Our adult instructors are college-trained and collectively have over 60 years of experience in the dance field. Our instructors have also trained with the best instructors the dance industry has to offer at studios such as Broadway Dance Center in New York City and collegiate dance programs.
JOANNE DAVIDSON - President/Artistic Director, Instructor/Choreographer
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 has been a student of Elite for 15 years and is now a student instructor. Joanne celebrates her 28th year teaching dance this season and 21st 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.
Joanne welcomed a baby boy, Cameron, in the start of the pandemic, March 2020. Cameron is now 2 years old and hopes to begin dancing the upcoming season.
TORI MASSEY YOUNG - Instructor/Assistant Coach
Mrs. Tori Massey Young received formal training for 12 years in classical ballet and jazz at North Alabama Dance Center located in Huntsville, AL. She also received training in hip hop, lyrical and contemporary styles as a member of Lee High School's Dance Magnet Company. Tori also was a member of Lee High School's Silver Stars Dance Team and served as Co-Captain and Captain her Junior and Senior Year. Tori's training varies from areas of cheer, competitive technical dance, and dance team/majorette style. Tori was a Universal Dance Association All-Star for two years and was offered the opportunity to be a UDA instructor. In her collegiate years at Tuskegee University, Tori served as Section Leader of the Marching Crimson Piperette Dance Line and member of the Liturgical Dance Ensemble. Tori also had the esteemed honor of serving as the 81st Miss Tuskegee University in 2010-2011 and went on to compete at the Miss Alabama Pageant where she earned four scholarships. Tori also cheered for the Columbus Lions professional indoor football team as a Lady Lion from 2014-2017 seasons where she also served as Captain and Choreographer for her final two seasons.
Tori is a proud 2011 Summa Cum Laude graduate of Tuskegee University where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree In Psychology. Tori also earned her Master's Degree In Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2017 from Troy University. Tori is an Associate Professional Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor with extensive training in Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for youth. By day Tori currently serves as Lead Clinical Therapist/ Outreach Specialist at Children’s Tree House Child Advocacy Center. In her role she provides counseling to children and adolescents. Tori is excited to further her education in the Counselor Education Ph.D. Program at Auburn University Fall 2022.
As an advocate for self-care and lover of dance, Tori practices this as a dance instructor/assistant coach for Elite Dance Academy Dazzlin’ Dolls Competition Team by night. Tori is looking forward to another dancing season Bringing the HEAT with ELITE!
KEELY DAVIDSON - Instructor *Keely will be on medical leave for a couple months.
Ms. Elizabeth Allen will be teaching in her absence.
Keely has been dancing at Elite since the age of 2. She began competing as a Dazzlin' Doll at the age of 5 and performed in her 16th recital this year. She has won too many awards to list, among them a National title, many scholarships, Platinums, 1st place overalls, and recognitions. She earned acceptance into the BFA program at Hus- sian College in Los Angeles, was named Miss Fly Dance in Atlanta, was selected by Celebrity Dance Competition to be part of their crew to work on board their Nationals as part of staff, and is an ambassador for Fly Dance Competition. Keely is a recent graduate of Glenwood School. She earned a $60K scholarship to AMDA and apprentice- ship to ASH Dance Convention and was an honorable mention for NHSDA National Scholarship. Keely recently returned from Phoenix, Arizona, where she trained with the Celebrity Crew dancers, prepared a concept video for Celebrity Dance Conventions & Competitions, and prepared to assist on their convention tour. She has taught and will teach various styles such as Acro/Tumbling, Jazz, Leaps and Turns, Conditioning, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Tap at Elite. She is the daughter of Director, Joanne Davidson. She hopes to pursue a career as a professional dancer.
ALLY CRAIG - Student Instructor
Ally’s love for dance began at the age of four. She has been dancing at Elite Dance Academy for 10 years and a member of the Dazzlin’ Dolls competition team for nine years. She has consistently trained in all styles of dance including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, hip hop, lyrical, and musical theatre. Ally is a strong competitor with many awards earned over the years, including scholarships, a National title, Platinum awards, and special judges’ awards. She is also a member of the National Honor Society of Dance Arts. Ally has been a student assistant at Elite for a few years and is excited to be on staff here at Elite Dance Academy. She is a recent graduate, and will be teaching multiple classes this year, while also continuing to train at Elite!
SYDNEY KOCH - Guest Instructor
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 recently graduated from Columbus State University with a Nursing degree and is currently working at Piedmont. Sydney continues to teach as a guest instructor and will be teaching one week each month this season. She is a quality instructor and choreographer who is loved by students of all ages and ability.
Chelle gained her love of performing in her home town of Roswell, GA with the parks and rec program in her formative years before moving to Columbus. She was her high schools dance captain and choreographer as well as seamstress and performer. Chelle graduated with a BFA in Performance with a focus in Dance from Columbus State University. This will be her second year teaching in her own classroom post College graduation! Currently in conjunction with her position at Elite she also works at the Springer Opera House. Her positions include Box Office, House Managing, Bar Staff, Make-up artist, and performance. Some of her favorite roles have been in Evil Dead the Musical as Deadite, Peter and The Starcatcher as Grempkin, Legally Blonde as Katie, She Kills Monsters as Narrator, Evil Gabbi, and Monsters, Annie as Grace Ferrell, and Click Clack Moo as Cow #2.
Chelles training includes clowning, stage combat, Lessac voice and movement, Meisner acting, dialect work, Hip hop, jazz, modern, lyrical, contemporary, tap, and musicsl theatre. She also has training with the ukulele, viola, and voice. She strives to help students get out of their shell and grow their confidence. She hopes to continue to teach, perform, and inspire young performers for as long as she can.
Under Construction !!! Applicants send resume and headshot to Joanne.email@example.com.
ASHLEY WOODALL - Office Manager
Ashley is a former Elite Dance Academy dancer, Dazzlin’ Doll, teacher, and Dazzlin’ Doll coach with 19 years of experience in ballet, lyrical, tap, jazz, and hip hop. She is no stranger to owning the stage and sharing a passion for dance with so many! Now a dance mom to Kennedy for 2 years, she is excited to be back in the dance scene and on the Elite Dance Academy staff! During the day, Ashley is a 7th grade math teacher at Phenix City Intermediate School where she has shared her love for math for 9 years. She holds a B.S. and M.Ed. in Middle Grades Edexciteducation with a concentration in Mathematics and Science from Columbus State University. Ashley is to get to know all the Elite dancers and families while assisting them enrollmentwith , billing, dancewear, and questions!