A graduate of the University of Tennessee within the College of Communications, Lisa studied classical ballet, jazz and modern dance while performing with the New Repertory Dance Company. As a former member of the Sidewalk Dance Theatre, Lisa toured the southeastern United States, performing concerts and lecture demonstrations at universities, theatres and schools. Lisa performed with the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet for four years, dancing the lead character role in Coppelia, the Snow Queen and the Spanish dancer in The Nutcracker, and was principal dancer for the ballet Cinderella. Lisa’s main focus of study has been Royal Academy of Dancing (RAD) under the instruction of Cristian Addams, formerly of the London Festival Ballet. Since opening her school in 1991, Lisa has had numerous students accepted by audition to prestigious dance programs such as New York University, North Carolina School of the Arts, American Ballet Theatre Summer Program, Joffrey Ballet, and Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts. Each year several students of Studio Arts are awarded dance scholarships to major universities. Lisa is a recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award given by the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. She is the artistic director of GO! Contemporary Dance Works, a contemporary ballet and modern dance ensemble.
Julie began dancing in her hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee at several area studios including Studio Arts for dancers. She continued her pre-professional high school dance studies at the Virginia School of the Arts under the late Petrus Bosman. Upon graduating early at 17, Julie began dancing professionally with the Nashville Ballet as a Trainee. She fulfilled her contract of two years and decided to dance for the Richmond Ballet in Richmond, Virginia. She performed corps and soloist roles in ballets such as the Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Serenade and Who Cares?. Since 2006, Julie has been a principal guest-artist with Paradise Ballet Theatre in Key West, Florida in a bi-annual production of Nutcracker Key West. She performs with GO! Contemporary Dance Works in guest artist roles as well. Besides keeping up with her ballet technique, Julie is currently training and competing at a professional level in all techniques of Ballroom Dancing and Theater Arts. She is very excited to begin teaching dancers of all ages this year and many more years to come.
Ballet, Pointe, Variations
Jill spent nine years in New York City where she had the pleasure of dancing with David Dorfman, Ellis Wood Dance, Larry Keigwin and Company, Gina Gibney Dance, Jody Oberfelder and Company, and Naomi Goldber-Haas Dancers for a Variable Population, among others. Her choreographic works have been shown around Manhattan and the Bronx and she is honored to have set her work on GO! Contemporary Dance Works since 2005. Jill graduated from North Carolina School for the Arts as an NC Scholar. She graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance. Jill is also a Hatha Raja Yoga teacher.
Chloe began dancing at an early age and has been studying under the direction of Lisa Hall McKee and the Studio Arts faculty for the last 17 years. She attended the Tennessee Association of Dance Conference in 2007 and the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts in 2009. She has ballet training from Anna Marie Homes, Ellen Werksman Smith, Peggy Burke, Serguei Chtykrov, Joulia Moisseeva, and Eldar Valiev. She has modern training from Wayles Haynes, Jacqueline Kinsman, Leah Pinder, Angela Hill, and Mark Lamb. Chloe has performed under Laurie Thompson-Merriman, Kim Nofsinger of Shelter Repertory Dance Theatre, and Thomas Shoemaker. She has been a member of GO! Contemporary Dance Works since 2004 and continues to perform with the company each year. She has also performed with Circle Modern Dance. Chloe is a Clinical Laboratory Science major at The University of Tennessee and plans a career as a Microbiologist. She will be teaching pre-ballet classes while also assisting other mid and upper level dance classes.
Kimberlie obtained her BA in Theater and Dance from Florida State University. She has over 26 years experiance as a student, instructor, performer, and choreographer. She has studied extensively with Robert Atwood, Kate Gellebert, Michael Ritchie, George Judy, Chuck Olson, Marcus Alford, Missy Zimmer and many others. Locally she has choreographed over 20 musicals for Webb School, South-Doyle High School, William Blount High School and the Knoxville Opera Company. She was last seen in The Producers at the Oak Ridge Playhouse. She staged Dirty Rotten Scoundrels for Webb School last fall and will be staging Jekyll & Hyde this fall. Kimberlie will be teaching all levels of tap and Jazz 1.
Dylan graduated from Columbia College in South Carolina with a B.A. in Dance. She has studied classical ballet under the instruction of Vyacheslav Mesropov, former principal dancer of Moscow Ballet and Olga Tozyiakova, former principal dancer of Bolshoi Ballet. Dylan has also studied contemporary dance under Alonzo King, artistic director of LINES Contemporary Ballet and Kevin Malone, former dancer of Philadanco. Dylan attended many summer dance programs including American Ballet Theater, Joffrey Mid-West, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Point Park Conservatory and LINES. Since concluding her college education, Dylan has taught at two schools in the Pacific Northwest; Irene’s School of Dance and Action Dance Academy. Dylan enjoys blending the beauty of classical ballet with movements from today’s contemporary scene.
Tap, Musical Theatre
Dylan Berry Kendrick
Ballet, Pointe, Variations
Denise has been teaching jazz at Studio Arts for 13 years and 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 began her dance training at Studio Arts for dancers at a young age. Ms. O’Connor is a founding member of GO! Contemporary Dance Works and continues to work with the company as a guest artist. She has worked annual with Circle Modern Dance. In March 2013, she was inducted into the Core. Darby has undergraduate education in dance from both the University of Alabama and Middle Tennessee State University. She worked with Laurie Merriman and Teena Marie Custer as a student and performer. She has received master classes from Stephanie Batten Bland, E.E. Balcos, T. Lang and Alberto del Saz. She attended the American College Dance Festival in 2010 and 2011. Darby represented MTSU in the ACDFA informal concert, performing Laurie Merriman’s work “Family Portrait”. At MTSU she studied under Erin Rehberg, artistic director of Core Project Chicago. Ms. O’Connor joined and toured with Core Project in January 2011 and is still an apprentice with this professional dance company. Darby has recently earned her certification in the Barre3 fitness technique and teaches at the Knoxville studios.
Graduated from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music with a B.F.A. in dance and a Master’s degree from the University of Tennessee. Laura has studied classical ballet from Cristian 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 been teaching ballet and modern dance at Studio Arts for 15 years.
Laura Leittner Sheilds
Ballet, Modern, Horton