INSTRUCTORS & STAFF
Mrs. Courtney is very passionate about dancing and teaching dance. She began her dance training over 20 years ago under the instruction of Mrs. Sally Pope at The Dance Academy in Clinton, NC. Under Mrs. Sally’s instruction she took ballet, jazz and tap classes and dreamed about one day becoming one of the “big girls” who were a part of the Clinton Precision Cadets. At 12 years old, not quite old enough to be a Cadet, she became captain of the Dance Academy Showstoppers. In 1996, Mrs. Courtney danced with honor as a Showstopper in the opening number and finalé in The Dance Academy’s final recital.
Upon the retirement of Mrs. Sally Pope and The Dance Academy Mrs. Courtney began her dance training with Mrs. Lori Knowles at Lori’s School of Dance in Clinton, NC. Mrs. Courtney studied ballet, tap, jazz and lyrical at Lori’s School of Dance for the next 7 years. The technical training and the inspiration that Mrs. Lori provided to her students instilled an even deeper passion for dance in Mrs. Courtney.
Mrs. Courtney entered East Carolina University (Greenville, NC) in the fall of 2002 on a Teaching Fellows Scholarship and dedicated the next four years to dance training there. As a dancer at East Carolina, Mrs. Courtney had the opportunity to study and perfect technique under the instruction of renowned teachers including: Tommi Galaska, Roger Belman, Pat Pertallion, Joe Carrow, Patty Weeks, Dr. Dawn Clark, Amanda Oakley & Clarine Powell. She studied all forms of dance and took advanced classes in: ballet, tap, jazz and modern. Mrs. Courtney’s class structure at Carolina Dance Company is based primarily from the format she learned while at East Carolina.
Prior to graduating from East Carolina University in May of 2006, Mrs. Courtney completed her student teaching requirements under the direction of Mrs. Nancy Heath at Midway High School. Upon completion of her degree requirements, Mrs. Courtney received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Education from East Carolina University. In August of that year she began her teaching career with Wake County Schools at Wake Forest-Rolesville High School. While at WFRHS, she taught beginning, intermediate, advanced and company dance classes. During her second year at Wake Forest-Rolesville Mrs. Courtney created the Cougar Dance Team, a first for the school.
In March of 2009 Mrs. Courtney was named Head Dance Team Coach for the Lionette Dance Team at Methodist University in Fayetteville, NC. At that time, after three years in Wake County, Mrs. Courtney relocated back to her Sampson County roots. In the summer of 2009 Carolina Dance Company opened in Roseboro, NC and a second studio location in Clinton, NC was opened in 2017. Through Carolina Dance Company Mrs. Courtney is able to share what she is most passionate about: DANCE!
Mrs. Courtney is married to Brandon and they have one son (Riley Maddox) and a future ballerina due to arrive in the summer of 2017.
Mrs. Courtney looks forward daily to continuing to develop the dance community in Roseboro and in Clinton. It is her mission to teach quality dance classes, instill values in her students and most importantly, share her passion for DANCE with others.
Erica Starnes joins Carolina Dance Company again for the 2017-2018 dance season as a 6th year clogging instructor. She is the daughter of Rick & Kathy Starnes of Granite Falls, NC and currently resides in Raleigh, NC where she recently graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in Parks, Tourism & Recreation Management with a concentration in Program Management.
Ms. Erica began dancing at the age of 3, under the instruction of Tonya Coffey at Tammy Lundsford’s School of Dance in Granite Falls, NC. She has studied tap, jazz and ballet over the years, but, her passion is clogging. Ms. Erica began her clogging training with Jill Kirby at Sims Country Cloggers in 1998 and began competing as a clogger in 2000. In 2007 she was selected as an All American Clogging Team member. Additionally, Ms. Erica has danced on the South Caldwell High School Dance Team (2007-2009), attended Junior Olympics (2002-2005) and taught clogging classes at Sims Country Cloggers (2005-2007). Currently, Ms. Erica is a member and Student Director of the North Carolina State University Wolfpack Clogging Team. She also competes under America’s Clogging Hall of Fame and Clogging Champions of America. The 2017-2018 season will be Ms. Erica’s sixth year as instructor at Carolina Dance Company.
When Ms. Erica is not clogging, she is planning her wedding to Chris Freeman (September 2017).