Center City Ballet and Movement Arts (CCBMA) is a new dance studio in the Historic Boulevard District in Athens, Georgia.  

We specialize in technical ballet training for children and adults and agree that ballet provides a solid foundation for all forms of dance. We believe that in addition to technique, students should learn the history and origins of ballet, resulting in a deeper understanding of the discipline as a performing art. We also recognize the importance of other forms of dance and fitness, including yoga and Pilates, both for the ballet student and for the community at large. We stress body awareness, full-body health, and injury prevention in every class we teach. Movement classes for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers prepare our youngest students for a lifelong love of music and dance. We invite children and adults of all ages and abilities to pursue their movement goals in our neighborhood studio.


Center City Ballet and Movement Arts’ mission is to cultivate body intelligence, discipline, and creativity through mindful and technically sound movement.

CCBMA will teach the value of movement for promoting physical fitness (strength, agility, and injury prevention), mental wellbeing (stress relief, improved self-esteem, and mindfulness), and/or artistic expression (imagination, musicality, and interpretation). CCBMA will equip students with confidence in the body and its abilities regardless of age, gender, size, shape, or proportion and will engage and nurture each student individually while promoting a team environment, encouraging friendships and cooperation rather than competition. In the area of dance, CCBMA will foster an appreciation of dance as recreation, as entertainment, and as art form and will incorporate dance education into each class as appropriate, including dance history, music history, and an overview of methodologies. CCBMA will give all students the opportunity to excel in their chosen form of movement.

 
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Mary Koon
Director

Mary Koon was born in Athens, Georgia, and grew up in Clemson, South Carolina. At age 6, she began ballet training under the Royal Academy of Dance (RAD) curriculum and eventually completed three levels of RAD examinations. In 1988, she studied with the legendary Edward Villella, director of the Miami City Ballet, at the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and later attended Indiana University, where she took classes in the school’s department of dance, then under the direction of ex-New York City Ballet principle dancers Patricia McBride and Jean Pierre Bonnefoux. Mary continued taking dance classes at the University of Georgia and received her master’s degree there in art history in 1998. She has worked in academic publishing at the University of Georgia Press in Athens and at the University of California Press in Berkeley and most recently worked as an editor at the Georgia Museum of Art, where she also curated three exhibitions, including Emilio Pucci in America. Mary has practiced Bikram Yoga for four years and lives in Athens with her two daughters.


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Janet gilling Robertson
intermediate Ballet ii

Janet Gilling Robertson trained with Valentina Belova of the Antwerp Ballet, Stanley Zompakos of New York City Ballet, and was coached by Anna Sokolow and Ernestine Stodelle for modern dance roles. She holds an A.F.A. in dance from Sullins College, a B.A. in art, and a M.A.T. from Lynchburg College in Virginia. Robertson has served on the Georgia Council for the Arts, as Assistant Director for Athens Ballet Theatre, guest teacher in Kaosiung (Taiwan) and the East Athens Educational Dance Center, and received the Dance Athens 2004 Award for Excellence. She has acted in mediation videos, Adrian Kaye's Stillwater, and is an actress and scenic artist with the Town & Gown Players. Robertson was an adjunct faculty member in the University of Georgia's department of dance from 1985 to 2009, where she is now senior lecturer emerita.


Lisa Yaconelli
Pre-Ballet, beginner ballet, making dances

Lisa Yaconelli received her BFA in dance from Temple University and has performed and choreographed in Athens for fifteen years. Her choreography has been featured at Atlanta’s 7 Stages Theater and the Underground Dance Society’s “Hidden in Plain Sight,” The Fringe Festival, Canopy Studio, and Floorspace. She’s performed in Philadelphia, San Diego, and in many community events in Georgia. A founding member of Underground Dance Society and Athens’ Modern Movers, Lisa is currently working on a performance for Skwirlhaus in Atlanta this fall. Most recently, she was certified in Pilates from the Pilates Center in Boulder, Colorado. Lisa enjoys teaching creative movement, modern technique, adult ballet, choreography, Pilates, and developing community dance projects. She lives in Athens with her husband and two sons. 


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maryn whitmore
Creative movement, intermediate ballet i, modern, pilates barre

Maryn Whitmore is a performance artist, dance maker, and certified Pilates instructor with more than 20 years of experience as a teacher of movement. She studied ballet at Alpharetta Dance Theatre with Rose Barile and at the University of Georgia with Janet Robertson and Joan Buttram, where she graduated in 2001 with a degree in dance education. While at UGA Maryn trained and performed with Core Concert Dance Company under the direction of Bala Sarasvati. She later earned a 600-hour comprehensive certification in the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning to support her dance training. In 2010, Maryn and her partner Matt founded Skwhirlhaus, a backyard stage in Atlanta where creatives gathered to present work and experience community. Maryn was commissioned by the High Museum of Art to create a piece for the opening of Jaime Hayon's interactive installation, Tiovivo. Her work, Over The Moon!, was performed at the High in summer of 2016. She is currently a part-time instructor in the department of dance at UGA. Her latest endeavor, Cactus Flower Pilates, provides private and group instruction to the Athens community, where she lives with Matt and their two daughters, Naomi and Sorci.


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Jesse Couch
Classical Variations

Jesse Couch graduated from the University of Georgia in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a minor in dance. Before studying with faculty at UGA, she trained at Roswell Dance Theatre in Roswell, Georgia, from age four to eighteen. Jesse has performed in various shows, including the Alabama Dance Festival in 2016 and UGA’s Young Choreographers Series in 2015 and 2016. She also performed in the award-winning works “FOLD” and “To Build a Home” by Kassandra Newberry at the International Ballet Competition in 2014. In July, 2017, she traveled with Staibdance, a contemporary company based in Atlanta, to train and perform in Sorrento, Italy. Jesse currently lives in Athens and is working on her master’s degree in nursing at Augusta University. While she is not dancing, she enjoys painting, singing, and exploring the outdoors.


Deena Futris
The Dancer's Workout®

Deena Futris began dancing when she was eight years old in Houston, Texas, where she grew up. Her early training began with Suzanne Banbury, Camille Long-Hill, and Madame Tatiana Semenova (founder of the Houston Ballet Academy). She spent two summers dancing with the Milwaukee Ballet and trained with Jeanette Markaroff. Deena moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, for college where she danced in the Charlotte City Ballet under the direction of Claudia Folts. She received her BA in Anthropology with a minor in Museum Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a BS in Nursing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and has been a Registered Nurse since 1997. In 2014, Deena received her 200-hour yoga teacher certification from Athens Yoga Institute in Athens, Georgia. In 2017, she became a TDW-Certified Instructor by Jules Szabo, founder of The Dancer’s Workout.®  Deena is currently a school nurse at Oconee County High School and lives in Bishop, Georgia, with her husband, Ted, and their two sons, Nicholas and Noah.


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Elisha Hodgin
Hip Hop Pilates

Elisha grew up doing theater and dance here in Georgia. She graduated in 2010 from Georgia College & State University with her Bachelor of Arts in theater. After teaching Zumba classes in downtown Atlanta she found and fell in love with Pilates. It was the first form of exercise that corrected and strengthened the weaknesses in her body. After doing a 6-week Pilates intensive she went on to get her mat certification through SCW Fitness Education. She decided to put her love for music into her work and mix hip hop with contemporary Pilates routines. She has been teaching in Atlanta for the past few years at Creative Loafing's Best Pilates Studio in Atlanta, 2 years running: The DailyShe has also studied the Pilates reformer and received her first level certification. She moved to Athens to begin studying physical therapy and is already in love with her new town and community. 


Nicolás Ayala (aka Intermediario Muralha)
Maculelê Capoeira

 


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Cundy Bryson
Authentic movement 

Cundy Bryson is a movement therapist and has been practicing and teaching Authentic Movement for more than 20 years. Her love of movement began in ballet class at age four, and she discovered yoga at age fourteen. As a college student in Virginia Carver's legendary Improvisational Movement class, she was introduced to the work of Mary Starks Whitehouse, one of the founders of movement therapy. She received her master's degree in Somatic Psychology from Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado. It was there that seeds were planted for a lifetime of somatic study. Her studio, Luminosity, is located in Watkinsville. She offers private movement sessions that include meditation, yoga, and breathing practices. Cundy is trained in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, Pre- and Postnatal Yoga, and Yin Yoga.  

 


CATHY RUMFELT
ALLEGRO MUSIC INSTRUCTOR 

Cathy Rumfelt started singing and playing the piano at a young age, attended music camp for many years, performed in musical theater productions throughout high school and college, and sang and played the keyboards in a local band after graduating from the University of Georgia with a bachelor’s degree in English education. Cathy received her master’s degree in English from Georgia State University and has more than 13 years of experience as an educator. She was as an English teacher for 11 years at Centennial High School in Roswell, Georgia, where she was awarded “Teacher of the Year.” After having her son, Cathy started attending music classes with him and soon started teaching at The Music Class in Suwanee, Georgia. She loved the curriculum and the teaching philosophies, but most of all she loved sharing music with her music class students and their families. Cathy moved to Athens with her husband Wes and their two children, Jack and Olive, in 2014 and began teaching Allegro Music here soon thereafter.


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Megan Govedich
Classical Variations

Megan Govedich put on her first pair of ballet shoes at the age of three at North Georgia Dance and Music Factory in Dacula, Georgia. After moving to California at the age of six, her passion for ballet and contemporary flourished. When her family returned to Dacula, Megan continued her dance training at Sugarloaf Performing Arts. As a company member in Sugarloaf Ballet’s pre-professional company, Megan performed in a variety of shows and festivals and had the opportunity to choreograph pieces for productions. In addition to dancing in numerous ballets and dance competitions, Megan also performed at the Kennesaw State Dance Festival, where her group received an honorable mention for performance and choreography. As a member of the Mill Creek High School Dance Team, Megan won first place at the Alabama Dance Championship for her self-choreographed contemporary solo. In 2017, she was accepted into the esteemed Georgia Governor's Honors Program for dance. Megan is majoring in dietetics at the University of Georgia, where she continues to pursue her passion for dance in the student-run group, Counterpoint Dance Company. 


RON PUTMAN
BALLROOM INSTRUCTOR

A professional ballroom instructor and an award-winning competitive dancer, Ron Putman has competed in two countries with professional partners and currently competes in several states with amateur partners. As a line dance coach at the height of country line dancing’s popularity in the mid-1990s, he won the individual CDA National Championship Award in 1998 and danced with and coached the team that won the CDA National Championship Award in 1999. Ron teaches ballroom, swing, and country line dance as well as wedding choreography to individuals, couples, and groups at Center City Ballet and Movement Arts, Buffalo’s Southwest Café, and at the Athens Moose Lodge for the Greater Athens Dance and Social Club. Ron has participated in every season of “Dancing with the Athens Stars” benefiting Project Safe since its inception in 2008. He was the head judge for the event in 2013 and 2014. The event has raised over $780,000 to prevent domestic abuse.


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PAIGE COLE
YOGA INSTRUCTOR

Paige Cole began practicing yoga in 2000 with Rev. Manjula Spears. She completed her 200-hour yoga certification at the Asheville Yoga Center in 2014 and most recently completed a Yin certification with Shala Worsley. Paige loves running, hiking, and kayaking, but over-activity has led her to repeated injury. Health issues have encouraged her to practice yoga in a way that allows for space to be freed up in the body and the mind to promote and maintain wellbeing. By day Paige teaches high school and recently completed a PhD advocating for unstructured space in the crowded lives of teachers and students. She lives in Athens with her husband and two intense terriers. 


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mary sams
PILATEs, pilates for young dancers

Mary Sams has been teaching Pilates for more than fifteen years and is the owner/instructor of Precision Pilates. She received her Pilates certification from STOTT Pilates and from Katy Roelle at ReFormation Pilates Studio in Atlanta. Mary is also a Schwinn-certified spin instructor and a Second Degree Black Belt Taekwondo/kickboxing instructor. She has appeared on television in the series "The Grand Prince of Moscow" and "Necessary Roughness" and played a Capital citizen in the major motion picture Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Mary recently received a BFA in photographic design from the University of Georgia.


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DANI MCCALL
MAX45 INSTRUCTOR

Dani McCall is a personal trainer and owner of the Total Training Center (TTC) in Athens. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in international business, Dani also has an M.Ed. in health promotion. She is a certified First Aid instructor, an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) health fitness specialist, and a Yoga Alliance certified instructor. Dani opened TTC in January of 1996. In March of 2011, she received her 230-hour Yoga Alliance teacher certification under Stephanie Keach in Asheville, North Carolina. Dani is passionate about full body training and loves to run, bike, lift weights, and teach her new fitness/dance class, Max45.


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HELENE HENDON
YOGA INSTRUCTOR

After living and working in Germany for four years, Helene Hendon returned to the United States to complete a master’s degree in education. She has been a teacher for fifteen years and enjoyed teaching mathematics at the high school and college level, but has found her passion in teaching yoga. According to Helene, “Mindfulness and Yoga not only improved my health, they also helped me change my way of being in the world!” Helene completed her basic teacher training in a month-long residential course at the Satchidananda Ashram in Yogaville, Virginia, followed by a trip to South India focused on yoga and meditation. Helene has taken eleven additional teacher trainings and numerous workshops. She describes her classes as a happy blend of Integral Hatha Yoga and Mindfulness.