & Bess, adapted by Suzan Lori Parks.  In addition Brown was named Def Dance Jam Workshop Mentor of the Year in 2000 and has received; John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Choreographers Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, US Artists Fellowship, and The Ailey Apex Award for teaching.   

Arcell Cabuag, Co-Artistic Director of the Restoration Dance Youth Ensemble, is a Filipino American native of San Jose, California where he trained with Charlie McGowan, Debbie Wilson, Keith Banks, and Soozi Childers. His professional experience includes dancing in: Rock the House for Paramount Pictures, The Shoji Tabuchi Show in Branson, MO, the Richard Rodgers Centennial Production of The King and I, the episode Choreographed on Law and Order SVU, and a "Codorinu" commercial with Pilobolus shot and aired in Barcelona. Arcell enjoys teaching master-classes and working with dance institutions including; The Alvin Ailey School BFA Program, the Dance International Program in Japan, Peridance's Certificate Program, Dance Attack Studio, the New Orleans Ballet Association Summer Intensive, and as the resident teacher and co-director of the National Choreography Institute. Arcell is currently a professor at Long Island University, (Brooklyn Campus). Arcell has assisted Brown in setting works on Philadanco, MUNTU Drum and Dance Company, Ballet Hispanico, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, MalPaso of Havana Cuba, and was the associate choreographer for the Tony Award winning production of The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess (Broadway and National tour). Arcell is a proud recipient of the 2004  New York Dance and Performance “BESSIE” Dancer Award.

Korey Phillips, Program Manager, originally from Los Angeles, California, has been teaching dance in New York for fifteen years in organizations such as The Harlem School of the Arts, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Asase Yaa Cultural Arts Center and The Learning Tree Cultural Prep Academy. She has instructed students of all ages in Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, West African Dance and Hip Hop in over 40 NYC schools, dance companies, conservatories and community organizations. She has supported key educational arts programs in NYC, as an arts administrator where she has served as Assistant Director of Education and Community Programming at The Harlem School of the Arts,  as well as Program Manager and Senior Program Associate at Pathway to the Arts where she has applied special focus on the design and implementation of arts curriculum for learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Korey received her dance training from the Westside School of Ballet, the Dance Theater of Harlem School and the Alvin Ailey School.  She received her BFA degree in dance from the Fordham University/Alvin Ailey Dance Program, in 2003. From arts program management, to direct instruction, Korey emphasizes using dance and movement training and exploration as a means to increase artistic aptitude, for a vibrant quality of life.

Karen Thornton, Program Manager,  is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer, and Brooklyn, NY native. Starting her dance training at 5 years old, she has studied dance at the following schools:  Clark Center for the Performing Arts, Broadway Dance Center,(NY and Japan), Dance Theatre of Harlem School, and the Ailey School, under Denise Jefferson where she was a 5 year merit scholarship recipient and member of the Ailey Workshop Company, under Kelvin Rotardier. Karen has performed with the following companies:  the Nanette Bearden Contemporary Dance Theater, Dance/Brazil, Jubilation! Dance Company, the National Dance Theater of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Forces of Nature Dance Theater Company, where she was a principal dance for 10 years, and the African American Dance Ensemble under the directorship of her "Dance Father" Baba Chuck Davis. Between 2002-2016, Ms. Thornton was the Artistic Director of the Restoration Dance Theater Company and has been the Artistic Dance Director for Dance Africa for the last 15 years and is presently the Program Manager of Education at Restoration Youth Arts Academy. Karen has assisted mounting works for the following:  Rennie Harris Pure Movement, H. T. Chen and Dances, Memphis Ballet, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Company, among others. She has taught African and modern dance at the following dance schools and universities;  The Ailey School, Hudson Repertory Dance Theater, Duke University, Durham Arts Council, Ruth Williams School of Dance, the University of Zimbabwe, and the Wesleyan University Dance Masters Series.