The Forest Dance Academy Staff

Artistic Director, Choreographer and Owner
Michelle Thomas

Michelle Thomas, the Artistic Director of Forest Dance Academy, is a native of Michigan and the founding director of the Forest Dance Academy Performance Company.  Michelle is certified through examination by the Cecchetti Council of America (C.C.A.) as a student, as well as a teacher of Classical Ballet through the professional grade level.  She is a member of the East Coast Committee of Cecchetti and is pleased to announce that she is currently working with students for their Cecchetti Grade I - Grade V exams.  Michelle’s students have been recognized as overall scholarships winners at the C.C.A. Summer School in Holland Michigan.  Michelle is a graduate of Dance Master’s Teacher’s Training School at The University of Buffalo. She has been a member of Dance Masters of America for over 20 years where she is a Nationally Certified Examiner.  Her memberships have also included, Dance Masters of Michigan, Carolina Dance Masters, and Dance Teachers Association of Virginia.  She has served on the board of directors for Dance Masters of Michigan and the Dance Teachers Association of Virginia.  Michelle is professionally certified by examination to teach ballet, tap, jazz, modern and acro.    
   With over 40 years of experience in the dance and arts industry, and more than 28 of those years spent as a dance educator, Michelle continues to produce top notch artists.  In addition to the standard genres of dance, as a dancer, she also studied several other disciplines of the arts including Highland Dancing, Polynesian, Voice, Drama, Modeling and even Baton.  As a teacher, she is experienced in training advanced dancers in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Contemporary, Lyrical, Acrobatics, Hip Hop, and also enjoys inspiring young dancers from Tiny Tots through Primary, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced Levels.  
   Michelle was the state director of the Teen Miss and Mr. Dance of MI Solo Titled Competition.  Her students have represented Michigan, North Carolina, and Virginia as Dance Masters Title Holders.  Her title holders have gone on to place in the top ten on a national level.  Michelle is currently represented by several regional title holders from a variety of dance competitions.  And she is elated to say that FDA proudly presents Jordan Hayes as the current Teen Miss Dance of Virginia.  As an experienced adjudicator for dance competitions such as Dance Masters of Michigan, Dynamite National Talent, Northern Lights, Luv 2 Dance, Showtime and the British Association of Teachers of Dancing as well as performance and ballet companies Michelle has enjoyed traveling and judging in both the United States and Canada.  Her professional stage career includes dancing for Universal Studios and Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.  And she has had starring roles in the Broadway Musicals, “Gypsy”, “Anything Goes”, and “Annie Get Your Gun” as Annie Oakley to name a few.  Her experience goes beyond dance to include industrial commercial work as well.  
   Michelle has maintained a successful teaching career.  Her students have received numerous competition titles and accolades, and have won several national dance championships.  Michelle teaches not only technique, but the LOVE for dance as well.  Many of Michelle’s former students have gone on to make a professional career out of dance.  She currently has a dancers performing on Royal Caribbean, Holland America cruise ships, as Radio City Rockettes, successful Los Angeles Choreographers, a dancer who is touring with Ailey II, and another teaching at the EDGE Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.  Michelle has had students that have performed on the nationally televised “Star Search”, and “So You Think You Can Dance”, and that have worked in the industry from Atlantic City, Las Vegas, Chicago, Florida, Los Angeles, to New York City.  Many of Michelle’s former students have or are currently working towards their degrees in Dance Arts, dancing on college dance teams, clubs and cheerleading squads.  However, Michelle is most proud of the hundreds of strong confident and courageous dancers she has trained who have grown to be amazing woman and men who are successful in many fields.  Michelle was awarded The Presidential Citation for Outstanding Educator by the Governor’s School for Humanities and Visual & Performing Arts at the University of Richmond for the impact she has made towards the educational advancement of her dancers.  As a choreographer, Michelle has achieved numerous choreography awards both regionally as well as nationally.  Michelle has also had many award winning Distinguished Young Woman of Virginia formerly Lynchburg’s Junior Miss contestants, as well as Virginia’s Scholarship Winners in 2002, and 2010, and 2015.  She has choreographed several Broadway Musicals including “Anything Goes” and “Kiss Me Kate”.  In this, the 15th year of directing the FDA Performance Company, Michelle’s pieces continue to win overalls and choreography awards at regional competitions.  Michelle was the choreographer and director of the award winning Classy Dancer Tap Troupe & Pre-Professional Tap Troupe in addition to being a choreographer for the Lakes Area Civic Ballet Company’s “Nutcracker”. 
   Her training includes:  Bohoty’s School of Dance, On Stage Dance Studio, Lena Pelio’s and The Flint Ballet Company, The Detroit City Ballet, STEPS on Broadway, Luigi Jazz Centre, Broadway Dance Center, and The EDGE Performing Arts Center in L.A.  She has studied under such greats as Luigi, Frank Hatchett, Enid and Jeff Ricardeau, Romanian Iacob Lascu, Jason Samuels and Savion Glover to name a few.  Michelle still continues her dance education through conventions, and master classes from New York City to Las Vegas and LA.  In closing, I am thankful that as a dance teacher, I have the privilege of helping my students find the song in their hearts, the beat in their feet and a passion for both dance and life!

 

FACULTY

 
Jacob Beasley - Drama
Eun-Kyung Chung - Ballet & Pointe
Shelagh Connolly - Kinderdance, Primary, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acro, Musical Theatre and Modern 
Megan Emanuel - Primary, Pre-Pointe Ballet and Musical Theatre
Jennifer Foust - Ballet and Cecchetti
Karen Hamlet - Primary, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop and Leaps & Turns Technique
Cooper Hubbard - Ballet, Tap, Contemporary, Leaps & Turns and Improv
Christian Kessinger -  Breakdancing
Seyong Kim - Ballet Master
Mike Nguyen - Breakdancing
Dawn Peterson - Vocal Coach (Guest Master Teacher)
Caitlin Pugh - Tap and Leaps & Turns Technique
Karen Tanner - Substitute
Michelle Thomas - Tinty Tots, Creative Movement, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acro, Musical Theatre, Leaps & Turns, & Cecchetti and Special Needs
Timmy Williamson - Voice
Brittany Wood - Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Improv, and Pointe

 

Jacob Beasley – Drama Teacher

Jacob joins the FDA faculty this year as we are now offering Drama in addition to both Voice and Musical Theatre classes for those students wishing to their skills and become a triple threat!!!  He is a graduate of Liberty University where he was a Theater Performance major.  During his time at LU, he performed in six productions with Alluvion Stage Company; « Tarzan  « Les Miserables  « Mary Poppins  « The Little Mermaid « Sister Act « Peter and the Starcatcher « The Secret Garden as Colin. In the Spring of 2015, Jacob graduated from LU with a B.A. in Theater Performance.   After graduating, he worked as a counselor at Acting Uncut and performed in his first Alluvion production as an alumni.  Soon after, he joined the cast of West Side Story at Signature Theatre and, the following season, he was cast in Carousel at Arena Stage, where he was offered his card with Actors’ Equity Association. Now, he is a proud member of AEA. Jacob’s most recent performance was in the Virginia Premier of Disney’s Newsies as Crutchie with Alluvion Stage Company.  

 

Eun-Kyung Chung – Eun-Kyung comes to Lynchburg Virginia originally from South Korea where she won the Award of Choreographer in Korean Association of Dance in 2004 and 1st place in Seung Hei Choi Competition in Choreography in 2006.  Eun-Kyung received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Dance (BA & MFA) at EWHA Women University in Seoul, South Korea in 2006.  She is currently a guest faculty member at Randolph College where she teaches Beginning and Intermediate Ballet as well as Pointe.  She is the Ballet Mistress at Forest Dance Academy where she teaches Ballet, Pointe and Repertory classes.  In addition, she is also faculty at Runder Tisch Tanz Wurzburg Germany where she teaches Adult and Basic Ballet.  Miss Chung is certified in Vaganova Teaching Method 1-3. Her professional stage credits include performing the following roles at Landes Theater Coburg, Coburg, Germany under the direction of Mark McClain; The main role Concerto by Tara Yipp as a Soloist, Trance by  Po-Sheng  Yeh as group dancer, the main role in Caged by  Mark McClain as a Soloist, Remember self choreographed as a soloist, the main role in Hypnotic Poison by  Demis Volpi as a Soloist , the main role in Bewitched by  Mark McClain as a Soloist, a business woman in Contrast by  Young Soon Heo, and as Sugar Plum  Fairy in The Nutcracker by  Mark McClain.  Eun-Kuyng also performed the following roles at Mainfranken Theater Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Germany under the direction of Anna Vita; ‘Note to self’ by Ishan as Pas de trios, A Midsummer Night’s Dreams by Youri Vamos as Helena, Othello by Anna  Vita as Bianca, Dracula by Anna  Vita as Vempire, Lucidor by Youri Vamos as Arabella, David Bundle  Dance by Anna  Vita as Pas de Deux and A.D. Impression by Ivan Alboresi as Pas de Quatre.  At Ballet Theater Seoul, Seoul, South Korea under the direction of James Jeon she performed The Nutcracker as Sugar Plum  Fairy, Coppelia, Giselle as Fiance by James Jeon and Wave of Emotion by Young Soon Heo.  And at Ballet Blanc, Seoul, South Korea under the direction of Ju Heon Jeon she was a group ballet dancer.  Eun-Kyong is currently a soloist with The Landes Theater Coburg in Coburg, Germany. 

Shelagh Connolly - Miss. Connolly has been dancing since the age of 3 under the tutelage of her mother, Miss. Trixie Hardy.  Though originally from Sault Ste. Marie Ontario Canada, she currently resides in Lynchburg Virginia.  Miss Connolly has studied all forms of dance and became the co-director The Trixie Hardy Dance Studio for over 28 years.  Miss. Connolly currently is on faculty at Forest Dance Academy.  Miss. Connolly currently serves as Trustee for the BATD and Past President of the British Association of Teachers of Dancing.  She is honoured to have served as the First North American President in the history of the Associations 125 years.  Shelagh is a Fellow and Examiner in the Stage, Ballet & Freestyle Branches of the B.A.T.D. and was instrumental in creating the New Jazz Syllabus and its instruction in the United Kingdom and Canada.  Miss. Connolly is the current North American Coordinator for the Stage & Ballet Branches of the BATD.  Miss. Connolly is also a member in good standing of Dance Masters of America and DTA of VA in all genres of dance.  Miss. Connolly has taught at numerous workshops in the United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S.A. and has taught Dance Education in the Public School System.  She has adjudicated throughout Canada and several States, Dance, Dance Dance Canada, Thunder Bay Kiwanis Dance, BATD Canada, Theatre Dance Council International Blackpool England to name a few.  Her students have been High Score winners in Florida, Las Vegas and California where they had the privilege of performing at Disneyland California.  Students have also progressed to dancing professionally in Europe, Canada and the U.S.A. as well as seeking Professional Dance careers within the Association.  Miss. Connolly holds a BSC in Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement and Associate Substance Abuse Counseling pending.  Look beyond and broaden your knowledge and experience the lasting friendships, the teamwork, and continued growth in your dance abilities. 

Megan Emanuel - Megan began her education career in 2001 at Brookville High School where she teaches theatre, coaches the One-Act Competition team, and sponsors the Thespian Club.  She has directed and choreographed dozens of straight plays and musicals including My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Guys and Dolls, and Annie. She has been the Director of Dance Works at Lynchburg College, her alma mater, since 2005.  Megan serves as the Student Coordinator of Masterworx Community Theatre and teaches at the Academy Center of the Arts during the summer.   Megan fell in love with the stage at the age of 5 when she started dancing at Forest Dance Academy under the direction of Pam York and Sue Dail.  Her childhood memories of dance classes, conventions, and recitals are among some of her favorite. She loves sharing her passion for the performing arts with students of all ages and considers it an honor to join the FDA faculty. Megan is an active member of the Virginia Theatre Association and Educational Theatre Association.  She has been married to her amazing husband Mike since 2004 and they have three adorable children Emily, Ethan, and Eli.  

Jennifer Foust - Jennifer studied dance and psychology at Hollins College. During this time she had the opportunity to study dance in New York at Alvin Ailey and Phil Black Studios.  After graduating from Hollins, Jennifer moved to Kentucky to pursue a graduate degree in School Psychology.  While in Kentucky she taught and performed with Syncopated Inc., a semiprofessional dance company, and worked with Very Special Arts, a group dedicated to bringing arts instruction to children with special needs. Jennifer arrived at Forest Dance Academy 27 years ago as an adult student and was later invited by Pam York and Sue Dail, to begin teaching classes. Jennifer continues to enjoy teaching classes at FDA, especially ballet and Cecchetti. She also enjoys coordinating the FDA Liturgical Ensemble, a group which takes dance to churches and nursing homes in the community.  Jennifer is certified by Dance Masters of America.  In addition to teaching at FDA, Jennifer is a School Psychologist for Bedford County Public Schools, and the Assistant Pastor of the Lynchburg Church of the Brethren.  The job title she is most proud to proclaim is mother of four, including FDA’s very own amazing dancer Anika Foust-Meyer. 

Karen Hamlet - Karen has been involved in the dance industry for more than twenty years. Growing up at Forest Dance Academy in Forest, Virginia, Karen began her instruction at age four under Pam York and Sue Dail. She has been an instructor with Forest Dance Academy since 1999. She holds an A.S. degree in Business Administration from Central Virginia Community College and has continued her education at Lynchburg College with a psychology major and as a member of Psi Chi.  Karen is a member of Dance Teachers Association of Virginia and Dance Masters of America, and is certified by examination from DTA of VA and D.M.A. to teach ballet, tap and jazz. She is experienced in teaching tap, jazz, mini-jazz, hip-hop, mini hip-hop, musical theatre, contemporary, lyrical, and mini-acro.  Karen is both an accomplished dancer and teacher, who has been awarded convention scholarships and numerous high score and overall awards on both the regional and national levels. Her choreography has been recognized on the competition circuit, winning numerous choreography awards.  Renowned choreographer Michael Schwandt requested Karen’s choreography to use for recording artist Imogen Heap’s world tour. Her routines have won several first overall placements at both regional and national competitions and her students have received many outstanding competition accolades. Under Karen’s direction, her students have gone on to attend prestigious universities dance programs, appear in dance shows, and perform in scholarship shows. She has had Dance Masters titleholders in both North Carolina and Virginia. Her students have also gained titles at such competitions such as StarQuest, NexStar, and Dynamite to name a few. Karen has had many Greater Lynchburg Junior Miss contestant talent winners, as well as overall title winners. Karen received the Presidential Citation award by the Virginia’s Governor’s School for Humanities and Visual & Performing Arts for having a positive influence on the educational development of gifted and talented students, and for mentoring, advising, and inspiring the youth of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Karen has trained in many disciplines of dance and has studied under some of the most notable names in the dance industry. She continues to further her dance training and education though travels to New York City and by attending conventions and taking master classes from award winning nationally known teachers and choreographers. Karen has been a judge for the British Association of Teachers of Dancing competition in Toronto, Canada as well as various high school and college dance teams.  She feels very blessed to have been given the opportunity to share her love of dance with children of all ages through teaching and choreographing! 

 

Cooper began her journey of dance at the age of 7 at Forest Dance Academy.  
She started competing at 9 years old allowing her to experience a broad
range of dance styles. Cooper also cheered for 4 years at Jefferson Forest
High School and participated on their competition cheer team as well. While
living in Northern Virginia she taught at Creative Dance Studio coaching for
their All Stars Team, Competition Team, and outreach program. She also had
the privilege to work closely with the Tokyo Dance Company while there.
Her dance training includes; Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Hip Hop,
and Acrobatics.  She and her husband Nick are the very proud parents of
their beautiful daughter, ballerina to be, Miss Harlynn.

 

 

Christian Kessinger - Christian is currently a junior at Liberty University studying Pre-Law.  He has been a dance member of the Peacemakers Crew since 2011.  As the leader of this student club which is designed for community outreach through the art of dance Christian leads rehearsals, organizes shows and event performances for local and surrounding communities, inspires members to pursue the club’s vision, motivates others around central goals, raises funds for several events, and is a teacher and director of the club members. In addition, Christian has also been an active member of the Musik-N-Motion Break Dancing Crew for several years, performing in various shows as well as hip-hop themed events.  Since 2014, Christian has been involved in The King’s Order which is an extension to the Peacemakers. Where Peacemakers focus is more on shows and choreography, The King’s Order focuses on the competitive aspect of dance traveling to the DC area as well as North Carolina.   Some of Christian’s accomplishments include The Lab: Top 16, South East Bboy Championships 5: Top 32 and Top Notch 2015: Top 16.  When Christian is not focusing on his studies, he finds himself volunteering at One Community Church and through Hands of Compassion where he has traveled to different countries such as Costa Rica and Guatemala helping to bring young people out of a harmful setting and into new encouraging settings. 

Seyong Kim - Mr. Kim holds an MA in Dance Education from New York University as well as an MFA in Dance from Sung-Kyun-Kwan University in South Korea, and his scholarly research has been published in Korean Society of Dance. Mr. Kim also served as a Marine in the Republic of Korea from 2000 to 2003.  Mr. Kim is a member of AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists) and ISMETA (International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy), and he is studying CMA (Certified Movement Analyst) program through Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.  Also, Mr. Kim is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level 7 of the American Ballet Theatre’s National Training Curriculum. He has taught in New York University, Rutgers University, Peridance Capezio Center, Middlesex County College, Libera University in Italy, Charlottesville Ballet Company, New Rochelle Arts High School and Seoul Arts High School. Mr. Kim is currently an Assistant Professor of Dance at Randolph College in Lynchburg, VA.  Seyong Kim was awarded the gold medal in both the Korea Dance Association Competition and Sung-Kyun-Kwan Dance Competition. Mr. Kim has performed in diverse professional venues and cultures across Asia, Europe and the United States. He was pointed as a principal in many classical ballets by Marius Petipa, August Bournonville and George Balanchine, and his repertory expanded with contemporary works by Nacho Duato, Paul Taylor, Jodie Gates, Val Caniparoli, Randy James, Kenny Larsons, Alexandre Proia, and Graham Lustig.  Mr. Kim has danced with Metropolitan Opera Ballet in Lincoln Center, Albania Opera Ballet Theatre, Korean National Ballet Theater, Arzid Modern Dance, Terra Firma Dance Theatre, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Staten Island Ballet, Baltimore Ballet, Lustig Dance Theatre, Traverse City Dance Project, Neglia Ballet, Oakland Ballet Company, and Roxey Contemporary Ballet. In addition, his choreographic works have been performed at San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Landes Theater Coburg in Germany, Dance in ITALY Festival, Seoul Fringe Festival, Korea-Japan Dance Festival, Dumbo Dance Festival, and Exit 12 Dance Company. 

 

Mike Nguyen - Mike has been on faculty with Forest Dance Academy since 2012.  He, along with numerous other local dancers make up the Musik-N-Motion Dance Crew.  Mike has been a sought after break dance instructor in Lynchburg and the surrounding areas.  He was raised in Lynchburg where he was a graduate of Brookville High School in 2014.  As a student of Central Virginia Community College, Mike is a sophomore majoring in computer science with a minor in graphic design.  In addition to being an extremely talented self taught break dancer, Mike is also an artist.  He enjoys inspiring others in a variety of art forms.  A past employee of Kohls, Mike is additionally currently working at his mother’s salon, V.I.P. Nails on Wards Road.  When not at FDA, you can find him enjoying the great outdoors or eating nachos!

 

Dawn Peterson First and foremost Dawn Peterson is a Christian. One who was given new-life through Christ. Forgiven. Loved, and seeks to serve Him. Dawn is happily married. She and her husband Bill have 7 children and 24 grandchildren. Dawn’s entire career has been dedicated to performing, teaching voice privately, and directing and producing shows. Dawn is a native of CA, and the Emeritus Founder of Center Stage Kids, a thriving and innovative venue of teaching young students musical theatre; in the heart of downtown Modesto, CA. In the years 2012 thru 2016 Dawn accompanied a team of Master Teachers to Slovenia, where she and her cohorts taught musical theater at an arts camp and shared the love of and joy of Jesus with 45+ Slovene students. After living in CA her entire life, Dawn and husband Bill moved to Lynchburg in 2014 and LOVE Virginia! In her prime years Dawn was the recipient of several prestigious awards. First place solo division in the Youth and Music award in Vienna, Austria. Two time winner in the district Metropolitan Opera Awards. Dawn has been a featured soloist with the Carmel Bach Festival, leading orchestras, and sung many leading roles in opera and musical theatre on the West Coast. Since residing in Lynchburg Va, Dawn has been featured in MasterWorx’ Oliver and A Grand Night For Singing. Currently Mrs. Peterson is the Soprano Section Leader in Alluvions Hunchback of Notre Dame and was cast as Viola Pillow in Jingle In The City a Musical Theatre production at TRBC to be performed December 1-4th 2016. Trivia: Dawn sang as guest soloist for President George Bush (senior), the Billy Graham crusade, Luis Palau crusade, and Dr. Jerry Falwell when they made appearances in Modesto, CA.

Caitlin Pugh - Caitlin grew up dancing at Forest Dance Academy from the time she was 4 years old. FDA was Caitlin’s life for 20 years dancing all the way through college. While at FDA she received the Exemplary Student Award, danced in many festivals, competitions, study trips, and was chosen several times to dance in the Virginia School of the Arts Gala. Her dance education is accredited to all the Staff that has taught at FDA over the years. Caitlin attended Lynchburg College and majored in Elementary Education. She danced for LC Danceworks and choreographed several student pieces. She grew into the teaching role at FDA during her junior and senior years of college, as well as continuing to choreograph for LCDW. Caitlin has taught 3rd and 4th grades, but currently teaches 1st grade at Robert S. Payne Elementary School. She has been teaching there for 9 years and enjoys every moment. Teaching in a low socioeconomic school has sparked Caitlin’s interest in pursuing a degree in School Counseling, so she can better understand and work with her students. This year she was chosen by her peers as the Teacher of the Year for Robert S. Payne. Caitlin returned back to FDA 3 years ago after taking time to focus on her career. Slowly making her way back to where it all began, she joined the Staff as a teacher and choreographer for the Performance Company. She is a certified dance instructor through Dance Masters of America and is a member of the Dance Teachers Association of Virginia Chapter 45. Caitlin became a teacher simply to inspire because that’s what her teachers did for her.

Karen Tanner - Karen Tanner is a 1998 graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Child Development and a 2005 graduate of the University of Virginia with a Masters of Education in Administration and Supervision. She spent ten years as an elementary school educator and administrator and is currently a faculty member of Virginia Tech where she specializes in Family and Child Development for the past four years.  Karen grew up dancing at Forest Dance Academy, returning to FDA after college to dance both as an advance student and an adult. She is certified through Dance Masters of America as a tap, ballet, and jazz teacher and has been teaching at FDA for the past four years where she loves to instill the passion for dance even in the youngest of dancers. Karen will be married to her ever-supportive husband, Trey for 20 years this coming August. They have two children, Kyleigh and Talon and one more due to arrive any day.

 

 

Timmy Williamson - Voice Teacher

Timmy comes to us directly from Liberty University and is a dynamic performer and Baritone.   He received his training at Liberty University where he earned his B.A. in Theatre Performance and B.S. in Worship and Music Studies in 2014.  His adversity in acting has left him skilled in the following dialects - (British, French, Southern, Irish).   In addition to his vocal expertise and sight reading of music, Timmy is proficient in playing both the mouth trumpet and the piano which he studied privately for 7 years.  His Alluvion Stage Company theatre credits include; Beauty and the Beast where he played Beast and was the Vocal Captain, Secret Garden playing the role of Archibald and Vocal Captain, Tarzan Ensemble Vocals, Les Miserables as Javert and the Vocal Captain,  Mary Poppins performing as the Bank Chairman, Ensemble and Vocal Captain, Peter Pan playing Mr. Darling, Noodler and the Vocal Captain.  With Liberty University Timmy played the roles of Cinderella’s Prince, Wolf and Vocal Captain for Into the Woods, Curly in Oklahoma, Prince and Apothecary in Romeo and Juliet and finally Burl in the Sanders Family Christmas awarding him the KCACTF Irene Ryan Nomination.   Some of Timmy’s film credits include a featured role in Jeep Genie for Watts Creative Television Spot, a feature in Craft Hyundai also for Watts Creative Television Spot, and extra (British Soldier) in TURN: Washington’s Spies for AMC - Season 2: Final Episode and was an extra in The Potential Inside for Red Cloud Productions.  

Brittany A. Wood - Brittany grew up dancing at Forest Dance Academy for 15 years, she was a member of the Performance Company as well as a Teacher’s Assistant. During her time with FDA, Brittany was awarded the Christopher Cole Hemley scholarship award, as well as, the Pamela K York scholarship. Throughout high school she was one of the first members of the Brookville Dance Team and served as the group’s President. After graduating with honors from BHS, she attended James Madison University as a dance major and completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and Dance. At JMU, she was a member of the Contemporary Dance Ensemble, in which she danced as the lead role in multiple performances, as well as, the Associate Dance Ensemble, where her student choreography was showcased in multiple productions. As a member of Madison Dance, a student run organization at JMU, Brittany took on the role of Head Lyrical Choreographer on its Executive board. During her years at JMU, she began her teaching career at Lexington School of Dance and Dance & Co. She attended a number of auditions and enrolled in summer intensives and apprenticeships in Chicago and NYC with River North Dance Chicago and Hubbard Street. She was also offered a contract with Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. Upon graduation from JMU, she made her way back home to FDA where she has been a dance instructor and co-director of the Performance Company for the past six years. Brittany certified through Dance Masters of America.  Since moving back home, she has choreographed pieces for Lynchburg College, been awarded numerous choreography awards and high scores at Regional and National dance competitions, had soloists compete for titles on the regional and national level, attended the Dance Teacher’s Summit in NYC, and has been married to Justin Wood for five years.  In May of 2017, Brittany and Justin welcomed a new edition to their family, Baby Blakely Glenn Wood.  Brittany was inspired by her late dance instructor Pam York to share her passion and love for dance. As a choreographer, Brittany’s goal is to challenge dancers to become not only performers but, more importantly, artists.

 

OFFICE STAFF

Office Manager:  Nancy McKee

Administrative Assistant:  Lindsay Tibbs

Marketing:  Claudia Shroyer

 

Nancy McKee - A true Yankee by birth having grown up in the Boston, Massachusetts vicinity, Nancy McKee has lived in the Lynchburg area for the past 46 years and has earned the right to be called a Southerner.  She attended Lynchburg College and graduated with a Dramatic Arts Degree in 1975.  Her first job after graduation was a copywriter with WLLL/WGOL radio where she doubled as the female voice for on-air advertisements and provided the listening audience with their daily horoscopes … the opening line being “This is Crystal with your daily horoscope”.  After leaving the radio world she worked in real estate and bookkeeping while she returned to Lynchburg College to complete her finance and accounting education.  Nancy started working at First Colony Life Insurance Company in 1981 and held a variety of administrative, management and leadership positions before retiring in 2009 after 28 years of service.  Her “official” career at Forest Dance Academy started in the Fall of 2009, but her tenure at the studio started in 1991 when she held the very important position of Dance Mom for her daughter Lauren.  Away from the studio she stays busy with her jewelry business, Crystals of Hope, and she enjoys traveling, all sorts of crafts, reading, visiting wineries and watching movies.  And, her newest passion is being Grandma to Alden Elizabeth Falwell who arrived on February 26, 2017 (be sure to ask to see pictures!).  Nancy and her husband Jay celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary this past June.

Lindsay Tibbs is originally from the midwest, and has many fond memories of being involved in dance and theater growing up.  After living in St. Louis & a suburb of Chicago, she moved to Lynchburg in 1999 to attend Liberty University.  It was during grad school, she met & married her husband Chris, and officially put down some southern roots.  While volunteering with C.A.S.A. she was led to work in family advocacy.  Over the next 10 years she worked as an intensive in-home service provider, emergency foster care social worker, and Director of an intensive in-home agency.   Highlights were advocating for children, training foster parents, collaborating with providers, and one of her favorites - training school administrators in restorative conferencing.   Currently, Lindsay enjoys homeschooling her daughters, Camryn and Addison, and being involved in the community… with Brentwood Church, theater, and all things dance mom and FDA of course!  

 

Claudia Shroyer - Claudia comes to us originally from Holly, Michigan but has been a resident of Virginia since 2003.  For those of you who may be unaware, Claudia is one of 6 children belonging to Brigitte and Allan Shroyer, making her Michelle’s sister of course.  Of the 6 children, 5 of them grew up dancing, but Claudia, having two left feet found her passion instead showing horses.  Claudia began as a youth showing in 4-H but quickly surpassed the club and found her way into the American Quarter Horse Association and showing on the circuit.  She was a champion at the Congress in Western Pleasure and Longe Line.   Claudia’s office experience began when she attended the American Travel School in Detroit Michigan and Dallas Fort Worth to obtain her travel agent certification.  Claudia started working in the travel industry as a travel consultant then moved into management of Executive Travel where she specialized in both leisure and corporate travel.  In 1993 ABC Travel Agency was born as an acronym for (Allan, Brigitte and Claudia).  This family business which was managed by Claudia gave the opportunity for some amazing excursions world wide.  Upon her arrival to Virginia Claudia found a farm in Bedford where she lives with her French Bulldog Louie, her Brussel Griffon Einstein, and her Manx cat Flame.  Claudia continues to raise Quarter Horses & chickens.