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Michelle Bourgeois
- Company Director -

Ms. Michelle received a B.A. in Dance from the University of South Florida on a full scholarship for her academic and artistic achievements. While at U.S.F., Michelle worked with many talented teachers and choreographers, including Gretchen Warren, John Parks, Patricia Page, and Jill Bahr, as well as serving as an adjunct professor. While attending U.S.F., Michelle also performed with the Dance Theatre of Florida, working with dancers and teachers from the Kirov Ballet. After graduation, Michelle danced professionally for the Dance Theatre of Florida, Florida Dance Theatre, Georgia Ballet, and Lee Harper & Dancers. During her professional career, Michelle was honored to have danced choreography by George Balanchine, Iris Hensley, Septim Weber and Loyce Holton. Michelle has been teaching dance since 1991. She has taught for several dance schools in the Metro Atlanta area prior to relocating to Florida. While in Florida, Michelle co-directed the dance program at the Rochelle School of the Arts for 6 years, as well as teaching and choreographing for the Soulful Arts Dance Academy and several outreach programs such as The Boys and Girls Club of America, and It’s All About Kids. Her choreography has been presented at community events, including the Buzz Into Books Literacy Campaign and the Luis Palau Festival. Michelle’s students have gone on to dance at the Ailey School, Debbie Allen’s Dance Academy, Ballet Theatre of Maryland and The University of the Arts.

Howard Ethridge
- Tumble Director -

Mr. Howard has an extensive background in gymnastics, stretching, and conditioning. He is one of Atlanta’s top instructors for floor tumbling, jumps, and leaps. He was a master teacher at LSU college gymnastic camps under head coach, D.D. Breaux, UGA camps under head coach, Danna Durante, and is currently working with UNC college camps under head coach, Kim Landrus. Mr. Howard completed his training at Gym America in Tucker, Georgia which had one of the top men’s programs in the country. He was even honored to perform for one of America’s presidents during his time there. The coaching staff had a great influence on molding Mr. Howard to become the coach he is today. He prides himself on conditioning techniques and stresses the importance of learning how to use the mental aspect of high-level training. Mr. Howard is both loved and respected by both the dancers and parents. We are truly honored to have Mr. Howard on our teaching roster at Sugarloaf Performing Arts.

Rio Dills-Thopmson

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.

Bartley Cross

Bartley began dancing at age four and soon started performing and competing with the Jazz Company at The Southern Strutt Dance Studio. Under Director Nancy Giles, Bartley studied Jazz, Broadway Tap, Ballet, and Tumbling. Excelling in Jazz and Tap she won multiple Regional and National Overall High Score Awards, Double Platinum and Platinum Awards at Starbound, Star Systems, Show Stoppers, LA Underground and Tremaine Dance Competitions. While the majority of her training came from Southern Strutt, Bartley furthered her studies by participating in Summer Intensive Programs with the Columbia Ballet Company under William Starret, and the University of South Carolina's summer dance workshops. Additionally, by participating in Master Classes at Southern Strutt, she had the privilege to learn from choreographers such as Joe Tremaine, Gregory Hines, Ray Leeper, and Marcea. Bartley attended the University of South Carolina from August 1994 to May 1998, and continued to study dance adding Ballet, Jazz and Modern dance classes to her schedule. She began teaching in September 1995 and as a choreographer has won High Gold, Platinum, and Double Platinum awards at Applause, Bravo, Show Stoppers, and Star Systems Competitions. She currently teaches at Sugarloaf Performing Arts and Academy of Ballet while continuing to study at Dance 101, the Atlanta Ballet, and the Georgia Ballet.

Nick Hagelin

Nick Hagelin is a singer/songwriter, actor, and dancer from NYC. He trained at School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center from age 9-18 and danced four seasons at Carolina Ballet under the direction of Robert Weiss. As an actor, he has appeared on Law & Order: SVU and the feature filmThe Emperor's Club. Nick is also an award-winning singer/songwriter with a major-label record deal at Streamline Records. He is label mates with Lady Gaga and Tamar Braxton, and has appeared on The Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards. Hear his music and stay in touch at www.therealnick.com Twitter/IG: @nickisthetruth

Jennifer Parker

Jennifer 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 is excited to continue to foster excellence in dance education as an artistic staff member at Sugarloaf Performing Arts.

Jennifer Mason

Jennifer Mason was raised in Atlanta, Ga where she began her training with humble beginnings at a local dance school in Decatur. She continued to pursue her passion after being accepted on scholarship to both The Atlanta Ballet and The Alvin Ailey School where she pursued her professional training. Afterward, Jennifer received her BFA in Dance from The Florida State University and was blessed to work under such instructors and direction of Suzanne Farrell (NYC Ballet), Jawole Zollar (Urban Bush Women), and Anjali Austin (DTH). Jennifer then pursued dance in several different avenues from a soloist with The Universal Circus, to more contemporary work with Dance Iquail (NY) and Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theater (FL). She performed more classical works with Urban Ballet Theater (NY), as well as Ballethnic Dance Company (GA). Jennifer was selected as a 2016-2017 National Visiting Fellow with the School of American Ballet and was recently recognized as a Hidden Treasure with ATL Voyager! Currently, Jennifer is an instructor at, Sugarloaf Performing Arts, Ballet Mistress with Anthony Burrell Center for Dance, and resides as the Executive / Artistic Director of City Gate Dance Theater!

Whitney Sauve

Whitney Sauve is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has trained since the age of nine in Jazz, Ballet, Lyrical and Hip-Hop. She has recently been seen working with professional artists such as "Jadi" and "The Gang of Roses" and with professional dance company "Brooks and Company Dance." She has choreographed works for Light the World Parade, Atlanta's Thanksgiving Night of Hope and the Georgia's Governors Honors Program, to name a few. Whitney is extremely excited to begin another season at Sugarloaf Performing Arts.

Reyna O'Leary

Reyna O’Leary began her ballet training under the direction of Iris Hensley and Marina Levasheva at the Georgia Ballet, While there, she performed in many ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Carmen, and Serenade. She has performed as a company member for Duende Dance Theatre in Atlanta and Bighouse Dance Theater in Gainesville, GA. Reyna graduated from Brenau University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education. While at Brenau, she was a member of Brenau Dance Ensemble, where she had many opportunities to perform and attend master dance classes. After graduation she did an extensive study with Phyllis Wiekart of High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, studying Education Through Movement. She served as a movement specialist for the Atlanta Ballet’s Outreach program as well as the coordinator for Atlanta Ballet’s Center of Education “Kids In Step” program. In 2009, Reyna was asked to be on the writing committee for the new Georgia Performance Standards for Dance Education and since has done extensive work on curriculum writing with the Gwinnett County Dance programs.

In 2015 she received her Master of Fine Arts, in Choreography from Jacksonville University, and returned to Brenau University to complete her thesis study. She later served as an adjudicator for Brenau’s senior thesis concert and as a guest speaker.

Reyna has been teaching dance in the Gwinnett County Public school system since 2002. She is currently director of the high school dance program that she developed at North Gwinnett High School in 2005. At North Gwinnett H.S. she serves as a sponsor for National Honor Society for Dance Arts, where she has inducted over 60 dancers. She is also the Artistic Director for the performing company Dance North and the coach for the competitive dance team, Dance North Beats. In addition to her work in the public school system, Reyna offers her time as Co-Director for K-12 of DEGA (Dance Educators of Georgia, K-12).

Abigail Harrison

Abigail Harrison began her dance training in Snellville, GA at Carol Walker Dance Academy at the age of four. While in Snellville, she took classes in all styles of dance and was a member of Dancers Company One. At the age of 13, Abigail found her forever home with Sugarloaf Performing Arts under the direction of Lori Zamzow-Wire, where she continued her training in ballet, modern, tap, and jazz. While at Sugarloaf, Abigail performed in many roles including Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker Excerpts, The Queen of Jewels in Aladdin, and the lead in Snow White. In 2013, Abigail joined the Sugarloaf Ballet Conservatory and this training led to her being accepted and receiving scholarships to attend summer intensives including American Ballet Theater, International Ballet Intensive, CPYB, and the Atlanta Ballet. After graduation, Abigail continued her dance training at the University of South Carolina under the direction of Susan Anderson and Stacey Calvert. In her four years of collegiate dance, she was able to perform with members of the New York City Ballet in classic George Balanchine works such as Serenade, Raymonda, La source, Swan Lake, and Walpurgisnacht. She also performed soloist roles in contemporary work under Thaddeus Davis. Abigail graduated Summa Cum Laude with a dual degree in Dance Performance and Experimental Psychology. Abigail is continuing her studies at Brenau University as she works towards her master’s in clinical/counseling psychology. Abigail is excited to return to Sugarloaf Performing Arts to train and inspire young artists and give them the foundation to succeed as young dancers.

Rachel Truitt

Artistic Director and Founder of ADMIX PROJECT/Gotta Dance Contemporary, Rachel Truitt Produced and Directed Surface, Juxtapose, In This House, In Process, Kairos, Curious Human Interactions, Dreamscape, Letters from an Artist, all  world premiered at 7 Stages Atlanta and West Side Cultural Arts Center. In 2017 Rachel Choreographed the Atlanta Sports Awards at the Rialto Center for the Arts as well as created choreography for musical artist Michael Kiwanuka for his music video "Cold Little Heart." Choreographed for artist PRISCA and her music video SKIN, Choreographed for CW television show Vampire Diaries, Performed at Super Bowl Halftime XLV in 2000 with Christina Aguilera.

Julian Esteban Duque López Gomez Delgado Aristizabal Marin Ocampo
- Company Director -

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.

Imani Williams

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

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

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

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.