mdo board member carmen dence
a 2019 st. louis visionary awards honoree!
from the st. louis visionary awards website
CARMEN DENCE, Outstanding Teaching Artist
Carmen Dence is the founder and artistic director of the colorful Grupo Atlantico, an instrumental and dance group that promotes the folklore and rich heritage of her native Colombia. She has been recognized as a “Master Artist” by the Missouri Folk Arts Program and has held classes and performances in literally hundreds of schools, libraries, and other venues since 1995. Simultaneously, she pursued a successful career in science at Washington University School of Medicine, where her passion has been mentoring minorities and attracting young women to science. She serves as a board member of the Hispanic Educational Cultural and Scholarship Fund, the Hispanic Scholarship Alliance, and Better Family Life.
Dr. Nikki Spotts
named arts educator of the year
by the st. louis arts & education council
from the st. louis arts & education council website
dr. nikki spotts, arts educator of the year
Dr. Nikki Spotts is a product of the St. Louis Public Schools (Shaw Visual & Performing Arts Elementary School, Marquette Visual & Performing Arts Middle School and Central Visual & Performing Arts High School). Spotts currently teaches at Shaw VPA Elementary School as the dance director and arts department chairperson. She has taught dance at a variety of community centers and dance studios, as well as afterschool programs, master classes and colleges and universities, including Fontbonne University, Lindenwood University, Florissant Valley Community College and Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville. She also teaches in her own dance company, The Nikki Bradford Dance Ensemble. Spotts has danced with Joseph Holmes Dance Company; Kariamu & Company Traditions, Philadelphia, Pa.; Nommo African American Dance, New York, N.Y.; and Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Denver, Colo. Additionally, she has choreographed on stages around the world, including performances at The Fox Theatre, Stellar Gospel Music Awards presented by BET in Los Angeles and Club Med Resorts. She is an alumnus of the Community Arts Training Institute at the Regional Arts Commission and a former grant panelist. She holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in dance education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia and a Master’s in Education (MAT) from Lindenwood University as well as a Master’s in Administration, Educational Specialist in Superintendent, and Doctorate of Education in Advanced Superintendent from Lindenwood University.