Meet the Dance Faculty

ASU conducted an extensive nation wide search and successfully secured a dynamic team of three student-centered professional teaching artists with advance degrees, and teaching and choreographic skills that range from ballet to modern, and from African to Hip Hop to guide the BFA/Dance Program’s mission: to cultivate student’s creative, performance, and scholarly aptitude through exposure to diverse practical and philosophical approaches to dance studies, while developing and nurturing their technical proficiency in various dance forms.

Get to know the dynamic faculty in ASU's BFA/Dance Program:


James Atkinson, MFA - Program Director

James Atkinson Profile Shot

Lindsay Renea Benton, MFA - Artistic Director, Recruitment Coordinator

Lindsay Renea Benton

Lindsay Renea is a performer, choreographer and educator with a background in concert dance, musical theatre, and dance on film. An Ohio native, she has always had a strong affinity for movement and music. She earned a BFA in dance and minor in piano from Howard University in Washington D.C. During her senior year, she joined Garth Fagan Dance Company in Rochester, New York. As a senior principal dancer, some of her most memorable moments include performing with the Wynton Marsalis Septet, Jessye Norman, the Ying Quartet, and William Chapman Nyaho. Throughout her career she has had the pleasure of performing works by many incredible choreographers including Christopher Huggins, Ronald K. Brown, Chuck Davis, Ayodele Casel, Dianne Harvey and ss’Sherrill Berryman-Johnson. Lindsay has also had the honor of performing before dignitaries such as Zindzi Mandela, Dorothy Height, Laura Bush, Caroline Kennedy, and Reverend Mpho Tutu. 

Her choreography has appeared on national and international stages including Muda Africa Dance Company in Tanzania, The Whispers "I Sing This Song" music video, The Debórah Show (TV Special) and Sean Penn's Haiti relief organization JP/HRO. Her work in theatre includes choreography for Nina Simone: Four Women (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Romeo & Juliet (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), and Crowns (Cultural Fusions Theater). Much of her Choreography lives and is shared on the concert stage through companies and festivals including Shona Shareef African Dance Company(PA), Lindsay Renea Dance Theatre(OH), Time 2 Dance Festival(Tanzania), Collegium of African Diaspora Dance(NC), La Femme Dance Festival(Illinois), ModArts Collective Thread(NY), and Alabama Minority Choreographer Festival. 

When she is not choreographing and performing, Lindsay creates opportunities for her students to learn the art of dance by teaching Modern, Tap, West African, Jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Contemporary, Composition, Dance Production and Dance History. Her desire to inspire younger generations of dancers pushed her to earn her Master of Fine Arts degree in choreography at Jacksonville University, Jacksonville Fla. She has served as an adjunct faculty member in the dance major program at Youngstown State University. It is with great pride that she founded The Lindsay Renea Foundation to bring the art of dance, creative wellness and cultural diversity to her hometown of Youngstown, Ohio. She uses her experience in many capacities to inform her work as Rehearsal Director for Komanse Dance Company in Atlanta, Ga. She is currently an Alabama Council of the Arts Fellow in Dance and Choreography and serves as the first female assistant professor of dance and artistic director of the BFA Dance Program at Alabama State University.

Jerome Stigler, MFA - Scholarship Coordinator

Jerome Stigler
Jerome L. Stigler, a native of St. Louis, Mo. He began his training at the Katherine Dunham Children’s Workshop and the Center of Contemporary Arts. He has a BFA in Dance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and an MFA in Dance from the University of Iowa. Mr. Stigler has received scholarships to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, Milwaukee Ballet, and American Dance Festival. He has taught and choreographed for numerous schools throughout the United States. Stigler has performed with the dance companies of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC), Albany Berkshire Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Columbia City Ballet, Florida Dance Theatre, Dallas-Fort Worth Ballet, St. Louis Ballet, Charlotte Adams & Dancers, Walt Disney World, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Deeply Rooted Dance Theater, Douglas Dunn & Dancers, Jeanne Ruddy Dance Company, Viewsic Expressions, VQ Productions, Mountjoy Productions, Balance Dance Theater, and Jennifer Muller/The Works. Stigler has taught throughout NYC and danced with 360°Full Circle Dance Company and the Von Howard Project. 


Joan Hamby Burroughs, Ph.D.

Joan Hamby Burroughs
Joan Hamby Burroughs holds degrees from New York University (Ph.D.), Indiana University (M.S.), and Tuskegee Institute, (B.S.).  Dr. Burroughs is an anthropologist of dance and human movement, educator and choreographer.  Her movement foundation is grounded in the dance technique of Katherine Dunham and other modern dance forms as well as in the dance of Cuba, Haiti and Brazil. She has both participated in and organized conferences and seminars on Afro-Caribbean and African Diaspora dance, religion and culture. Championing the efficacy and significance of the arts, she is an advocate for arts education, arts in education, pre-professional arts preparation and community arts initiatives. That sentiment, supported by proficiency in dance/human movement performance and studies, powered her career as an educator that spans high school through university levels. She directed the dance program at Florida A&M University from 2000-04, was an adjunct assistant professor (dance/anthropology of dance) at New York University from 1993-2000 and served in guest professor and adjunct positions at Smith and Hunter Colleges, respectively. Dr. Burroughs creates, implements, coordinates and administers arts, cultural, education programs and events that are largely inspired by the inherent genius, creativity and timelessness that underlie African diaspora arts and culture.