Both Dr. Heard and Dr. Walker-Bennett have extensive careers in physical education and dance movement.  

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 Dr. Marcia E. Heard

Marcia was born in Chicago, Illinois.  She received the Bachelor of

Science degree in Physical Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master of Arts, and a Doctorate of Philosophy from New York University. She’s also the recipient of several grants, awards, certificates, and fellowships. Her resume comprises a plethora of training and productions such as a dance program at Schurz High School in Chicago that grew to fill two full time teaching positions. She has studied and performed with notable teachers and choreographers inclusive of Darlene Blackburn (Nigerian and Ghanaian); Bentley Stone and Walter Camryn (Ballet-Cecchetti); Joel Hall and Pepsi Bethel (Jazz); Wali and Andara Rahman (Sabar African Dance). Not only has Dr. Heard studied Dunham, Humphrey-Weidman, Katherine Dunham (Dunham Technique), and Limon techniques, she was a scholarship student at the Ailey School. 


Dr. Heard served on the Core Course Proficiencies and Standards Panel for the Arts in New Jersey and the panel that drafted guidelines for licensing dance and theater for the State of New Jersey.

Today she is married, the mother of two children and continues living and giving her passion to the arts.   

Board Members

Marcia E. Heard, Ph.D., Co-Founder & President                       

Doris Walker Bennett, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Vice President         

April Thompson, Treasurer                               

La Vonne Jones-Mc Getren, Secretary               

Troy Kwesi Harrison, Member – Community Business and Access Programs                    

Tatiana Hyrnyzyan, Member – MVOCSL Music Specialist 

Gracian Mack, Member - Accountant       


Master Teachers Past and Present

Adreinne Armstrong-Cooper       Dance
Mariah Ayscue                                Theater Arts
Carole Bailey                                   Visual Arts

Maurice Chestnut                          Dance
Alfred Gallman                               Dance
Tatiana Hyrnyzyan                         Vocal music 
Harriet Parker                                 Community Activism

Serge Sinitsyn                                Painting/Scenic Design
Ericka Streeter-Adams                 Vocal Music
Robert "Bob" Smith                       Theater Arts

Wincey Terry-Bryant                    Vocal Music


                   Dr. Doris E. Walker-Bennett

Doris E. Walker-Bennett holds a B.A. in Health and Physical Education from Trenton State College, N.J.; an M.A. in Health Professions from Montclair State College, N.J.; and a Ph.D., in Movement Science from New York University. Her expertise is in Dance Education and Movement Science with an emphasis on education for the handicapped and special populations. This expertise transcends into Curriculum Design and Evaluation, demonstrated by her 27-year Supervisor of Health, Physical Education, and Dance for the Montclair Public School System; she is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and fellowships.


Dr. Bennett is Co-Founder of the Ivy Hill Vailsburg Center for Arts Culture and Community Activism and has held Professorships in Health/Physical Education and Dance at The College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey, The New Jersey Performing Arts and the University of Phoenix. She joined the School of Performing Arts at Montclair High School as the founder of the dance company and Coordinator of Dance and was also Supervisor of the Health, Physical Education and Dance Department.   Dr. Bennett became the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist in the Office of Assessment for the New Jersey Department of Education (1997-2000). As an evaluator, her credentials include the New York City Board of Education's Dance Institute, based on The Katherine Dunham Model and The New Jersey Performing Arts Center.


Dr. Bennett serves on executive boards of professional and community service organizations.  Her education and personal goals have always been to enhance each student's awareness of his/her own innate potential for creativity and success.