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!

Get in touch to learn more!