Teachers

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Ashleigh Keefer
Owner/ Artistic Director,
Instructor, SOKY Dance Ensemble Director & Dance Company 2 Director

Ashleigh graduated from WKU & received a B.A. in dance, along with a B.A. in Psychology. She was a member of the WKU Dance Company. Ashleigh performed in the ACDFA program 2007-2008, in the Chicago World Jazz Dance Congress 2007, & in the "Overseas" Dance tour through Italy in 2008 & 2010.  She is a member of the National Dance Educators Organization & Tennessee Dance Association. She is an ABT® Certified teacher who has completed training in Primary through Level 3 of ABT® in NYC. Her award-winning choreography has been selected to perform in the Tennessee Dance Association Gala several years & Inaside Choreographer Showcase in Chicago. She has been a judge for several national dance competitions, has served as a Competitive Dance Team & Competitive Gymnastics Floor Coach. Ashleigh created & served as the Artistic Director for a National Dance Convention from 2014-2020. Most recently she took over ownership & is the Artistic DIrector, Owner, Instructor, & is the current director of Dance Company 2/SOKY Dance Ensemble.

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Kelsey Tullis,
Instructor,
Performance Troupe Director & Dance Company 1 Director

Kelsey is a graduate from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in both Dance & Arabic. She grew up dancing at Dance Arts and was a member of Performance Troupe for several years. Kelsey worked in the office during high school, then transitioned to teaching soon after. Prior to attending WKU, she graduated from Tony Lindsey School of Cosmetology & attained her license as a Cosmetologist. Kelsey spent the summer in Egypt volunteering as a dance instructor at an elementary school for refugees in 2018. Kelsey is also a resident artist at Arts for All KY, an organization that specializes in providing visual & performing art classes for students with physical and mental disabilities. She teaches various ages, levels, & genres of dance, but her favorite style is Lyrical. Kelsey has been teaching dance for 16 years & is the current director of Performance Troupe & Dance Company 1.

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Roberto Sifontes,
Ballet Instructor,
SOKY Dance Ensemble

Roberto received his training in ballet at the Professional School of Arts. After graduating he joined the Ballet of Camaguey then was invited to join the Contemporary Ballet of Caracas as a principal dancer. As a professional dancer Roberto has performed in Mexico, Jamaica, Venezuela, Italy, Israel, Yugoslavia (Sarajevo), Europe, & the Middle East. Most recently Roberto danced with Kentucky Ballet Theater in Lexington, Ky. Roberto also has more than 20 years experience teaching ballet technique and partnering, he was on faculty of the Kentucky Ballet Theatre academy, and has been contracted as a guest teacher in Chicago, Florida, Kentucky, New York, Kentucky, & Puerto Rico.

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Carlie Hardin,
Instructor

Carlie has been dancing since age five & grew up dancing at Dance Arts. She was a member of Performance Troupe & later joined SOKY Dance Ensemble. Carlie is currently attending Western Kentucky University. She has trained in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, & Tap, but Tap is her favorite style to teach. Carlie has been an instructor for four years & currently teaches a variety of classes at SOKY DA. Specifically, she teaches Advanced Tap & Musical Theatre classes as well.

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Lindsey Simpson
Instructor

Lindsey is currently in her junior year in the Mahurin Honors college at WKU pursuing a B.A. in dance & advertising. During her time at WKU, she has been involved with their Dance Company & has taken on tasks of producing, choreographing, & understudying in student choreography showcases. She has been an active member of WKU's student chapter of the National Dance Education Organization. Lindsey began dancing at Dance Arts when she was two years old & has studied many different genres of dance including Modern, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, Lyrical, & Pointe.

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Tristan Cosby,
Hip Hop Instructor

Tristan has been dancing for 15 years & has trained under various different Hip Hop instructors in both KY & TN. In 2019, he began teaching for the Light of Chance, which is a non-profit organization that serves youth in the community through innovative arts & wellness programs. Tristan has also been a guest choreographer for a Hip Hop based dance team at WKU called "Kaois." He currently teaches Hip Hop at SOKY DA & his style can be characterized as "groove."

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Ginny Cardi,
Instructor

Ginny is the primary Ballroom instructor at SOKY DA, but she also teaches in our Young Children's Program and choreographs for SOKY Dance Ensemble. She received her degree in Dance at Western Kentucky University. She was a member of the WKU Dance Company & has competed professionally in the Ballroom category. Ginny danced & taught at National Dance Clubs, YPAC in Illinois, & various places in TN. She is also known for her choreography for special events, specifically father/daughter dances, first wedding dances, & mother/son dances. Ginny is certified with SADM, DVida in American smooth & rhythm dance, & is a member of NCDA. Last but not least, she is a talented seamstress & often custom-makes costumes for her students' pieces.

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Ashley Benge,
Acro Instructor

Ashley teaches currently teaches Acro at SOKY Dance Arts. She is also an Account Manager for Rebel Atheletic Cheer. Ashley was a cheerleader all throughout highschool & has been a gymnast for most of her life. Her teaching goals are to be inclusive of everyone, encourage students to step out of their comfort zones, & build confidence through the acquisition of new tricks. Ashley emphasizes the importance of safety first in her Acro classes & has several years of experience teaching Acro/Tumble classes.

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Eliza Cook,
Instructor

Eliza has studied dance for 15 years at All Starz Dance Academy in Franklin, KY where she was a member of their dance team & trained in Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern, Contemporary, & Acro. She has been teaching and choreographing for the last three years. Eliza was chosen to study at the Governor's School of the Arts where she focused in Ballet & Modern. She has trained at UK School of Dance, DC Dance Factoru in Nashville, & Hollywood Dance Intensive. Eliza served as assistant instructor for Breathe Dance Conventions for the 2021-22 season and will be serving as their intern for the 2022-23 season. Eliza plans to attend Belmont University to study dance starting August 2022.

BIO

Ginny received her degree in Dance at Western Kentucky University. She was a member of the WKU Dance Company & performed Ballroom professionally. Ginny is a very talented seamstress & often custom-makes costumes for her students' pieces.

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Joanna Barnes,
Instructor

Joanna grew up dancing at Dance Arts & also received training at WKU's dance program along with the Harvard University's recreational dance program. She has experience teaching both children & adults. She has a B.S. in elementary education, an Ed M. in International Education Policy, & a Ph.D in Curriculum & Instruction. Joanna began teaching at Dance Arts, later became an elementary teacher, & then a university professor. She taught 4th grade & K-5 Arts/Humanities in Louisville & coached an elementary school dance team. Joana also worked as a full-time professor in elementary education at Indiana University Southeast & MTSU for seven years before becoming a stay-at-home mom.

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Maya Spence,
Instructor

After graduating high school in 2020, Maya moved to Buffalo, NY & began working as a dental assistant. She was a member of SOKY Dance Ensemble for several years & was also a member of Performance Troupe. Maya has performed at various dance competitions & choreography showcases; she also featured as the Sugar Plum Fairy at SOKY DA's Nutcracker Tea Party. Maya is so excited to begin her journey teaching at the studio that trained her.

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Roshunda Brown,
Guest Choreographer

Roshunda graduated from Western Kentucky University with a B.A. in dance & also performed as a member of the WKU Dance Company. She currently lives in Nashville, TN & teaches at several different local studios. Roshunda dances with Found Movement Company & her choreography has won various awards at dance competitions. At our studio, she primarily choreographs Modern & Contemporary pieces for SOKY Dance Ensemble. Roshunda was the Director of Creative Operations at a dance competition/convention for five yaers & has experience as an instructor for the last nine years.

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Neena Hook,
Yoga Instructor

Neena received her yoga teaching certification in 2019. She is registered nationally with the Yoga Alliance and has earned 400 accredited hours. Recently, Neena received her Instinctive Meditation certification as well. Her teaching style can be characterized as a gentle flow with the emphasis on mind & body connection.

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Sydney Shrewsbury,
Fitness Instructor

Sydney Shrewsbury is a senior at Western Kentucky University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Marketing with a concentration in Sales & a certificate in Applied Data Analytics. She has danced since age three, Sydney was a member of SOKY Dance Ensemble 2014-2017. She attended summer intensives with Orlando Ballet, Nashville Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet’s Musical Theatre program. After ending her dance training, she began teaching barre classes at the Barre Company.

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Brendan Pinkett,
Instructor

Brendan began his dancing journey at age eight, starting with a range of competitive studios. Since then, he has worked under the minds of Travis Cooper & Cailin Manning through several mentorships, was a faculty assistant for Bella Moxi dance convention, & in May 2020 graduated from Nashville School of the Arts as a dance major. While in school, Brendan studied under Stacie Flood-Popp, Debra Perry, & several other talented artists learning a plethora of styles including: Modern, African, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, & choreography based courses. He joined Found Youth in 2015 and continued on to join Found Movement Group. Currently, Brendan is moving forward on his journey to establish himself in Nashville's dance community. His love for dance allows him to connect with himself, as well as the diverse community around him.