Teachers Page

Yvonne Antinazi - Owner / Director

Ms. Yvonne began dancing at age 3 and has had formal training in all aspects of dance. Throughout her dancing career Yvonne has studied under the instruction of Dee Hodges, Chris Cory, Terrell Paulk, Patsy Bromley and Tommy Sutton to name a few. From the ages of 12 to 21 her summers were spent in New York City taking Master Classes from such well-known artists as Luigi, Melissa Hayden, Frank Hatchett, The Joffrey Ballet as well as Alvin Ailey. At 18 she became Ballet Mistress for the DeKalb Dance Theater, assisting in classes as well as choreography. She was a member of the City Center Chamber Company under the direction of Robert Archard; was President of her college dance club, and performed on TV, in convention shows, at Kennywood Amusement Park and Six Flags Over Georgia’s Crystal Pistol. She has won numerous 1st places and best over-all awards in Regional and National solo, duet/trio and group competitions. Yvonne is a member of the production team for the Distinguished Young Woman of Georgia program. The Georgia DYW program has won numerous national awards for choreography and production. Since 1993 she has been a member of Dance Masters of America where she held the office of Secretary/Treasurer as well as Scholarship Chairman for her local chapter. In 2015 she became a certified member of Dance Educators of America and continues to take classes by not only participating in local workshops but also traveling to New York City and to Buffalo, NY for the accredited Dance Masters of America's Teacher Training School (TTS). Ms. Yvonne is a Post Graduate of TTS having successfully passed her Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics and Modern exams.

Gigi Stoneback

Ms. Gigi began dancing at age 3 and has had training in all areas of dance. She began competing at age 5 and realized that she excelled in the areas of Jazz and Acrobatics so she began focusing her training in these areas. Upon entering high school, she found an outlet in these two areas through competitive cheerleading where she was part of an award winning traveling squad. In January 1994, she was part of the Halftime Show for Super Bowl XXVIII. She also has performed for Paramount Productions in convention shows. Throughout her years of competing she has won many 1st place solo and group awards as well as many overall awards. Ms. Gigi has her certification in acrobatics and jazz through Dance Masters of America. She continues her dance education through participation in workshops and studying in New York City.

Meredith Haynie

Ms. Meredith has been a dancer since the young age of four years old. She trained with various studios throughout Georgia including The Dance Academy in Stockbridge and The British Academy of Performing Arts in Marietta. She also performed with her high school's honors dance program where she had the pleasure of dancing alongside Lee Harper Dance Company at Atlanta Symphony Hall for three seasons. She received a B.A. in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Alabama where she performed with the University's dance company, Alabama Repertory Dance and Theatre. She has also had wonderful internship opportunities with Trisha Brown Dance Co. NY, Now Next Dance DC, and The Georgia Ballet. Meredith has also performed as a professional dancer with Atlanta Festival Ballet Company. With many years of teaching ballet, modern, jazz and tap, Meredith is very excited to join the NGAD family!

Alexis McPhail

Ms. Alexis grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA and trained in various styles of dance from the age of 4. In high school, she was on the Mill Creek High School Dance Team, which received two state championships during her time on the team. Alexis extended her training to in-studio intensives, as well as intensives across North America. She has currently attended five Rockette Summer Intensives and for four of the intensives was accepted into the Invitational Week. She also attended Joffrey South, where she trained in ballet, jazz, and hip-hop. At the collegiate level, Alexis has trained at Oklahoma City University's Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment to achieve a BS in American Dance Pedagogy. There, she had extensive training in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theatre, and rhythm tap. She was president of the Students of Arts Management organization (SAM) whose mission is to connect students to professionals in the dance and entertainment industry. She also gained her in-house Moving Light Board certification. In college, Alexis was able to teach around the Oklahoma City area. She has also judged for Dance Masters of America (DMA). Alexis is excited to join the NGAD family to share her knowledge with the next generation.

Jess Stephenson

Ms. Jess has been involved in dance since she was 4 years old. She grew up taking jazz and hip hop classes until she was 14. At 14, Jess chose to go to gymnastics to build strength and flexibility. She progressed through the "advancement steps" at the gym and was invited to try out for Tumbling Team at age 16. After joining the team, Jess competed nation wide receiving medals at every meet including nationals where she received two silver medals. After graduating high school, Jess had to leave behind the world she loved to focus on school. Jess graduated from Georgia State University with a degree in education. She currently works at Berkmar Middle School as a science teacher and Georgia Gymnastics Academy as a team coach. Jess is excited to join the North Georgia Academy of Dance team this year to focus on Acrobatics, Strength and Flexibility.

Shanik Delight Moore

Shanik Delight Moore is an artist and educator. She recently graduated magna cum laude from Brenau University with a Bachelors of Arts in Dance Education. She is trained in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop and West African. Shanik Delight has been teaching for over six years in the community and studio settings. In addition to teaching, she has over twelve years of performance experience. Shanik Delight has had the opportunity to work with guest artists Jody Sperling, Kristy Nilsson, Charlotte Boye-Chiristensen and Carl Flink. She has also choreographed and performed multiple original works that have been showcased periodically throughout Metro Atlanta. Her emphasis as dance educator is to create an environment that encourages self-expression and provides opportunities for self-discovery. She desires to reach all students and cultivate artists and dance advocates. Shanik Delight is excited to join the NGAD dance family this year.

Kelly Hodge

Ms. Kelly moved to Georgia the summer of 2017 from Ohio, where she had spent 9 years as a company performer and competitive ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, and acro dancer. She has performed in some awesome locations such as New York City and Disney World! Ms. Kelly attended Miami University, where she served as artistic director and principal dancer for the Miami Ballet Corps. In addition to dance, she played the trumpet in the Miami University Marching Band, making appearances in pro-football games, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, and the 2012 Presidential Inauguration. Since graduating, s. Kelly has taught students age 3 – 18 in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, and acro. When she is not dancing, she loves to spend time outside hiking and kayaking with her husband and dog, Wendy. Ms. Kelly is so excited to join the NGAD team!

Ashton Antinazi

Ms. Ashton is a graduate of Georgia College and State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a double Minor in Dance and Spanish. Ashton began dancing at the age of 3 at NGAD and received training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Acrobatics and Lyrical/Modern. Ms. Ashton performed in GCSU college productions including Anything Goes, The Birds, Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Annual GCSU Dance Minor Concert. During college she was inducted into Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honorary and Alpha Psi Omega Theater Fraternity. She began teaching while at NGAD during her High School years and continued at the GCSU Community Dance School. Ms. Ashton has put several pieces on the NGAD Elite Dancers which have won Awards at the Dance Masters of America Competition in Chattanooga, TN. Ms. Ashton is a certified member of Dance Masters of America and looks forward to sharing her passion for dance with the children at North Georgia Academy of Dance.

Yara Betancourt

Ms. Yara began her formal dance training at age 13 and immediately fell in love. Under strong and motivating instruction, she pushed her limits and quickly grew in both technique and artistic expression. During her High School years, she performed regularly with the Dekalb School of the Arts' Dance Repertory Company at various local events and venues, including the Georgia World Congress Center and the Phillips Arena. She later discovered her passion for teaching dance and has had the opportunity to teach at various dance studios, children's programs, and workshops. In recent years, Ms. Yara performed as a company member for several Atlanta-based dance companies, including Gathering Wild, Me.You.Us.We.Them, and Phyzix Urban Dance Theatre. In addition to her love for dance, Ms. Yara also has a background in voice, musical theatre, and video production. She is excited and honored to be a part of the dance family at North Georgia Academy of Dance.

Karen Neely

Ms. Karen is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with a major in Management Information Systems. She has studied dance as a hobby for more years than she cares to admit. Karen has been associated with studios in Alabama and Georgia, and has taught jazz and ballet to students of all ages. Karen is an active volunteer for the Distinguished Young Woman program. She was the co-director of the Madison County Junior Miss program in Alabama for 10 years, where she often assisted with choreography duties. Upon her move to the Atlanta area, she become involved with the Distinguished Young Women of Georgia program where her daughter was named North Gwinnett's Junior Miss in 2011. Ms. Karen has a deep love for the arts and is always excited to be back in the studio.