STAFF

Leslie Palmer Gourley

Leslie Palmer Gourley

Director

Leslie started her dance training at age six in Marietta and continued her dance studies in Mississippi and with the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City. At age 16 she came to study with Decatur School of Ballet. After graduating from Texas Christian University as a ballet major in 1986, Leslie returned to teach and dance with our school and company. In July of 2018, Leslie purchased Decatur School of Ballet and became Artistic Director of Decatur City Dance.

Elizabeth Carroll

Elizabeth Carroll

Office Manager

Elizabeth came to know the lobby at Decatur School of Ballet when her daughter, Anne, began dance training in 1998, and has worked at our school since 2001. A former piano teacher and choir director, Elizabeth appreciates the variety of personalities and music that flows through the studio doors. In her spare time, Elizabeth enjoys choral singing, reading and cooking.

Virginia Cox

Virginia Cox

Office Manager

Virginia has been associated with Decatur School of Ballet since 1969. Both her daughters, Heather and Heidi, studied with our school and danced with our company. Virginia served as secretary and a member of the board of directors of our dance company for many years. A teacher with Atlanta City Schools and DeKalb County schools for 16 years, Virginia has worked at our school since 1989. As our staff artist, she decorates our bulletin boards, programs and flyers with her artwork. Her other hours are filled with stitchery, sewing, volunteering at Fernbank Museum, and enjoying time with her grandchildren.

Kathleen Banks Everett

Kathleen Banks Everett

Director Emeritus

Kathleen has been associated with Decatur School of Ballet almost all her life, beginning with her dance training at age six under original owners Hilda Gumm and Marie Roberts. Kathleen began teaching in 1970 and was owner and director from 1980-2018. Additionally, she has trained and performed in classical ballet, jazz and modern dance. A graduate of Georgia State University, Kathleen is also Director Emeritus of Decatur City Dance. Kathleen and her husband Ron, former business manager, retired in July 2018.

Birda Ringstad

Receptionist

Birda began dancing at the age of eight at the Art Linkletter Dance Studio in Chicago, Illinois. She has been fortunate to study with some of the great tap dancers of our time, including Brenda Buffalino, Pat Rico, Al Gilbert, Gregory Hines, and Tommy Sutton. She has been teaching tap to dancers of all ages and levels since 1986. Birda directs the Rug Cutters of Decatur School of Ballet, plus the Rhythm Keepers of Decatur City Dance. here

Emma Safon

Receptionist

I'm Emma Safon and I just graduated from Florida State University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. I grew up attending Decatur School of Ballet and joined the Decatur City Dance company for all of high school. I hope to move to New York City eventually and pursue my passion for stage acting. In the meantime I am living in Atlanta and enjoying quality time with my family! 

Heidi Cox Santa Maria

Heidi Cox Santa Maria

Office Manager

Heidi started her dance training at age six at Decatur School of Ballet and continued to dance in the company until she graduated from high school. In the summer of 1987, she participated in the Governor's Honors Dance program. She trained as a demonstrator and teacher in younger children's classes at our school. While earning a B.F.A. in Arts Management from Brenau Women's College, Heidi danced with the Gainesville Ballet Company.

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