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Avis Hatcher-Puzzo


AVIS HATCHER-PUZZO (Espresso) is the founder of Koffee Dance Company (KDC). A native of Connecticut, "Ms. Avis" is the Associate Professor of Dance at Fayetteville State University.  She holds a BA in Dance/Theater from Trinity College, an MFA in Theater Arts and Dance from Case Western Reserve University and a MS in Higher Education from Capella University.  Professor Hatcher-Puzzo has trained in Horton, Cunningham and Graham dance techniques as well as African, hip-hop and various styles of jazz. She studied with Judy Dworin, Garth Fagan, Clay Taliaferro, Darius Hockman, Ned Williams and Kathryn Karipides. 

As a dancer with both the Paul Hall's Contemporary Dance Theatre (a former member of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater), and the dance company Mikata, while working in Connecticut she founded Wette Paint Dance Theater, a contemporary dance and theater company which toured the east coast.   Ms. Avis' students are now graduates of The Alvin Ailey School, Temple University dance department, New York University dance department, and University of the Arts in Philadelphia, as she incorporates Horton technique into jazz, hip-hop using theatrical gestures and situations. 

Since joining the Performing and Fine Arts department at Fayetteville State University in 2008, she has choreographed productions including You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Clue: The Musical, Black Nativity, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, and created numerous dance pieces such as Dance in Three Pieces, performed at the Black College Dance Exchange Conference in Prairie View, TX.  2012 "Highway Traffic" for the North Carolina State Panoramic Dance Project, "Prelude in D Minor" Cumberland Country Arts Council, Fayetteville, NC.  Ms. Avis was the recipient of the North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual award in 2013.

Avis Hatcher-Puzzo's choreography has been presented at NC State Ballet, the NC Museum of History, NC State University, NC Central University, Black College Dance Exchange in 2012 and 2014, and extensively in Fayetteville, NC.  At FSU, Ms. Avis created a Minor in Dance for the university and developed the FSU Dance Ensemble, a touring dance company for the Performing and Fine Arts department.  In 2014, in collaboration with the FSU Dance Ensemble (FSUDE) , Koffee Dance Company developed a new show entitled Civil Rights and the Hip-hop Generation: Looking Back, Moving Forward, the presentation is a comparative look at the 1960-70's, and today incorporating dance, spoken word, film and music.  


Avis Hatcher-Puzzo
Assistant Professor

Office: Rosenthal Building, Room 120A
Phone: 672-2136
Fax: 672-1572

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