SoulXpressiion is a non-profit organization designed to educate students in the fine and performing arts, stage management, stage production management and to utilize their gifts to inspire others.

 

Our school is a faith-friendly environment, ensuring our students receive a nurturing, fun and safe atmosphere for learning. We believe that every person has been blessed with a specific gift and purpose in life and it's essential to educate and develop ourselves within those gifts. We offer a diverse range for all ages and abilities and strive to target individual learning styles while enhancing creativity for children and adults.   

 
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Kenyani Shanai' Henderson

Founder, Artistic Director

Shanai is the owner and artistic director of Soul Xpressiion School of the Arts. She was born and raised in Linden, New Jersey with her loving family. She began her dance training within her church’s dance ministry, Judah, where she learned her foundation of ballet, modern, and liturgical dance. Shanai then continued her dance training as a dance major student in high school and a member of Linden High School’s Dance Company under the direction of Barbara Greco-Brady. Shanai was formally a company member of Work of Art (WOA) Dance Theater from 2010 to 2012 and was featured in the annual Christmas show Spellbound and production Deliver Us. Shanai has also performed at Sisters Network Inc. Woman’s Empowerment program hosted by actress/dancer Victoria Rowell in 2011. Shanai was also a member of Revelations Dance ministry out of Newark, NJ under the direction of Crystal Glass, and performed along with company at Newark Symphony Hall’s Christmas production and the 2014 Mc Donald’s Gospel Fest at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. In 2014, Shanai was the chorographer of off-Broadway play, “Life of an Addict” at renowned Symphony Space Theater in NYC. She received her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) and holds a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Psychology, receiving both degrees from Seton Hall University. In conjunction with her academics, she was an instructor/choreographer for Touching Humanity Inc., a non-profit theatre/educational organization that creates services and opportunities for children/adults with various disabilities. Combining her OT and dance skills, she is able to fulfill her dream in assisting those with disabilities, to help children and adults participate in performing arts despite their disabilities. Devoting her dance to Christ, Shanai was the Dance ministry leader at Abundant Life Family Worship Church in New Brunswick, NJ, the liturgical dance instructor for Inspira Performing Arts & Cultural Center, and is now the Director of Dance at Resting Place HOP in Woodland Park, NJ. Filled with the love to teach, Shanai was also an educator at North Star Academy in Newark, NJ, teaching advance drill step to her after-school enrichment program and currently works as a school based occupational therapist.  She is also an adjunct professor for the Dance Fundamentals Course at Seton Hall University.  She loves to see others learn and find a joy in learning the arts. She plans to continue to inspire others through dance and all art forms while creating an atmosphere where students can "Express themselves with all their Heart and Soul".

 

Shannon Henderson

Chief Operating Officer

Mrs. Shannon Henderson was born and raised in Newport News, Virginia. Before graduating from Hampton University with her BS in Computer Science and a Minor in Mathematics, she served in the United States Army for 3 years where she was stationed in Germany. She has over 25 years of management experience as a Manager for Seton Hall University's PC Support department. Her passion for motherhood, entrepreneurship, mentoring and the arts is what fuels her to keep operations running smoothly at SoulXpression. As a dedicated life long learner, Mrs. Henderson furthered her education by securing her Master’s Degree in Information Technology and Instructional Design from Seton Hall University in 2011. Most recently she has received two different certifications (Basic and Gold) as a ZUMBA instructor. 

DANCE


Caitlyn Bess

Hip Hop instructor

Caitlyn Bess is a graduate of City University of New York-Lehman College where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance through multimedia performing arts.  Although she feels that dance has been a part of her since birth, she has had formal training in ballet, modern, tap, jazz and hip-hop for ten years.  For the past two years, she has also received training in Afro-Caribbean styled dance.  Caitlyn has received training from notable New York based hip-hop teachers, such as Kelly Peters and Ephrat Asherie.  She has performed at numerous theaters in the tri-state area including Lehman College, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Drama, the American Theater of Actors, and the Royal Theater. She is also the choreographer for local upcoming artist, Paige Milan.  Since 2014, Caitlyn has been an instructor at Soul Xpressiion School of the Arts.  She has enjoyed watching her students improve in the art of Hip Hop dance throughout the years and is excited to see their continued growth in all of the students at Soul Xpressiion.  

 

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Crystal Dodson

Yoga instructor

Crystal started her intense love of health and wellness at a young age. She began dancing at 9 years old and only briefly stopped because of scoliosis surgery when she was 12 and then again at 15. Because living on pain medicine was not an option, her research into different eating habits and the world of fitness led her to vegetarianism when she was 13 and yoga at 16 years old.

She graduated with a Baccalaureate degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Montclair State University. Starting in college, she has been in the fitness and wellness industry for 12 + years now.  She has been an AFAA Primary Group Fitness Instructor teaching many disciplines from aerobics to strength and conditioning since 2006.  She started teaching Yoga in 2004 with training under YogaFit and then became a certified Integral Yoga instructor in 2008. Throughout the years, she has taught in the community, commercial and corporate settings.  Wellness, fitness and eating healthy encompass her life. And she enjoys meeting and sharing with others who have a similar lifestyle. She most looks forward to sharing it with Soul Xpressiion School of the Arts!

 

Charla Saunders

hip hop & Pre-school dance  instructor

Charla J. Saunders is a graduate from Seton Hall University, where she received her baccalaureate in Social Work.  Upon graduation she has worked within countless organizations with the mission of creating a better, more light filled world for youth to live in.  Charla incorporates her love for people with her love for the arts. Starting at the age of 7 years old she has performed in a myriad of shows and ensembles with dance styles including ballet, hip hop, and liturgical.  Charla has been self taught for most of her dancing career, and has recently had the pleasure of receiving further training from A Step in Time Dance Company, Inspirational Dance Studios, and The Broadway Dance Center.

 

 

Joe Van Loon

Tap & Voice instructor

Joe Van Loon is an Essex County native who has been tap dancing since the age of 6. He has been a member of the New Jersey Tap Ensemble since 2004. He is also a Jazz singer and classically trained tenor performing in Newark, Montclair, and New York. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ashleigh Morrow

Ballet, Lyrical, & Jazz instructor

Ashleigh Morrow received her EdM degree in Dance Education from Rutgers University. She received her B.F.A. degree in Dance Education K-12 from the University of Tennessee at Martin and is a licensed teacher as well.  Ashleigh has been dancing for eighteen years and has attended many dance workshops and intensives in different areas such as New York, New Jersey, Atlanta, and Tennessee.  Ashleigh specializes in Ballet and pointe, but teaches all other genres and creative movement.  Even though she was trained with strict technique, she still wants students to have fun and enjoy everything that dance has to offer.

 

 

Taina Bey

BALLET,lyrical, JAZZ, & MODERN instructor

Taina Bey, originally from South Orange, NJ, is a recent graduate of Smith College where she received a BA in Dance and a minor in Africana Studies. Taina beginner dance training at a young age and has studied a variety of techniques including Ballet, Modern/ Contemporary, Improvisation, Cunningham, Jazz and Tap. She had studies contemporary and somatic dance overseas in Berlin, Germany and performed in a residency with Pilobolus Dance Theater. In the near future, Taina looks to receive her MA or MFA in dance and teach at the collegiate level. Taina is so excited to be joining the staff at Soul Xpressiion and sharing her love of dance with young students. 

 

MUSIC


Mustafa Daniels

Piano & Keyboard instructor

Mustafa was born and raised in Newark, NJ. Daniels first began to discover andplay piano at the tender age of nine years old, under the direction of Lanie Turner at Belmont Runyon Elementary School in Newark, NJ.  From then he went on to receive numerous music and performance awards throughout his grade school years such, as the Connie Woodruff Jazz Competion Award in 2001 and the Star Ledger Performing Arts Scholarship in 2002. He is a proud and distinguished alumnus of Arts High School in Newark, NJ. He is accredited for participating in Arts High School’s Jazz Band, Male Chorus, Advanced Chorus, Gospel Choir, and lead role in the 2001 Arts High School Production of Guys and Dolls.  Mustafa Daniels also had the pleasure and honor to perform at the 2001 VH1 televised Save the Music foundation concert in the company of India.Arie, Mariah Carey, and former President Bill Clinton. Mustafa Daniels was an active member in the United States Marine Corp Band where he held an E3 rank of Lance Corporal. He spent three and a half years traveling and performing with the Corp as their pianist before he made his way back to New Jersey. Mustafa Daniels worked as a Music Consultant for Newark Public Schools for six years. He was also very active in community activities such as Newark Idol and the Lincoln Park Summer Series. Mustafa Daniels works as a music producer, songwriter, composer,  and director. He specializes in gospel and R&B music. He is the current Minister of Music for Unity Freedom Baptist Church in Newark, NJ. He has held that title for nine years. In August of 2013, Daniels independently released his first gospel EP, Sounds of Praise and Worship that featured songs: God Made Me a Promise, Lord I Give My All to You, and Don’t Hold Back.  In January of 2014, Daniels independently released his second gospel EP that featured songs: Seek First, Are You Ready?, and Simply Beautiful. In 2014 Daniels began to offer piano and music theory lessons to family, church members, and friends of all ages. Mustafa Daniels would ultimately like to advance in his music career as a songwriter, producer and instructor of great music to uplift and bring people closer to God and each other.

 

THEATER


Ayana Major Bey

Musical Theater & Drama instructor

Ayana is a professional actress with a MA in Acting from the RoyalConservatoire of Scotland and a BFA in Musical Theatre from Montclair State University. During her time overseas, Ayana was privileged to have studied with the education department at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre which culminated in a performance of Shakespeare's All’s Well That End’s Well; with Ayana playing the role of Helena. Her other European credits include, Scotland: Ducking Smith in Our Country's Good (Tron Theatre), Masha in The Seagull: The Musical, (The Arches), London: Kim in Blind Eye (Cockpit Theatre) an original show written in association with Playwrights’ Studio Scotland and the actors cast. Ayana has also worked in regional theatre around the US for the past 7 years. Shows including Children of Eden (Eve/Mama Noah), Dreamgirls (Michelle), Hairspray (Dynmaite), Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon), The Exonerated (Georgia), 1940’s Radio Hour ( Geneva Lee Brown) The Buddy Holly Story (Apollo SInger), All Shook Up (Ensemble) and many more. Ayana is excited to share her love of the arts with students at Soul Xpressions and hopes she can inspire them like many of her teachers did for her in the past. www.ayanabey.com

 

AUTISM & SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS


Chintel Daniels

pre-school dance & AUTISM PROGRAM instructor

Chintel Daniels was born and raised in Newark, NJ.  Chintel began entertaining her family and friends through song and dance from the moment that she could talk. Throughout her childhood, Chintel was given even more opportunities to sing through her church and school choirs and alongside her Grandmother, Carol Long at Rutgers University in Newark. Although Chintel loved to sing, her musical passion began to flourish when she began to play flute in the fourth grade. Chintel is fluent in playing flute, piccolo, alto saxophone, mellophone and percussion instruments. Chintel attended Cicely Tyson School of Performing and Fine Arts High School in East Orange, NJ to study instrumental music. While there, Chintel participated in both jazz and symphonic bands, school musicals, the Six Flags Band Competition, Ladies and Gents Club and debate team. After graduating high school in 2005, Chintel continued her education at the University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport Connecticut to study music education. At the University of Bridgeport, Chintel was an orientation leader, U.S. Ambassador Representative, President of the University of Bridgeport Event’s Planning Team,  member of the Black Student Alliance, Founding member of Sigma Alpha Pi: National Society of Leadership and Success (Bridgeport Chapter), Ballroom Dance team member and co-host of the University of Bridgeport’s Annual International Festival. Chintel received her Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Bridgeport in May of 2009. Chintel also received her Master of Science in Education Degree from the University of Bridgeport in December of 2011.  Chintel currently works as a Registered Behavior Technician for children with Autism and directs the youth choir of Unity Freedom Baptist Church in Newark, NJ.