Kim Okie McDonough has owned and directed Dansations for twenty years. She has been teaching and choreographing since 1986. She was the founding member and president of Rutgers Performing Dance Company in New Brunswick, NJ. Her Company won Organization of the Year and President of the Year in 1990-91. This Company is still in existence at Rutgers today. While teaching at Jazz Unlimited and Rutgers University, Kim won regional and national acclaim with many of her dance pieces. Living in New Jersey, Kim had many opportunities to study with many famous dance instructors such as; Carryl Slobotkin, Frank Hatchett, Joe Laniteri, Suzy Miller, Ronen Koresh, Finis Jhung, Bill Hastings, Chet Walker and Countless others.
Kim moved to Jacksonville in 1994 and since that time has taught at Landon Middle School, Lavilla Middle School for the Arts, Fascinatin' Rhythm, FCCJ, Jacksonville University, Georgio's American Dance Center, Theatre Jacksonville and many other dance schools in the area. Some of her accomplishments include Regional Director of Northeast Florida for National Dance Week since 1996, Access Broadway and LADF Choroegraphy Awards, Company Dance's Educator Award in 2002 through 2004.
Since the summer of 2008, Kim has been a Guest teacher for Rios Dance, Guatemala City, Guatemala. other guests appearances include The Dance Consevatory, Phoenix Arizona; Jazz Unlimited, Marlton, New Jersey, and Georgio's American Dance Center. Kim founded Dansations in 1997 and has been going strong ever since. Celebrating it's 21st year, Kim has made a commitment to make dance a memorable experience for all dancers. She has surrounded herself with a highly qualified staff to insure that with every class this commitment is renewed.
Kelly Radcliffe, a native to Pennsylvania, began her professional career while still in high school, performing with such artists as the Mandrell sisters and Dino Kartonakis. Upon completion of high school, Kelly attended Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, where she studied with world-renowned teachers and performed with Alvin ailey's Dance Ensemble. Since receiving her certificate of dance from Alvin Ailey, Kelly has taught and directed at various Universities, Schools and studios throughout Florida, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas. Aside from teaching, Kelly choreographed the theatrical productions "Seven Brides For Seven Brothers" and "Two by Two" for the Cookeville Theatre in Cookeville, TN, and directed The Movement Center's 2003 production "Super....docious!" in Honolulu, HI. Kelly has also performed as a principle dancer in "The Nutcracker AllJazzed Up", "Jesus Christ Superstar", Planet Rock 2000, Dance Fusion Dance Company, Dancer's workshop Dance Company and was a guest artist in FCCJ"s Spring Dance Concert 2000. Kelly has been part of the Dansations staff since 1998. She is a yearly guest artist at LaVilla Middle School of the Arts. Her varied expertise in Tap, Ballet, Modern, Jazz, hip hop and creative dance education makes her an integral part of the studio.
Breanna King began her dance training at the age of 9 at Dansations Performing Arts Center studying the styles of ballet, jazz, modern, tap, and hip hop. Traveling to such places as New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago Breanna has had the great opportunity to reinforce her training and expand her performance opportunities. Breanna continued her dance and artistic education at the University of South Florida in Tampa where she had the opportunity to work with and perform in the works of Jeanne Travers, Andee Scott, and Katurah Robinson as well as visiting artists Sarah Gamblin and Donna Mejia. While in Tampa Breanna was also rehearsal director and choreographer to student organization Relentless Dance inc. Breanna received a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree with honors from the University of South Florida in the spring of 2015. She is thrilled to be back with her dance family in Jacksonville and will continue seeking opportunities to further expand and share her knowledge and passion for the arts.
Starr McKnight trained year-round on full scholarship at the prestigious School of American Ballet, official school of New York City Ballet, and at Kirov Academy of Ballet. He trained on scholarship during the summers at Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Ballet West. He has danced professionally throughout New York, Colorado, and Texas with companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Colorado Ballet. McKnight founded Texas Dance Theatre (TDT), a ballet company, serving as the company’s Artistic/Executive Director, and primary choreographer. With TDT, he choreographed and staged classical and contemporary works, created an outreach program, bringing dance to children in schools throughout Dallas and Fort Worth, and developed a company-affiliated school for young and adult dancers alike.
McKnight is a graduate of Texas Christian University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, and Florida Coastal School of Law, where he received a law degree. He is excited to join Dansations as a ballet instructor!
Linda Surrency grew up in Jacksonville Florida dancing under the direction of Buddy Sherwood.
Linda’s studies include the National Association of Dance and Affiliated Artists (N.A.D.A.A.) , Dance Masters of America, Hollywood Connection, Tremaine, Broadway Dance Center, Dance Makers, Dance Troupe, Dance Caravan, Applause Talent, Celebration Talent, Encore, Jump, Showtime Dance Challenge, Dance Caravan, and Fusion.
She began teaching for The Buddy Sherwood School of Dance in 1976 and the Duval County School Board. She opened the World of Dance in 1979 and operated the studio for 38 years till recently selling it in 2017. Linda studied early childhood education and business at FCCJ and went on to study with Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School & Certified dance education at the University of Buffalo. Linda is the former choreographer of the USFL Jacksonville Bulls Cheerleaders. She is a former member of the Artistic Dance Association, as well as the National Association of Dance and Affiliative Artist. (N.A.D.A.A.) Dansations is thrilled to have Miss Linda!!!
Nicole Willis is starting her second year working for Dansations. She graduated from Florida School of the Arts under Freddick Bratcher and is thankful for the knowledge he has given her from the beginning of her training with him. Nicole's background and her constant positive attitude makes her the perfect fit for this studio. Look for her teaching on Monday and Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings!
Robersy Romero has been dancing for 10 years. She started training at 13 years old in Jacksonville,FL. She has traveled and competed in several conventions including JUMP and Youth American Grand Prix. She has trained in various styles of dance, but has strongest training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Modern, and Contemporary. She has trained under Heather Olschewske, Carlos/Ihaia Miller, Linda Jenkins, Laurie Byrd, Savery Morgan, and Dewitt Cooper. Robersy is a company member for the Cooper Morgan Dance Theatre as well as Paradigm Flux Dance Company. She has been teaching since 2012 and she is very excited to take on her second year at Dansations!
Cathy Finne is a native to Neptune Beach where she attended high school at Fletcher High and graduated at the top of her class. She then attended the college at Jacksonville University where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Dance. While at JU Cathy was awarded such honors as Jazz Dancer of the Year and Choreographer of the year. After graduating college, Cathy moved to Orlando where she was employed at Walt Disney World.
Cathy is certified through Dance Masters of America to teach Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip hop, Tumbling and Musical Theater. She brings over thirty years’ experience to the dance industry, and after receiving training from world renowned choreographers such as Frank Hatchett, Joe Tremaine, Karen Hebert and Gus Giordano, Cathy continues her training during the summers by traveling to New York & Los Angeles to study with the country’s leading dance professionals. Cathy is an award winning dancer and choreographer; she has won numerous awards all over the country. Cathy is proud to join the team of well-rounded dance instructors in a positive, uplifting, family environment as they each nurture the love of dance through each and every student, youngest to oldest, beginner to advanced!
Bethany is very excited to be back teaching dance in her home town! She recently graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. Although her favorite style is hip hop, she has experience with all dance forms, cheerleading, and gymnastics. Since the age of two, she enjoys performing works by renowned choreographers and competing in regional, state, and national competitions. In the past, she has worked with Arthur Duncan, several choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance, and New York's upcoming artists, Jennifer Archibald and Kyle Abraham. Bethany loves sharing her passion for dance with others in a fun, motivating, and supportive environment. Her favorite part of teaching is the ability to watch her students grow and acquire confidence throughout the year.