Meet our Teachers, Choreographers, Creatives & Dreamers.
These are the people who create the magic at dance 101. Today they are names on a screen but soon some of these extraordinary people will become very important to you.
*To read their full bios, click on faculty's name

Khalil Johnson

Class: Intro to Hip Hop

Caribbean in blood but born in California, Khalil Has Been Dancing Since the age of 8. He Has trained in various styles as seen in his style Of choreography that he calls "Special K Style.' He has danced and worked with artists like Monica And TLC!

Caitlin Gray

Classes: Jazz Roulette and Turns & Leaps

Born in NYC, Caitlin Gray's diverse background, which includes dance, gymnastics and circus arts, has made her a much sought-after teacher and choreographer. She believes that teaching is an integral part of giving back to the dance community and has taught master classes all over the U.S. and abroad, including South Africa, United Kingdom, U.A.E., Turkey, Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada and Australia. 

Kevin K'Smoove Maddox

Class: MADD-X Fitness (dance fitness)

Kevin is an established fitness instructor, originator of MADD-X Fitness, Hip Hop choreographer, founder and Executive Director of Culture Shock® Atlanta (a nationally recognized professional hip-hip dance organization that, among other things, produced some of Dance 101's most popular dance teachers: Elaina Whitehead, Kevin Tyson, D Norris and Jeremy McShan). Kevin is considered the most influential pioneer of Dance Fitness in Atlanta, being one of the first trained dance professionals to cross over into fitness.

Lauren Michelle

Classes: Body Language (Contemporary) & Intro to Ballet Basics

Lauren Michelle is a freelance movement artist and teacher in Atlanta. She has performed in soloist and ensemble roles throughout the U.S. with Fuerta Dance Company, The Esthete Collective, Chicago Repertory Ballet, the Portland Opera, and in other movement art projects. Her training has included artistic scholarships under Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, NW Dance Project, Houston Contemporary Dance Company, and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre.

Ofelia de La Valette

Classes: Dancer's Stretch & Conditioning, Jazz It Up & The Dance Fundamentals Workshop

Though a passion for dance has been with her since childhood, it wasn't until the age of 34 that former insurance executive Ofelia de La Valette dedicated herself to her true calling. For 10 years in pursuit of her passion, she navigated her corporate career, being a mother to two, and intensive training in jazz,  hip hop, ballet and modern dance. Showing natural talent early on, she was asked to teach adult beginner jazz classes at Emory University.  Having learned to dance later in life, Ofelia developed a unique method of teaching dance to adults in accordance with how adults process and apply information. Her teaching method was so successful that after two years at Emory, she took a huge leap.

Ricardo Aponte

Classes: On Broadway, Latin Jazz & Jukebox

Ricardo is a professional director and choreographer for theater, industrials, and televised specials. Most recent theater credits include: Kiss of the Spider Woman (Actors Express), Ain't Misbehavin' (Atlanta Lyric Theatre), The Buddy Holly Story (Georgia Ensemble), Altar Boyz (Horizon Theatre), How I Became a Pirate (Theatre in the Square), Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer (Center For Puppetry Arts), Kiss me, Kate, Annie Get Your Gun, The Dinosaur Musical, (Aurora Theatre),

David Rossetti

Class: Centerstage Jazz

David Rossetti is excited to be subbing at the amazing Dance101! He has performed on Broadway (Annie Revival), in four national tours (Fame, Hairspray, Joseph…Dreamcoat, & Something Rotten), and conducted workshops and intensives all over the country (and Japan!). He served as Associate Choreographer to Tony-winner Andy Blankenbuehler (Cats, Hamilton, In The Heights, Annie) for the national and international tours of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. He made his Broadway debut in the revival of Annie at The Palace Theatre where he was dance captain, swing, and understudied the role of “Rooster.”

John James

Classes: Hip Hop 101 & Hip Hop 201

John James is a native of Atlanta, GA whose life has centered around music and dance.

Since birth, John has been surrounded by vocalists, producers, and musicians which naturally helped him develop both a love and understanding for the entertainment industry. At a young age he studied instrumentation and music performance from some of the best directors in the southeastern United States. After becoming a singer/artist at age 16, John realized that his truelove lie in dance.

Jared James

Classes: King of Hearts (int. hip hop) & J-Roc (beg. hip hop)

Jared was born April 1, 1990. Inspired by street dancers and poppers he started dancing at the age of 11, and that’s when Jared and his brother came up with the crew name Royal Flush. Throughout the years he continued to grow as a dancer and choreographer, despite the negative comments from his parents and his high school basketball coach. Now Jared has danced and choreographed for singing groups and danced in many videos.

Naomi James

Class: Hip Hop Underground

Born in Fort Bragg, NC to a British mother and an American father; Naomi is a Choreographer, Fitness Professional, Creative, Teacher and Coach. In 2008, Naomi graduated from Bodywork Company Dance Studios, Cambridge, UK with a Level 6 (Bachelor Degree) in Dance. After working in London, she moved to Atlanta in 2010 to continue her professional career in dance. Naomi is known for her exuberant spirit and fun loving personality.

Ashleigh Hughes

Classes: Reb3l Groove & Reb3l Strength 

Ashleigh does not come from a dance background but discovered it only by trying to "lose the baby weight". She went to a dance fitness class back in 2009 after her second son was born and became hooked! The baby weight started to melt off and it was a release, it was fitness and it was fun! She continued to go to that class until she moved to Colorado in 2011 where she became a certified fitness instructor herself.

Erin Richardson

Class: Serpentine (bellydance)

Erin first fell in love with Bellydancing watching the famous Bidasha Twins perform at a wedding. Captivated by this mesmerizing, sexy, snake-like dance, she began her Turkish Egyptian training at Nazeem Allal Studio here in Atlanta. Over the years, she has found a love for the American Tribal Style, which has a blend of Traditional, Greek, Latin, Gypsy, West African, Asian and Bolly. Her musical journey takes you from Middle-Eastern, Flamenco, Reggae, Dub, to Trap, Hip Hop and Elecrtronica.

Lara McGee

Classes: Intro to Ballet Barre & Ballet Relevé

Lara Davis has danced professionally with The Georgia Ballet, Watershed Dance Theatre, Dance Canvas, and Refuge Dance Company. She trained at the Tolbert Yilmaz School of Dance in Roswell, Georgia where she was a member of the student company, Roswell Dance Theatre (RDT), for 8 years. As a member of RDT, she received training in ballet, pointe, Horton and Graham modern, jazz, and contemporary. During the summers, she trained with American Ballet Theatre, The Rock School, Joffrey Ballet NYC, Joffrey Ballet South, Dance Canvas, METdance Houston, Point Park University, Colorado Conservatory of Dance, the National Choreography Intensive, and the 2012 Georgia Governor’s Honors Program as a Dance Major.

Lauren Banks

Class: Ballet Barre Fit

Lauren Banks graduated from Kennesaw State University suma cum laude with a B.S. in Communication and a Minor in dance. Upon graduating, Lauren began performing with Young Audiences at the Woodruff Arts Center and later the Atlanta-based contemporary dance companies Gathering Wild and Ellisorous Rex and the Dance Machine. She is a featured dancer/actress in a Home Depot and Lifetime Original Series Devious Maids commercial and has worked as a freelance dancer for a number of prominent Atlanta choreographers (Bubba Carr, Emily Christianson, Corian Ellisor, and Jerylann Warner) for over 10 years.

Tara McCurley

Classes: Ballet Center, Ballet Fundamentals & Pure Ballet

Tara began her training at age 3 in Enola, PA, later dancing with the pre-professional Cumberland Dance Company and studying at the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. At 15, she was invited to study on full scholarship at the School of American Ballet in New York City, where she danced principal roles in Allegro Brillante, Concerto Barocco, and Flower Festival for the school’s workshop performances, as well as principal roles in Symphonie Concertante and Serenade for the New York City Ballet’s 1993 Balanchine Celebration.

Nia Nicole

Class: AfroBeats 

Dancing has always been second nature for Nia Nicole. While Raised in Orlando, Florida. Nia Nicole tapped in many outlets. From sports, cheer and mainly dance. She began teaching Hip Hop in high school. Proceeding as an adult, Nia Nicole has taught a wide range from kids to adults over the years. She has professionally trained and performed with Culture Shock San Diego dance company. While on tour with Worldwide Afrobeat choreographer Sayquon Keys, she grew a love and passion for sharing AfroBeats with others.

Barry Thomas

Classes: Tap (beginner & intermediate levels)

Barry Thomas received his B.A. in dance at the prestigious Butler University. Several seasons in summer stock found him with his first job in New York and the world famous Rockettes at Radio City Music Hall. After numerous shows in and around New York, Michael Bennett cast Mr. Thomas in the role of Don Kerr for the Broadway and International Company of A Chorus Line. He performed with the company for a year, where they eventually headed for Atlanta.

Monica Noble

Class: E-Mote

Originally from Augusta, GA, Monica "Mo" Noble began training in modern and ballet at John S. Davidson Fine Arts School. After moving to Atlanta to attend Georgia State University, she was introduced to hip hop while dancing on Dancers On Point Dance Team. She choreographed several of DOP's dance pieces and also performed at some of Atlanta's hottest venues and events. Mo has choreographed and performed for the UniverSoul Circus tour, danced for David Banner on Ludacris' "Chicken and Beer Tour," co-choreographed the "Crank It Up" David Banner video, and performed in two of international artist K’Naan’s videos.

Kimmie Gee

Classes: Music Videography, Heel & Now

Born and raised in New Jersey, Kimmie Gee always loved to perform. From high school musicals to winning local talents shows she decided to pursue dance professionally. Her passion led her to the NBA for three seasons as a Philadelphia 76ers Dancer. She moved to Atlanta with hopes of furthering her career in the entertainment industry. In 2009 Kimmie auditioned for Beyonce’s I Am World Tour and has been touring alongside Bey ever since. 

D. Norris

Classes: Hip Hop Fit, Latin Fiesta & Fuego!

D. Norris is a native of Atlanta, GA. He obtained a degree in Business Management from Alabama State Univ. He started choreographing in high school. D. has choreographed and danced for numerous theater and stage performances across the globe, including Miami, San Diego, Montreal and Mexico. He has worked with various artists, including Mary Mary and Dirk Chaney (R.I.P.). Culture Shock Atlanta, Infinite Movement Dance, CHOSEN and Contagious Entertainment are among the dance companies he’s been affiliated.

Bryn Chafin

Class: Ballerobica

Bryn has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She trained in a number of different styles including ballet, jazz, modern, character, and flamenco with the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education. As a teenager and a pre-professional with the Atlanta Ballet, Bryn was given the opportunity to perform roles with the professional company in ballets such as "The Nutcracker" and Michael Pink's world premiere of "Romeo and Juliet". Also during high school, Bryn attended many Summer dance intensives including a program in Beijing, China to train with the Beijing Ballet Academy.

Katie Britt

Classes: Dance Fitness & Barre Intensity

Katie Britt has a Bachelors in Musical Theatre and is an ACE® certified Group Fitness Instructor and Functional Movement Specialist.  Before all the degrees and titles though, Katie grew up dancing - first at a classical ballet company through age fourteen, then expanding horizons with forays into ballroom, jazz, and even Irish step dance.