Dance Educator, Choreographer, Company Artistic Director and Studio Owner
Jamie Roumayah is a dance educator, choreographer, and business owner from the metro Detroit area, MI. She relocated to the Charlotte region of North Carolina in 2016 but spent the previous 14 years in educating dancers and teachers in Charleston, WV. She began her career in dance education in 1988 and received her ballet, tap, and jazz certification in 1992 through Dance Masters of America. Jamie is currently a member of Carolina Dance Masters and a past member of Dance Masters of the Blue Grass, Dance Masters of Michigan, and Dance West Virginia. She was a studio owner in Michigan from 1997 to 2003 before she moved to Charleston, West Virginia. Jamie is a teacher of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, musical theater, contemporary and various specialty classes. She teaches tots through advanced level classes and is versatile enough to teach recreational and pre-professional dancers. She thoroughly enjoys the full educational experience of starting young dancers as beginners and watching them blossom through their years of training into seasoned dancers. She has been involved in many collaborative projects choreographically. Jamie takes a special interest in using her art in raising money for various women and children charities, having raised over $35,000 for Make-A-Wish Foundation, $10,000 for Children's Home Society of WV, and most recently raising donations for The Hope House Foundation. Her most recent interest is being the Owner of Dance Élan Dance Academy and Artistic Director to the youth contemporary company, DECYC, and its premier performance of "The Glasswinged Butterfly."
Resident Dance Educator
and Competition Choreographer
Jessy Arroyo is a dance teacher, mother of four and DIY enthusiast living in the Denver area of North Carolina. She is originally from Rhode Island where she first found her passion for dance. Miss Jessy was a competitive dancer as a child. Once she realized her passion for dance as a young child, she spent her years competing and learning from every teacher she could find. Jessy is a teacher of jazz, musical theater, contemporary, acro and tumbling. Jessy went onto the University of Rhode Island where she majored in oceanography and minored in dance. She has always had a passion for teaching and loves to work with children. Jessy wants to pass on her love for the art of dancing with anyone who wants to learn.
Resident Dance Educator, Competition Choreographer and Photographer
Raine Anderson is a dance teacher and photographer. She was born in Detroit, raised in Charleston, and currently lives in the Lake Norman area of North Carolina. Raine has been trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern and Pointe dancing. She is a former company member of JADCO Contemporary Dance Company in Charleston, WV. She was the recipient of a scholarship to the Motor City Tap Festival 2017 & 2018. Raine currently teaches dance for Danse Élan Dance Academy. She has assisted and interned as a dance instructor under the direction of Jamie Roumayah for years and is excited to be a staff member employing her own ideas and talents. She recently passed her examinations in Tap, Jazz and Modern dance and is now a certified member of Carolina Dance Masters. Being a multi-talented young woman, Raine is also a photographer featuring photography in nature, industry, architecture, and dance and has a special interest in construction and design for Disaster Relief work.
MARY KATHERINE CONAWAY
Resident Dance Educator and Choreographer
Mary Katherine has had a love of dance since early childhood. She has dedicated her life to the art form in countless ways, and seeks to add more opportunities to enrich the lives of others through dance. She originally found joy in the practice and performance of ballet under the tutelage of Joyce Triche, a Dance Masters of America certified teacher. She then came to love jazz, modern, and contemporary dance as each style was introduced to her. She pursued a degree in Dance Studies at Salem College where she grew to appreciate the importance of dance education through the lens of a variety of cultures and experiences. While pursuing her dual degrees in Dance Studies and Business Administration, she was given opportunities to learn from and work with numerous prestigious artists; Helen Simoneau, Renay Aumiller, 10 Hairy Legs, and Zvi Dance to name a few. Since graduating cum laude, she has been enriching the lives of students and looks forward to the opportunity to perform and create with Charlotte Dance Company in Charlotte, NC. In her personal time, Mary Katherine loves to share her homemade baked goods with friends and family, pet any dog she sees, snuggle her cats, and try desperately to keep her houseplants alive.
Resident Dance Educator and Choreographer
Julia Alewine is originally from Rock Hill, South Carolina where she started her dance career at Champions Gymnastics at the age of two. Starting in acrobatics and gymnastics, Julia started training at both Champions Gymnastics as well as Palmetto Dance Productions where she studied jazz, lyrical, tap, hip hop and ballet. Julia was also a member of the Rock Hill High School Marching Band color guard as well as The District winter color guard where she was a soloist and finalist in the 2017 WGI World Championships. Julia began teaching acrobatics and tumbling at Palmetto Dance Productions at the age of 17 and soon became the competition company coach teaching students of all ages. Julia is in her second season at DEDA and has recently passed her acrobatic certification through Carolina Dance Masters, well on her way to becoming a certified member of Carolina Dance Masters. Although she loves performing, teaching and helping students grow in their talents is what makes Julia love dance.
A native of Denver, Celeste trained at Charlotte Ballet Academy, and subsequently spent four years in their Pre-Professional program—two years as a Senior Trainee. After graduation Celeste joined Nashville Ballet II, where she quickly became part of the Community Engagement program and performed with the main company in a number of productions. Celeste is happy to be joining Nashville Ballet’s main company as an Apprentice in the upcoming season. She has performed works by George Balanchine, Paul Vasterling, Nick Mullikin, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, Peter Chu, Colby Damon, and Mark Diamond.
Natasha Curtis - Owner of Nirvana Dance, LLC, Fort Mill, SC
"I can’t begin to say enough about Jamie! I’ve owned my studio for the past 7 years and I have been a dance educator for the past 16. I have had the pleasure of working with many artists and educators in different venues throughout my dance and teaching career.
Jamie is one of the finest dance educators that I have had the pleasure of working with! Not only is she knowledgeable about her craft, she understands how to effectively share that knowledge with her students. Jamie is a master at getting her students to not only understand the “how” of a skill, but more importantly the “why” behind the skill.
Jamie’s upbeat approach engages her students both physically and mentally. I watched my students grow so much in just one master class with Jamie! They truly internalized what she taught them, and have begun to apply some of the new skills they’ve gained from her class in other areas of their training. It’s such a beautiful thing to see!
Not only did my students learn from Jamie, but I also learned as an educator. She has taught
me how to be a more effective dance educator. It’s wonderful to teach our students new skills and improve their technique so that they become beautiful dancers, but it’s wonderful to be able to bring them to a new level of understanding by teaching them why! Jamie has helped me embrace how to teach the why!
I look forward to working with Jamie much more in the future. She is a rich asset to any studio or dance student!"
Administrative Staff Member
Kassidy Rhodes is the newest member of DEDA's faculty and is working as an administrative faculty member. She was born and raised right here in Lincoln County. Kassidy attended East Lincoln High School and went on to study Elementary Education at UNC Charlotte. In 2019, sh graduated and has been teaching ever since! As a former cheerleader and current “dance aunt” to her nieces, she has always had a passion for performing arts. We are so excited to have her working with us at DEDA.
Guest Faculty & Choreographer
Sharlie Duncan is originally from London, England where she trained at the prestigious Elmhurst Ballet School from age 11 before continuing her studies in Musical theater at Millennium Dance where she graduated in 2006. Sharlie is a professional dancer and has toured extensively in Europe, Asia and the United States. Sharlie has performed in a diverse collection of shows, including the international tour of Fame, The Royal Opera's La Traviata and Cinderella in both London and Japan. Sharlie also performed and toured with the company Spirit Of The Dance for 5 years, performing many of their shows worldwide. Other credits include The Carolina Opry, Martha Connerton’s Kinetic Works and most recently performing with Sarah Council Dance projects here in NC. Sharlie now resides in NC, where she continues to perform, teach and choreograph.