Building character through the dancing arts!
Owner & Director
Rachel has been in the arts for as long as she can remember and is well known for being a professional dance instructor and youth technique coach. She grew up in Augusta, Georgia, and later traveled to further her training in ballet, jazz, contemporary and theater, participating in various programs all over the states. Some of these programs included an internships at Disney, Carowinds - Paramount, as well as multiple ballet companies, festivals and jazz intensives. She has worked alongside highly-respected professionals in the industry and over the past 20+ years has worked her way up to producing events and live shows. She has served as a judge for dance competition circuits, cheer competitions and college level festivals. With an additional background in graphic art design, stage sets and youth organization management she the owner of The North Augusta School of Dance. Rachel loves locally working within her community supporting non-profit organizations such as the North Augusta Cultural Arts Council and was awarded the WRDW News 12 Time to Care Award in May 2016 for her leadership in the community. Rachel takes a great deal of pride in the relationships she builds with her students and is recognized for developing dancers to reach their highest potential. She finds it fulfilling to help dancers realize what they are truly capable of accomplishing. She’s incredibly grateful to be able to do what she loves and it’s evident in her students’ adopted passion and talent. Outside of the dance studio, you can find Rachel keeping tabs on just about every Broadway show ever created, enjoying married life with her husband Daniel, and her daughter Mia.
Elle Starzec Donner
Performing Arts Director
Elle Starzec’s training began at Mrs. Betsy's School of Dance in Franklin, North Carolina. Her training included all types of dance as well as musical theater. As an advanced dancer she was invited to participate in the studios company where she performed in various locations. Because of this benefit she was able to attend many theaters and dance structured workshops, master classes, and intensives all over the United States. She also found, at an early age, not only did she enjoy dance but the theater as well. She has performed in many productions and choreographed many as well. She has also been trained in all areas of the theater from center stage to backstage. A few shows she has choreographed include: “White Christmas;” “Into the Woods;” and “25th annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Her specialty includes choreography in musical theater and various types of dance all over Georgia, South and North Carolina. She moved to Augusta Georgia in 2011 to attend Augusta University in that same year she began teaching around Augusta as well. As a performance arts director she teaches performance groups, beginner classes to advanced classes. She is also one of the founding teachers of The North Augusta school of Dance. Elle cannot wait to continue sharing her love for dance with others.
Jessica Bailey has performed professionally as a classically trained ballerina with the Augusta Ballet, Dance Augusta, and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland. Her choreography includes work for companies such as Augusta Preparatory Day School, AU’s department of Communications, AU’s Opera Ensemble, the Augusta Opera, and Le Chat Noir. She is a certified Pilates Mat Instructor, and is a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Augusta University.
The North Augusta School of Dance is proud to have her share her love and dance knowledge teaching our ballet classes!
Deborah Bertoldo was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the United States after getting married.
Her teaching career started in Brazil as a substitute teacher in classical ballet classes in addition to strength and flexibility classes.
With over 20 years’ experience as a Classical Ballerina, she also has trained in modern, jazz and other ballet styles/methods. She has taken classes from world known teachers at international dance workshops in Brazil, at the Russian Ballet in Brazil and with Ballet Arkansas Company, in Little Rock.
Performances include Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Paquita, Dom Quixote and Nutcracker. Deborah was part of a jazz group who performed in a television show in Brazil and has taught at All Stars Dance Center in Texarkana Texas. In 2018 her and her family moved to Augusta, Georgia and she is excited to be teaching at The North Augusta School of Dance.
Marion was born in Angers, France and felt in love with dance at the age of 4 when her parents took her to her first dance class. She seriously began her dance education at the National Conservatory of Angers where she trained and graduated in Jazz but her love for Hip Hop led her to also train with local street dancers at the time. She began her professional dance career in France at the age of 15 joining “La compagnie des spectacles enchantés” and toured France during two summers. She pursued her dance education in Italy and booked several national tv shows, summer tours, videos and movies as a dancer as well as modeling gigs. She consistently performed in a dinner theatre company in Florence for 5 years and had then the honor to be asked to step in as a choreographer.
She also performed with The Meltin Pot Dance Company / Italy who won numerous rewards in national and international dance competitions (Juste Debout / Paris, Dance Delight / Paris, Pinerolo Choreographic awards / Italy…) and was invited to perform one of their piece in New York City.
Marion first stepped into teaching by assisting her mentors and quickly developed her ability to transmit her passion and energy to others. Training is an important part of her dance life and she has been regularly travelling to learn from the best studios in Paris (Studio Harmonic, LAX Studios...), Italy (Opus Ballet, IALS Roma..) and more recently in the United States after she moved in with her husband to open their own business. Her training in America includes Broadway dance center and Alvin Ailey Dance in New York City, Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles and Chicago, Gotta Dance Atlanta, Dance 411, Groove2musik studios, Dance 101… in Atlanta, GA as well as Ballroom with Ballroom in Motion in Augusta.
Marion believes anyone with the passion for this art can learn how to dance and helps her students develop their creativity while building strong basis. She has been teaching kids and adults Hip Hop, Street Jazz, Modern and Heels for the past 12 years. She actually teaches and choreographs for The North Augusta School of Dance competition team and her choreographies have won numerous accolades. Finally, her love for performance led her to create her own dance crew called “Miscellaneous” which performs for local events and shows.
Kimberly Davis has been dancing for over 24 years. She grew up in Northeastern Pennsylvania and dance has been her passion since she could stand on 2 feet! Her dance career includes styles such as tap, jazz, ballet, modern, lyrical, contemporary and Horton.
Kimberly attended the Marywood University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in international business where she also continued her dance education. Kimberly began teaching dance in 2012 and is also a certified yoga instructor through YogaFit.
Kimberly moved to Georgia in 2015 and continues to put every ounce of energy, love, passion and soul into her teaching and dancing. She strives to bring out every dancer’s unique self into their dance and we are so honored to have her share her love of teaching with us here!
Sharon Skepple Mayfield
“Sharon Skepple’s gloriously weighted solo dancing are pungent reminders of the electrifying revolutionary contributions modern dance made to the human expression during the period in which Graham was it’s chief exponent.”
-D.J. McDONALD, Berkshire Eagle
(Principal Soloist/ Instructor/Bessie Award Winner) was born in Antigua, West
Indies and raised in St. Croix US Virgin Island where she began her studies in dance with the Caribbean Dance Company under the tutelage of Monty Thompson. She studied as a scholarship recipient and graduated from the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) in 1989 under the guidance of Dianne Markham, Mable Robinson, Richard Kuch and Richard Gain. During her final year at NCSA, Skepple attended a summer workshop conducted by Garth Fagan Dance and caught the attention of Garth Fagan as a promising dancer. Impressed by her energy, Fagan offered her a position with Garth Fagan Dance in 1988. After studying the Fagan technique, Skepple was promoted to a principal soloist in 1990. Fagan has created major roles for her, including Telling a Story, Moth Dreams, Two Pieces of One: Green, which won Skepple a New York Dance and Performance Award “Bessie” in 1999. As a principal soloist with Garth Fagan Dance,
Skepple has performed with Don Pullen, Keith Jarrett, D.D. Jackson, Carlos Ward, and Billy Bang. Skepple also appeared on the worldwide premier of Griot New York, aired on PBS’s Great Performances: Dance in America Series with Wynton Marsalis and the Wynton Marsalis Septet. In addition to being a principal soloist, Skepple taught company classes on tour and at the Garth Fagan Dance School in Rochester, New York beginning in 1994. During the choreographing of the “Lion King”, Mr. Fagan entrusted Sharon to oversee all company classes, master classes, company rehearsals, and lecture demonstrations. She taught master class workshops for Garth Fagan at universities such as: University of North Carolina in Charlotte, North Carolina School of the Arts, Winthrop College Rock Hill, South Carolina, Skidmore College, Florida State University, Wayne State University, Maui Fine Arts Center, and other schools and universities throughout the United States and abroad. In 2006, Mayfield had the opportunity to give a two week
master class session to the cast of dancers at the Celine Dion’s Las Vegas show “A New Day. ”
In 2006, After eighteen years, Skepple-Mayfield retired from Garth Fagan Dance to pursue a career in dance education. After relocating to Augusta, Georgia, Sharon Skepple Mayfield worked as a freelance dance instructor for local dance programs teaching modern dance technique for all levels and ages. She became a faculty member for the Richmond County Board of Education’s Arts Infusion Program at Windsor Spring Elementary School were she taught K-5 students basic dance technique and theater etiquette. In 2008, Mayfield became a faculty member at John S. Davidson Fine Arts High School teaching and choreographing for beginner, intermediate, and advance level modern dance, advanced men’s dance classes, and was the teacher director of Davidson's
Annual Black History Show from 2008-2015. In 2007, Mrs. Mayfield became a member of the Florida Dance Association and gave master classes at the
University of Florida and Santa Fe Community College from 2007-2009. From 2006 present, she teaches classes at Colton Ballet School of Augusta The Augusta Mini Theatre, and at the Jessye Norman School of the Arts after-school arts program and free summer arts program. After working at the Jessye Norman School of Arts from 2010-2017, Mayfield created, in 2016, The Mayfield Dance & Music LLC, to provides modern dance classes in a structured, motivational environment where movement invention is deeply explored and a higher level of discipline and self-confidence
is encouraged. This technical training hub provides safe healthy challenges for the developing dancer by preparing them for life, college, and the artistic process of being marketable.
Luciana was born and raised in Argentina and began her studies of classical ballet at the age of 11 years old. She had the opportunity to study and train with some of the best and most recognized Ballet teachers in Buenos Aires including Olga Ferri. In 1994 she attended the prestigious Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colon and during the course of her studies had the opportunity to be selected to perform with Argentina’s national Ballet company, Teatro Colon, on a number of occasions.
In 1999 at the age of 16, she received a scholarship to study at the Royal Ballet School in London, attending the Upper School for three years and graduating in 2002. During her studies at the Royal Ballet School she was chosen to dance with the Royal Ballet Company in various productions including an international tour of Australia with the productions of "Swan Lake" and “Giselle”, as well as a gala for HRH Princess Margret.
Following her graduation Luciana joined Scottish Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet before being promoted to First Artist and then Soloist. She remained with Scottish Ballet for 13 years dancing at the very highest level around the world performing leading roles in ballets such as "Romeo and Juliet","The Nutcracker","Sleeping Beauty","Cinderella","Rite of Spring","Five Tangos","Song of the Earth","Elite Syncopations","Carmen","Pennies from Heaven","The Crucible","Hansel & Gretel”, "A Streetcar named Desire”, etc.
Following her successful career abroad as a professional dancer, she began teaching both amateurs and professionals and has been invited to guest teach master classes & seminars internationally for both schools and companies and in 2017 opened her own Studio in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Hannah Walden has been singing all her life. Coming from a musical family, she was raised from an early age surrounded by music and rehearsals. Her performance and choir experience started at the age of 3 and has continued throughout her life. Hannah began classical choral training at 11, attending Davidson Fine Arts School. She was an auditioned Georgia Music Educators Association All State Chorus participant for seven years. She continued her training with several gifted instructors throughout high school and college. She has been a featured soloist and worship leader at Warren Baptist Church. Also, she worked as a professional vocalist and actor for The Singing Princesses, a party and events company where she loved using songs to bring a little magic to children’s special occasions. Hannah has been leading preschool worship for several years and began leading a preschool choir at Warren Baptist in 2018. She earned a degree in Early Childhood Education and has experience as a classroom teacher.
Hannah has a passion for singing and loves helping each new singer reach their goals. Students in her class will learn fundamentals of correct singing that will help them have a solid foundation as future musicians. She loves working with young students who are interested in growing their vocal abilities and reaching their full potential. She believes it is very important to teach children to protect their voices and uses exercises and songs to help them sing in a developmentally appropriate way. Singing exercises your heart and lungs and releases endorphins which make you feel good. Voice lessons are also a great way to build confidence. Learning the basics of music theory in voice class will help make students well rounded musicians.
Hannah is married to her wonderful husband Kevin and they have two budding musicians, Aria and Kaydence. Hannah loves serving at her church, spending time with her family, and singing along with musicals. She is excited to be part of growing this new aspect of the arts at North Augusta School of Dance.
Ana Carolina Morandini
Brazilian dancer Ana Carolina Morandini started her ballet training at the age of 6. Morandini grew up in Brazil and trained at the Sigma Dance School in Bauru, São Paulo. While at the School, she also trained in Jazz dance and Contemporary. Among her performances as a student and later with the company, she performed in productions of Romeo and Juliet, Copellia, Paquita, Le Corsaire, The Nutcracker and Carmen pas de deux. She danced leading roles in much of the company’s repertoire. She went on with her training at the Petite Danse School in Rio de Janeiro and she has participated in numerous workshops and International Dance competitions such as Cuballet in 2004 and New York City Dance Alliance in 2009. Prior to joining North Augusta School of Dance, she has been a dancer at the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Studio in San Francisco, California where she has taken classes with Christina Johnson, Eric Wagner, Brett Conway and CharlesTorres.
Mikaela took her first dance class at 6 years old and has been dancing ever since. Born in Ohio and growing up all across the US, she has been trained by many different teachers at various studios in several styles. She competed with Dance Force in Clarksville, TN and our very own North Augusta School of Dance. Mikaela recently graduated from Davidson Fine Arts in 2019 and currently attends college at Augusta University, where she majors in Psychology. Her training includes ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, modern, and hip hop, and she has participated in local fine arts events, such as the Young Americans Workshop in 2018 and Fake It to Make It in 2020. She loves to take any opportunity to show off her passion and heart for dance and is looking forward to another great year of teaching and training at NASD.
Donald Raymond Strogonoff
Donald or “Mr. Don” as he is known by his students, has been a gymnastics coach for 40+ years. He has been Owner/Coach of three highly successful Gymnastics gyms starting in Toledo Ohio in 1975. He has coached and judged both Nationally and Internationally traveling to Canada, Germany, Poland and Russia. In addition “Mr. Don” said “ I feel my most important coaching accomplishments I made was having eight girls on the National Team and putting ten girls through collage.”
After retiring from full time coaching, getting married and moving down south, he was asked to be the “Coaches, Coach” for a Competitive Cheerleading Facility in Thomson, GA. Getting bit by the Cheerleading bug he volunteered to coach tumbling & cheer in Martinez, coaching two National Cheerleading Championship Teams.
In 2006 Don was diagnosed with Parkinson Disease which is unfortunately not allowing him to coach as much as he would like to. For the last five years “Mr. Don” has designed and taught an Acro-Tumbling program to help local CSRA dance companies, better incorporate acrobatic skills into their competitive dance routines by providing Private and Semi-Private lessons.
Alex has been a cheerleading and tumbling coach for 10 years, with experience in cheer-dance choreography, jumps, and strength and flexibility training. She started cheering competitively in 2008 at a facility in Thomson. Winning her first Cheersport National Championship in 2009, she began coaching cheer in 2010 and managing her own satellite cheerleading program, traveling to multiple competitions. She created, planned, and ran her own tumbling and stunt clinic in 2010 and competed until 2011. In 2011, she moved to a gym in Martinez, where she coached a Cheersport national championship team as well as multiple tumbling and flexibility classes and clinics. Alex has also had the opportunity to coach at a DOD High School in Wiesbaden, Germany in 2019. Now, she is excited to be teaching Acro-tumbling at NASD.
Josie is a versatile and emerging artist from Newberry, South Carolina. In her early years of dance training, she attended the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities. During her summers she has trained at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Josie’s dancing experience ranges from Classical ballet and Modern all the way to musical theatre. She is a graduate of The University of North Carolina School for the Arts majoring in contemporary dance. During her time at UNCSA she has performed a variety of works including, Robert Battles’, Battle Field. She has also worked in collaboration with Ashley Lindsey and Garen Scribner on separate short film projects.
Aside from her dance courses, Josie enjoys teaching dance to younger students, and gaining experience as an emerging choreographer. Upon graduation, Josie is interested in a deeper exploration into dance on film as the pandemic has forced us to look at the art form in different ways.
Josie prioritizes creating a safe space for all dancers when approaching work. She brings elements from her classical, modern, and contemporary training experience forward within each class. Exploring energetic pathways through space is an important principle as well in her class. Josie’s main goal is to allow dancers to feel comfortable with making artistic choices while forming a strong technical foundation.
Rhiannon has lived in Augusta the majority of her life, with only short stints in Atlanta and Gainesville, Florida. She grew up taking gymnastics with Jim Mousseau (Gymnastics Gold) and Tanya, Dennis & Daniel Hayden (Hayden's Gymnastics) as well as Ballet, Tap and Jazz at the Augusta Ballet School (Colton Ballet) with Bon Ellis, Zanne Colton & Peter Powlus. She owes the majority of her competition-level Gymnastics/Tumbling training to Krystal Abrille, Gerson Ramirez, Grisha Gutkin, Meike Guzenrodt and Denise Kell of Atlanta North Stars Gymnastics in 2018-2019.
Rhiannon has a Degree in Theatre from Augusta University and has used her on-stage, technical and leadership skills to work with local arts organizations over the last twenty years including: Behind the Masque; Cutno Dance; DSBC; 5,6,7,8 Studios; Le Chat Noir; Ed Turner & Number Nine; Musical Theatre Workshops; Storyland Theatre; Wages of Cine; returning to Augusta University as an Alumni Stage Manager; and many other area Arts efforts. Rhiannon has been a featured Workshop Presenter at the Georgia State Theatre Conference in 2016 as well as the Florida State Theatre Conference in 2016 & 2017 and the South Carolina State Theatre Conference in 2017.
Rhiannon enjoys coaching and teaching at high performance levels but also finds real joy in recreational participants, adults and anyone who wants to incorporate Dance, Theatre and Performance of all styles into their activities of daily life.
Chan Holt - Receptionist
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