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Burns Dance Studio Staff

VOTED Aiken's Best Dance Studio for 2017 by readers of the Aiken Standard!

Rhoda Burns, Corey Burns, Kristin Allen, Erin Harms, Taylor Shelley
Sorelle Campbell, Stephanie Safford, Morgan Bookstaver, Caroline Miller


Rhoda Burns, Owner

You mention “Rhoda” in Aiken, and everybody knows who you are talking about. In 1982, she began transforming the dance landscape in Aiken to have the only studio offering comprehensive instruction in tap, ballet, and jazz. She began Burns Dance Studio in 1982 after many years of teaching in northern Ohio and central South Carolina. After 7 years with the well-known Freed School of Performing Arts in Sumter, SC, a move to Aiken inspired her to open her own studio. For over 30 years she was director of Burns Dance Studio. Under her leadership the studio has taught thousands of children and been responsible for placing many in dance careers. She has been able to attract high quality instructors for classes and maintain a great reputation among convention, costume, and competition companies. She has instilled the love of dance, discipline, time management and life skills to dancers and parents with her meticulous organization of the recreational classes, basketball halftime-shows, performing company events, and charitable functions that students from the studio participate in each year. She will continue to work with our pre-school students, tap classes, and costumes.
Corey Burns
Corey Burns, Director

Now in his 5nd year full time at the dance studio, Corey brings his high energetic classes to kids of all ages each week. Anchoring the performing company, jazz, hip hop, and strength/agility classes, dancers know they will be in great shape with a solid technical foundation after his class. This year he will be continue choreographing the Halftime Show and overseeing daily operations at the studio. Corey began dancing at age 3 in Sumter, SC and continued his training as he grew up in Aiken. In high school he was the first male jazz company dancer at the nationally known Southern Strutt Dance Studio. In addition to dance, he was active in soccer, basketball, and football here in Aiken. He went on to choreograph and perform on live TV as well as teach and perform at dance conventions all over the United States. He has choreographed for high school and college dance teams, pageants, plays, halftime shows, studio competitions, weddings, banquets, and televised fundraisers. Along with Asst. Athletic Director Angie Osbon, he founded and continues to work with the USC-Aiken Dance Team. He is a Les Mills Certified GRIT Coach and BodyCombat Instructor. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from USC-Aiken and a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from USC. After being a public school teacher, assistant principal and principal, he is now the full time director of operations at the studio. He is married to Kristen with 2 kids: Kayla and Jonathan. His hobbies include watersports, camping, and business related literature.
   
Kristin Allen
Kristin Allen

Kristin Allen is the definition of HIP HOP! She continually creates great choreography for our dancers. Kristin began her dance life as a young child which led her to becoming a member of the USC-Aiken Dance Team. During her time on the dance team, she was a captain and voted MVP by her teammates. Her professionalism, talent, and creativity was quickly noticed by dance team founders Corey Burns and Angie Osbon, and she now continues to work with the Dance Team as an alumni. She graduated from USC-A with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and earned an MBA from American University. She works as a recruitment counselor in the office of admissions. Her fresh ideas and hip-hop choreography have been very popular among the kids. This year she will also be working with the Hip Hop Squad.
Erin Levenson
Erin Levenson Harms

Beginning her 5nd year at BDS, Erin’s talents will be on full display as she teaches Acro, ballet, contemporary, and tap. Erin began dancing as early as she could walk at the well-known Freed School of Performing Arts in Sumter, SC. She participated in the Sumter Civic Ballet and continues her affiliation with the studio today. Upon graduation from high school, she attending USC and earned a degree in Dance Performance and Choreography. She followed that up with a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. While in the dance department, she specialized in contemporary dance and performed the works of Martha Graham. She frequently traveled to New York City to continue her training at Broadway Dance Center and the Martha Graham School. She is on the “Artist in Residence Roster” to teach in SC public schools and holds USA Gymnastics safety certifications. She is married to Jason with one son Henry.
   
Stephanie Safford 
Taylor Shelley

Taylor is a great example of Burns Dance Studio! She can dance in every discipline and will continue to work with our kids this year. Taylor began dancing at an early age at Burns Dance Studio. She was a part of the Burns Dance Studio performing company where she excelled in all areas, but her love is ballet. She traveled to numerous regional and national dance conventions, did a cruise performance, and attended class in New York City as part of the performing company. She has assisted teachers in many areas and will now lead her own classes. She is a graduate of Aiken High School and is enrolled at USC-Aiken. She is an alumni of the Dance Team where she was also a captain
Sorelle Campbell
Sorelle Campbell

Sorelle has grown up in the studio and has demonstrated her ability to choreograph great routines, perform at a high level, and has developed creative talents with hair and make-up for recitals, competitions, and weddings! Sorelle will be working with our young dancers in the pre-school program and teaching jazz classes. She is a graduate of Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology. Sorelle immediately went right to work as a team member Spa Tralé in the Village of Woodside. She will continue in the studio this year as teacher, choreographer, and hair/makeup designer.
   
Morgan Bookstaver
Morgan Bookstaver

Morgan Bookstaver joins us for a third year, where she will be teaching ballet and pointe. She has been teaching and choreographing for 7 years, and is an award-winning dancer with 18 years experience in a wide variety of dance styles, including ballet, pointe, contemporary, lyrical, tap, jazz and hip hop. After representing South Edgefield County as the Class of 2015 Distinguished Young Woman, Morgan has served as the Production Chairman for the Edgefield County DYW Scholarship Program for the past 3 years, where she choreographs all competitive program components. Morgan is a junior Exercise and Sports Science major at USC Aiken, where she is Captain of the USCA Dance Team, a member of the Honors Program, a Pacesetter Orientation Leader, and a Math and Science Tutor. Morgan graduated as Valedictorian of Fox Creek High School’s Class of 2015 and entered USC Aiken in her freshman year academically ranked #1 of over 700 students. Upon graduation, she plans to attain her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from the University of South Carolina and pursue a career in Pediatric Physical Therapy.
Lia Danielle
Lia Danielle

We are super excited to announce the addition of Lia to our program. Lia began her training at her mother’s studio, Ballet Arts, at the tender age of three. Moving on to training with teacher’s from all over the world at the renown SUNY Purchase, the Hartt School of Fine Arts, The Joffrey Ballet School. Lia also parlayed that training into performing with SUNY purchase repertory company as well as the famed Joffrey Ballet.. Lia has used her classical training to expand to many other avenues in the entertainment world. Her stage credits include “Rosie” in Bye Bye Birdie, “Graziela” in West Side Story locally and in tours. Lia had a run of shows in Atlantic City and around the country which include a Latin revue show, Havana after Dark, a fifties show, Juke Box Live, and a revue show The Rat Pack. Performing around the world including Cyprus, Greece, and Canada with contemporary companies as well as musicals. Lia continues to perform for The Rat Pack, as well as off broadway in various shows. Lia’s major choreographic works include an original family musical “Zephyr’s Pond”; an original holiday show “ Joy to the World”, and in 2014 conceptualized, directed, and choreographed a brand new holiday show named Holiday IN!. Lia teaches Ballet, Lyrical, Latin, and Jazz for Ballet Arts, MainStage Dance Academy, Alvin Ailey, Broadway Dance Center as well as in the tri state area and master classes across the country including Las Vegas, Pittsburgh, Delaware, Virginia. Lia is blessed and thrilled always with the opportunity of watching young performers work hard to try and reach their goals…Always remember.. Life Is A Journey…..
   
Caroline Miller
Caroline Miller

Caroline joins our staff this year after being a longtime member of our Performing Company. She is a 2017 graduate of Aiken High School and will be attending Aiken Technical College this year. In addition to her dance background, Caroline has an impressive travel and community service resume as a result of participating in the Girl Scouts. She has attended specialized tap seminars for many years and enjoys sharing her talents with young dancers. Her participation in our pre-school classes has received great reviews and we look forward to her leading more classes this year.
Stephanie Safford
Stephanie Safford

Now in her 3rd year with Burns Dance Studio, Stephanie has been a great asset to our program. Her background in dance and fitness helps strengthen dancers’ bodies as well as improving their dance technique. She routinely works for dance competition organizations and annualy choreographs for many studios. She assists with Performing Company rehearsals and teaches contemporary classes each week. She is married to Keith with a young daughter and baby on the way.

 

 

2016 Readers Choice

1560 Hamilton Drive, Aiken, SC 29803
PO Box 6257, Aiken, SC 29804
803-648-7659 or 803-270-1438
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