Tori JoLayne Pierce, is a West Virginia University graduate with degrees in Psychology and Dance. A proud West Virginia native from Greenbrier County, she has been dancing since 2010 receiving the bulk of her training from Valley Dance Studio. She has studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary and Tap techniques and enjoys sharing her love of movement through teaching and choreographing. Tori has been an active member of the WVU Dance Program and student choreographer for their concerts. She has taught and choreographed locally and even had the opportunity to teach special needs dance classes in France. Tori is looking forward to continuing her dance training and sharing her passions for the arts to the next generation of young movers and is a firm believer “that everyone is a dancer”.Type your paragraph here.
(STUDIO MANAGER, TEACHER, CHOREOGRAPHER)
Forrest Hershey, a Florida native, began his dance training at age fourteen at various dance studios in the Sarasota area. He holds an A.A. from Valencia College and a B.F.A. from Florida State University, both in dance. He has had the privilege of performing works by Alvin Ailey, Jon Lehrer, David Parsons, Doug Varone, Gerri Houlihan and Tim Glenn. Since graduation, Forrest has been working closely with the American Dance Festival in Durham, NC, as an intern, staff assistant, and, most recently, summer staff member. In August 2015, he joined the West Virginia Dance Company where he is currently a company member. He is thrilled to join the faculty at Valley Dance Studio and share his love of dance to the next generation of movers.
Brittney Fitzgerald, Born in Toronto, Canada, began her training at Joanne Chapman School of Dance, under the direction of Joanne Chapman and Barbara Chonin, National Ballet of Canada. She graduated in 2014, with honors, from Point Park University with a Bachelor of Arts with a concentration in ballet and jazz, under the direction of Susan Stowe. While studying at Point Park, Brittney had the opportunity to perform works by Ron Tassone, Jessica Lang, Terry Marling, Dwight Rhoden, Keisha Lalama, Jill Randolph-Lazzini and many student-choreographed pieces. In 2013, Brittney attended Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's summer intensive. In the summer of 2014, Brittney performed at Jacob’s Pillow with the premiere of Simerson and Company, performing works by Brian Simerson. Brittney currently teaches at The Academy of Arts at Januarys, in Charleston, WV, The Beckley Dance Theatre School, in Beckley, WV and the pre professional program for TWV. She just completed her third season with Theatre West Virginia, as dance captain, performing in “Footloose", "Hatfield's and McCoy's" and choreographing "the Jungle Book". Brittney is currently in her fourth season with the West Virginia Dance Company. Type your paragraph here.
Barbara Yurick is the Director Dance-It! Oak Hill Dance Center in Oak Hill, WV. She has just completed her sixth year serving as Master Teacher of Ballet for The West Virginia Governor’s School for the Arts. She served on the Dance Faculty at West Virginia University in Morgantown, WV for more than 5 years. She guest teaches in studios, arts camps, Artist-In-Residence programs, public and private schools, college, university and community settings throughout WV and as far away as Maine.
Barbara was one of the original members of The West Virginia Dance Company. She performed ballet, jazz, and modern dance, touring the Mid-Atlantic Region under the direction of Toneta Akers-Toler. She performed with Theatre West Virginia at Grandview National Park for several seasons. Barbara taught Modern Dance and was Artist-In-Residence for Mountain State University in Beckley, WV for The Pearl Buck Project. She choreographed and performed pieces created for a centennial celebration based on Pearl Buck’s life and work.
In addition to professional performance and college and studio teaching, Barbara has worked with the education system, developing programs to bring dance and the arts into the schools. She was a Dance consultant for The WV Department of Education’s Elementary Dance Pilot.
She hold a B.S. Degree from WVU, studied dance at North Carolina School of the Arts, received dance scholarships to The Craft of Choreography Conferences SUNY, Brockport, NY and Geneva, NY. She has studied at various professional schools throughout the United States, Canada and France. She has attended The Cecchetti Ballet Conference. Barbara and Sam are scheduled to present at the National Dance Educators Organization Conference in Chicago this fall. She continues to study dance, education and the connections between all of the arts, human growth, development, communication and understanding.
Helen graduated magna cum laude from Concord University in 2003 where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science with a minor in literature. She began her dance education with Virginia Walls of Greenbrier Dance Academy at the age of ten and continued through college. Throughout college, she taught, choreographed and directed Concord Dance Ensemble, a student organized dance program that produced two stage productions yearly. She has participated and performed in the West Virginia Dance Festival since 1993, receiving invaluable training from dance instructors around the country. Helen served as the artistic director and instructor for the Next Step School of Dance since 2007. Helen is also employed as a vet technician for Greenbrier Veterinary Hospital and as a full time mother.
Cate has studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Pointe, Lyrical and Tap techniques for over twenty years. She traveled and competed extensively as a young adult with Tari Jo’s Dance Company of Inwood, WV. She has received national recognition through Dance Masters of America for her hip-hop choreography in Las Vegas, NV. She graduated from West Virginia University in 2008 with degrees in Broadcast News and Dance. During her time at WVU, she was a 4 year West Virginia University Dance Company member and a 3 year Dance Company Choreographer. While at WVU, she received extensive training in Ballet technique with a concentration in the Cecchetti method, Jazz, and Modern techniques with concentrations in Graham, Limon and Horton techniques and Choreography Concepts.
Cate has worked with renowned choreographers such as: Frank Hatchett: Broadway Dance Center, Ginger Cox, Bob Durkin, Teresa Chapman, and Jenny Rocha: Rocha Dance Theatre. She is certified in Zumba Basics 1 and 2 and is a certified Pilates Mat I and II Instructor. She is the Director for the Greenbrier Valley Junior Cotillion Chapter and is a graduate of the prestigious Protocol School of Washington in Washington, D.C. Cate has completed grades 1, 2 and 3 of Dance Masters of America Teachers Training School at University of Buffalo, NY. She hopes to teach many years of classical, creative dance and grow the next generation of healthy, intelligent dancers.