Founder and Artistic Director
Ms. Ashley is the founder and artistic director of Columbia Ballet School, which is celebrating its 33rd year under her direction. We estimate that tens of thousands of students have studied dance at CBS. Some have gone on to professional careers in the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet, Austin Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Nashville Ballet, N.C. Dance Theatre and San Francisco Ballet, as well as in musical theatre, theatre, video and film. Many have been accepted into prestigious conservatories and artist-training schools. Some have pursued professional careers in the arts, while others have become successful lawyers, accountants, teachers, physical therapists, and veterinarians. Dance is excellent training for any life work. In addition to teaching and choreography, Ms. Ashley has been active in the theatre in Columbia.
Joy Alexander began her training at Calvert-Brodie and later danced with Ann Brodie’s Carolina Ballet, collaborating with Anita Ashley, Jenny McElveen, Mimi Worrell, Maura Gable Moore and Debbie Spivey. Joy attended summer intensives, including Richmond Ballet Company, USC Dance Conservatory and The Broadway Theatre Project. She has had the privilege of studying with Gregory Hines, Gwen Verdon, Ann Reinking, Dave Clemmons, and Stephen Harding. In 2000 she attended the AMDA (The American Musical and Dramatic Academy) in New York, where she studied both for stage and film, graduating in 2002. Her stage credits include Off-Broadway – Muscial Extravaganza and Dances; Regional Theatre – Suburbia, Sweet Charity, Anything Goes, 42nd Street, Dames at Sea, Annie, and Gypsy. She also worked for Holland America Cruise Line as a singer/dancer. In 2006, she returned to South Carolina and has been teaching and performing.
Ciera Barrow was born in Asheville and began dancing at the age of 3 at Asheville Dance Theater. She then trained in classical ballet and, at 15, she joined the Ballet Conservatory of Asheville.
She recently graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s degree in dance performance and choreography as well as a B.A. in Media Arts. While at USC, Ciera began working in film and sound as well as dance. She produced soundscapes, experimental films, interviews, and a short film during her education there.
While a member of the USC Dance Company she trained with faculty such as Stacey Calvert, Kyra Strasburg, and Tanya Wideman-Davis. She is currently a company member of Power Company Collaborative, a contemporary company in Columbia. She is also currently employed at USC as the Production, Rehearsal, and Summer Dance Administrative Assistant.
Ashley Concannon, a native of New Jersey, studied at Princeton Dance and Theatre Studio under the direction of Susan Jaffe and Risa Kaplowitz. In 2006, she was accepted into Orlando Ballet’s second company. She received additional instruction attending summer intensives with Miami City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet, as well as individual coaching with Cynthia Gregory, Karin Averty and Roy Kaiser. In 2008, she returned to NJ to perform as a guest artist in American Repertory Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. Since 2009, Ashley has been a company member of Columbia City Ballet under the direction of William Starrett. She has performed in the role of Mina Murray Harker in Dracula, The Spring Fairy in Cinderella, and has performed various roles in productions of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Giselle, and many more. Ashley is also a professional photographer, specializing in dance photography. She is the photographer of the Facebook page “Through the Dancer’s Eyes,” which highlights a behind-the-scenes look of the life of professional dancers.
For Cindy Flach, tap and musical theatre are her passion, and she is certainly our studio’s tap and musical theatre guru. Her classes are in demand for her excellent teaching in the traditional tap style, and her many years of experience in musical theatre. She has directed and choreographed more than 250 productions nationwide and in Europe. She has recently done Fiddler on the Roof and The Producers locally. Cindy has been on the University of South Carolina dance faculty since 1988, where she teaches a variety of dance styles, as well as music appreciation. Scores of her former students are dancing professionally, and many, many more continue to dance simply because Cindy makes it fun. She has a terrific adult drop-in tap class in addition to her studio classes.
Resident Guest Artist
Terrance Henderson has been the creative force behind Columbia’s Vibrations Dance Company for over 10 years and is now also developing T.O. Henderson Dance Incorporated (To Dance, Inc) with whom he is presenting his latest original work Hole In My Bucket: a perspective through dance image word and sound. Terrance was the 2009 Artist Fellow for the State in Dance Performance and later that same year received the Bronze Leo Award for Outstanding Jazz Choreography at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago – a first for a choreographer from South Carolina. A company member at Trustus Theater, Terrance has served as choreographer and director for multiple productions and has been seen as a performer on the main-stage in such shows as Next to Normal, Passing Strange, Smokey Joes Cafe, Hair, and Rent. Terrance has been the long-term artist in residence in the public schools at Logan Elementary where he has been teaching dance and drama now for 15 years.
Colin Jacob began dancing at the age of 17 in Cleveland, Ohio. His career took him to Point Park University, where he graduated with BFA in dance with a concentration in ballet. He performed assorted repertory that included works by Balanchine, Alvin Ailey, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and the new works of many faculty members. In addition, he was a finalist at Youth American Grand Prix and performed in the Young Medalist Gala in Miami, Florida. He spent his summers training with Ballet West, and after a year with the company, he is now dancing in his second season with the corps of Columbia City Ballet.
Ann Kent specializes in ballet training, especially in the improvement of technique and body placement. Her training in the Vaganova method is supplemented by ballroom and Latin dance, as well as her interest in Yoga. Ann studies classical ballet variations to teach them to CBS students and is our resident expert. She has staged excerpts from Pacquita, La Bayadere, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, Coppelia, Nutcracker, Don Quixote, and Giselle, among many others.
Jen has been dancing for 25 years and is in her fifth year teaching at Columbia Ballet School. She is originally from Baton Rouge, La, where she began studying at the Powell Moise School of Dance. Jennifer started teaching ballet classes when she was just 15. While her degree is in Speech Language Pathology, she is devoted to teaching dance. She began teaching preschool ballet classes in Boone, NC, and she started a preschool dance program in Indianapolis. Jennifer has three daughters, two of whom she home-schools and who take classes at CBS. She is responsible for CBS’s satellite program in local preschools and has developed a Mommy and Me program for young children.
Although a lifelong dancer, Sarah Pellerin currently teaches English (of all things!) at Spring Valley High School. Until the birth of her daughter, Sarah danced under the direction of Terrance Henderson as a member of Vibrations Dance Company and, later, TO Dance, Inc. While with VDC, she attended and performed at the Jazz Dance World Congress in Chicago, IL. She also has reviewed dance performances for The State Newspaper. Sarah received her MAT and BA from the University of South Carolina where she trained under Kris Cangelosi, Cindy Flach, and Stanislav Issaev, among others.
Sabrina Slater-Warren has taught dance in public schools since 1992; she currently teaches at Caughman Road Elementary. She has a bachelor’s degree in dance from Columbia College and a master’s degree in creative arts and learning. She has been active in the dance community in Columbia and Lee County, and has performed with groups at Piccolo Spoleto and other venues. Sabrina sees dance, especially with young students, not only as an art form but as a vehicle for physical activity.
Stephanie Reeves Sloop
Stephanie Reeves Sloop is from Columbia and started dance at 11 years old .She became a student of Anita Ashley at the age of 12 and also studied with Ann Kent during that time. She attended the Summer Dance Intensive at the S. C. Governor’s School for the Art. Stephanie has been working in banking in Columbia and returned to Columbia Ballet School a year ago to begin teaching ballet and tap. She also works in the front office.
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