Jesse was born in Seminole Florida and moved to Pensacola when she was three years old where she began her dance journey. She started her education at a primarily Ballet Dance School, where she progressed very quickly within the company, becoming a featured soloist by the time she was fourteen. As her love for dance grew, Jesse engrossed herself in many new styles including; Tap, Hip Hop, and Contemporary and became a member of the competitive team while maintaining her status with the Ballet Company. She went on to compete and train for four years with competitions such as Jump, Hollywood Vibe, NUVO, and NYCDA. Jesse has been recognized as a standout performer receiving many high score and nationally recognized awards.
Jesse made the transition to New York City to further her dance education in 2012. She was hand selected to train as a member of The Pushing Progress Contemporary Training Program and Company. Throughout the two years following she went on to learn from some of the best Ballet, Contemporary, Nutrition, and Kinesiology instructors in New York such as; Calen Kurka, Chris Hale, Bryn Cohn, Loni Landon, Greg Dolbashian, and Lauren Adams. Thanks to her involvement with the Company Jesse had the opportunity to perform in five different Pushing Progress showcases, in multiple pieces, in theaters throughout the New York City area.
Pushing Progress is about authenticity, vulnerability, and the conversation that creates art. Dancers were able to explore the connection of mind, body, and artistic development. That is what Jesse hopes to share with her students. She has always had a passion to teach and inspire young individuals. “It is within vulnerability that you discover your true potential.”
Meg Evans is a native of Tennessee, where she received extensive training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, and Modern dance from the Cumberland County Playhouse Dance and Performance Program. While training at CCP Meg had the opportunity to study under many amazing talents, including: former dancers of the Kirov Ballet, Ballet Masters Eldar and Lilia Valiev, Kiersten Mays, Jennifer Austin, Sylvia Watters, and Jeremy Benton. Throughout her training Meg performed in numerous shows, with her favorite being the holiday classic, The Nutcracker. As a senior dancer, she was chosen to join staff and taught for one year before going to college.
Meg studied dance pedagogy, history and technique during her college career, and began teaching with Artistic Dance Unlimited. She taught there from 2005-2014, until moving to Pensacola. Apart from teaching dance, she holds her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Carson-Newman University and currently practices as a RN in Labor and Delivery.
She believes dance is a beautiful form of art that serves as a mean of discipline, self-expression, and creativity unique to each individual. Meg thoroughly enjoys sharing her love for dance through teaching and hopes to instill such a passion within her students.
Michael "Turb0h" Burton is a hip hop dancer and instructor from Pensacola, Florida. He has been dancing for over 10 years in several hip hop styles including popping, bboying, house, locking, waacking, and krump. Michael has shared the stage with Emma Slater, Tony Dovolani, Valentin Chmerkovskiy, and Jenna Johnson of Dancing with the Stars. He has also been featured in commercials for dance apparel companies ChachiMomma's and Vlado's. In 2012 and 2013, Michael competed in Las Vegas for Hip Hop International's All Styles 1v1 completion. As a member of the dance crew, Panduhmonium, he took 1st place in the University of Florida's Def Talent Jam 2013, 3rd in World of Dance Orlando 2013, and 1st in No Excuses 2013. In 2014, he became a National Scholarship recipient at NRG Dance Convention.
Community involvement and spreading the love of hip hop is the driving force for Michael's passion. He participates as an active member of the street hip hop community and attends workshops, master classes, crew competitions, jams, studio dance competitions, all-style battles, and cyphers all across the nation. Currently, Michael performs as a member of the New Orleans Buku Breakers and is the Co-director for Love Over Dance workshops. His motto is "Dance until idols become rivals." -Chaz French.
Mallorie was born and raised in Pensacola and began dancing at the young age of 3 where she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Theatre, and Ballroom. She went on to compete, perform, and train with her studio’s company for 6 years at competitions and conventions such as NYCDA, Hollywood Vibe, Jump, and NUVO. She has won several high score and national awards as a solo dancer throughout her competitive and performance career.
As she continued her studies Mallorie found a greater love for Tap and began to focus more on learning a variety of tap techniques and styles influenced by Tap Dancers and Hoofers such as Fred Astaire, Gregory Hines, Gene Kelly, and Savion Glover. She considers herself a Hoofer with a Broadway foundation.
In 2012 Mallorie moved to New York to pursue her career in dance. She trained in programs at Broadway Dance Center and Ral’eau Salsa Dance Company where she was able to receive instruction from Germaine Salzburg, Ray Hesselink, April Cook, Michelle Dorrance, Chloe Arnold, Anthony LoCascio, and other talented dancers and instructors. She lived in New York for two years and decided to make the transition back to her hometown to share her passion for Tap Dancing with young dancers.
Robert D. Biggs (Bobby) career started out in Milton High School under Nannette Grimm. He studied for four years in ballet, modern, and jazz with her and also with the Kaleidoscope and Ballet Pensacola, in the company. There Bobby continued to study modern with Nannette and continued his ballet with Dorothy Daniels Lister. In the summer of 1999, Bobby attended The Joffery Ballet School summer intensive in New York City on full scholarship.
After high school Bobby joined the United States Marine Corps. He served honorably for four years. During this time he completed two tours of duty to Iraq, as part of OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom). Since out of the Marine Corps he has attended The Joffery Ballet School summer intensive, yet again. This time in the summer of 2005
Mr. Biggs went on to be a part of North West Florida Ballet, based out of Fort Walton under Todd Eric Allen the artistic director. He has performed annually in the Nutcracker with the Mobile Ballet and has been an instrumental Instructor at Dance Academy of Santa Rosa, LaBelle Performing Arts and Eastern Shores Ballet.
Nancy Haller received her early training at the Elvie DeMarko School in Pensacola. She continued to train at the University of Oklahoma as a dance major and later in New York, Atlanta and Memphis. She continues to study with nationally recognized choreographers locally and in New York.
Ms. Haller has been active in community theater as an actress and choreographer. Most recently, she choreographed Anything Goes at Pensacola High School. She has been teaching dance in Pensacola for 18 years to children of all ages as well as adults.
Katie Poindexter began dancing at the age of 2 in her hometown of West Point, MS. She began her training at The Dancer’s Studio. She later moved to Susan’s Dance Studio in New Hope, MS. She moved to Florida with her family in 2002, where she began training at the Ballet Conservatory under the tutelage of Noreen Poppell. While living in Florida she traveled to Orlando to dance with the Universal Dance Association at Disney World as well as attending many dance conventions and workshops, such as The Pulse and Tremaine. She moved back to Mississippi in 2006 and began her competitive career with the Wherehouse Dance Company (formerly Warehouse Dance Company).
She started her teaching career at the age of 17 by assisting recreational classes. She began working at the Edge Dance Center (formerly The English School of Dance) while also working at Wherehouse Dance Company in 2011 where she was an assistant coach for their competition team. She also coached the Starkville Academy Lady Vols for two years.
In 2013, Katie became a large part of a non profit studio that was established to help with Tornado victims near her hometown in Mississippi. Then in 2014, Katie moved back to Florida to be close to her family. She now teaches at the Dance Academy of Santa Rosa in Milton, Fl and Ballet Conservatory in Bluewater Bay, Fl.
Heidi Erin Alford began her training at the age of three in Dayton, Ohio at Pontecorvo Ballet Stuidos under the direction of Barbara Pontecorvo. At the age of ten, she began dancing with the pre-professional company Gem City Ballet where she trained with many teachers including: Laura Alonso, David Keener, Robert Kelly, John Rodrigus and Patricia Blair. Since the age of ten, Ms. Alford has danced in several summer programs, but two of her favorites were Chicago Ballet and Alvin Aliey School of the Arts.
At the beginning of 2009, Ms. Alford graduated from Friends University in Wichita, Kansas with highest honors, gaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet and Drama. Upon graduating, she began dancing with Ballet San Antonio as a Trainee and gradually moved to Company Member or Corps de Ballet under the guidance of Mayra Worthen and Gabriel Zertuche. She enjoyed dancing in classical ballets and new works including: Dracula, Peter and the Wolf, Zenith and Nutcracker.
In 2012, she began dancing for the Corpus Christi Ballet under Cristina Stirling Munro and Mrs Alexandra Trevino. As a Principal Soloist she has performed many exciting roles in classical ballets as well as new works such as: Water's Edge by Lori Bodine, Snow Queen, The Sugar Plum Fairy, The Scarecrow, The Black Swan and many others.
Ms Alford has begun a new journey dancing in Pensacola for part of the 2016 season.
Included in Ms. Alford's contemporary and classical performances are Pas de Quatre, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Concerto Barocco, Variations on a Theme, La Bayadere, The Nutcracker, Coppelia, Raymonda, Paquita and Don Quixote. Ms. Alford has trained with many esteemed teachers and choreographers. Some of them include Cornilus Cater, Stan and Sharon Rogers, Shawn Stevens, Dominic Welsh and Gabriel A Zertuche, Lori Bodine, Michael Banigan, Alexandra Trevino, Brian Honigbaum and Julie Green.
Ms Alford is not only a professional ballet dancer, but also a teacher. She first assisted teaching at the age of fourteen with Babara Pontecorvo in Dayton, Ohio. Once in college, she not only taught ballet, jazz and lyrical to the community, she also started teaching ballroom. After graduation in 2009, she was offered a teaching position with Ballet San Antonio Academy, Artemov Gymnastics and The Element Dance Studio. In 2012, Ms Alford was hired to dance for the Corpus Christi Ballet and also teach for Munro Ballet Studios, and now after several wonderful years in Corpus Christi, she is excited to be teaching at the Dance Academy of Santa Rosa.
Not only a dancer and teacher, Ms. Alford also has a love for choreography. In the year 2000, Ms. Alford presented her first solo work, a lyrical piece, Death of a Son. Throughout her high school days, she continued to create other lyrical/contemporary pieces, A Celtic Hymn, To A Wild Rose, and To all the Saints. Also, in 2004, Ms. Alford started an after church dance group, Disciples for Christ, wherein after a year they presented Shepherd of My Soul to the congregation. She has also, attended RDAs Craft of Choreography as a dancer in Pennsylvania at CPYB. In 2007, Ms. Alford's third year of college at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas; she participated in several choreography classes with Stan K. Rogers. Her two pieces created were Turmoil, a solo work, and Seasons of the Heart, a piece with three movements. Also, in the spring of 2012, Ms. Alford choreographed sections of The Sleeping Beauty for The Element Dance Studio in New Braunfles, Texas. With the Corpus Christi Ballet, she has presented original works from 2013-2016, and is hoping to continue creating ballets in the future.
When not dancing, Ms. Alford enjoys going to the gym, teaching, reading, playing the piano, playing video games on her Xbox 360, walking on the beach and taking care of her puppies and kitties. A special thank you to God and her parents who have always encouraged her to accomplish all her dreams!
Tanya began dancing at age five. She has trained in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap and hip hop. During this time, she attended various conventions including: Company Dance, Pulse, Showstoppers, Tremaine, Universal Dance Association and many more. She performed and competed with Aspire Dance Company and danced with and choreographed for her high school dance team. In addition, Tanya has attended dance workshops at Florida State University and in New York City.
Tanya has loved teaching at DASR for many years. She has also choreographed competition pieces for Aspire and Pace High School dance team. She continues training within the studio as well as traveling to and participating in dance conventions.
Tanya attended University of South Alabama where she earned a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and also took multiple classes for early childhood education at Pensacola State College. She works as a pediatric nurse at The Children's Hospital at Sacred Heart in Pensacola.
"Dance has been an important and fun part of my life! Dance has given me a second family, friendships, discipline and has taught me a lot about teamwork and responsibility. I am so grateful that I get to share something that I love so much."
Brandice Purvis was born in Pensacola Florida on August 20, 1986. She began dancing at the ballet studio at the age of three. By 10 she was a company member for Emerald Coast ballet and began expanding her dance horizons. Growing up Brandice studied ballet, tap ,jazz ,modern , lyrical, musical theater ,hip-hop and improv. She won her first dance scholarship to the Florida dance festival at 15 years old which opened the door to workshops, conventions and college opportunities. Before graduating high school she was invited to dance and attend the new world school of the arts in Miami Florida, where she studied under Chris Aiken and Miami Heat choreographer T.K.
At 18 Brandice move to Orlando Florida to begin performing at Walt Disney World. At Disney she played many different characters, did meet and greets, performed in various parades and shows such as "The Festival of the Lion King". She would even visit children at the local children's hospital as their favorite characters through the Make-A-Wish program.
After leaving Disney she moved back home to Pensacola to start her family but continued her path in dance and entertainment. Since moving back 10 years ago she has taught dance from ages two to adult, choreographed for events and competitions, has written and directed live productions, been in commercials and talk shows and has even been on national television. Currently Brandice is teaching dance and also going into many of the areas elementary schools and teaching about cultures around the world, but her favorite job is raising her three amazing sons.
"The time is always right to do what is right" -MLK Jr
Megan began her training in ballet at the age of four under Lady Leah Lafargue Hathaway and Lady Holly Hathaway Kaough in Lake Charles, LA. While dancing with the Lake Charles Civic Ballet, she performed in numerous productions including The Firebird, Scheherazade, Petrushka, Stars and Stripes, and Les Patineurs. She continued dancing with LCCB while attending McNeese State University, and received her bachelor's degree in Visual Arts, her concentration being in photography.
After graduating, she continued dancing and began teaching ballet and pointe work in Louisiana. In 2010, she moved to Florida to work as a instructor in Ballet Pensacola's Academy. She also danced as a soloist at Ballet Pensacola.
She now teaches ballet to students ranging from beginner to advanced, as well as adult students with Dance Academy of Santa Rosa.
Marissa has been dancing for 17 years and has trained in styles including ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, lyrical, and hiphop. She was a member with the Aspire Dance Company for seven years. Within company, she has participated in various dance competitions and conventions such as Hollywood Vibe, Showstoppers, NYLA, Tremaine, The Pulse, Nuvo, Co. Dance, and Jump, where she received a scholarship in ballet.
Aspire Dance Company also allowed Marissa to perform in many shows throughout the community such as in the Gulf Coast Arts Festival, Ghostwalk of downtown Milton, and various shows at the Imogene Theatre in downtown Milton.
In addition to dancing experience, Marissa has also trained in acting. Marissa has had professional acting roles in various events in downtown Pensacola and also as a web series extra. As becoming a dance instructor, Marissa has continued her teacher training and has traveled to both New York City and Orlando to attend Dance teachers conferences and also continued training in those cities as well under world class teachers and choreographers.
She is currently enrolled in university of west Florida, in the Teaching and Learning program. Marissa will be graduating in December of 2016. Dance has always been a part of her life. She's grown up in the studio and was always dancing constantly. "Dance has given me many things such as discipline, passion, and the greatest of friendships. I believe that God has given me the gift of dance and I hope to always keep it a part of my life" -Miss Marissa