cmd-staff-2011All of our instructors are professionals. They have performed professionally, are graduates of professional schools, and/or have degrees in dance.



nykisha banks

As a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Nykisha has always attributed her passion for the arts to the culturally rich heritage of her hometown.  Nykisha began her dance training at the influential performing arts school - New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), where she studied Ballet and Modern.  She also studied Classical Ballet & Pointe at Ballet Hysell of New Orleans.  Nykisha has auditioned and performed as a working dancer for DISI Dance Company, The Nutcracker, Productions, Musicals, and also landed a role as a band member’s girlfriend in the movie “RAY.”  She has been a dance instructor and choreographer for the past 19 years teaching Ballet, Tap, Modern, Hip Hop & Jazz.  After losing her home & community during the height of Hurricane Katrina, she evacuated to Atlanta, GA, where she still pursues her passion of teaching & nurturing dancers.  Atlanta is where she choreographed a lyrical piece that spoke of her Hurricane Katrina journey.  It earned her 2 Choreography Awards; One awarded in Secaucus, New Jersey for the Star Dance Alliance World Dance Championship, which also won her a World Dance Championship 1st Place Overall win.  Nykisha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing and Master’s Degree in Business Management.  Nykisha is also featured on STS Branding Magazine and was selected to be interviewed as a VoyageATL Trailblazer.

sara battaglia Sara Battaglia has been dancing for as long as she can remember! She has studied many dance forms including ballet, acro, jazz, tap, pas de deux, ballroom, lyrical, modern, and character. She began her ballet training with the Royal Academy of Ballet. Soon after, Sara privately took classes with Olga Mekhonoshina, where she learned the base of Vaganova training. Following the Royal Academy of Ballet, she began training at Sarasota Ballet School where she performed with the school and the company. While training at Sarasota Ballet, Sara also performed with North Port High School’s dance program. Following that, Sara decided to continue her Vaganova training at the School of Russian Ballet. She has worked with Darya Fedatov and Sergiy Mykhaylov, learning choreography from world-renowned choreographer Vadim Fedatov. Notable roles include “Swanilda” in “Coppelia,” “Waltz Queen” in the “Nutcracker,” and “Lumiere” in “The Enchanted Castle.” Sara currently is attending the University of South Florida to obtain her Bachelors degree in dance with a ballet focus. S he has taught at studios in Port Charlotte, Sarasota, Tampa, and now Plant City. She loves to share her love of dance with kids and loves to see them grow in that love!

arianna-grayArianna Boatright has lived in Lawrenceville, Georgia. She began dancing with Lawrenceville School of Ballet when she was just three years old, where she discovered her love of ballet. Arianna joined the North East Atlanta Ballet Company when she was 12 years old, and continued to dance with the company through high school. After high school, Arianna attended Lee University in Cleveland, TN, where she graduated in July 2013 with a Business Management degree. Arianna has taught ballet since she was 15 years old - she has taught at Lilburn School of Ballet since 2005, and Grayson School of Ballet for since 2008. While in college, Arianna taught ballet for Cleveland City Ballet School. She was also heavily involved in many different volunteer organizations, as well as a middle school ministry program. Her passion for ballet has increased year by year, since the age of three. Arianna is passionate about her students, and their dreams of becoming a ballerina. She is excited about becoming a part of Creative Movement and Dance, and is looking forward to being able to share her love of dance with her students.

 

berneta-bock-davis

"Miss Bernie" - A child prodigy at the age of four, Berneta was sent to study under the direction of Tensia Fonseca with the Maryland Youth Ballet. She performed with the Atlanta and Bristol Ballets throughout her youth and graduated with a double major in Performance and Education of Ballet from Virginia Intermont College. With over 25 years of excellence in teaching, Berneta is very well known throughout Gwinnett county. Miss Bernie has been with with CMD over 15 years, and is among our finest!!

 

 

 

 

jamie-hodge

Jamie Bubb began her dance training at the Northeast Atlanta Ballet, under the direction of Jennifer Byokawski- Gordon. Here, she was given extensive performance opportunities around Georgia. Jamie danced principal rolls with the pre-professional division of the company including; The Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker, Aurora in Sleeping Beauty, Peter in Peter Pan, Cinderella in Cinderella, and Ariel's sister in The Little Mermaid. She danced in an outreach performance for the Atlanta Food Bank at the Rialto Theater, with Atlanta Ballet and Full Radius Dance Group. She attended summer intensives with the Boston Ballet, Joffrey Ballet of New York City, and Dance Theater Of Tennessee. Jamie has trained with notable teachers and choreographers such as Shamil Yagudin of the Bolshoi Ballet, Franceska Corkle, Tattianna Ledukoski, Mira Popovitch of the Serbian National Theater Company, Roger Van Fleteran of the Alabama Ballet, and Poliana Ribero of the Boston Ballet. In 2011, she completed her Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in Dance from Birmingham Southern College on scholarship. She then moved to Nashville, Tennessee to dance professionally with the Dance Theater of Tennessee. While with the company, she danced in The Nutcracker on tour throughout Tennessee. She teaches ballet technique, pointe, women's variations, contemporary, modern dance, jazz dance, children's tap dance and the occasional hip hop class. She has taught for Rythmic Moves Dance Studio, Nashville School of Dance and Music, Lilburn School of Ballet, and the Grayson School of Ballet. Jamie has been teaching for Creative Movement and Dance since 2012, and has a deep love and appreciation for what the company offers its students as well as its instructors!

 

nicole campbell

Nicole Campbell is a professional dancer, choreographer and instructor currently based in Atlanta. Hailing from metro Detroit, she received her B.S. in Dance from Wayne State University after her childhood training at Robert Lee School of Dance and Churchill High Schools Creative and Performing Arts program. Performance credits include Hannibal Buress, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, JTDance, Gotta Dance Contemporary, Flash Mob America, Melodic Nocturne Dance Tribe and halftime shows for the Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons. Nicole’s choreographic works have been presented in concerts for artLabJ and MoreDances Contemporary Dance Company in addition to receiving frequent top honors in competitions. As a result of Nicole’s emphasis on energy and emotional execution in her classes, many of her students have received scholarships, special awards, high scores, and professional jobs. Several alumni are now pursuing their own higher education in dance and dance careers. Nicole is also on panel as a judge and master teacher with several competitions including Groove, Applause Talent, 8 National Talent, and Impact Dance Ajudicators.

 

jessica-carey

Jessica began her training at The Ballet School of Fellowship Christian Academy under the instruction of Eleanor Rogers (NC Dance Theater, Atlanta Ballet, La Compagnie de Danse Entre-Six) at five years old. She continued her education under Lisa Marsh (Eastside School of Ballet & Tap), Rhonda Oltjenbruns (Praise In Motion), Barbara Hancock ("Finian's Rainbow" as Susan the Silent), and Capezio Diamond Award recipient Sharon Druzbanski. Jessica began assistant teaching at the age of fourteen, and by seventeen was leading Master Classes in Modern, Hip Hop and Jazz throughout the metro Atlanta area.  In 2005, she was selected to be a senior performing member of the Generation: Dance! Performing Arts Co. , and from 2007-2010 owned and operated Authentic Dance Studio in Marietta, Ga. Since 2010, Jessica has been teaching ballet, tap and hip hop for Creative Movement and Dance, as well as ballet, tap, jazz and modern for The Performer's Warehouse.

 

 

no-photoSydney Cash is a native Atlantan with a life-long love of dancing. Starting at the age of three, Sydney began studying Ballet, Tap & Jazz at Simply Dancing Dance Studio in Lilburn, GA, under the direction of Dottie Warren. After becoming a Company member with Simply Dancing, Sydney finished out her thirteen years of training under the additional direction of Delayne Meaders.  Though Sydney has always been a natural dancer, she has also always had a passion and talent for music. She pursued this passion through college where she majored in Vocal Performance at Georgia College & State University. After countless performances and fours years of honing her skills at the University level, Sydney graduated with honors and a BA in Music Performance in 2008. A few weeks after graduating, Sydney began a three show run, singing, dancing and acting professionally with Stone Mountain Park Entertainment, which she then followed with a two year run fronting and performing with now retired Atlanta band Cashbox.  After getting back in touch with her dance mentors in 2010, Sydney began teaching what has always come naturally to her. She is now beginning her third season as Ms. Sydney, the dance teacher with Creative Movement & Dance, and Simply Dancing, and is loving every minute of it. Sydney is still pursuing her music career, now with boyfriend JD Gibbs as the acoustic duo GibbsCash.

 

keisha-clarkegrayKeisha Laren Clarke Gray is of Jamaican descent from Brooklyn, N. Y. She graduated from CalArts with a BFA in Dance, and is a Performing Artist, Choreographer and Instructor. She was Dance Captain/ Swing with The Lion King on Broadway and The National Tour. She toured worldwide w/ Garth Fagan Dance and Lula Washington Dance Theatre. Keisha's other training includes London Contemporary Dance School, Alvin Ailey American Dance Center and Gotta Dance Inc. She is the Director of Shine Your Light dance ministry. She thanks God, her Husband, her Mom and Dad, & family for all that she is. Proverbs 3:5-6 & Isaiah 60:1.

 

 

 

 

jennifer-cooper

Jennifer imagined being a ballerina from the first time she saw Swan Lake at the age of three.  By the age of 9, she got her chance as the nearby elementary school in St. Petersburg, Florida became a school for the performing arts. She has attended performing arts schools through high, school and danced at The Academy of Ballet Arts for most of those years. Jennifer graduated with a BA in Dance Studies, with an emphasis in Education at the University of South Florida in 2006.  While in school, she continued her dance and teaching education at the American College Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival and the Florida Dance Education Organization.  She has since taught at various locations such as Philip Shore Elementary, Soulful Arts Dance Academy, Christian Classical School for the Arts, Paul B. Stephens Exceptional Learning Center, Kids in Balance Therapy Center, Bay Vista Learning Center, Miracle Center, and Leonard’s Academy of Dance. Jennifer has taught Creative Movement, Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Liturgical and Modern Dance to students of all ages.  During this time she has also gained certification in Zumba and Massage Therapy and is currently pursuing certification from the Dance Masters of America. She moved to Atlanta with her husband and is excited to see the new opportunities as she works with Creative Movement and Dance.  Jennifer is passionate about the art of dance, and loves to share that passion with her students.

 

karrin-crozierKarrin began dancing at the age of ten with A&A Dance Company in Blakely, GA. During her eight years with the company, she was a member of the competition team as well as a teaching assistant. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Valdosta State University in 2011, receiving the Dance Department Academic Excellence Award. Karrin began her professional teaching career after graduation at Steps Dance Studio in Headland, AL. She taught Ballet, Jazz, and Modern to ages 6 through 13. She then moved back to Valdosta to accept a position at Dance Arts, Inc. She taught Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, and Modern to ages 3 through 15. Karrin also worked at Christ Episcopal Preschool during her three years in Valdosta. She was the Parents Morning Out director as well as the teaching assistant for the 4 year old class. After moving to the Atlanta area with her husband, Karrin wanted to continue working with children and teaching dance. When she was introduced to Creative Movement and Dance, she knew that it was the perfect opportunity. Karrin is passionate about the art of dance and she is exited to continue teaching and inspiring a new generation of dancers.

 

jennifer cyran

Jennifer Cyran was born and raised, in New Jersey, where she began dancing at the age of three years old.  She was invited to join her studio’s competition group, at age seven, and went on to win many top awards over the next 10 years.  In high school and college, she taught dance classes, choreographed award winning routines for her studio, attended master classes, workshops and conventions, and choreographed and performed in musical theater productions.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Georgia; after earning her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from Argosy University, Jennifer began working with special needs children in Atlanta.  As a special needs parent herself, she understands the unique challenges associated with neuroatypical children.  Recently, she began teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Musical Theater at North Georgia Dance and Music Factory, where she specializes in joyfully giving beginners a developmentally appropriate, excellent education in fundamentals, while building confidence and a love of dance. 

 

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Sonya Davis, a native of Coatesville, Pennsylvania has long been passionate about dance. At age 5 she began training at Harrison's School of Dance in West Chester, Pennsylvania, focusing on the skill building genres of ballet, jazz, and tap. At age 12 she joined the B. Fox dance troupe, a modern/liturgical traveling dance company. While performing in the company, she trained and competed for Deneen McCarraher's Dance Studio in Downingtown, Pennsylvania until her matriculation into West Chester University of Pennsylvania in 1998.  Sonya graduated from West Chester University (WCU) with a minor in Dance Performance. While there, she captained the University Dance Team for three years and served as Treasurer for Dance Production Workshop, the University's dance company.  Post graduation, Sonya has worked on many dance projects, including choreographing for Philadelphia's Sonoco Welcome America 4th of July Parade, instructing master classes at WCU and Cabrini College, and choreographing for WCU's dance team. Sonya also served as Coatesville Area High School's musical choreographer from 2005-2010.  Her countless performances span from New York City to Hong Kong, to Africa. She is proud to have been a five-year veteran of the Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleading team, where she served as captain.  Sonya has a heart for dance education and has instructed students from age three to adult for over ten years. Everyday in Sonya's life is a new day to dance. She is passionate about supporting and nurturing the creativity of others and sharing the living, breathing art of dance.

 

rebecca-delfornRebecca began her dancing career at the age of 6. She later attended Brenau University, majoring in Dance Performance. Her scholastic aspirations then prompted a transfer to Georgia State University (GSU) in Atlanta, GA. Rebecca continued to teach throughout college. She eventually took on the role of choreographer and co-director for The Dance Company Ensemble in 2009, and played an instrumental role in helping the girls achieve many high awards for their performances. Rebecca became the Director of Senior Ensemble, and they continue to receive Platinum ratings and placing in overall scores. Currently, she now teaches at multiple locations and enjoys the new challenges they bring.
Rebecca graduated from GSU in May 2011 with a BBA in Managerial Sciences along with a minor and certificate in Hospitality, focusing on Events and Tradeshows to help with dance competitions and conventions. In Atlanta, she attends classes from multiple teachers and studios including Gotta Dance Atlanta, Dance 101, Atlanta Ballet, and Atlanta Dance Central. When she is able, Rebecca travels around the USA continuing her dance education at studios such as Broadway Dance Center (NYC) and Johansen Olympia Dance Center (WA). She loves teaching dance technique in fun ways where students sometimes forget they are learning.

 

ayana dubose

Ayana Started dancing at the age of 5 at Cobb Dance Academy.  She continued her training at Cobb County Center for Excellence in Performing Arts at Pebblebrook high school.  Ayana has a Bachelors in Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Minnesota.  After college, Ayana danced in Twin Cities based dance Company Flying Foot Forum.  Ayana has lived in New York, where she attend the Broadway Dance Center professional semester, and taught ballet at Alden Moves Dance in Brooklyn.  She has performed in many regional Theater productions throughout the country, her favorite role being the part of Lisa in Mamma Mia.  Dance education and working with children has remained an important part of Ayana’s dance career since graduating college.  Ayana is so excited to be returning home to the metro Atlanta area and teaching at Creative Movement and Dance.

 

 

 

sarah-fetnerSarah Fetner is a Dance Graduate from Winthrop University. She grew up in Atlanta, Georgia studying, performing, and teaching with the Callanwolde Dance Ensemble at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. At Callanwolde, she studied under the Royal Academy of Dance for nine years, earning honors and distinctions for children and professional level examinations. While in Georgia, she was given the opportunity to study and perform musical theatre with the Special Events Ministry at First Baptist Church Atlanta for sixteen years. She decided to continue her love of dance at Winthrop University in South Carolina. While performing, choreographing, and stage managing in several Winthrop Theater and Dance showcases, she had the opportunity to serve as an advocate for the arts. As an advocate for the arts she helped with preview days, Chairs Advisory Council, and served as the President of Terpsichore, the department dance organization. Sarah is extremely excited to be serving as Dance Teacher and spreading her love of movement throughout the Georgia area.

 

ciara-freemanCiara was born in Jacksonville, North Carolina. She was raised in a military home, and has moved around the country for the majority of her life. Ciara began dancing at the age of 4, at Oceanside Dance Academy in California. She danced for many years with Southern Elite in Montgomery, Alabama. While in high school, she continued to dance, and also was a cheerleader all four years. Upon graduation, she attended Colorado State University, where she majored in Dance and Performing Arts. While in college, Ciara also was assistant coach at Vista Ridge High School in Colorado Springs. Dancing is her passion, and she loves being able to instill the love and passion for dance with little ballerinas.

 

 

 

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Patrice Freeman has danced since the 4th grade. Since her first dance class at Southern Elite in Montgomery, Alabama dance has remained a major part of her life. Patrice trains in ballet, tap, and jazz. She won first place in her high school talent show two years in a row, and also led her church's dance team "Pure Praise" 2006-2009. Patrice is currently a member of Release Dance Company, traveling to South Carolina & North Carolina to perform. Patrice also teaches hip hop dance classes at Suwanee Academy of the Arts.In addition to dance, Patrice is experienced in gymnastics and cheerleading. In 2008, she was nominated as "UCA's Cheerleader of the Year." In Colorado and in 2009, she was selected to become a UCA summer camp coach. Patrice has been an assistant cheer coach for Vista Ridge High School in Colorado Springs, as well as a gymnastics coach at Gwinnett Gymnastics Center. Patrice appreciates the arts in all areas of life and believes it is important to utilize the gifts she's blessed with, and enjoys encouraging people of all ages to do the same. To her, dance is an outward expression of an inward emotion, and there is no activity like it. She greatly looks forward to bringing that "joy" to her students.

carleigh gee

Carleigh began her dance training in hip-hop at age 9, and realized her love of dance when she took her first modern class at 15 years old. She then when on to receive a BFA in Dance Performance with a Concentration in Modern Dance at the University of South Florida in May 2014. During her senior year at USF, she performed in Bliss Kohlmyer’s Picture in a Frame/let go let go let go, performing it both at USF and in the ACDFA Southeast Conference Gala. Carleigh has also performed in works by Jeanne Travers and Ben Munisteri, as well as in excerpts from Rosie Herrera's Pity Party and Ohad Naharin’s Minus 16. In June 2013, she attended the USF Dance in Paris Program under the direction of Michael Foley and Colleen Thomas, where she choreographed, performed, and trained in all styles of dance for an immersive four weeks. Her first post-graduate performance was of her original solo work, To Deviate, in Moving Current Dance Collective’s NewGrounds 2014. Recently, Carleigh performed at The Ritz theater in Ybor City as a part of Tampa Modern Dance Company’s premiere show, Transitioning Through Loss. She has also performed the works Where Thou Art, That Is Home and Debussy’s Delight, both choreographed by Kellie Harmon. She is currently a company dancer with Tampa Modern Dance Company and ROGUEdance, and is also a faculty member for The Studio Dance Company in Clearwater, Florida.

 

amy-harris2

Amy started dancing at the early age of 3, in her hometown of Battle Creek, MI at Shari Rarick's School of Dance.  She has studied various dance styles, including ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, pointe, lyrical, pom-pon, and hip-hop.  She began dancing competitively at 10, and has won many superior awards regionally and nationally over her decade of competitive dancing.  At only 12 years old, she began assisting classes, and took charge of her own at 16.  Amy has taught all ages, with her enthusiastic approach and kindhearted attitude.  She has traveled nationwide working with high school dance teams as a Dance Camp Instructor for NCA DANZ, and judged national NCA DANZ competitions.Amy spent a season performing with Paramount Park's King's Island hip-hop entertainment show "Retroactive". She continues to take lessons and master classes at various studios in the metro Atlanta area. She came to CMD with 18 years of teaching experience, as well as a bachelor's degree in Marketing from Western Michigan University. Amy currently manages weddings and events on the weekends, and devotes her spare time to her loving daughter Jayli. She strives to inspire young dancers to be creative, confident, and enjoy dancing.

 

ashley hathaway

Ashley Hathaway began her training at the age of nine at the North Georgia Dance & Music Factory in Dacula, GA. She immediately found her passion in dance and began intensive training. While at DMF she participated in Atlanta Jazz on Tap and Atlanta Balletfest. She also participated in numerous recitals and was a member of the Kaleidoscope Dance Company. During her training she worked under the direction of Kellee Haas, and was able to study under master teachers such as Lyn Cramer, Stephani Kammer, Kathryne Van Assche Parker, Stephan Reynolds, Peter Poulos and Rick Twombley.  After graduation, Ashley worked in many productions, including the Bad Book's music video, "You Would Have to Ask". She also had the opportunity to perform with Josette Pimenta and Rick Twombley in multiple performances from Atlanta's Sing for Your Life and the 2013 Atlanta Pride. Miss Hathaway also performed with Blair Crimmins and the Hookers during the 2013 DragonCon in Atlanta. Ashley currently holds the position of Assistant Dance Director at the North Georgia Dance & Music Factory for two years and continues to teach and choreograph a variety of genres including classical ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, and contemporary. She has such a passion for teaching and being able to help students follow their dreams. Ashley also holds an ACE Personal Trainer Certification and Fitness Nutrition Specialist Certification and currently teaches fitness classes of her own design.

 

mesha hightower

Toemesha has always had a passion for dance and fitness.  She began dancing in middle school, on the dance team, and went on to color guard in high school.  She danced with Impact Dance of Atlanta (previously known as Praise Him with Dance Studio) from 1999-2000, and with Steps of Faith Dance Studio, as a company member and a teacher from 2000-2002.  She went on to train in ballroom dancing, while living in Florida.  When she moved back to Georgia, she was a part of the Dance Ministry at Liberty Church.  Also, she has volunteered as a choreographer for multiple community theatres. Toemesha taught with Teaching Little Children in 2004-2007, then took some time off from dancing, to continue her education in Sports Administration and Management and received her Bachelors and Masters degrees.  She is currently employed as a group fitness instructor at multiple fitness centers.

 

 

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Autumn Hill is a native of California where she began her dance training with tap, jazz, and musical theatre. Upon acceptance to the School of San Jose Cleveland Ballet, she was named the Bess Cartwright Scholar recipient. There she trained in the Bournonville technique under the direction of Lise La Cour, former director of the Royal Danish Ballet School. During her time as a student at Ballet San Jose (formerly San Jose Cleveland Ballet) she joined the company as a trainee, performed with the second company in New York, and was invited to join as an apprentice in 2004 by Artistic Director Dennis Nahat. In order to pursue her studies, she attended The Boston Conservatory of Music on scholarship with notable teachers. There she performed soloist roles in an array of pieces including Martha Graham's Night Journey staged by Yuriko and Antony Tudor's Dark Elegies staged by Donald Mahler. Upon graduating in 2008 Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in dance, she joined BalletRox in Boston, Ma where she rose to be the youngest African-American female principal in BalletRox history. There she served on the faculty of Boston Ballet's Centre for Dance Education and BalletRox's official school where she taught tap, jazz, and ballet. In 2009, Miss Hill was invited by William Starrett to join Columbia City Ballet where she currently performs in the professional company and is an instructor for their official school, Columbia Conservatory of Dance. Ms. Autumn joined Creative Movement and Dance in 2009 teaching dance and sports for Little Champs and Soccer Champs classes.

diamond jack Diamond Jack is originally from Chicago, IL. Her passion in dance began at the age of 4. Diamond also began cheering at the age of 6. Her love and passion for this form of art expanded in high school and college. She graduated from Hampton University "The Real HU" in 2012 with a BS in Biology. Diamond danced for Hampton University HU Cheerleading team and danced for Ebony Fire "The Force Marching Band." Her senior year she took on the leadership position, and became co-captain for Ebony Fire Dance Team. Diamond is also a former Chicago "Luvabull" dancer, and a current Atlanta Hawks Cheerleader. She has danced as a background dancer in movies, featured movie roles, and featured in magazine issues of Jet, as Beauty "Model of the Week" in Ebony Magazine, Vibe Magazine, and more.

 

 

 

 

shara jackson

Shara is a Minnesota native, with more than 25 years of dance training experience.
She danced on the renowned 5-time national championship University of Minnesota
dance team, while graduating with a BA in Journalism. Her love for entertainment took
her to Los Angeles, CA where she spent 6 years working as a creative director and
department director for Star Education. She quickly found a home at Lula Washington
Dance Theater as an instructor and has recently performed at the White House for 4
consecutive years for Michelle Obamas “Let’s Move" initiative. Her clients include:
Glee, Prince Dancers- “The Twins,” Nickelodeon, Radio Disney and Heroin December
Band. She is currently the national choreographer for the Aveda national hair congress
and, is thrilled to be a part of the Creative Movement and Dance family.

 

 

chelsea johnson Chelsea Johnson is from the small town of Chattanooga, TN. She found her love for dance as a young girl, and has continued to study and improve this craft throughout college and into her professional career. She has formal training in many different styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, musical theater, contemporary, lyrical and modern. Recent performances include musical theatre production A Christmas Tradition, Thriller with ATL Collective, I’d Rather be Dancing with Dance 101. Chelsea graduated from the University of Tennessee with a B.S. in nursing and later pursued a M.S. in nursing at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. She currently works full time as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, however dance continues to have a very special place in her heart. She is excited to share this passion with Creative Movement and Dance and instill this passion in her students.

 

 

tajae johnson

Tajae Johnson began dancing at age 5, and continued all throughout her school age years.  She studied various forms of dance including jazz , ballet, hip hop and modern.  Tajae is currently working on her bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education at Georgia State University.  She is thrilled to be given an opportunity to combine both her passions of dance, and teaching .

 

 

 

 

 

abbey jones Abbey started dancing when she was three years old at the Dance Theatre of Dalton in Dalton, GA. She performed in DTD’s presentation of The Nutcracker for 13 years. Abbey performed all parts, including Waltz of the Flowers, Snowflakes, and Arabian Duet. She also choreographed and performed for her studio’s Company, and studied dance under the instruction of Berrien Long, Ryann Ellis, Lori Beth Eicholtz, Jo Beth Thompson and Bettye Jo Wilson. Abbey graduated from Coahulla Creek High School in May of 2016, and currently attends Kennesaw State University, where she is majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in Dance.

 

 

 

 

jaclyn kail Jaclyn has a great passion for dance and a loving heart for teaching children. She knew at a young age that she wanted to teach dance, and worked very hard to pursue that dream. Jaclyn began her dance education at Grayson School of Dance but when that studio closed she followed her teacher, to Lawrenceville School of Ballet under the direction of Phyllis Allen. While there, she performed with the Gwinnett Dance Ensemble performing in such ballets as “The Jungle Book” and many other shows. Jaclyn continued her pursuit of dance by majoring in dance at Brenau University, where she studied under Carol Smiarowski, Vincas Greene and Jolie Long. Plus, she danced with the Brenau Dance Ensemble, performed in student choreographed pieces at An Evening of Dance, as well as worked with the music program to be one of three chosen dancers in an opera. While at Brenau, Jaclyn taught under the guidance of Diane Callahan and others at Gainesville Ballet. She also attended the American College Dance Festival, and worked the festival in multiple aspects when it was hosted at Brenau in 2000. Upon graduating Cum Laude with a B.F.A. in Dance Pedagogy in 2000, Jaclyn continued to teach at dance studios in the greater Atlanta area. She started up classes, such as modern and lyrical and rejuvenated Ballet and Pointe programs and revamped the pre-school program to double the enrollment. She continues to teach at a Dance Academy and directs their performance company. As a mom of two daughters, Jaclyn understands both the teacher and mom sides of watching children develop a love for dance. She is excited to be a part of Creative Movement and Dance and to share her love of dance with all the young dancers!

 

rebeccah-keeton

Rebeccah has loved dance since starting lessons at the age of three in Buffalo, NY. While in Buffalo, Rebeccah performed in nursing homes, hospitals and at civic events. Upon moving to Jacksonville, Florida at the age of eleven, she began performing with the Starlight Dance Company, The Bambi Philips Dancers and The Jacksonville Nutcracker. To further her dance education, she has studied from Al Gilbert, David deMarie, and Debbie Dee among others. As a teen, she also attended summer intensive dance camps and workshops. Upon moving to Atlanta in 1988, Rebeccah began her childhood dream to become a dance instructor. While teaching, she earned her Nursing degree from Kennesaw State University. In 1990, Rebeccah tested and was certified to teach by Dance Masters of America and Dance Educators of America. Both are nationally known dance organizations whose membership is limited to those who are certified to teach.  During college, she continued to perform around the Atlanta area including being named a dance captain for the Georgia Games and at the 1996 Olympic Celebration. Throughout the years, her students have won many prestigious awards at regional and national dance competitions. Some of her students have held regional and national titles as well. Many of her former students are currently performing, acting, and teaching. She has trained in and teaches all areas of dance, with tap being her favorite. Rebeccah hopes to develop the love and appreciation of dance in her students that was given to her by her first dance teacher, Helen Louise Peters. When not teaching, she works as a registered nurse at Dean Rusk Middle School in Canton. Rebeccah resides in Woodstock with her husband Brian and their beautiful daughter Emily.

 

leah kelly

Leah Kelly began her pre-professional dance training at the British Academy of Performing Arts and furthered her abilities at Valdosta State University.  There she received a bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Dance and a bachelor’s of Business Administration.  At the University, Leah was fortunate enough to dance in annual dance concerts and multiple dance festivals, including SOMAfest NYC 2013 with Professor Catherine A. Schaeffer, New Grounds Festival 2013 with Critical Mass Dance Company, and the M.A.D. Festival 2014 with SWADance Collective.  You will currently find Leah teaching Modern, Jazz, Ballet and Hip Hop all through out the East Cobb area.  Since 2015 Leah has been dancing with SIDEWAYS Contemporary Dance Company and is currently entering into her third season.  In summer of 2016, Leah was invited to join Fuerta Dance Company for one of their many short dance films ID.  ID premiered at the company show "en la Mente" this past November, and was also shown at this years Atlanta Dance Canvas.  Leah is excited to be joining Fuerta again for her first full season.  Newer opportunities include dancing with Gotta Dance Contemporary Dance Company March of 2017.

 

jamie-kendall

Jamie began dancing at the age of five, at Chattanooga Ballet in Tennessee.  She danced, performed, and became a member of Chattanooga Ballet's Children's Company and the Corps de Ballet.  She took Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Improvisation during her time with Chattanooga Ballet.  During her last two years of high school, she furthered her training at Ballet Tennessee under the instruction of Barry and Anna Van Cura.  In addition to dancing for Chattanooga Ballet and Ballet Tennessee, Jamie attended Chattanooga High School Center for Creative Arts, majoring in Dance, and became a starting member of the school's Repertory Ensemble.  Jamie kept her summers busy during this time, taking numerous workshops at Tennessee Association of Dance, North Carolina School of the Arts, South Carolina Conservatory, and attending classes for dance instruction in Jazz, Tap, and Musical Theatre.  Jamie graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education from Brenau University.  She performed pieces during her college years by Vincas Greene, Gladys Balin, Alyssa Maddox, and student choreographers.  Jamie is delighted and thrilled to be a part of the Creative Movement and Dance team!

monica-kennedyMonica Kennedy started dancing at age three, under the direction of Kim Haight at Studio 1 Performing Arts. She has training in tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical. Monica was a member of the Star South Dance Company for 10 years, where she won many regional and national awards at dance competitions. She has danced several lead roles in Studio 1 Productions including "Snow Queen" and "Sugar Plum Fairy" from Nutcracker, "Scarecrow" from the Wizard of Oz, "Lilac Fairy" from Sleeping Beauty, and "Candlestick" from Beauty and the Beast. Throughout her years in company, she performed at "Jazz on Tap", "Ballet Fest", "Atlanta Hawks" half time shows, and the "Carnival Cruise Line". Monica has trained at many dance workshops and conventions under master choreographers such as Jason Kalish of the "Tap Dogs", Casey Noblett, Devon Raines, Brian Friedman of "So You Think You Can Dance", and Marty Dew from "You Got Served", and has spent her summers dancing at the "Georgia Ballet" for several years.  Monica currently takes private tap classes at Impact Dance of Atlanta from Rosanne Walters, a member of the "Dance Masters of America." In addition to Creative Movement and Dance, Monica is a teacher/choreographer for several studios across metro Atlanta such as "Tayo Reed's Performing Art Center" of Union City, "Graceful Dance" of Hiram, and "Studio 1 Performing Arts" of Blue Ridge, and is often a guest judge for company auditions at several studios.

erin-kilfoyle

Erin began her dance training at the age of two with Atlanta Festival Ballet, and was asked to be a professional company member at the age of 18. She has taken ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, hip hop, and modern throughout her career. At the age of 15, Erin was selected as one of 16 students from the state of Georgia to participate in the Governor's Honors Program for dance. Erin recently graduated from Gordon State College with her BA in History.

 

 

 

 

 

 

jasmine-kobresJasmine Kobres began her training in dance at the age of three with Susan Chamber's School of Theatre Dance. From ages six to seventeen, Jasmine was a member of the school's pre-professional company where she studied ballet, pointe, rhythm tap, broadway tap, jazz, musical theatre, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary, and modern. During her time as a company member, she trained in several states for various dance intensives and competitions, including Oklahoma, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, and New York. During her time in New York City, she attended STEPS and Broadway Dance Center where she trained with award winning chorographers Sabra Johnson, Tracie Stanfield, Michelle Dorrance, Sheila Barker, Brice Mousset, and Ellenore Scott. Starting at age seventeen, Jasmine began choreographing and instructing dance at Georgia Dance Unlimited and has been instructing ever since.

 

 

 

cheryl lambert Cheryl Lambert is thrilled to be a part of Creative Dance and Movement.  She has been dancing since she was five years old and startgin choreographing at the age of sixteen.  She has worked with a variety of ages ranging from young children, teens, and adults alike in teaching dance and creative movement.  Cheryl graduated with her Master’s Degree in Communications with a minor in Dance.  Professionally, she worked as a television director as her “day” job and danced/choreographed as her part time job.  Cheryl is married, has two grown sons and lives in the Canton area. Now, along with her husband, they own Broadway Bound Productions, Inc., and take only original scripts and playwrights into production and publication.

 

 

 

emily lemons

Having been a dancer for the last 20 years and beginning in creative movement classes herself at the young age of two, Emily Lemons is a dynamic, fun, caring and nurturing teacher for children. Emily started her training at Sawnee School of ballet, where she joined the Sawnee Ballet Theatre in 2006 and stayed until 2012. After graduating from high school, Emily received talent scholarships to attend the Brenau University Department of Dance. While there, was able to dance with several resident and guest artists including Carol Teitelbaum, Tara Lee, Peter Swan, Kassandra Taylor Newberry and Diane Callahan, among others. While at Brenau, she spent two years as an assistant teacher at the Gainesville School of Ballet as a part of the teaching practicum program, unique to Brenau’s Department of Dance. After graduating Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance Studies, Emily was chosen as one of eight Leadership Consultants for Alpha Gamma Delta International Headquarters from over 100 applicants, and spent the following year traveling and training collegiate officers and members within the organization throughout the country. Now Emily is back in Georgia and following her passion, teaching dance and creative movement in the Atlanta area while also pursuing her STOTT PILATES® certification. Emily is excited to be teaching for a great organization, such as Creative Movement and Dance.

 

deseree lonaDeseree Lona is 22 years old and has been dancing for 19 years. She began dancing at the age of 2 and started competitively dancing at the age of 5 for "The Dance Place" in Whittier, CA. Growing up in a single parent household, it was a combination of faith and dance that kept her grounded. Being a four-year varsity dance team member and captain in high school allowed her to continue pursuing her passion at Long Beach State as a collegiate dance team member and dance major. Deseree graduated in 3 years and immediately entered the professional world of dance. In 2015, she was selected as the youngest member of the Los Angeles Laker Girls. As a professional dancer, she had an opportunity to share her passion and faith to the city of Los Angeles through charity events and community outreach programs and to teach young students the importance of love, justice, and service through the art of dance. For the past 4 years, she has been the junior varsity head coach and choreographer while the team experienced a tremendous amount of success with an undefeated season and national champions in the 2017 and 2018 season. More importantly, in 2016 she was hired as Saint Joseph’s dance instructor to an enrollment of 600 young women. This position has given her the unique opportunity to teach young women to express movement through the art of dance, direct and choreograph school musicals, and host the annual spring dance performance. Deseree would love to be able to continue her passion for dance through teaching young children the fundamentals of how to become the best performer they can be in jazz, ballet, tap, hip-hop, and all lessons in life that dance can provide.

caitlin mcmanigell Caitlin McManigell began her dance life in Louisiana at Shreveport Dance Academy. At SDA, she trained under Adrienne Brooks, Kendra Meiki, and Elizabeth Morales in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary. Once catching the dance bug, she joined the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet Company and became a member of SDA Senior Jazz Ensemble. In 2009, she continued her journey in Oklahoma City where she participated in Bishop McGuiness DanceVisions Company and was a 2010 National Awarded Speech performer in Humorous Duo. Caitlin then went to the University of Central Oklahoma. She trained under Robyn Pasternack, Michelle Moeller, Hui Cha Poos, Emily South, Tina Kambour, Jill Priest, Kim Loveridge and Jamie Jacobson. She graduated with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance with the award for best performer in 2014. Caitlin was a member of Kaleidoscope Dance Company during all four years at UCO. She has been able to work with renowned choreographers Andrew Palermo, Kiki Lucas, Edwin Olvera/Pilobolus, James Gregg, and many more. In 2015, Caitlin was a contemporary dance member in Miami’s Dance Now! Dance Company. She moved to Tampa the summer of 2016, and shortly after began working for Creative Movement and Dance. She is thankful to all her educators and role models in her life and believes in carrying on those same loving traditions.

alexis mcphail

Alexis grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA and trained in various styles of dance from the age of 4.  She attended studios, such as 5678 Dance, Chambers Performing Arts, and Heather Wayne's Performing Arts, while also being involved in the Mill Creek HS Dance Department.  In high school, she was on the Mill Creek Dance Team, winning two state championships during her time on the team.  Alexis extended her training to in-studio intensives, as well as intensives across North America.  She has attended five Rockette Summer Intensives and for four of the intensives was accepted into the Invitational Week.  She also attended Joffrey South, where she trained in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop.  At the collegiate level, Alexis trained at Oklahoma City University's Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment to achieve a BS in American Dance Pedagogy.  There, she had extensive training in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, and rhythm tap.  Alexis was president of the Students of Arts Management organization (SAM) whose mission is to connect students to professionals in the dance and entertainment industry.  She also gained her in-house Moving Light Board certification.  ​In college, Alexis was able to teach around the Oklahoma City area at studios like Victory Dance and Dance Unlimited.  She has also judged for the highly acclaimed organization Dance Masters of America (DMA).  Alexis is excited to be in Georgia sharing her knowledge with the next generation.

 

olivia minney

Olivia Minney is currently a student at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is new to Florida after moving from Ohio after graduation. Olivia has been teaching all styles of dance for five years now. She is looking forward to teaching as part of the Creative Movement and Dance team and excited to build relationships with her students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

whitleigh moore

Originally from Alabama, Whitleigh began her dance training at the age of 3.  At the age of 8 she began competing with Starrz Performing Arts center in Pell City, Alabama under the direction of Starr Gaither Kendrick, where she trained in tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, ballet, and contemporary. During her time competing, Whitleigh won several honors for her studio.  At the age of 16, she traveled with the USA Dance Team to Barcelona, Spain, where the team took home the Grand Prix Cup.  The next year at age 17, Whitleigh again traveled with the team to Cesena, Italy, where they won the same honor.  Turning 18, her home competitive studio took to nationals in Cozumel, Mexico where she was awarded the title of Miss Celebrity 2012.  After graduation, Whitleigh furthered her dance career at the University of Alabama Birmingham where she was a part of the 2015-2016 Golden Girls dance team.  Soon after, Whitleigh received her degree in biology from Jefferson State Community College.  Currently, she is a competitive instructor for Extreme Dance Company in her home town.  Whitleigh is looking forward to meeting all the wonderful kids and sharing her love of dance and passion with Creative Movement and Dance!

 

tamera-morganTamera Morgan is a native of Atlanta, GA, and has been dancing since 1996. She first started dancing with her afterschool dance program at Redan High School. A year after graduating, Tamera joined The Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta (Y.E.A) in 1996 and performed with the company for 8 years under the direction of Freddie Hendricks and choreographer Charles Bullock. In 1994 at the age of 17, Tamera started the dance ministry at New Birth and held the position as director until 2001, and then for another 4 years, 2006-2010, after returning from school. In 2001, Tamera decided to return to school to further her education in dance. She attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, graduating 2005 with her BFA-honors as a Modern dance performance major. Tamera currently works as a free-lance dancer/choreographer around the city of Atlanta, and teaches dance at The Conservatory of Dance and Fine Arts, Berean Christian Academy, and is a member of The Amazing Grace Dance Company.

 

lauren-neaseLauren's foundation in dance is attributed to over 20 years of dance training, including collegiate and professional experiences, layered with several years of exposure to dance education and instruction. As a Dublin, GA native, Lauren began her dance training at Fancy Dancer under the direction of Laura Soles. After an introduction to various styles of dance at a young age, Lauren was attracted to the art of classical ballet and dance en pointe. She trained with the Statesboro School of Dance under the direction of Shay T. Morgan, and performed with the Statesboro Youth Ballet for several years. Her summers were filled with dance training intensives with American Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet, University of South Carolina, and Florida State University.
Lauren was accepted into the dance program and attended the University of South Carolina in 2009. In 2010, Lauren transferred to Kennesaw State University, where she was accepted into the dance program and performed with the KSU Dance Company for 7 consecutive semesters. During her time at KSU, Lauren had the pleasure of working with Ivan Pulinkala, Lauri Stallings, Stevan Novakovich, and Sandra Parks. She was also able to participate in the American College Dance Fesival (ACDF) on three different occasions, one of which being on the national level which included a performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In May of 2013, Lauren graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance. Through her years of training, despite her classical foundation, Lauren has gravitated towards contemporary dance styles and choreography but also enjoys introducing a love for dance to preschool age children.
Lauren currently lives with her husband and daughter in the Atlanta area where she continues to teach dance with Creative Movement and Dance (CMD) and is trained and certified as a Pure Barre instructor. She plans to continue gaining professional dance experiencewhile also applying her years of knowledge to help educate others.

april newcity April Newcity began her training at Savannah Arts Academy in Savannah, Georgia. There, she studied ballet, modern, theater, technical theater, yoga, contemporary, African, pedagogy, kinesiology, dance history and Labanotation. During her studies she was a member of Nu Delta Alpha, volunteered teaching at Bloomingdale elementary, and also performed in many dance concerts, playing the lead role as the Tin Man in the second annual full length ballet, The Wizard of Oz. She also choreographed a group piece that was selected in a collaborative show with Savannah’s Jazz Band, Jumpin’ at the Savoy. April choreographed two solos, several group pieces, and received a choreography award before graduating.
After graduation, April continued teaching at Dance Artistry in Sarasota while also studying dance at the University of South Florida, where she took ballet, modern, African, technical theater, and improvisation. She also performed in USF’s B.A. Dance Show in 2015, as well as a concert combining USF and Beijing Normal University dance students in 2015. April’s choreography was also adjudicated into the Student Dance Concert in 2016, and she continues to choreograph new works.

rachel novak

Originally from Wisconsin, Rachel began dancing at the age of eight when she became a member of the Winkler Elementary School’s Dance Team. Throughout her years in school, she was on the Dyer Grade School Dance Team and on the Karcher Middle School Dance Team for two years, as well. When Rachel was in high school, she was selected as one of the four freshman slots to be on the Burlington High School Varsity Dance Team. She remained on the Varsity team for all four years of high school, choreographing numerous dances for her team. Rachel spent many years in gymnastics and studying theatre, also.  Upon graduating from Burlington High School, Rachel moved to Atlanta, in the fall of 2015 and continued dancing, recreationally, while studying Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University. In the summer of 2017, Rachel interned at Jitterbug Performing Arts in Smyrna, as an assistant teacher for kids, aiding in acting, singing and dancing, during the summer camp weeks. Rachel is excited to continue working with children, by using her passion for the arts, and impacting future generations in dance.

 

meghann-padgett

Meghann began her dance training in her hometown of Aiken, SC, where she trained competitively in ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical. In 2009, she graduated from Columbia College with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance, and minor in Art. Since graduating she has danced professionally with Vibrations Dance Company, the Power Company, and The South Carolina Contemporary Dance Company. Meghann is currently assistant and company dancer for Terrance Henderson in his new project, TO, Inc. in Columbia, SC. Over the past year with TO, Inc., Meghann has performed nationally in The Rogue Arts Festival in Fresno, CA, as well as at regional and even international venues, such as Costa Rica. In the past year, she has also enjoyed teaching dance and leading the award-winning Starlets All Star Dance Team as head dance coach for the Tumble Tree.

 

 

 

kelly panagiotopoula

Originally from Athens, Greece, Kelly began dancing at the age of nine at a local dance studio after observing a dance class at her elementary school.  At the age of 14, she received a full scholarship to attend a dance school of her choice, and started to attend competitions.  In 2011, Kelly won first place in the Ladies Styling division at an international ballroom competition, Acropolis Dancesport, in Athens.  In the summer of 2012, she moved to Florida, and started teaching Creative Movement, Hip Hop, and Latin dance classes at a local studio, while continuing her training alongside instructors such as Dave Scott, Laura Edwards, and Brian Friedman.  In addition, she has performed for popular artists, such as Flo Rida, and has danced at several private events.  Kelly fell in love with dance instantly, and even more so after exploring its history and culture.  She has completed her Associates in Arts Degree at Saint Petersburg College and is pursuing a Bachelors in Elementary and Special Education.  Until she becomes a school teacher, Kelly has made it her mission to show others the beauty dance holds by sharing her passion through dance instruction.  

 

 

emily poorman

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Emily has 17 years of dance experience with a background in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, and tap.  She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Dance with an emphasis in Dance from Missouri State University, where she was a recipient of the Dance Regents Scholarship.  During her time at Missouri State, Emily performed with Missouri State's Theatre & Dance department and Springfield Dance Alliance.  She has had the chance to choreograph for Fall Dance Concert: Kaleidoscope as well as present and perform choreography for adjudication at the American College Dance Festival.  Emily has performed new, original work by celebrated choreographer Darrell Grand Moultrie, as well as internationally known choreographer Ruth Barnes, a former teacher at the Merce Cunningham Studio, and Sara Brummell.  Currently, Emily is an apprentice for Full Radius Dance in Decatur, GA. Along with performing and choreographing, Emily enjoys sharing her passion for dance by teaching young dancers.

 

savannah porch

Savannah Porch just recently graduated from The University of Tampa with a major in Applied Dance (Dance Education) and a minor in Dance Theatre. She has been dancing since the age of two and has never stopped! In addition to this, she has been teaching for the past four years. Savannah is formally trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, modern, hip-hop, improvisation, musical theatre, creative movement and West African. She has performed in every dance showcase at the University of Tampa and was part of the hip-hop team: DIME (Dance Is My Existence). She was a student choreographer for UT’s Dance Happenings and choreographed two pieces of her own. Since moving to Tampa, Savannah has discovered her passion for working with special populations. She has choreographed and performed with students with physical and intellectual disabilities from Pyramid, Inc. She has also volunteered as a teacher at the Macdonald Training Center, Gracepoint Wellness, and various elderly organizations. In addition to dancing, Savannah loves to act and sing. In the past, she was a seasonal performer for Universal Studios in Orlando, and has been best friends with Ariel from under the sea at children’s birthday parties. Savannah is extremely excited to share her passion and she truly cherishes the time she spends with her students.

 

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