The ROOTS Summer Dance Intensives are for dedicated, hard-working dancers with at least 2-3 years of prior experience who are looking to fully immerse themselves into a week of dance instruction. This intensive is open to all dancers; being a student at ROOTS is not required. Students will take classes in contemporary, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, turns, leaps & jumps and more.

ROOTS Dance Intensive is the week of July 16-20, 2018 from 9am to 4pm each day. Dance Company auditions are Saturday, July 21 (not required). 

If you have been considering ROOTS Dance Company, this intensive is the perfect opportunity to see if you’re ready. Students who are interested in Company will be evaluated during the week by the mentor dance director, Saskia Harmon and team.

Meet the 2018 Intensive Staff

ROOTS is excited to introduce the 2018 Summer Intensive staff lineup:

Jordan Melton was born and raised in Nashville, TN. She began dancing at the age of 14 at DC Dance Factory. Coming from a competitive gymnastics background, her passion for performing and dedication to hard work, drove her to master many styles of dance. After graduating high school, Jordan moved to Atlanta to follow her dreams of pursuing a career as a Performer/Entertainer. She has since danced behind major recording artists such as Justin Bieber, Alexis Jordan, and LMFAO, and appeared in multiple nationwide commercials and films for Disney, Coco Cola, Cartoon Network and more.

Because of Jordan‘s gymnastics and dance training combined with her experience in teaching Acrobatics, Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, and Lyrical, she is able to give her students unique tips and insider details on how to perfect and master their craft.


Kathleen McPherson grew up dancing in Nashville, Tennessee where she began serious training at age 13. Upon graduating from the nationally recognized DC Dance Factory, Kathleen postponed her college education to pursue dance for a year. She was able to work with artists such as Alyson Stoner, appearing in her music video “Dragon,” and with gospel duo Mary Mary performing live at the Stellar Awards.

Kathleen also spent time living in Los Angeles pursuing an apprentice role under the direction of Justin Giles’ contemporary company, SoulEscape. After returning to The University of Tennessee Knoxville to pursue her education, Kathleen began working at Revolution Dance and was an instructor there for the past 4 years. She recently graduated from the University of Tennessee Knoxville and ventured back to her roots in Nashville to continue her passion of teaching.

Tyler McNair was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. As a freshman in high school, his dance journey started and he became a self taught dancer. By the end of his senior year, he had competed with the Brentwood Academy Dance Team, gaining a state championship and placing third in the nation. Soon after, he auditioned to be a part of the Senior Competition Team at D.C. Dance Factory, where he won several titles and became a national champion in three different categories. Tyler is now a full time student at New York University: Tisch School of the Arts. He has choreographed many pieces for NYU Pulse, Brentwood Academy and was also featured on ESPN’s E60. Tyler plans to finish college with a BFA in Dance and share his love and knowledge in dance to everyone. The Tennesseean.


Amie Barriger grew up studying ballet in and around Nashville including Metro Parks Dance Division and the School of Nashville Ballet.  She continued her training at the University of Utah. Amie developed a love for teaching and has been sharing her faith and her passion for ballet with students in the Nashville area for the last 20 years.  She currently teaches at Fellowship School of Dance where she has taught many levels of ballet, tap, and jazz, and was the Director of the performing company.





Saskia Harmon (Dance Program Director) has almost 10 years of experience teaching, from kids to adults of all ages. Originally from Deland, Florida, Saskia has been living in Brentwood, TN for eight years now. She began dancing at the young age of three and has not stopped since. During her childhood in Florida, Saskia was a Kid of the Kingdom for three years in Walt Disney World. Saskia is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, where she was a member and captain of the nationally ranked University of Tennessee Dance Team from 2002-2006. After graduating college, Saskia traveled to New York and California to pursue a career in make-up artistry. A few years later, she found herself back in Tennessee. Saskia is the current manager at Pure Barre Brentwood, where she has been teaching for over 2 years. With her mother as a dance teacher, Saskia knows what it takes to balance family, school, and dance. She’s excited to lead our program and continue the momentum. You can read more about Saskia’s plans for the 2018-2019 Dance Season here.

Jordyn Smalling has been dancing for 11 years and has trained in jazz, contemporary, lyrical, ballet, and hip hop. She found her passion for dance at DC Dance Factory in Nashville, TN, where she competed for 7 years and worked with professional choreographers and took class across the nation from many of the best teachers the dance industry has to offer.

In accompaniment to her studio experience in high school, she trained with ballet technician and Nashville native, Robin Hargest, and went on to work under her as an assistant by her senior year. In her college dance career Jordyn competed with the University of Tennessee Dance Team for four years, where she secured 2 national championships in the D1A Jazz Division at College Nationals.


Jessica Stillman (Company & Marketing Manager) has been with ROOTS since 2014. Growing up in the heart of Franklin, Jessica studied dance at various studios in the area including Dance With Tracy, DC Dance Factory, and Dance Authority. During high school, Jessica won three state championship titles and placed second in the nation. In 2010, she became a member of the first Music City All Stars team, winning their first national championship in 2011 and attending the world championship that same year. After graduating, Jessica spent a year in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee as a member of the University of Tennessee Dance Team. After her freshman year, Jessica transferred closer to home to choreograph for several middle and high school dance teams across both Williamson and Rutherford Counties while also captaining the MTSU Dance Team. Jessica graduated from Middle Tennessee State University with a degree in Organizational Communication. After witnessing exponential growth over the years and helping build a close-knit family of dancers, Jessica cannot wait to see what’s next for the dance program at ROOTS Academy.

About ROOTS Dance Intensive

Looking for a challenge? Take your dance training to the next level through an intensive week of technique and creative collaboration.

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ROOTS Summer Dance Intensives are geared towards dedicated, hard-working dancers. Students will take classes in contemporary, ballet, hip hop, lyrical, turns, leaps & jumps and more. Intensive dancers will have the opportunity to receive ROOTS Dance Academy Scholarships.

Dancers will receive instruction on:

  • Pirouettes
  • Advanced leaps and jumps
  • Turn combinations
  • Jazz technique
  • Contemporary/Lyrical combos
  • Ballet & Body Placement
  • Acro
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Hip Hop

“I’m so excited to be teaching at ROOTS Dance Intensive this year. It’s going to be an amazing week of intensive training in acro, contemporary, turns, ballet & body placement, stretching & strengthening, turns & jumps, hip hop, and jazz. We have an amazing group of mentors lined up for the week, and I’m honored to be one of them. Quality technique, challenging combos, and a close-knit community of dancers…I hope to see you there!”

– Jessica Stillman, Mentor

Summer Dance Intensive Benefits:

  • Help build self-confidence and self-esteem
  • ROOTS Scholarship Opportunities
  • Increase independence and leadership skills
  • Foster friendships and social skills with opportunities to work in teams
  • Provide a spirit of adventure and willingness to try new things
  • Feature friendly, enthusiastic teachers who are background-checked and experts in their field
  • Cover a concentrated exploration of the camp topic
  • Include interactive activities that involve the body and mind and teaching approaches that work well for different learning styles
  • Feature age-appropriate material
  • Provide invaluable performance opportunities
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