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

✮Family  ✮Respect  ✮Confidence
✮Creativity (Artistry)  ✮Empowerment  ✮Community

Our Faculty and Staff

Kim Rowley

Director

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.

Chipper Dent

Faculty

Chipper Dent is a graduate of Veterans High School. Chipper is a Dance Educators of America Level 1 Certified Instructor. She plans to continue her instructor training to become a level 2 instructor. Chipper has trained at the AoD for 13 years, and was a Teacher Apprentice for 7 years. She was a junior faculty member for 4 years. Chipper is very passionate and driven and enjoys teaching children how to fall in love with dance.

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!

Angie Sellars

Faculty, Jazz, Musical Theater & Lyrical

A Rising Star in the entertainment industry, and former Disney World dancer, Angie is currently the Creative Director for an entertainment company awarded “Entertainment Company of the Year” which produces shows for many Theme Parks and Corporate Events across the Country and abroad.

She has directed and choreographed many Six Flags productions, Industrials, Professional Basketball dance teams and Television Specials including NFL halftime shows. As a producer, Angie has opened shows in both Branson and Las Vegas and worked with many renowned artists in the industry. She co-produced and choreographed a live televised special that won an EMMY Award for “Best Special Event”.

A member of Dance Masters of America, she has established herself as a master teacher, choreographer, and performer traveling with many organizations judging and teaching across the United States.

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.

Brea Nightingale

Front Desk Staff

Brea is from the coastal town of Brunswick, Georgia and danced at Southern Strut Dance Center. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology from Georgia Southern University. She moved to Warner Robins and started dancing at Academy of Dance in 2013. She participates in the adult program and has performed in every recital since starting at AOD. Brea’s hobbies include traveling, boating, dancing, reading, and spending time with friends and family. She looks forward to welcoming you to the AoD family!

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!

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]