Melanie Keen - Owner, Director, Choreographer, and Instructor
After watching a classical ballet on television, Melanie knew she wanted to become a ballerina. She enrolled in classes at the age of nine at the School of Dance Arts in Florence, S.C. under the direction of Barbara Counts and the late Shirley Jacobs. She joined the Civic Ballet Company at the age of ten. Over the next few years, she danced lead roles in ballets such as “Sleeping Beauty”, “Cakewalk” and “The Nutcracker”. She also performed tap and jazz as a member of the group “Jazzmatazz” and held key roles in “A Chorus Line” and “42nd Street” with the Florence Little Theatre. As a top ten contestant in the Miss South Carolina Pageant, she performed Kitri’s Variation from “Don Quixote”.
Melanie danced lead roles at Piccolo Spoleto in Charleston under the direction of Radenko Pavlovich and the late Thomas Richards, both of the South Carolina Ballet Theater and Barbara Howse-Meadows, renowned choreographer. She studied under former Prima Ballerina Patricia Miller Baker of the Joffrey Ballet, William Starret of the Columbia City Ballet, and the instructors of the Broadway Dance Center in New York City including Frank Hatchett, jazz director. Her personal favorite performance was that of the Sugar Plum Fairy under the direction and choreography of the well known Robert Ivey.
Melanie served as an assistant instructor at age sixteen and started teaching her own classes at seventeen. She taught for over eight years at the School of Dance Arts.
Melanie believes that dance as an art helps to build character, confidence and self discipline. It is also a way to insure physical fitness while having fun! She looks forward to sharing her love and passion for dance with many children in the years to come.
Gillian Gray- Instructor and Choreographer
Gillian Gray is currently in her twelfth year of dance, and first year of dance at the College of Charleston. Her dance career began in 2006 at Ballet Caliente where she was a Yellow Submarine in the original ballet “Letters from Daddy” by Sheryl Marie Dunaway. For the next nine years, Gillian danced at Ballet Caliente and performed in nine original shows with diverse roles from Rockin’ Robin in “The Art of Dancing” to Religious Freedom in “American Heirlooms”. In 2013, Gillian auditioned for, and was accepted to the Dance Theatre of Harlem Master Class Series. In 2014 and 2015, Gillian had the opportunity to dance at St. Mary’s Ryken High School and performed at the high school’s Pep Rally both years as well as their Fall and Spring Fine Arts Festivals. At St. Mary’s Ryken Gillian was provided with the opportunity to explore many different styles of dance in a diverse environment. Gillian performed Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical Contemporary, and Hip Hop. In addition, while at St. Mary’s Ryken, Gillian had the opportunity to teach Art to Heart Dance classes. Art to Heart is a program that brings together disabled adults in the community with the Arts. In 2015, Gillian moved to South Carolina and began dancing in the company at Hilton Head Island Dance School under the directorship of Karena Brock-Carlyle and John Carlyle. There she danced her first Nutcracker, as Snow Corps, Flower Corps, and Torte. Gillian was also cast as Waltz Corps, Vision Corps, and Snow White in Sleeping Beauty. Gillian is excited to have joined The Dance Arts Studio as a Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Hip Hop teacher.
1150 Hungryneck Blvd., Suite A
Mt. Pleasant, SC
The Dance Arts Studio is centrally located at 1150 Hungryneck Blvd, Suite A. The studio offers dance classes in Classical Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, and Contemporary to all ages. Classes are offered weekdays and evenings. We are proud to offer a safe, fun and positive learning environment for dancers. To learn more about The Dance Arts Studio, its dancers and choreographers, please visit our Facebook page by clicking here or our link in the top right corner of the page.
Allie Williams- Instructor and Choreographer
Originally from Amarillo, Texas, Allie found her passion for dance at the young age of 6. She has trained in Lyrical, Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater and Tap, as well as in Acrobatics and Gymnastics. Allie began her dance training by participating in competitive dance at the Edge Dance Studio in Amarillo, Texas, under the instruction of Stacie Hall for 6 years. She trained at SB Dance Academy/ Amarillo Performing Arts Center, under the instruction of Schae Burle, where she also trained in competitive dance and competed at many nationally recognized competitions. In 2009, only a sophomore in high school, Allie co-founded the Tascosa High School Belle's Dance Team and was appointed Co-Captain. The Belle's performed at pep rallies and various performances all over the city. In 2010, Allie continued her dance training at the Landance Conservatory of Ballet, under the instruction of Mark Lanham and Stephanie Parker, where she performed in several ballet productions until 2012. In 2011 Allie auditioned for the Amarillo, Texas Venom Vixen Dance Team and was hired as a professional dancer. Allie graduated from high school early with honors, and in late 2012, she set out to continue her dance training in Charleston, SC. She continues her training and professional dance career, teaches all ages of recreational and competitive dance, and choreographs and directs competitive teams and performance companies in the Charleston area. In June 2015 Allie was hired as a professional dancer for the Charleston Performing Arts Center, where she premiered in several Broadway musicals until June of 2016. She brings creative choreography and cutting edge dance instruction, specializing in Contemporary and Improv Flow. Her choreography has been awarded and recognized at several national dance competitions. Allie continues her dance education at worldwide dance conventions as well as local classes in the Charleston area. She wants to continue to grow and share her creativity and passion for dance by training students to become well rounded dancers and individuals.
Elizabeth Wicker- Instructor and Choreographer
Elizabeth is from Hopkins, SC, where she began dancing and taking Ballet as a toddler. She has been dancing for 16 years, as she continued to dance throughout high school, and is now a Dance Major at the College of Charleston. She has danced in performances with the Columbia City Ballet and the University of South Carolina Dance Conservatory. At her previous studio Palmetto Performing Arts, Elizabeth danced a variety of styles including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Musical Theatre, Tap, and Hip Hop. She also danced with their competitive company for two seasons and co-captained the senior level. Elizabeth has a passion for teaching dance and is excited to continue teaching at The Dance Arts Studio.