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Meet The Staff of South Carolina Dance Company of Lexington, SC

The staff members at SCDC value every student and family. We are committed to treating students and families with the highest level of professionalism, respect, and courtesy. The staff members of SCDC encourage you to let us know at anytime if we are not meeting your expectations or providing you with the level of services you desire. SCDC instructors and staff members have Christian beliefs and support comes from the staff through prayer and ministry by guiding students (young and old). We believe that if we train our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it.

Our goal is to provide each dancer the opportunity to grow and learn in all disciplines of the performing arts while providing a safe, happy, and nurturing environment with Christian staff members. Our goal is for South Carolina Dance Company to be the BEST DANCE STUDIO IN THE MIDLANDS!

Danyele Gardner – Owner and Artistic Director of South Carolina Dance Company

Danyele Gardner - Owner and Artistic Director

Danyele Gardner - Owner and Artistic Director of South Carolina Dance Company

Danyele Gardner currently serves as owner, director, instructor, and choreographer of the South Carolina Dance Company. She has directed and produced many spring concerts, pageant productions, theater/church performances, and numerous special events. Recently, Danyele won TOP Choreography accolades from regional dance competitions where her competitive teams were recognized as elite performers. Some of Danyele’s students have been invited to attend Governor’s School of the Arts, New York Programs including Kids Artistic Review, JUMP, and the Rockettes as well as other intensive training sessions.

Her training began with the Calvert/Brodie Schools, SueAnn Derrick, Rhonda Marchant, and Nancy Giles (Columbia, SC). She then furthered her studies traveling the southeast taking classes from master choreographers. Her vocal and acting studies include Molly Hoffman, Emmalee Robbins, Dawn Smith, and Dr. Ann Benson (Columbia College). Her repertoire includes Peter Pan, Grease, Crazy For You, Wizard of Oz, Road to Victory, Nutcracker, A Mid Summer’s Night Dream, and the list goes on. Her most beloved performance is with Christian Artist Dana Russell in her music video “I Believe in Love”. Danyele is trained to teach students in all disciplines of dance, gymnastics, voice, acting, pageantry (including modeling, interview, wardrobe, & make-up). She earned a Dental Hygiene degree from Midlands Technical College and a Bachelor of Arts Degree is Early Childhood Education from Columbia College. Danyele’s passion is for the parents, students, and staff to be a part of the best dance education and facility in the Midlands. She gives all the glory of her creativity to the Lord and desires for God to be honored through “Praising His Name with Dance.” Danyele resides in Lexington with her husband Jonathan Gardner, and sons Jon David (8) Jonah Dylan (3).

SCDC's Danyele Gardner on the cover of Lake Murray Magazine, April 2012

SCDC's Danyele Gardner on the cover of Lake Murray Magazine, April 2012

In April of 2012, Danyele Gardner was featured on the cover and was the lead story for the Lake Murray Magazine of Columbia SC.  Danyele was highlighted in the magazine for her active role in the community as Mrs. SC America 2012, and more importantly, for her role as a dedicated wife, mother, and focused business owner.

Email: Danyele@southcarolinadancecompany.com

SCDC Staff for 2013

SCDC Staff for 2013

The Staff of South Carolina Dance Company 2013

Ashley Howell – Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, and Company Co-Directer

Ashley Howell

Ashley Howell

Ashley is currently in her 5th season here at South Carolina Dance Company. She began her dance training at the age of 3 at ShaMar Dance Studios. At the age of 10, Ashley was accepted into Columbia City Ballet II and began training under William Starrett and Mariclare Miranda at the Columbia Conservatory of Dance. At the age of 15, she was invited to join the Columbia City Ballet and performed many soloist and featured roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, Off the Wall: Dancing the Arts of Jonathan Green, and the Hootie And the Blowfish Ballet. In addition to her ballet studies, Ashley began training at the South Carolina Performing Arts Center for jazz and tap and became a Senior member of Company One, winning top overall awards for solos and groups. Over the years, she has trained with world-renowned choreographers and teachers such as Jason Parsons, Mia Michaels, Joe Lanteri, Chris Dupre, Mandy Moore, Stephen “Twitch” Boss, Cynthia Harvey, and David Howard. Now retired from her dancing career, Ashley enjoys sharing her love for the art with her students. Her choreography has been recognized at regional and national competitions across the southeast. Most recently, she and owner Danyele Gardner, were awarded a coveted Teacher of the Year 2012 award at Kids Artistic Revue Grand National Finals in Myrtle Beach. Their group “Chicago” also won Elite Grand National Champions, which is their highest honor awarded.

Email: ashley@southcarolinadancecompany.com

Claire Rose Norris – Daily Operations, Preschool, Lyrical

Claire Rose Norris

Claire Rose Norris

Claire entered the world of dance as an eager, energetic 5-year-old student at the well-respected Crosby’s School of Dance in Aiken, SC. By age 11, Claire was invited to join the Aiken Civic Ballet Company as an apprentice (ACBC) where three years later she earned a position as a full member of the ACBC, under the direction of Carl Crosby. A committed dance student, Claire developed skills in tap, ballet, Pointe, jazz, hip hop, and musical theater. As Claire developed her dance skills, she was invited to perform as a guest dancer with the Augusta Civic Ballet in several productions of the classic, The Nutcracker. Claire continued her dance study throughout work on her bachelor’s degree at Winthrop University where she graduated with a degree in Mass Communications in 2001. Following graduation, Claire spent a year working at Walt Disney World in Orlando where she learned the Disney way of using aspects of performance as life skills as well as the value of excellent interpersonal customer service skills. She enjoys working in the theater world as well both acting and choreographing. She won the award for “Outstanding Choreography” for her work on the Aiken Community Playhouse’s production of “Grease”. Aside from dancing, Claire’s greatest joy is spending time with her husband, Clay, and their beautiful toddler daughter, Macie.

Email: claire@southcarolinadancecompany.com

Suzanne Jackson – Ballet

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne Jackson

Suzanne began her Ballet training at Stage 7 with Lynda Yourth of New York City Ballet under the direction of George Balanchine.  She continued her studies Ms. Yourth at American Ballet School and such teachers as Valentina Tseilin of the Bolshoi and Clarissa Boeriu of the Romania State Ballet, Stephen Rockford of the New York Dance Theater and Netherlands Dance Theater and many others.  She trained in jazz, tap, modern, and character dance as well as Ballet.
Suzanne became a member of the American Ballet Ensemble at it’s inception. Suzanne danced with the San Diego Symphony with their series of young people’s concerts.  Was invited by special invitation from Valentina Tseilin to dance for a special on television.  She was one of the 4 little Swans in Swan Lake.  Danced in Valse Fantasy, Nutcracker and Many contemporary ballets choreographed by the director, Ms. Yourth.  She performed in San Diego and Mexico for a 12 year span. Suzanne also danced with City Dances and Shawn Hughes Dancers as well as American Ballet Ensemble.
After a two year teaching program under Lynda Yourth, and Ms. Yourth’s assistant to demonstrate movements during class.  She began teaching in 1979 in such schools as American Ballet School, City Ballet, Scripps Performing Arts Center,  Academy of performing Arts, North County Dance Arts, Oceanside Dance Co., Pacific Repertory Ballet and was on staff at San Diego Ballet since 1989 through 2008 after which, she moved to South Carolina.  She also choreographed for most of the schools.
Suzanne served as a judge for four seasons for the National Competition “Star Bound” and was one there judges for finals all four seasons. Suzanne taught master classes for Grossmont College of San Diego.
Suzanne is an award winning costume designer, having made costumes from monsters to tutu’s to contemporary and Jazz.  She served as wardrobe mistress for American Ballet, San Diego Ballet, Scripps Performing Arts, Ballet Workshop, and for five seasons for Ballet Arte.  She also with collaboration with her artist daughter designed and executed many of the Nutcracker costumes for Ballet Arte.  Has designed many of the costumes for Scripps Performing Arts Center and are shown on their website. She also has her own dance wear line, of knitwear and sewn, and makes many solo costumes.   Being a dancer has helped to understand movement in costumes as well as construction, which makes for a better performance.

Jasmine Nakia Edney -

Jasmine Nakias Edney, teacher at SCDC of Lexington SC

Jasmine Nakias Edney

Jasmine Edney, a Columbia SC  native, has been dancing since she the age of 3.  There is debate among her family members as to whether she learned to dance before she learned to walk!  That life long dancing spirit is evident in her teaching style, and Jasmine has the dance experience that makes her an asset to South Carolina Dance Company, offering her teaching talents in jazz, tap, contemporary/lyrical, modern, broadway and hiphop. Jasmine graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2011 with a Bachelor of the Arts in Biology.  She has been a competitive dancer since the age of 5.  Jasmine has studied under some of the most well respected names in the dance profession such as:  Jason Parsons, Mia Michaels, Brian Friedman, “Nappy Tabbs,” Chris Judd, Savion Glover, Gregory Hines, Shiela Barker, Justin Giles, William Starret, Debbie Roberts, Kimberly Langley, Angie Baker, Anne Richardson, and Charlie Connolly.  In addition, Jasmine has traveled and assisted teaching and helped with choreography with dancers including:  Shiela Barker, Kimberly Langley, Charlie Connolly, and Christopher Robbins.  Jasmine has been involved in several dance companies, dancing for the following:  Carolina Dance Center, South Carolina Performing Arts Center- Company One, and Palmetto Center for the Arts. Through that time, Jasmine received countless special awards and scholarships from dance conventions such as: New York City Dance Alliance, SHOCK the Intensive, and her most prized full scholarship to the Pacific Coast Dance Fest from Adrenaline. In 2007, Jasmine founded her own dance company called The Company JDC.  The Company JDC competed in regional and national dance competitions, winning awards in various categories including 2010 South Carolina State Championships.  Jasmine continues to judge for national dance competitions and choreograph/hold master classes for studios in the southeast. She is now in her 2nd year with SCDC and has fallen in love with the SCDC family! Jasmine looks forward to continuing to share her passion of dance with SCDC in the upcoming years!

Amanda Breedlove – Ballet

Amanda Breedlove

Amanda Breedlove

Born and raised in Columbia, SC and a graduate of Spring Valley High School, Amanda began studying Ballet at the age of four with the Columbia Conservatory of Dance. She has trained under Mariclare Miranda, William Starrett, Serge Lavioe, Kerrie-Anne Dunn Sparks, Ashley Howell and Kimberly Langley. She danced on stage with the Columbia City Ballet beginning at the age of five, became a member of CCBII, the junior company, at the age of seven and continued until she became a full company member at age 17. While with Columbia City Ballet she has performed in numerous Ballet productions since 1997 totaling over 60 rolls. Amanda began competing with Columbia Conservatory Dance Company when she was 12, first in Ballet then in Jazz, Lyrical, Contempo- rary and Musical Theatre winning numerous solo and group awards. Amanda has attended summer programs at the Boston Ballet and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre where she had the privilege of taking classes with Li-Chou Cheng, David Howard, Gelsey Kirkland, Dennis Marshall, Laura Young among many others.  She will be going into her fifth season as a professional dancer with the Columbia City Ballet and plans to attend the University of South Carolina in the future majoring exercise science and physical therapy.

LeAnn Boddie -

LeAnn Boddie

LeAnn Boddie

LeAnn Boddie has been dancing for 13 years and has danced competitively for 11 years. She has been a member of the South Carolina Dance Company for the past 2 years. LeAnn has had the opportunity to study with national choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Dave Scott, Brian Freedman, Chris Judd, and Stephen “Twitch” Boss. She has won many awards at regional and national competitions. Her musical theater group won Elite Grand National Champions 2012 at KAR Nationals in Myrtle Beach. In 2010, LeAnn was presented the Melanie Delores Gulledge Award at Tri-District Art Consortium for her commitment to dance and creative spirit. LeAnn attends Lexington High Scholl and plans to attend college to obtain a Dance Degree.

Taylor Bohn – Jazz, Lyrical, Company Assistant

Taylor Bohn

Taylor Bohn

Taylor Bohn is a 2010 Graduate of Lexington High School. She is currently enrolled at Midlands Technical College and is transferring next fall to the University of South Carolina to receive her degree in Public Relations. Taylor began her dance career at the age of 3 with Mimi Worrell at her dance studio in Lexington. Taylor danced with the highly renowned dance studio, Southern Strutt, for 13 years where she got the opportunity to dance on the Radio City Music Hall stage in New York City, The V Show in Las Vegas and received countless awards and scholarships from dance conventions including: JUMP, NUVO, and New York City Dance Alliance. She was also part of the Victory Cup winning numbers at many StarPower National Competitions. Taylor has gotten the opportunity to work with many well known choreographers including: Bobby Newberry, Travis Wall, Denise Wall, Mandy Moore, Dee Caspary, Mark Meismer, Tre Holloway, and many more. Taylor was also recently featured in a campaign for Sheex that landed her on a billboard in downtown Columbia, SC and national attention in magazines such as: Sky Mall, and Shape. Taylor was also recently featured on the Vogue Italia website in a photo competition for many great up and coming photographers. She also got the opportunity to walk for many designers in the up and coming Charleston Fashion Week. Taylor was also featured as an extra on the set of the popular HBO T.V series, Homeland. Taylor competed in the Miss South Carolina USA pageant this past November where she placed in the top 15 and won the prestige Miss Congeniality and Miss Photogenic awards. She also competed in Miss South Carolina USA 2012 where she placed in the top 10. Taylor has judged for many pageants around the South Carolina and North Carolina area. She has also choreographed/held classes with many local dance studios including: Dizzy Dancin and CDC. Taylor is honored that she was chosen to be a new addition to the SCDC family and can’t wait to share her immense passion for dance with all of you.

Candace Phillips -

Candice Phillips

Candice Phillips

Candace Phillips is 17 years old and is a senior at Lexington High School. She has been dancing for 12 years and has been teaching/assisting at SCDC for 5 years. As well as being a teacher/assistant at the studio, Candace has been a  member of the competitive dance team for 7 years. She has won many awards at regional and national competitions. She has also had the opportunity to study with famous dancers and choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Stephen “Twitch” Boss, and Allison Holker.  In the future Candace hopes to attend college in order  to obtain a degree in exercise science.

Tara Rooks -

Tara Rooks, Teacher at South Carolina Dance Company of Lexington SC

Tara Rooks

Tara began her dance education in Georgia under the direction of Melissa Blair Hall at StarMaker Talent Dance Company. She is excited to begin her 7thseason of competitive dance and her 2nd year as a proud member of SCDC’s Elite Company. Tara has won numerous awards and scholarships at both regional and national competitions throughout the Southeast. She has received training in voice, acting, and tumbling/acro both for dance and cheerleading. Tara has been actively involved in musical theater since elementary school, and has appeared in numerous productions including featured roles in: Tarzan the Musical, Seussical, Wonka Jr., and The Little Mermaid. Tara is a Junior at Lexington High School and is thrilled to begin sharing her love of the performing arts with SCDC students!

Allison Kurtz

Lauren Walters

Catherine Smith

Candace Phillips

SCDC Teaching Assistants for 2013

Sarah Willard

Sarah Willard

Sarah Willard

Sarah Willard is an 8th grader at Lexington Middle School.  She began dancing when she was 4 and has been competing with SCDC for the past 5 years.  Sarah enjoys all dance but her favorite genres are tap and ballet.  This will be her second year as an assistant and she is looking forward to helping young dancers grow in their love of a truly artistic sport.

Cameron Long

Cameron Long

Delaney Cranshaw

Delaney Cranshaw

Amber Davis

Amber Davis

Chase Hudson

Chase Hudson

Sabrina Conyers

Sabrina Conyers

Jada Prior

Jada Prior

Julian Coles

Julian Coles

Emma Buchman

Emma Buchman

Peyton Hartmann

Peyton Hartmann

SCDC Teaching Assistants not pictured

Lauren Walters

SCDC Office Staff

Claire Norris

Cindy Cranshaw

Peggy Phillips

Debbie Buchman

Michelle Cheatham

Ashley Arnold

Lisa Smith

Brandy Long

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