Artist Spotlight: Rhonda Holland




Dance is an art form that is a staple at The Institute. And it's been a staple of Teaching Artist Rhonda Holland's life since she attended the School of Performing Arts in Montclair as a High School Student.

Ms. Rhonda has changed so many lives since then, and at The Institute, where she has been with us since 2009, she has inspired hundreds of students to develop a love of this deeply emotional art form.

"Music, emotions and mood play a tremendous role in choreography," says Ms. Rhonda.

“It may be dramatic, soft, rapid, smooth, graceful, dark, happy or silly. I use the music to tell a story or be the story. That’s the phenomenon about choreography, it is vastly open to any interpretation.” 

Ms. Rhonda has dedicated much of her life to working with children. “For over a decade, Ms. Rhonda has been choreographing our summer productions. She is able to create amazing, complex and achievable choreography that has left audiences stunned,” says Executive Director Alysia Souder. 

“I like working with kids because they keep me grounded and growing,” says Ms. Rhonda. “Working with kids provides me the opportunity to positively influence their decisions, behavior, strengths, insecurities and imaginations to develop a new purpose each day by building confident and self-sufficient learners who will forever love and respect the arts.” 

This love of teaching is evident when talking with Ms. Rhonda’s students. “Besides being one of the funniest and most energetic teachers alive, Ms. Rhonda is dedicated to her love for dance and shows that through her teaching and her love for her students,” says Amahl Adams, a former student and Youth Leader. “She will always push you to be your best self and for that I am beyond blessed to have had her as my dance teacher.” 

Ms. Rhonda has a formal dance education with a degree from Temple University. She has had an interesting and varied career in television, video, theater, fashion and modeling for international magazines. She was the Principal Dancer of four Companies, including Seventh Principal and Whole Theater Dance Companies, as well as Umoja and Ussama Dance Companies acting as the Associate Artistic Director of both. And she currently teaches in the Newark Public Schools. 

These credits are important, but they don’t begin to describe this phenomenal Teaching Artist who shares so freely of herself while providing a strong, solid education on the foundation of all forms of dance.