Andre Lumpkin is an artist, educator and entrepreneur from Athens GA. Although immersed in different cultural dance forms from a young age, he started his formal training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Under the guidance of the dance program, he worked with artists and companies such as Blake Beckham, Kyle Abraham, Jennifer Archibald, StaibDance and Catellier Dance projects. Majoring in Sociology and minoring in Dance and Theater Studies, Lumpkin’s focus and passion centers the integral nature of arts and creativity in community and everyday life.
As an alumnus of Emory, Lumpkin continued on to earn his M.F.A in Choreography and Performance from The Florida State University School of Dance in 2017. During his graduate studies, He had the chance to work with renowned artists such as Jawole Zollar, Rodger Belman (R.I.P.), Jaamil Kosoko and Joya Powell, and hone his unique artistic voice. Post Graduate School Lumpkin continues to create, educate and perform nationally and internationally. As a professional, Lumpkin has dedicated himself to a holistic approach to choreography, teaching, performing, production design and community engagement.
Leslie Palmer Gourley
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.
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.
Heidi Cox Santa Maria
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.