Ashley Benes, Interim President
Originally from Oklahoma, Ashley relocated to the D.C. metro area in August 2014. A classically trained soprano, she has earned a bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from the University of Kansas, a master’s degree in vocal performance from the Eastman School of Music, and a master’s degree in opera performance from the University of Kansas. She is also working toward completion of a Master’s in arts management from George Mason University. Ashley is a fundraising and development professional, working currently for both Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia, and GLOW Lyric Theatre in Greenville, South Carolina. She has previously worked with the Aspen Music Festival and School in Aspen, Colorado, coordinating various fundraising and stewardship events. Ashley lives in Arlington and joined the JFD Board in 2016.
Cara Davis, Secretary
grew up on the competition dance scene, training for 15 years in a variety of styles at a dance studio in the Boston suburbs. Cara continued to foster her love of dance at Georgetown University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics. As a member of the GU Dance Company, Cara choreographed several pieces, directed the company’s publicity and recruitment efforts, and served as the Director of the company her senior year. Cara previously worked as a communications intern with a global non-profit that teaches a dance-based education curriculum at schools throughout the DMV area. Cara resides in Arlington and works at a financial firm specializing in business valuation and financial opinions. She remains active in the local dance community, performing and taking classes. Cara shares her passion for dance with others by utilizing her experiences with non-profit publicity and dance company management to assist JFD’s growth and outreach efforts.
Dynne Sung, Treasurer
Dynne Sung Shi was raised in a Boston suburb and spent her childhood enjoying music lessons at Rivers Music School (Weston, MA) and ballet at Walnut Hill School (Natick, MA). Professionally, she is an IT strategist working at Amtrak headquartered in Washington, D.C. She also teaches part-time at Georgetown University in the Master’s in Technology Management program. Dynne earned her J.D. from Florida Coastal School of Law, M.B.A. from Jacksonville University, and M.S. from Georgetown University. She received her bachelor’s degree from Carnegie Mellon University. Dynne has been active in the programming and marketing efforts of JFD since she joined the Board in 2014.
Lynnette Madsen, Recruitment Officer
Lynnette, of Falls Church, Virginia, received her education in engineering and science, but she has a keen interest in wide-ranging dance styles that are performed either indoors or out. For her, the charm lies in the freedom of movement, expression of feelings, and the surprises revealed. She is taken with JFD, as it fulfills all these aspects and also delivers performances to a broad spectrum of the community – from the very young through to the elderly. In her career, she has been involved with science at the interface with art, serving as the point contact for a cultural heritage program, and establishing the new Art, Archaeology and Conservation Science Division at the American Ceramic Society. Her Board appointment at JFD began in 2016.
Katie, a Northern Virginia native, joined the JFD Board in September 2015. She grew up performing in a variety of classical dance styles, including ballet, jazz, and lyrical, and continues to add new styles like hip hop and modern to her repertoire. As JFD secretary, she looks forward to sharing her love of dance and artistic expression with a broader audience and giving back to the local arts community in a meaningful way. Katie graduated from the University of Virginia with degrees in Economics and Psychology. She currently works as a business manager for a global communications firm in Washington, D.C.
Born and raised in New York City, Quanice has spent the last decade in Washington, D.C., where she has received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Education from Howard University and Kent State University, respectively. Her passion for arts education led her to pursue a second Master’s degree in Arts Management at American University. Quanice is currently the Arts Education Graduate Fellow at the National PTA and a Baltimore County Public School music educator. She is an active member of the National Association for Music Educators, the Maryland Music Educators Association, the Music Teachers National Association, and the Junior League, Women of Color in the Arts, Emerging Arts Leaders-DC, and Young Education Professionals-DC. Quanice is also a member of the Arts Education Collaborative’s Leadership Academy and an alumna of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Music Educators Academy. By working toward becoming an arts education expert and advocate, Quanice aims to one day establish and lead a school dedicated to the arts, to provide a quality education to D.C.’s underserved student populations.
Rebecca Weiss is a dancer, choreographer, and educator, with a wonderful sense of humor and a strong entrepreneurial drive to take on the risks of creating new works and leading performing artists in new modern dance works. A business-minded performing artist in her own right with a compelling sixth sense for all things internet social media outreach, Rebecca received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. Since her graduation from VCU, Rebecca has interned with Dance Place under the guidance of Carla Perlo and Shannon Quinn, two of the Washington DC area’s most acclaimed choreographers and non-profit leaders in the field of modern dance. In 2016, she danced with ClancyWorks Dance Company and Through the Fourth Wall Productions.These days, Rebecca teaches and works as a marketing coordinator with j.dance, a dance studio in Fairfax, Virginia. She is also a Marketing Coordinator for the National Performing Arts Funding Exchange. Rebecca is currently a company member with Jane Franklin Dance – performing and teaching through the Jane Franklin Dance outreach program. She is excited to contribute her passion for the arts as a board member with JFD!
Ally Ouellette currently works at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts where she supports the foundation’s mid-level giving program in addition to attending as many concerts and operas as she can. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a BA in English Language and Literature with a concentration in Modern Literature and Culture. While at UVA, she interned with the Charlottesville Ballet, working in the office to support the company and the academy. In her free time she enjoys reading, baking bread, museum-going, and cheering on her beloved-yet-hopeless hockey team the Washington Capitals.
Christine was raised in Germany where she enjoyed an education in classical ballet and piano. After graduating with her MBA from the Universitaet Augsburg, she lived in multiple European countries pursuing her professional finance career before relocating to the United States in 2005. Christine is a strong believer in the performing arts as an expression of emotion and feelings and has stayed attuned to the performing arts community since childhood. Her further belief in the arts playing an intrinsic substantial part of a community led her to join the JFD board in January 2017.