Founder/ Executive Director
Jalisa Roberts is a writer, educator, Black Studies scholar, singer, and choreographer. With more than 20 years of dance experience locally and internationally, she has most recently trained in modern and African forms of dance at Swarthmore College, and explores how all of these different artistic interests live in one body and influence each other.
Her choreography sparks conversations on identity and memory. Much of Jalisa's work explores how individuals relate to and influence groups, and how our narratives on similar events can differ greatly based on our individual experiences.
As dance has been an essential part of her identity and wellbeing, Jalisa's mission is to use dance to create space for dialogue and change. Currently, she is an arts educator in New Orleans.
Lamar Roberts, Jr. has extensive management experience in all aspects of currency procedures. He has held management positions with Bally’s Casino, Harrah’s Casino, The Federal Reserve Bank, Hibernia Bank, and Bank of America. He presently is the owner of Gifted Hands Painting, L.L.C. He has also served as a mentor to boys and young men. His passion is to motivate others to accomplish their dreams.
Milli Brown is from New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2006, Brown began training under the direction of Kris Cangelosi at Cangelosi Dance Project in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern, and contemporary dance techniques. Since then Brown moved into the adult company and was an active performer for eight years. In 2016, Brown graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with degree in General Studies with a concentration in art and minor in dance. She has since moved back to New Orleans to pursue her dance career and is currently dancing with KM Dance Project.
West African Instructor
Derwin May, Jr.
Derwin was introduced to hiphop and taekwondo martial arts movement at a young age. He later pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Belhaven University studying classical ballet and contemporary where he received the Daniel award for Outstanding Achievement. During his time at Belhaven, Derwin also received hiphop training by well acclaimed choreographers such as: Sean Bankhead, Ki Ki Ely, and Jungle Boogie. Derwin has used his training to offer the first adult level pre-professional and professional hiphop lessons at Epic Dance and Fitness Studio in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Derwin has also used his performing arts education to choreograph works for various social events, ministry, and outreach programs: such as the Young, Gifted, and Empowered Gala, Women Rock Awards, Autism Awareness Gala, Shining Light Ministries, and with the African Bible College in Malawi, Africa. He is currently in his first season with Marigny Opera Ballet and Artivism Dance Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana and continues to grow and use his experiences as his inspiration on stage and within his choreography.
This could be you!
Do you have a passion for helping to shape new leaders and dancers in the world? Do you have a story to tell that could help motivate our youth? We are looking for you! Apply to be a part of the The Cocoon family as a staff member, intern, volunteer, or mentor today!