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After graduation, he continued to study under Gary Harrison and was an original member of Harrison and Company, an elite dance company formed in Atlanta in the late 1980’s. Jeff did regional theatre productions and played the role of Bobby in A Chorus Line at the Alliance Theatre. In 1989, Jeff ventured out to perform with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. After numerous contracts with Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Cruise Lines, he was appointed Dance captain of several shows and choreographed numbers for the cruise lines. He continued to perform around the world in Japan and Malaysia for both US and British producers. He has also worked for many industrials and trade shows.
After 15 years as a professional dancer, Jeff returned home to become co-owner and co-Artistic Director for Dance Arts Centre (DAC). As one of the directors of DAC, Jeff has taken the studio to a level never imagined or achieved here in the Atlanta area. The studio and his students are nationally known on many levels.
Additionally, Jeff is a sought-after master teacher and choreographer throughout the U.S. During the year he finds time to judge for top competitions nationwide, teach and choreograph. His choreography has been recognized both regionally and nationally.
Jeff’s main goal as a studio owner and teacher is to ensure that his students receive the proper training in all aspects of dance, so if they want to pursue a career in dance or attend college, they have an exceptional foundation.
When considering his impact and role in teaching, mentoring and leaving a lasting legacy for his students, Jeff sums up his teaching philosophy…
“… It is never about the latest style or trend, it is about the training ….so they will be able to have longevity in the ever-changing world of dance….”
Upon completing his RAD training he began working on numerous TV shows throughout the United Kingdom including: Thingamijig (STV) Royal Command Performance (LWT), Video Entertainers (ITV), Little and Large (ITV), and Tribute to the Falklands (LWT), just to name a few. He also has numerous video and commercial credits, including Wild Boys by Duran Duran.
Jamie was an original cast member in the West End productions of JukeBox, and “Y”. After spending 4 years in London, Jamie ventured off to work in Portugal, and in 1984 was hired by Miller Reiche Productions in the US to work for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. From that time on, Jamie continued to work for many American and British producers in Bermuda, Malaysia, Japan and with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, as well as Celebrity Cruise Lines. Jamie also toured the US as a member of a Scottish Ballet Company in their production of Gathering of the Clans.
Now with Dance Arts Centre, Jamie has received numerous awards for his choreography, and is proud of his many students that have successfully continued in the dance world upon graduation. He is also a very popular guest teacher and choreographer for studios across the states.
Being from the United Kingdom where dance is regulated, Jamie’s approach as a co-director at Dance Arts Centre is to apply the principles he has learned in the UK to his teaching methods here. Jamie’s love for dance is evident in his teaching approach:
“As long as the child has walked out of my class feeling challenged and feeling good about themselves, I have done my job”
Renee’ began her ballet studies at the tender age of three. After attending a couple of small local studios, she began to study with the Atlanta School of Ballet from 1980-1985 under the direction of Marilee Smith. She was selected to be a member of The Atlanta Ballet Youth Ensemble, where she participated in several South East Regional Ballet Association (SERBA) conventions. Renee also toured with The Atlanta Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker for several years. In 1984, Renee’ attended a summer ballet program at the Royal Academy of Ballet in London, England.
Renee’ danced professionally as a corps de ballet member with the Atlanta Ballet from 1985 to 1986 under the direction of Robert Barnett. In 1985, she was selected to attend the SERBA Choreographers Summer Workshop in New York. In addition, Renee’ danced professionally as a soloist with the Northwest Florida Ballet in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, from 1987 through 1988, under the direction of Gaynor Grange.
In 1992, Renee’ started sharing her love of ballet teaching and choreographing pre-professional level ballet and pointe classes at several local dance studio. She joined DANCE ARTS CENTRE in 2008 where she is the company ballet teacher.
Renee’ has lived in Atlanta most of her life and attended elementary school, high school, and college in the area. When she is not teaching ballet she is a full time certified Pilates and GYROTONIC® instructor at a local physical therapy studio. Her biggest love is spending time with her son. In her free time Renee’ enjoys training and competing in sprint distance triathlons.
Renee’s favorite quote she uses to inspire her ballet students is the following:
Nobody cares if you can’t dance well.
Just get up and dance.
Great dancers are not great because
of their technique,
they are great because of their passion.
Jessica, a native of Atlanta, Georgia, began her dance training at the age of six. As a young dancer she was a student of Coby Richardson at Druid Hills Dance Centre where she was a member of “The Dance Troupe.” Under Ms. Richardson’s direction, Jessica began performing all over the Metro Atlanta area, as well as, competing in numerous competitions; including, Tremaine, DEA, Showstoppers and Dance Olympus. She was among a handful of dancers selected to travel with the Dance Olympus Tour.
As a teenager, Jessica went on to train with Gary Harrison at The Studio Atlanta Dance. She credits Mr. Harrison as being the most influential person of her dance career. It was under his guidance she was taught to appreciate strong technique in many different forms of dance.
As a student at The Marist School, Jessica was extremely involved in the dance program. Upon graduation she was presented with a Fine Arts Award, the first Marist had ever awarded in dance. After graduation she went on to choreograph pieces for two of Marist’s spring musicals, Guys and Dolls & Metropolis.
Some of Jessica’s professional credits include industrials for Reebok and Seventeen Magazine, as well as, choreographing and performing in numerous Atlanta area venues. She has been teaching ballet, jazz, tap, lryrical, hip hop and technique for over 15 years at various Atlanta area studios. Jessica feels fortunate and proud to be a part of the Dance Arts Centre family where the focus is on quality of dance and inspiring children of all ages.×
(Monique) Nicole George is a former Disney World cast member and had the honor of doing character performing as well as parade performing from 2009-2011. During her time at Disney, she participated in the televised “Mickey’s Once upon a Christmastime” parade in Magic Kingdom. She also had the opportunity to perform in “Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle” Parade in Animal Kingdom.
Nicole started her dance training at the age of 4 at her local Primrose Daycare. She started more serious training at the age of 7 in various styles such as ballet, jazz, tap, modern, lyrical, and hip hop. From 2003-2005 she trained under Pavel Rotaru of the Rotaru School of Russian Ballet. During her high school career, Nicole delved into choreographing and teaching as a part of her curriculum.
In 2006, Nicole’s choreography was showcased at National High School Dance Festival in Miami along with other high schools from all over the U.S. After high school, Nicole pursued a degree in Dance Education from Brenau University. Along with a degree in Dance Education, she recently received her degree in Print Journalism from Georgia State University with a minor in English.×
Rachael Hopkins is a 25 year old Central Florida native, who began dancing at 9 years old and she hasn’t stopped since. She received her intense training at Deltona Dance Academy and Rolann’s School of the Dance until graduating high school; appreciating and performing in all styles. For college, she was a student at The Florida State University where she studied family psychology and sociology, and was on the Golden Girls dance team for the three years she attended. Later she began teaching at The Dance P.A.D in Orange City, FL, under the direction of Tera Primm, where she truly found her love for teaching and choreography. She began really traveling the country choreographing for many studios and dance teams as well as judging for many competitions. With a burning passion for the arts and wanting to really make a splash in the dance world, she decided she needed to do something drastic. She moved to Los Angeles, California pursue a dance and choreographic career, where she taught ballet, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre at Cutting Edge Dance Center in Pomona, California.
During her two years in California, Rachael began dancing for Jaci Royal’s contemporary company “Royal Flux,” as well as “Entity Contemporary Company” directed by Will Johnston & Marissa Osato. She also humbly accepted an opportunity to teach on staff at “The Dance Sessions,” an inspiring in-studio convention founded by Sonya Tayeh and Chris Jacobsen. Some industry credits include: commercials for Fuller Cleaning Products-
choreographed by Mandy Moore, music-video for Ryan McDermott’s “Nobody” choreographed by Andrew
Winghart, “Shining” and “Shining On” both choreographed by Jaci Royal, “Out Of Darkness” choreographed by Andrew Winghart, and choreographing the opening number for celebrity designer Ina Soltani at LA Fashion week. Rachael has danced for and worked closely with choreographers like Sonya Tayeh, Ray Leeper, Brooke Pierotti, Chris Jacobsen, Mandy Moore, Jaci Royal, and Andrew Winghart to name a few.
As life always does, it throws lemons and changes. Rachael will tell you her most recent “accomplishment” is recently getting engaged to her fiancé Dillon. With a desire to settle down, start a family, get out of the city, but still choreograph and teach passionate kids on a daily basis…Rachael and Dillon have moved to the sweet town of Snellville, GA to be part of the Dance Arts Centre family full time. Rachael has choreographed for Jeff and Jamie for the past four years, and is completely grateful to see things truly come full circle. She’s more than excited to share her passion for movement and to continue to inspire the youth of the dance world…specifically, Suwannee, GA.×