I am a Jacksonville native and began taking ballet and modern dance when I was 6 years old at Village Dance Center. I went to Episcopal High SchooI and graduated from Jacksonville University in 1999 with a BA in dance with emphasis on education. I interned at Landon Middle School of Arts in 1998. I began teaching and assisting dance my junior year of college at Village Dance Center until I got my first "real" teaching job at Shoshannah Arts in 1999. I taught ballet, pointe and modern at Shoshannah Arts from 1999-2007. I also acted as dance director and program director 2000-2004. I attended Ballet Magnificat teacher forum workshops in 2001 and 2002. I have also taken many master classes in NYC. It was at my time at Shoshannah that I really became passionate about teaching and encouraging girls to try things that they wouldn't ordinarily feel confident enough to try. I love to remind dancers that God created us and loves us exactly the way we are, and He loves to receive worship through dance. It is not uncommon to hear me encourage dancers (even young ones) to take a few minutes to just dance for Jesus. Since 2007, I have taught at Legacy Dance and at Hollybrook Homes (a government subsidised housing project) through River City Church. I have had the opportunity to perform and teach in Brazil, Cuba and Guatemala on mission trips. Dance for Joy was birthed in August 2009. Aside from dancing and teaching , I have an amazing husband whom I have been married to for 23 years, and four amazing children (Tommy- 18, Ryn- 16, Grace- 13, and Charley-8).
Grace started ballet at the age of 3 with Lori Miller in Jacksonville. From the age of 9, she was already using dance to spread the love of Jesus to people in churches, nursing homes, and homeless shelters. Grace studied for six years with Shoshannah Arts where her love of dance grew to other styles such as modern and jazz. As a member of the Shoshannah Arts Dance Conservatory and Outreach Team, she traveled around Jacksonville and internationally to Montserrat and Scotland. Grace found a love and passion for children and the nations, and she firmly believes that dance can be positive and life changing. In 2012, Grace graduated with a BFA in Dance and Minor in Psychology from Jacksonville University. From 2012-2013, she spent a year overseas in the Philippines where she was a company dancer and teacher with BalletCenter Cebu under premier danseur Nicolas Pacaña and choreographer Gregory Aaron. In the Philippines, Grace had numerous performance opportunities in Romeo and Juliet and as the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Grace has been teaching now for ten years. She teaches at several dance studios and schools around Jacksonville and we are proud to have her on our staff.
Elissa Srulevich has been dancing since the age of four. She began training at Buffa’s Dance Studio and the Virginia Ballet Company and performed with Burke Civic Ballet in Virginia. She attended Florida School of the Arts and received her B.F.A. in dance from Belhaven University. She has performed leading roles in Swan Lake, Paquita and Sleeping Beauty and has danced locally with the Braided Light Dance Project. Elissa was a company member at East Coast Ballet for two years. Currently she dances professionally with Unforced Rhythms Dance Company. She has loved teaching in the Jacksonville area for the past few years. Elissa feels blessed to share her love of dance with others.
Stacy was born and raised in Clearwater, Florida. Dance has always been a large part of her life. She took ballet all throughout her childhood, as well as, danced on her high school and college dance teams. After moving to Jacksonville, Stacy continued to take ballet classes as an adult. She enjoyed preformed twice in the Community Nutcracker. In hopes to share her love of dance with others, she started to work with Dance for Joy in 2011. Stacy is our amazing administrator and we officially would be lost without her! Stacy and her husband, Jeremiah, have old boy/girl twins - Jason & Christina.
Ellie Germaine and Ella Jenkins
Ellie is a senior at Douglas Anderson and Ella is a junior. Ella was a student at DFJ for several years before moving onto a broader program here in Jax. Ella always has smile on her face and is a great role model for our hip hop girls. Ellie has been an amazing leader in the hip hop class and always brings high energy and fun to the classroom. We are SO lucky to have this cheerful dream team at DFJ!