Pamela Avery, Executive Director founded Studio One Dance Theatre in 1984 after graduating from the University of Colorado. With a vision unlike any other, she created a space where students learn not just the art of dance, but the tools that are needed to empower themselves, celebrate the African American culture, and realize their true potential.
Pam’s vision humbly began with 30 students and has grown to service over 7,000 students who have gone on to succeed in every field from dance to medicine. In SODT’s 25 year history, thousands of students have walked through its doors, and walked back out as dancers, choreographers, artists, and stronger, more compassionate citizens. In the early 1990s, Pam started SODT’s Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $50,000 to its graduates.
With Dre Robinson, Pam co-founded Studio One Productions, a production company seeking to fill the cultural void in the black entertainment community. Since 2005 they have produced Straight and Nappy, Blaxplotation, a sketch comedy show nominated for 10 J.E.FF. Awards, and SING DANCE PRAISE a gospel extravaganza that included Studio One dancers, Stellar Award winning gospel artists, and critically acclaim spoken word artists and actors.
Pam is a certified Pilates instructor and member of the African American Association for Fitness Professionals. Pamela hopes that her mission to inspire, teach and enrich African Americans through the arts, enables her legacy to continue for generations to come.
Dre Robinson, Creative Director was born and raised to do theatre. This native Chicagoan has been writing, directing, and producing for well over 20 years. He studied at The Chicago Academy for The Arts, University of Southern California, and Columbia College. He has toured the world and has worked with some of the most prestigious theatre companies in the country including Second City, Congo Square, The Goodman Theatre & Black Ensemble. In 2006, Dre & Pam Avery joined forces and started Padre Entertainment where they produced Sing, Dance Praise, Blaxploitation 2 and Straight and Nappy. The duo reunited in 2007 to form Studio One Productions, the children’s theatre division of Studio One Dance Theatre. In their short history they have written, directed, & produced The Day Santa Canceled Christmas, The Black History Mystery, and the smash hit Dear President Obama. Studio One Productions is now the resident Childrens Theatre company at The Chicago Center for The Performing Arts.
Florence Walker-Harris, Artistic Director/Instructor is trained in a variety of dance disciplines. They include Classical Ballet, the modern technique of Lester Horton, Katherine Dunham technique, Jazz (strongly influenced by Mr. Frank Hatchet,) traditional Haitian folklore, African, Tap and Hip-Hop. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Sociology & Black and Latino Studies from the State University College at Oneonta in New York, and a Masters degree in Human Services Administration from National Louis University.