ROOTS Blog

Check out everything you need to know about the upcoming dance season at ROOTS

Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop!

There’s still time to enroll in dance classes at ROOTS Academy, but you’ll need to act fast. Our classes begin right after Labor Day on Sept. 4. Check out the full schedule here!

At ROOTS, we build all of our programs around three foundations:

Creativity
We believe every student possesses a unique gift of creativity. Our mentors tailor each experience to help students to foster, uncover, and explore their creative side and problem-solving skills.

Discipline
It takes a lot of hours of practice to master a craft. We’re committed to instilling discipline in our students to help them achieve their highest potential.

Performance
We teach our students to perform at their best. Whether that’s in a recital, concert, or performance event, our students will be coached on self-awareness, presentation, and audience engagement.

This is going to be a huge year for the ROOTS dance program. Classes are filling up fast, but there are plenty of reasons to sign up now!

Meet our new dance director

Our dance program has a new leader!

Over the summer, three-year mentor Saskia Harmon stepped into the role of dance program director at ROOTS, and we couldn’t be more excited.

A lifelong dancer, Saskia grew up in DeLand, Florida. She went on to attend the University of Tennessee, where she became captain of the school’s nationally ranked dance team and graduated with a degree in theatre.

Since then, Saskia has dedicated her life to teaching dance, and she’s been an instructor for the past 16 years.

Saskia helped the dancers at Brentwood Academy become national champions last year, and some of her former students have gone on to dance teams at schools like the University of Tennessee, University of Mississippi, University of Alabama, and Lindenwood University.

In addition to guiding the ROOTS dance program, Saskia will also teach Skills classes for minis and juniors and teens and seniors.

“I love passing down my passion for dance to my students,” Saskia said. “I also love getting to know them each as individuals and helping them find their best selves.”

Check out some of our featured classes

Whether your child is just starting out in the world of dance or already accomplished, we’ve got a wide range of classes available in everything from ballet and tap to boys crew and hip hop.

We have programs for kids of all ages: toddlers (ages 2.5 to 3), preschoolers (ages 3 to 5), minis (ages 5 to 8), juniors (ages 9 to 11), teens and seniors (ages 12 and older).

Check out the full schedule here.

We’re also offering a pair of brand new classes for the first time this fall! Take a look:

Musical Theatre & Tap

If your child hopes to be on Broadway someday, this class is for you! Taught by veteran performer and choreographer Maria Logan, it’ll give students a foundation to add singing and acting to their repertoire. This class will have a heavy focus on tap, but there will also be lots of opportunities to portray characters and learn expressive movements through jazz dancing.

Boys Crew

Who says dancing is just for the girls? Boys Crew is an all-boys hip hop class that infuses the latest styles of street dancing, breaking, popping, and isolations. Taught by a male mentor, this high-energy class encourages students to bring their own individual styles and personalities to the movements.

Learn about our mentors

At ROOTS, we don’t have teachers. We have mentors.

That means that our instructors are dedicated to more than just classwork. Each mentor is trained and empowered to develop every student’s gifts and talents, but also to build trusted and reliable connections. We believe that if the students trust the environment and mentor, they’ll thrive and grow faster.

Here are the dance mentors for the fall season:

Mandy Callahan

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Mandy graduated from the University of Alabama. She coached and choreographed for Auburn University and the University of Alabama among other colleges before serving as head coach of the Dance Team at Vanderbilt University. She was named a member of the United States Dance Ambassadors and has been a staff member or affiliated with the Universal Dance Association, Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America, and more.

Classes:

  • Preschool & Toddler (Mondays & Wednesdays)

Kira Fargas

Kira hails from the Bay Area in California where she began dance training at the age of 3. She trained for 15 years at Westlake School for the Performing Arts and has attended intensives at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, New Dialect, American Ballet Theatre, and Salt Dance Fest. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from the University of Arizona.

Classes:

  • Junior Company Ballet
  • Teen/Senior Company Ballet
  • Pointe

Vivienne Heskje

Vivienne grew up in Nashville and has been dancing for 14 years. She trained in ballet, modern, tap, hip hop and jazz, and was involved in many musical theatre productions during middle and high school. Since then, she’s choreographed for several productions including Mary Poppins, Aladdin, and The Lion King.

Classes:

  • Mini Hip Hop
  • Junior Open Ballet
  • Mini Jazz & Lyrical (Fridays)
  • Mini Combo (Fridays)
  • Mini Combo (Saturdays)
  • Preschool & Toddler (Fridays & Saturdays)

Mary Beth Jackson

Born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, Mary Beth graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance from Troy University, where she was the student dance coordinator. She was accepted to attend the American Dance Festival, she made it to the choreography round of So You Think You Can Dance in season 11, and she is currently dancing with Nashville’s Fall Dance Company.

Classes:

  • Teen/Senior Pre-Pointe
  • Mini/Junior Company Ballet
  • Teen/Senior Open Ballet
  • Mini Open Ballet (Fridays)

Maria Logan

A native of Nashville, Maria attended Belmont University where she received a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theatre. For the past seven years, she lived in New York City, where she performed, choreographed, and studied. Her choreography was recently seen in Into the Woods at Bigfork Summer Playhouse and My Fair Lady at The Bucks County Center for the Performing Arts.

Classes:

  • Mini Musical Theatre & Tap
  • Junior Musical Theatre & Tap
  • Teen/Senior Musical Theatre & Tap

Jillian Lovins

A lifelong dancer, Jillian competed for 12 years at DC Dance Factory and she also won two state titles and a national championship with the Brentwood Academy Dance Team. She’s been trained in ballet, jazz, hip hop, and ballroom, among other styles of dance.

Classes:

  • Mini Jazz & Lyrical (Mondays)
  • Junior Jazz & Lyrical (Mondays)
  • Teen/Senior Jazz & Lyrical

Kathleen McPherson

A graduate of DC Dance Factory, Kathleen went on to be an instructor at Revolution Dance and an apprentice for Los Angeles-based contemporary company SoulEscape. She appeared in the music video for Alyson Stoner’s “Dragon” and performed live at the Stellar Awards with gospel duo Mary Mary.

Classes:

  • Teen/Senior Fusion

Jordan Melton

Jordan got her start dancing when she was 14 at DC Dance Factory. After graduating high school, she moved to Atlanta to pursue a career as a performer and she’s danced behind major artists including Justin Bieber, Alexis Jordan, and LMFAO. Jordan has also appeared in commercials for Disney, Coca-Cola, and Cartoon Network.

Classes:

  • Teen/Senior Acro 1
  • Teen/Senior Acro 2
  • Mini/Junior Acro 1
  • Mini/Junior Acro 2
  • Teen/Senior Hip Hop 1
  • Teen/Senior Hip Hop 2

Kelsey Southerland

A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Kelsey started dancing at the age of 2, and was a UDA All-Star in high school. After attending the University of Alabama, where she was a member and choreographer of the Resonance Show Choir, she interned at The PULSE in New York City.

Classes:

  • Junior Jazz & Lyrical (Thursdays)
  • Mini Combo (Wednesdays)

Jessica Stillman

Our company manager, Jessica grew up in Franklin and studied at Dance With Tracy, DC Dance Factory, and Dance Authority. She was a member of the University of Tennessee Dance Team, captain of the Middle Tennessee State University Dance Team, and coached the Music City All Stars.

Classes:

  • Mini Fusion
  • Junior Fusion
  • Teen/Senior Skills 1

Deavon Walden

A graduate of DC Dance Factory, Deavon has been dancing since he was 4 years old. He’s toured with Disney artist Coco Jones, appeared in a music video for country artist Eric Paslay, and performed on awards shows with artists including Pharrell and TobyMac.

Classes:

  • Mini Boys Crew
  • Junior Hip Hop
  • Junior Boys Crew

Remember, classes begin Sept. 4, so enroll today!

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Fall Break Hours 10/17-10/20: OPEN for music lessons; dance is CLOSED.