Sugarloaf Performing Arts and Sugarloaf Ballet are committed to providing preparatory and transitional training to enable dancers to pursue professional careers in dance. Our Alumni have gone on to dance professionally with companies, in addition to receiving scholarships to further their study of performing arts at Universities across the United States.
Julian Esteban Duque López Gomez Delgado Aristizabal Marin Ocampo was born in Medellin, Colombia. At the age of 7 he moved to New Jersey and at 15 to Georgia. After starting ballet at the age of 18 at Sugarloaf Performing Arts with Lori Zamzow-Wire, Julian moved to Pennsylvania to train at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary, Leslie Hench, Laszlo Berdo, Bruce Thornton and Melinda Howe and many others. After three years at CPYB, Julian received a second company contract at Tulsa Ballet where he danced for a year before joining Miami City Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2014.
Upon graduation from SPA, Alexis moved to Philidelphia to attend University of the Arts where she recieved a scholarship from the Dance Departmment. She has worked with the Koresh Dance Company as was recently given an outstanding review by The Dance Journal. Read the full article here: http://philadelphiadance.org/blog/2015/01/20/the-koresh-artist-showcase-a-slice-for-you-a-slice-for-me/
Imani Williams started dancing in his junior year at Collins Hill High School as a musical theatre student. He soon developed a passion and began training at Sugarloaf Performing Arts (SPA) under the direction of Lori Zamzow-Wire. Upon graduating from SPA and Collins Hill, Imani moved to New York City where he lived and trained at the Joffrey Ballet School on full scholarship. He has had the opportunity to work with former prima ballerina Margo Sappington, Tony award-winner Chet Walker, and choreographer of the musical, Rent, Marlies Yearby. He has been featured on Joffrey Ballet advertisements and promotional materials and selected to showcase his original choreography at the Alvin Ailey Performance Space. Imani is currently a member of Florida Dance Theatre in Lakeland, FL.
Heather Hatzenbuhler began her dance career at Sugarloaf Performing Arts Studio (SPA) during high school after nine years as a competitive figure skater. As a result of the intensive, professional training she received from Lori Zamzow-Wire and Kara Hill-Protos Heather progressed quickly to become a member of the Senior Company, performing many feature roles and winning numerous awards for her solos at dance competitions throughout the state. She went on to attend the University of Georgia where she was in the Honors Program and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in Environmental Economics and Management. She has been a member of City Gat Dance Theatre, Gotta Dance Contemporary, Refuge Dance Company, Dance Canvas and through these has worked with Choreographers Katherine Gant, Lonnie Davis, Lane Grosser, and Angela Harris. She was a guest artist performing the role of the Fairy Godmother in the Metayer Conservatory's Winter Fairytale and is dancing with Ballet Palm Beach for their 2015-2016 season. Heather works as an Environmental Analyst whenever she isn’t in the studio
Jennifer Mullins-Parker was born in Boca, Raton Florida and began dancing at the age of four. She has lived in Lawrenceville, Georgia since the age of 12 when she began her intensive technical training in ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, musical theatre and many other styles of dance at Sugarloaf Performing Arts. In her time dancing with Sugarloaf Ballet, she has been in a variety of productions from Pinocchio in 2004 to Sleeping Beauty in 2011. In 2009, she received the lead role of Snow White in Sugarloaf Ballet’s production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In addition, she has acquired numerous gold, high gold, and platinum awards for group and solo pieces at talent competitions all over Georgia. Jennifer graduated from Peachtree Ridge High School in 2010 with honors and went on to attend Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Kennesaw, Georgia. She danced with the KSU Dance Company five semesters and worked in the Department of Dance office at KSU for one year. She graduated from KSU with a Bachelor of Arts in Dance in 2014. She continued her education and fostered her love for children by attaining a second bachelor’s degree. She received her Bachelor of Science in early childhood education in 2015. Jennifer has decided to return to Sugarloaf as full time artistic staff, stage manager, and school administrator with the intent of combining her passions for dance and love of educating.
Rio Dills-Thopmson was born in Brunswick, GA where she began her dance training at the age of three with Jessica Dominey School of Dance. While in Brunswick she also trained at Jill Stanford School of Dance under owner and director Jill Stanford. Upon moving to Suwanee, GA in 1999, she began her training at Sugarloaf Performing Arts under the direction of Lori Zamzow-Wire. Trained classically in the Vaganova Style with accents of Cecchetti and Balanchine, she furthered her dance career performing with Sugarloaf Ballet in roles such as Claire in the Magic of Christmas, The Fox in Pinocchio, Sugar Plum Fairy and Chinese Tea in Nutcracker Excerpts, Soloist in the Little Match Girl, 3rd Odalisque Variation/Soloist in Le Corsaire, and the lead role of Cinderella in the Production of Cinderella. She also competed in various ballet and dance competitions where she was named a Dance Olympus VIP in 2005 & 2006 and a Dance America semi-finalist for Dancer of the Year in 2006 where she performed at Disney's Galaxy Theatre. She also spent time training many summers with Dance Olympus, Sugarloaf Ballet Intensive, The Georgia Ballet, The Nashville Ballet, The Atlanta Ballet, and The American Ballet Theatre. She received a dance scholarship to Winthrop University where she attended until 2009 when she transferred to North Georgia College and State University (now University of North Georgia) and continued to dance as a member of the UNG Dance Team. She graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor's of Science and has returned "home" to Sugarloaf to teach and inspire young dancers.
More Alumni Bios Coming Soon!