About Us

The AoD strives to provide each student with the tools to not only become a confident, creative artist, but also to empower them to be able to achieve their greatest potential not only as a dancer, but as a person.

Imagine a place where you feel instantly at home. Warm, welcoming classmates begin feel like old friends. You become encouraged to step out of your comfort zone by your friendly, knowledgeable instructor who respects you as a person.

Our Core Values

✮Acceptance  ✮Family  ✮Confidence
✮Artistry  ✮Empowerment

Our Mission

✮Nurture Confidence  ✮Embrace Authenticity  ✮Inspire Leaders

Our Faculty and Staff

Kim Rowley


Kim Rowley hails from Goose Creek, South Carolina with a BA degree in Psychology with a concentration in dance, child development, and welfare.

Her training brought her to the Robert Ivey School of Ballet, where she was personally invited by Mr. Ivey to become a member of his Junior Company. Here, she was given the opportunity to train with Mrs. Elizabeth Allen and Christina Cooledge and she was able to take classes with Valentina and Leonid Koslov, Melissa Hayden, and Ruth Mitchell. She continued dancing in the RIB Senior Company through the end of high school, performing in numerous yearly performances, lecture demos, and the World’s Fair. Mr. Ivey was instrumental in helping her obtain her first job teaching dance. Kim quickly realized her desire to inspire other dancers to be able to perform with confidence and passion.

Kim was awarded a Dance scholarship to study ballet and modern at Columbia College in SC. Here, she trained with Martha Brim, Libby Patenaude, Jill Adomaitis, Anita Ashley, Dan Wagoner, and jazz choreographer Marcus Alford, to name a few. Kim was a member of the Columbia College Dance Company and danced at the American College Dance Festival in Washington DC as well as regional SCAPHERD dance conventions. During college, Kim also began teaching ballet, tap and preschool dance for Suzanne’s School of Dance in Lexington SC. Her background in child development allowed her to create a developmentally sound preschool program for her dance classes at Suzanne’s, and she continues to make sure her classes are designed for children’s ability levels to this day.

Kim has created dance programs for many Army Youth Services programs to include Ft Huachuca, AZ, Ft Hood, TX, and Mannheim, Worms and Darmstadt Youth Services in Germany. While in Germany, she became the first choreographer for the newly formed American Football League’s Frankfurt cheerleaders. She also had the opportunity to work with the Darmstadt Theatre to choreograph shows for German nationals. While in Texas, she was the owner of the Dance Expressions studio in Copperas Cove and also oversaw the dance programs for the City of Lampasas and City of Copperas Cove’s rec. programs and the youth service program at Ft Hood. Throughout her journey, she has taught dancers of all ability levels, allowing them to grow in confidence as performers.

She believes every good teacher is always learning. Kim is dedicated to the art of teaching, always attending dance conventions and seminars and learning from the masters of the trade. She holds a Dance Educators of America Certification, Level 3 (the highest level to complete) from the Teacher Training School at UNLV. This certification includes Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Acrobatics. She is a certified Revolution Tap teacher. She also holds a Peff Pointe teacher training certificate for teaching pointe work. Kim has trained with greats such as Charles Kelly, Raymond Lukens, Louis Kouvarus, Mme. Peff Modelski, Jo Rowan, Finis Jhung, and so many more. Kim is a member of Dance Educators of America, the Robins Regional Chamber of Commerce and BBB.

Kim is married to Maj (Ret) Tod A. Rowley and the mother of two children. She is proud to be the third owner of the Academy of Dance and share her passion for dance and over 35 years of teaching experience with her students.

Karen Smith

Preschool Faculty

Karen Smith is a graduate of Wisconsin State University-Oshkosh/University Wisconsin-Oshkosh with a BS degree in English with a literature emphasis. She is also a Dance Educators of America Level 2 Teacher Training School graduate, certified to teach ballet, tap, jazz, modern and acrobatics.
She competed in intercollegiate gymnastics, taught Oshkosh High School physical education gymnastics program and coached the interscholastic gymnastics competition until she joined the Air Force and was stationed at MacDill AFB in Tampa FL. Upon her honorable discharge, she and her husband moved to Bonaire in 1981 and joined Trinity United Methodist Church where she’s been a Sunday School teacher for years.

What does Karen love about teaching dance? “To creatively challenge a new dancer to want to participate. To encourage a dancer safely through their fears. To corral their enthusiasm when the studio becomes ‘theirs.’ To share their excitement and confidence when successful technique is attained. To experience the relief and pride enjoyed by parents, teachers, and students at the recital performance. My ultimate reward is to witness a dancer’s progression develop into the passion for dance. My humble delight is to know I am a piece of their tapestry.”

Laura Preiss

Faculty, Ballet

Laura Preiss hails from Warner Robins Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Polymer and Textile Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Masters of Military Operational Art and Science Degree from the United States Air Force Air Command and Staff College. She is a Chemist at Robins Air Force Base.

Laura began dancing at the age of four and has trained extensively in ballet, jazz, and tap at the Academy of Dance, Fayette Ballet (Fayetteville, Georgia), and the Madison Studio of Dance Education. She competed extensively in all styles of dance through junior high and high school, taking classes from many teachers through associated conventions, and participated in Midsummer Macon Fine Arts Camp in order to continue dancing during the summer. She performed in both the Nutcracker of Middle Georgia and the Fayette Ballet’s Nutcracker, as well as dancing with the Macon Moving Company. She holds a Dance Educators of America Certification, Level 1, from DEA’s Teacher Training School. This certification includes training in the instruction of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and acrobatics. Laura is very excited to return to the Academy of Dance and share her love of dance with a new generation.

Airianna Tauanuu

Faculty, Tap and Contemporary

Airianna Tauanuu started dancing at the age of six and is trained extensively in the areas of ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and lyrical. She has taken from various well-known instructors in New York (on scholarship at Broadway Dance Center) and numerous national conventions. She is a Level-1 Dance Educators of America Certified Instructor from the Teacher Training School at UNLV, as well as the Director to our nationally award-winning competition team.

Airianna’s first love is tap, and she has had the opportunity to teach master classes throughout the state of Georgia. As a choreographer, Airianna’s pieces have won overall awards both regionally and nationally, and she herself has received several Best Choreography awards. She has also had the opportunity to choreograph for contestants of the Miss Georgia and Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen pageants. A Summa Cum Laude graduate of Kennesaw State University, Airianna has judged both on the local and collegiate level for dance teams, talent shows, and musical theater competitions. Whether she is working with her recreational dancers or competitive teams, Airianna’s goal is to impart her passion and inspire the love of dance in each of her students.

Nina Panton

Faculty, Preschool and Stars Division

A native of Queens, NY, Nina Panton trained at the Theatre of Dance Movement under the direction of Lucille Hill, as well as with Dance with Me Productions. Nina is a Level-1 Dance Educators of America Teacher Training School Certified Instructor, certified to teach ballet, tap, jazz, modern and acrobatics. She has performed with Professor Griff from Public Enemy in Queens, NY as well as in an off-Broadway production titled FootTown. Nina is a graduate of St. John’s University with a degree in Liberal Arts. She has been teaching Ballet, African, and Jazz for 5 years, and was the past assistant director of One Step at A Time Dance Studio under Mrs.Pat Harry. A mother of two, Nina loves working with our youngest dancers. Nina’s favorite part of teaching is when a student goes from being unsure to saying “I Love This!”. She loves all the smiles and hugs from her happy students.

Brittany Panton

Faculty, Primary Division

Brittany is a graduate of Warner Robins High School. She is currently attending CGTC, and plans on becoming a physical therapist assistant. She attended the Teacher Training School and is a level one certified instructor through Dance Educators of America to teach ballet, jazz, tap, and modern and plans on completing level 2 next summer. Brittany has been dancing since she was 3 years old and has trained at Academy of Dance for 9 years. She was a member of our Expressions dance company, our Career Bound Dancers program, and was on our Competition team for 4 years. Brittany loves working with kids and helping them find their passion for dance!

Stefan Daniely

Faculty, Hip Hop, Musical Theater

Stefan Daniely discovered his passion for dance at the age of three. Born and raised here in Warner Robins, GA, he immersed himself into the Fine Arts Program at Northside High School. Stefan allowed his passion for dance to grow, and graduated from Valdosta State University with a BFA in Dance. He is immensely excited to be able to return to his hometown as a dance instructor here at the Academy of Dance. Stefan strives to enhance the performance quality of a dancer, pushing past just learning and repeating steps back. He hopes to make a positive impact within the community, while pushing innovation and determination within each specific dancer.

Jessica Thompson

Acrobatic Arts Teacher

Jessica is a Certified Acrobatic Arts Teacher. She started as an adult student at Academy of Dance in 2016. Jessica previously coached gymnastics, tumbling, and cheer at The Gym Nest School of Gymnastics from 2015 to 2019. She continues to dance on the Hebraic dance team at her congregation, Beth Yeshua International, where she has danced since 2012. Jessica enjoys hip hop and contemporary and infuses them in her choreography. In July 2019, Jessica created her own dance and acrobatics instruction business called Catapult Movement LLC, to share her love of the artistry and athleticism of dance. Jessica loves seeing growth and self-expression in her students. She is driven to show them that they are capable of more than they think. She is very excited to join the team at Academy of Dance!

Erin Tapp

Ballet Arts Teacher

Erin Tapp- Ballet Erin grew up in Peachtree City, GA and fell in love with ballet at the age of 5. Dance quickly became her world and by age 13 she began studying contemporary ballet as a company member with Dance Contempra where she later became an assistant teacher. During her high school career she was selected to attend intensives at Binghamton University, Atlanta Ballet, and received a scholarship to train with Dance Educators of America at the University of Nevada Las Vegas where she became versed in the Vaganova method. At age 16 she became a Senior company member at Doris Russell School of Performing Arts in Tyrone, GA, where she competed annually as a team member and soloist with Dance Educators of America and performed locally in Rockette style shows. She is a graduate of Elon University where she studied Dance and Art History. She holds a Master's in Art History, Theory, and Criticism from Stony Brook University and has presented her scholarship on experimental dance cinema (1950-1970) at numerous academic forums on the East Coast. She enjoys incorporating nuanced approaches to ballet training through the use of somatics and imagery and was recently certified in Progressing Ballet Technique. Erin is newly married to Michah Tapp.

Jenny Fisher

Faculty, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical 

Jenny grew up dancing in Louisville, KY with Stacy Davis at Dance Designs and began competitive dance by age 9. She has trained with instructors who were trained by Gus Giordano, Joe Tremaine, Louisville Ballet, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and many more. Jenny has won many solo, duet, and group awards with her childhood dance studio. Performances also included dancing for celebrities and politicians at The Barnstable Brown Derby Gala two years in a row.

At age fifteen, she began student teaching at Dance Designs Dance Academy. Moving across the U.S. as an Air Force spouse, she’s had great opportunities to teach and train with various studios and staff in AZ, FL, and TX, allowing her to develop into a well-rounded dancer and teacher extraordinaire.

What she enjoys the most is when parents have shown appreciation for helping their child grow in technique, dance personality, and their overall love of dance after having been taught by her. Jenny is a certified Zumba instructor and is completing her Barre certification training. Jenny is married to Robert Fisher and is the mom to 3 children.

What We Believe

At the Academy of Dance, we believe dance is not only a beautiful art form, but a vehicle where students can develop life skills, self-discipline, self-respect, confidence, and self-esteem. We believe these assets will help students in any career field.  We believe we can use our God-given talents to help others who may not be as blessed as we are, and we strive to Dance to Make a Difference in the lives of others. We believe we are not only educators, but aspire to inspire the next generation to become the best versions of themselves.

438 S Pleasant Hill Rd
Warner Robins, GA 31088
[email protected]

Member of Dance Educators of America