HOLLY RIVERS, Studio Owner/director
Ms. Holly began her training at the Carolyn Clark School of Dance and Cleveland (TN) City Ballet. She studied under Karen Smith in her high school’s Fine Arts program and was a member of the dance group Verve’. During that time she was awarded the Jefferson Award for Dance and studied with members of the Martha Graham Dance Company, José Limon Dance Company, Mark Dendy, and Ann Law. She also received a scholarship and was an apprentice and rehearsal assistant at the Chattanooga Ballet. Her diverse training includes Ballet, Modern, Jazz, West African, Hip Hop, African-Brazilian, and many folk styles. She has even dabbled in low-flying trapeze dance! Ms. Holly continues to study other movement arts such as Yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, Chi-Gong, and Krav Maga. She received a dance scholarship at Appalachian State University where she studied Psychology and Dance. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling with an emphasis in Body-Centered and Expressive Arts Therapy. Ms. Holly has been a guest dancer for X-Factor Dance Company, Jan Van Dyke Dance Group, and independent choreographer Emily Daughtridge. She was a member of the ASU dance faculty for sixteen years until she took over ownership of NWS 4+ years ago. She teaches Contemporary, Jazz, and is the founder of Barre-Elevated.
Ms. Stacey began her dance training in northeastern North Carolina. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Dance with minors in Music and Education from Lees-McRae College. She has taught Ballet, Tap, Clogging, and Social Dance at Mountcastle School of Dance, Lees-McRae College, Crossnore Academy, Avery and Watauga County schools, Grandfather Mountain Home for Children, and the North Carolina Clogging Association. Ms. Stacey has participated in musical theatre productions as a dancer, dance captain, and assistant choreographer at Gallery Theatre in Ahoskie, NC, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre, and Blue Ridge Community Theatre. Ms. Stacey spent 18 years on the Performing Arts Faculty at Lees-McRae College and is currently still directing the LMC summer program Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). Ms. Stacey is also the Music Director and a Children’s Minister at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Banner Elk, NC. Ms. Stacey has taught at Northwestern Studios for over 20 years(!) and teaches Creative Movement, Ballet, and Tap.
Ms. Shauna received her early dance training from her mother, Teresa, at The Dancer’s Corner and at Northwestern Studios. After high school she moved to New York City where she completed the two-year training program at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. She taught creative movement around NYC while studying dance at Broadway Dance Center and performing with many New York theatrical companies. Ms. Shauna has choreographed in many capacities including outdoor theatre, theme parks, competitive dance teams, musicals, and more. In addition to teaching dance at Northwestern Studios, Ms. Shauna teaches dance at Lees McRae College. She is also a certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness and is the choreographer for Horn in the West and Land of Oz. Ms. Shauna has taught at NWS for over 10 years and teaches Contemporary, Jazz, Musical Theatre, and Hip Hop. Ms. Shauna also Directs the year end performance and is co-director of the Starz Performance Team.
Ms. Carolyn grew up in Boone, NC and received her early training at Northwestern Studios. She competed on the Starz Competition Team, performed as the Lilac Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty”, and as the lead in “Cinderella”. Carolyn attended college at UNC-G and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She danced with both her high school dance team and college dance team and performed during the half-time show of the PRO Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. While in Hawaii she competed in the National Dance Association college scholarship competition where she placed third. She joined the staff of Universal Dance Association and spent three summers teaching high school dance teams at summer camps. Ms. Carolyn has trained in many styles of dance including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Clogging and Hip Hop. Ms. Carolyn has taught at NWS for 4+ years and teaches Advanced Ballet and Pointe.
Ms. Jana began studying dance at Flagler School of Dance in Florida focusing on Ballet, Jazz, and Tap. During this time she had special appearances with Daytona’s Civic Ballet and Dance Alive. She spent three summers training with Ballet Magnificat. She continued her dance studies at Appalachian State University while pursuing a degree in music. After graduation she moved to NYC and taught at Dance Source Studio in Queens. She now resides in the high country and enjoys watching her children grow at Northwestern Studios. Ms. Jana is a certified Montessori Guide for Birth-3. She is also the Logistic Coordinator for The Land of Oz. Ms. Jana enjoys teaching music at a local preschool and leads the children’s choir at her church. Ms. Jana has been a part of the NWS team for 4+ years and teaches Creative Movement, Ballet, and Tap.
Ms. Cynthia began dancing in northwestern North Carolina at a young age. She has trained in many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, clogging, hip hop, and gymnastics. Ms. Cynthia attended North Carolina Governor's School in the area of dance as a sophomore in high school. She applied her dance and gymnastics abilities to cheer competitively throughout high school and into college, later going on to coach high school cheerleading. Ms. Cynthia has taught gymnastics with her former instructor and she also enjoys choreographing and performing with the Ashe County Little Theatre. Ms. Cynthia teaches reading at her childhood elementary school and is now in her second year at NWS where she teaches tumbling for dancers. She is delighted to share her passion for dance with her two little girls and enjoys dancing through life with her husband.
Ms. Bri started dancing at the age of 2 in Tucson, Arizona, eventually ending up in Charlotte, NC. Ms. Bri has trained in many diverse styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, musical theatre, latin dance, and urban dance. She started competing at the age of 8 but stopped at 16 to focus on teaching. In addition she was on her high school's Varsity Dance Team and had the opportunity to help choreograph dances for the team. She began assisting dance classes through the fine arts program at her school in 6th grade and started head instructing at the age of 16. She has worked with various ages of dancers ranging from preschool to high school. Currently she is attending Appalachian State as a dance major and is the Artistic Director of Entropy Dance Crew. Ms. Bri has traveled across the US, including NC, SC, Virginia, California, Florida, Maryland, and New York over this past summer (specifically at Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Capezio Center) studying dance. Her focus now is mainly on ballet, contemporary, tap, and urban dance/hip hop and she aspires to own her own dance studio or company in the future. Ms Bri is in her second year at NWS and teaches contemporary and hip hop.
At age 14 Mr. David gained an appreciate for dance and music after winning his first battle. As a teenager David’s creativities were influenced by both hip-hop and punk rock. Later while at Florida State University Mr. David was a member of many street groups such as Frequency Distortion Crew, Southside Shockers, and Paddle Feet Punk Rocks. There he also gained sponsorships with Plus, DLX, and Phaze One which allowed him to further explore dance, music, and design. Mr. David later traveled north to Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan where he helped incubate The Stoops Magazine as well as participated in studio sessions at The DJ Scratch Academy of New York City. While in Manhattan he earned an Associate in Art for Digital Media Design at the Technical Career Institution, formerly know as RCA Records and in 2016 he graduated with a Bachelor of Science for Interdisciplinary Studies by combing Industrial Design and Sustainability from Appalachian State University. Mr. David is currently seeking a Masters in Art Therapy at ASU and is in his second year teaching at NWS. Mr. David teaches Hip Hop and DJ’ing.
Ms. Casey’s early training included Northwestern Studios, where she was a member of the Starz Competition Team and is remembered for her performance of the role of the “Lilac Fairy” in Sleeping Beauty. She won the senior division scholarship at Dance Revolution. Ms. Casey went on to perform at dance festivals, theater productions, and in NYC with Project Dance. She continued her advanced training in Wilmington, NC in the Apprentice Program at the Glory Academy of Dance Arts, where she taught for eight years. During that time she founded Glory Academy’s performing company, Celebration Dance Company, and directed it for five years. After guest teaching for many years at NWS, she now joins the instructor team! Ms. Casey teaches contemporary and jazz.
Ms. Regina is a member of Appalachian State University dance faculty. She has an extensive professional background dancing with Cleveland Opera, Ohio Ballet, Southern Ballet Theatre, and Berkshire Ballet. She has professional Modern Dance experience with Orts Theatre of Dance and Tenth Street DanceWorks in AZ, and has appeared in numerous guest performances. Her educational background includes a BA in Dance with an emphasis in Ballet, University of Akron, OH; Bournonville School summer intensives in Bournonville Technique Method, OH; Modern Dance technique studies and performance, University of Arizona, AZ; Zena Rommett Floor Barre Foundation certification/instruction, NYC. With 30 years of studio and university teaching experience, Ms. Regina has served as adjunct faculty at the University of Akron and in 1996 joined the faculty of Appalachian State University. She teaches ballet, pointe, and Zena Rommett Floor Barre as well as contributes choreography for Appalachian Dance Ensemble performances, Opera and other music performances at the Hayes School of Music. As the Summer Dance Series founder, Ms. Regina coordinates open classes with rotating guest teachers offering a variety of dance styles to all faculty, staff, and students of ASU as well as local community children and adults. Ms. Regina is excited to be a part of the dance instructors at Northwestern Studios. This is her first year and she teaches Advanced Ballet and Pointe.
Ms. Kendall grew up in Raleigh, NC where she began ballet at 2 years old. She has performed with Carolina Ballet in The Nutcracker, Cinderella, and The Little Mermaid on various occasions. In 2016 and 2017, Ms. Kendall taught alongside Willie Hinton at the Carolina Ballet Summer Intensive. After acceptance into the Joffrey school at age 10, she turned it down and decided to stay in North Carolina to complete a study of the Cecchetti Method. She has completed grades I-VI, scoring Highly Commended or Commended on all levels. She is now a dance minor at Appalachian State University and is in her first year of teaching at NWS and teaches the middle level ballet classes and Begin with Ballet to adults.
Ms. Emily grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina and studied dance at Robinson Presbyterian Church (RPC) Ballet Program, focusing on Ballet and Tap. During high school she performed in various roles in “The Nutcracker,” most notably, as the Rose. She has taught ballet and tap at RPC Ballet Program, the Worship Movement (Huntersville, NC), and Anyone Can Dance! (Northwestern Studios, Boone, NC). During college she has continued her dance training through classes at Appalachian State University and the Space at Project Dance. She is studying for her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and enjoys knitting and sewing. Ms. Emily is the founder, director, and head instructor of Anyone Can Dance! at Northwestern Studios. She has been in operation or over 2 years now.