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 Company. Such 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 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 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!