Artistic & Executive Director
David Riddick, is the founder and Executive/Artistic Director. He has trained extensively under Valeria Sinyavskya from Russia who was the pupil of Agrippina Vaganova. David is a teacher in the following areas of dance techniques: Vaganova (Ballet), Graham, Horton, African, Jazz, Hip Hop and Liturgical. His passion is to train, instruct and inspire those with aspirations to become professional dancers and choreographers. While working at Downing Gross Cultural Arts Center of Newport News, Virginia. Mr. Riddick was an Assistant Program Director managing the departments dance, theater, music and arts.
Chief Financial Officer
Anita Blackman, has resided the Yorktown and Hampton Roads region for the past twenty-three years. Furthering her education in Public Administration with a specialty in Human services, Anita has a heart for reaching the less fortunate in the community through outreach initiatives. Her passion is demonstrated through her diligent work at the Downing- Gross Cultural Arts Center in downtown Newport News where she has worked in the area in finance and facilities management for over four years.
Assistant to the Executive Director
Aisha Moore, was born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Aurora, Colorado. She graduated from Hinkley High School in 1991. Upon graduation high school, she joined the Army with her first duty station being Fort Knox, Kentucky. While in the Army, her hob consisted of Administrative and Paralegal work. While serving in the military, she was constantly promoted to higher positions. She provided military legal services, administrative support, and legal advice to military service members and civilians. She was placed in the position of supervisor of 40 paralegals and 30 attorneys assigned the company. Whilst in this leadership role, she also maintained accountability and serviceability for over $600,000 in office equipment with zero loss of property. While in the military, Aisha attended Central Texas College where she received her Associates in Criminal Justice and Empire State College where she received her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a minor in Human Services. After twenty years of service Aisha retired and lived in Upstate New York for three years. While living there she worked for ABM Government Services where she was the DMLSS Clerk for the Guthrie Medical Clinic. Her job consisted of record keeping of all real property for the facility with a budget of $500,000 per fiscal year). This money was used to purchase material and hire contractors to maintain the medical equipment and all real property for Guthrie Medical Clinic. In June 2016 Aisha moved to Hampton Virginia with her 4 kids. Since then she has been working at Beauty for Ashes Contemporary School of Dance as the Executive Assistant for Mr. Riddick.
Julinda D. Lewis, BS, MA, MSEd, Grew up in Brooklyn, New York and studied dance with George Faison, Fred Benjamin, Eleo Pomare, Dianne McIntyre, Maurice Hines, Ella Thompson Moore, Loremil Machado, and Pepsi Bethel (to name just a few notable teachers) and at Dance Theatre of Harlem and Clark Center for the Performing Arts. Julinda earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in Dance and Dance Education from New York University and a Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College, and has been a dance and theater critic for more than 30 years. She is the author of a young reader’s biography, Alvin Ailey: A Life in Dance, and editor of Black Choreographers Moving Towards the 21st Century which has been used as a textbook for college and university dance history classes. Recently published works, Dancing in the Bible and The Tabernacle Teaching, and a chapter in I Will Dance ‘til a Hundred and One! by Janine Turnerare available on Amazon.com, as well as her recently published “anti-biography,” Whistlin’ Women and Crowin’ Hens. Julinda studied liturgical dance ministry at Calvary Bible Institute and Seminary under Dr. Brenda Colbert (Martinez, GA) where she was ordained in 2009, and with TEN (The Eagles Network) and EITI (Eagles International Training Institute) where she was licensed in Word and Technique in 2012. Julinda also completed the Sons of Zadok training program under Pastor Sabrina McKenzie (International Dance Commission) in 2011 and Year 1 of the Eagles International Intercessory Prayer Institute Prayer School/EIIPI in 2013. Julinda is currently in the dissertation phase of completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Regent University. Julinda went on her first mission trip to Kenya in October 2013, returning in 2014, 2015, and 2016. She also went on an EITI mission to Haiti in 2015. Julinda is currently the East Region Coordinator for the International Dance Commission under the leadership of Pastor Sabrina McKenzie and the Richmond Site Leader for TEN/The Eagles Network under the leadership of Eagle Co-Pastor Tamara Nichols/TEN Virginia East. Julinda retired from the Richmond City Public Schools Programs for the Gifted in June 2015 after 30+ years of teaching in public schools in New York City and Richmond and is active in the Richmond dance and theater community as a dance and theater reviewer, most recently as a blogger for RVArt Review (jdldancesrva.com), and as a founding member of the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle (RTCC). She is enjoying retirement working as an Adjunct Instructor for the Department of Dance and Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University, and teaching BeMoved® dance classes at Dogtown Dance Theatre in Richmond, VA. She occasionally gets to perform in contemporary dance works by regional choreographers, such as MK Abadoo, one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch”. Julinda’s most adventurous accomplishments in life have been acquiring a motorcycle license and completing a 12-mile rafting trip with Girl Scouts in Northeastern Oklahoma.
Michael Pittman, is a videographer, editor, graphic designer and is Owner of P&P Video Productions based in Virginia Beach, Virginia producer. After thirty-two years of service in Automobile industry he followed his passion for the media arts and launched his business producing videos for weddings, commercials, promotional videos and training videos. Recently he has produced videos for Sunenergy1 and tourism promotion video for the town of Ahoskie N.C. He currently produces an adult roller-skating show in the city of Chesapeake Virginia. He currently the media producer for David Riddick’s Beauty for Ashes Dance School based in Hampton, Virginia.
Teacher/Education Community Outreach Coordinator
Wanda Christian, was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Hampton, Virginia. She began her love of dance at the then Morton Street Dance in Baltimore, Maryland. She continued her dance education and performance with The Academy of Dance and Gymnastics (AOD) in Newport News and Hampton, Virginia until high school graduation. While with AOD, she was a member of the competition dance team performing solo and group dances and twice performed on the Carnival Cruise Line. Wanda performed in the dance ensemble for The Hurrah Players’ production of Fame, The Musical under the direction of Hugh Copeland. Wanda attended Shenandoah University earning her Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Performance, Dance, and Choreography. In October 2011, she was a selected member of the Rubbermaid Dance Troupe performing at a major industrial convention in Las Vegas, Nevada. She performed in many of Shenandoah University’s Dance Division’s concerts in works choreographed by faculty, guest artists, and fellow students. She has choreographed numerous solo and group dances as part of degree requirements. She was also the choreographer for the Hampton Academy of Music, Dance, and Drama, Inc.’s musical productions of Little Shop of Horrors and Fame, The Musical. In addition to performing and choregraphing, Wanda has taught fundamental ballet, jazz, tap, and modern dance techniques to children ages 4-18.
Percussionist, John Earl Robinson affectionally known as “BaBa SIlkie” was introduced to his instruments in the early 1970’s. Later in the early 90’s… he was introduced to the Djembe. With his newfound passion, Baba Silkie Co- found the First World Drummers and Dance Troupe in Orlando Florida. He was taught by master drummers from the Ivory Coast, Senegal, Tampa Florida and Kansas City, Missouri. Along with traditional African drumming, he was exposed to their culture and customs of those afrikans who composed the international rhythms. Although he never traveled to Afrika…. Afrika came to him. He has performed and has been featured in many venues in the US and has received numerous awards. After leaving Florida and returning to his home in Virginia, he founded the Akebulan Ensemble. Baba Silkie is one of a few artists in Hampton Roads who repairs, re-strings, re-heads and tunes the Djembes and Dun-Duns. Now at the age of 69, He is still playing, teaching and studying his craft. His presentations are entertaining as well as educational.
Felix E. Valderrama (AKA Paco or Baba Paco) is a hand percussionist with Forte’ Jazz Band. He has performed at the Norfolk, Hampton and Richmond Jazz Festivals. He also has performed at the Ferguson Center, and other local festivals in the Tidewater and Richmond areas. As a member of Forte’ Jazz Band, He has opened up for many Nationally recognized artists like, Gerald Albright, George Benson, Kim Waters and Karen Briggs, just to name a few. Paco’s passion for hand drums started at the age of 5, when his grandmother game him his first set of Conga Drums. Since that time, he has devoted himself to playing and teaching hand drums. Between the years of 2003-2009, Paco toured with Grand Master Drummer, John “J.C.” Carter, form Hampton, Virginia and Sylvia Tabb Lee, from Williamsburg, Virginia. Paco loves to interact with other drummers and dancers. He has a passion for learning new rhythms and enjoying the company and spirit of those he calls brother and sister, in Drums.