the ART OF DANCE studio

AFFORDABLE Dance and Fitness Studio located in Flat Rock/Hendersonville, NC ~ Come Dance with Us!

Kate Collins

Kate is the owner and artistic director of Art of Dance Studio and the non-profit organization Art of Dance, Inc.  She has been dancing since the age of 2 when introduced to Ballet, Tap, and Jazz in her hometown of Apex, North Carolina.  After watching a live performance of the Nutcracker, Kate knew she had found her passion.  She then turned to intense Contemporary Ballet and Pointe training in the junior company at the Triangle Academy of Ballet for 8 years, taking classes under instructors from the Carolina Ballet CompanySuch technical education influenced her to have a strong focus on Ballet and Pointe productions.  At The Academy for Performing Arts, she studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Choreography and Hip-Hop.  Most of her time was spent traveling to conventions, performances and competitions as a member of the Junior and Senior Company Competition team.  Kate was awarded with a Scholarship to Broadway Dance Center in New York where she attended classes under tap enthusiast Mike Minnery and many other professional choreographers/dancers. This memorable experience led to her interest in choreography classes and inspired her to start teaching dance as she has been for the past 8 years. While attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, she was a member of UNCW Dance Team.  In May 2009, she graduated with Bachelor Degrees in Psychology (child development emphasis), Philosophy, and Religion.  Shortly after graduation, Kate took over ownership of a small dance studio in Wilmington, NC before moving to Asheville, NC in May, 2011.  Kate truly loves teaching children of all ages and abilities.  She believes that dance is an enlightening form of expression that every child can learn and grow creatively from.

Jessica Walker

Jessica began dancing on the soccer field at the age of 3 and has never looked back! She took ballet, jazz, and tap classes for 8 years before deciding to focus on Classical Ballet and Pointe. At that time, she enrolled in the Louisville Ballet School where she was able to take classes alongside Professional Company Members. She traveled to the Regional Ballet Association every year and performed in many award-winning choreographies. Rather than follow most of her classmates on to a Professional Company, Jessica chose to attend Brigham Young University to get a degree in Early Childhood Education, with a minor in World Dance, TESOL, and Human Development. In college, she toured with the renown International Folk Dance Ensemble, where she met her husband, Tyler Walker. Together they studied and taught dance styles from cultures around the world, including Bollywood, Classical Indian, Irish, Clogging, Isreali, Ukranian, Hungarian and more. Since college Jessica has taught dance in schools, to youth groups, and run a Preschool Dance Program. She has two adorable children, with a third on the way! She is excited to once again be able to combine her passion for teaching with her passion for dance.

Elsea Brown

Elsea began her dance training at age 7 in the Dallas metropolitan area, studying ballet, jazz, and tap. Naturally drawn to high energy forms of movement, she began competitive cheerleading at age 9, and was competing at the national level by the time she was a tween. Her family relocated to Winston-Salem as she began high school, and Elsea made the decision to get back to her roots in traditional movement. Throughout her teens, she received training in jazz, tap, and ballet, as well as hip-hop, modern, and lyrical. After high school, Elsea spent two years as an apprentice with Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet in Greensboro and in 2013 moved to Asheville to attend UNCA, where she studied Biology and Dance. Since moving to the area, Elsea has performed with professional performance companies Bronze & Ebony, Project Negus, and Mosso Kan at area events like The Art Trap House, LEAF, Goombay Festival, and Downtown after 5. Elsea is looking forward to joining us to teach kids’ and teens’ hip-hop choreography, as well as adult hip-hop fitness. Elsea's choreography will be the highlight of our hip hop performance teams!

Laura Whaley

Laura began dancing at the age of 2 and has been dancing ever since. She was a part of several classes including technique, jazz, ballet/point, modern, lyrical, hip hop, tap and contemporary. She also was a part of her studios competition team for 7 years and was in competition classes for, musical theater, contemporary, hip hop, jazz, and lyrical. While in competition she competed in competitions such as showstoppers, tremaine, and LADM (L.A Dance Magic) and trained with many different professionals, and has taken classes from professionals such as Ayodele Casel, Albert Blaise Cattafi, and Eddie Moody. In High school Laura was a part of her CHS dance company and enjoyed all the years she was able to be a part of it. She has always had a passion for dancing and although one specific style has never taken president over the others she enjoys teaching Hip Hop and Lyrical/Modern the most. She also enjoys teaching Jazz and occasionally Ballet/Tap. Over the years Laura has taught several different genres of dance and was a competition teacher for Hip hop and lyrical at her previous studio. Her dances have won High Golds, Platinum, and Double platinum at LADM and NUVO dance competitions. She has traveled and attended many workshops and meeting at her competitions in Texas, New Mexico, and Phoenix. She is CPR certified and is also a CNA and Phlebotomist. She has been enrolled in NMSU-C for 3 years and is transferring to a college she has yet to choose in North Carolina to complete her BSN. Dancing has always been her pride and joy and she would like it to be a part of her life forever.

Clare Haskell

Clare is originally from Rochester, New York, and started dancing at the age of three. She has been trained with a multitude of styles over her lifetime, from classical ballet and jazz, to traditional irish dance and figure skating. At the age of 11, Clare was accepted into Rochester’s ‘School of The Arts’, where she was given the opportunity to train as a Modern Dancer all through High School. Under the instruction of professionals from the ‘Garth Fagan Dance Company’, and the former ‘Park Ave Ballet Company’, she spent her time equally focused on advanced choreography, modern technique, dance history, and anatomy. She was also involved in many local performances, both as an elite dancer, and as a student choreographer. After a knee surgery interrupted her Dance training at Beloit College, Clare moved home to begin her career as an Infant Care Specialist, and rehabilitated her knee through a fusion of Zumba and Hip Hop training in Atlanta. After full recovery, and a move to Asheville, she quickly found herself back to begin formal training, this time for Lyrical, Jazz, and Modern. When not in the dance studio, she works as an infant nanny in Downtown Asheville, and will finish her certification as a Birth Doula this fall. Clare is ecstatic for the opportunity to begin teaching to children, and can’t wait to share her love of creative movement with the Art of Dance community.

Rachel Putnam

Rachel Putnam was born and raised in Mills River. She started gymnastics at the age of 2 at Olympia School of Gymnastics in Hendersonville. She had dreams of being in the Olympics. Gymnastics was her life. Five days a week training for hours at a time. Her coach was an Olympic coach so she knew her dreams would come true one day. But that dream was ended short due to an arm injury when she was 11. After she had the "ok" from the doctors to start gymnastics again, her heart just wasn't in it anymore. She then spent her time riding horses for the next few years until she started competitive cheer. Cheering and traveling all over for competitions became her life. Her team Aero Allstars was one of the top teams winning every competition. Although she's only 4'10 she was a base. That's right, a base not a flyer. Rachel has quite the strength for being so little. Before her cheering career ended she was tumbling level 5 skills. Now she hopes to be able to bring the love of tumbling from her heart to yours.

Caitlyn Thompson