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 24th year teaching dance this season and 16th 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. She is a newlywed this season!
Tiffany Gibson danced for many years in her home state of Maryland. Starting from a young age, her mother noticed her love of dance when she start to copy the dancers on television. She was a competitive dancer for Diane Herbert Studio of Dance as well as a part of Diane Herbert All-Star dance team. She also danced for other studios in the area, and on her high school dance team. She also took choreography, tap, and ballet classes at Calvert High School, while also preforming for her school musicals, and talent revues.
Tiffany has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, tumbling, and modern techniques for the majority of her dance career. At conventions, in Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, she experienced Latin ballroom, hip hop, and clogging. Tiffany became a student assistant at the age of 14, and began choreographing her own solos. Tiffany is married to Eric Gibson, and together they have three children: Both Rachel and Audrey have been students of Elite. Tiffany has spent the last several seasons, serving as instructor for our dancers and tumblers.
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.
Kortne Moore began dancing in the 8th grade at Wacoochee Junior High School. Her style of dance includes Jazz, hip-hop and pom. She carried on with dance all through out high school with her junior year serving as the co-captain and her senior year as the captain. She has attended UDA dance camp as well as National Dance Team Championship at the Walt Disney World Resort® in Orlando, Florida. Kortne had the pleasure of performing the opening routine in 2013 at the NDTC along with dancers from other states.
As Kortne attended Columbus State University, she also became a member of the Cougar Heat dance team for 3 years. Kortnealso had the pleasure of dancing for the Columbus Lady Lions for 4 years as well as instruct the Columbus Lions Youth dance team, the Lionettes. Kortne has an Associate Degree in science, and she is also a certified nursing assistant. She is currently attending Troy University to pursue a career as an Elementary teacher.
Heather Plumberg is a professional dancer, working to further her career in the dance industry. Having performed in TV and film, her most notable work includes dancing on MTV’s “Made” and as a dancer featuring artist, Kris Angel. She has also worked as a dancer for Yves Saint Laurent Exhibit and Winter Wonderland in Seattle. She was a principal dancer for ImpulsiK Dance Company in Florida, among others. Heather is trained in Lyra, Contemporary, Musical Theater, Jazz, Hip Hop, Ballet, Modern, Tap, and Salsa. We welcome Heather to Elite as a guest instructor.
Madison trained for 16 years, with the majority of her training at Rocky Mountain School of the Arts (RMSA) in Cody, Wyoming. Madison focused primarily on Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Contemporary, and Modern. She performed in 11 Nutcracker’s produced by Rocky Mountain Dance Theatre (RMDT) performing lead parts. She also performed in RMDT’s annual Swing Into Spring production along with RMSA’s recital and ballet performance. She performed at the Orange Bowl twice with RMSA. She has also taken classes from Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway.
Kelly Koch is in her eleventh year as office manager at Elite Dance Academy. She also works 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. She is currently working on her Masters. 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.
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