Faculty

Kelly Oakes Dent
Kelly Oakes Dent

Kelly Oakes Dent began her dance studies under her mother's tutelage, Beverly R. Oakes, in Bangor, Maine. Her training continued with Linda Miele (former member of New York City Ballet) in Portland, Maine. As a young dancer, she gained performance experience as a member of the Maine State Ballet under the direction of Polly L. Thomas. Kelly was the proud recipient of the Pat Bullard and Vera Volkova Dance Award her senior year of college, earning her BA in Teaching Pedagogy at Virginia Intermont College, Bristol, VA in 1983.

While studying at Virginia Intermont College, she was a soloist with Bristol Ballet Company performing the roles of Sugar Plum in Nutcracker, the Bird in Peter and the Wolf, Anna Karenina in Hussar, Competition Girl in Graduation Ball, Lead Girl in A Young Man's Fancy, and was cast in Divertimento and Crimson Sky among many other repertory pieces set for Bristol Ballet Company, under Constance Hardinge's directorship.

She began her teaching career in 1983 with Ballet Mississippi, the premier ballet school in Jackson MS, under the mentorship of Charles Dixon, Alan Woodard, and Lisa Howell. In Jackson, MS, she danced 5 seasons with the contemporary dance company, Modern Dance Collective, under the direction of Cherie Cooper, former student of the Martha Graham School. Kelly relocated to the Atlanta area to join the Ruth Mitchell Dance Theater as a dancer and faculty member in 1988. She joined the faculty of Callanwolde Fine Arts center in 1991, where she earned her Royal Academy of Dance teaching registration.

During her tenure at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, she directed the Royal Academy of Dance program and the student dance company, Callanwolde Dance Ensemble, choreographing such ballets as The Nutcracker, A Wolf's Tale, Snow White, Peter and the Wolf, In Living Era, La Vie en Rose, Dancing Princesses, and Heckedy Peg.

Ms. Dent is one of the few registered Royal Academy of Dance ballet instructors in Georgia and is currently working as a mentor for ballet teachers studying to become certified in the Royal Academy of Dance teaching syllabus. With over 30 years of teaching experience, she is looking forward to opening her own school, Dance Foundry, in the community of Decatur.

Jennilee Garcia
Jennilee Garcia

Jennilee Garcia is originally from Ponce, Puerto Rico. After years of dance training and professional performances she moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 2008.

She started her training in her hometown, at the Ponce School of Fine Arts. As she moved across the country she never interrupted her training, studying at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and later finishing her training back in Ponce. For many summers she studied under the tutelage of members of the National Ballet of Cuba in order to compliment and further strengthen her technique and skill. Currently she is finishing her training in Ballet Teaching Studies for the Royal Academy of Dance, London.

She has participated in dance intensives with American Ballet Theater, Alvin Ailey, Wade Robson, Tyler Banks, Spanish Folk & Flamenco, and Ballet Concierto. While in Puerto Rico, Jennilee was given performance opportunities including La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quijote, Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Les Sylphide, and Cinderella. After dancing ballet for a period of time, she used her all-around experience in other disciplines to venture into commercial dancing. She has worked with several Puerto Rican national artists and has been featured on television several times for both her dancing and choreography.

Jennilee's choreography as well as her dancing have landed her performances at Miss Teen World Puerto Rico, Walt Disney World-Epcot, MGM, Basketball Half-time Shows, and various colleges and universities. In Atlanta she has focused her career on teaching at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center from 2008 through 2016 and choreographing for their various show performances, serving as Assistant Director in more than one occasion. She has danced for several modern dance companies in Atlanta as an invited guest.

Rebekah Pleasant
Rebekah Pleasant

Rebekah Pleasant began dancing at the tender age of three at the Cathedral Dance Conservatory in Atlanta. Through the years as her dance technique developed, Rebekah expanded her training to places such as the Atlanta Ballet, Alvin Ailey pre-professional program, and Dekalb School of the Arts. On graduating high school, Rebekah attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts under the deanship of Ethan Steifel in 2006. While attending UNCSA, Rebekah trained and performed with choreographers such as Jose Limon, Alonzo King, Larry Keigwin, Juel Lane, Lar Lubovitch, Mark Morris, and Twyla Tharp.

Rebekah graduated UNCSA with a BFA and moved to New York City where she has been honored to dance at amazing venues like Jacobs Pillow, The Joyce Soho, and the Lincoln Center Metropolitan Opera with companies including Helen Simoneau Danse Company, and The Metropolitan Opera for two seasons. Currently Rebekah is dancing with Laurie M. Taylor/Soul Movement in New York City and Full Radius Dance Company in Atlanta, Ga.

Danielle Pyle
Danielle Pyle

Danielle Pyle has danced since the age of 3, loves to dance, and share dance with others. She minored in Dance at the University of Georgia and is currently working towards a doctorate degree in occupational therapy. She loves to teach young dancers to embrace their own unique creativity, basic musical concepts, and incorporates healthy techniques for the mind and body.

Bella Dorado
Bella Dorado

Bella Dorado is a Bolivian-born, Tennessee-raised artist of movement and words. She is currently based in Atlanta, GA where she is working with independent choreographers and performers, approaching each project with a sense of curiosity and investigation. Her work, in both dance and writing, deals largely with the uncomfortable; anxiety, morbidity, sensuality, rage, elation. The impolite extremes of experience captivate her imagination and peculiarize her own creative explorations. Her work has been featured in arts festivals and showcases in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and Illinois in the form of live performance and film. In her free time, Bella frequently indulges in laughing, tales of adventure and intrigue, and incredibly tragic art. She is a woman of whimsy and a lover of all things fanciful, nonsensical, implausible and absurd.

She is currently an Artist in Residence at The Lucky Penny’s Work Room.