At age 7 Belle found dance, and started practicing tap, ballet, jazz, modern and hip-hop. Early on she gravitated towards tap, loving the rhythm, musicality, and intricacy of the style. In middle school Belle started taking master classes in her home city of Boston, and attended rhythm tap jams regularly. Down the road Belle joined the Boston Tap Company where she was able to broaden her tap vocabulary and be a part of several showcases. She had the incredible opportunity to study tap for 10 days at a festival in Greece, alongside other musicians from all over the world. This experience pushed Belle to improve her improvisation skills, and really use tap as a way to be the percussion that accompanies the music.
Belle continued practicing other styles of dance for several years as a competitive dancer at Charlotte Klein Dance Centers. She loved being an assistant teacher, and treasured the student and teacher bonds created within the community. At Principia College, Belle was a tap teacher and student choreographer for the annual Dance Production. She loved seeing her vision on stage, and helping dancers grow and find their way as tappers. Belle is so excited to join the DT Dance PAC family this fall!
Courtney is proficient in many styles of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, and Musical Theatre. She grew up training under Kathy Wilsey, at Academy of Dance Arts were she was a competitive dancer and a member of the Dallas Repertoire Ballet.
After high school, Courtney decided to further her education in dance and was awarded a talent scholarship from Oklahoma City University, where she studied under the direction of Jo Rowan. While at OCU, she performed as a Pep dancer for the basketball team, was a member of the American Spirit dance company and touring company, performed in “Oklahoma” the musical and danced in the Oklahoma City University Christmas Spectacular featuring the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. In 2005, she graduated with a BPA in Dance Performance. After graduation she danced aboard Holland America Cruise Lines where she also had the opportunity to be an assistant in the Rob Lake Magic Show. Courtney also had the privilege to dance for the Shoji Tabuchi Show and The Andy Williams show in Branson, Missouri. When she returned to Dallas, she continued performing for Eclipse Entertainment.
Courtney has won many choreography,specialty and overall awards at both regional and national level dance competitions. Courtney loves sharing her passion and discipline for dance with all ages of dancers. This year will be Courtney’s 14th year of teaching!
Lacee Fortune is a dancer and choreographer currently based in Los Angeles, CA. She began her dance training at the age of two in Austin, TX. There, she was trained in various styles including jazz, lyrical, modern, contemporary, hip hop, tap, classical ballet, the Cecchetti method, pointe, and even clogging. She continued to compete in these genres for thirteen years, winning multiple regional and national titles. She has worked individually with many renowned choreographers across the country, touring as a teaching assistant with Co. Dance and iHollywood Dance Convention. She was also a professional dancer in Reverence Dance Project, company apprentice for Justin Giles’ SoulEscape Company, back up dancer for Omar “Phoenix”, and the proud founder of Captivate Dance Project. She started her choreography career for competitive dance students at the age of 15. She has since earned over ten choreography awards across the country, including automatic acceptance into the Project Creation Choreography Competition in Orlando, Florida.
Lacee was an instructor and choreographer for several competitive and non-competitive dance studios in the Austin area from 2012-2018. In May 2018, she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Dance and minor in Kinesiology from Texas Tech University. There, she developed her skills as the President of the University Dance Company and a member of Dancers With Soul: Hip Hop Team. Significant works from her college career include, “The Altar Boyz” musical for the Lubbock Community Theatre , the Monterey High School Pop Show [2016, 2017], and her work “Indebted to You” for the Texas Tech University Fall Dance Festival . After graduation, Lacee moved to Los Angeles to further study her individual artistry. Her current mission is to inspire youth to become talented artists that give back to their communities.
Chere Gafney's twirling career began at the age of 8 years old in Crescent, OK. She joined the local twirl and dance studio at the age of 9 where she took ballet, tap, jazz, tumbling, and twirling until graduating from high school.
Chere was a 6 year member of the United States Twirling Association (USTA) registered Orange Blossom Twirl Team under the instruction of Adana Bryant, a former feature twirler for The University of Texas and a USTA judge. She participated in numerous USTA and National Baton Twirling Association (NBTA) twirling competitions and won various awards. Chere has performed locally and statewide at various events and parades. She was the feature twirler for Crescent High School and took private lessons to prepare for solo competitions in one and two baton events for 7 years. Through the years, Chere competed in twirling competitions and pageants winning various individual and team awards. Chere began teaching beginning twirlers at the age of 16 until she graduated high school. Her other activities and interests were head cheerleader, drum major, band member (playing the Flute and French Horn), choir member, and homecoming queen. Chere participated in the Miss Black Oklahoma State University Pageant her sophomore year in college, performing a combination twirl/dance routine for the talent portion of the competition.
Chere started McKinney All Star Twirlers in October 2011 and taught baton twirling at McKinney Dance Academy for 4 years. For 3 years she taught the Pre-Combo classes at MDA as well as the Heart and Sole dance class. This is her 6th year teaching the Cornerstone Dancers.
She is married to Chris Gafney and has two beautiful children, Jordan and Cherra.
Chere is excited to be to be teaching at DT Dance PAC to continue the development of successful and self-confident dancers.
Pamela Wilde (Will-dee) has been dancing professionally for 15 years and teaching for 18 years. She took her first professional class her junior year of high school under the direction of Suzanne Ramirez. From there she was invited to take her first masterclass taught by Max Stone. His masterclass taught her that it’s never too late to seek your passion. Her training background is in ballet, modern, jazz, hip hop and lyrical. Pamela trained under Suzanne Ramirez, Anna Ewert-Pittman, Melissa Johnson, Roger Lee, Sean Jackson, Keith Clark, Keith Green and a host of choreographers from across the states. Her focus is jazz, hip hop, street jazz and liturgical dance. Pamela enjoys staying current in her own development so she is better able to train her students; equipping them for today’s stage.
As a maturing dancer Pamela realizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. In order to support her continuing love of dance, Pamela earned her personal training certification through the Cooper Fitness Center. After obtaining her fitness certification, she worked as a personal trainer, taught group fitness classes, and became a Nike Rockstar instructor for Nike in conjunction with teaching her studio classes. Pamela strives to make fellow aspiring dancers knowledgeable of the healthy ways to stay, not only physically but emotionally, fit in the industry in hopes that they seek a higher quality of life. She incorporates cardiovascular endurance, resistance training, core, and balance techniques in her classes to provide a well-rounded dance training experience.
Pamela, blessed to work in the non-profit sector of the performing arts, reached out to urban youth, providing them with an opportunity they may not have had without the assistance of programs such as Artreach, Junior Players, and Big Thought. She was also selected as a master instructor for the DISD Summer Dance Intensive held at Booker T. Washington High School. This program offers a two-week training opportunity in varying dance genres for youth.
Pamela enjoyed time as a Dallas Desperados Dancer for the Dallas Cowboys Arena Football League. Her credits also include performing for various events such as the BET Soul Train Awards, Avon, American Heart Association, Dallas Hip Hop Dance Festival, Dance Planet, DIFFA, Nordstrom Trend Show featuring Christi Harris Cosmetics, MLS National Soccer Championship for ABC, NHL Season Opening for NBC, The Official NFL Superbowl Party, House of Blues featuring Drake, and eWomen Network. She has also performed for several world-wide company industrial shows such as Home Depot, JCPenny, Navalyst, Nationwide Insurance, and Five Star Conference and Expo. Pamela has experience in music videos both as a performer and choreographer, and has been selected as principal dancer for various projects.
She is currently the Talent Manager for the Dallas Hip Hop Dance Festival, staff member with Legacy Hip Hop Dance Convention, an instructor for Hip Hop Heels, and has moved into movement coaching for artists; strengthening performance skills on and off of the stage. Mrs. Pamela Wilde is newly married and loving time with her husband Christopher James and their fur-baby, Brother Sly, the cat!
Katie began dancing at age four and immediately fell in love! She has trained in all styles including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Musical Theater and Hip Hop. She spent two summers at Ballet Workshop New England as well as one at Slide Tap Intensive in New York City. At her dance studio, she danced the iconic roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy from The Nutcracker, Alice from Alice in Wonderland and Snow White. After graduating from McKinney High School in 2008, Katie moved to Los Angeles to pursue further training at studios such as The Edge and Millennium Dance Complex. She took classes next to multiple dancers from So You Think You Can Dance; Kent Boyd, Matthew Kazmierczak and Audrey Case; from Mandy Moore, Erica Sobol and Nick Lanzisera to name a few.
Her award winning choreography has been recognized by Celebrity, Starquest, Kids Artistic Revue, Talent on Parade and numerous other National Dance Competitions. Not only was she the youngest recipient of Celebrity Dance's CREATE Choreography Award, she was also the only two-time winner! Katie spent a year touring with Celebrity Dance Competitions as the Administrative Assistant to the Director. She traveled all over the country from Arizona to Georgia, and Colorado to Michigan.
She loves sharing her love and passion of dance with dancers young and old. Whether you or your dancer are 2 or 92, Katie would love to teach you all!
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