Taylor Hill comes from the competition realm of dance. She moved to the Atlanta area at the age of 14, where she trained at CK Danceworks. While there, she attended up to four competitions a year as a member of their DancElite Company. During that time, she also attended numerous dance conventions, including Tremaine, Pulse, and Hollywood Vibe. Post high school, Taylor went on to receive her B.A. in Dance with a concentration in Modern from Kennesaw State University. She was a member of their company for four years and worked closely with notable choreographers from the Atlanta area including: Lauri Stallings, George Staib, and Stevan Novakovich. She traveled around the world, performing with Staibdance in Sorrento, Italy and with the KSU Dance Company at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Taylor is a versatile teacher instructing ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop to dancers of all ages for the eight years, held the title of Company Director for four years before realizing her dream and opening Duet Dance Academy.
Owning a dance studio has been Taylor's dream ever since she was a child, and by opening Duet Dance Academy she's proving to her students that dreams can come true. She promises that DDA with operate with the highest standards, providing a challenging and safe environment where her students can grow technically and artistically.
Dawn Hathcock is from the corporate world and her love of dance comes from watching her daughter dance for more than 7 years. Dawn has over twenty years of experience in global project, operations, and business management. She has a wealth of expertise in resource planning, risk identification, optimization management, efficiency analytics, finance and budget management, vendor relationships, and customer service. She earned a B.S. degree in Decision Science with a concentration in Business Administration from Berry College. Dawn left the corporate world eight years ago to focus on her family. Her friendship with and confidence in Taylor led her to partner with Taylor to make this studio a reality. As the mom of a dancer, Dawn brings a customer’s perspective along with her many business management skills to our team.
Andrée has been dancing for over 18 years, beginning with training at The Academy of Dance Arts. Dance has always been a passion of which she plans on making a career. She earned her B.A. from Kennesaw State University as a dance major with a concentration in ballet, and she is pursuing a career in dance education and arts administration. Andrée has performed with the KSU Dance Company, and she has also been the assistant stage manager for KSU Dance Company productions. As a result of growing up with great role models who helped to build her love of dance, Andrée wishes to pass on her knowledge and passion of dance to other young, aspiring dancers as well.
A Nashville native, Jessica Baldwin began her dance journey at the age of 3, and hasn't stopped. Jessica received her professional ballet training under Katy Poulton with the Cechiettee Council of America, and as an active member of the School of Nashville Ballet. While receiving her professional training with the Nashville Ballet under artistic director Paul Vasterling, Jessica was in numerous ballets and performances, including her favorite, The Nutcracker. Jessica grew up under several other master instructors for jazz, tap, and modern while at the Metro Parks in Nashville. Jessica has taken part in many other dance studies including The Broadway Dance Center in New York City, Virginia School of the Arts, and The Rocketts in Las Vegas.
Jessica received her degree in Childhood Psychology with an emphasis in dance therapy from Western Kentucky and Volunteer State College. While balancing school and her professional dancing career, Jessica started her teaching certification with the Cechiette Council of America. Upon passing all 6 levels Jessica felt it was time to embark on a new adventure in 2003 and became the proud owner of Mount Juliet Dance Studio. "I never new what hard work was until I had my own business!" Jessica says with a laugh. During the duration of being the artistic director/owner of MJDS Jessica became a certified licensed Scott Pilates instructor." This enabled me to fully understand how to teach effectively and recognize movement on all body types."
In 2008, Jessica sold MJDS and moved to Columbus, GA where she became the Executive Director of the Columbus Ballet with Columbus State University. As Executive Director, she worked with principal dancers from Atlanta Ballet and Montgomery Ballet. Choreographed performances include The Nutcracker, A Midsummer Night's Dream and Swan Lake act II. While in Columbus, she also worked in the physical therapy department of Huston Medical Clinic as a pilates instructor.
In 2010 Jessica moved to Canton, GA where she and her husband, John Baldwin, started a family and have two wonderful children, Adaline and William. In 2011 Jessica earned her personal training certification from the American Council of Exercise. She was the Ballet Mistress at Fusion Dance Company in Cumming from 2013 to 2019 and in 2018 became the Ballet Mistress for Duet Dance Company.
Crew Director and Company Instructor
Xavier Lewis, aka Xay Zoleil, is an American dancer, musician, writer, comedian, and DJ. Xavier has been teaching and performing in the Atlanta area for over 10 years. Xavier is currently the Dance Director for Grayson High School and teaches at many studios in and around the metro-Atlanta area. Xavier has also been a background dancer for musical artists, such as B.O.B. Xavier has received multiple awards for choreography. Xavier directs and produces two dance concerts a year. Xavier recently signed a contract to be a part of the traveling dance intensive, Elevate Dance Workshop. He also tours annually with the dance competition KAR (Kids Artistic Revue).
Company Tap Instructor
Tapper, performer, and choreographer, LaTonya Boston, hails from Dublin, Georgia. She completed her degree in Bachelor of Arts in Dance at Brenau University. Her training is in tap, jazz, hip-hop, and modern. She has had the privilege of studying under Gilda Loyd, Doctor Madia Cooper-Ashirfi, Michael Jablonski, and Nurzhan Kulybaev. Boston has had the opportunity of being selected to perform works created by well known choreographers such as Jennifer Archibald, Nicholas Palmquist, Owen Scarlett, and Joshua Blake Carter. Additionally, Boston has gained knowledge in the creative process while debuting her choreographic works during her tenure at Brenau both on stage and on screen. She is currently a member of The Tap Rebels, Atlanta’s InternationalProfessional Tap Dance Company.
Brady Michael is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer and is currently based in Atlanta, GA. In 2018, Brady began expanding his artistry through working as an assistant for iN House Dance, an intensive created by Cherrise Wakeham in Sandy Springs, GA and Destin, FL. He moved on to work as an intern for Wakeham throughout the entirety of 2020.
Brady has presented two sold-out full-length contemporary dance shows to Atlanta audiences: “the one” in November 2019 and “Weightless” in June 2022.
Brady is a 2022 Industry Dance Award-nominated choreographer for Best Musical Theatre Performance. His work has received other accolades, including “Best Choreography” and “Highest Scoring Routine of the Competition.” Brady always strives to create an accepting environment through peer encouragement and insightful teaching principles. He promotes love and expression of artistry in his classes and choreography; he is so excited to continue to build new relationships in the future!
Company & Recreational Instructor
Melissa Day was born and raised in Kansas City where she began her passion of dancing at the age of two years old. Since then, she has been professionally trained in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop and lyrical. During her dance career, Melissa was a competitive dancer starting at the age of seven and went on to win numerous top overall titles both regionally and nationally. She has performed at the famous Starlight Theatre in “The Wizard of Oz” and was selected to dance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade her senior year of high school as well as many other ballet and theatre appearances.
While attending the University of Missouri, Melissa took an internship at the end of her sophomore year in Atlanta and fell in love with Georgia so much that she stayed and earned her mass communications and marketing degrees from the University of West Georgia.
She has been teaching all styles of dance to all ages for more than 15 years in both recreational and competitive dance where she has choreographed several top award-winning performances and specialty awards. Her favorite style to teach and choreograph is a sassy jazz. Melissa focuses on dance curriculum and education, technique, showmanship, flexibility, stamina, and thrives on building strong foundations in self-esteem and confidence. Her goal is to not only be a dance instructor, but a friend and mentor to students.
Melissa now resides in Hickory Flat, just down the road from the studio where she and her husband Tommy have two sons, William (3) and Eli (1). She is eager and excited about joining the Duet Dance Academy family and can’t wait to meet all the students and families!
Emily Barton is a sophomore at KSU with a double major in dance with a modern concentration as well as a Psychology major. She is from Newnan, Georgia, danced for Carrollton Academy of Dance, and was a member of Parker Dance Company as well as being on the KSU dance company for all semesters of college thus far. She has danced for 15 years and was a competitive dancer for 13 years, receiving countless accolades throughout the years. Teaching has always been a passion of hers that she is so happy to finally be able to pursue! She has a desire to learn, is eager to explore the endless possibilities of artistic expression through dance, and hopes to pass her love for dance onto her students. She feels as though dance is her safe place and it has shaped her into who she is today so she looks forward to creating that environment in her classes too. Her ultimate goal is to one day fulfill her lifelong dream of owning a dance studio of her own and this opportunity is a huge stepping stone in her career as a dance instructor. She is honored to have been chosen to be on Duet Dance Academy staff for the first year and is so excited to begin this journey!
Riley is a student at Kennesaw State University pursuing a BA in Business Management as well as a minor in dance. Riley grew up as a competitive dancer at On Stage School of Dance, where she trained in all styles and truly found her passion and love for the art. Dance helped shape the person Riley is today and taught her her most valuable live lessons. In high school Riley became a part of Grayson High School’s dance program where she choreographed for seasonal shows as well as assisted in the classroom. She is currently furthering her studies in Modern, Ballet, and Contemporary through the KSU Dance Department. Riley is very excited and honored to start her journey with Duet and continue her dance career.
Catherine Hooker is a Freshman at Kennesaw State University, double majoring in Dance and Elementary Education. Catherine is originally from Jacksonville, Florida and recently moved to Alpharetta, Georgia. She has been dancing for 11 years and competing for 9 years. Catherine competed with Core Dance and Acrobatics and was part of the Milton Cirque Company in high school. She is currently a member of the KSU Dance Company and RISK Dance Company. One day, Catherine hope to open a dance studio of her own and considers teaching at Duet a first step towards this goal. She is excited to share her passion for dance and to grow along with her students!
Gabi is a 21 year old Canton, Georgia native and is a graduating senior at Kennesaw State University majoring in Child Psychology with a minor in Dance. Gabi has been teaching dance for 7 years and dancing for 19. She loves all areas of dance but mainly focuses on hip hop and modern and has a deep love for dance education. Gabi has had the opportunity to train in several different styles such as collegiate dance, attending the KSU summer intensive and winter festival; competitive dance, competing for 5 years and receiving awards such as Ms. Senior Applause, and a scholarship from Fusion Dance Company in Chicago. Gabi also trains in Atlanta at commercial dance companies such as XCEL. Gabi has been with Duet since the beginning - she was a member of their original company in 2018 and was been on staff as an instructor for four years. After graduating high school Gabi was given the opportunity to start Duet's recreational hip hop program and found her love for dance education and working with children. Gabi hopes to continue her passions with a career in child advocacy at Anna Crawford children’s center after she graduates but will always be a dancer at heart and plans to teach at Duet for the foreseeable future! She is excited to be back!
At age 16, Danni signed with XCEL Talent Agency, which launched her professional dance career. Danni went on to graduate with a Bachelors of Arts, from the University of Alabama, in both business and dance. Eleven days after graduation, Danni received the call of a lifetime that she had landed a coveted spot in the world’s most iconic precision dance troupe, the Rockettes! Danni went on to dance 8 magical seasons as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.
Throughout her 15+ year professional career, Danni has made numerous appearances in television shows such as: HBO’s LOVECRAFT COUNTRY, ABC’s NASHVILLE, THE TONIGHT SHOW, TODAY SHOW, STEP UP: HIGHWATER, MACY’S THANKSGIVING DAY PARADE, GENIUS: ARETHA FRANKLIN on National Geographic and most recent-ly A FRIEND OF THE FAMILY on Peacock. Heverin can also be seen dancing in the feature films, HBO’S FATHER OF THE BRIDE, LOVE, SIMON, BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK, HONEY 4: RISE UP, ARE YOU THERE GOD, and both Disney’s MILLION DOLLAR ARM and TIMMY FAILURE. Danni has performed alongside music sensations including: Cythia Erivo, Christina Aguilera, Teyana Taylor, Ne-Yo, Blake Shel-ton, Luke Bryan, Big & Rich and more!
Alongside her impressive performance resume, Danni’s work as a choreographer and movement coach can be seen in ECHO 3 and THE BIG DOOR PRIZE both on Apple+. Danni has assisted industry leading choreographers and contributed movement on projects such as: Disney’s GODMOTHERED (Bubba Carr), Facebook Watch’s QUEEN AMERICA (Jamaica Craft) and 21st Century Fox’s LETS BE COPS (John Carrafa).
When Danni is not performing, she travels the country as a master teacher, adjudicator and choreographer. Her passion lies in educating and preparing the next generation of movement artists for longevity and happiness in their personal dance journey.