(865) 539-2475

1234 Rocky Hill Rd

Knoxville, TN  37919

Instructors

LISA MCKEE

Artistic Director

Lisa opened STUDIO ARTS for Dancers in 1990 and has spent the last 30 years investing in thousands of dancers

that have walked through the SAFD door. She has a B.S. in Communications from the University of Tennessee and is

a former professional ballet and modern dancer. Her training has included many methodologies of dance which

she incorporates into the development of dancers as both artists, thinkers and collaborators. Lisa danced with

Sidewalk Dance Theatre, a touring modern dance company, New Repertory Dance Company, and Oak Ridge Ballet,

dancing principal roles in the Nutcracker, Coppelia and Cinderella. Lisa founded GO! Contemporary Dance Works,

a non-profit organization in 2003 with the goal to provide Knoxville with a pre-professional youth contemporary

ballet company that combines athleticism and dance that would appeal to more than the average dance go-er. GO!

has performed over 300 performances in every major theatre in Knoxville and partners with other non profits

including the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Knoxville Opera and Knox County Schools. Lisa is the recipient of

the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts and the Tennessee Association of

Dance Outstanding Teacher Award which includes recognition for mentoring young artists.

HARPER ADDISON

Modern & Ballet Instructor

Harper Addison, originally from Atlanta, GA, is a dancer, choreographer, and dance educator. As a dancer, she has appeared with Robert Moses’ KIN as part of the cast that received the 2015 Isadora Duncan Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Performance-Company", The Ailey Student Performance Group, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre as a student performer, and GO! Contemporary Dance Works. Her work has been presented at various venues and universities around the country including Davidson College, Princeton University, the Kennedy Center, and San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. She is also the founder and director of the international creative community, The Iteration Project. She holds a B.S. in Biology from Davidson College, a Certificate in Dance from The Ailey School, and an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University.

RUTH ANN BENDY

Tap Instructor

Ruth Ann began studying dance at STUDIO ARTS for dancers at a very young age. As a student she focused on ballet, modern, jazz and tap and attended master classes by Sergei Chytkov, danna bella, Joy Davis and others. Ruth Ann also attended the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts four-week dance intensive and has studied tap from Leila Nelson Jones, Michal Lynn Tweedie and Kimberlie Mozur. A member of GO! Contemporary Dance Works for seven years, Ruth Ann was featured as a soloist to include the Cheshire Cat in Alice. Currently Ruth Ann is a student in the College of Music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville majoring in voice and piano. Ruth Ann continues to perform with GO! Contemporary Dance Works as a guest artist.

DANIEL CHAIT

Ballet Instructor

After a thirty year career as a classical ballet dancer, choreographer and teacher, Daniel has moved to Knoxville to be the caretaker for his elderly mother. As a student, Daniel studied at the School of American Ballet and the Boston School of Ballet. He has danced soloist roles in ballets by Paul Taylor, George Balanchine, Twyla Tharp Dance Company, William Forsy the Company and Mark Morris among others. He joined the American Ballet Theatre in New York under the direction of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Daniel began teaching upper level classes at STUDIO ARTS in 2016 and we are thrilled to have him join us again this year!

CARRIE FARMER

Jazz Instructor

Carrie is a graduate from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in dance. Carrie has studied under Carlos Dos Santos, Joan Peters, Clifton K Brown and Eldar Valiev as well as performed with Alvin Ailey Summer Showcase, Deeply Rooted Dance Theatre and Breaking Barriers Immersion. After moving to Colorado in 2014, Carrie performed with the Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, the Denver Ballet Theatre and Edgar L Page: Feel the Movement! This is Carrie’s second year teaching at STUDIO ARTS!

BRENNA FEATHERSTON

Tap, Ballet & Modern Instructor

Brenna Featherston is a STUDIO ARTS and GO! Contemporary Dance Works alumni. She received her BFA in Dance from Radford University where she studied classical ballet and contemporary dance under artists such as danah bella, Amy Van Kirk and Alesky Plekhanov. Brenna attended guest residencies with Jenai Cutcher-West and Kyle Abraham. A musical theatre enthusiast, Brenna was the dance captain and in the cast for both Anything Goes and Oklahoma! at Radford. Brenna is currently a choreographer, rehearsal mistress and guest performer for GO! Contemporary Dance Works.

LEAH GIRBERT

Ballet Instructor

Leah is trained in classical ballet, modern, tap, jazz and contemporary movement. During college, she was a member of the University of Kentucky’s dance ensemble. After returning to Tennessee, Leah danced with local Christian dance company Ballet Gloria for two years. From there, she trained at STUDIO ARTS for dancers, where she was a guest artist for GO! Contemporary Dance Works production in 2011. From 2009 to 2015, Leah danced with Knoxville Christian Arts Ministries which focused on taking the Gospel into surrounding prisons through music, drama and dance. Leah currently teaches locally, sharing her love for dance with the next generation.

NATHAN GRISWOLD

Ballet Instructor

Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Nathan Griswold began his dance training in Tacoma, Washington. He went on to finish his formal dance training with special recognition at the Ben Stevenson Academy in Houston, Texas. He danced professionally with the Houston Ballet, Alberta Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, Ballett Augsburg and Nationaltheatre Mannheim. His performance repertoire includes works by Itzik Galili, Leo Mujic, Emily Molnar, Christian Spuck, Kevin O’Day, Regina Van Berkel and Alejandro Cerrudo, among many others. Nathan works as a freelance dancer/ choreographer, guests with the Atlanta Ballet, maintains a relationship with the Alliance Theatre for the Very Young as well as other Atlanta arts organizations. As a dance educator, Nathan is a faculty member at the Atlanta

Ballet, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, and most recently with STUDIO ARTS for Dancers, Knoxville. In 2104 he co- founded a 501c3 non-profit physical theater and installation company, “Fly on a Wall”, which is a platform that creates and supports innovative performance.

DYLAN BURRY KENDRICK

Ballet Instructor

Dylan graduated from Columbia College, SC with a B.A. in Dance. Dylan studied the Vaganova ballet methodology under Slava Mesropov and Olga Tozyiakova and attended summer dance programs including: Point Park Conservatory, American Ballet Theater, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater and LINES contemporary Ballet Company (under the direction of Alonzo King). Dylan was also selected to attend the Kennedy Center Master classes. She took class under the director of the Bolshoi Ballet and class with Suzanne Farrell. Dylan competed in Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) in the regional competitions as well as at the final rounds in New York City. In 2001 Dylan won 1st place in the senior division in contemporary dance. Since concluding her college degree Dylan has taught at two additional schools in the Pacific Northwest. Dylan also enjoys private coaching in ballet and pointe. Dylan enjoys choreographing and blending the beauty of ballet with today's contemporary ballet scene. Dylan has been teaching at STUDIO ARTS for ten years.

LYNN LOOMIS

Ballet Instructor

Lynn trained with David and Anna Marie Holmes as well as Margo Marshall, Victoria Vittom and Kirt Hathaway among others. Lynn has worked under seasonal contract with Tennessee Festival Ballet, Berkshire Ballet, San Antonio Ballet and Lexington Ballet. He has appeared as a guest artist to perform Le Corsaire pas de duex and other contemporary works for Berkshire Ballet, Lexington Ballet and San Antonio Ballet. He has taught for many ballet companies to include Lexington Ballet Company, City Ballet of Houston, Evansville Dance Theatre, Gwinnet Ballet School and the National Society of Arts and Letters.

ASHLYNN MASON

Ballet & Modern Instructor

A STUDIO ARTS and GO! Contemporary Dance Works alumni, Ashlynn continued her training in New York, recently completing her three year certification from the Ailey School (Lester Horton Technique). Ashlynn studied under Ana Marie Forsythe, Milton Myers, Caridad Martinez, Jacqulyn Buglisi and Penny Frank. She worked with choreographers Darrell Moultrie, Norbert De La Cruz, Kirven Boyd and Amy Hall Garner. Ashlynn debuted a solo piece by Nicolas Fiery titled “Run To You” and choreographed an original work titled “Knock On Wood” for the Ailey’s School’s Global Harmony Performance. Ashlynn is excited to return to Knoxville and teach at her home studio. She will continue her performance career dancing with GO! Contemporary Dance Works as guest artist.

DENISE NJUGUNA

Jazz Instructor

Denise has been teaching jazz at STUDIO ARTS for 28 years. She continues to bring energy and excitement to her classes. She has performed with the Knoxville Metropolitan Dance Company, Circle Modern Dance, University of Tennessee Dance Company and the indoor professional football team, The Thundercats. She has choreographed for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, Inner City Youth Choir, GO! Contemporary Dance Works, and has attended the Jazz Dance World Congress. Denise pursued a career in physical therapy and currently works with the geriatric population implementing exercise programs and aiding with muscle and neurological re-education. She applies these techniques to her jazz classes in order to prevent injury and focuses on a whole systems approach with her dancers.

DARBY O'CONNOR

Modern & Ballet Instructor

Darby began her training at a young age at STUDIO ARTS for dancers. She is now on faculty, teaching modern, ballet and jazz since 2012 and began work as an administrative assistant in fall of 2017. A founding member of GO! Contemporary Dance Works in 2004, she currently works as a choreographer and performer for the company. Darby began work with Circle Modern Dance as a guest artist in their annual production of Modern Dance Primitive Light in 2002 and has transitioned to Core Member with CMD, fulfilling administrative duties, while dancing, choreographing and teaching for the company. Darby studied dance at Middle Tennessee State University, performing with The MTSU Dance Theater. While at MTSU, she began work in a professional company, Core Project Chicago and toured with the company, performing in Fringe Festivals across the country. Darby also worked with Core Project as Company Manager and Associate Artist. In recent years Darby has worked with the University of Tennessee Dance Society as Modern Dance Choreographer, and joined Momentum Dance Lab with which she is now an Associate Artist. Darby attended the American Dance Festival winter intensive in 2018 and attended ADF in the summer of 2018 as Head Dorm Counselor. She is thrilled to continue teaching at STUDIO ARTS in the coming year!

LAURA SHIELDS

Ballet & Horton Instructor

Laura graduated from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music with a B.F.A. in dance and a Master’s degree in Dance from the University of Tennessee. Laura has studied classical ballet from Christian Addams, formerly of the London Festival of Ballet, Oleg Sabline, formerly a soloist with Paris Opera Ballet, and Suzette Boyer, Donna Grisez, and David Blackburn of the Cincinnati Ballet. Laura also studied the Lester Horton Modern Dance Technique under James Truitte, a former dancer with the Lester Horton dance theater and Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre. Laura has performed with the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet, the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Dance Ensemble and Opera, the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company II and the Contemporary Dance Theatre. A native of Norris, Tennessee, Laura has taught at STUDIO ARTS for 20 years.