Modern Ballet Dancer

Meet the Instructors

You’re in Great Hands

Meet our talented team of instructors at The Dance Arts Studio. Focused on teaching exceptional technique and creating unforgettable experiences, our staff is committed to our dancers’ satisfaction and success. Read through our instructors’ bios below, and if you’d like to set up an introductory meeting, don’t hesitate to reach out.

 
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Melanie Keen

Studio Owner - Director - Instructor - Choreographer 

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.

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Maya Everett-Wilson

Instructor/Choreographer

Maya Everett-Wilson, originally from Boston Massachusetts, is studying dance at the College of Charleston with a concentration in performance and choreography. Maya started ballet at the age of two and competition at the age of seven. She has danced for companies such as Broadway Bound Dance Center, LINX Dance Company, and in the Senior Company at Miss Heejins Dance Studio. Maya got the amazing opportunity to train for many years under Leanne Rose in the styles of Contemporary, Lyrical, and Ballet as well as with many other amazing teachers and choreographers in styles ranging from Jazz to Acrobatics. Her competitive career was highly decorated, receiving numerous awards and scholarships at the regional and national level during the 12 years she competed. Outside of dance, she is involved with other College of Charleston organizations such as Kappa Alpha Theta. Maya is so excited to be teaching her first season at TDAS!

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Izzy Byers

Instructor/Choreographer

Izzy Byers is a current junior at the College of Charleston studying majors in Dance, with a concentration in Performance and Choreography, Accounting, and a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Born and raised in Greenville, SC, she started dancing when she was 3 and competing at age 7. During high school she trained and competed at Starz Artistic Performing Company. She also attended the Fine Arts Center (Arts High School) studying ballet and modern. At CofC Izzy has performed in three Dance Concerts, and choreographed in two concerts as well. This past year she has also taught ballet and hip-hop at The Barre Code in Mount Pleasant. When she's not dancing you can find her working as a Sales Lead at Francesca's boutique, babysitting in the Charleston area, and trying new restaurants around town! Izzy is very excited to begin her journey at TDAS and get back to her competition dance roots!

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Hayley Rondeau

Instructor & Choreographer

Hayley Rondeau is originally from Webster, Massachusetts and took her first hip hop class at the age of nine. Her passion for dance was immediate and she expanded the following year to taking numerous classes in all styles as well as joining her home studio’s competition team. Throughout her teen years, Hayley expanded her dance classes outside of her local studio, taking ballet intensive courses at the Hanover Theater and, at age 16, traveling into Boston to apprentice for The Boston Community Dance Project, a professional dance company.
Hayley attended Dean College as an Arts and Entertainment Management major with a concentration in Dance. This gave her the skills to learn the business side of the arts as well as expanding her horizons to the world of theater. While at Dean, Hayley focused most of her energy backstage, stage managing and assisting on productions such as Legally Blonde, Footloose, and Rent. But she also had opportunities to dance on her school's Dance Team and perform at the Patriot’s opening day game in 2017!
Hayley recognized early on that she had a love for teaching. She began working as an assistant dance teacher at 13 and began teaching her own classes at 17. She continued to teach classes all over the Central Massachusetts and Greater Boston area until moving to Charleston in 2020. She is beyond excited to be joining the TDAS family and cannot wait to share her knowledge with her students this year!

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Suzanne Tudor

Instructor &  Choreographer

Suzanne Tudor is from South Carolina. She began dancing at the age of three. She became the youngest
member of The South Carolina Dance Theatre under the direction of Stanley Zompakos, an original Ballet
Russe de Monte Carlo company member. She attended North Carolina School of The Arts in Winston
Salem under the Direction of Robert Lindgren and Duncan Noble. After graduating Suzanne was
awarded a Dance Masters of America scholarship as Miss Dance of the Carolina’s and went to New York to
continue her ballet training at the Joffrey School of Ballet under the Direction of Robert Joffrey and
Gerald Arpino. Leaving New York Ms. Tudor then moved to DC and signed a contract with The
Washington Ballet under the Direction of Founder, Mary Day and Artistic Director Choo-San Goh.
Ms. Tudor danced with The Washington Ballet for 5 years. She has also danced with The Richmond Ballet,
The Maryland Ballet, The Annapolis Ballet, The Concert Dance Company and South Carolina Dance
Theatre. She appeared as a guest dancing the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy in the favorite Christmas Ballet
The Nutcracker with each of these companies. Ms. Tudor has danced the principal role in many famous
classical ballets including; Swanhilda in Copelia, Nikiya in La Bayadere, Medora in Le Corsair,
Balanchine’s Serenade for Strings, Les Sylphides, Les Patineurs, as well as many contemporary pieces.
Ms. Tudor was the Director of the Fredericksburg Ballet for 4 years. She began their Nutcracker
performance which has just celebrated their 30th Anniversary. She taught Ballet at the famous Madeira
School for Girls in McLean, Virginia. Ms. Tudor returned to SC in 1990 to become an Artist-in-Residence
for the state. She performed as a guest at the world renowned Spoleto Festival for 3 years, dancing as a
professional well into her 30’s. She served as Artistic Assistant to The South Carolina Dance Theatre, a
professional company, and Artistic Advisor to this companies Board of Directors. As a teacher she has
assisted in the training of numerous students who are professionally placed in major ballet companies
around the world, including Gillian Murphy (star of ABT) Amy Aldridge (principal w/ Pennsylvania Ballet)
and Traci Taylor (principal w/ Pacific Northwest Ballet Theatre).
As a choreographer she has choreographed many original works and set classical ballets for companies still
being performed in major cities today. She is the former owner of The Clay Academy of Dance Arts (13
years) and Dance 4 Life Studios. In addition she was a professor of ballet at Florida School for the Arts for
4 semesters. Ms. Tudor currently lives in Fleming Island, Florida where she is involved in her community,
choreographing musical theatre productions for local churches and schools. In addition, she has been
published in Who’s Who Among American Women.

Ms. Suzanne and Mrs. Melanie danced together, taught together, and traveled together years ago when they were part of the Civic Ballet Company (what is now the South Carolina Dance Theatre) directed by Suzanne's sister, Mrs. Barbara Counts. She is very excited to be working with Mrs. Melanie once again, and the students at TDAS in her first season on staff. She is very passionate about sharing her extensive Ballet knowledge with young aspiring ballerinas! 

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Audrey Sarbin

Instructor & Choreographer

Audrey Sarbin is originally from Virginia, but now hales from Beaufort, SC. She is a Dance Major at the College of Charleston. Audrey has been dancing since a very young age. She is in her first year of teaching at TDAS and is excited to bring her knowledge and expertise of Competition styles to the students.

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Virginia Jett

Substitute Instructor & Choreographer

Virginia is a Charleston native who first began dancing at the Dance Arts Studio at the age of 5. She danced with us until she was 18, training in Classical Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Lyrical. She performed many roles in our annual “Holiday Spectacular” in which our Company performed excerpts from the “Nutcracker Suite”. The role of Snow Queen was her favorite to perform. Virginia participated in the Miss Wando pageant at Wando High School during her Senior year, and walked away winning Most Talented, with a dance performance she choreographed herself. Since then, she has graduated from Clemson University with a BA in Architecture and is working at a residential firm downtown. Virginia is excited to be back home and to be teaching dance as a long term substitute at her favorite studio!

Get in touch to learn more!