Board of Directors
LAUREN BUCHANAN - PRESIDENT
SCHARONA DAWKINS - VICE PRESIDENT
DANNY RICHARDS - TREASURER
SWAYZE GHOLSON - SECRETARY
LISBETH ASH - FORMER PRESIDENT
Patti Rutland Simpson has worked as a master teacher and choreographer for Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, Atlanta's Jazz on Tap Festival, The Black College Dance Exchange, Southern Association of Dance Masters and The Philadelphia Dance Festival. She served on the Board of Directors for The Jazz Dance World Congress for 12 years and is currently on the Board of Directors for Dance Educators of America. Patti has staged, choreographed and/or conceptually designed over 150 works for the stage.
In 2005, Patti was awarded the prestigious choreographic award, The Leo's Dancewear Gold Shoe at The Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago. The modern-day, urban inspired A.M. became the pulse of the entire event, ganering such notices as "...volatile and full of almost uncontrollable energy" from Dance Magazine and "...the creativity of Patti Rutland allowed hip-hop to take a concert stand" from Time Out New York.
After winning the Jazz Dance World Congress, Patti returned to her home in Dothan, AL to pursue the dream of starting a successful professional dance company. In February 2006, Patti Rutland Jazz made its debut with We Will Rock You to a sold out audiences and has been growing strong ever since. The company now produces 3 main stage shows each year and employs 12 professional dancers. In addition to their performances with the company, these dancers teach all levels of dance to ages 3 and up at the PRJ Dance Center and are the backbone of BEYONDance, an outreach program that teaches dance to over 10,000 students weekly in the Dothan City School System.
In March of 2018, Patti retired as the Artistic Director of Patti Rutland Jazz and is pursuing her lifelong dream of becoming an actor.
Patti Rutland Simpson