The panel

Each year, TRDP selects a panel of established and respected professionals (dancers, dance educators, choreographers, dance critics, dance enthusiasts, etc.) in the area to provide feedback and mentorship opportunities to the selected choreographers. Without these incredible, thoughtful people, Tobacco Road Dance Productions wouldn't exist. This year's panelists are: 


Kristi Vincent Johnson, a Louisiana native, is a performer, choreographer, educator, and community builder. She has presented work throughout multiple regions of the United States and performed works by such artists as Joe Alegado, Sabrina Madison-Cannon, Gaspard Louis and Baba Chuck Davis. Kristi has served on the dance faculties of Louisiana State University, Texas Christian University, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and Jacksonville University. Committed to artistic excellence, she was named the National Dance Association's College/University Dance Educator of the Year in 2013 and selected as a touring artist with the North Carolina Dance Festival in 2016. Kristi has trained at the Ailey School and on scholarship at the American Dance Festival. Kristi has been a grant recipient from such organizations as Durham Arts Council and Orange County Arts Commission with the purpose of building broader dance engagement via partnerships with various arts and cultural organizations, as well as creating venues for professional choreographers to present their work. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Modern Dance from Texas Christian University and is certified in Classical Pilates. Kristi Vincent Johnson is currently the Director of Dance at North Carolina Central University and the founder of The Triangle Dance Project, a community building nonprofit arts organization.

Photo by John Marcus Photography

Photo by John Marcus Photography

Jasmine Powell is a dance artist and educator from Hillsborough, NC who grew up in the Durham dance scene through Carolina Friends School and Collage Dance Company. She holds a BA from Oberlin College and an MFA from Hollins University in collaboration with the American Dance Festival and Frankfurt University for Music and Performing Arts in Germany. Currently on the performing arts faculty at Cary Academy, she joyfully brings cultural history into the dance curriculum. Having worked with diasporic dance companies such as Philadanco, and notable choreographers including Dianne McIntyre, Milton Myers, and Ronald K. Brown, her mission investigates genre-crossing dance as an inquiry into how opposites can be embodied in each other. Jasmine currently performs locally with KT Collective Dance Company and COMPANY while engaging in her own choreographic journey with her latest NC premiere Approximation of a Woman. Her choreography has traveled into performing arts theaters, site-specific work, film festivals, and music videos with conceptual storytelling as the foundation. Jasmine is thankful to learn and share the value in exploring the organic movement of the body’s personal story through teaching, workshops, and performing through choreography avenues locally and internationally.

Photo by Jonathan Pfundstein

Photo by Jonathan Pfundstein

Caitlyn Swett is a dance-maker from Black Mountain, NC. She holds a BA in Dance from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. While in Charlotte she co-founded Triptych Collective, danced for independent choreographers, and co-produced interdisciplinary events in non-traditional performance spaces. Since 2016, Caitlyn has worked with Paideia, a group of noise musicians, sound makers, movers, and healing practitioners. Paideia’s seasonal and site-based works are rooted in improvisation and are driven by looping sounds and movements. In late 2018, Caitlyn began making music in a band called Streak of Tigers. She cites past and present members of Paideia as an encouraging source of her sonic curiosity. Caitlyn currently lives, works, and creates in Durham, NC. She is most interested in the dances that are happening all of the time.


2019 Panelists: Lindsey Allen, Kristin Clotfelter, Raina Lucas

2018 Panelists: Stephanie Leathers, Killian Manning, Heather Tatreau

2017 Panelists: Amy Love Beasley, Anjanée Bell, Jessi Knight

2016 Panelists: Alyssa Noble, Natalie Teichmann, Leah Wilks

2015 Panelists: Renay Aumiller, Nicola Bullock, Lightsey Darst