Joanne Davidson opened Elite Dance Academy, Inc. in August 2002 where she teaches Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Leaps/Turns, Tumbling, and more. Joanne has 31 years of training, to include studio training, numerous conventions, Huntington College, Broadway Dance Center, Radio City Rockettes, and DanceSport in NY.
Joanne found her passion in dance as a child, winning numerous regional and national awards and college scholarships in dance. As a teenager, she was awarded as an American All Star, Universal Dance Star, International All Star, and NCA Collegiate Dance All Star. She was also chosen to perform for Superbowl XXVI in Minnesota, for the government in Nassau, Bahamas, and the 1996 Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Joanne performed as a member of ‘Georgia’s Dancin’ Machine’, the Springer Ballet Company (now known as Columbus Ballet) under prima ballerina, Sonia Manzi, DancEffects, the Huntington Dancers, the Golden Girls dancers of Golden Park, and more. Joanne has been a winner of many pageants including Jr. Teen Miss Lee County, Teen Miss Lee County, and Miss Phenix City, where she won the talent awards in dance. At Miss Alabama, she was awarded several scholarships including the Directors Award. She has also performed roles in the productions of “A Chorus Line”, “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”, “A Christmas Carol - the Ballet”, “Swan Lake”, and “The Nutcracker”, to name a few. She served as Dance Captain and also earned top roles in several.
Since studying dance and theater at Huntington College, on dance scholarship, she became a dance instructor of Universal Dance Association, BJ’s Dance Factory, Columbus Ballet, Columbus State University’s continuing ed dept., and of course, Elite Dance Academy, Inc. as President and Director.
She was chosen as a finalist for the Radio City Rockettes in NYC in 2002 but, declined due to the opening of her studio. Joanne was hired as the choreographer for the All American Football League cheerleaders. She has coached the Dazzlin’ Dolls to hundreds of trophies, awards, and scholarships over the last 16 years. Her choreography has been sought after by dance teams, show choirs, pageant contestants, and stage productions across the SouthEast. In 2008-2009, she coached and managed the Columbus Lady Lions, professional dance team. She also established an arts after school program for Brookstone School, in which she taught dance & musical theater for six years and hosted the first ever Cougar Company audition clinic. She held a pageant training program for those pursuing pageant and talent competitions. Joanne stays busy with seizing every opportunity to share dance with the community. She plays an active role in National Dance Week, is member of the National Dance Association, AAHPERD, former sponsor for Scott’s Miracle Riders (Children’s Miracle Network), and a participant of Relay for Life, served as choreographer for Night of Lights, and Thunder on the Hooch. She is also a member of the Better Business Bureau. She served as choreographer for Brookstone’s Country Fair Musical. Joanne has served as choreographer and instructor for the Central High School Dazzlin’ Devils Dance Team for four years, taking them to 1st place wins at competition last year. She has also served as competition choreographer for Smiths Station High School Varsity Pantherettes. She is a former dance instructor and cheer coach for Wynnbrook Christian School. For 8 years, Joanne was in the field of Information Technology, and worked as both an IT Manager and Computer Programmer/Developer. She also dabbles in Graphic Design, Writing, Marketing, and all things business.
Joanne is the mother of Keely Davidson, who is completing her 12th recital tonight! Joanne celebrates her 27th year teaching dance this season and 19th year as the main instructor and director of Elite!! Of all her accomplishments, she is most proud of the success of her students, the passion she has instilled, and the lifetime of memories with her many students over the years. As each one graduates and moves on to a new chapter, she feels pride in having seen them grow as dancers and young people.
Congratulations to all the Elite students who take the stage! We are proud of your accomplishments this season.
Tori Massey received formal training for 12 years in classical ballet and jazz at North Alabama Dance Center located in Huntsville, AL and has also received training in hip hop and contemporary/lyrical styles. Throughout her journey as a dancer that has encompassed 16 years from arenas of dance and cheer, Tori was a UDA all-star for two years and was offered the opportunity to be a UDA instructor.
At Tuskegee University, Tori was Section Leader of the Marching Crimson Piperette Dance Line and danced with the Liturgical Dance Ensemble. Tori also had the esteemed honor of competing as Miss Tuskegee University in the 2011 Miss Alabama Pageant where she earned 4 scholarships while competing in the pageant. In 2011, Tori completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at Tuskegee University Summa Cum Laude. Tori works, by day, as a children’s therapist, and by night as a dance instructor for Elite. She recently has taken on a more active role, assisting with the Dazzlin’ Dolls team and the Dazzlin’ Devils.
New to the Elite staff, Denne is a gymnastics coach who also has a Masters in Counseling. She began gymnastics at age 6 in Phoenix, Arizona, where she competed, traveled, and consistently trained to age 18. In 1996, she won state championships. At age 14, she began volunteer teaching at the YMCA, later hired to coach at multiple gyms. Later, she became head coach for the compulsory levels and was recognized and trained by well know judges in the state.
As a young adult, Denne dabbled in power tumbling and trampoline desiring to train for the Olympic team in 2008 however, she went on to pursue a field in the mental health profession instead. She’s happy to return to her passion, training students in gymnastics. Denne has brought expertise to cleaning our tumbling skills and developing an advanced floor gymnastics curriculum.
Professional entertainer and instructor "Rhythm" began his training at a young age in church taking community classes as he began to pursue his dream of the stage. Moving to the states at an early age from Amsterdam his parents enrolled him in his first professional class at Newark Symphony Hall Dance under Artistic Director Madie Nash where he began his professional training. From there he moved onto Acrodance Theater and by age16 he was training at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in NYC. Being in a culture of artist and teachers Rhythm grew as a diverse performer which led to other learning facilities which includes, Joffrey Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem and Ballet Magnificat. Wanting to use all his talents including vocal Rhythm began touring and performing in professional productions such as broadways(Cats, Pippin , Grease, A Chorus Line, Fosse, Nutcracker and High School Musical) just to name a few. Having the creative eye for stage work he formed his own company THE WORK OF ART DANCE THEATER which has been in operation for 10 years, Rhythm’s choreographic work has taken the company to both theatrical and televised events from large to small arena tours including (BATTLECRY & FUEL CONFERENCES) (Parade of Nations) held at arena’s such as the IZOD CENTER. For 5 years Rhythm managed company works as well as award winning competition pieces with PENNSYLVANIA SCHOOL OF PERFORMING ARTS, SPIRIT IN MOTION BALLET THEATER, ENCORE DANCE, DANCE STOP, DANCE DYNAMICS, ENPOINTE, THE KINGS CENTER, even choreographing and training younger talented artist who can be seen on televised shows such as SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE & DANCE MOMS. He continues to create award winning productions for his own company and other performers who love and have a passion for the arts. We welcome Rhythm to Elite Dance Academy, Inc.!!
Kelly Koch is in her twelfth year as office manager at Elite Dance Academy. She also works full time at Columbus State University as an Academic Advisor. She has one daughter, Sydney, who was a student and now part-time dance instructor when she is home from Mercer University, pre-med. Kelly earned her degree at Columbus State University in December of 2007. Kelly recently completed her Masters Degree at Columbus State University. Kelly is proud to be a part of the Elite family. You’ll find Kelly in the office, handling billing, questions, and the daily activities of Elite.
Sydney Koch is an award-winning dancer, who trained at Elite Dance Academy since the age of 5. She soon became a member of the Dazzlin' Dolls competition company, competing in tap, lyrical, jazz, and hip hop, in groups and as a soloist. Among other special awards, most notably, Sydney was awarded Top Soloist of all teens for her tap solo. Sydney became a student assistant as a young teen until she became an instructor, carrying her own classes and working on class choreography. She is a graduate of Columbus High School where she completed her Senior Project in dance. She was also recipient of many scholarships to Mercer University, including pre-acceptance to their pre-med program. She was a recipient of the Dance In Leadership Scholarship awarded to a senior each year by Elite Dance Academy. Sydney continues to succeed in all areas as she strives to soon work in the medical profession upon completion of her studies. In the meantime, Sydney continues to teach as a guest instructor when she is home. She is a quality instructor and choreographer who is loved by students of all ages and ability.
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