ANGENETTA BETTS [HIP HOP, TAP] started her dancing career at the young age of 3. She has danced at many dance studios in Charlotte County and spent her last 5 years at Elite Fine Arts Academy. During her last 2 years at Elite she was an class assistant and a student teacher. Angenetta has been on many dance companies for a number of years and a competition team for 1 year. Throughout her years she has been able to perform at venues like Universal Studios, Disney World, and varies other places. Now she is a first year student at Florida Gulf Coast University perusing a major in forensic science. She continues to peruse her love for dance by becoming a member of the Elite faculty.
DANI LEIGH BOURKE - Dani has been performing for over 30 years and has been working as a choreographer and teacher for the past 20 years. Dani has studied and performed with The Rhinebeck Dance Centre, Tommy Sternfeld Dance Studio, NYCA, The Neighborhood Playhouse in NYC, Tri Arts, Ruskin School of Acting in Santa Monica, CA, Strut Dance Company in London, England, and The Broadway Dance Center in NYC. Dani has also served as a choreographer and dance instructor for Red Hook High School, Rhinebeck Performing Arts, Port Charlotte Players, Hudson Valley Performing Arts, A Better Place Dance Studio, and Haven Dance. She is looking forward to many years to come at Elite!
MEGAN FERRERO [HIP HOP] Miss Megan was born and raised right here in Port Charlotte and has been dancing since the young age of 4 years old. She received training in multiple genres including tap, jazz, musical theater, and her favorite; hip hop. She is a class of 2013 Port Charlotte High School graduate and attended Southwest Florida College where she received a certificate in Medical Assisting, which she utilized today working alongside physicians in a doctor's office. Her goal as a hip-hop instructor is to bring her dancers out of their shell and to turn them into the best most confident dancers they can be.
RACHEL FERIA [BALLET, CONTEMPORARY, LITTLE ELITE] Ms Rachel’s love of dance began at the age of six with a single ballet class. This love grew into a passion and led her to pursue a degree in dance. She graduated with honors from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a BFA in ballet performance where she was awarded the Melita Ballet Award. Some of her performance experiences include The Nutcracker, Valse Fantaisie, Who Cares?, Western Symphony, Raymonda, Les Sylphides and musicals such as Guys and Dolls and West Side Story. She is happily married and a homeschooling mama of five. Ms Rachel is excited to be back in the studio and to be a part of the Elite Fine Arts Academy!
HUGH FULLER - 5th Degree Black Belt -Moo Duk Kwan [COMBAT MOO DUK KWAN - STREE LETHAL] Hugh Fuller started his Karate training at 8 years of age in his native land of British Honduras (Belize). He added Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, and Boxing when he was14 in Ottawa, Canada. At 17 he added Ji Do Kwan (Korean Karate) to his arsenal. Under the tutelage of undefeated Korean Master and Olympic training coach, Dong Keuen Park, Hugh started to compete. He won fighting competitions all over New York and New Jersey. He even fought at Madison Square Gardens. During his stay in New York he studied Kobokinshikai- Japanese full contact Karate. Hugh also wrestled in college.
Hugh has trained under many world class instructors namely Benny 'The Jet' Urquidez, who was undefeated full contact World Champion in the 1970-80 in Los Angeles. He has also taken numerous Master Classes with legends such as Bong Soo Han (trainer of Vietnam Special forces) in Hapkido. He has had extensive training with Her Majesty's Royal Irish Rangers and in 1995 presented a teaching seminar for Belize's Dragon Unit -an elite police para military fighting force. For 10 years Hugh competed out of Ft Myers, Florida in Moo Duk Kwan where he won such titles as:
4 Time Florida Heavy Weight Champion
2 Time Florida Regional Champion
1981 Silver Medalist in the Pan American Games: Houston, Texas
1987 Competitor and Coach in the Pan American Games: Indianapolis, Indiana
2 Time Grand Champion Tampa Bay Sun Dome Fights
Heavy Weight Champion St Pete Bay Front Center and Houston Astrodome
In his years at J.Lee Tae Kwon Do in Ft Myers, Florida he taught many members of the DEA, FBI, and Ft Myers Police Department. Hugh opened his first Tae Kwon Do School in Pt Charlotte in 1985 where he taught members of the Charlotte County Sheriff's Department and produced many Florida State Champions. He retired from active competition after 2 serious auto accidents, one of which kept him out of the World Championships in Spain and the other the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Because of his injuries he has incorporated Kali Knife Fighting into his extensive repertoire. Kali is a deadly knife art well suited for street survival.
NICOLE HOEBERLING [BALLET, CONTEMPORARY] Nicole has been moving and in love with dance since she was a young girl. She began training at a local studio in Port Charlotte, Fl. as well as Elite Fine Arts Academy. She has received training in a plethora of dance genres such as Jazz, Tap, Musical Theater, Hip Hop, Pointe, and Modern. Beginning high school, Nicole knew that she wanted to take her training a step further, so she auditioned and attended Booker High School’s Visual and Performing Arts program in Sarasota, Fl. It is there that she fell in love with dance even more and decided it would be her life career.
Upon attending college, Nicole started out at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA as a BFA dance student. Circumstances led her back home to the sunshine state and into University of South Florida. Nicole is a recent graduate from USF with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance performance, magna cum laude. While at USF Nicole had the opportunity to perform the work of Andrew Carroll, Michael Foley, Bliss Kohlmyer, Paula Nunez, Andee Scott, and Jeanne Travers. Recently she was selected to perform in guest artist’s work “Echad Mi Yodea”excerpts from Minus 16, choreography by Ohad Naharin and restaged by Yaniv Abraham of Batsheva Dance Company in Tel Aviv, Israel. Nicole’s choreographic work, “Over Again” was selected to perform at the 2014 American College Dance Festival’s southeast conference in Georgia. While at the festival she also had the opportunity to perform Bliss Kohlmyer’s work, “Let go, Let go, Let go” that was selected to perform in the final Gala performance.
Nicole is excited to return to her roots and take the next step into her career as an artist and teacher.
ALEX KONTOS [JAZZ, COMPANY, ACROBATICS, MUSICAL THEATER] Alex Kontos, started her dance training just like every other three year old, but left her big Greek family in her small hometown to train in New York City and Los Angeles. She recently graduated from the dance theatre conservatory program at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy after eighteen months of round the clock training in dance and acting techniques, musical theatre performance, and choreography. Immediately following graduation, she choreographed Charlotte High School’s production of Mary Poppins! She also choreographed Xanadu for CHS in 2012. Alex is currently auditioning for possible performance opportunities around the globe. As a dancer/choreographer, she aspires to work internationally and be a forever learner, experiencing as much as possible along the journey. Alex encourages every young artist to follow their heart and chase their dreams, because nothing is more rewarding than doing what you love every single day. Alex is a former teacher/choreographer for Elite, and she is thrilled to be back this season!
BECKY LIPRIE [PIANO] Becky Liprie graduated Summa Cum Laude from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana, with a degree in Piano Pedagogy. Becky relocated to Florida where she continued to study organ and attended University of South Florida to earn her teacher certification in Music K-12. She taught in Florida public and private schools and owned and operated Liprie Music Conservatory in Pensacola and Music Bug Studio in Louisiana.
In the early 2000’s Becky returned to Louisiana to teach piano and elementary music in her hometown. In 2011, she was awarded Welsh Elementary Teacher of the Year, Jefferson Davis Parish Elementary Teacher of the Year, Region 5 Teacher of the Year, and was a Louisiana State Finalist for Louisiana Elementary Teacher of the Year as a music educator. She was also active in the Community Theater group, A Block Off Broadway, serving as Director of Music for their annual Sounds of Christmas Program. Becky has also served as a church adult and children’s choir director, organist, and music and liturgy director.
When an opportunity arose to return to South Florida in 2012, she and her husband excitedly packed her pianos and moved to Port Charlotte. Becky is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Piano since 1988, and earned her National Permanent Professional Piano Teaching Certificate in 2003. She is currently a member of Music Teachers National Association, Peace River Music Teachers Association, and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
NICOLE MACKENZIE [MUSICAL THEATRE, JAZZ, TAP] “Miss Nikki” comes to us by way of New York City, where she lived the last 10 years. Nicole is a Port Charlotte High School graduate and studied dance from the time she was 5 years old. She attended college at Point Park University, where she majored in Musical Theatre with a minor in Dance. She graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While at Point Park she performed at the American College Theatre Festival XXXIV Showcase at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. as the lead role in that years featured performance “Grand Hotel.” She also gained honorable mention as the Top Performers of the 2001 Theatre Season by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for her role as “Elizaveta Grushinskaya” in the same show. Nicole’s passion for the arts have brought her and her husband Aiden, back to FL in order to cultivate their individual passions, while enjoying the sunshine. Nicole is excited to pass on her wealth of knowledge and experience in the theatre world to the next generation of entertainers.
HEATHER NELSON [BALLET, POINTE]. Heatheris a graduate of the University of Utah Ballet Department, having earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet Instruction and Performance. She has received Associate and Registered Teacher Status of the Royal Academy of Dance, after achieving Distinction on her Advanced II Ballet examination and completing the Certificate in Ballet Teaching Studies Program.
As a Soloist with the San Diego Ballet (2002-06) and as a Featured Dancer and Principal Swing in Don Arden’s Jubilee! at Bally’s Las Vegas (2006-2010), she performed numerous created and repertoire roles.
After dancing professionally for eight years Heather has recently retired to pursue a career teaching, and to spend time with her growing family. She aspires to pass on the love and joy of dance that has been so generously given to her through countless hours of instruction from caring and passionate professionals
LESLIE YOUNG-PINES [CIRCUS/ACRO] Leslie Young-Pines started dancing at the age of three at her mom’s studio in Sarasota, Florida. There she studied ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and acrobatics. Her passion for travel and the circus took her away from Sarasota performing on the road throughout the world and then to Las Vegas. After a seven year stint in Las Vegas, she missed the road and ended up on Ringling Bros circus, and travelling as top halftime act for the NBA. Her credits include, The David Letterman Show, The Jay Leno Show, Regis and Cathy Lee Show, Baby Talk with George Clooney, and special performances for Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Kennedy family in Washington D.C.