GDI is proud of the talented and committed instructors we have at the Boettcher Aurora Boys and Girls Club.
We know that they are having a positive effect on the children attending the club.
Jennifer Gilliam has a BFA in Dance from Wright State University in Ohio and is currently working on her Master in Educational Policy at CU Boulder. While in college she began her professional dance career and for the next 17 years she danced on various stages throughout the world including theme parks, cruise ships, dance companies, musical theater productions, a tour of China and as a dancer in multiple shows in Las Vegas including American Superstars, Rio Show in the Sky, Magic to the Extreme and Sirens of TI. She was the Director of Aurora Dance Arts for four and a half years where she directed multiple full scale productions and recitals. Jennifer is excited to be a part of Grand Design’s team and making an impact in the community through cultural arts programs and performance opportunities.
Moe Gram is a local Denver artist and designer. Born and raised in southern California, Moe Gram’s life became heavily influenced by hip hop culture, weed culture, and urban LA Street Art. These memories and exposure to 1990’s animation are huge inspiration for works by Gram. In 2012, Gram flew home from Florence, Italy where she spent 6 months studying both historical and contemporary European Art. In 2014, Moe Gram graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a special focus Studio Fine Art and a minor in Cultural Studies from California State University Bakersfield. The summer of 2014 lead to the unexpected opportunity to move to Denver and work in the Lower Downtown Denver Arts District. Currently in 2017, the Moe Gram Art & Lifestyle brand is active in the Denver and Aurora Cultural Arts Districts as a Fine Arts Education and Community Enrichment Resource.
Jessica Lawdan is an active music teacher in the public school and community arts education circles. She received her Bachelor's of Music Education from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN where she sang with the St. Olaf Choir under the direction of Anton Armstrong for several years. Since relocating to the Denver metro area, she has worked with the Colorado Music Festival + Center for Musical Arts, The Colorado Children's Chorale, 303 Choir, Youth on Record, the Colorado Chorale, and many other musical organizations while working as a full-time music specialist for Aurora Public Schools. Additionally, Ms. Lawdan is a part of the improv theater community and performs regularly with Jump! Improv and SoundBox Musical Comedy. She has been the musical director for the Vintage Youth Theatre's Summer Spotlight since 2016. With her passion for arts integration and innovative music education programming, Ms. Lawdan is excited to work with Grand Design to provide music education that draws on each students' unique backgrounds and abilities to create personalized, meaningful artistic experiences.
Amy Hutchings began her dance training here in Denver at the age of 4 where she studied at a variety of studios in the area. She went on to receive a B.F.A. in Dance with a minor in Psychology from the University of Kansas, during which time she studied Modern, Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theater, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical East Indian, while also performing with the University Dance Company under artists from such companies as the Kansas City Ballet, Parsons Dance and the Jose Limon Company. While she was in school, her choreography was chosen on multiple occasions to be performed at the American College Dance Festival, as well as to be one of the few student pieces showcased in the University Dance Company's concert alongside faculty and guest artists' works. Amy is currently a dance instructor for Aurora Dance Arts, where she has also choreographed for numerous productions including: The Nutcracker and Fairy Tales from Around the World. Additionally, she has taught and choreographed in multiple public school settings to a wide range of demographics and abilities. She has performed with Kim Robards Dance and Avatar Movement Dance Company and is presently in her third season with Davis Contemporary Dance Company.
Alex Gardner – A veteran Dj and Breaker in the Colorado Hip Hop scene with a unique skill set, has a lengthy track record of continued excellence. As a Dj he competed as a top 12 United States finalist in the world’s longest running Dj battle in the world, the Technics Dance Mix Contest. Known by the moniker Dj Skip Rip, he has graced the stage with many national artists including Talib Kweli, Zion I, The Pharcyde, Method Man and Redman, Dilated People, Termanology, The Flobots, Slick Rick and a multitude of others. Skip was hand selected by emcee Jonny 5 of The Flobots for a special performance at Denver’s Auraria Campus to the delight of all who attended. He also has had a hand in the ever growing popularity of the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival’s “Cultural Unity Stage” which is known as one of the most popular attractions at the festival for a decade. CDBF is one of the largest Asian cultural festivals in the country with over 125,000 visitors over a 2 day period. Businesses and organizations have turned to Dj Skip Rip for top tier services as well. Skullcandy, Nike, Spyder, The Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, The Downtown Denver Partnership, Red Bull, GoCode Colorado, The Denver Office For Cultural Affairs, Tony and Guy, The Asian Pacific Development Committee, Mile High Behavioral Health Care, The Center for African American Health, Heritage Camp For Adoptive Families, and many others, have all commissioned the turntablist for their events. As a break dancer, accomplishments are just as notable. Alex is a member of the Denver crew Lordz Of Finesse, who are credited for ushering in the art form to Denver and Colorado through to modern times, not long after its initial inception to mainstream audiences in the early 80’s. On the dance floor, known as Breaker One9, he has danced with members of the world famous Rock Steady Crew, Full Circle New York, and toured with champion members of the hit TV show “America’s Best Dance Crew,” The Jabbawockeez. Alex displays a mastery of freestyle, explosive movements and noteworthy style that embodies the foundation of the breaking art form, yet establishes fresh concepts. These attributes have led to him being commissioned by IKEA, Crispin Porter and Boguskey, Keystone Resort, The Capital Hill People’s Fair, Minnesota State Fair, Fresno State Fair, Colorado School of Mines and more. In addition to performances, Alex participates actively in the field of education. He has worked extensively with Mental Health America, a pioneering advocate in the effort to reduce stigma, encourage open dialogue, foster positive coping methods, and provide resources surrounding the topic of mental health. He was instrumental in furthering Mental Health Colorado’s reach through educational programming and facilitation at various locations throughout the Denver metro area for close to a decade. Supplementary educational institutions Alex has served include University of Denver, Douglas County School District, McMeen Elementary, Compass Academy, East High School, Denver Green School, Denver Academy, Manual High School, Venture Prep along with several other locations.