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!

    • 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 exceptional children at Western Alamance High School in Burlington. After another brief break to have her son, Levi (another BADA student), she is thrilled to re-join her BADA family once again and share her love of dance and laughter with others!

    • Kate Gupton
      Faculty

      Kate Gupton

      Faculty

      Ms. Kate has been dancing her entire life and cannot wait to teach the thing she loves most to students. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ms. Kate holds a BFA in Choreography and a K-12 public school teaching license in dance. She is currently the dance teacher at North Graham Elementary school, a public title one school in Graham, North Carolina and is also a choreographer for the Rainbow Dance Company, a multi-generational modern dance company, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Ms. Kate enjoys teaching dance to all ages at private studios throughout the state. She has had the pleasure of training at American Dance Festival in Durham, Unitec in Auckland, New Zealand, and Arts Together in Raleigh, North Carolina. When Ms. Kate is not teaching dance she enjoys running, rock climbing, and cooking new recipes.

    • 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.  Ms. Kelly lives in Burlington with her husband Mitch, daughter Avery (also a BADA dancer) and son Aiden.

    • Linnea Coon
      Voice Faculty

      Linnea Coon

      Voice Faculty

      Linnea is a 7th grade teacher at Turrentine Middle School 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 offer voice lessons at BADA. Linnea focuses on correct voice technique, reading music as well as having her students sing different types of genres.

    • 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 is currently the Dance Teacher at Ragsdale High School. Taylor received her BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography with a K-12 Teaching License from UNCG. While there, she was the Associate Choreographer for PippinThe Musical and had the pleasure of studying under BADA faculty members Angie Greene and Virginia Dupont.

    • 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.

    • Marissa Kuzkowski
      Administrative Assistant

      Marissa Kuzkowski

      Administrative Assistant

      Marissa is a dancer and arts administrator who received her first 16 years of dance training right here at Burlington Academy of Dance & Arts. She then continued her dance studies at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduating in 2019 with a BFA in Dance Performance & Choreography and a minor in Anthropology. During her undergraduate studies, Marissa also studied at London Contemporary Dance School and fulfilled internships with non-profit companies across the US including Dance Exchange (Takoma Park, MD), and Dance Project (Greensboro, NC), Margaret Jenkins Dance Company (San Francisco, CA), and Zaccho Dance Theater (San Francisco, CA). 

      Through the post-graduation pandemic, Marissa enjoyed opportunities to continue exploring her artistic and personal practices on a farm in Athens, GA, in a U-Haul Box Truck traveling across the United States, and in the lush sands and sea of Hawaii while continuing to work remotely for BADA.  She now lives in the Bay Area and is currently dancing with the Natasha Carlitz Dance Ensemble & independent choreographer, Lydia Feuerhelm. Marissa is also serving as the Archivist at Deborah Slater Dance Theatre and recently became KARIZMA’s Programming and Development Coordinator.

    • 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