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!

    • Christine Fisher
      Faculty

      Christine Fisher

      Faculty

      Christine Kiernan Fisher holds a BFA in ballet from Columbia College and an MFA in performance and choreography from UNC Greensboro. A choreographer, performer, sometimes-lighting designer and stage manager… Christine co-founded Random Dance Company, and has performed with 2B Tribe Dance Theater, Jan Van Dyke Dance Group, Informall Theater Company and John Gamble Dance Theater. She has served on the faculties of Columbia College, UNC-Greensboro, Weaver Academy for Performing and Visual Arts, and Durham School of the Arts, where she directed the Honors Dance Company. She is an active choreographer and performer through out the southeast, notably in The Greensboro Fringe Festival, The American Dance Festival’s “Acts To Follow,” The NC Dance Festival, NC Dances and as a guest with Blank Slate Dance. Her work has been commissioned by The Sun Valley Ballet in Idaho and the Power Company in SC. She co-facilitates a bi-monthly contact improvisation class and jam with her husband, is the past president and board member of NC Dance Alliance, and was Lead Dance Teacher for Durham Public Schools from 2010-2015. In May of 2014, Christine was one of only 450 teachers across the state selected to conduct research as part of the Governor’s Teacher Network.  She is currently the dance teacher at Eastern Guilford Middle School.

      Statement of Teaching Philosophy – Christine Fisher

    • Kalyn Cobb
      Faculty

      Kalyn Cobb

      Faculty

      Kalyn is a BADA trained dancer as well as one of the founding members of KARIZMA. She danced at BADA for 16 years and taught for 3 years before taking a break to earn a master’s degree in Special Education and have her daughter, Riley, who is a student at BADA. As an undergraduate at Elon University, Kalyn earned a dual major in elementary and special education, a minor in dance, and a concentration in women and gender studies. Kalyn currently teaches special education at Cummings High School in Burlington. She is thrilled to re-join her BADA family and share her love of dance and laughter with others!

    • 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

    • Linnea Coon
      Voice Faculty

      Linnea Coon

      Voice Faculty

      Linnea is a 7th grade History and Language Arts teacher at Woodlawn Middle School in Mebane, NC and a local actress here in Alamance County. When she is not in the classroom, you will most likely see her working on or in a community theater production around the Triad. Linnea has been singing on stage since the age of 3 and has not stopped since. She is excited to serve as voice faculty at BADA. Linnea focuses on correct voice technique and reading music as well as having her students sing different types of genres.

    • Marissa Kuzkowski
      Faculty

      Marissa Kuzkowski

      Faculty

      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.

    • Maurice Watson
      Faculty

      Maurice Watson

      Faculty

      Maurice Watson is a Dance Faculty member at UNCG. He is a choreographer, dancer and teacher who uses dance as a way to communicate, when words just aren’t enough. Born and raised in Long Beach, California, he developed a strong sense of artistry that allowed him to dance and perform with companies such as Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble, Lula Washington Dance Theatre, Disney, Jazz Antiqua, Long Beach Ballet, and Holland America Cruise Line. A 2015 graduate from the University of Iowa, He holds an MFA in dance with an emphasis in choreography. His choreography has been seen on Dayton Contemporary Dance 1 st and 2 nd  Company, 7Dancers Dance Company, Jazz Antiqua Dance and Music Ensemble, universities and dance studios throughout The United States. Maurice is an engaging teacher, who has taught in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and was previously on faculty at the University of Wyoming.

    • Sandy Blocker
      Faculty

      Sandy Blocker

      Faculty

      Sandy Blocker is a musician who plays world percussion instruments for modern, ballet and African dance classes. He has been on staff at UNCG, Elon and UNCSA as an accompanist for dance classes and is a performer with Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands.

      Blocker had been trained from an early age as a classical dancer. At age 18 he moved to Virginia to study ballet with the School of Norfolk Ballet before receiving a scholarship to move to New York to study with the Joffrey Ballet School. He studied in Virginia during the school years and spent his summers in New York during this two-year period of intense balletic training. After finishing his last summer in New York, he joined the Houston Ballet, where he danced for a year before electing to take a break from dance to give his body, and mind, a rest. This brought him to the decision to earn a college degree—something he had not previously had the chance to do.

      In 1988, he moved to Greensboro, NC to attend UNCG, going back to the city where he was raised. After graduating with a BFA in Dance, Blocker remained on staff at UNCG to accompany the dance classes as he continued to learn more about the art of world percussion drumming.

      Blocker’s wife is fellow BADA faculty member, Angie Greene. He is a father of four: Buck, Joe (guest artist for BADA ballets), Sadie and Luc (both BADA students) and maintains a flourishing garden.

      His character and spirit are some of his greatest trademarks, aside from his musical talents.

    • Talise Gabriel
      Faculty

      Talise Gabriel

      Faculty

      Talise Gabriel is certified in Module 1 of Acrobatic Arts with a Perfect Score!

    • Anna Medley
      Administrative Assistant

      Anna Medley

      Administrative Assistant

      Anna is a rising Junior at UNCG, persuing a BFA in dance with K-12 licensure. She started her training at BADA at the age of 3. While at BADA she took Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical and Hip Hop. Anna was also a part of BADA’s performing company, KARIZMA, and their pre-professional company, KARZIMA II. After graduating, Anna started at UNCG where she has learned from esteemed faculty such as Janet Lily, Maurice Watson, Clarice Young, BJ Sullivan and so many more. She has been privileged to perform guest and faculty works by Francine Ott and Maurice Watson, along with student choreographed works. This summer she studied in Italy for two weeks and performed a work in the city of Cortona!

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • 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