Marlon Torres, Executive Director

Marlon Torres is the Executive Director of North Carolina Arts in Action, an organization that helps children reach their full potential using performing arts as the catalyst to build focus, discipline, self-esteem, teamwork and leadership. Marlon began his career as a principal dancer in Mini Pops – a highly-rated Venezuelan televised dance ensemble featuring child performers, which enchanted millions of loyal viewers in Venezuela and the Caribbean. As former principal dancer of the international modern dance company, Galumpha, Marlon created and performed award-winning choreography showcased around the world. He has performed dancing roles on stages throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia, including the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach, FL, California's Napa Valley Opera House, Finland's Jyväskylä Festival, the ARTE Television network in Germany, and the Singapore Arts Festival. Marlon’s work as a Planner, Trainer, and Developer of Project Management Concepts through Body Movement received the 2014 Platinum Award from the NC Project Management Institute. In June 2016, the Certified Association Executive (CAE) Commission of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) conferred on Marlon the CAE designation, the highest professional credential in the association industry. To be designated as a CAE, an applicant must have a minimum of three years of experience with nonprofit organization management, complete a minimum of 100 hours of specialized professional development, pass a stringent examination in association management, and pledge to uphold a code of ethics. Marlon is a certified project management professional (PMP), has an MBA in marketing from the University of Leicester in the UK, and holds a B.A. in theatre and dance from Binghamton University. He joined the Downton Durham Rotary Innovation Fellowship class of 2017.

Doug Largent, Music Director

Doug Largent is a Carrboro, NC-based music director, double bassist, jazz organist and pianist. After earning his degree at UNC-Chapel Hill, Doug worked in New York City as a freelance musician at jazz clubs such as The Blue Note, Smalls, and the Jazz Standard. As a studio musician, he contributed to hundreds of projects, including Emmy-winning children's programs Wonder Pets, Sesame Street, and Third and Bird. After moving back to NC in 2010, Doug has played in productions at NC Theater, Burning Coal Theater, and Raleigh Little Theater. He has served on the faculty of The UNC Jazz Workshop. His jazz group The Doug Largent Trio has released five albums. Doug plays organ and bass at Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. He accompanies ballet classes at Duke University. Doug has been performing in NC Arts in Action productions since 2013, came on as a full-time accompanist in 2015, and became music director in 2016.

Disha Dewan, Development Director

Disha Dewan is the Development Director for NC Arts in Action. She graduated from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management with a degree in Marketing. Disha worked as an accountant and manager before moving to New York to pursue a training program in classical acting from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After spending two years in New York auditioning for Indie films and off-Broadway productions, Disha went back to school and received a Masters Degree in Education from Marymount University and worked as an educator since 2012. Since then, Disha has volunteered with the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble in Marketing, Event Planning and Fundraising. 

MaryBeth Carpenter, Senior Grants Consultant

A veteran fundraiser with over 30 years of experience at higher education and social service agencies in four states, MaryBeth has raised $44 million for her nonprofits. She began Greater Gifts Consulting in 2010 and has assisted numerous Triangle-based nonprofits with strategic planning and fundraising.

MaryBeth is the winner of the 2018 Outstanding Fundraising Professional award from AFP Triangle. She is a Certified Fundraising Executive and also a Certified Gift Planning Associate. MaryBeth is Past President of the Triangle Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and served on its board for six years. MaryBeth also serves on other Triangle non-profit boards and teaches the CFRE review course and gives trainings on fundraising across North Carolina. She is also an award winning writer, a historian and a photographer.

Visit Greater Gifts Consulting: https://greatergiftsnc.com/

Jennifer Tarrazi-Scully, Program Consutant

Jennifer has meandered her way in and out of the Dance, Movement and Arts worlds her whole life. She has traveled the world with off-broadway shows and small contemporary companies, taught in higher education and found her voice again as "Dancer With an Attitude", writing dance, theater, and book reviews. Her work caught the attention of the Dance Critics Association and she received their 2011 Emerging Writer Award. She brought movement expertise to the world of animation and film with Grasshorse Studios.  She continued honing her administrative chops with CORE Performance Company, a small but prolific internationally touring dance company based in Houston and Atlanta. Jennifer is amidst a reinvention and renaissance as a filmmaker and video installation artist. Today she is bringing her skills, dance and music, to the public school system through N.C. Arts in Action.

Suzi Landis, Teaching Artist

Suzi Landis is a North Carolina native with more than 20 years experience teaching ages three to senior citizens inballet,tap and jazz. She is a certified Grade II Cecchetti teacher and currently teaches ballet at City Ballet in Raleigh, N.C. She has been a contributing writer to Dance Teacher Magazine and Dance Spirit Magazine. Suzi has a degree in Communications and a minor in Dance from Appalachian State University. She was a dancer and choreographer with the Appalachian Dance Ensemble, performing original ballet and modern dance pieces. She is a former board member of the North Carolina Dance Alliance and continues to enjoy master classes in all forms of dance to keep her mind and body at its fullest potential!

Dom-Sebastian, Teaching Artist

Dom-Sebastian is a technically informed artist trained in various degrees of street dances, social grooves, and contemporary techniques. He holds a Dance BFA and Drama Minor from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). As an adolescent, he learned rhythm & groove from his mother while dancing in their kitchen to soul music, picked up beatboxing from his older cousin, and was very active in sports such as football, basketball, and track and field before making the transition to StreetDancer. Prior to studio training, Dom mimicked dancers from popular music videos and television programs like Soul Train, BET, and MTV.  Although routed in the south, he has been fortunate with the ability to share his talents, skills, and knowledge in amazing cities across the globe. “Teaching as a student and learning as a professional” is the code he lives by.

Sue Smith, Teaching Artist

Sue danced most of her life in the Philadelphia area performing with Pa Ballet, Philadanco, various theater companies and was a founding member of South Jersey Ballet. She has a BFA in Speech, Theater & Dance and is an accredited early childhood educator. Since moving to Raleigh, NC, Sue has been a Pre-K teacher and a dance teacher in public and private school systems. She is part of the faculty at City Ballet of Raleigh and now is excited to be a teaching artist with Arts in Action. 

Tiana Sutton, Teaching Artist

Creative professional dedicated to the arts, I have been dancing since age seven and am committed to helping others develop their artistic passion, including my own. Director of Tiana Sutton Presents, a production company that executes shows incorporating my passion, skills, and talents and those of artists in the Raleigh-Durham area.

Kim Demery, Project Manager 

Kim Demery is a multi-talented music educator, author and speaker who received her music education degree from Northwestern University. She joined AIA as Project Manager for L.E.A.P. Team (Learning, Excellence and Perseverance) in the Fall of 2016. She has a solid teaching foundation in public and non-profit arts education and is a thought leader with multi-layered experience in Program Development, and Operations Management. As a featured presenter and speaker for the North Carolina Symphony education program,  Ms. Demery's work with her students has been featured at the North Carolina Music Educators'  Conference and on UNC-TV's Carolina Now.  With over ten years of professional corporate experience, she managed training and development in Broadcast Operations at HBO Communications in New York. As Director of Programming for arts education programs, she is planning to use her varied experiences to encourage students to become life-long lovers of the arts who seek to become leaders in their schools and communities.

Rachel Lee, Teaching Artist LEAP Team 

Rachel began her dance training at Raleigh School of Ballet and was a member of its pre-professional ballet company, Raleigh Dance Theatre. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Rachel also received training at the North Carolina School of the Arts summer program and was awarded scholarships for the summer programs at the American Dance Festival in Durham and New York City and the Florida Dance Festival. She has performed in the North Carolina Dance Festival and with North Carolina Theatre in their production of "South Pacific". She was a professional dancer in New York City for many years and performed in modern dance companies and musical theatre projects. Favorite credits include "The Mikado" with the New York City Opera at Lincoln Center and the National and International tours of the Tony-nominated Broadway show "Swing!". Rachel has competed as a professional ballroom dancer in American Rhythm and American Smooth Ballroom. She is a licensed Zumba instructor and certified Pilates instructor. Most recently, Rachel spent the last ten years teaching dance to children ages 2-18 in Greenville, North Carolina. Rachel lives in Cary with her husband, Dan and their three children.

© 2017 North Carolina Arts in Action




Mailing Address:

PO Box 51277

Durham, NC 27717

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Teaching life skills to children through dance and music.

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