Faculty Insider

The BDC Faculty Answers YOUR Questions...


What is your dance background?
I started with baton twirling when I was in high school, then I started taking dance classes when I was in college.
I joined a dance company and also started teaching at gyms after about two years in Nagoya, Japan. After college I wanted to take it to the next level and see where it took me, so I decided to come to New York and study at Alvin Ailey in February 1998. That summer I got opportunity to join "the power-n-motion" NJ Nets Dance team, as well as "P-funk" company Directed by Bev Brown. Then late that year, I start working for Bev as an assistant. In 2001, I start to teach for the Children & Teens Program at BDC, and from there I started teaching regular jazzfunk classes.
Who WERE your teachers, and who ARE your teachers?

There are so many teachers who made me who I am today but these two teachers made most impact on my life.
Ms. Atsuko Kato in Nagoya, Japan. She was my very first Jazz and Hip-Hop teacher.
I wouldn't be here if I didn't meet her!!
Ms. Bev. I assisted her for about 3 years, she brought out my inner "funk", also she taught me how to be tough I wouldn't be teaching here at BDC if it wasn't for her!
My teachers now are all the students who comes to my classes, they are my inspiration as well as my energy! Also all the other faculty at BDC, their talent and great work inspire me everyday!

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Eric JenkinsEric Jenkins

What is your dance background?
Growing up I did popular dances such as "Roger Rabbit" and "Running Man". Later in the 8th grade I joined Show Choir. High school I danced in talent and fashion shows. It wasn't until college where I started taking classes in modern, ballet, jazz and african.

Who/What inspires you, and how do you inspire and motivate your students?
Music inspires me. I have to feel a connection with the music so that I can feel something to create. I use the music/lyrics to characterize the student. Imagine being in the situation that the artist is singing about. Feel the mood of the music.


What are some things that people might not know about you?
I like to cook/bake. I'm a home body. I hate working out.

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Matthew PowellMatthew Powell

Who/What inspires you, and how do you inspire and motivate your students?
 My family is and always will be a major source of inspiration. The Powell’s have had to overcome quite a bit over the years, and through it all, we’ve somehow managed to land on our feet. I think this is because we’ve always stayed true to ourselves, which is something I try to insert in every aspect of my craft. I used to think that I had to create a special, “teacher personality,” for my students, but I’ve learned over the years that I really can’t be anyone but myself in the studio. Overall, I think that’s a good thing for both my students and myself!

What are some things that people might not know about you?
I made it to the West Virginia state spelling bee in 7th grade, but threw the competition so I could get home in time to watch the “Charlie Brown Christmas Special.”
I love to cook, and happen to be pretty OK at it.
I recently wore a full-bodied, 1980’s-inspired monkey suit for The Magic Flute, and was consequently given the nickname “Jellicle Matt.”

What projects are you working on now?
I am currently in rehearsals to perform “Paquita” at a gala for Petrov Ballet in a few weeks. Later this month, I will be premiering a newly choreographed ballet at the Regional Dance America Festival in Pittsburgh, PA, and my new piece for BDC, “We Are The Sleepyheads” will be performed again as well. I will also be guest teaching company class for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet and will continue to serve as a substitute/guest teacher for the Musical Theatre Department at Marymount Manhattan, The Rock School for Dance Education, Brooklyn Ballet, Ballet Academy East, and the Broadway production of Billy Elliot.

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