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.
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.
A dance artist deeply invested in exploration, Jodie Jernigan received her A.A. with an emphasis in dance from Florida State College at Jacksonville before receiving her B.A. in Dance and B.A. in English from Brenau University. Jodie has worked with a collection of esteemed professionals within the dance field, including but not limited to Cleo Parker Robinson, Owen Scarlett, Carl Flink, Jennifer Archibald, and Xavier Lewis. At FSCJ, Jodie danced with and managed their dance repertory company, danceWORKS. At Brenau, Jodie conceptualized and directed the annual cross-department dance on film showcase, “Poetry in Motion.” Her choreography has been selected to represent Brenau University at a variety of events and conferences, including the 2022 American College Dance Association Southeast Conference. Outside of academia, she served as an intern with Fly on a Wall in Atlanta, Georgia for their 2020-2021 season. In 2021, she was commissioned by Zoetic Dance Ensemble to create an independent dance film for their annual Mixtape Atlanta film festival. Jodie is ecstatic to be joining Decatur School of Ballet for their monumental 75th year!
Devin began their classical training at Central Florida Ballet in their hometown of Orlando, FL. After high school Devin danced with these notable companies: Atlanta Ballet, Oklahoma City Ballet, and City Ballet of San Diego. Through these companies they were able to perform lead roles in the Nutcracker, Balanchine’s Walpurgisnacht, Carmina Burana, and Etudes. Devin also danced many corps de ballet roles in Septime Weber’s Alice in Wonderland, La Sylphide, Beauty and the Beast, Balanchine’s Serenade, and Don Quixote amongst other contemporary ballet works. Since joining the freelance art scene in Atlanta they have worked with Leo Briggs, Nadya Zeitlan, and Sarah Hillmer, George Staib and Anna Bracewell Crowder through ImmerseATL. Devin has also choreographed work for A.M. Collab, Fall for Fall dance festival, and MAD festival. This past season they have also been honing their art making and teaching style. In these differing experiences they have melded their time in the ballet world with that of passion for creativity to generate an uplifting space for kids and adults to find joy in classical and contemporary movement.
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.
Jillian Mitchell is a classical ballet and contemporary dancer, choreographer and community leader. She trained at the Harid Conservatory and Canada's Royal Winnipeg Ballet School. Upon graduation she worked with New Jersey Ballet, Rebecca Davis Dance (now MindLeaps), Roxey Ballet, Georgia Ballet, gloATL, Proia Dance Project, and The Atlanta Opera. In 2017, Jillian launched her company, Kit Modus, where’s she’s also created a guest artist residency and developed Modus, the company’s distinctive training technique. She has guest taught for the University of Georgia Department of Dance, Alabama Dance Festival, Staibdance, ImmerseATL, and Fly on a Wall. In addition to presenting numerous works with Kit Modus, her choreography was presented at Georgia State University, and The Women in Dance Leadership Conference, and was selected by the upcoming 2021 Dumbo Dance Festival.
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 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.
Bridget received her Master of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from Florida State University and a BFA in Dance from Southern Methodist University. While at Southern Methodist University she began her studies in Labanotation, which led her to the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance in London, England where she furthered her studies in Labanotation, modern dance and choreography. Bridget is teacher certified in Labanotation and has served on the Professional Advisory Committee of the Dance Notation Bureau. Her reconstructions from Labanotation score include works choreographed by Bebe Miller, Lester Horton, Ruth St. Denis, Doris Humphrey, Marius Petipa, Clay Taliaferro, Susan Hadley, Helen Tamiris, Susan Hadley, and Charles Weidman.
In addition to choreographing and reconstructing Bridget is still performing and has worked with many choreographers including George Staib, Anna Leo, and Gregory Catellier. She has taught and performed both locally and abroad and a career highlight was performing with the José Limón Dance Company in the historically renowned work Missa Brevis. Bridget is also certified to teach Pure Barre Classic, Empower and Reform techniques. Bridget is an Associate Professor of Dance and Chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia.
Caleigh Paxton Santa Maria
Atlanta-born, Caleigh Santa Maria is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, swing, and tap with Decatur School of Ballet before attending Brenau University. While studying at Brenau as a Dance Major with a concentration in pre-physical therapy, Caleigh was a member of the Gainesville Ballet Company where she trained under distinguished artists such as Du’Bois A’Keen, Carl Flink, Owen Scarlett, and Regine Metayor. During the summers, she continued her dance training participating in many summer intensives within her dance studios as well as with Joffrey Ballet and The American Ballet Theater. In addition, Caleigh is a competitive premier Highland Dancer, which she has had the privilege of touring internationally in Canada and Scotland, where she is a member of the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo Dance Company. She is a certified highland dance instructor, which she teaches many younger dancers entering her home studio, Killough School of Highland Dance. Caleigh is thrilled to be back at her home studio to pass on her love of dance to the next generation.
Jessica began dancing at age 4, and quickly discovered a passion for tap dance. In high school, she discovered the tap classes at Decatur School of Ballet, where Birda Ringstad gave her a strong foundation in Rhythm Tap, and helped broaden her tap education by introducing her to tap festivals. She has been performing with The Rhythm Keepers, the adult tap company of Decatur City Dance, since 2006, has been choreographing and performing solos and small group acts for special events since 2014, continues to attend tap festivals periodically to continue her tap education, and has been teaching tap to adults since 2016.
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.