festival faculty 2019
a savannah, ga native, sasha greenberg began her dance training at the age of 2 with rosalie and alan cotler. she went on to study with the savannah danse theater and the performing arts academy of savannah, before joining kelly and co. studios pre-professional company in its inaugural season. under the direction of shannon kelly, sasha studied ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, and lyrical and supplemented her dance training with theater and voice. her ballet repertoire includes leading roles in stars and stripes, nutcracker, swan lake, paquita, sleeping beauty, and spartacus and her technical background was frequently recognized and awarded by regional and national dance competitions. after graduating from kcs, sasha began her teaching career and has been a choreographer for the kcs pre-professional company for the last ten years. she earned her first choreography award in just her second season with the company and her jazz, contemporary, and lyrical choreography has been recognized with high placement and choreography awards ever since. while teaching, sasha earned her bachelor of business administration in economics, a minor in philosophy, and a certificate in personal and organizational leadership from the university of georgia followed by a j.d. from duke university school of law. when she is not teaching, sasha practices law in atlanta, georgia and coaches her students on how to utilize the lessons they have learned in their dance training to accomplish their academic and professional goals.
jazz, hip hop
born and raised in savannah, georgia, rachael began her dance training in ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, and lyrical at maxine patterson school of dance. through hard work and dedication rachael became an assistant teacher at the age of 12. after graduation from savannah arts academy, rachael became an instructor at maxine patterson. rachael has also danced with ballet south, american repertory ballet and columbia city ballet. in 1997, she was awarded a scholarship to attend atlanta school of ballet summer program. in 1999, rachael was honored by becoming a governor’s honors finalist.
rachael has studied with various teachers such as, pam tucker, terrell paulk, william starrett, kris cangelosi, joanne lee, janice barringer, gay manhattan, john and karena carlyle, steven boyd, frank hatchett and gaye humphrey. she has performed in many productions such as; the nutcracker, peter rabbit, where the wild things are, the firebird, and dracula’s revenge. rachael has taught and choreographed for st. benedict the moor liturgical dancers, gadsden elementary school, and savannah state university’s klassy kitty dance line.
rachael is currently the owner and instructor at rachael’s theatre of the arts, where she enjoys teaching the art and discipline of dance to the next generation of dancers.
ryen is a native of palm beach county, florida. specializing in classical ballet instruction, ryen began her career at the age of 4 at the palm beach ballet center under the direction of joan miller. while training in the different genres of dance and traveling to nyc every summer for classes, workshops and intensives, ryen continued on to alexander dreyfoos school of the arts, the joffery ballet school, and commenced her formal education at the north carolina school of the arts with a bfa in contemporary dance. there she studied with the likes of brenda daniels, diane markham, sean sullivan and the world renowned teacher and dancer melissa hayden, one of george balanchine's first ballerinas. among her many accomplishments, ryen was featured in dance magazine for her performance at the alvin ailey theatre in nyc, and has won numerous choreography awards and accolades regionally and nationally. mrs mcgee is the current owner and artistic director of a class act dance center in pooler, ga.
tap, jazz, contemporary
elyse, a south florida native, has been training for twenty one years, since the young age of three, where she has since trained in all areas of study including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, hip-hop, pointe, modern, and musical theater. during this time she made her rounds in the competition and convention circuits, where she received many scholarships and awards including scholarships to justin giles' intensives, affiliated with his company "soul escape". elyse continued her education at florida state university, where she stayed active in their department of dance before she went on to earn a bachelors in exercise/rehabilitation science from armstrong atlantic university in savannah, ga. during this time, she began teaching and choreographing and hasn't looked back since. her choreography has since won several high scoring places at competitions around the southeast. she is a member of dance masters of america and certified by the organization in both ballet and tap.
courtney’s dance journey began in florida at the age of three, where she quickly discovered her passion for all things relating to dance. at the age of five, courtney began training under a Russian ballet instructor and participating in dance conventions and competitions. over the next 13 years she was awarded many overall awards and scholarships, while training under a wide variety of world renowned teachers in numerous styles. she moved to north carolina at the age of eight and began training in the north carolina school of the arts (now uncsa), ballet preparatory program. courtney continued her ncsa training in their high school ballet program, while also traveling with convention circuits as an assistant on the weekends. she also had the pleasure of studying under master choreographer dwight rhodes and the legendary desmond richardson of complexions contemporary ballet, during her high school years. courtney completed her high school education in columbia, sc while training under and working with the columbia city jazz dance company (dale lam).
courtney discovered and pursued her love of teaching dance and choreographing at a young age. her choreography has won many overalls, choreography and special awards.
she was recently cast as a featured swing dancer in an upcoming feature film: “the gloria’s”, directed by julie taymor.
she currently resides in savannah, ga where she teaches all styles and ages of dance at a local studio of 50+ years. she continues to be passionate about dancing, teaching, and creating, and hopes to use her passion to spread the love of dance and inspire children of all ages to follow their dreams!
ballet, pas de deux
born in milwaukee, wisconsin, shannon grew up dancing under the direction of william reilly, an original jerome robins dancer, and his wife, shirley, and sister, sheila. shannon dedicates her love of teaching and choreography to mr. reilly where she learned discipline, technique, dedication, and love for the art of ballet. upon moving to savannah, she studied and danced with the savannah ballet company, then directed by karena brock-carlyle, as well as madeline walker and terrell paulk of ballet south. following her initial time in the savannah area, shannon moved to atlanta where she danced professionally with the atlanta ballet company. during her time with atlanta ballet, she received her certification in early childhood education with the montessori institute of atlanta. shannon also studied, taught, and received her certification as a ballroom dance instructor with fred estaire dance studios of atlanta. she has instructed for kelly & co. studios, savannah danse theater, performing arts academy of savannah, star struck performing arts center and rising stars dance theater of beaufort. ger repertoire includes directing, choreographing and performing classics such as "the nutcracker," "sleeping beauty," "swan lake," "don quixote," "serenade," "carmina burana," "etudes," "paquita," "giselle," "symphony in c," "midsummer nights dream," "west side story," and "four seasons." shannon returned to savannah to attend the savannah college of art and design. upon her return, she accepted a position at the savannah montessori school of performing arts as director of dance and primary classroom director, and later, administrator. shannon has also held the office of president of the savannah symphony women's guild. ms. kelly continues to be regionally and nationally recognized for her choreography and teaching abilities.
born and raised in savannah, ga, christina began her ballet training with the late ruth goodman in 1960 and was a member of ruth goodman’'s danse theatre of savannah for many years. she also danced with the company's character dance troupe, which performed for various organizations and military bases around savannah and the southeast.
christina has continued her studies in dance throughout the years, and most recently was a member of islands dance academy’s adult danse ensemble.
as a natural extension of her dance training, christina has studied pilates for the past 13 years and became a certified pilates instructor under the tutelage of carol daly-wilder of momentum pilates studio in savannah.
recently, christina became a certified instructor in progressing ballet technique, us, an innovative program which assists students in understanding the depth of training muscle memory in order to achieve their personal best in classical ballet/dance training and fitness. we strongly believe in this added training technique as it is the perfect fit for our passionate belief in safe dance training, improving the student's understanding of core stability, weight placement and alignment.
christina was a sports photographer for many years while following the figure skating circuit shooting for such magazines as blades on ice and international figure skating. now she is able to combine her passion for photography with her first love of dance and movement, and operates turning pointes lifestyle & dance photography. samples of her performance and portrait work can be viewed on her website,
christina is proud to be in her sixth year as a member of the incredible team of instructors at the ballet school.
mallory hubert is a native of brunswick, ga where she began dancing at the age of three. she trained at the eleanor brooks school of dance, southern strut, and golden isles corps de ballet. she was the principal dancer in cinderella and the lion king as well as a featured dancer in rodeo, swan lake, and coppelia. during her ten years of competing mallory received titles as miss dance usa, dti dance ambassador, giaha roberta born scholarship recipient, and pdta tap scholarship winner. she was also selected to participate in the prestigious georgia governor’s honors program in 2005 as a dance major. mallory most recently danced in the atlanta-based professional contemporary company “project 7” training under cherrise wakeham, a two-time capezio a.c.. award nominee. her students and choreography have successfully earned top honorsand awards at both regional and national competitions throughout the southeast. after receiving her bba in management from uga, mallory married her college sweetheart John, a longtime resident of savannah. they are excited to plant their roots in pooler and become part of the community. she is so excited to join the acadc faculty and can’t wait to share her love of dance with so many new students and families.
men's class, lyrical
charlie lazar womble, originally from los angeles, california, started dance at the age of 3. he was the recipient of the national society of the arts award, received an honorable mention scholarship award, and the mary fife memorial award in classical ballet. after graduating high school in 1997, he relocated to atlanta where he danced with the atlanta ballet, and also performed in the corps. mr. womble took on principal roles in the nutcracker, don quixote, and romeo & juliette. at the age of 17 lazar joined the colorado ballet company and became a lead soloist for 3 years. later he joined the boston ballet with the esemble and as a soloist. mr. womble earned his bachelor of art in fashion, with a minor in musical theater at savannah college of art and design (scad). during his studies, he performed with the savannah ballet and savannah performing arts ballet company. he also utilized his talent with the sankofa dance theater, specializing in modern and african dance. from 2001-2004 lazar danced for disney theme parks and disney cruise lines in orlando florida. while there he performed lead roles in tarzan and beauty & the beast. he also danced in musical performances featuring national recording artists such as mariah carey and brittany spears. he has also taught at a number of studios in georgia & florida and he is known for his national award winning choreography.