Mariah Layne French|
Mariah (Founder/Artistic Director, Choreographer, Costume/Lighting Designer, Outreach Coordinator & CEO) earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance from The Ohio State University in 2005, where she was awarded the Undergraduate Research Grant for her Honors Thesis, "Forging New Territory in Artistic Expression." Before attending OSU she majored in dance on scholarship at Ball State University, and performed as a member of the Ball State Dance Theater from 2001-2003. Mariah also studied Spanish, African, and Caribbean dance at Florida International University in Miami. She received her primary training from the Fort Wayne (IN) Ballet under the direction of Michael Tevlin, and from Northeast School of Dance with Beth Schiebel, where she performed as a member of its nationally recognized Jazz and Tap Companies. Mariah has worked closely with many distinguished masters and choreographers, including: Jeff Shade, Diego Salterini, Gregg Russell, Bebe Miller, Gary Lund, David Reuille, Lori Belilove, Freddie Moore, Susan Hadley, Rosiland Pierson and Yvonne Peters. She continues to cultivate her craft as an active member of the Columbus Dance Community.
Mariah has been an instructor at Charisma Centre for the Arts since 2004, where she also serves as creative director and administrator. Her position as an instructor includes: teaching Jazz, Tap,
Lyrical, Modern, African and Dance Repertory. Her award winning choreography has been performed in Indiana, Florida, Colorado, and in Ohio. It has been featured at many community events throughout central Ohio including performances at The Columbus Arts Festival, The Columbus Dance Theater, BalletMet Columbus, The Bluestone (formerly BoMA), King Arts Complex, Columbus Performing Arts Center, in the Columbus Dances Series, in 60x60 produced by New York based Vox Novus, and at The Ohio State University's Sullivant Hall.
In 2007 Mariah and her husband Philip founded Xclaim. They reside in Columbus, Ohio with their seven vivacious children. Mariah thanks God for the overwhelming provision and opportunity he has given her to share and pursue work she loves.
Henry (Technical Director & Board Trustee) is a live event designer who has created lighting and scenic designs for theatre, dance, music, museum and industrial settings. Henry has been a lighting designer with the live events design team at Mills James Production since 2015. Concurrently, he has also in a variety of technical capacities for Xclaim productions, with Modet Dance company, The Regular Theatre company, and Earlham College Artist and Lecture Series. Prior to working with Mills James, Henry worked with Chicago Stagehands as a lighting designer and stagehand. Henry received his B.A. in Theatre Arts from Earlham College. Henry completed his undergraduate internship as an lighting design assistant with Marcus Doshi in New York City. Prior to attending Earlham, Henry served as technical director for the Denison University Dance Department for 2 years.
J. Shannon Filmore
Shannon (Dancer / Resident Choreographer) is a 2006 graduate of Fort Hayes Performing Arts High School, where his passion for dance began. He has also studied at BalletMet Columbus, the Columbus Youth Ballet, with Alfred Dove, Shelly Steward. Shannon's performances and affiliations are diverse from East coast to West. Shannon travels often to pursue dance opportunities including workshops with Monsters of Hip Hop, Movement Lifestyle, The Pulse, Broadway Dance Center in NYC and in studios in major cities including Atlanta, LA and Chicago, in many cases the recipient of scholarship awards. Shannon has also worked closely with Quilan (Cue) Arnold in various projects including participating a dancer and instructor of On Cue classes. Locally his dance credits include OSU Dance Linx, The Dove Project, work as a background dancer and choreographer with various recording artists, and dancing in Africa to America presented by Judah Performing Arts. His choreography has been featured in a Michael Jackson Tribute in the Fort Hayes 2010 Spring Concert, OSU Dance Linx, for recording artist Paris and in mainstage productions for Xclaim since 2011. He has worked as an instructor of Hip Hop styles and Street Jazz throughout Central Ohio and the Midwest, including: Richland Academy, Diamond Dance and Fitness, Cutting Edge Dance, Columbus Dance Academy, NorthPoint, Cutting Edge Dance, Infusion Dance Company, Funklab of Dayton and Millennium Dance of Pittsburgh. In 2017 Shannon became a co-direcotr and co-founder of Tru Kingdom Mega Dance Crew Inc., an all styles dance crew. Shannon joins Xclaim for his eighth season.
Philip (Production Manager / CFO) graduated from Bishop Watterson High School in 1997. He attended Capital University from 1997 through 2000 with majors in psychology and marketing. He finished his higher education at Columbus State Community College where he a majored in nonprofit entrepreneurship. Early in his career, Philip worked as a mortgage originator (1999-2001). He founded Xclaim with wife Mariah Layne in 2007, serving as CFO, and Technical Director while also working as a residential remodeler with Dave Fox Remodeling. In 2011, Philip and Mariah founded P. Michael Home Solutions, a boutique Design/Build remodeling firm where Philip serves as Production Manager and lead carpenter. Since the inception of Xclaim, Philip has overseen technical necessities associated with stage performances, recruiting stage hands and developing the technical capabilities of the organization. He has also served in an executive capacity, facilitating the mission and vision of the organization and managing financial matters. Philip shares an exciting and happy home with Mariah and their seven children.
Rachel (Choreographer / Rehearsal Assistant / Administration / Costuming & Dancer) has a bachelors degree in Theater and minors in Arts Administration and Dance from Ohio Northern University. She began her training at Charisma Centre for the Arts where she studied under Daryse Saffran Osborne, Stephanie Hall, Mariah Layne French, Yvonne Peters, Freddy Moore, Chloe Gonzalez and others. She has also studied under notable masters: Thom Cobb, Erich Yetter, and other instructors at Ohio Northern University. Notable performances include: CATHARSIS from the Eisenhower Dance Company, performances with Charisma Centre for the Arts, and several outreach performances with Xclaim. She has also served as choreographer for collegiate dance concerts at Ohio Northern University. This year she also started teaching ballet at Charisma Centre for the Arts. During college Rachel worked with Xclaim as an administrative intern, this is her third season joining Xclaim on the stage.
Corrine (Dancer / Choreorapher) Corinne began dancing at the age of 8 as a part of church dance ministry. In 2010 she started training at Leaps of Faith Christian Dance Company in the art of ballet. Her interests in dance grew as she took more classes such as: Jazz, Hip-Hop, Tap, Modern and Pointe. Beginning in 2011 and every year since she has participated in CBN's Rosh Hashanah telecast with Messiah Dance Company. Corinne attended "Vertical Movement" Workshop in 2013-2014 where she was introduced and fell in love with contemporary movement. She has been teaching Ballet and Hip-Hop at Leaps of Faith Christian Dance Company from 2015-2017 and recently started teaching Ballet at Charisma Centre for the Arts. Also in 2015 she portrayed the role of Rosalia in Ohio University Lancaster's production of "West Side Story", encouraging her love for Musical Theater. Corinne is excited to be sharing her second season with Xclaim.
Nikki (Dancer / Choreographer) has a background in hip hop movement. She often travels to Atlanta and Chicago to hone her skills. She has taught hip hop classes at the ML Dance Academy and Patty Beery's School of Dance. Her notable performance credits include: Performing with John Legend in the “Be About It” Event, Powerfest (power1075 future concert)2015, Park Street Fest 2016, background dancer for local recording artists and with local hip hop groups Roman Element, Street Angelz, and 3D Urban Dance Crew. Nikki is excited to expand her dance knowledge to more classical forms, including her current work as a dance minor at OSU. This is her third season on the Xclaim stage!
Kevin (Dancer) is from Cleveland but relocated to Columbus to pursue his occupation as a high school Spanish teacher and further his training in his recently reignited passion for dance. He began his training primarily interested in Hip Hop where he has danced with Roman Element and beginning in the fall of 2013 with Step One All Stars. His step choreography has been featured in Xclaim productions. His other dance experiences include: West African, as well as learning some basics in ballet, hip hop, contemporary and recently, aerial with Kelsey Keller and various performances with Infinity Aerial. Kevin then dove back into dance as a trainee with Xclaim. Xclaim is his first experience with contemporary and jazz dance styles, but he has been an enthusiastic and dedicated participant. 2018-2019 is his sixth season. Kevin's interests include world travel and learning about other cultures.
Tiffany (Dancer) was Born In Vancouver Washington and raised In Columbus Ohio. Her love of dance was first sparked at 7 years old through classes at Barnett Recreation Center. She continued to pursue movement opportunities through the dance team at Franklin Heights High School. She attended Columbus State Community College. During this time she also took classes at BalletMet. Tiffany has pursued her gift and passion through training and performances with Tru Kingdom Mega Crew, along with E’jai Perry and J.Shannon Filmore. Her first performance with Xclaim was Light Sound & Brainwaves, where she was featured as a guest artist along with TKMC. Dance Dance Dance is Tiffany’s first Xclaim performance of the season. She is excited to join the company expand her technical abilities.
Micah (Student Trainee / Costume Mistress) has been a student at Charisma Centre for the Arts since 2009. She is an eighth grade homeschool student and the oldest of soon-to-be 8 siblings. She has studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Tap dance and Acrobatics with the fine instructors at Charisma Centre for the Arts including: Laura Dustman, Laura (Schoessler) Heaton, Mary Negley, Mariah Layne French (her mom), Bethany Lee, Ruth Keysor, Rachel Hunter & Amy Schmidt. Her debut performance with Xclaim was as an aerialist “The Elephant Bird” in Xclaim’s 2015 Fanciful Danciful. Micah has also served as costume mistress for the past 2 seasons. This is her first production dancing with Xclaim as a student trainee. She is excited to begin a new chapter of growth in pursuing her passion!
Micaela (Dancer) has always been passionate about dance and movement. At the age of 12 she began her formal dance training on full scholarship with BalletMet Dance Academy in Columbus, OH. During her time with BalletMet she performed with their youth performance group YouthMet, as well as with their professional company in The Nutcracker. She went on to graduate from BalletMet’s Pre Professional Training program at age 17. After her years of dance training, Micaela's passion for dance and movement developed further into the teaching and fitness realm. She is a certified Fitness and Yoga Instructor through NETA, and works with people of all ages to broaden their movement capabilities and strength. She currently teaches dance to children in schools with Momentum, a local outreach program in Columbus, as well as working with companies providing corporate wellness to their employees. Micaela recently started training to broaden her movement skills and currently is performing with a local dance crew @TKMegaCrew. Micaela last performed with Xclaim during the 2016-2017 season and is excited to be joining Xclaim as a guest artist in DANCE DANCE DANCE.
Ella (Student Trainee) began dancing when she was 3 years old. An ninth grade homeschool student, she has studied dance at Ballet Academy of Moses Lake (Moses Lake, WA), Field of Dreams Performing Arts Conservatory (Raleigh, NC), Footsteps Family Dance Center (Columbus), BalletMet (Columbus) and most recently Charisma Center for the Arts. She has studied Classical Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Jazz, Musical Theater and Tap. Ella has also attended Summer Intensive at BalletMet. She has had the opportunity to dance in several renditions of The Nutcracker including BalletMet (Angel, Ginger), Field of Dreams (Party Girl, Ginger, and Clara), and Ballet Academy of Moses Lake (Angel, Ginger). Additionally, she has performed in BalletMet’s Sleeping Beauty (Garland Girl) and Giselle (Peasant Girl), Coppélia (Village Girl, BAML), Jewels (Ruby, BAML), and various seasonal performances at her church. This is her third season as a trainee with Xclaim.
Kristins (Dancer) love for dance began to develop at the age of 6 when she went to her first ballet class at Charisma Centre for the Arts (CCA) with much fear and trepidation. She quickly came to delight in expressing herself through movement and continued to study dance through high school. While her primary instruction was in ballet, she later branched out into modern and jazz. During her time with CCA she studied under Daryse Saffran Osborne, Stephanie Hall, Mariah Layne French, Robin Ulrich, Chelsea Miles and others. Kristin also enjoyed the opportunity to explore a variety of Latin American dance styles while studying abroad in Costa Rica. Kristin is a recent graduate from Huntington University where she graduated with her Bachelors of Social Work and a Spanish minor. She is passionate about working with people, specifically children and families, and is excited to see how that passion will develop in the coming years. Outside of dance and work, Kristin can be found reading a good book, reveling in the beauty of cloud formation, and spending time with family. Kristin is delighted to have returned to her hometown of Columbus and for the opportunity to dance for her first season with Xclaim and re-awaken her love for dance/movement.