BADA Faculty and Staff

With over 100 years of combined teaching experience.
    • Virginia Freeman Dupont
      Artistic Director

      Virginia Freeman Dupont

      Artistic Director

      Virginia Freeman Dupont is a professional dancer, choreographer and educator from North Carolina. She holds both BFA and MFA degrees in Dance Performance and Choreography as well as a BA in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. A former Greensboro Ballet company member, Dupont has had the good fortune of participating as a performing artist in works by various choreographers including Gerri Houlihan, Eluza Santos, Rick McCullough, Pegge Vissicaro, Melissa Hayden, Thom Clower and Maryhelen Mayfield. Having first been a company member of the Gamble/Van Dyke Dance Company since 1995, she has continued her work as a company member of both John Gamble Dance Theater and the Van Dyke Dance Group since that time. She currently teaches ballet as an adjunct faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro; is the Artistic Director and owner of Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts; serves as a trustee of the Van Dyke Dance Group; and continues to explore her crafts by performing, creating and teaching throughout North Carolina.

      Statement of Teaching Philosophy – Virginia Dupont

    • Drew Dupont
      Associate Director

      Drew Dupont

      Associate Director

      Drew Dupont is a professional actor/dancer/singer who holds a BA in Theater Studies from Guilford College. He has worked with various professional performing companies and continues to work as a guest artist in North Carolina. Drew’s professional credits include John Gamble Dance Theater, Win-Win Resolutions and Touring Theatre of NC. 
      He began his relationship with Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts in 1999 and has performed as a guest artist in the following BADA ballets: Joseph in Unto Us A Son, the Prince in Snow White as well as in Cinderella, the Beast in Beauty & the Beast, Bert in Mary Poppins, Professor Marvel/The Wizard in The Wizard of Oz, Von Rothbart in Swan Lake and Captain Hook/Mr. Darling in Peter Pan.  Drew served as the Theatrical Director for BADA’s ballet Into The Woods as well as the voice of Max Detweiler in BADA’s ballet The Sound of Music.
      Drew is currently the Creative Dramatics teacher at Turrentine Middle School; Theater faculty at BADA; and resides in Greensboro with his wife, Virginia Dupont, and their three children.

    • Allison Gant
      Faculty

      Allison Gant

      Faculty

      Allison Gant is celebrating her 28th year as a member of the BADA Faculty and has taught in our Young Dancer Program as well as in the Ballet, Jazz, Modern and Lyrical Programs. She is also an active choreographer and instructor for our not-for-profit youth performing company, KARIZMA.

      Ms. Allison graduated from Meredith College with a Minor in Dance and was the owner of her own dance studio in Suffolk, VA for many years.

      In addition to being a BADA favorite, Ms. Allison is a member of the Alamance-Burlington Board of Education. Until January 2014, Gant served as executive director of Alamance Citizens for Education (ACE) for more than six years, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and advocating for public education. Prior to holding the position of executive director, Gant served on the agency’s board of directors and was a founding member of the organization.

      In addition to Gant’s experience with ACE, she has been an active community leader and involved parent with a passion for public education. She served two terms as PTO President at Hillcrest Elementary and on the PTO Boards of Turrentine Middle and Walter Williams High; chaired the Teacher Retention Committee for Alamance-Burlington Schools (ABSS); founded VOICE (Volunteers of Individual Children Everywhere) a community parent-led organization that supports ABSS; and was an active committee member on the 2013 Vision Planning Committee for Alamance-Burlington Schools. In addition, Gant currently serves as the chair of the Alamance Youth Leadership Academy advisory board (AYLA) for the Alamance County Area Chamber of Commerce and is a member of a variety of other local child-focused committees.

    • Amanda Diorio
      Faculty

      Amanda Diorio

      Faculty

      Amanda Diorio was raised in suburban Boston studying movement, music, and theater. She holds an M.F.A. in Choreography from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2010) and a B.F.A. in Dance from Temple University (2002). Amanda is certified with Distinction in Modules 1 and 2 in Acrobatic Arts.  She was artistic director of The A.D.D. Company based out of Philadelphia from 2002 to 2007. Amanda performed with John Gamble Dance Theater and has taught, performed and choreographed dance extensively in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, Florida and the Carolinas at universities, studios, schools and community centers. She currently works as an educator spreading her knowledge of Modern, Jazz and Hip-Hop dance and culture. Amanda lives with her daughter (a BADA dancer) in Greensboro.

      Statement of Teaching Philosophy – Amanda Diorio

    • Angie Greene
      Faculty

      Angie Greene

      Faculty

      Angie Greene has been teaching and choreographing for 26 years. She began her teaching career as a studio teacher and later received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Art degrees in Dance Education from UNCG in order to teach dance in the public school system. Angie loves teaching jazz, contemporary, and West African. She has studied West African dance from world renowned teachers both here in the states and in Mali, West Africa. Angie was a performing member of Kambankofo, West African Dance Company under the direction of Mohammed DaCosta. Angie continues to teach in the private studio and public school settings. This is her 20th year teaching at Burlington Academy and her 19th at Eastern Guilford High School.

      Angie has been Teacher of the Year at Eastern Guilford High School; was honored by UNCG with the Excellence in Dance Education award; and was accepted into the Dance for Parkinson’s certification program!

    • Kelly Carter
      Faculty

      Kelly Carter

      Faculty

      Kelly Carter began dancing at BADA in 1988 and has been teaching since 2003. She was a member of the North Carolina Youth Tap Ensemble where she had the good fortune of performing in Helsinki, Finland; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Vienna, Austria; New York, NY among others. Kelly has studied and performed with such inspiring choreographers as Gene Medler, Savion Glover, Brenda Buffalino, Barbara Duffy, Michelle Dorrance, Mike Minery and Sam Weber. While at UNC Chapel Hill, Kelly was tap director for the Carolina Style dance company. Kelly has a doctorate degree in physical therapy and currently works in both outpatient and home health.

    • Kelly Gilliam
      Faculty

      Kelly Gilliam

      Faculty

      Kelly Gilliam is a BADA trained dancer, where she was also a founding member of KARIZMA and had her first experiences with teaching. After two years as an Assistant Teacher, Ms. Kelly G. is in her 18th year as a BADA Faculty member and has taught KinderMotions, KinderDance, Ballet/Tap, Tap, Jazz and Modern. In addition, she serves as a choreographer and instructor for KARIZMA. Ms. Kelly G. is also a wonderful hair stylist, wife and mother to two lovely BADA dancers!

      Ms. Kelly G.’s favorite dance quote is:
      “When one meditates on the word GUIDANCE, you will see ‘Dance’ at the end of the word. Doing God’s will is a lot like dancing. When both partners try to lead, nothing feels right, The movement doesn’t flow with the music and everything is quite uncomfortable. When one person finally accepts this and allows the other to lead, both them begin to flow with the music. One gives gentle cues, perhaps with a nudge to the back or by pressing lightly in one direction or another. It’s as if the two then become one, moving perfectly together. The dance takes surrender, willingness,and attentiveness from one; and gentle leading and skill from the other. If the ‘G’ in guidance stands for God, one might interpret the word as God U and I dance. If you will dance together with God and be willing to let Him be the lead, your life will be full in every season of you life.” -Howard Troxler

    • Marissa Forbes
      Faculty

      Marissa Forbes

      Faculty

      Marissa Forbes is a BADA alumna and earned her B.F.A. in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019. Throughout her time at VCU, Marissa had the privilege of working with faculty choreographers MK Abadoo and Eric Rivera as well as several student choreographers. Marissa performed through the ArcDanz International Dance Program in Puebla, Mexico in 2016. In the spring of 2018, she studied in Paris, France for a semester as part of the University of South Florida’s Dance in Paris program. While there, she studied under Kévin Quinaou, Wanjiru Kamuyu, Jenny Sandler, Julien Desplantez, Elena Chirescu, and Michelle Jacobi. Additionally, she traveled to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Rouen, to study with Maurice Causey, Heidi Weiss, and Nadine Beaulieu, respectively, for intimate choreographic intensives. Upon graduating from VCU, Marissa worked as a stage technician for Gravity: A Cirque Experience at Kings Dominion and as a performer for Kings Dominion’s Halloween Haunt. Marissa is excited to teach at BADA for the 2020-2021 year!

      Statement of Teaching Philosophy – Marissa Forbes

    • Morgan McGinn
      Faculty

      Morgan McGinn

      Faculty

      Morgan is a recent UNC Charlotte Alumni with a degree in Management Information Systems. During her time at UNC Charlotte, she was a member of the Dance Team and served as a captain during her senior year. Morgan is also a very proud BADA Alumna, where she developed her love for dance. Throughout her 14 years at BADA she was involved in our tap, ballet, lyrical, and jazz programs. She also served as a teaching assistant in her high school years and was a member of KARIZMA. She is so excited to be a part of the BADA faculty this year!

    • Talise Gabriel
      Faculty

      Talise Gabriel

      Faculty

      Talise Nicole Gabriel started out as a gymnast, winning the gold medal at a state competition when she was six years old. She continued in competitive gymnastics for several years until her interest turned to dance and she became a student at BADA in 2012, focusing on ballet but also enjoying modern, lyrical and acro.

      Her roles have included the lead in the Hallelujah Chorus in For Unto Us A Son and Cinderella in the spring ballet of her senior year. 

      After auditioning for and being accepted at Light of the World Ballet in Syracuse, New York, she had a change of heart and decided to stay in Burlington, continuing classes at BADA as well as remaining as a teaching assistant. She advanced to a co-teaching position and then became a full member of the BADA faculty for the 2019-2020 once year.

      In the summer of 2019 she was certified in Module I of Acrobatic Arts with a perfect score. 

      She enjoys sharing her love of dance with the children in her classes.

      Satement of Teaching Philosophy — Talise Gabriel

    • Taylor Roberson
      Faculty

      Taylor Roberson

      Faculty

      Taylor Roberson received her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography with a K-12 Teaching License from UNCG. While there, she was the Associate Choreographer for Pippin: The Musical and student taught under BADA faculty member, Angie Greene. 

      Taylor is currently the Lead Dance Teacher at West Forsyth High School, and after two years as a Guest Artist/Substitute for BADA she is excited to officially be a part of the BADA faculty!

    • Elizabeth Bailey
      Costume Mistress

      Elizabeth Bailey

      Costume Mistress

      Elizabeth Bailey is a talented craftswoman, fitter, organizer and seamstress, but her headpiece creations are out of this world! Not only that, but she is a loving mother, wife, community volunteer and dear friend to all the children, parents, faculty and staff at BADA. Elizabeth received her BS in Home Economics from East Carolina University, which helped to cultivate her variety of skills that serve the BADA family on a daily basis. Aside from her talents in costuming, she serves as the quintessential “dance mom” amongst all of the BADA dancers at the studio.

    • Marissa Kuzkowski
      Administrative Assistant

      Marissa Kuzkowski

      Administrative Assistant

      Marissa began her dance training right here at BADA at the age of 2. During her time at BADA, Marissa was a member of KARIZMA, KARIZMA II, a teaching assistant, and the 2016 recipient of the BADA Scholarship Award. With KARIZMA II, Marissa performed at the Greensboro Fringe Festival, UNCSA’s Festival Showcase, and NCDA. In the summer of 2016, Marissa attended the Governor’s School of North Carolina to further her dance training. After dancing at BADA for 16 years, Marissa began her pursuit of a BFA in Dance & Choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Marissa transferred to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017, where she is now a Senior with a double major in Dance Performance & Choreography with Disciplinary Honors and Anthropology and a member of the Lloyd International Honors College. During her collegiate dance career, Marissa has performed in VCU Dance Salon, VCU Dance Now, UNCG’s Graduate Choreography Showcase, the Greensboro Fringe Festival and UNCG’s BFA Thesis Concert. Last summer, Marissa has been in San Francisco, CA completing internships with the Zaccho Dance Theatre and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Last fall, she traveled to London to study at the London Contemporary Dance School.

    • Nancy Crowder
      Executive Director of KARIZMA

      Nancy Crowder

      Executive Director of KARIZMA

      Nancy is the Executive Director of KARIZMA (BADA’s not-for-profit youth performing company).

      2019-2020 is her 25th year in this role and her 32nd year of involvement at BADA. She has been a parent of a BADA/KARIZMA dancer (our beloved Ms. Kelly Gilliam) and is the grandmother to two of our sweet dancers.

      Nancy is also an amazing Legal Assistant at Holt, Longest, Wall, Blaetz & Moseley.

    • Rachel Diaz
      Office Manager

      Rachel Diaz

      Office Manager

      Rachel is a wife, mother, and teacher. She is married to Steven Diaz. Together they have six daughters and three sons. Although not a dancer herself, she was brought into the dance world by her oldest daughter’s love for dance. During the day she home schools her children, and in the afternoon she enjoys helping out at BADA where two of her daughters now dance and one serves as a faculty member.
      “Let them praise his name with dancing” Psalm 149:3

    • Maggie Lowe
      Graphic Designer

      Maggie Lowe

      Graphic Designer

      Maggie Bailey Lowe is BADA’s homegrown graphic designer. She began dancing at the studio when she was just three years old and was an active member of the BADA dancer community until graduating from high school in 2012. She then transitioned to UNC Greensboro, where she earned a Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Graphic Design. She also continued her dancing career by taking a multitude of classes at UNCG, which led to her receiving a minor in dance. Maggie stayed connected with BADA throughout her time in college by spending a summer working the front desk and most recently completing a total rebranding of the studio. Her design work is rooted in many experiences and styles, and it includes a handcrafted flair that can certainly be attributed in large part to her years of artistic experience at BADA. Maggie’s unique skillset, experience with the studio, and love of dance make her the perfect person to take on any and all of BADA’s design needs.