Under the direction of Irena Linn, classes are taught by faculty members from all over the country and many of them are former members of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble who have ventured out into the wide world of dance and come home to share their experience with their peers.
Ms. Linn was 19 and a student of dance legend Mary Wigman when she met Dorothy Floyd in Berlin, Germany. That alliance was the beginning of a lifelong friendship that would bring Ms. Linn to America and to Dancers Studio — and ultimately to the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble. “In 1966 I left the Boston Conservatory where I was teaching modern dance because Dorothy Floyd offered me the chance to assist her at Dancers Studio. From the beginning I knew there was a special idealism in her. I wanted to be a part of her dream of teaching children using the art form of modern dance.” Ms. Linn, an accomplished choreographer, has set dozens of dances on the Ensemble, including Ballet for Modern Dancers, Freedom, Village Waltz, Mountain Songs, Gliding, The Morley Clowns, and Nightdreams.
AMY RENÉE WILSON
As a TCDE alumna (1985-1993), Ms. Wilson toured five countries with the Ensemble and is now the Associate Artistic Director. She attended Florida State University where she majored in dance. In addition to teaching modern dance classes at Dancers Studio, Ms. Wilson has taught in Knoxville’s Arts Magnet schools and at the University of Tennessee. She now heads the TCDE community outreach program at home as well as on tour. Her popular choreographic works include Focus, Forward Motion, Jig, Underground, Caught, Shadows of the Mind, Off the Hook, and Heartburn.
COURTNEY MASSEY KOHLHEPP
At the age of 6, Courtney began her dance training at Dancers Studio under the instruction of Irena Linn & Dr. Dorothy Floyd. While a member of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble she worked with renown guest choreographers and toured nationally & internationally. Courtney received her BA in dance from Florida International University. While in Miami, she performed with the Dance Now Ensemble, was a facilitator with ARTSpring expressive arts program in the Homestead Correction Institution and toured with L’Oreal as a dancer, model, and assistant choreographer. Courtney returned to Dancers Studio in 2003 as a faculty member, assisting TCDE with rehearsals and choreographing original pieces on the company. She has continued her education at numerous festivals and teacher training programs in New York. Courtney also teaches dance to adults with disabilities at Sertoma Center & choreographs/directs hair show productions with Belleza Salon & Spa here in Knoxville. She currently teaches Modern, Jazz, & Creative Movement at Dancers Studio.
JULIE E. COX
Julie began dancing in her hometown of Knoxville,Tennessee at several area studios including Dancers Studio. She Apprenticed with Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensembe at a young age, but decided ballet was her true path. She continued her pre-professional high school dance studies at the Virginia School of the Arts under the late Petrus Bosman. Upon graduating early at 17, Julie began dancing professionally with the Nashville Ballet as a Trainee. She fulfilled her contract of two years and decided to dance for the Richmond Ballet in Richmond, Virginia. She performed corps and soloist roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Serenade, and Who Cares?. Since 2006, Julie has been a principal guest-artist with Paradise Ballet Theatre in Key West, Florida in a bi-annual production of Nutcracker Key West. As for her local dancing with GO! Contemporary Dance Works and Oak Ridge Civic Ballet, Julie is a guest artist and choreographer as well. Besides keeping up with her ballet technique, Julie is currently training and competing at a professional level in all techniques of Ballroom Dance and Theater Arts. She is very excited to teach dancers of all ages this year and many more years to come.
LINDSAY (CK) KLINE
Lindsay (CK) Kline began dancing at Dancer’s Studio as a young child and danced with the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble under direction on Dr. Floyd for 7 years, touring and working with choreographers such as Michael Mao, Ze’eva Cohen, and Randy Duncan. After graduating the ensemble she continued her dance education at the University of Michigan, completing a dual degree in both dance and anthropology. Through the Michigan dance department, Lindsay worked with Doug Varone, David Dorfman, Rennie Harris, Leyya Tawil, the dance department staff and students, and performed the solo in Martha Graham’s “Primitive Mysteries”. Ms. Kline furthered her dance education during her summer breaks in New York City training under the Paul Taylor Company, the Ailey School, and Merce Cunningham. After graduating the U. of M. Lindsay moved to NYC to pursue a work-study position at the Cunningham School and taught ballet and modern dance at Ballet Academy East. There, she also developed a passion for yoga through a work-study position with Bikram Yoga NYC. Lindsay has been guest teaching at Dancer’s Studio since 2005 and became a staff member in 2010.
RACHEL E. WRIGHT, teacher for children with special needs
Ms. Rachel Wright is a TCDE alumna (1996 – 2002) and was a student of Dancer’s Studio for 15 years. After graduating from the dance company, Rachel earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Tennessee with additional endorsements to teach Elementary Education and Early Childhood Preschool, then took a position as a regional autism specialist in Oregon. She was able to reconnect with dance by assisting the community ballet school in launching the first modern dance program in the area. Rachel currently teaches the Digital Literacy and Life Skills classes for the FUTURE Program, the postsecondary education program for college-aged students with intellectual disabilities and autism at UT and is working towards her PhD and BCBA certification.
Gururas Kaur Khalsa
Gururas began dancing at age four at Dancers Studio. She graduated as valedictorian of her class at the University of Tennessee where she majored in Architecture and minored in Dance Performance. She also spent 5 summers at the American Dance Festival studying and choreographing. She teaches the Advanced Modern Dance class on Tuesday night, specializing in Martha Graham technique.
Morgan Brown is a current member of the Tennessee Childrens Dance Ensemble and a junior at Bearden High School. At the age of 3, she began her dancing career in Gainesville, Florida and trained strictly in ballet until moving to Knoxville at the age of 10. She has toured several places locally and nationally during her 5 years as an ensemble member. Aside from dance, she is also very involved with the Musical Theatre and choral departments at Bearden. Brown teaches Ballet at Dancer’s Studio.
Alyssa Allen was born in Cosby, TN. She is a sophomore at the Web School of Knoxville and a current member of The Ensemble. She has studied all dance forms and teaches her speciality – Hip Hop. She also assist Judy Robinson with The Ensemble’s concert makeup.
Lindsey Bacon started dance at the age of 6 at Dancers Studio and became a member of the Tennessee Children’s Dance Ensemble at age 9. While she was a member of TCDE, she traveled to Canada and Sri Lanka as well as working with many renown choreographers such as Mercedes Ellington and Randy Duncan. After graduation from TCDE, Lindsey studied public relations and dance performance at The University of Tennessee Knoxville. While studying dance at UT Knoxville, she participated in the American College Dance Festival and studied with several teachers who formerly danced with the Martha Graham Dance Company and The Atlanta Ballet. Currently, Lindsey resides in Knoxville where she teaches modern and classical ballet for the Dance Society, a student run organization on the UT Knoxville campus.
Sifu Marian Sing
Dancers Studio 4216 Sutherland Avenue Knoxville, Tennessee 37919 865.584.9636 firstname.lastname@example.org