FACULTY & STAFF
Artistic, Executive, Outreach Education & School Director
Melissa June comes to us from Ormond Beach, Florida where she was born and raised. From there she took her passion for dance and earned her Bachelor in Fine Arts in Dance from Florida State University. Melissa has toured internationally and trained and performed with many companies around the southeast including: The Civic Ballet of Volusia County, Tallahassee Ballet, FSU’s Dance Reparatory Theatre, University of South Carolina Dance Department and Columbia City Ballet. Her performing credits include The Nutcracker, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Coppelia, Firebird, Paquita, Swan Lake and many original contemporary works.
Melissa started her teaching career at an early age and has taught at leading studios in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. During this time she has set many ballets and productions including The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Paquita, Cinderella, Snow White, Over the Rainbow, Alice and Wonderland, and Beauty and the Beast to name a few. Melissa has also served as Ballet Mistress for the Civic Ballet of Volusia County and the Professional Track program director at European School of Performing Arts. She has had many students move on to programs with Julliard, The Joffrey Ballet, Orlando Ballet, Next Generation Ballet at the Patel Conservatory, UNCSA, USF, Florida School for the Arts, and FSU’s dance programs.
Melissa is very excited and honored to be working as Artistic Directors. She is excited to share her vision and continue the technical excellence that SGB is known for.
Morgan Rhoden was born in Warner Robins, Georgia and moved to Thomasville at an early age. She is a 2008 graduate of Thomas County Central High School and received her Business Administration degree from Southwest Georgia Technical College in 2012. Morgan joined the SGB family in August 2013. Morgan loves serving at The Gathering Church, going on Mission trips to help serve others, outdoors & travel baseball with her oldest son. Morgan resides in Ochlocknee with her husband Buddy & sons Carson & Carter Ray.
Associate Executive Director, Ballet/Tap/Jazz/Contemporary Teacher
Kathleen Ewing is originally from Valdosta, Georgia where she studied ballet, modern, and jazz dance for 15 years, under the direction of Linda C. Chase at Dance Arts, Inc. Kathleen began demonstrating and teaching at an early age and quickly found an interest in sharing her love of dance. Kathleen graduated from Florida State University with her B.F.A in Dance in 2016. While attending Florida State, Kathleen studied abroad in Paris, France, attended Perry Mansfield Performing Arts Intensive on scholarship, continued teaching, and became interested in Arts Administration. She interned at the American Dance Festival and later returned as summer staff for two summers working in hospitality, event planning, and operations for the ADF School. Kathleen has a passion for education, engagement, and development in the arts. Kathleen received an arts advocacy award from the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs in Spring 2019 due to her work during graduate school. She most recently received her M.A in Arts Administration from Florida State University in May 2019.
Rebecca Ross began dancing at the Dance Zone in Melbourne, FL. She attended various summer programs including The Rock School, Jacob’s Pillow, Boston Conservatory, and Sarasota Ballet. Rebecca graduated Magna C Laude with a BFA in Dance Performance from the University of Arizona. While in college, she had the honor to perform works by George Balanchine, James Clouser, Susan Quinn, Michael Williams and Melissa Lowe. Rebecca spent two years dancing with David Taylor Dance Theater in Denver, Colorado before moving to New York City. During her 8 yrs in NYC, Rebecca dance with Neglia Ballet Artists, Nomad Contemporary Ballet, Kinetic Works Dance Company, Six Degrees Dance, Felice Lesser Dance and Ellen Stokes Shadle/Danceworks. In addition, she taught for various summer programs and studios including Belvoir Terrace, 92nd St Y and American Youth Dance Theater.
KAITLYN CHRISTENSEN SACCO
Communications Director, Tap/Contemporary Teacher
Kaitlyn Sacco, originally from a suburb of Philadelphia, PA, received her MFA in dance performance and choreography from Florida State University in 2014 and her BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University in 2010. While at SRU, she worked with guest artists: Doug Varone and Dancers, River North Chicago Dance Company, Teena Custer, Ursula Payne and Helanius Wilkins. Her work, “Manipulating Consistency”, was chosen to perform at ACDFA at Ohio University in 2010 and she was given the “Outstanding Choreographer” award at SRU. After Graduating from SRU, she was a member of the MacArthur Dance Project and was an intern with Koresh Dance Company. At FSU, she taught in the General Studies Dance Program and performed in works by Alex Ketley, Rodger Bellman, and Gerri Houlihan.
She was rehearsal assistant for the works by Rick McCollough and Gerri Houlihan and the FSU Dance in Paris International program assistant. She as been the head videographer and photographer for numerous FSU events and a finalist in the 34th Annual College and High School Photography Contest. After graduate school, Kaitlyn moved to NYC and worked at Gaynor Minden as their boutique manager, sales associate and video marketing assistant. She performed and had her work shown at the 14th Annual White Wave Dumbo Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY, was an apprentice with Ariel Rivka Dance Company, company member with Asterial Dance and guest performer with IKada Contemporary Dance Company. In the Fall of 2018 she returned to FSU as their Conditioning Studio Coordinator and teacher for the School of Dance. She is Zena Rommett Floor Barre Certified and Progressing Ballet Technique Certified. She continues to teach, study photography and pursue her dance career and is excited to share her talents with South Georgia Ballet.
Ashley’s dance career began in Orlando, FL, competing across the country earning titles such as National Miss Starquest”, “Miss Dance of Florida” & “National Miss Showbiz”. Ashley even had the opportunity of competing on Ed McMahon’s “Star Search”. After graduating from FSU with a BA in Theatre, a minor in Dance & a season with the FSU Golden Girls, she started as a professional dancer at Walt Disney World. After a year with Disney, Ashley became Dance Captain on a ship for Celebrity Cruise Line. After stepping off the ship, Ashley packed her bags for the Big Apple. While in NYC, Ashley worked as a model and dancer for many well-known companies such as MTV & L’oreal. She appeared on The Today Show, The Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, & danced in the Elan Awards (NYC) & BDC 25th Anniversary Show (NYC).
Taylor Harrison grew up in Whigham, Georgia. She became a South Georgia Ballet company member at 8 years old and danced with the company for 11 years. After graduating from Cairo High School she attended Bainbridge State College and Georgia Southern University. Since graduating from Georgia Southern in 2018 with her B.S. in Kinesiology and majoring in Exercise Science, she has returned to her love of dance as a South Georgia Ballet dance teacher. Taylor also works part-time in the dance office where she helps with the administration of the dance school. Taylor’s future goals include attending graduate school and becoming a physical therapist for a dance company or some other sports group.
Step Up Teacher
Ariel Brock received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Valdosta State University. She has trained for over 20 years in dance. She is no stranger when it comes to the stage. She has choreographed many musicals for Bainbridge Little Theater and performed in numerous productions. Mrs. Brock has always had a special place in her heart for SGB”s Outreach Programs. She also enjoys creating designs for her shoe Booby Babies Clothing Co. Mrs. Brock resides in Vada with her husband, Eric Brock, and their three children Emmerich, Briar Rose, and Ezra.
Musical Theater/ Tap Teacher
Jenna Miller Jones received her Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts Administration with a minor in Theatre and Business from Wesleyan College. She studied with SGPA and was a Senior Company member of SGB. Mrs. Jones has choreographed numerous productions for Wesleyan, Cairo High School and The Bainbridge Little Theatre, worked with Young Actors Theater and has co-written three award-winning musicals at the collegiate level.
Shelley Kines is a 2017 graduate of Valdosta State University and has her degree in Early Childhood Education. She danced from the age of three to eighteen with South Georgia Ballet (formerly South Georgia Performing Arts). Shelley began teaching dance at the age of twelve and has loved it ever since. She trained with many amazing choreographers such as Emily Loftiss and Orialis Serrano Ashley. She is now a third-grade teacher at Cross Creek Elementary School here in Thomasville and is so excited to be back at her home studio teaching the youngest dancers ballet and tap.
Paige Knuckles is a 2016 Thomasville Scholars Academy graduate and has her Associates of Arts in Liberal Studies Degree. She has participated in gymnastics for 6 years, cheerleading for 10 years, was a Red Hot Danceline member and THS Varsity Cheerleader. She has coached gymnastics & tumbling for 5 years and recently began instructing acrobatics.
Jennifer graduated from Florida State University’s School of Dance Program with her Master of Fine Arts in Choreography and Performance with a focus in Dance Technology. She trained for fourteen years at the Academy of Ballet Florida and performed in professional ballets with the Company of Ballet Florida in pieces such as Marie Hale’s The Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. She graduated from the University of South Florida achieving a Bachelor’s in Dance Studies. At USF, she danced in several notable pieces including Gretchen Warren’s, Les Sylphides and Doug Varone’s, Sacre du Printemps. Jennie participated in the USF Dance in Paris Program in the summer of 2010 working with well-known choreographers, Claudia Lavista and Michael Foley. After graduating, she taught at three dance studios in the Tampa Bay area as well as performing and choreographing with Shoes at the Door Dance Company.
While attending FSU, she performed in multiple pieces such as Tim Glenn’s, RIDE, Joséphine Garibaldi’s, Land of the Pick and Choose, and aTedx Talk in Spring of 2015. She also became certified by Balanced Body, Inc. as a Pilates Mat instructor in 2017. Her MFA thesis resulted in a two-year collaboration with the FSU Computer Science faculty and students creating original interactive software for the stage called ViFlow. She creates screen dances, projections, and uses new technology to enhance the performance experience. Her life-long mission as a performing artist and choreographer is to create work that resonates with the audience members. Her goal is for them to walk out of the theater thinking back on their experience feeling stimulated and inspired.
Daphne Tuten is a mother of 3, with her B.S. in Early Childhood Education. She danced for 17 years with Pritchett-Pippin in Albany, GA, has been a team leader for Matilda Jane Clothing for 6 years and an Acro Instructor for 8 years.