Board of Directors


Elizabeth McMillan


Cynthia Newland Headshot

Cynthia Newland

Vice President

MFA in Dance, Arizona State Universityz / BFA in Dance, George Mason University

Ms. Cynthia A. Newland, earned her MFA in Dance from Arizona State University, with an emphasis on choreography and performance and BFA in Dance from George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia. Prior to her appointment at Belhaven University Ms. Newland served as director for New Field Dance Theater, East Bay of San Francisco. For nearly three decades she has traveled nationally and internationally as a teacher, choreographer, and performer working with varied arts organizations and institutions such as Campus Crusade for Christ, Children of the World, International Christian Embassy, Intervarsity, Operation Mobilization International, International Christian Dance Fellowship, Youth With a Mission, Project Dance, Christians in Theater Arts, and in Korea, Dong Ah Institute of Media and Arts, Hang Yang ERICA University and FEBC. A portion of her work and artistic endeavors has been in the realm of inclusive dance where she has created numerous choreographed works for people with and without disabilities, which have been presented in the United States through VSA International and USA International Ballet Competition. She has received recognition as a recipient of the Higher Education Awards from the Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education including the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Humanities Teacher Award by the Mississippi Humanities Council. At Belhaven University she has served on the Faculty Council and Education Advisory Council. She is a board Member of USA IBC (International Ballet Competition) and Mississippi Alliance for Arts Education, and member of ACDFA, Alabama Dance Council, CORD, Dance Camera West, NDEO, Performing Arts Medical Association and Screen Dance. Ms. Newland has also been a presenter for NASD’s Annual Conferences. Currently she teaches part time at Belhaven while traveling nationally and internationally providing dance training, presentations and choreography, as well as offering equipping tools for all ages on “Nourishing the Body, Soul and Spirit”.

Vivid Ballet Tucker

Ravenna Tucker Wagnon


Associate Professor of Dance / Masters of Creative Industries, Queensland University of Technology
Pilates Certification, Body Arts and Science International (BASI) / Associate of The Royal Academy of Dance (ARAD) / Royal Ballet School Teachers’ Course for Professional Dancers (TCPD) / The Commonwealth Society of Teachers of Dancing Diploma (CSTD)

Ravenna Tucker, as known throughout her career, was born in Malaysia and began dance in Hong Kong under Paula Lau. In 1978 she won the Adeline Genée Gold Medal Competition, and in 1979, the French Foundation Prize at the Prix de Lausanne. She joined The Royal Ballet in 1979, and was named “Dancer of the Year” by Dance and Dancers magazine in 1984. She was promoted to principal dancer in 1985 and danced the title roles in the Royal Ballet versions of the classics. In 1990, she joined the Birmingham Royal Ballet until 1996. Tucker has also performed with Singapore Dance Theatre, International Dance Day 2001 in Manila, Rose Borromeo Dance Company (Flamenco), Project Dance London in 2011, and the Mississippi Dance Festival in 2012.

In 1997 Tucker joined LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore as a full-time dance lecturer, and in 2006 she became Associate Professor of Dance at Belhaven University. She has guest taught for Singapore Dance Theatre, Debra Colker Dance Company, the Mississippi Dance Festival, the Alabama Dance Festival, American College Dance Association 2013 and 2016, and taught the competitors of the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson in 2010 and 2014.

Tucker has served as Secretary for the Dance Association (Singapore)/World Dance Alliance Asia-Pacific Dance Bridge 2001 conference, Artistic Committee of Singapore Dance Theatre, Artistic Director of Singapore Dance Legacy: The Unsung Heroes – Tony Llacer in 2004, and as a selection committee member in 2010 and as an evaluator in 2014 for the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson. She has examined for the Royal Academy of Dance Solo Seal and judged various ballet competitions in Britain, Hong Kong, and Malaysia.

Tucker is a certified teacher for the Royal Academy of Dance, the Commonwealth Society of Teachers’ of Dancing (Australia), Body Arts and Science International (BASI) Pilates, and holds a Masters of Creative Industries from Queensland University of Technology in Australia. Tucker is married to Stan Wagnon.


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