Lisa A. Toups
Lisa A. Toups is an experienced and award winning teacher and choreographer. She is certified by Dance Masters of America and her choreography has been featured by the Southeast Regional Ballet Association. She was recognized at the International Dance Festival in Los Angeles, California for her dedication to the art of dance, her unique style of choreography and her promotion of anti-violence through dance. Several of Ms. Toups' students have performed, professionally, with leading dance companies and on Broadway. She has coached students into the finals of the Youth Grand Prix and other technical dance competitions. Whether it is a full scholarship to a dance college or acceptance into a professional company, her students are consistently prepared for any dance endeavor they choose.
Ms. Toups is an adjunct faculty member of Pebblebrook High School of Performing Arts in Cobb County and has been the featured jazz instructor for the Georgia Governor's Honor Program. She serves on the advisory board of the Kennesaw State University Dance Department. Ms. Toups is currently the Artistic Director of the Georgia Metropolitan Dance Theatre and the Director of Georgia Dance Conservatory, both located in Marietta.
~ Earl Reece
Executive Director of The Strand Theatre
Chair of the Education Task Force for the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Ashleigh Whitworth is a Marietta native and began her dance career under the tutorship of Ms. Ruth Mitchell. She spent 13 years studying at Georgia Dance Conservatory, as well as performing as a pre-professional with Ruth Mitchell Dance Theatre. Ashleigh then began her teaching career and at Georgia Dance Conservatory (2003-2007).
Ms. Whitworth attended the University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA) from 2007-2011 under the Presidential Scholarship and Stone Dance Scholarship. Here she worked under the instruction of Zane Booker, Kim Bears-Bailey, Jennifer Binford-Johnson, Curt Hayworth, Brian Sanders, Karen Brown, and Andrew Pap. Ashleigh worked toward her degree with a Choreography Emphasis, debuting 5 original choreographic works and a short film during her college career.
Ashleigh graduated with honors from The University of the Arts in 2011, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Modern Dance Performance and a Minor in Philosophy and Religion. Her work during her college career earned her the following awards from the UArts Department of Dance: the Stella Moore Prize for Four-Year Achievement, Outstanding Performance in Modern Dance, Outstanding Performance in All Dance Styles, and the Choreography Prize. Ashleigh delivered the Valedictory Address to her graduating class at the University of the Arts 133rd Commencement Ceremony and was one of only four students to receive the prestigious President's Award for academic and artistic excellence of the highest order.
Ms. Whitworth's professional performance career includes working with Zane Booker's Smoke, Lilies and Jade Arts Initiative (Philadelphia, PA), as well as DanceSpora Dance Company (Trenton, NJ). Ashleigh most recently worked as Rehearsal Director for UArts in collaboration with Douglas Becker (The Forsythe Project) and Sidra Bell (Sidra Bell Dance NY). Ashleigh also had the honor of staging and dancing in The Forsythe Project, representing the University of the Arts in NYCDA's Destiny Rising performance at the Joyce Theatre, NY. Ms. Whitworth has also taught and choreographed as a freelance artist in and around Philadelphia, PA.