About Us

CHRISTINA BURRESS

FOUNDER AND SENIOR DANCE INSTRUCTOR OF A STEP ABOVE DANCE COMPANY

            Christina Burress began showing passion for dance as early as a toddler. Her parents share countless stories of Christina or “Christy’s” amazing ability to move rhythmically since she could stand.  She has always had an intense passion for the fine art of dance and even began planning her own dance studio at the tender age of 8.

Christy Burress began formal dance training at the age of three.  She was carefully developed by Cincinnati’s finest, Rita Goldhoff.  Christy was extremely fortunate to study under Ms. Rita for several years before she retired.   In 2008, Ms. Rita passed away leaving a lasting impression on Christy.  After Ms. Goldhoff’s retirement, Christy continued training at other Cincinnati studios in ballet and tap; later adding, jazz, pointe, hip hop, lyrical, and Broadway jazz.  When Christy was 16, she began competing in tap, jazz, and Broadway jazz.  During three short years of competition, she earned 20 first place awards and numerous overall awards.

After only one year at a new studio, Christy proved to possess such a gift for the art of dance that she was offered an internship at the early age of seventeen.  With only six months of delicate, yet intricate, mentorship the owner found her exceptionally talented and mature enough to conduct unsupervised classes.  The opportunity created many open doors for her career.  Christy was also selected over many prospects, to oversee, instruct, and facilitate the prestigious dance program of St John the Baptist Catholic Elementary School in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Due to her incredible talent and expertise, the program’s student participation increased by fifty percent!

During the first year of teaching Christy soon developed several award winning competition teams, as well as, choreographing numerous award winning routines.  That same year, she formed a tap trio that not only earned first place in their division, but also the Top Overall award for the 12 and under category.  It was evident that she was born to not only dance, but to empower other dancers.

After only a few short years as a dance teacher, one of Christy’s dancers auditioned, and was accepted, into the Cincinnati Ballet.  Christy had the privilege of seeing her perform in the Cincinnati Ballet’s production of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker.

As Christy’s career flourished in Ohio, she found and married Technical Sergeant Joseph Burress.  After having the first of their two daughters, she placed her career on hold in order to support her military husband in his Air Force Career.  Shortly after moving to Utah, Christy was able to resume her teaching career until her second pregnancy was jeopardized and she made the decision to once again place her career on hold.  As the dream of establishing a dance studio consumed her, she pursued and conquered a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.  She graduated from Troy University with honors.  All the while she felt something was missing from her life but couldn’t figure out what it was.  “Once dance gets into your soul it becomes who you are and if you can’t release that creativity it’s like taking a fish out of water, you just flap around trying to find your way home.”  It wasn’t until Christy opened A Step Above Dance Company in September of 2011 that she finally realized what had been missing from her life for all those years.  “You can take the dancer out of dance, but you can’t take the dance out of the dancer.”

Christy and Joseph have been happily married for twenty years.  They now reside in Hawkinsville, Georgia where Christy finally realized her dream, A Step Above Dance Company.

ELIZABETH WOODFIN

INSTRUCTOR

Elizabeth started dancing at the age of eight, although she loved to dance long before formal training started. She began taking dance classes in 2003 and attended various studios, throughout high school. In addition to dance, Elizabeth had a passionate love for the Lord. She became a Christian at the age of 12 and knew that her life was meant to honor and glorify God. And she knew that his plan for her life just had to include dance.

Even while in high school, Elizabeth knew that she wanted to teach dance. So after graduation, she attended Valdosta State University, first as a Dance minor, but later deciding that in order to realize her dream she would have to commit, and switched her major over to Dance. She spent four years studying the art form that she had loved from an early age, and while studying she gained valuable experience teaching at A Time to Dance Performing Arts Company. There she learned not only how to teach a dance class but how to share the love of Jesus Christ while teaching a dance class.

Elizabeth graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Dance in May of 2016. Since then she has continued to teach, gaining experience, so she can continue to grow in the Art form that God has called her to. “I look forward to all that I am going to learn while working at A Step Above Dance Company.  I know that God is going to use this studio in amazing ways, and I can’t wait to see what he has planned.”

ALESSANDRA BURRESS

OFFICE MANAGER/INSTRUCTOR

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio; Alessandra (Ali) began showing interest in dance as early as in her mother’s womb when she would kick obsessively during her mother’s classes (especially tap). She started taking dance classes at the age of 3 in Ogden, Utah. As a toddler, she showed interest in dance by watching videos of her mother’s students performing, and she would learn the dances as well. Ali would perform them in the living room for her mom and dad.

Growing up in a military family meant she had to move a lot. Ali has lived in Ohio, California, Indiana, Utah, Florida, Alaska, and currently in Georgia.  She has danced at many different studios throughout those states. She has experience teaching many different ages and styles of dance. She enjoys teaching tap, ballet, jazz, musical theatre, and acrobatics to students of all ages!

Ali currently holds an honors graduate diploma from Perry High School, where she was very involved with AFJROTC and Beta Club. She graduated with a GPA of 3.7 and 85th in her class of 300 in 2017.

Ali enjoys being the daughter of a dance teacher very much. It has given her many opportunities and opened many windows in her life that she never would’ve thought possible. She has had the chance to meet many people, including ASADC’s amazing staff! She loves traveling wherever the studio takes her. Working for the studio means she gets to go many new places she never thought she could go.  She is excited for what the future holds for her, but for now she is happy in Georgia with A Step Above Dance Company!

KAILEY BURRESS

INSTRUCTOR

Being a daughter to a dance mom, Kailey started her journey into dance through gymnastics at the age of 2 in Florida. After her and her family moved to Alaska at the age of 3, she stepped into the world of ballet. Although her dance career began with ballet, she soon fell in love with all forms and styles of dance. This included contemporary, musical theater, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, and acrobatics.

Kailey first began competition dancing at the age of 9. The first competition she ever participated in she placed 1st overall with a high gold. Since then, Kailey has achieved countless awards at competitions. One of those awards being her first choreography award at the age of 16. She has been chosen to be a Star Performer at national level competitions multiple times and has been selected to receive private lessons from a judge. Through her dedication to dance, she has won scholarships through her hard work at competitions.

She has also worked with Kaelyn Gray, a well-known choreographer who is the owner of Bring Tap to the People.

As Kailey has gotten older, she has shown more interest in choreographing routines. Kailey has been an assistant dance teacher since 2018 and has helped choreograph many top overall scoring routines for A Step Above Dance Co.. She currently teaches acrobatics, lyrical, jazz, and contemporary.

After three years of homeschooling, she decided to go back to public school where she graduated with honors, a year early, at Perry High School. Outside from dance, you can probably find Kailey still using her artistic brain with painting and drawing. Her art can be found even at ASADC (outside on the building!)

Kailey hopes to continue teaching and choreographing for ASADC for many years to come.

Nicki headshotNICKI LEDDY

INSTRUCTOR

Nicki started dancing at the age of three in Jacksonville, Florida where she was born and raised. She began taking classes in tap and ballet and by the time she graduated high school she had studied even more styles including pointe, jazz, lyrical, modern, acrobatics and musical theater.  As well as taking recreational classes Nicki was also on her studio’s performing and competition team.  During that time she competed and performed all over the states of Florida and Georgia and collected numerous high titles and awards.  She has also performed with the First Coast Nutcracker and had many dance leads in musicals throughout high school.

Nicki started apprentice teaching at her studio at the age of thirteen. By fifteen she was teaching her own classes and coaching competition teams. She has taught tap, ballet, jazz, acrobatics and lyrical classes but her passion is tap! Nicki has even taken a workshop with the late Al Gilbert, who is her tap inspiration.

Due to the military Nicki had to leave her hometown of Jacksonville but she has been involved with dance companies everywhere she has lived. She taught jazz classes at Methods of Movement, a studio in Idaho that has been opened over 40 years and ran the dance program at the Dover Air Force Base Youth Center in Delaware. Now, thanks to Christy and A Step Above Dance Company, she can continue sharing her love, knowledge and passion for dance with children in the middle Georgia area!

KassidyKASSIDY WHEELIS

INSTRUCTOR

Kassidy grew up in Odum, GA and graduated from Wayne County High School in 2018. Being a dance teacher has always been Kassidy’s dream job, so two weeks after she graduated high school, she went straight into college to pursue her dream. She is currently a senior at Valdosta State University studying as a dance major. She plans to graduate in December 2021 with her BFA in Dance/Performing Arts. While attending Valdosta State she has studied under Sarah Arnett, Melissa Pihos, and Nina Kossler. Kassidy has put her heart and soul into her work and hopes to find a dance home where she will forever share her love and passion for dance with the students.

Growing up, Kassidy started dancing at the age of two years old with regular dance classes at Angelique’s Studio of Performing Arts. After a few years she started competitive dance at the age of four. While at Angelique’s she studied mainly Jazz, Ballet, Acro, and some Tap. During this time her favorite style of dance was Jazz, and she won many awards. For two years she did competitive dance and cheerleading. After doing those sports through her middle school years she later had a change in direction when she started high school.

The summer before she started high school, she made the decision to move studios and start at Encore Allstars in Baxley, GA. While attending Encore, she learned more about herself and what she was capable of than she did her last twelve years of dancing. While at Encore she studied Jazz, Tap, Ballet, some Hip-Hop, and Contemporary. Even though she only studied at Encore for four years, she learned more than she ever has before and found a new love for dance every year. Each year at that studio she did a new solo, and it was a new style of dance every time. At every competition she performed at she received platinum and overall placements. Encore Allstars gave Kassidy a new outlook on Dance and showed her things she was capable of, when she thought she was not.

Once she graduated from high school, she started college and learned more about the founders and instructors of dance in the past and how dance has grown to what it is today. While in college she has studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Ballroom, Contemporary, Modern, and many other classes. Also in college she has traveled and worked with Fusion National Dance Competition going on three years now. While working with Fusion she has sold merchandise, worked at the awards table, and gave out awards. As she comes to the end of her college, she wants to find a dance teaching job. “As I started looking for a dance job, I started to lose hope until I received a call with an opportunity I have prayed for. I am beyond excited to start at A Step Above Dance Company and see where the Lord takes me in this new journey.”

 

 

 

6 Responses to About Us

  1. Zaria Edmond says:

    hello my name is zaria and my 16th birthday is in 5 more months and i have a group of my friends i want to do a surprise dance with and i have no idea how to come up with a dance, i know my songs i just don’t know how to come up with the dance if u could help me and give me information that would be helpful thanks have a nice day 🙂

  2. Cozetta Chase says:

    As a military member, I want to find out if you support troops & offer military discount(s). I’m interested in dance for my daughter as well as myself.

    Thank you,
    Cozetta

    • Hello Cozetta,

      We do support our military and have many military families at our studio. However, you will find our prices are lower than industry standards and multi-dancer discounts are already reflected in our pricing. We also frequently run promotions to help the community and promote dance!

      Thanks
      Christy

  3. Justice stegall says:

    Hey my name is justice ; and I’m interested and getting a dance choreographed for a wedding! Would anyone be will to help me and my future husband get it together?

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