Joanne Davidson opened Elite Dance Academy, Inc. in August 2002 where she teaches Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Leaps/Turns, Tumbling, and more. Joanne has 34 years of training, to include studio training, numerous conventions (Tremaine, Co. Dance, Dance Olympus, I Love Dance, Hollywood Vibe, Jump, Nuvo, NYCDA, and more), Huntingdon College, Broadway Dance Center, Radio City Rockettes - Radio City Music Hall, and DanceSport in NY.
Joanne found her passion in dance as a child, winning numerous regional and national awards and college scholarships in dance. As a teenager, she was awarded as an American All Star,Universal Dance Star, International All Star, and NCA Collegiate Dance All Star. She was also chosen to perform for Superbowl XXVI, in Nassau, Bahamas, and the 1996 Olympics Opening Ceremonies. Joanne performed as a member of ‘Georgia’s Dancin’ Machine’, the Springer Ballet Company (now known as Columbus Ballet) under prima ballerina, Sonia Manzi, as a member of the Huntingdon Dancers, the Golden Girls for the Columbus Indians baseball team, and more. Joanne has been a winner of many pageants including Jr. Teen Miss Lee County, Teen Miss Lee County, and Miss Phenix City, where she won the talent awards in dance. At Miss Alabama, she was awarded several scholarships including the Directors Award.
Since studying dance and theater at Huntingdon College, on dance scholarship, she became a dance instructor of Universal Dance Association, BJ’s Dance Factory, Columbus Ballet, Columbus State University’s continuing ed dept., and of course, Elite Dance Academy, Inc. as President and Director.
She was chosen as a finalist for the Radio City Rockettes in NYC in 2002 but, declined due to the opening of her studio. Joanne was hired as the choreographer for the All American Football League cheerleaders. She has coached the Dazzlin’ Dolls to hundreds of trophies, awards, and scholarships over the last 12 years. Her choreography has been sought after by dance teams, show choirs, pageant contestants, and stage productions across the SouthEast. She managed and coached the Columbus Lady Lions, professional dance team for the 2008-2009 season. She also established an arts after school program for Brookstone School, in which she has taught dance and musical theater for the last six years. Joanne stays busy with seizing every opportunity to share dance with the community. She was an instructor for Columbus State University for 7 years where she taught various dance disciplines, musical theater, and camps. She enjoys attending the Dance Teachers Summit in New York City to learn the latest teaching techniques each summer.
Joanne is a single mother of her pride and joy, Keely. Her greatest accomplishments are the dancers she’s helped to produce over the past 20years. She feels blessed to have such a wonderful child and to be able to touch so many lives in a positive way, doing something she loves. Joanne is proud of the success of Elite Dance Academy, Inc. in its twelve years and looks forward to many more successes!
Member of National Dance Association, AAHPERD, BBB.
Dance competitions attended/awarded: Tremaine, Co. Dance, I Love Dance, NUVO, Jump, NYCDA, Hollywood Vibe, Kids Artistic Revue, Celebrity Dance Competitions, Elite Dance Cup, Platinum, NDA, IDA, UDA, American All Star, to name a few.
Choreography has included: Professional dancers & cheerleaders such as AAFL & Columbus Lions, show choirs, dance companies, pageant contestants, and cheer squads throughout the Southeast.
Kelly Koch - Office Manager & Team Coordinator
Kelly Koch has supported our customers and staff as office manager at Elite Dance Academy for the past seven years. She also works at Columbus State University as an academic advisor in the Center for Academic Advising and the Writing Center.
Kelly is married to her husband, Chris. Together they have one daughter, Sydney, who has been dancing at Elite for over ten years and on the Dazzlin' Dolls where she continues to receive top awards as a tap soloist, and every other style of dance. She is also training as an instructor apprentice.
Kelly received her B.A. in English Literature & Professional Writing from Columbus State University in December of 2007. She is always happy to help customers with registration, billing, and sales. Kelly also has the rare perspective of parent and studio staff as well as invaluable experience in the competition world. If ever there is a question, from registration to recital, Kelly can help!
Tori Massey - Dance Instructor
Tori Massey received formal training for 12 years in classical ballet and jazz at North Alabama Dance Center located in Huntsville, AL and has also received training in hip hop and contemporary/lyrical styles. Throughout her journey as a dancer that has encompassed 16 years from arenas of dance and cheer, Tori has had the opportunity to compete in group categories at Dance Master's of America and in Universal Dance Association Camp competitions earning high overall awards. Tori was a UDA all-star for two years and was offered the opportunity to be a UDA instructor. In her undergraduate career at Tuskegee University, Tori served as Section Leader of the Marching Crimson Piperette Dance Line and danced with the Liturgical Dance Ensemble. Tori also had the esteemed honor of competing as Miss Tuskegee University in the 2011 Miss Alabama Pageant where she performed a lyrical dance solo for talent and earned 4 scholarships while competing in the pageant. In 2011 Tori completed her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology at Tuskegee University Summa Cum Laude. More recently Tori has given back to the community by serving as a volunteer dance instructor for IAMBK non-profit organization for 2 years and choreographer for the praise dance/liturgical ministry at the City Church located in Auburn, AL. Tori is also actively involved with the Columbus Lions Professional Indoor Football Organization where she has been a part of Columbus Lions Cheer as a Lady Lion for 2 years. The 2015 season Tori served as the Captain of the Lady Lions. As a recent Fall 2014 graduate of Troy University in Phenix City with a Master of Science Degree In Clinical Mental Health Counseling, Tori additionally works as an in-home therapist in Lee County serving children and families. Tori is excited to utilize her passion for dance and experience to train the dancers of today!
Aleta Brant - Ballet & Ballroom Instructor
Aleta has been teaching various dance forms for many years. She started ballet lessons in her home state of Florida at age 5 and continued through her teens with assisting and performing under Joan Miller and the Ballet Guild of the Palm Beaches (now Palm Beach Ballet). After studying dance at University of So. Florida, she returned to her hometown and expanded her love of classical ballet to include jazz, tap, aerobics and ballroom dance. For 10 years, Aleta was the director of the ballet program at Dance Factory Studios in Jensen Beach FL. For several years their dance company was featured in the musical theater program at a local college and did regular performances around the area..
Aleta also co-owned/operated several ballroom studios in that area, taking students to competitions, teaching and training new instructors. She relocated to Phenix City and continued some teaching in ballet and ballroom, but was primarily involved with raising her children. Her daughter, Anslie, grew up as a student of Elite Dance Academy, where she was an award-winning Dazzlin' Doll. Anslie is now pursuing her degree at Auburn University. Aleta is not new to Elite Dance Academy, and returns this season to share her wealth of experience with our students, once again!
Christa Benoit - Dance Instructor & Choreographer
Christa has been a student of Elite Dance Academy and under Joanne Davidson for over 12 years. She has trained in Ballet, Lyrical, Pointe, Jazz, Hip Hop, Tap, Modern, and more. She has competed in dance competitions since the age of 6, earning hundreds of awards and trophies in group, solos, and duets. She was awarded the Tremaine Dancer of the Year Award as well as many Platinum, High Gold, Gold, Top 1st place, etc. She has also been a finalist for Senior level scholarships at Celebrity Dance Competitions & received an invitation to apply for their staff. Christa is a graduate of Smiths Station High School and received a full dance scholarship at Southern Union Community College in Wadley, AL, where she was a member of the SU Dancers as a featured dancer. Christa has attended dance conventions such as Tremaine, Company Dance, Hollywood Vibe, Jump, and Nuvo, and competitions including Kids Artistic Revue, Celebrity Dance Competitions, Elite Dance Cup, Platinum, Nexstar, & more! An exceptional 'Elite' dancer, Christa's talents also shine in her choreography. She recently returned from University of Alabama where she was active in their dance program. Christa is back at Elite as a full-time instructor and assistant to the competition team, the Dazzlin' Guys & Dolls! This is her 2nd season as a main instructor for our amazing dance program.
Tiffany Gibson - Dance & Tumbling Instructor
Elena Peck - Instructor
Tiffany Gibson has dance for many years in her home state of Maryland. Starting from a young age, her mother noticed her love of dance when she start to copy the dancers on television. She was a competitive dancer for Diane Herbert Studio of Dance as well as a part of Diane Herbert All-Star dance team. She also danced for other studios in the area, and on her high school dance team. She also took choreography, tap, and ballet classes at Calvert High School, while also preforming for her school musicals, and talent revues. Tiffany has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, tumbling, and modern techniques for the majority of her dance career.
At conventions, such as NUVO, Jump, and Groove in Baltimore, MD, and Washington, DC, she experienced Latin ballroom, hip hop, and clogging. Tiffany became a student assistant at the age of 14, and began choreographing her own solos. Tiffany is married to Eric Gibson, and together they have three children: Rachel, a current student at Elite; Bradley; and new tiny dancer, Audrey. Tiffany returns for another season with our talented staff and excellent program at Elite Dance Academy!
Please welcome Elena Peck to Elite Dance Academy. Elena is a graduate of Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Performing Arts with Dance Emphasis. She has been dancing for 23 years and teaching for the past several years in various dance studios within Iowa and Missouri. Elena has also worked with various competition dance teams preparing them for competition. She also has experience with the office aspect of the studio.
Elena has working experience in the dance styles including ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern, and conditioning, in which she has trained and choreographed. Coming from Blue Springs, MO, Elena was an instructor and choreographer for Dynamic Dance. Most recently, she married and moved to Columbus, GA, where she found her new dance home at Elite Dance Academy, Inc. You will find Ms. Elena teaching and assisting various styles as well as assisting with the Dazzlin' Guys & Dolls dancers. We are so happy to have Elena join the superb faculty of Elite!!
Aspiring to be a dance instructor? Contact Director, Joanne Davidson for requirements.