Jonathan Verdejo-Rocha

Mr. Verdejo-Rocha is a professional DJ and proprietor of the successful Blue Diamond Events company, based in Columbia. A self-trained DJ who grew up in South-Central LA, he was on the scene as the west coast explosion of DJing and MCing took off. These art forms are pillars of hip hop culture, which is an important part of Jabberwocky’s programming. Mr. Verdejo-Roche has an exhaustive knowledge of music, years of experience running a business, a creative interest in mixing, and a touch for reading the crowd. Last year his business was the recipient of the BBB torch award for ethics. He is an excellent artist-teacher and role model for students at Jabberwocky.

Susan Ibe

Susan is a Nigerian-American college student at Mizzou. She dances and performs with the Mizzou student group Made In Africa (MIA).

Taylor Liscum

Taylor has been a member of the Columbia dance community since 1998. She has established her own diverse training, performance, and choreography styles through her background and education in dance. Taylor's artistry has allowed her to learn from and collaborate with artists from some of the most well-known dance studios in the world including Broadway Dance Center (BDC), Steps on Broadway, Alvin Ailey Studios, and Pace University. Her specialties include classical ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary/lyrical, modern, musical theater, and several styles of ethnic/folk dance. Taylor graduated from the University of Missouri in 2019 with her bachelor's in psychology and now works in marketing at VU while pursuing her master's degree in neuroscience. She looks forward to sharing her passion for dance with the students in her class.

Jeanette Bailey

Dance Instructor

Jeanette Bailey has been studying vintage vernacular jazz dance since 2006. Her style is true to the swing era of the 20s, 30s, and 40s but incorporates modern elements to add structure and depth to choreographies. She specializes in solo and partnered swing dances including the Charleston, Lindy Hop, and Balboa. Her debut choreography featured original movement paired with imaginative rhythms and won first place at the Collegiate Jitterbug Championships. Jeanette has 9 years of teaching experience and enjoys sharing her knowledge of swing dance and its culture with students. Jeanette’s classes incorporate technical concepts while maintaining a light, casual, fun atmosphere and are designed to build students’ confidence on the dance floor.

Cassie Elam

Dance Teacher

Originally from St. Louis, Cassie has expressed her passion for the arts through both theater and dance. Formerly a ballet student, she discovered her obsession with Lindy Hop after she was asked to attend a Swing Night in St. Louis with friends. Since moving to Columbia, Cassie has become an active member of Jabberwocky Studios and Mizzou Swing Society. She continues to attended workshops across the Midwest to be trained by professional instructors from around the country in solo and partnered swing dance styles such as Lindy Hop, Charleston, and Collegiate Shag. High school English teacher by day, Cassie employs her teaching expertise when teaching beginner dance lessons. She is eager to embark on this new Jabberwocky journey.

Cato

Dance Instructor

Briana “Cato”  fell in love with dance at the age of 4. In her bedroom in Chicago, she learned the choreography from her favorite music videos. After completing 3 years of dance classes in ballet, tap and hip-hop, she led the Morgan Park H.S. Pom Team to 2 state championships and 3 city championships! Cato is excited to share the love of dance again. Her personal favorite style of dance is freeform modern, however she enjoys teaching tap, hip-hop and modern womb dance.

Marjorie McDonald

Dance Instructor

Marjorie McDonald is a Columbia native and mother of two.  She began dancing at the age of 5 and has continued to be a part of the dance community for 30 + years. Her specialties include Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Lyrical and Musical Theater.  Marjorie performed in local musical theater productions and was a member on a nationally titled poms dance team in high school.  Because of dance, Marjorie has built a strong network of friends and family, a great appreciation for self – discipline and understands the need for a positive environment to grown and learn in.  She strives through teaching and connecting with students that dance will provide them with skills and values that can be utilized in all aspects of life as well.

Joe Schlottach

Dance Instructor

Joe has been B-Boying for about 14 years and has taught at several studios around Columbia. His students have ranged from five year olds to adults. Breakdance is a hobby and a passion of his that he plans to continue as long as he is capable of dancing. Joe has been drawing since second grade and considers it his first love. He began painting murals after graduating from Rock Bridge High School and his work is displayed in homes and business around Columbia including at Mill Creek School. Joe is an excellent teacher/mentor who heads up our mural painting program each summer with youth interns from the CARE program. Their collaborative work can be seen in multiple murals along Grand Street, inside Oak Towers and inside the Blind Boone Community Center on Providence.  Joe loves to share his passion and talent with his students and is a master at establishing a positive excitement in his classes.

Alex Schust

Dance Instructor

Alex began dancing in 2014 as one of Jabberwocky's original students. As part of Jabberwocky's "Learn to Work" internship program, Alex learned to teach under the mentorship of instructor Joe Schlottach. He is a founding member of Jabberwocky's performance dance squad and served as our outreach teacher to the Youth Empowerment Zone in summer of 2018. Alex is a sophomore at Mizzou pursuing a degree in architectural studies. He loves to teach and to share his enjoyment of freestyling.

Hope Schust

Dance Instructor

Hope has studied hip hop and break dancing for five years at Jabberwocky Studios. She loves Chicago and house footwork, tutting, bone breaking and free styling. She is a current member of the Jabberwocky Squad. She was mentored, as a teacher, by Rebecca Wallace as part of Jabberwocky's "Learn to Work" program.  Hope has taught hip hop at Jabberwocky, and for Jabberwocky at Adventure Club and Camp Hickory Hill.  Hope wants to share the joy she gets from dancing and music with others!

Rebecca Wallace

Dance Instructor

Rebecca trained in hip hop in Saint Louis under Nick Gates. She excels in team and freestyle dancing and is a valued member and choreographer on Jabberwocky's hip hop squad. Currently part of the guidance team at Battle High School, Rebecca is a talented teacher and mentor.