BATTLE IN THE APPLE 2019 JUDGES
Director of Entertainment for the Brooklyn Nets
Criscia is a graduate of Long Island School of the Arts where she began preparing for her professional career as a dance major. She then went on to receive her BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. After obtaining her degree she immediately began to dive into the world of live performance working with amazing companies such as Nike and Disney, as well as artiest such as Lil' Kim, Madonna, and Pharrell. She was also a Vegas finalist for So You Think You Can Dance, seasons 5 & 6. Criscia has had the pleasure of dancing at the "World's Most Famous Arena" as Captain of the Knicks City Dancers, where she also coached the Knicks City Kids. Her experience has expanded to television where she performed on shows like “Lip Sync Battle”, “Glee”, and “America’s Got Talent”. She was also featured as lead dancer in the movie “Train Wreck”. Criscia also has a passion for fitness, in which she has personal worked with Insanity’s Shaun T, and you can catch her in his new dance cardio video “CIZE”. Outside of dancing and fitness, Criscia is the Director of Entertainment for the Brooklyn Nets where she oversees the Brooklynettes Dance Team, Team Hype, and the Nets Kids Dance Team.
founded The EducateDancer Studio
LaTisha Perry born in Bronx, New York and raised in Atlanta, GA moved to North Carolina in 2007. LaTisha graduated with her Bachelors degree in Psychology in 2012 and her Masters degree in Adult Education in 2014 from North Carolina A&T State University. She is an alumna of the Golden Delight Auxiliary at North Carolina A&T where she served as head captain and the recruitment coordinator for prospective members. In 2015 LaTisha Perry founded The EducateDancer Studio, which is a dance studio and after school program for dancers. Her dance studio has been featured in magazines such as Essence and has performed for the Charlotte Hornets organization. LaTisha’s is a proud member of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority and her motto is to help dancers find their purpose, through her passion for education and dance.
Certified Dance Teacher and Arts Coordinatorfor the New York City Department of Education at the Dr. Susan S. McKinney
Zakiya is a seasoned veteran in her field of dance and dance education. In addition to being the Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Asase Yaa School of the Arts, she serves as a Certified Dance Teacher and Arts Coordinator for the New York City Department of Education at the Dr. Susan S. McKinney Secondary School of the Arts. She also was invited and taught a series of special West African dance workshops at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. In addition, she earned a M.A in Dance Education from New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development Music and Performing Arts Professions and has a B.A in Psychology, from Hampton University.
However, she started her journey in dance at the early age of three years old. She credits one of her teachers, Carolyn Devore, for being the most influential in her early career development as a dancer and educator. It was at Devore Dance Center where she felt she really blossomed and fell in love with dance. From 2003- 2005, she was in the cast of the critically- acclaimed dance company, Step Afrika!, which included performances in over 30 cities in the US and several international performances around the world such as; the International Cultural Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa and Associano Cultural Bloco Carnavalesco lle Aiye Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is 2012 Stars of New York Champion. She won this coveted tittle with New York State Senator Kevin Parker. She is currently in her 17th season with Asase Yaa African American Dance Theater as Principal Dancer, Dance Captain and Rehearsal Director. Zakiya is a member of the Brooklyn Alumnae Chaptet of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorparoated.
Marcus Joyner is a traveling percussionist born in Boston, MA but raised in Warren County, NC. Marcus started marching in the Warren County High School Dynamic Marching Machine and Steel Stix Percussion Section at the age of 10 and was section leader from 8th grade until he graduated. Marcus received a full scholarship to North Carolina Central University and was section from his sophomore year until he left.
After college, Marcus auditioned for many positions including the movie “Drumline: A New Beat”, Universal Studios Japan, California Disney, and was chosen for each casted position serving as a Percussion Entertainer.
After 3 years, Marcus took a break from performing full time and moved to Brooklyn, NY to teach at Brooklyn United Music and Arts Program for two years.
Marcus now serves as the Percussion Director at Fayetteville State University during the fall seasons, and travels the world hosting percussion clinics, doing school motivational speeches, and performing at Fortune 500 Corporate Company Events.
He is endorsed by Vic Firth Sticks, Dynasty Drums, and Remo Percussion.
Drumming and motivating people to follow their dream is his passion and will be doing so for many more years to come.
Malik D.O.P.E Drummer
MA Native Washington DC percussion extraordinaire. Malik is the creator of “D.O.P.E (Definition of Percussion Entertainment)”, a brand that creatively fuses drum and dance through the live nature of entertainment.
Showcasing his talent on social media platforms and going viral around the world has widely increased his fan base earning him recognition and stage time with major artists such as Usher, Erykah Badu & Mike Will Made It, Swizz Beats, Ayo & Teo and more.
Using Percussion and performing arts as a therapeutic tool, he strives to promote education, entertainment and healing as a lifestyle.
Percussion King(Damien Walker)
Damien Walker was born and raised in Washington, DC where he began his percussion journey. He’s currently the percussion coordinator at Morgan State University and a percussion teacher in Baltimore County. He’s a graduate of Bethune-Cookman University and earned his Bachelors of Arts in Music Technology. He’s been performing and creating music for percussion for 15 years including performing in professional drumlines such as section leader of BCU Sudden Impact, the Baltimore Ravens Marching Band and as an original member of D.O.P.E. –Definition of Percussion Entertainment. Damien has performed for many audiences over the years bringing high energy, precision, education and fun to every show!