Eboni Morrow Payne - Artistic Director/Owner
Originally from Indiana, Eboni Morrow Payne began her dance training at the age of three. She quickly became a serious student of classical ballet while training under Homer Bryant, a Dance Theater of Harlem former principal dancer, at the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center, and under Larry Long at The Ruth Page Center of the Arts. While growing up in the Midwest, Eboni performed as a guest principal, soloist and corps member with Ballet Legere for six years during their Nutcracker season and as a corps member of Bryant Ballet. The summer before her senior year in high school Eboni was accepted into the prestigious boarding arts school, Virginia School of the Arts. There she trained under David Keener, former Maryland Ballet and Ballet Met Columbus principal dancer, Petrus Bosman, former Royal Ballet Soloist and Keith Lee, former Alvin Ailey Principal dancer. From Virginia, Eboni moved to Ohio where she attended Wright State University and graduated with honors with a B.F.A. in Dance. While being a full time college student Eboni was concurrently a full time company member of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II under the artistic direction of Debbie Blunden-Diggs.
In 2000, Eboni was awarded a scholarship from the world renowned training school of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Ailey School. She was selected to perform with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater during their City Center Season in their piece Memoria. While at The Ailey School she was also selected to be a member of the The Ailey Student Showcase Group. Professionally she has danced for Walt Disney World Entertainment, as a dancer/singer in the National Broadway tour of The Lion King and as a member of Aloft Dancetheater.
Prior to moving to Simi Valley with her husband, Eboni was over the prophetic movement team at Avenue Community Church in Ventura. She is also a third-year graduate of Avenue Revivalist Ministry School and has a heart to see people of all walks of life being honored, encouraged and loved on.
Emily Ferree - Instructor
Emily always had a love and a passion for dance, but classes never seemed to work out and as she got older, that dream and passion started to fade. She found joy in acting and was apart of a mime team for six years. In January of 2016, she received a prophetic word that she had "dance in her that would shake foundations". A few days later, a dear friend told her that her church would now be hosting dance classes, she was amazed! She started attending Rivers Dance Arts after the second class, and her life was changed for the better. She learned how to truly step into the Throne Room of Grace, and she is never going back. She’s been married since 2017 to her amazing husband Kevin! They are currently living in Santa Clarita and are hoping to relocate closer to Rivers Dance Arts soon.
Mandy Alcala - Instructor
Mandalyn took her first ballet class in 2014 at All American Ballet in Ventura. Quickly, she found her passion for the art of dance, and within a couple of years obtained her pointe shoes. In 2016, Rivers Dance Arts was formed. She was introduced to a genre of dance called contemporary ballet. This style, which incorporates elements of classical ballet and modern dance, has inspired her to be creative in expressing her love for God. Through contemporary movements He has shown her how to be confident with the identity He has given her; the identity of a worshiper. God has put it upon her heart to use the gift He has given her for the benefit of His kingdom in order to teach others of the freedom and healing that comes from dancing in His presence.
She has personally experienced how God uses dance to heal hearts. In 2016, her youngest sister, who battled brain cancer for eleven months, died and went home to Heaven. For Mandalyn, during what could have been a dark and fear-filled time, He used dance as a way for her to understand His peace and deep love. As she continues to learn and grow in her knowledge of dance, she prays that it would bring physical, emotional, and spiritual healing for the sake of His glory.
Sally Rochon - Instructor
Sally was called at age 16 to lead a group of dancers for a street outreach Ministry that reached thousands of people. She was forever impacted by the response of this particular woman who would receive Jesus after seeing her dance number. This began her journey to dance only for the audience of One. Since then Sally has had the honor to take her dance to numerous churches in CA, WA, OR, ID, Mexico and Canada. Sally was the Dance Coordinator at City Christian School, CCBC college, and for GC youth ministries.