FACULTY

Walter Carson Apps

Walter Carson Apps

Born and raised in Detroit MI, Walter started his dance training at the age of four. He received his BFA from Point Park University in 2016. During his training, Walter had the privilege to perform works by Aszure Barton, Garfield Lemonius, Septime Weber, Lar Lubovitch, Kyle Abraham, MADBOOTS, Mark Morris, Luke Murphy, and Ohad Naharin. After graduation, he worked with Texture Contemporary Ballet, Yin Yue, Rubén Graciani, Patrick O’Brien, and Andrea Ward. Currently Walter is a Dance Artist with Core Dance based in Decatur, GA.

Danny Bevins

Danny Bevins

Danny Bevins is thrilled to return to the dance studio that helped raise him! After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Elon University with a BFA in Music Theater, he moved to NYC and began performing around the country. He’s performed at theatres such as The Muny, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Music Theatre of Wichita, Papermill Playhouse, Bucks County Playhouse, and Barrington Stage Co. Danny is also an ACE certified strength coach, and specializes in functional movement based training. He runs Bespoke Personal Training in between performance opportunities and is signed with People Store Inc and DGRW Agency. Danny is ecstatic to return to DSOB to teach what he’s learned from the entertainment and fitness communities of NYC and ATL!

Monica Garcia Bradley

Monica Garcia Bradley

Monica has been dancing for over 25 years, and grew up as a competition dancer in Houston, Texas. She spent nearly a decade in New York City performing professionally and is a proud member of the Actors Equity Association. She has traveled the country performing in Musical Theatre at Paper Mill Playhouse, TUTS, Ivoryton Playhouse, The Elektra and North Carolina Theatre. Now in Atlanta, Monica is a full time performing artist and teacher. Outside of dance, she is also an accomplished film actress, having been in feature films and network television shows, such as The Resident (FOX), MacGyver (CBS). Monica is currently a recurring guest star on Tyler Perry’s Sistas (BET), and is featured on numerous regional and national commercials. Dance is the heartbeat of her career and success, and she looks forward to working with the students of Decatur School of Ballet.

Leslie Palmer Gourley

Leslie Palmer Gourley

Leslie started her dance training at age six in Marietta and continued her dance studies in Mississippi and with the Joffrey School of Ballet in New York. At age 16 she came to study with Decatur School of Ballet. After graduating from Texas Christian University with a BFA in ballet performance in 1986, she returned to teach with Decatur School of Ballet and to perform with Decatur City Dance. She has studied with notable instructors such as Stanley Zompakos, Terrell Paulk, Delia Stewart, Fernando Schaffenburg, Lisa Fusillo, Meli Kaye, Peter Powlus
and Martha Goodman. In July 2018, Leslie purchased Decatur School of Ballet and became Artistic Director of Decatur City Dance.

Meg Gourley

Meg Gourley

Meg is a graduate of the University of Georgia with her B.F.A. in Dance, with a K12 Certification, and a Minor in Anthropology. She began her dance training at age three at Decatur School of Ballet and continued through high school as a member of the Apprentice Ensemble of Decatur City Dance and Decatur School of Ballet’s Rug Cutters. Meg has studied with the Joffrey Ballet School, staibdance, the Governor’s Honors Program, and the American Dance Festival. During her years at UGA, she performed in various faculty and student pieces and was chosen to work with notable guests such as Alexandre Munz and Luis Piedra. She has performed with Danza Universitaria in San Jose, Costa Rica. Meg has worked for the Joffrey Ballet School and currently dances professionally with Kit Modus and AboutFace.

Kyri Hayes

Kyri Hayes

Kyri graduated in 2013 from Woodland High School Fine Arts Academy with a major in dance and has since joined the faculty of her Alma Mater as well as Cartersville School of Ballet. She has choreographed for musicals such as “Catch Me If You Can” and “How To Succeed in Business Without Trying” as well as concert works for dance companies, performing arts high schools and for various dance festivals.

Kyme Hersi-Sallid

Kyme Hersi-Sallid

Kyme is a graduate of the acclaimed New York City High School of Performing Arts, and has performed nationally and internationally as a dancer, singer, and actress. Her credits include three Broadway shows and tours of an additional three Broadway shows. As a film and TV actress, Kyme played Rachel Meadows in Spike Lee’s film School Daze, and guest starred on TV shows such as 24, NYPD Blue, Frasier, and many more. Her love of the arts and teaching led her to found a performing arts academy in a charter school in Los Angeles in 2006. Kyme moved to Atlanta in 2012 where she continues to share her passion and passes on the fruits of her experience and success. As Associate Director, Kyme oversees the Junior Rhythm Keepers and the Rhythm Keepers of Decatur City Dance.

Nacoleon Hillsman III

Nacoleon Hillsman III

Nacoleon is from Atlanta, Georgia and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Oklahoma. Taking his first dance class at the age of 14 at the Cobb County Center for Excellence in the Performing Arts at Pebblebrook High School, he fell in love with dance. He has trained in multiple styles, including jazz, ballet, modern, and hip hop. He has performed on stage in New York, San Francisco, Beijing China, just to name a few. Nacoleon is excited to continue to inspire students in their love for dance and artistic creativity at Decatur School of Ballet!

Kate Holland

Kate Holland

Kate Holland has more than thirty years experience as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She has received funding from
the City of Atlanta Bureau of Cultural Affairs, the Georgia Council for the Arts and both Fulton and Dekalb County Arts Councils. Kate started her study of yoga in 1973 with Yogi Amrit Desai and currently studies with Divine Mother Karunamayi, sharing many classes throughout Atlanta.

Eliza Reese

Eliza Reese

Eliza started her dance training at our studio at age four and has been assistant teaching since age nine. She was a member of Decatur City Dance (Junior and Apprentice Ensembles and Junior Rhythm Keepers) and Decatur School of Ballet’s Rug Cutters. Eliza is a graduate of Agnes Scott College and Mercer University’s nursing program. She works as a nurse at The Shepherd Center and she is the director of the Rug Cutters. Eliza is also a member of The Rhythm Keepers.

Jessica Paget Reese

Jessica Paget Reese

Jessica began her dance training at the Gainesville School of Ballet at age six. A professional performer with South Carolina Ballet Theatre, she also taught with the Columbia Ballet School before opening her own studio in Lexington, South Carolina. In addition to her classical ballet training, Jessica has performed in musical theater productions. With a BA degree in English and an M.Ed. in elementary education from Columbia College, she taught seventh grade for seven years. Jessica is an associate director of Decatur City Dance.

Angie Wells

Angie Wells

Angie began her formal dance training in Columbia, South Carolina. After high school, Angie studied at North Carolina School of the Arts and Pennsylvania Ballet. Angie danced professionally with Charleston Ballet Theatre and Southern Ballet Theatre. Angie opened Brevard Civic Ballet School in 2012 and founded Brevard Ballet, a civic ballet company in 2014. She closed the physical location in 2020 due to the pandemic but continues to teach her students virtually. Angie is an ABT® Certified teacher and has completed course work in the Leap 'N Learn dance program.

Toya Willingham

Toya Willingham

Toya started her dance training at age three and came to Decatur School of Ballet at age 13. She has been a company dancer with Decatur City Dance since 1992. She is a graduate of the DeKalb Center for the Performing Arts. In the summer of 1995, she participated in the Governor’s Honors Dance program. Toya trained as a demonstrator, an assistant teacher, and a substitute teacher in younger children’s classes at our school. She has a strong foundation in ballet and has also trained in modern dance, jazz, and tap. Toya is Director of AboutFace, the professional jazz ensemble of Decatur City Dance.

Heather Yates

Heather Yates

Heather began her dance training at Decatur School of Ballet at age eight and continued her study with the Atlanta Ballet, the Royal Academy of Dance, and the Cleveland Ballet, where she also danced in the company. She also danced professionally with the American Ballet Theatre in New York City from 1988 to 1994, working with such notable artists as Twyla Tharp, Natalia Makarova, Jiri Kylian, and Mark Morris. Heather is also a professional chef and pharmacy technician.