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Michelle Bourgeois
- Company Director -

Michelle Bourgeois received a B.A. in Dance from the University of South Florida on a full scholarship for her academic and artistic achievements. While at USF, Michelle worked with many talented teachers and choreographers, including Gretchen Warren, John Parks, Patricia Page and Jill Bahr and served as an adjunct professor. Michelle performed with Dance Theatre of Florida, collaborating with the Kirov Ballet in the 100th anniversary of The Nutcracker.
Upon graduating, she performed with the Dance Theatre of Florida, Florida Dance Theatre, Georgia Ballet and Lee Harper & Dancers and is honored to have danced choreography by George Balanchine, Iris Hensley, Septim Weber and Loyce Holton. Michelle has been teaching dance since 1991, allowing her to share a disciplined yet creative and expressive art form to thousands of students. In addition to decades of teaching, Michelle has choreographed numerous dances which have been performed in various festivals, competitions and ballets. As a choreographer, Michelle is passionate about sharing the creative process with her dancers, believing inspiration to be symbiotic.

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.

Charly Gioino

Charly Gioino is from Suwanee, Georgia. She became fascinated with ballet at a young age and began her dance training at the age of two. Charly grew up with Sugarloaf Ballet, performing roles such as the Enchanted Deer from Snow White and Spanish Lead in Nutcracker. She has expanded her dance training by attending multiple summer intensives across the country as well as attending University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. After two years of performing with the US International Ballet, she returned to Georgia to perform with Gwinnett Ballet Theatre as one of their first Professional Ensemble dancers, and is now in her third season with GBT. Charly is excited to be on staff at Sugarloaf Performing Arts to assist in providing valuable technical tools to support young dancers in their pursuit of classical 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

Emily Lemons

Emily was born and raised in North Georgia and began her training at Sawnee School of Ballet under the direction of Joan Kall Stewart. There she joined the Sawnee Ballet Theatre in 2006 and stayed until 2012 performing in the company's shows each season. After high school graduation, Emily received talent and academic scholarships to attend the Brenau University’s Department of Dance. While there, she was able to train with several resident and guest artists including Carol Teitelbaum, Tara Lee, Peter Swan, Kassandra Taylor Newberry and Diane Callahan among others. During her time at Brenau, Emily spent two years as an assistant teacher at the Gainesville School of Ballet as a part of the Dance Department's teaching practicum program. While assisting dance classes for all ages, Emily completed courses in Dance Pedagogy, continued technique classes and was a member of the Gainesville Ballet Company under the direction of Diane Callahan. Since graduating Cum Laude with a B.A. in Dance Studies from Brenau University, Emily has taught dance to students of all ages in and around Atlanta. She currently serves as the coordinator and Pilates instructor for the Brenau Summer Dance Intensive which recruits dancers from across the country to visit campus for a two week intensive each summer. Emily’s goal is to be a dynamic, inspiring and nurturing teacher for students of any age and she is excited to be a part of the team 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!

Regine Metayer

Regine Metayer began her dance training in Port-au-Prince (PAP), Haiti at the Haitian-American Academy of Ballet & Arts. She was a performing member of the Haitian-American Contemporary Dance Theater, under the direction of Eileen Herzog-Bazin. Metayer's Port Au Prince dance experience includes working with other HAMABA faculty members, such as Myriam Lopes DaSilva, Michelle Stennett, Petra Browne Sarthou, and Jean Monnestume Saint-Cyr, a former member of the Troupe Folklorique Nationale. Metayer was a featured performer in choreographies created by Sharon Newton and Juan Fidel Mieses Gautreaux. In 1993, she began teaching and was a faculty member at HAMABA until 1997. She is currently a Licentiate Member of the Cecchetti Council of America, holding three Teacher Examination Certificates.

Metayer attended Florida State University and obtained her Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). While in Tallahassee, she studied various dance disciplines and performed with such noted Florida companies including the Orchesis Contemporary Dance Theatre, the Boracha Dance Ministry, Florida State University’s MFA Concerts, and the Tallahassee Ballet Company. Her dance education includes Classical Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Afro-Contemporary, and African-based dance studies. She has performed in notable works such as Balanchine’s Agon, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Cinderella, La Bayadere, Paquita, and The Nutcracker. She has worked with renowned national and international dance professionals such as Garth Fagan, Doug Varone, Buglisis / Foreman, Jawolee Zollar (Urban Bush Women), Tyrone Brooks (Dance Theater of Harlem), Abdel Salaam (forces of nature), Suzanne Farrell (New York City Ballet), Lisa Lockwood, Sheila Humphrey (Royal Ballet), Anjali Austin (Dance Theatre of Harlem), Richard Sias, Lynda Davis, Anthony Morgan and Myra Woodruff (Graham Company).

After graduating from FSU, she relocated to New York City and studied at Ballet Hispanico. In 2003, she danced with the Dance Continuum as a contemporary, ballet soloist and performed with the Albano Ballet at the Mohegan Sun, and in 2004, she performed with Ballet NY. In August 2005, she joined the Brooklyn Ballet Company and performed with the company for three seasons and also performed with ASEID in its 2007 season at the Dicapo Theatre. In addition, she performed the role of Tinker Bell in a Haitian production of Peter Pan in June 2006. By 2008, Metayer choreographed for several productions including The Lion King and Cats. For this performance, she was given the role of the White Cat.

In 2008, she joined the Ballethnic Dance Company in Georgia where she was a member of their professional dance company for seven seasons. In 2010, she started performing with World Ballet as a principal dancer under the direction of Henry Hernandez and Dr. Elizabeth Delancy in Florida. She joined City Gate Dance Theater as a soloist, in 2012 and Southern Arc Dance Theatre in 2016 as a principal dancer under the direction of Paulo Manso de Sousa in Georgia.

Today, Regine is the Artistic Director and founder of Metayer Conservatory for the Arts and the Ballet Mistress of Fusion Dance Company, City Gate Dance Theater, City Springs Theatre, and Sugarloaf Performing Arts in conjunction with the non profit Sugarloaf Youth Ballet Company and professional company Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. She was one of five in the 2017 national Visiting Fellows at the School of American Ballet in NYC; assisting the prestigious institution with diversity initiatives. Apart from her performance career, she is a certified Pilates/fitness instructor and personal trainer. Additionally, she teaches and choreographs internationally for various studios and dance companies.

Lauren Nease

Bio Coming Soon

Leah Kate Nicoll

Leah Kate is a swiss army knife of performing arts, as her training and professional experience span many disciplines. With two generations of music professionals preceding her, voice training began at infancy. Throughout childhood, Leah Kate continued to study varying art forms, earning a third-degree black belt in Taekwondo, then turning to hip-hop and musical theatre by age 9. She begrudgingly took ballet class, as it was required for musical theatre, and had no idea what a domino effect was in store. She was hooked, and by 18 years old, Leah Kate added ballet, pointe, modern, tap, jazz, musical theatre, contemporary, lyrical, and hip-hop to her tool belt. She went on to attend The University of Alabama as a dance and musical theatre double major under the direction of Cornelius Carter, Seth Panitch, and Raphael Crystal. During her time at UA, Leah Kate earned scholarships in the dance, theatre, and costume departments, as well as served as the Dance Lab Instructor for musical theatre majors, assistant stage manager for Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre, Performance Intern for Maine State Music Theatre, Assistant Choreographer and Dance Captain for Red Mountain Theatre Company, and costume intern for Tuscaloosa Community Dancers. She also created dance, theatre, musical, and film works, worked or studied in every area of live performance production, and graduated summa cum laude with a double major and a Bachelor of Arts.

Leah Kate has performed with regional theatre companies such as Red Mountain Theatre Company and Barter Theatre, as well as Maine State Music Theatre, where she also served as Associate Choreographer and Dance Captain. Soon after graduation, Leah Kate moved to New York City, where she became a proud member of Actor’s Equity, trained at Broadway Dance Center for the Professional Semester, worked with choreographers such as Nick Palmquist, Nijawwon Matthews, and Mike Esperanza, and made her NYC choreographic debut at Dixon Place with her work “Facets of Life” as part of the On 1 Condition concert series, In March 2021, she played the lead role of “X” in the premiere of “A Hug from the Heart” for the First Impressions Festival with IMPRINT Theatreworks. Most recently, Leah choreographed a dance fashion show for NY Fashion Week 2021, releasing the fashion lines of EDM artist DRMAGDN in collaboration with fashion designer Hicham Bens of The Royals Paris (dresses Moroccan Royal Family), in addition to premiering her own dancewear line, Leahtards. In addition to spearheading the growth of Leahtards, Leah Kate is pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors amidst working with Sugarloaf Performing Arts, Sugarloaf Youth Ballet, and Gwinnett Ballet Theatre. Her 12-year history with SPA and SYB includes her training as a young artist, eight seasons as a choreographer for the pre-professional company, and now serving as Marketing Director. Leah Kate is so thrilled to be putting her energy toward facilitating excellence in arts education and performance with GBT, SYB, and SPA. Follow her on IG: @ninja_ginja13

Reyna O'Leary
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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).

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.

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.

John Streit

John has been on the faculty at Sugarloaf Performing Arts since 2017 and is also on the faculty at the Brenau University Dance program with the title of Assistant Professor of Dance. Mr. Streit teaches ballet, pas de deux, men’s classes, dance pedagogy courses, dance career courses as well as others. Mr. Streit earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Arizona in 2011 and a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Georgia in dance in 2003.

Carol Szkutek

Carol Szkutek began her training in New Orleans, Louisiana with Giacobbe Academy of Dance. She performed as a young dancer with Delta Festival Ballet, affiliated regional company with Giacobbe Academy. She moved to New York at 17, and joined the Joffrey II Ballet Company where she also performed with the main Joffrey Ballet Company in NYC before being promoted to the main company within 2 years. While with Joffrey Ballet in NYC, she performed in ballets by Jerome Robbins, Sir Frederick Ashton, Gerald Arpino, Agnes de MIlle and Twyla Tharp and many other well known choreographers. While in NY, she was performed as a guest artist with the Irene Fokine Ballet in New Jersey. She toured internationally with the Pavlova Celebration ballet troupe with Alexander Godunov and Starr Danias, performing Myrtha in Gisele and many other roles. After leaving NYC, she was Artist in Residence with Lexington Ballet in Lexington, Kentucky for 3 years, teaching and performing.

Carol has been in Atlanta since 1987, and has become one of Atlanta's "known" teachers, teaching (and at times guest performing) at numerous ballet and dance schools, colleges/universitites throughout Atlanta, such as Georgia State, Emory, Spelman and Atlanta Ballet. She has extensive training in several ballet/dance disciplines, methods and styles. Her passion is classical ballet, but loves all styles of dance. Her goal is to inspire, encourage students/dancers to remember the joy within themselves, the joy of dance and movement, the music above all, along. with good technique, artistry and to find and develop that self confidence within themselves to utilize in all areas of their lives.

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.