Julie Cutright-Ariza is the Director and co-founder of Denver Dance Authority. She was a co-founder of Flight Performing Arts (2015-2018) as well as the founder and director of DA@BA (2008-2015). As a dancer, Julie trained under instructors from Arizona Performing Arts, California Ballet Company, Kathy Tabor School of Dance, Oklahoma University Dance, Merce Cunningham Productions, Boulder Ballet and Naropa University Contemplative Performing Arts. Highlights from her dancing career include performing the part of Clara in the Nutcracker with California Ballet Company (1998), Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Australia (2000), Young Americans (2004), and soloing International Improvisational Arts convention (2008). In contrast to her early years of intensive ballet training and performance, she studied and performed West African traditional dance and contemporary genres collegiately.
Julie transitioned into teaching and choreographing in 2002 for studios including The Dance Company (Grand Island, NE), City Dance (Colorado) and Denver Dance Starz (2005-2007). Julie’s past students have performed her original choreography in performances and shows including PBS presentations (2004), Up with People (2013), Stars of Tomorrow (2006), Denver School of the Arts, (2006), Dance Excellence (2007). Competition wins include KAR, Celebrity, Celebration, Rainbow, Spotlight, and Show Stoppers (2006-2016). National Best Choreography Award Spotlight (2018). 3rd overall National Title solo winner (2018) and Regional 1st place overall (2018).
As an active member of the National Dance Education Association, Julie currently participates in dance pedagogy research and advocacy boards. As a passionate professional, she has worked to contribute to educational reform through the integration of arts and movement into the academic setting. Fusing her degree in somatic psychology counseling with her passion for athletics and dance coaching, Julie founded and wrote a curriculum called Mind and Body which she implemented and has instructed for grades K-8 (Broomfield Academy, 2009-2016). As a competitive dance coach, Julie focuses on building individualized plans that honor the unique goals of every student.
Director of Communications and Instructor
Haley Andrews of Middleboro, Massachusetts was a New England based artist until recently. She relocated to Boulder, Colorado in August of 2018. This past May, she graduated from Salve Regina University with a degree in English Communications, accompanied by a dance minor. Upon graduation, Andrews received the Salve Regina University Dance Award 2018. During her time at Salve Regina University, she was a dancer/choreographer for Extensions Dance Company, performed and presented choreography at American College Dance Association, and was a captain for SRU Dance Club. Her work 1,968.4 Miles of Vulnerability was one of just nine pieces selected for the Gala Concert at ACDA 2018 in which the adjudicators called her work “evocative” and praised her movement invention. That same piece was also selected to be showcased in Boston Contemporary Dance Festival August of 2018 at the Huntington Theatre. Since relocating to Colorado, Haley’s piece 1,968.4 Miles of Vulnerability was selected to be showcased at Versatility Dance Festival, CO 2019 at The Dairy Arts Center. Currently, Haley is a dancer with T2 Dance Project, performing and traveling the 2019 season with them, as well as an instructor and choreographer at studios in the Boulder area.
Mattie is a Boulder-based movement artist, choreographer, and performer. Earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder, she has trained under renowned dance professionals such as Rennie Harris, Helanius J. Wilkins, Erika Randall, Larry Southall, Gesel Mason, Michelle Ellsworth, and many others. In 2018 she was accepted to a summer study in Ga'aton, Israel with the Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company where she trained intensely in Gaga, ballet, and contemporary under the direction of Yamit Kalef, Denise Peri, Oryan Yohanan, and Sharon Vaisvaser, among others. Mattie's work has been shown at the American College Dance Association, Denver Diggs Deeper, and the Boulder Opera Company and she has performed in festivals both locally and around the country, including Omaha Under the Radar, Boulder Jazz Dance, and the Global Water Dances. Along with teaching for Denver Dance Authority, she also apprentices for Rennie Harris's Denver Company, Grass Roots, and is currently working on a project with Jacob Mora's Moraporvida.
Maputo Mensah was born and raised in Accra, Ghana, in a family of professional musicians and dancers. While still a small child, he was dancing and drumming with his family, and before he reached his teens, he was teaching and performing these traditional
Ghanaian arts professionally.
Later, he was honored to study for many years with Mustapha Tettey Addy, one of Ghana’s premiere artists in traditional music and dance, at the Academy of African Music and Arts. Over the years he has performed and taught with various dance troupes such as the Akrowa Cultural Ensemble in Kokrobite, Ghana, and the West African Folkloric Troupe in Accra. He also has wide experience as an international performer. Currently, he also performs with his own dance troupe, Logo Ligi, based in Boulder, Colorado.
Maputo is an accomplished master of the African performing arts — dancing, drumming, singing, and storytelling — and he is passionate about sharing the art and culture of Ghana and Africa with the West through the classes he teaches at the University of Colorado, the University of Denver, K-12 schools, and community classes. He also leads a month-long trip to his native Ghana each summer, giving his students the opportunity to deeply experience the culture he is devoted to preserving and promoting. In addition, he is currently working to build a new cultural center in Kokrobite, Ghana, to teach West African performing arts to local and international students and established artists. Maputo Mensah is a world-class artist, a much-loved teacher, and an ambassador for the culture he cherishes.
Jesse Greaves-Smith holds a Master's degree in Instruction from the University of Denver and brings 12 years of teaching experience to DDA. He performed with CU Boulder's Rueda de Casino salsa team, and has spent the last three years teaching salsa and Bachata basics to 1000+ people through Black Belt Salsa. After building up a wedding choreography practice in Colorado Springs he's looking forward to continuing that work in Broomfield. Having taught dance, rock climbing, archery, and martial arts to groups of all ages, he excels at helping people master new physical motions in ways that work for them. Jesse focuses on helping individuals become comfortable with whichever social dance they're learning, and helping couples connect as dance partners. He strives to bring a sense of humor, enjoyment, and personal growth to his classes.
I was born and raised in Mississippi. I took jazz, tap, and ballet as a young girl. Once I reached jr. high, I spent most of my time cheerleading and became intrigued by the "hip hop" style of dance. While my other friends in high school were going out on the weekends, I would spend my time choreographing new cheerleading and hip hop dances.
I received a full paid cheerleading scholarship for my first year of college, but the second year I switched to the dance team because college cheerleaders never really danced.
During the summer, our stadium air went out and we were forced to practice at a nearby dance studio for the summer and that is when I got my first opportunity to teach hip hop at a dance studio. I taught for the Martha Geslin School of Dance for about a year during college. Upon entering my medical laboratory technology program, I decided to move closer to the hospital and teach dance fitness at a local gym. I did this for 4 years until moving to Colorado.
Moving to Colorado has been such a blessing and has allowed me to continue to grow my dance career, from performing in flash mobs, teaching classes, and having the opportunity to audition for professional teams.
I enjoy sharing my passion for dance, entertainment, and expression through movement. I take pride in helping young girls learn self confidence and how to let their light shine!
"Never let your memories be greater than your dreams"
Marissa Moschette is a born and raised Jersey girl who has recently relocated to the beautiful foothills of Golden Colorado. Marissa has been studying dance since the age of 3 and heavily involved in the Competition Dance world since five. She has studied in many areas including: Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Modern, Hip-Hop, Tap, and Ballroom. While training, she has had the honor and pleasure of dancing with tappers such as Anthony Morigerato, Hillary-Marie, Toby Harris, Mike Minery, and even the feet of Mummbles, the penguin of happy feet, Savion Glover.
Marissa attended Rutgers University and graduated from Mason Gross School of Preforming Arts with a Bachelor in Fine Arts. Before moving to Colorado, Marissa had been teaching and guest choreographing at numerous competitive studios throughout the Tri-State Area in styles of Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop, and Tap for the past 9 years. While creating and building new tap programs for three different studios, she was also very successful in her choreography for competition. Not only has she received many choreography and special judges awards for her dances but has also received an invitation to The World Dance Championship with the Star Dance Alliance for the
dance “Welcome to Bikini Bottom”. Miss Marissa Moschette is no stranger to the competition dance world and is eager to dive back in with Denver Dance Authority new family!
Caitlin Ruza McFarlane is a current student attending Regis University. She is working towards earning her Bachelor of Arts with a focus in English. She currently also has a goal of eventually dancing with the Colorado Ballet, and creating a You tube Channel so she can share her work. Since the age of three, Caitlin has been involved in dance, and performed in various musicals such as Annie. She has performed with Taps and Toes, DA@BA, and Flight Performing Arts. Her other interests include crafting, music, creative writing, and music composition. For over seven years Caitlin has studied with Julie Cutright-Ariza, and has started teaching under her supervision. Caitlin focuses on teaching Classical Ballet and Lyrical. While choreographing, improvising, and teaching, Caitlin embodies the emotional quality of storytelling and emphasizes injury prevention.