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!
Originally from Ukraine, Anastasia fell in love with dance at age of 7. Since then, she has studied and performed with various styles of dance such as folk, stage dance, ballet, and lyrical. In 2012, Anastasia obtained her Master’s degree in Choreography and graduated from State Academy of Culture and Arts like a dance artist, choreographer and dance teacher. For 9 years she has been studying and teaching Russian Ballet School, the world-famous Vaganova style. Anastasia practiced dance in Regional Drama and Music Theater in Luhansk, Ukraine and has shared her knowledge and passion to dance with students of various dance schools in Dubai, UAE, as well as showcased choreography for several projects.
If she needed to describe her dance work, the next expression would do it the best,
Dancing is an art.
The floor is my canvas.
And I am the brush.
And whatever I create
Comes from the heart.
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.
Originally from Orange County, CA, Makala Marty moved to Los Angeles in 2015 to pursue a professional career in dance. Growing up as a competitive dancer, she is diverse in many styles of dance including contemporary, jazz funk, hip hop, jazz, ballet, and more. In the beginning of 2016, Makala signed with Go 2 Talent Agency. Since signing, she has appeared in a number of videos and has had the chance to work with some of the industry's top choreographers. Her favorite job to date was representing the United States at Dance2Dance in Zurich, Switzerland under the direction of Jerome Alexander.
After two years in Los Angeles, Makala moved back to her hometown of Orange County to further pursue her passion for teaching and choreographing. She taught at various studios and showcased choreography at high schools across the Southern California area. She also had the opportunity to travel the past few summers, teaching at intensives across Canada and the Austin Texas area.
Makala just recently relocated to the Dallas area. She is excited to continue pursuing her passion of teaching and educating the next generation of dancers. She is really looking forward to starting her first season at DT Dance PAC.
Katie has been dancing since the age of 3. She received her training at Academy of Dance Arts in Allen, TX, where she studied various styles of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, hip hop, and contemporary. Katie was also a member of the Dallas Repertoire Ballet. As a member of the DRB, Katie performed in many Nutcracker productions, as well as being featured in several contemporary productions with choreographers such as DJ Guthrie and Justin Giles. One of Katie’s favorite memories with the DRB was performing in the Young Tanzsommer Stars of Tomorrow tour throughout Austria.
Upon graduating high school, Katie continued her dance studies at Collin College, where she performed with Collin Dance Ensemble. It was at Collin College that Katie was introduced to modern dance. She fell in love with the freedom of modern dance and decided to pursue it as a course of study through her college years. Katie progressed her studies to Point Park University and Texas Christian University, both of which provided amazing opportunities to study under and perform works by world-renowned choreographers, such as Robert Battle and Doug Varone.
After college, Katie performed for three seasons with Muscle Memory Dance Theater, in Dallas, under the direction of Lesley Snelson. Being a part of M2DT was an unforgettable experience that allowed Katie the opportunity to perform and collaborate with other artists in the area, and really expand her creativity in movement. This was also the time that Katie truly fell in love with teaching. She has taught and choreographed locally for several studios and competition teams, and there is nothing that Katie is more passionate about than sharing her love of movement with the next generation of performers.
Katie is a mom to two amazing kids, Jack and Evie, and one crazy fur-baby. They love to keep her on her toes even when she’s out of the studio!
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!