Jessica began her training in ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She started studying musical theater in high school and college. She attended Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts where she majored in dance studying ballet, modern, tap, jazz, theater, creative movement, and pedagogy. She earned her degree in dance education in 2003. Jessica trained under Jill Silverman, Joan Phelps Palladino, Jean Wenzel, and Nailah Randall' Bellinger. She has been teaching for over 15 years and her choreography has won several entertainment and choreography awards. Jessica opened Legacy Center for the Arts in 2018 with the mission to bring high quality training to her dancers and provide opportunity in a supportive and encouraging environment that nurtures growth. She is a certified instructor by Progressing Ballet Technique.
Alexys began dancing at the age of 10. She trained in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop, lyrical, and Acro. She has studied at The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities, Atlanta Ballet, and University of South Carolina. She has trained under Leanet Martin, Amanda Neikerk, Irina Ushakova, Thomas Shoemaker, and Josée Garant. She also trained under Dale Lam at the Columbia City Jazz Conservatory homeschool program. Alexys was accepted and received a scholarship to AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) college for dance. She started teaching in 2018 and is excited to be bringing innovative choreography and teaching methods to her students. She is a certified instructor by Acrobatic Arts™ and Progressing Ballet Technique.
DIRECTOR OF BALLET
Jolene Parker graduated Cum Laude from Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA in 2004. She received a B.A. in Dance where she studied dance performance, choreography, history, kinesiology, and pedagogy. She also minored in Sociology. During that time, she was a founding member of the university’s National Dance Honor Society, Nu Delta Alpha. She performed as professional dancer with Lake Erie Ballet (PA), Buffalo City Ballet (NY), Ballet Concerto (TX) and Charleston Ballet Theatre (SC). She has also done guest performances for companies in Ohio and Tennessee. In 2007, she received a South Carolina Advanced Fine
Arts Certification in Dance and began teaching at DuBose Middle School in Summerville, SC. She has been teaching there for 13 years and currently teaches dance to over 200 students each year. She co-wrote the Dorchester District Two Dance Curriculum Guide and is the District Dance Representative for the Dorchester
District 2 Teacher Advisory Board. She is also a member of the South Carolina Dance Association and South Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Recently, she received her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique (PBT) for junior, senior, and advanced programs.
Jolene’s early training included dancing competitively while also training with the Buffalo City Ballet. From childhood through her professional performance experience, she had an eclectic ballet background where she trained and performed in French, Vaganova, Cecchetti, and Bournonville ballet styles. She spent summers at the New York State Summer School of the Arts where she trained with New York City Ballet faculty and studied Balanchine technique. Throughout college and her professional career, she had several opportunities to learn and perform Balanchine choreography from members of The George Balanchine Trust. Her teaching style reflects various styles of ballet technique, as well as a strong emphasis on artistry. Jolene has taught classes and summer intensives at many local studios in New York, Tennessee and South Carolina and is excited to be joining the faculty at Legacy Center for the Arts.
Christine Smith is a dancer, choreographer and educator located in Summerville, South Carolina. Trained in classical ballet from a young age, Christine has studied dance at Hilton Head Dance Theatre, Rollings Middle School of the Arts, the South Carolina Governor’s School for Arts and Humanities, the Classical Ballet Centre, and the University of South Carolina. Christine graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Education from the University of South Carolina. She also holds a K-12 South Carolina Teaching
Certificate. While in school, she was an active dancer and choreographer with the University of South Carolina Dance Company. Christine is an avid arts advocate and dance researcher. She has participated in Arts Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and at the SC Statehouse. In 2018, Christine traveled to New York on a grant to research and write a middle school arts integrative curriculum with dance and social studies. Currently, she is a dance educator at Rollings Middle School for the Arts, Lowcountry Youth Dance Academy and Legacy Center for the Arts.
Sarah Bowdoin first began her classical ballet training in Houston, Texas. As a pre-professional, she had the opportunity to tour internationally twice in Austria, Italy, and Germany as a cast member of Young! Tanzsommer. She went on to study dance at The University of Oklahoma, graduating with a BFA in Ballet Performance and a BA in Nonprofit Organizational Studies. Sarah began her professional career with Charlotte Ballet, where she performed choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and worked closely with Mark Diamond and 2014 Kennedy Center Honoree Patricia McBride. She is currently entering her fourth season as a company member with Palmetto City Ballet and the Unbound Ballet Project. She is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and certified in Progressing Ballet Technique.
HIP HOP TEACHER/CHOREOGRAPHER
Born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Daequan developed an early passion for dance and performing. With hard work and dedication, he auditioned and was accepted into Berkeley Center for the Arts. He was able to learn from many teachers, building a solid foundation in dance. while still perfecting his craft, Dequan
choreographed and starred in a commercial for
JC Penny. He competed and won the title of Mr. Dance at Southern Council of Dance Masters in 2017, and competed in Dance Masters of America’s national competition in Anaheim, California. Daequan has won multiple competitions with his choreography. In his 7 plus years in the industry, he is only just getting started.
ROBERT JAMIE MASON
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Robert Jamie Mason is an African American artist born in the Bronx, New York City and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. Robert started dancing at the age of nine years old and continued his studies recreationally over the next couple of years. He then began his rigorous concert dance training his sophomore year in high school at The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities. At the school, Robert studied ballet, modern, and contemporary dance techniques. Successfully completing his artistic goals, he received his High School Scholars Diploma from The South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts and Humanities on May 25th, 2018. Now, he attends The Juilliard School for dance to receive his Bachelor's in Fine Arts degree. Robert is currently a rising Junior.
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE
Frances Wanning discovered her love for the artistry of dance and the expression of movement at the young age of 7. Growing up as a competitive gymnast and dancer under the direction of Suzy Shaw, she was able to hone her craft in a positive, caring environment that she strives to bring to her own teaching today. While dancing competitively, she had the opportunity to train with world renowned teachers and choreographers in all styles of dance. This training has enabled her to bring professional insight and ideas to her own choreography and teaching methods.
Frances began teaching and implementing her own practices with students at the age of 17. While obtaining a degree in Psychology from the College of Charleston, she simultaneously danced for the Robert Ivey Ballet Company. During her 4 seasons with the company, she trained and performed with Michael and Olga Wise, both of whom studied with the Bolshoi Ballet. Frances has worked with a number of dancers across South Carolina, where she has won titles and awards for her choreography. Frances is currently based in Manhattan where she continues to study dance and evolve as an artist. She is thrilled to continue being a part of the Legacy family and looking forward to what this season has in store!