Lora Davis, is the owner and director of Dance Arts which opened its doors in 1992. Davis received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a Minor in Music from USM, with undergraduate credit from Duke University. She has had the opportunity to study under renowned teachers in modern, jazz, ballet, tap and conditioning. Davis has a wide range or teaching and choreography experience including dance, dance team, theatre, and show choir, both locally and nationally. Her choreography has received several awards in both the dance and show choir venues.
Davis has served as the choreographer for JCJC's Touch of Gold for over 25 years, and has teaching experience at both the college and university level. She currently serves as the instructor/choreographer for South Jones Bravettes dance team, JCJC"s Touch of Gold and Goldrush dance teams. She has had the opportunity to perform with several great artists including Hank Williams, Jr. and the Beach Boys. She continues to study at Broadway Dance Center and under other leading teachers in the industry. Davis has choreographed for several NFL special events, such as National Anthem Productions, Super Bowl pre-game shows, and events with the New Orleans Saints. In addition she has choreographed for the New Orleans HoneyBees and New Orleans Saintsations. Davis formerly served as Game Day Coordinator, Coach and Field Team Director with the New Orleans Saintsations for over 10 years.
Lora continues to travel extensively and attend workshops in order to expand her experiences as teacher/choreographer. At Dance Arts Studio, Davis is the director of the award winning Revolution dance team, and also teaches preschool, mini's and advanced dance curriculums in ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary. She is married to Steve Davis, and they have two children, Bailey and Justin.
| || |
| JESSICA HERNANDEZ|
Jessica Hernandez, from Hattiesburg, MS, has been dancing all her life. Jessica is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography. While at USM, Jessica has been a member of the Repertory Dance Company since 2007. In addition, Jessica was also a member of the Dixie Darlings, where she has had the opportunity to perform at many prestigious events. Jessica has had formal training in ballet, pointe, tap, jazz and hip hop in the Hattiesburg area under Sylvia Henington, Tracy Smith and La Studio Academy of Dance. Jessica also serves as the dance instructor with After School Arts Program in Hattiesburg. She has had the opportunity to choreograph and train the Laurel High School Golden Girls and JCJC's Touch of Gold. Jessica is currently a member of the New Orleans Saintsations.
While at Dance Arts, Jessica will be teaching in the Mini's and Junior Curriculums in ballet, tap, lyrical, and jazz, in addition to being an assistant director and teen choreographer for the competition team, Revolution. Jessica also serves as the director for the Revolutions Stars.
| || |
| SYLVIA HENINGTON|
Sylvia Henington is celebrating fifteen years with Dance Arts. She comes to us from Hattiesburg, where she operated her own studio for over 40 years. She received her ballet training in Birmingham, and continued at the University of Southern Mississippi on a Dixie Darling Scholarship. She has several former students who are currently studying and performing with professional ballet companies.
At Dance Arts, Henington teaches ballet and pointe.
| || |
Erica McMahon has been with Dance Arts for 20 years. McMahon received her dance training from Susan Oberly, a former Rockette, and Jack Jackson while growing up in Indianola, MS. While in high school and college, Erica was active in Showchoir, where she served on staff with Showchoir Camps of America.
While at Dance Arts, Erica has served as teaching assistant, office assistant, and production coordinator for our year end recital. Currently Erica teaches preschool curriculums in ballet, tap and tumbling. She is married to Richard McMahon, and they have two children, Chance and Allie.
| || |
| Bailey Davis|
Bailey Davis began dancing at the age of 2. Bailey currently attends the University of Southern Mississippi where she is pursuing a degree in dance. She is a former New Orleans Saintsation. She is a graduate of South Jones High School where she was captain of the Bravettes Dance Team. While attending Jones Junior College she was the captain of the distinguished Touch of Gold and Goldrush dance teams, where she also served as an assistant choreographer. She is also a member of Revolution Competition Team, and has received several solo awards, and Miss Photogenic titles. Bailey also studies at Broadway Dance Center in NYC. In addition, she has done several performances with the Jr. Saintsations and Saints Halftime Shows. She completed a music video in the summer of 2014 with the Crazy 8's. Bailey plans on pursuing a career in the dance industry. She also does freelance choreography for students and studios in our area.
Here at Dance Arts, Bailey teaches junior classes and is an assistant director with our Revolution dancers.
| || |
Alexis Barbaresi was born and raised in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. She has been dancing since the age of three and is proficient in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, modern, contemporary, and lyrical. She was on a State and Nationally ranked high school dance team for four years, serving as the squad leader her final year. She was also a dancer for the Choctawhatchee High School World Guard for four years, where she was elected movement captain her senior year. Alexis recently graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance Performance And Choreography. She was a Dixie Darling for three years, serving as lieutenant her second year and a member of the Southern Misses Dance Team for four years, serving as the captain her fourth year. Alexis is currently a NFL Cheerleader for the New Orleans Saints for the 2015-2016 season and enjoys teaching dance on a daily basis.
A NOTE FROM OUR DIRECTOR
The staff at Dance Arts strives to offer a quality dance education that enables young girls and boys to practice discipline and self control, and emphasizes the value of setting and attaining goals through hard work and dedication. Our staff has a wide range of experience in teaching, choreographing, performing and production, and we believe it is important for our dancers to excel and have opportunities to explore many achievements in dance. It's a blessing for us as teachers to be able to participate in dance opportunities outside of our local area, but it's more of a blessing to be able to bring back to our students our experiences and knowledge and watch them grow as performers. The discipline of dance reaches far beyond learning dance steps, it matures self-confidence, develops individual personalities and enhances social skills. Dance Arts is very fortunate to have such a talented, educated, and loving staff.
(back to top of page)