MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

MEET OUR INSTRUCTORS

Jackie Alazas
Jackie AlazasActing
Jackie is a graduate from Regent University’s M.F.A. in Acting program, and she got her B.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia. Notable roles she played at Regent were Juror Five in Twelve Angry Men, Meg/Clarissa in Little Women, and Lady Capulet in Romeo & Juliet. Roles she has played outside Regent University include Della in Gifts of the Magi (GEAR in Cape Charles), Claire in Proof (Generations Theatre Company), and the Fool in King Lear (Shakespeare on the Lawn at the University of Virginia). She is also a soprano in the local singing group The Doorway Singers. When she is not singing or acting, she likes writing comedy sketches and watching local theatre.
Sue Beck
Sue BeckJewelry Making
After a 32 year career in the field of dentistry on Long Island, NY and raising 3 daughters, I moved to Washington, NC. After my husband Rich and I got settled, I began to look for a new “purpose!” Designing and making jewelry has certainly qualified as that purpose and teaching jewelry projects has completed that purpose! I’ve taught hundreds of classes in wire wrapping, bead weaving and am a certified instructor in Precious Metal Clay. My favorite time is when a student gets that eureka moment and their jewelry piece becomes their very own handmade heirloom!
Beth Blanchard
Beth BlanchardOil Painting & Homeschool Art
A lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, Beth developed her love of painting and teaching through local artists and instructors like Cleta Norcross, Wayne Fulcher, and Robert Lemasters. Beth believes that every person has an artistic bent, and it’s her goal as a teacher to help her students discover the art they were created to make. Whether she is teaching a four year old how to draw, encouraging the teenager to let go and enjoy the process, or guiding the adult student back to the basics, she loves equipping and encouraging others in their artistic pursuits just as she was encouraged by her former teachers. Beth has taught students drawing, acrylics, oils, watercolors, printing, collage, clay, weaving, calligraphy, and art history, but oil painting is her passion. Beth has taught privately, at her church, and as a K4-12th grade teacher at Suffolk Christian Academy.
Denise Brown
Denise BrownCountry Line Dancing/Tai Chi
Denise Brown holds a BS in Health and Physical Education from ODU. She has taught in Norfolk Public Schools for 2 years and she has been a YMCA exercise instructor and line dancing instructor. She has also taught line dancing at an enlisted club in Yokosuka, Japan and several session at the Suffolk Center. She teaches a variety of different exercise classes in the area.
JaQuay Copeland
JaQuay CopelandPainting/Drawing/Kids Art
JaQuay Copeland is the founder and CEO of Ardestri, LLC. For Copeland, painting began as a natural expression of her inner creativity. After two decades of introducing brush to canvas, she decided to share these talents with others in an even more tangible way. Thus began Ardestri, Copeland’s creative organization that specializes in philanthropic paint & sip events, live art, and custom artwork. She is currently teaching Paint & Sip workshops at the Suffolk Center. She also teaches the Kids Art Explorers, and Portraiture Drawing classes.
Toni Cotturone
Toni CotturoneCommunity Chorus
Mrs. Antoinette (Toni) Cotturone earned her B.S. Degree in Music Education at Malone University in Canton, Ohio and her M.S. Degree in Secondary Music Education with an emphasis in choral conducting from Old Dominion University. While at ODU, she studied privately with Dr. Nancy Klein. Initially employed as a church musician, Toni has directed ensembles ranging from children to senior citizen choirs. During her twenty-one year tenure at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Mrs. Cotturone initiated the choral program, which grew exponentially under her direction. She holds a certification in the LoVetri Institute for Somatic Voicework™, which she acquired at Shenandoah University in 2013. Subsequently, she has reviewed in both 2015 and 2017 and has consistently taken online courses that are offered by SVW. This unique vocal pedagogy method equips those certified to teach all styles and genres of vocal music. After retiring from full-time teaching in the spring of 2019, Toni opened a private studio in Suffolk, Makmuzc Voice Studio, where she now has the opportunity to encourage functional vocal training to students of all ages and levels.
Jose Eric Cruz
Jose Eric CruzPopping
Jose Eric Cruz has been living and dancing within the Hip-Hop community his whole life, and has trained under Michael Jackson’s personal Dance Coach of 18 years Bruno Falcon (a.k.a Pop in Taco), and has been teaching throughout the Boston, CT, Maine, Maryland, and DC area for over 14 years, and is now currently teaching in the VA area.
Rhona Lynn Dawson
Rhona Lynn DawsonAcrylic Painting
Learning to express our creativity through Art has been a part of my life from the day my Mother put a crayon in my hand and with her hand, guided me along an Imaginary line on the blank paper, training me to trace out a picture from my mind’s eye. With Visual Arts as a backdrop, there has been a creative opportunity around every corner. My formal education after High school was local at Tidewater Community College; Majoring in Childhood Development & Visual Arts. With a Focus in; Arts & Theory of Creativity, Design, Art History, Practical Drawing and Painting (Acrylic, Oil & Watercolor paint). A few areas where Art presented opportunities in my life would include; Portsmouth City School system for the Challenged child as a Teacher and Aide. Among many of my duties the most rewarding would be incorporating students in the designing and creating of themed Murals. The Murals were created throughout the common areas of the schools (cafeteria, clinic, hallways and bathrooms). This led me to Costumes & Visual Set design for events within the Portsmouth Public Schools. Art & Craft Instructor for afterschool programs at the YMCA. I launched “Art and Soul”-Suffolk; instructing painting classes for Seniors about 5 years ago in addition to becoming the Instructor for “b Creative Studios”-Suffolk; an Arts and Crafting Studio.
Christine Dove
Christine DoveYoga
Christine Dove was awarded her certificate to teach Hatha Yoga on July 5, 1980, by the Integral School of Yoga. She continued her studies in Hatha Yoga, attending many seminars and yoga workshops under the direction of Satchidananda and his disciples of Integral Yoga, Amrit Desai and his disciples of Kripalu Yoga, and the disciples of BKS Iyengar Yoga.She has taught at Body Works in Norfolk and the Eastern Shore Community College and Maryview Hospital for the Wellness Program, as well as privately in the communities. She taught at the Cancer Center at DePaul Hospital and at the Mind-Body Health Institute for ten years from 1995 through 2005. She began teaching at The Suffolk Center For Cultural Arts in 2006 where she continues today.She has also been teaching community classes in in Churchland for the last twenty eight years where she continues today . Christine served as president of the Board of Directors of The Whole Foods Co-op for seven years and as a board member for an additional five years. She is a graduate of Old Dominion University with B.A. in Social Work and has twenty two years of experience in this field.
Alicia Edwards
Alicia EdwardsDance
Alicia began her dance passion at the age of 5 in Yonkers, NY, taking up Ballet, Jazz and Tap. For over 15 years Alicia has performed as student and teacher in various locations all over the United States. Studying at Washington Adventist University, she was sought out to perform with Acro-Airs team performing all over the east coast. She has worked with numerous community groups teaching lyrical dance for churches and community programs. Alicia’s love for dance did not wain after marriage and children. With a belief that lifelong learning is essential for all, she began to expand her repertoire to include dance forms such as belly dance, African traditional, African modern, Mexican folklorico. Upon relocating to El Paso, TX, Alicia was scouted by the professional dance troop the Sun City Girls and also taught dance fitness in the El Paso Independent School District. In 2016 she relocated to Hampton Roads and she is still sharing her passion with the community.
Gavin Harper
Gavin HarperChildren's Chorus
Gavin earned his M.M.E. in Applied Conducting from Old Dominion University and his BA in Church Music and Vocal Performance from the University of Valley Forge, graduating Cum Laude. He has taught elementary music, college choir, and private music lessons. He has performed in Carnegie Hall with the ODU Concert Choir as well as toured Italy twice with the UVF Concert Choir. He has instructed a music camp in Turkey and recently toured England & France with Christ & St. Luke’s Choir. He is a singer with the Doorway Singers, and performs in local musical theater productions with Virginia Musical Theater, Zeider’s American Dream Theater, and the Little Theater of Norfolk. He is currently the Education Manager at the Suffolk Center and the founder & director of the Suffolk Center Children’s Chorus.
Harriette Laskin
Harriette LaskinPottery
Harriette has been working with clay since she was seven years old. As an educator, Harriette has taught for over 40 years in public school and at Tidewater Community College. After her retirement, Harriette helped to form the clay program at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts in 2006. Harriette says that “Mud pies are a lot of fun!” She welcomes anyone who still likes to play in the mud to join her!
Larry LeMasters
Larry LeMastersPhotography
Professional photographer in Tidewater for over 30 years specializing in black & white portraiture and weddings. Hometown raised in Chesapeake with eight grand children. Other interest: running, family, church, cycling, playing trombone in orchestra & big band jazz. Teaching photography at SCCA since 2005.