Cathy Cabaniss graduated with a BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania where she had the opportunity to perform the works of Lar Lubovitch, Helanius Wilkins, Teena Custer and Jose Limon. Cathy has performed throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, New York, and South Carolina. As an educator she has experience teaching all levels, ages and genres of dance. For two years she taught advanced levels of modern at Ballet Western Reserve of Youngstown, Ohio and then an additional two years in Clemson, SC where she taught various levels of modern, including creative dance, improvisation and choreography at Foothills Dance Conservatory. She moved to Charleston in spring 2011, and is now dancing her fifth season with Annex Dance Company. Cathy is also the dance teacher at Alston Middle School.
Starr Woodall, born and raised in Charleston, SC, started dancing the age of 3 years old. Starr began her study of dance under the instruction of Karen Huett at The Dance Factory studying, ballet, tap and jazz until the age of 13. Still under Mrs. Karen, Starr auditioned and entered Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA) as a dance major from 6th-12th grade. Following her first year at SOA, Starr earned entry into the summer dance program at Governor's School of the Arts and Humanities in Greenville, SC. While attending the summer program at the Governor’s School, Starr’s introduction into other genres of dance began with character, pointe and modern dance.
Starr decided to further her education in dance and attend Columbia College in Columbia, SC. After a year at Columbia College, she transferred the University of South Carolina. While at USC, Starr joined the Carolina Girls Dance Team, under the instruction of Lindsay Sprague. She also became a member of the Unbound Dance Company under the instruction of Caroline Lewis-Jones and Susan Dabney Hancock. Being a part of the Carolina Girls, Starr cheered and danced on the sidelines at football games, as well as dancing during half time at the basketball games. Starr took the opportunity to compete at a national collegiate level at NCA/NDA in Daytona Beach, FL. After her two years on the Carolina Girls, she began her focus on giving back to the community through teaching dance to younger generations.
Sarah is a graduate of Goose Creek High School and the Berkeley Center for the Arts dance program. Sarah has been dancing and competing most of her life. She has won numerous awards, including America's Junior Miss, top solo, 1st runner up to Miss Dance of Souther Council. Sarah has been a Junior Member of Southern Council of Dance Masters for the past 5 years, and has held the title of treasurer, vice president, president, and past president. Sarah has trained and examined in th e Cecchetti Method of ballet. She became a member of Southern Council of Dance Masters in August 2016.
Douglas Smoak studied with Robert Ivey Ballet in Charleston before attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for dance. With Robert Ivey Ballet, he performed in Russia, Denmark, Spain and S. America. While at UNCSA, he participated in a student exchange program in Budapest, Hungary. He began his professional career with Nevada Dance Theatre, and then moved on to Florida, where he danced professionally with Sarasota Ballet and Ballet Eddy Toussaint. Mr. Smoak began teaching while in Florida, and continued teaching upon his return to South Carolina. Several dance schools in the Tricounty area have benefited from his instruction.
MEET OUR TEACHERS
Gingham Hoover, originally from Florence, SC, moved to Summerville three years ago. She has been involved with cheerleading and tumbling for over 20 years. As a cheerleader at Francis Marion University, Gingham worked with Action Cheer and Tumble teaching classes and summer camps. In 2000 she started her own company, Ms. Gingham's Tumbling. She has worked with dance studios, martial arts students, double dutch teams and all-star competitive cheerleaders to help them strengthen their acrobatic skills. Many of her students have gone on to cheer for teams including NFL team Carolina Panther Topcats, USC Gamecocks and Coastal Carolina. Gingham joined Planet Dance in December of 2012 as an acrobatics instructor.
Janine Kaiser grew up in Sumter where she began dancing at the Freed School of Performing Arts at the age of 2 1/2. She became part of the Freed Spirit Dance Company for 3 years before graduating high school. At Freed’s she studied ballet, pointe, lyrical, jazz, modern, and tap under Andrea Freed Levenson. She then attended Coker College where she obtained a Degree in Fine Arts with a concentration in Ceramics and a minor in dance. She was also a part of the Coker College Dance Team, took a study abroad session in Europe for dance, and has had the opportunity to dance in pieces set by the Amy Marshall Dance Company and The Wanda Project. During her years at Coker she taught at the Brenda Cranford’s School of Dance, where she taught tap, ballet, and jazz to all ages. At Brenda’s she got introduced to hip-hop and has since included it with her other favorites, modern and jazz.
Brenna has been involved in dance, cheerleading and gymnastics for 20 years. She began her training in Goose Creek, SC at Bonnie’s School of Dance. After years of training in Ballet, Acrobatics and Jazz she moved on to having a private instructor in Gymnastics. She spent her high school years dancing and cheerleading where she won numerous awards, including a top 25 national placement. Brenna has taught competitive cheer and dance teams winning top placements in their divisions. She is a member of Dance Masters of America and is the current President and Junior Member director of Southern Council of Dance Masters Chapter 44. She is also a member of the Cecchetti Council of America and has completed her Associate Grade III Teachers examination. She is the proud teacher Petite Miss dance of South Carolina 2009 and 2017, and along with her business partner the former Mr. Dance of America 2013.
Nancy has been involved in dance for more than 30 years, teaching for the past 20 years. She received her training from the Myrtle Beach School of Performing Arts, where she was trained and examined in the Cecchetti Method of Ballet. She was also a member of the Strand Ballet Theatre and Karavan Moving Company. She has been a member of Dance Masters of America and the Southern Council of Dance Masters since 1999. She is currently the past president of Chapter 44 and director for the Solo title competition. Nancy has also been a member of the Cecchetti Council of America since 1993. She is the current registrar of the South Coastal Committee. Nancy is also the co-director of the dance program for Berkeley County’s Student Talent Enrichment Program (S.T.E.P.). Her students have won numerous awards at regional and national competitions including Top Duet/Trio, Petite Grand Champion, and the Crowd Pleaser Award. Teacher of Recognition for DMA's Mr Dance of America 2013, and Teacher of Record for Mister Dance of SCDM 2015 and Mister Dance of America 2016.
All our teachers have been involved in dance most of their lives and continue to excel with certification through Dance Masters of America and The Cecchetti Council of America. Not only are they certified, most have had careers of their own within the dance world!
Michael began his instruction in dance at Deborah Case Dance Academy in McAllen, TX at the age of 4, starting off with traditional Spanish dances of Folklorico and Flamenco. After realizing his passion for the art form, he decided to broaden his training. At the age of 7 he began his training in Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop and Modern techniques where he also traveled around TX working with different Master Teachers. Finally realizing the importance of a solid background in Ballet he began his training at a late age of 14, receiving ballet instruction by Galina Mezentseva of the Kirov Ballet, Alex Ossadnik of Ballet Theatre de Bordeaux, and with Michael & Olga Wise of Moscow Classical Ballet. Michael then began performing with The Rio Grande Valley Ballet where he has worked and performed in lead roles in different classical and contemporary ballets. Michael began his teaching at the age of 15 with students ranging from 4-50 years of age in classes of Ballet, tap, jazz and modern. He began choreographing for both local performances at his studio along with choreographies for competition pieces in YAGP, Co Dance, and Treamaine. He also has worked with local artist in Rio Grande Valley TX with music videos, live concerts, musicals and plays. Michael is former Mr. Dance of America 2013.
Planet Dance Center for the Arts