The Dance Company

Mission Statement
The Dance Company’s mission is to provide dancers with comprehensive artistic education that fosters excellence in all forms of dance in a manner that embraces a passion for the art form. The Dance Company strongly believes in making dance accessible to everyone and strives to provide scholarships and tuition assistance through contributed income, sponsorships and in-kind payments. In addition, a key goal for The Dance Company is to instill in its dancers an enthusiasm for and desire to have a positive influence within their community.
TDC Director Stephanie Burkhardt has been a proud member of The Dance Company since the day of its inception under the direction of Carole Dickens. Stephanie was a Company member for eleven years and showcased her talent in numerous competitions, conventions, intensives, and performances up until her high school graduation in 2005. While studying at the University of Florida for her bachelor of science in nursing degree, she studied with the university’s jazz and theater departments and performed multiple genres with the student-run dance groups Extreme Dance Company and Danza Dance Company. During her summer breaks, Stephanie headed the dance department at Camp Wayfarer in Flat Rock, North Carolina and taught summer camps and teen intensives at The Dance Company. Upon completing her certifications as a Registered Nurse in 2009, she decided to further pursue her passion for dance by accepting the position as Dance Team Coach at St. Augustine High School and returning to The Dance Company to instruct classes. Stephanie has also become a guest choreographer for the St. Augustine High School, Pedro Menendez High School, and Murray Middle School dance departments. Her choreography has been performed at numerous competitions and have received accolades for highest score, choreography, entertainment, and judge’s choice. In 2013, Stephanie created the St. Augustine Winter Spectacular! and has written and directed the original production ever since. She has enjoyed combining her professional and dance backgrounds to help others learn and utilize the physical, mental, and artistic benefits of dance. Stephanie accepted the position of Director at The Dance Company in 2011.

Stephanie Burkhardt
Executive Artistic Director

TDC Instructors Ellie Potts Barrett internationally recognized, attended College at Boston Conservatory, and after performing as Mary Magdalene in the 1st National Touring Company of Jesus Christ, Superstar, returned to college and received her BA in Dance from the University of South Florida. Ellie danced with the Ina Hahn Modern Dance Company, Boston Dance Company and Mary Anthony in New York, as well as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus. She has been an associate artist at the Atlantic Center for the Arts to Master Artists Merce Cunningham, Meg Harper and Elizabeth Streb. Ellie has choreographed for Walt Disney World, Sea World, Church Street Station, theme parks and musical theatre companies in Seoul, South Korea, and well over 100 musicals around the globe. She teaches and adjudicates for nationally
known Dance Organizations around the country. In addition to teaching Modern at The Dance Company, Ellie also teaches Modern and Musical Theatre at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and the Orlando Ballet School. She is a proud member of both, Actor’s Equity Association (AEA) and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Http://

Ellie Potts Barrett

Catie Burkhardt received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Dance from the University of Central Florida. Catie is currently a dance teacher at Murray Middle School Center for the Arts. Catie began her dance training at The Dance Company during its inaugural year and performed as a Company member for ten years. While in high school, Catie began assisting classes and teaching at The Dance Company and has continued to do so ever since. During college, Catie was a dance instructor at University Performing Arts Centre in Oviedo, Florida and performed in the UCF Spring Dance Concerts. Catie also worked professionally as a performer at the Walt Disney World Resort from 2007-2011, and was an opening cast dancer in the “Celebrate a Dream Come True” parade. Catie has also worked as an actor at Universal’s Orlando Resort and as a teaching artist with the VSA of Florida, teaching dance to students with disabilities. Catie continues to serve as a TDC Performance Ensemble Coordinator and leads the dancers to performances, competitions and conventions, where her dances have won awards for Entertainment and Choreography. Catie's time is divided between her commitments at The Dance Company in addition to being a full-time Dance Instructor at Murray Middle School Center of the Arts since 2013. Catie has been a proud member (both student and teacher) of The Dance Company for twenty-two years.
Catie Burkhardt

Sarah Burkhardt began dancing at the age of 3 following her sisters' footsteps at The Dance Company. She joined the company team when she was 11, where she performed in several competitions and shows until her gradation in 2011. At St. Augustine High School, Sarah was in the Cambridge AICE Program and a part of St. John's County Center of the Arts dance program all four years. Her junior year, she joined the dance team under the direction of her sister, Stephanie Burkhardt. After high school, Sarah went on to study at the University of Florida where she took classes in ballet and modern and was a member of the Floridance dance club. During the summer, she would continue to stay close to her Dance Company family and teach summer camps to the younger students. In 2015, she graduated with honors and received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics to pursue a teaching career. Sarah now lives back in St. Augustine, where she tutors for the AVID Program at Pedro Menendez High School and is a dance instructor at The Dance Company.

Sarah Burkhardt

Jeanette Bratcher fell in love with dancing at the age of six at the TwinkleToes Dance Studio in Brooklyn, NY. Ten years later, at the age of sixteen, she began to pursue her passion, becoming a graduate of the High School of Performing and Visual Arts Center, predecessor of the acclaimed New World School of the Arts in Miami, FL, where she trained in ballet, modern, jazz and performed with the musical theater department. She continued to study ballet with Thomas Armour, Mariana Alvarez Brake, and Tony Catanzaro and joined Freddick Bratcher and Company Contemporary Dance Theater performing throughout Florida. After the birth of her son, Jeanette took on the role of Managing Director. In this capacity she expanded the Company’s outreach programs including dance education for underserved children and created A Storydance Project. Jeanette is also a Florida certified teacher with a Bachelors in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and a Masters in Science Education. She has taught prekindergarten through high school levels, specializes in mathematics and science, and trains teachers through National Geographic Learning. Jeanette enjoys bringing the arts to her students, and has choreographed dances, staged plays, and dabbled in song writing for school productions. She started teaching dance to children in the Miami-Dade County Public School After School and Saturday Programs, and has continued to share her passion with children and adults in Miami and St. Augustine studios. Jeanette is excited to share her talents with the students of The Dance Company.

Jeanette Bratcher

Abigail Coulson started her dance career at the age of three, where she danced at Ken and Jean Dance Studio in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She trained in many styles including tap, ballet, jazz, acrobatics, and pointe. Through Ken and Jean’s, she participated in the Cecchetti Council of America Junior Company, a prestigious dance group that is selected to perform at the annual Dance Masters of Pennsylvania convention. In 2012, Abigail moved to Florida and began further training at The Dance Company. Throughout high school, Abigail was a part of the St. Johns County Center for the Arts. She also competitively danced on The Dance Company’s Performance Ensemble for 4 years. She started assisting classes in 2017, and following her graduation, she started teaching summer camps at The Dance Company. She has been an instructor since then. 
Abigail Coulson

Carole Dickens began dancing at age eight in Ft. Lauderdale, FL under the direction of two members of the original June Taylor dancers. Her training continued through high school at New Orleans Center of Creative Arts and as a dance major at Florida School of the Arts. While in middle school and high school from 1979-1983, she was a regular cast member on, "Hey Kids It's For You," Channel 26 New Orleans, Louisiana, a Saturday morning TV program promoting arts and entertainment for children. Through this affiliation, Carole also appeared on "PM Magazine" and other local TV programs to promote the arts. Carole owned and operated Anastasia Dance Theatre in St. Augustine from 1988-1993. She was Director of Children's Dance, for the City of Pompano Beach Civic Center and the City of Ft. Lauderdale's Children's Programs from 1993-1994, while living in Coral Springs, FL. She was also a tap and jazz instructor for the Boca Dance Studio, Boca Raton, FL. Carole was Director of The Dance Company of St. Augustine from 1994-2001, and continues to be on staff as an instructor. She was the Festival Director for the Annual St. Augustine Winter Dance Festival, and continues to set choreography for various schools and studios throughout Florida. Carole has been the Dance Director at St. Johns County Center for the Arts Dance Program at Murray Middle School for the past eleven years. Many of Carole's long time students have had the success of dancing with professional companies and/or performing on Broadway.
Carole Dickens

Jennifer Dournaux has been involved in the world of dance for over 40 years.  She was trained under the tutelage of Barbara Riggins, Kip Watson, Leslie Brasseaux, and Russell Sultzbach of the Southern Ballet Theater (now the Orlando Ballet).  Jennifer has also studied with talented instructors in a variety of studios and settings, including the late Larry Long of The Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago, and Franco De Vita and Raymond Lukens of ABT NTC. In the Pilates realm, she has studied under Davidson Reid, Brent Anderson, and Dana Eisenstein (Power Pilates), and was mentored by Monica Perez (a student of Lolita San Miguel, one of the First Generation Master Teachers).
In 2013 Ms. Dournaux earned the American Ballet Theater’s Teacher Training Certificate for pre-ballet to level 3.  She intends to return to the ABT program over the next two years to complete her certifications in all seven levels.
In 2012, Ms. Dournaux completed her master’s degree in humanities, with an emphasis on dance history.  Her graduate thesis focused on dance education, specifically that of ballet in America.  In addition to graduate studies in the arts, she also has a tremendous curiosity for how the human body functions in movement; this curiosity has propelled an on-going love affair with self-education in anatomy and kinesiology.

Jennifer Dournaux

Brittany Dwyer started her training in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of three. She started performing for her studio's competition team at age 5, and at age 17 started choreographing dances to compete. Throughout high school, Brittany was also a part of her high school's dance company and multiple musicals, including "Cha-Cha" in Grease. She then studied at Northern Kentucky University for theater and dance and became a part of the traveling dance troupe. Brittany has furthered her dance education by taking many classes in New York from amazing teachers like Mia Michaels. Brittany was a performer at Paramount Kings Island for two years. She moved to St. Augustine in 2013 and has been working with The Dance Company ever since.

Brittany Dwyer

Kara Gentile was born and raised in Virginia where she started her dance career at age 7. She began teaching preschool dance classes at age 15. Kara graduated from Adelphi University in New York with a degree in Journalism and a Dance minor. After college Kara moved back to Virginia where she taught a variety of dance classes to students ages 2-19 while teaching preschool and instructing pre and postnatal fitness classes. In the summer of 2017 Kara and her husband moved to St. Augustine to be by the beach. Kara and her husband have two children (Jackson age 4 and Mia age 1). She enjoys working with dancers of all levels but has a true passion for preschool age dance classes. “I believe it’s important to create a warm and nurturing environment for dancers at a young age. I enjoy cultivating their love for dance at such a young age and encouraging them to have fun.”

Kara Gentile

Anna Holland began dancing at the age of three at The Dance Company in St. Augustine, FL. Though Anna dances many genres, her fortes are contemporary and lyrical styles.  Besides The Dance Company,  her dance training includes Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and Dance Tallahassee.  She has trained under such greats as Ellie Potts Barrett, Monika MacBeth, Carole Dickens, Stephanie Burkhardt, Sam Fiorello, Denzel Adams, James Washington, and Brittany Marcin Maschmeyer.  Throughout Anna's years in dance, she won many awards and honors but her proudest moments came through performing with her sisters in dance.  Anna began teaching dance classes and summer camps at The Dance Company at the age of thirteen and has taught in some capacity since that time. She hopes to spread her love and passion of dance through the younger generations to follow her.

Anna Holland

Abigail Lanford began her dance training at the age of four at The Dance Company in St. Augustine, FL. She continued her training at Murray Middle School and joined The Dance Company’s competition team in seventh grade. Abigail was then accepted into the prestigious Douglas Anderson School of the Arts where she attended high school. Throughout high school she spent her summers training at Next Generation Ballet and Petal’s Popular Dance Conservatory. She was also involved in the First Coast Nutcracker, The St. Augustine Winter Spectacular and Sleeping Beauty. In Abigail’s junior year she was accepted into Douglas Anderson’s Dance Theatre troupe where she was able to train with many guest artists, perform in countless shows, and travel to the National High School Dance Festival. After graduation Abigail moved to Tallahassee where she continued her training at Dance Tallahassee while attending Florida State University. Abigail discovered her passion for teaching and her love for St. Augustine and moved back home to continue her studies at Flagler College. In 2018, she decided to follow her passion for teaching and became a dance instructor at The Dance Company.
Abigail Lanford

Marie Laperriere has been dancing since 1989. She studied biochemistry in college and was deeply involved in the San Francisco arts and music scene. She was a manager for four years at Café DuNord- a very successful S.F. live music venue, well known and respected for showcasing underground talent, and holding often avant garde performances. She has studied dance at Western Michigan University, The City College of San Francisco, the ODC School/Rhythm and Motion in San Francisco, and after moving to St. Augustine in 2003, at The Dance Company. She has studied Afro-Haitian, West African, Middle Eastern, Jazz, Hip Hop and Ballet, attended numerous contemporary workshops and summer intensives at The Dance Company as well as the 2008 and 2009 American Dance Projekt in Jacksonville. She performed at The Limelight Theater in “La Follies-La Joie de Vivre,” “Divas Tonight” and “St. Augustine’s Got Talent.” In March 2011 she performed with a group of local dance teachers, as The St. Augustine Dance Guild, in their own production, “Visual Harmony.” In August 2010 she took a group of 9 Dance Company dancers to Cambridge and London England as part of a dance-exchange she organized with The King-Slocombe School of Dance in Cambridge. In 2011, four King-Slocombe dancers participated in The Dance Company’s summer intensive. She has an eight year old son and has worked full time for the past five years as a Course Reviewer providing instructor support for The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Marie Laperriere

Jessica Lengyel Allard received her bachelor's degree in Dance with a dual concentration in ballet and jazz from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA. She now dances with Surfscape Contemporary Dance Theatre of New Smyrna Beach and teaches dance at Pedro Menendez High School. Jessica trained at The Dance Company of St. Augustine and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. She was a Company Member at the Dance Company for ten years and a member of Douglas Anderson’s Dance Theatre for three years. She has attended various summer programs such as the Orlando Ballet School, the Joffrey Ballet School, the Nashville Ballet School and the Florida Dance Festival.  Jessica has been privileged to work with choreographers such as Francesca Harper, Nicholas Petrov, Peter Merz, Ronen Koresh, Ann Sorvino and Alison Seidenstricker. Jessica has had the opportunity to teach and choreograph in Pittsburgh and around the St. Augustine area.  Jessica currently serves as a Performance Ensemble Coordinator at The Dance Company. Jessica is currently a full-time dance instructor at Pedro Menendez High School where she is also the dance team coach.
Jessica Allard

Monika Macbeth earned a degree in dance from Hochschule for Musik and Theater in Hannover, Germany. She further studied with Vera Volkova, Alexandra Danilova and Erik Bruhn. In Cannes, France, she studied with Rosella Hightower and in London, Great Britain, with Kathleen Crofton. She was a member of the Royal Academy of Dancing. After dancing professionally in companies throughout Europe, she continued her education in dance pedagogies at Hochschule for Musik and Theater, Hannover, where she studied with Alan Howard, New York City. Monika taught ballet in her own studios in Hannover, Germany for thirteen years before coming to the United States. In 1990 she met Carole Dickens and joined her as Ballet Mistress, first with Fancy Feet and then at Anastasia Dance Theatre. She has been Ballet Mistress for The Dance Company since its inception. In 1995, Monika was rehearsal director for the First Coast Nutcracker in Jacksonville, Florida. She has been a frequent guest instructor/choreographer at the LaPierre School of Dance, Boston, and at studios in South Florida. She has been on staff at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville from 1994 through 2003 and a guest teacher at Murray Middle School since 2003. In 2009 Monika received the ROWITA Award which recognizes women for their lifetime achievement and accomplishments in the arts.
Monika Macbeth

Nicole Tiller began dancing in 1984 in Long Island, New York. She became a student of Carole Dickens and Monika Macbeth in 1988, and began teaching full time in 1995. Nicole has studied under Ellie Potts Barrett, Marcellus Brown, Lynette Wadsworth, and Dorothy Lambert. She has attended numerous master classes in Orlando, Jacksonville, and the Broadway Dance Center in New York City. Nicole graduated from Florida School of the Arts in 1999, with an Associate's degree in modern dance. She is an award winning choreographer, recognized by the Florida Dance Association. Nicole is currently on staff at The Dance Company as well as a guest teacher at Murray Middle School and St. Augustine High School.
Nicole Tiller

Taryn Fuller Torregrosa has been dancing ever since she can remember. She started at Five Flags Dance Academy in Pensacola, FL where she grew up. Taryn was twelve when she moved to St. Augustine where she got accepted into the SJCCA dance program and gifted program at R.J. Murray Middle School Center for the Arts. During her Middle School years Taryn joined a local dance studio called The Dance Company under the direction of Carole Dickens. Taryn continued her dancing in the SJCCA program at St. Augustine High School.  After graduating high school Taryn got the chance to become a dance instructor at The Dance Company under the direction of Stephanie Burkhardt. During her years at TDC, Taryn attended many workshops and competitions where she learn skills and techniques to further her teaching career. Taryn was lucking enough to coach Dance Team after school at Allen D. Nease High School. This experience opened up many doors for Taryn and allowed her to meet many St. Johns County School District staff. A few years later Taryn apply and got hired to teach dance at R. J. Murray Middle School. Taryn is truly blessed to teach and give back to the place where it all started. Taryn attends many workshops, competitions, and most recently the 2018 Dance Teacher Summit to keep current with that dance world.
Taryn Tarregrosa

Holly Wright is a Nashville native who is passionate about the performing arts. Dance, theater and writing hold a special place in her heart. Holly was first nationally recognized at age thirteen when she was awarded the title of Miss Teen Dance America first runner-up at Kids Artistic Revue Nationals for her lyrical solo. During her fourteen years dancing with a studio, she was selected as an All-American dancer at the Universal Dance Association camp four consecutive years, awarded “Best Leaps” and won countless national and regional competitions for her trios and group numbers. Holly has danced in a variety of musicals including Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and The Phantom of the Opera. She performed in many theater productions at The Arts Center of Cannon County, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Wind in the Willows, The Jungle Book, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. She was selected for the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts⎯ Theatre Performance and completed the college program to jump-start her degree at age fifteen. In 2014, she became a member of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Dance Team. Throughout her college career, she trained dancers and taught private lessons in ballet technique, lyrical, jazz and gymnastics. Holly has choreographed solos that win First Place Overall at national dance competitions and were performed at MTSU basketball games. In 2015, Holly improvised in a music video that became a finalist in the Nashville Film Festival. The music video went viral and even gained views in Peru. Holly has acted in online commercials and modeled for clothing companies and professional artistic photographers. Holly is a published journalist and photo-journalist for The Tennessean online newspaper. She has implemented public relations campaigns for clients in the music industry. In the Spring of 2017, she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Advertising and Public Relations with minors in Theater Arts and Entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, Holly was pulled by the ocean tide and moved from Nashville, Tennessee to St. Augustine, Florida.

Holly Wright

TDC Office Manager Jennifer Hyland
Bio coming soon...

Jennifer Hyland

Board of Directors

President: Karen Butler
Vice President & Treasurer: Dana Evans
Vice President: Amy Skinner

Secretary: Kara Haeussner
Members: Brooke Autowski, JR Ekern, Shawn Stonaker

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