UPSTAGE CENTER OF PERFORMING ARTS STAFF
Jenny Griffes, owner/director
Jenny started her dance career 20 years ago at a local non-profit, where she grew a small program into a thriving school with a successful competition team. She is a guest teacher at private studios in the Charlotte area. In addition, Jenny also has contracted with high school musical theater productions and City of Charlotte events, receiving awards for her work. Most recently, Jenny completed her certification with Rhythm Works Integrative Dance, which provides the tools to successfully teach dance to kids with Autism, Down syndrome & special needs students. Jenny is also certified with Dance Masters of America and Youth Protection Advocates in Dance. and is an active member of Dance Studio Owners Association. A believer in continuing her training, Jenny has attended workshops with Rhee Gold, Anne Green-Gilbert (Brain-Compatible Dance Education), Duane Pitman (Little People's Creative Workshop), Leap N' Learn, Kindermusik, Preschool Dance Teachers Workshop, and Studio Success Formula. Jenny's philosophy is to help students find their own creativity and help them achieve personal goals through movement.
Ashley Moore, owner/competition director
Ashley has 14 years of experience in the dance industry as an instructor and manager. She received her BA in dance education and her graduate certificate in arts administration from the University of North Carolina Charlotte, She has received numerous awards as a tap dancer and as a choreographer. Ms. Ashley has extensive experience working with young children in dance as well as in a preschool setting. She grew up as a competitive dancer in Mint Hill and now enjoys managing the competition team for UCPA.
Gwen Johnston, Instructor
Ms. Gwen has been dancing since the age of 3 and has taught dance for 7 years. She is UCPA's acrobatics instructor and is certified with Acrobatic Arts. Ms. Gwen was a competitive gymnast from the age of 8 to 14. She is a professional member of USAG Gymnastics with safety certification. She also has experience as a gymnastics coach for ages preschool to level 4 . Ms. Gwen is a teacher with CMS and graduated from UNCC in 2015.
Courtney Pond, Instructor
Ms. Courtney trained with Ms. Jenny and Ms. Ashley until high school graduation. She assisted with acrobatics and preschool dance classes. She was a competitive dancer, earning awards for her performances in group routines and as a soloist. Ms. Courtney is continuing her dance education at UNCC.