Having grown up as a soloist for the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet, Mrs. Quist has been ORCBA's Artistic Director since 1997. She studied under many talented teachers and directors, including Anna Marie Holmes, David Holmes, Suzanne Skeel, Steve McBride, Leslie Swazee, Christian Adams, Jill Hollingsworth, Bruce Alan Ewing, Bill Martin-Viscount, and Southwest Ballet Center. Mrs. Quist holds a B.A. from the University of South Alabama (where she attended on scholarship), and a M.S. from the University of Tennessee. She was a dancer on the University of South Alabama Dance Team. Mrs. Quist is the owner and director of The Dance Centre of Knoxville and Oak Ridge. Her dancers have received many awards over the years in both regional and national competitions. Mrs. Quist resides in Knoxville with her husband, Knoxville attorney Brian Quist, and their three children Katrina, Andy, and Alex.
Buff is a native of Bristol, TN. She studied various types of dance under the direction of Tina Henley at Henley Dance Studio in Kingsport, TN. Additionally, she trained with professional choreographers such as John Crutchman, Allen Sheffield, Doug Caldwell and Joe Tremaine. Buff was a member of the University of Tennessee Dance Team and graduated with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She first began teaching at the Dance Centre of Knoxville in 1998 and transitioned to the Oak Ridge location in 2017. Currently, she resides in Knoxville with her husband Wes and sons Campbell and Coleman. She specializes in jazz, lyrical, hip hop and tap.
Eric Lindemer was born in Oak Ridge, and began his dance training with Dance Arts Studio and the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet. His first role was as the Nutcracker Doll in The Nutcracker. He attended summer programs at the Boston Ballet and the School of American Ballet in New York City, and was invited to attend the School of American Ballet as a full time student on scholarship at the age of fifteen. After four years at SAB, Mikhail Baryshnikov offered him a contract with American Ballet Theatre. In addition to ABT, Mr. Lindemer performed with Boston Ballet, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, Northern Ballet Theater, and the Suzanne Farrell Ballet at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Principal roles he has danced include Cavalier and Snow King in The Nutcracker, James in Les Sylphides, Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and George Balanchine's neo-classical masterpieces Apollo. He also danced in works by modern choreographers Twyla Tharp, Mark Morris, and Bill T. Jones. Mark Morris chose him to perform the lead dance role in the contemporary opera Nixon In China with the Frankfurt Opera. A teacher for over twenty-five years, Mr. Lindemer has taught ballet and yoga at many dance schools and universities including: The Boston Ballet Center for Dance Education, The Boston Conservatory, Harvard University, Studio Arts for Dancers, and Northern Ballet Theater Center for Dance Education.
Ms. Kandi has been teaching dance for 40 years. She is a certified member of Dance Educators of America. She began her dance training at the age of 6. She has studied with many legends in dance including Gus Giordano, Lea Darwin, Joe Lanteri, and Joe Tremaine. Her dancers have won multiple awards in regional and national competitions. Ms. Kandi was the director of the East Tennessee Dance Ensemble for 20 years. While under her direction, the ensemble studied and performed in New York and Chicago. They also performed at Disney World, Sea World, Universal Studios, as well as with the Royal Caribbean and Carnival cruise lines. Additionally, her dancers have also performed for the Orange, Sugar, and Peach Bowl games. Ms. Kandi's love of dance and music will shine through as she teaches her students to dance from their heart.
KATRINA QUIST ROUSE
Katrina was born and raised in her mother's dance studio in Knoxville, TN. As her love for dance started at the age of 3 years old, she has experienced much in her dance career. She is a long time member of the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet Company and the Assistant Artistic Director alongside her mother. She began teaching dance when she was in high school, at the same time she was a member of the Farragut Varsity Dance Team. Her 11th year in school, her team placed 6th in the nation in jazz at the UDA National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, FL. She was Knoxville's Junior Miss 2008 and went on to win the physical fitness and talent categories at the Tennessee Junior Miss Pageant. She is a Family Nurse Practitioner and is married to her husband, Preston. She fortunately still has time to teach lyrical, contemporary, jazz and technique to the advanced and elite dance groups at the Dance Centre.
Jared has studied dance under the direction of many talented teachers and directors. Most people identify Jared with Hip Hop, but he also entertains audiences through other styles of dance such as Tap, Modern, Ballet, and Ballroom. Jared has brought many favorite characters to the ORCBA stage. These have included the Baker from Into the Woods, the Beast in Beauty and the Beast, the Prince, the Guvnor, the Cavalier, and the Mouse King in Nutcracker, Kristoff in Frozen, an Officer of the Court in the Emperor’s New Clothes, and many other roles. Besides dance, Jared has acted in roles for locally and nationally produced films and television shows that air on cable networks such as the Investigation Discovery Channel and Oxygen. In January 2016 Jared traveled to LA for the IMTA Dance and Acting Competition. After competing (with the flu) in front of 100 plus judges and over 1200-member audience, Jared brought home the Medal. During the competition Jared gain national representation. He is also represented locally. In June 2018, Jared became one of two dancers to tour with Chris Blue, Season 12, winner of the Voice. This has given him not only the opportunity to dance in front of 85,000 people at Neyland stadium during UT’s half time show, but to also perform nationally and internationally beginning in Cabos San Lucas, Mexico. He is also a member of the Southern Sole Dance Crew. Jared earned an AAS from Pellissippi State Community College in Media Technologies with concentration in Video Production. Presently he is pursuing a BA in Theology with a minor in Biblical Studies from Liberty University and a degree in Audio Production Engineering.
Jessica Magers-Rankin is an award-winning actor (Northern California’s Shellie Award: Best Supporting Actress in a Musical) originally from the San Francisco Bay Area with over 25 years of theater training and experience. Having worked and studied in NYC (American Musical and Dramatic Academy) as well as the San Francisco Bay Area, Ms. Magers-Rankin is very happy to now call Knoxville home. In addition to teaching theatre & choir at Knoxville Catholic High School, she has taught theatre classes and directed youth theatre programs throughout the Knoxville area. Musical Theatre is her passion and she is very excited to share her love of musical theatre dance! East Tennessee audiences may have seen her as Betty Jean in The Marvelous Wonderettes (Oak Ridge Playhouse), Susan in [title of show], Izzy in Rabbit Hole (Theatre Knoxville Downtown), Joy in Rogers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Miss Hannigan in Annie and Tracy Turnblad in Hairspray! (Oak Ridge Playhouse), and as Cathy in The Last Five Years (Caritas Players).
Courtney has been dancing for 18 years, beginning her studies at the Center for Dance Education in New Jersey under the tutelage of Evy Zavolas, Christina Manousos, Lisa Peluso, and Jennifer Innis. Moving to Knoxville she’s trained under Lisa Hall McKee, Laura Shields, Denise Njuguna, Keisha Lalama, Svetlana Novodran, Girard Holt, Peter LeBreton Merz, Cynthia Ridler, Christopher Mohnani, Greg & Laurie Merriman, among others, & attended various dance intensives, including TN Governor's School for the Arts. She began dancing with ORCBA in 2007 performing roles in Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker (Clara) & Firebird (Princess Vasilia). As a member of GO! Contemporary Dance Works she‘s performed lead roles in The Barbarosa, Persephone, Alice, Unsung Heroes: The Women of World War II, Runaway, among others. She is a classically trained soprano & advocate for the arts in her community; and has performed with the Oak Ridge Playhouse in Hairspray, The Music Man, &1776. After studying Classical Ballet at Point Park University's Conservatory of Performing Arts, she’s currently working towards her degree at Pellissippi State Community College and teaching at Dance Centre of Oak Ridge and Artists in Motion. Courtney has trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, Horton, modern, tap, flamenco, swordfighting, African drumming, folk dance, etc.
Brooke Rayburn began dancing in 1993 at The Dance Centre of Knoxville. She was part of the competition team from 1995 until 2009 dancing various forms of dance such as jazz, tap, lyrical/contemporary, and ballet. She began dancing with ORCBA at the age of 14. Brooke has danced a variety of roles with ORCBA including Arabian Princess, Snow Crystal, and Spanish Soloist in the Nutcracker, Cinderella and Summer Fairy in Cinderella, Ruby Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, among many others. Brooke help start the dance teams at Central High School(1998) and Powell Middle school (2001) and still helps with annual tryouts. Brooke currently works from home with an anti-aging company and is passionate in helping other be the best version of themselves through fitness, nutrition, and personal development. Brooke and her husband, Jody, are parents to two children, Georgia and Brody, and live in Hardin Valley.
Grace Powers is a 2019 Graduate of Grace Christian Academy and will be studying elementary education at Pellissippi State and Tennessee Tech. She studies ballet, lyrical and jazz at The Dance Centre and has taught young dancers at ORCBA’s Summer Dance Camp the past three years. Grace performed the role of "Clara" in ORCBA’s production of The Nutcracker and "Rapunzel" in Into The Woods. Most recently, she danced the role of "Big Swan" in Swan Lake and "The Bluebird" in Peter and the Wolf. Grace has an interest in photography and has won several local and state awards for her works, many of which have a ballet theme. Her photograph, “Pointe Shoes” was the winner of MTSU’s Blue Spark Award, Tennessee’s only statewide award dedicated to high school media arts.
Allison Myers is a Oak Ridge High School sophomore and has been dancing for 13 years now. Her first dance performance was The Nutcracker with the Oak Ridge Civic Ballet, and she's been performing ever since. Allison enjoys hip-hop, jazz, ballet, musical theater, lyrical, tap, and is on the senior competition team. Allison is excited to start off this years round of classes.
China began dancing at the age of 4. She has studied Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary and Modern Dance. Ms. China studied under Kandi Copeland for many years and continued her studies at the Knoxville School of Performing Arts. She is a former member of the East Tennessee Dance Ensemble. She continued her studies by attending master classes with Joe Treamine, Marcea, Linda Retter and more. Ms. China is currently the Assistant Teacher to Ms. Kandi at the Dance Centre of Oak Ridge.
ELIZABETH WINGO SMITH
Elizabeth Wingo Smith, is a passionate Tumbling Instructor who also happens to be the mother of two handsome teenage boys. She and her family have lived in Oak Ridge since 2012. She has taught Tumbling and Gymnastics for the past 11 years. Prior to becoming an Instructor she was a skilled gymnast, earning the opportunity to represent the state of Tennessee in a Regional Championship, in which she medaled in the All-Around. Her dreams as a child were to be a Mother and to teach Gymnastics. She is living both her dreams. “Every child learns at a different pace. It is my job as a coach to give each one of my students the patience, the confidence, the support, the encouragement, that they need to feel successful. ” “Be Your Best You” – E. Smith
After retiring early from a twenty-seven-year career in Human Resources, Mylissa considers “taking care of herself” her full-time job now. She received a B. S. degree in Business (Organizational Management) in 1998 and enjoyed her years at Oak Ridge National Laboratory where she led management and leadership development, employee engagement and diversity initiatives. She has been dancing with Metastatic Breast Cancer for 20+ years and attributes her long-term survival to taking care of herself not just physically, but also mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. The Nia Technique, which incorporates energies and movements from Martial Arts, Dance Arts, and Healing Arts, integrates many of the practices Mylissa has been involved in over the years to complement her medical treatment and manage the related side-effects. These practices include cardio and strength training, yoga, martial arts (Soo Bakh Do), Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), massage and various health-based and emotional support groups. She is also a student of “Healing Touch” and “Sacred Circle Dance”. The joy of movement, music and magic and the sense of belonging and support Mylissa receives from the Nia community help her thrive rather than simply survive. Mylissa has been “dancing through life” with Nia since 2012 leading 2 classes per week at Aspen Health and Healing Center and The Dance Centre of Oak Ridge. She completed extensive training from the international Nia organization receiving certifications to teach both “The Nia Technique” and “Moving to Heal”. Mylissa’s classes are fun, spirited and soulful. She encourages students to love and honor their unique bodies regardless of abilities or experience. All classes are donation-based because Mylissa is committed to her own self-healing and has a passion to share the benefits of “dancing through life” with others.