Get to know CDE owner, Christy Wood

How did you get started in dance?

“I began dancing at the age of 4.  I was so eager to meet new friends and wear leotards and legwarmers! As I grew older, my love for dance expanded with learning new styles, going to conventions, and competing.”

Why did you want to start a dance studio?

“If you know me personally, you would know that I’m a bit of a perfectionist and, at times, get overwhelmed with the pressure I place upon myself.  Dance was, and still is, an outlet for me to release my tensions and emotions.  When the music starts and my body moves, I can feel outside pressures release their grip.  I become more relaxed, more focused, more determined, and more joyful as my thoughts are consumed with the choreography.  I want to provide a place where people can experience all those things that I love about dance.  A place where students can be themselves and push themselves to do more than they knew they were capable of doing.”

 Christy attended East Carolina University to pursue a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Dance. After transferring to North Carolina State University, Christy began teaching dance for a non-profit organization in the Garner area. While employed at SAS Institute, she received her Business degree with a concentration in Marketing. Christy was a member of the ECU Dance Team and the Wolfpack Clogging Team. Christy is an active member of her church where she serves as a preschool teacher and dance ministry co-director.

Andra Thomasson

Clogging, Jazz & Tap Instructor

Office Assistant

Andra grew up in the Garner area and began dancing at the age of 6. She has studied a variety of dance forms including modern, ballet, jazz, hip hop, and clogging. She studied under and worked with Christy at a non-profit organization in Garner prior to the opening of CDE where she continued as a dancer, assistant, and an instructor. She attended NC State University and was a member of the Wolfpack Clogging Team while she continued to teach at CDE and earn her degree in Biochemistry. She was assistant director for Feet on Fire until she moved to Boston with her husband in 2008. Andra returned to North Carolina and teaching at CDE in 2010, taking a short break from teaching after the birth of her second child. She is excited to be part of the CDE team again this year!

Bethany Schreiner

Baton Instructor

Bethany Schreiner grew up in Pittsburgh, PA where she began dancing and baton twirling at the age of 3.  Bethany was a member of the Modernettes, a baton corps which was under the direction of Sherry Vignoli Parisi. As a member of the Modernettes, Bethany competed nationally and internationally, winning several NBTA Grand National Twirling Corps titles and the NBTA World Twirling Corps title in Milan, Italy in 1996.  Upon graduation from high School, Bethany attended NC State University. Bethany was one of the Wolfpack Majorette feature twirlers from 2001-2005. Bethany was the section leader of the Wolfpack Majorettes from 2002-2005. Bethany became the NC State University majorette instructor in 2006 and graduated from NC State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management.  Bethany teaches private baton twirling lessons in the Raleigh area in addition to coaching the Wolfpack Majorettes. Bethany is also the contest director for the NBTA Miss Majorette of North Carolina contest held at NC State University every year since 2009.

Colleen Hanson

Clogging Instructor

Colleen began clogging in 1993 with the Triple Toe Cloggers in Laurinburg, NC. She was a part of the competitive team until 2002 when she graduated from high school. From 2003-2007, she was the director of the Triple Toe Cloggers. She has performed for Magic Music Days and the Clogging Spectacular in Disney World. Colleen has also worked with the Just for Kix Cloggers in Greensboro, NC. After graduating from UNC Pembroke in 2007 she moved to the Raleigh area and became a member of the Carolina Heartland Cloggers in Carrboro, NC. She has taken master classes from All That, Audrey and Ellis Perry, NC State Wolfpack Cloggers, Second String, Cane Creek, and more. Colleen now lives in Dunn with her husband, Brad, and daughter, Savannah.  Colleen has a passion for clogging and teaching.  She is very excited to be returning to DancExplosion.

Danielle Lang

Ballet, Boys Technique, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theater & Pointe Instructor

Company Director

Danielle Lang was born in Heidelberg, Germany where she lived with her family. They soon moved to New York then later settled in Raleigh, NC. At age eleven she enrolled in dance at Lehman’s Studio and auditioned for the company Ballet Lehman USA. In that company, Danielle had the opportunity to perform in the Nutcracker all over the Triangle as well as compete in Sochi, Russia for 3 years. Danielle has a wide genre of dance forms such as ballroom, ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, contemporary, modern, African, etc. In 1999 when the Special Olympics hosted their event in the Triangle, Danielle performed as one of the top ten principal dancers. After high school Danielle was accepted to Virginia Commonwealth University on scholarship for dance and choreography where she worked with numerous dance professionals from all over the world.  She has performed pieces such as Jose Limon’s Choreographic Offering at the Kennedy Center also on BET’s 2009 Spring Bling in Singer Island, FL. Some of her students have been seen on Laurie Ann Gibson’s Live to Dance and other promotional commercials. Danielle has worked with shows such as The Lion King, Burn the Floor, Shrek the Musical and other on and off Broadway shows.  She occasionally takes classes in NYC to keep her dance styles updated.  Most of all she enjoys teaching all ages.  CDE is glad to have Danielle returning for another year!

Ivey Carroll

Acro, Hip Hop, Jazz, Modern & Tap Instructor

Company Director

Ivey started her dance career at the age of 4. She started competing at a young age for Studio J Dance Center in her hometown, Asheboro, NC. Ivey was also a competitive All-Star cheerleader for Cheer Extreme in Kernersville, NC. At NC State University, she was on the dance team for two years where she competed hip hop at NDA nationals. While in college, she started developing a professional career in both the cheer and the dance industry. With Edge Cheer and Dance, she has been a camp instructor, choreographer, and judge, working with multiple teams on the East Coast. She continues to judge both cheer and dance competitions on the weekends. She has experience as an All-Star Coach where she choreographed competition cheer routines, along with her team’s hip hop routine. While working as a coach, she also taught militiamen levels of tumbling. Ivey has also been apart of Elevate Performance Company for 4 years.

Jessica Allen

Jazz & Tap Instructor

Jess Allen (a.k.a Jess) is a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher in the Triangle area. She grew up dancing and has 20 years of dance experience. She has danced with Virginia Ballet Theatre, Arts Together, Raleigh School of Ballet, and NCDI. During high school, she took Drama classes and performed in musicals, such as, “Grease,” “Cinderella, and “The Sound of Music.” She won “Best Supporting Actress” for her role as the Baroness in “The Sound of Music.” She attended Meredith College where she received her B.A. Degree in Dance Studies and Minor in Music. She has had professional training with Ballroom coaches and Latin Champions. Her love for the performing arts has also led her to sing for many years and she was a volunteer Worship Leader for Youth and College Students at Churches throughout the Triangle for 14 years. Jessica has been teaching dance for 8 years now. Styles that she has taught include Acro/tumbling, Ballet, Ballroom, Tap, Creative Movement, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Lyrical/Contemporary. She enjoys spending time with her husband and little boy, going to the beach, mountains, and Disney. Jessica did her College internship at NCDI in 2012 and is happy be a part of the CDE family for the 2019-2020 season!

Kate Mitchell

Clogging Instructor

2017 Garner High School graduate, Kate Mitchell, has been dancing since she was 2 years old. Although she has studied all forms of dance, including ballet, tap, modern, jazz, hip hop and musical theater, clogging remains her passion. Over the years she has studied clogging under Christy Wood, Colleen Hanson, Michelle Gerald, and Andra Thomasson. Throughout her clogging career, Kate has had the opportunity to participate in workshops learning from members of the All That clogging team, Tap This clogging team, Chip Harrison, and more. Prior to being an instructor for the 2018-2019 dance season, Kate has taught both recreational clogging classes along with being the instructor for our studio’s Exhibition clogging team. A highlight of her clogging career was being inducted into the American Clogging Hall of Fame as a member of both their Junior and Senior All-American clogging teams. Kate is now a full time Dental Assistant, and is continuing her love for being a clogging instructor here at DancExplosion this dance season!

Lindsay Morris

Clogging Instructor

Feet On Fire Director

Lindsay Morris is a 20-year-old from Graham, NC. She currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC, where she attends the University of North Carolina pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Science. She began dancing at 4 years old, training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and clogging; she joined her first competition clogging team at the age of 7. At the age of twelve, Lindsay joined the Carolina Sound Cloggers of Graham, NC, and helped them win Clogging Champions of America’s Overall Junior Challenge Grand Champion at the Showdown of Champions in 2013. Soon after, she began clogging with the Elite Feet Cloggers of Burlington, NC where she became a member of CCA’s Youth Leadership Council and All Pro Team. Lindsay is currently a member of TNC ELITE out of Gaffney, SC, under the direction of Chip and Misty Harrison. As a TNC member, Lindsay won CCA’s Overall Senior Challenge Grand Champion at the 2018 Showdown of Champions. Throughout her clogging career Lindsay has won many Grand Champions and Overall Female titles at regional events and traveled all over the east coast. In November, Lindsay will be traveling to Prague, Czech Republic, to attend and perform at an international clogging festival. She is very excited to be working alongside the staff and students at CDE!

Madalyn Hope

Acro / Contortion, Ballet, Contemporary / Lyrical, Jazz  & Tap Instructor

Office Assistant / CDE Apparel Store Manager

Company Director

Madalyn realized her passion for dance over the 15 years dancing with Accent On Dance, in Waukesha, WI.  She is thankful to have had the experiences traveling, both regionally and nationally, to countless dance competitions and conventions around the country. Madalyn worked with Sarah Jo Fazio for ‘Dancer of the Year’ at Dance America’s Nationals, along with the Adrenaline staff as she competed in their Hip Hop & Jazz/Contemporary Crew many years. After High School, Madalyn first studied at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she continued her technical training as a BFA in dance, while dancing as a UNCG Athlete on the Spartan G’s Dance Team. Later on, she decided to switch gears to pursuing her Bachelors in Science with Human Nutrition and Dietetics, to then transferring to NC State, and completing her Associates in Science at Wake Tech while continuing to teach at CDE and lead the Dance Company as Company Director. Madalyn has been teaching at CDE since 2014 and is excited for another great season! As a competitive gymnast in her younger years, acrobatics became another motivation in the studio. Alongside teaching dance, Madalyn also performs as a dancer and aerialist. She enjoys choreographing, dancing, acting, and performing all over the East coast. She continues to train on the lyra and other acrobatic apparatuses, and of course, dancing. Madalyn gives a loving thanks to her parents for always supporting her passion in life to dance, and to her childhood dance teacher, Miss Kellie Plath, for guiding her through some of the most difficult and most rewarding times of her life, as for that is what Madalyn strives to give back to her students one day.

Michelle Gerrald

Clogging Instructor

Social Media / Marketing Manager

Feet On Fire Director

Michelle started clogging as a young child under the direction of Christy Wood at a nonprofit organization in Garner.  She then started dancing at CDE upon its opening.  Her love of clogging grew even more as she became a founding member of CDE’s competitive clogging team, Feet on Fire.  While on FOF she took master classes and workshops under many accomplished clogging instructors from across the nation.  Now a director of FOF and a recreational clogging instructor, Michelle is very passionate about being able to share her skills and experiences with new students and team members.  CDE welcomes Michelle back for another year!

Renee Wimberley

Musical Theater & Voice Instructor

Renee Wimberley is an actor, director, playwright, and arts instructor based in Raleigh, NC. A former K-12 drama teacher, she is passionate about arts integration and training parents, teachers, and ministry leaders to enhance their learning environments through creative arts activities. Renee has participated in the local theatre community for over 35 years. She is the Creative Director of Seed Art Share and teaches at Applause Youth Theatre, Raleigh Little Theatre, and Actor’s Training Ground. In real life, she is Joe’s other half and home-school mama to Max, Cana, and Stella. BA Theatre Arts Education (UNC-G).