INSTRUCTORS & STAFF
Ms. 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, Ms. 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 Ms. Courtney began her dance training with Mrs. Lori Knowles at Lori's School of Dance in Clinton, NC. Ms. 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 Ms. Courtney.
Ms. 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, Ms. 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. Ms. Courtney's class structure at Carolina Dance Company is based primarily from the format she learned while at East Carolina.
In May of 2006 Ms. 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 Ms. Courtney created the Cougar Dance Team, a first for the school.
In March of 2009 Ms. 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, Ms. Courtney relocated back to her Sampson County roots. In addition to relocating, in the summer of 2009 she opened Carolina Dance Company in Roseboro, NC. Through Carolina Dance Company and Methodist University Ms. Courtney is able to share what she is most passionate about: DANCE!
2009 was an exciting year for Ms. Courtney and she finished the year with one more accomplishment: In December she became a Mommy to her son, Riley Maddox.
Ms. Courtney looks forward daily to continuing to develop the dance community in Roseboro. 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 2012-2013 dance season as the clogging instructor. She is the daughter of Rick & Kathy Starnes of Granite Falls, NC and currently resides in Raleigh, NC where she is a senior at North Carolina State University. Ms. Erica is currently pursuing 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 2012-2013 season will be Ms. Erica's second year as instructor at Carolina Dance Company.
When Ms. Erica is not clogging, you may find her working at Aerie by American Eagle in Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh, NC or attending an NCSU event.
Emily PovazsayOffice Manager; Clogging Class Teacher Assistant
Emily is the daughter of Kelly & Vincent Povazsay of Roseboro, NC. She is currently a Senior at Lakewood High School where she is a member of the Beta Club, the FFA Vice President and the Key Club President. Upon graduation, Emily is considering a career in veterinary medicine.
Emily began dancing at the age of 6 under the instruction of Linda Carr with the Sampson County Cloggers in Clinton, NC. Since beginning dance, Emily has trained in: clogging, hip-hop, jazz & lyrical. This year, Emily will be a member of the high school clogging, jazz, lyrical & tap classes at Carolina Dance Company.
Emily works as the Office Manager at Carolina Dance Company four afternoons a week. When she’s not at the studio, Emily spends lots of time with her dogs, cats & horse or on the family hog farms. In the future she hopes to become a Large Animal Veterinarian to continue helping animals in need.
Lauren Casey YoungCarolina Dance Company Assistant Instructor & Substitute Teacher
Casey is the daughter of Tonya Young & Jeffrey Young. She is originally from Roseboro and attended Lakewood High School. She was the 2010 Teen Miss Roseboro, 2012 NC Southern Miss Grande Supreme, 2011 NC Southern Miss Overall Grande Supreme & 2011 Teen Miss Princess of Cumberland County (to name a few).
Casey began dancing at the age of 4 and has since trained in: ballet, tap, jazz & lyrical. She served as the Studio Manager at Carolina Dance Company from 2009-2011 and as a teacher assistant and substitute teacher in 2012. This year, Casey will serve as an Assistant Teacher and as a substitute teacher for all Carolina Dance Company classes.
Casey is currently employed at Roseboro Family Pharmacy and in her spare time enjoys wakeboarding and wake surfing at White Lake, NC.
Kierre ClarkK-2nd Grade Kid-Hop Teaching Assistant
3rd-5th Grade Kid-Hop Teaching Assistant
Kierre is the daughter of Carla Peterson & James Clark. She is originally from Newburgh, NY and now resides in Roseboro, NC. She is currently a Freshman at Lakewood High School where she is a JV cheerleader and a member of the track team. Upon graduation, Kierre is considering a career in professional dancing, choreographing or acting.
Kierre began dancing at the age of 3 under the instruction of Mrs. Kim at Newburgh Performing Arts Acadamy in Newburgh, NY. Since beginning dance, Kierre has trained in: ballet, jazz, lyrical & hip-hop. This year, Kierre is studying tap, jazz, lyrical, ballet & hip-hop at Carolina Dance Company.
Kierre doesn’t like to be caught without a snack, so she packs 10 different choices in her bag in case she gets hungry.
Lauren ComerKindergarten Tap & Jazz Combo Teaching Assistant K-1st Grade Ballet Teaching Assistant
Lauren is the daughter of Tracey & Don Comer of Salemburg, NC. She is currently a Junior at Lakewood High School where she is a member of the Varsity volleyball team. Upon graduation, Lauren is considering pursuing a career in nursing.
Lauren began dancing at the age of 7 under the instruction of Lori Knowles at Lori’s School of Dance in Salemburg, NC. Since beginning dance, Lauren has trained in: ballet, lyrical, jazz & tap. This year, Lauren will be studying ballet at Carolina Dance Company. In addition to dancing, Lauren is also an active member of Autryville Baptist Church.
You may be surprised to know that Lauren is afraid of clowns!
Kristen EdwardsK-5th Clogging & Jazz Combo Teaching Assistant Pre-K Age 3 Teaching Assistant
Kristen is the daughter of Amy Simpson of Garland, NC. She is currently a Sophomore at Lakewood High School where she is involved in both FFA and dance classes. Upon graduation, Kristen is considering a career in veterinary medicine.
Kristen began dancing at the age of 12 under the instruction of Ms. Courtney at Carolina Dance Company. Since beginning dance, Kristen has trained in: tap, hip-hop, jazz & lyrical. This year, Kristen will be studying jazz, lyrical, tap & hip-hop at Carolina Dance Company.
You may be surprised to know that Kristen is Cherokee Indian.
Marissa FerrisPre-K Age 4 Tap, Jazz & Ballet Combo Teaching Assistant 1st Grade Tap & Jazz Combo Teaching Assistant
Marissa is the daughter of Gail & Shawn Ferris of Salemburg, NC. She is currently a 4th year student at Sampson Early College High School where she is a member of the Beta Club, Key Club & SGA. Additionally, Marissa works at Railroad St. Steakhouse and lifeguards at Royal Lane in the summer. Upon graduation, Marissa is considering a career in optometry.
Marissa began dancing at the age of 8 under the instruction of Lori Knowles at Lori’s School of Dance in Salemburg, NC. Since beginning dance, Marissa has trained in: jazz, lyrical, clogging, tap & ballet. This year, Marissa will be studying ballet, clogging, jazz & lyrical at Carolina Dance Company.
You may not know that Marissa was adopted from China when she was 8.
Sara HallPre-K 3 & 4 Kid-Hop & Tumbling Combo Teaching Assistant
Sara is the daughter of Shelia Hall and Marty Hall of Autryville, NC. She is currently a Sophomore at Lakewood High School where she is a member of the Key Club and the Science Club. Upon graduation, Sara is considering a career in Forensics.
Sara began dancing at the age of 8 under the instruction of Lori Knowles at Lori’s School of Dance in Salemburg, NC. Since beginning dance, Sara has trained in: hip-hop, jazz, lyrical & tap. This year, Sara will be studying jazz, lyrical & hip-hop at Carolina Dance Company.
You may not know that Sara underwent heart surgery as a child when doctors discovered she had a hole in her heart.
Megan PontakK-5th Cheer, Dance & Tumble Combination Teaching Assistant
Megan is the daughter of Karen & Phil Pontak of Ammon, NC. She is currently a senior at East Bladen High School and is involved in the Art Club, History Club, National Honors Society & Beta Club. Upon graduation, Megan is considering pursuing a career in veterinary medicine or zoology.
Megan began dancing at the age of 3 under the instruction of Tina Clark at Steps Dance Academy in Elizabethtown, NC. Since beginning dance, Megan has trained in: ballet, tap & jazz. This year, Megan will be studying jazz & lyrical at Carolina Dance Company. In addition to dance, Megan also participates in cheerleading and is currently a Varisty cheerleader at East Bladen High School.
When Megan has free time she enjoys being outdoors. She likes to ride four-wheelers & sit in tree stands.
Lydia Strickland2nd-3rd Tap & Jazz Combo Teaching Assistant 2nd-5th Ballet & Lyrical Combo Teaching Assistant
Lydia is the daughter of Becky & Gary Straughn of Clinton, NC. She is currently a Junior at Clinton High School where she is an active FFA member. Upon graduation, Lydia is considering pursuing a career in business.
Lydia began dancing at the age of 4 under the instruction of Wanda Coleman at The Dance Shoppe in Clinton, NC. Since beginning dance, Lydia has trained in: jazz, lyrical & tap. This year, Lydia will be studying jazz & lyrical at Carolina Dance Company as well as jazz, lyrical & tap at The Dance Shoppe.
In addition to dancing, Lydia is also an active member of her church group and an employee at G&B Garden Center in Clinton.