The performances of the Wings to Fly Dance Company have become legendary with audiences enthralled by the passion, energy and sincerity of each performer as they seamlessly deliver a unique dance vocabulary rich with artistic excellence. Life experiences plus cultural and spiritual influences inspire the WTFDC artistic directors Tasha, Tena and Tara to create an unforgettable experience.
Our new show Hope will reveal how important faith, attitude of mind and perseverance are in manifesting the desired outcomes in one life or in the lives of many. What do you Hope for? The diversity of responses to that question is the underlying fabric for this show, with music carefully crafted to thread each scene into a masterpiece of movement.
Integrating dancers with and without disabilities, their illuminating work is noted for answering the hopes of many who dream of performing and achieving their ultimate passion. It is our Hope that you’ll join us for one of our performances on Saturday, March 24th, 2018 or Sunday, March 25th at the intimate Lyric Theatre in downtown Stuart.
Artistic Director & Choreographer Tasha Patterson Shirley
Under the direction of Tasha Patterson Shirley, dancers have graced the stages of the Treasure Coast for over ten years and some have progressed further to the global stage. Audiences rave about the energy and passion of the shows created and performed by the Wings to Fly Dance Company. Their shows Quest (2010, 2011), Time (2012), Life (2013) and Journey (2016) were emotional and memorable masterpieces that staged the incredible talents of local and professional performers. Before moving to Florida, Tasha lived in Japan and performed with Madonna, Christopher Cross, Diana Ross, Earth Wind and Fire, and Cyril Takayama. Choreography work includes Guys and Dolls, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Cats, Geki Dan Shiki, and for many contemporary dance companies here and abroad. Music videos include Namie Amuro, Southern Allstars, and Salt N Pepa. She created events and shows for Budweiser, Coca Cola, Toyota, MAC Makeup, Prada, Sony, Virgin Cinemas and various cabaret shows. Commercials include Glico, Sony, Pizza Hut, Swatch, and Suzuki. Tasha’s passion to help create a peaceful and compassionate world permeates all that she does. Living in India, Nepal and Japan she learned techniques from Masters (Zen, Buddhist and Vedic meditation, yoga and healing modalities) and her own mastery has been an influential force in her choreography and themes of WTFDC shows. Tasha is the Executive Director of our integrated dance company and teaches yoga to groups and private clients. With 27 years of choreography experience, Tasha Shirley now works with her family to create an exciting and diverse repertoire, engaging in unique collaborations with a wide variety of talents.
Assistant Director & Choreographer - Dancer Tara Marie Anstensen
Tara Anstensen has been employed by Martin Memorial Hospital for over 14 years as a Physical Therapy Assistant. Prominently featured in Martin Health System’s 2016 Annual Report and recognized as “Associate of the Month” for February 2017, she’s considered exemplary and extraordinary in the care of her patients. She earned her Advanced Proficiency of Neuromuscular Therapy certification from the American Physical Therapy Association and has also earned certificates in Vestibular Rehabilitation, Watsu Aquatic Therapy, and Myofascial Release. She was the Assistant Supervisor for individuals with disabilities at the Arc of St. Lucie County for over 10 years. Her professional background as a dancer included working with Princess Cruises, performing with Diana Ross, C & C Music Factory and Cyndi Lauper. Her extensive therapy experience and working with individuals with disabilities gives her an exceptional outlook on how to facilitate experiences beyond what is though possible. Tara has a sincere appreciation for creativity and exploration of music and movement and shares that love with all her students. She has had the pleasure of teaching at South Florida Dance Company, Dance Academy of Stuart, Ballet Florida, and Palm Beach Ballet Company. She is currently dancing and choreographing with Wings to Fly Dance Company integrating dancers with and without disabilities.
Founding Director - Dancer Tena Patterson
Tena Patterson has an impressive background as a professional dancer, teacher and choreographer in Canada and the United States. She is trained and has taught ballet, modern, jazz, tap, Russian folk dance and musical comedy at the Royal Academy. She formed the Florida Performing and Visual Arts Program for persons with disabilities through the Arc of St. Lucie County. Tena has been a therapist of aquatic therapy for 17 years and Myofascial Release for 8 years. She believes that everyone should have the opportunity to perform and continues to work towards this goal with the integrated Wings to Fly Dance Company. Tena also writes children's books, the latest is called Friendly the 911 Kite and is for sale at Barnes and Noble. Tena, now over 70, still dances with Wings to Fly and often shows the dancers how it's done!
Photo Credit: Sevin Bullwinkle & The Hometown News