Ms. Holly Roark began her training at the Carolyn Clark School of Dance now Cleveland(TN) City Ballet. In highschool she studied under Karen Smith in her high school’s fine arts program and was a member of the dance group Verve’. During that time she was awarded the Jefferson Award for Dance and studied with members of the Martha Graham Dance Company, José Limon Dance Company, Mark Dendy, and Ann Law. She also received a scholarship and was an apprentice and rehearsal assistant at The Chattanooga Ballet during the summer of 1994 before heading to Appalachian State University. Her diverse training includes Ballet, Modern, Jazz, West African, Hip Hop, African-Brazilian, and many folk dance styles. She has even dabbled in low-flying trapeze dance! She has and continues to study other movement arts such as yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, and Chi-Gong. Ms. Roark received a dance scholarship at ASU, where she studied Psychology and Dance. She holds a master’s degree in community counseling with an emphasis in body-centered and expressive arts therapy. Holly has been a guest dancer for X-Factor Dance Company, Jan Van Dyke Dance Group, independent choreographer Emily Daughtridge, and G.Alex Smith. She was a member of the ASU dance faculty from 2000 to 2016. A former teacher of NWS, Ms. Holly has returned as the owner/director/teacher beginning January 2015. She teaches lower and mid-level contemporary & jazz.
Ms. Stacey Trivett began her dance training in northeastern North Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Dance with minors in Education and Music from Lees-McRae College. She has taught ballet, tap, jazz, clogging and social dance at Mountcastle School of Dance, Lees-McRae College, Crossnore Academy, Avery and Watuaga County Schools, Grandfather Mountain Home for Children and the North Carolina Clogging Association. Mrs. Trivett has participated in musical theatre productions as a dancer, dance captain and assistant choreographer at Gallery Theatre in Ahoskie NC, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre and Blue Ridge Community Theatre. Mrs. Trivett is on the Performing Arts faculty at Lees-McRae College and is the Music Director and Children’s Minister at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church in Banner Elk, NC. Ms. Stacey has taught at NWS for 20+ years. She teaches creative movement, lower & mid-level ballet, and all levels of tap.
Ms. Courtney Cutillo Boccardy grew up in Boone and received her early training at Northwestern Studios where she was a scholarship student and member of the award-winning Starz Competition Team. She is remembered for her performance of the lead in “Cinderella.” She furthered her studies in ballet and modern at North Carolina School of the Arts and was a dance major and scholarship recipient at Meredith College and UNC-Charlotte. Courtney was an apprentice with the North Carolina Dance Theatre where she performed with the company in the “Nutcracker”. She has studied with many teachers and choreographers including Melissa Hayden, Duncan Noble, Vincent Brousseau, Trish Casey, Salvatore Aiello, Dana Fox, Dr. Sherry Shapiro, Richard Kuch, Richard Gain, and most notably Wendy Fletcher. A talented designer, Courtney designs and builds Northwestern Studios’ beautiful ballet sets. She also owns and operates the specialty baking business Delectables. Ms. Courtney has taught at NWS for 15+ years. She teaches mid-level & upper-level ballet, and all levels of pointe.
Ms. Shauna Godwin received her early dance training from her mother, Teresa, at The Dancer’s Corner and at Northwestern Studios. After high school she moved to New York City where she completed the two-year training program at the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre. She taught creative movement around NYC while studying dance at Broadway Dance Center and performing with many New York theatrical companies. Ms. Shauna has choreographed in many capacities including outdoor theatre, theme parks, competitive dance teams, musicals, and more. In addition to teaching dance Shauna is the choreographer/director of the High Country Honeys, the dance team for the High Country Grizzlies professional arena football team. Shauna is a certified personal trainer at Anytime Fitness, a 3rd Generation Authentic Pilates Instructor, an NPC Bikini Competitor, and certified INSANITY® and S.T.R.I.D.E. instructor. She is also a graduate of Appalachian State University with majors in Theatre Performance and Dance Studies. Ms. Shauna has taught at NWS for 10+ years. She teaches upper levels of contemporary, jazz, and hip hop.
Ms. Carolyn Ward (aka Mason) grew up in Boone, NC and received her early training at Northwestern Studios. She competed on the Starz Competition Team and performed as the Lilac Fairy in “Sleeping Beauty” and as the lead in “Cinderella”. Carolyn attended college at UNCG and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. She danced with both her high school dance team and college dance team and performed during the half-time show of the PRO Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2000. While in Hawaii she competed in the National Dance Association college scholarship competition where she placed third. She joined the dance staff with Universal Dance Association and spent three summers teaching high school dance teams at summer camps. Carolyn has trained in many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, clogging and hip hop. She has since returned to Boone where lives with her husband and three sons and has resumed dancing at Northwestern Studios. She has always loved all styles of dance but takes particular delight in jumps, leaps and turns! Ms. Carolyn has taught at NWS for 3 years. She teaches upper level ballet, upper level pointe, and turns & leaps workshops.
Mr. Eric (EC) Fajarado was born in San Diego, CA but grew up in Virginia Beach, VA as a result of a Navy Family. There, he was first exposed to hip-hop and its related urban offshoots through working with KODACHROME and joining Anonymous Urban Dance Crew in 2008. Working to improve his vocabulary and training, he began teaching in 2012. It was then he developed a passion for teaching dance. Having learned from organizations and talent such as collective uTH, Movement Lifestyle, KODACHROME, Boogiezone, Choreo Cookies, and KINJAZ, EC’s style has developed over the past 7 years into an eclectic blend of hip-hop foundation, precision, musicality, footwork, and a focus on individual expression. Versed in styles ranging from popping to house, and having studied ballet, jazz, and modern, his movement is every bit his own. He is a graduate of Appalachian State University as a Dance Studies Major and is married to Beth De Leon, with whom he has a beautiful daughter, Isabella. This is Mr. EC’s 3rd year teaching at NWS. He teaches boys K-3rd grade hip-hop.
Ms. Jana Greer began studying dance at Flagler School of Dance in Florida focusing on ballet, jazz, and tap. During this time she had special appearances with Daytona’s Civic Ballet, and Dance Alive and she spent three summers training with Ballet Magnificat. Upon graduating she continued to study dance at Appalachian State University while pursuing a music degree. After graduation she moved to NYC and taught children at Dance Source Studio in Queens. She now resides in the high country and enjoys watching her children grow at Northwestern as well as working with the youngest group. Jana is a certified Montessori Guide for Birth-3. She is also the Logistic Coordinator for The Land of Oz. Jana enjoys teaching music at a local pre-school and leads a children’s choir within her church. This is Jana’s 2nd year teaching at NWS.
Ms. Kara Flowers is a fourth generation dancer following in her great-grandmother’s, grandmother’s, and mother’s footsteps. She began her dance training at Triangle Youth Ballet in Chapel Hill, NC and then North Carolina Dance Theatre (Charlotte ballet). She also supplemented her studies in festival programs at UNC School of the Arts. Upon graduating high school she attended ASU, studying Communications and Dance. Notable guest artists during her collegiate studies were Jason Piper and Paul Ibey, whom both cast her in dances they set on ASU students. Outside of ballet, modern, and jazz, she has studied ariel silks, African dance, Gyrokinesis, Gyrotonic, pilates, and acroyoga. Post graduation she taught ariel silks while living in Costa Rica. She has returned to Boone and now assists and teaches contemporary dance at Northwestern Studios and nannies during the school year. Kara is also the assistant director at Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Center. This is Kara’s 2nd year teaching at NWS.
CLASS ASSISTANT: Monica Murray started her dance training at the age of four. She first studied at City Ballet in Raleigh NC, and then Holly Springs School of Dance up until her senior year of high school. Over the years, she has focused on her passion in ballet, under the teaching and influence of Denise Carneglia and Jennifer Coleman at her local studio. She has been a part of Carolina Ballet’s Nutcracker for two years, as well as their Summer Intensive for three weeks, receiving training in ballet and pointe from principal company members Margaret Severin-Hansen, Jan Burkhard, and Gabor Kapin. Outside of ballet, she has studied dance history, anatomy, and The Horton Technique (a style of modern dance) from her high school dance teacher Laura Stauderman, who is a former graduate of The School of the Arts in Philadelphia. As a current student at Appalachian State University, she continues her dance studies as a dance minor, and enjoys participating in performances year-round. This is Ms. Monica’s 1st year assisting at NWS.
GUEST TEACHER: Casey Minton’s early training included Northwestern Studios, where she is remembered for her performance of the role of the “Lilac Fairy” inSleeping Beauty. She won the senior division scholarship at Dance Revolution. Ms. Minton went on to perform at dance festivals, theater productions and in NYC with Project Dance. She continued her advanced training in Wilmington, NC in the Apprentice Program at the Glory Academy of Dance Arts, where she taught for eight years. During that time she founded Glory Academy’s performing company, Celebration Dance Company, and directed it for five years. Casey is a frequent, and very popular, guest teacher at Northwestern Studios. Ms. Casey has taught at NWS for 5+ years.
TEACHER EMERITUS, NWS’ FOUNDER, NWS’ PHOTOGRAPHER, AND MULTIMEDIA SPECIALIST: Wendy Fletcher began her training in Birmingham, Alabama where she studied and danced with the Birmingham Civic Ballet Company. She received her High School Diploma in Theatre Arts from Alabama School of Fine Arts and her BFA in Dance Performance on scholarship from Florida State University. She studied and performed extensively at North Carolina School of the Arts and in New York City on full scholarship at Alvin Ailey’s American Dance Center. Ms. Fletcher was the choreographer for Horn In The West outdoor drama and has performed in and choreographed many musical theatre productions. For 13 years prior to founding Northwestern Studios, she was an Assistant Professor of Dance at Appalachian State University. She has also been the dance coach for the two gymnastics teams.