Hayley Amis-Stewart is a former student of HSD and became the owner and director of Highland School of Dance in 2008. She apprenticed with Southern Ballet Theater from 1995-1997. After graduating high school in 1997, she went on to study dance at New World School of the Arts on full scholarship. She has also danced with Hardrive Productions in Orlando, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Moving People Dance Theater in Santa Fe, New Mexico and has taught throughout the United States. She returned as a faculty member at Highland School of Dance in 2002. She is currently a member of Florida Dance Masters and Cecchetti Council of America.
Robbie Mundy has studied dance since she was a young child and has been affiliated with HSD as a student and teacher for many years. In 1992, Robbie left the teaching world to open Dance Closet. Robbie returned to HSD in 1995 to teach pre-ballet and beginning ballet. Robbie is a certified teacher through the Cecchetti Council of America. She takes great pleasure in showing her students the responsibilities as well as the joys of dance.
Erica Garcia Peek is a graduate of the University of South Florida and alumni of Harrison Center for the Performing Arts dance department. While at USF she studied with John Parks, Jeanne Travers, and Lynne Wimmer, focusing her modern training on the Horton and Limon techniques. She performed with Moving Current, and was a founding artist of the performance company Dance, Music, Design. Erica spent four years dancing as a company dancer with a professional company in Florida. She also danced with Vital Spark for three years and competed in Spain at the Dance Grand Pix. In 2015 Erica became a certified member of Florida Dance Masters.
Adrianne Patton is a former student of HSD. After graduating high school, she went on to study psychology at University of South Florida. She returned as a faculty member at Highland School of Dance in 2010. She is currently a performer for Walt Disney and the head dance coach for the George Jenkins High School Wind Dancers. She is a member of Florida Dance Masters. Adrianne Patton is committed to teaching the disciplines and principles of dance to her dancers.
Alex Jones is a graduate of the University of South Florida's Dance Department with a BFA in Dance Performance. In addition to his collegiate training, Alex received his dance training from The Dance Center at Satya Life, Highlands School of Dance, Harrison Arts Center, and LINES Ballet BFA Program. He has had the opportunity to work with Alonzo King, Bill T. Jones in Serenade/The Proposition, and Doug Varone in The Rite of Spring. He has performed in Tunisia, Africa with the University of South Florida on behalf of the American Embassy and the Tunisian Dance Federation. He is currently an equity dancer at Walt Disney World and has performed in Dream Along with Mickey and Beauty and the Beast Live On Stage. He teaches partnering and contemporary jazz at Highlands School of Dance. He is an alumnus of ArchCore40 in NYC and works closely with choreographer Jennifer Archibald as her choreographer assistant. In 2012, he has choreographed and directed his first evening length work entitled “First You, Then The Rest” at the Studio@620 in St. Petersburg, FL. In the Spring of 2013, Alex joined Yow Dance Company and had the honor of choreographing works on the company for both Spring Into Dance and the Orlando International Fringe Festival. Later that Fall, he returned to the Studio@620 to premiere his second evening-length work, "Contact." Alex was a proud member of Project GenYes! at the Studio@620 made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. Through this project, Alex will be premiering his third evening-length work, "Uncovered: Power of the Being” at the Studio@620. Alex is now the new artistic director of Collective Soles Dance Company and is honored to take the company and the Tampa Bay Area to new heights.
Kyle Coleman was born and raised in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Growing up, Kyle pursued athletics for the majority of his life,but at the age of 15, was introduced to the art of Hip Hop. Wanting to be like the superstars on Americas Best Dance Crew, Kyle trained indivudally for two years before becoming a member of LCD2 competitive dance crew in Stuart, Florida. Working alongside choreographers and performers such as Taylor Bennett, Kyle branched off and began working at Studio 6 Academy of Dance in 2013 as a hip hop instructor and assistant director. Since then, Kyle has graduated with his BA in physical education from Warner Unviersity, competed in multiple national competitions such as Starpower and Showstoppers, choreographed for performances at the Kravis Center, and even collaborated on music videos. With several years of experience as a dance teacher and performer, Kyle is trained in every artistic form of the Hip Hop culture and is known throughout south Florida at studios such as Sean's Dance Factory, U4ria, and Focal Pointe. He is excited to join our staff this year and hopes to not only assist in growing the hip hop department, but expanding it so that more young men will join.
Laurel Frye grew up in Dade City, FL, where she studied dance under Sally and Mary Ann Blackwood at Blackwood Studios. In high school she was a member of Florida Dance Master's "Main Attraction." Laurel continued her dance education at the University of South Florida. While attending college she had the opportunity to perform works choreographed by Michael Foley, Janis Brennar, Lindsey Wyrick, and Brittany Antle. Laurel is currently a member of Shoes at the Door Modern Dance Company based out of Tampa, FL. As a member of Shoes at the Door, she has been involved in outreach programs to expose more of the community to the style of Modern Dance. She currently teaches for Blackwood Studios and is excited to be part of the Highland School of Dance family as well.
Sarah Oepen received her early training at the Academy of Dance Arts in DeLand, Florida and then went on to train at the Orlando Ballet School under the direction of Peter Stark. She has also spent summers studying at the Sarasota Ballet and the Peridance Capezio Center in New York, NY. As a graduate of the University of Central Florida she holds a B.S. in Event Management and a minor in Dance. Sarah was a company member with Florida Dance Theatre where she later moved into management. There she performed in both contemporary and classical ballets including The Nutcracker, Firebird, Swan Lake, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. She has been a parade performer for Walt Disney World Entertainment for the past ten years where she has had the honor of opening several new shows and parades. Sarah has been teaching and setting shows throughout the Central Florida area for the past seven years. In addition to teaching at HSD, Sarah is the Director of the HSD Homeschool Dance Enrichment Program.
Olivia Conti started her athletic training as a highly competitive gymnast at the age of 5 at Gymnastics Etc. in Lakeland, FL. At 8 years old, she discovered her passion for dance and she continued to do both activities together until the age of 14 when she retired from gymnastics and made dance her main focus. She has studied under the instruction of Hayley Stewart, director of Highland School of Dance, for the past 10 years and is now an alumni of HSD. She has participated in several of Patel Conservatory's summer intensives and has received honors from Florida Dance Masters such as the The Edith and Bill Memorial Overall Scholarship, Top 10 Overall, Top 4 Overall, and the Acro For Life scholarship. Additionally, Olivia has had four years of training in the Cecchetti method of ballet and has participated in many MODAS workshops with Artistic Director Layla Amis. In 2017, Olivia began dancing with Collective Soles Dance Company in Tampa, FL as an apprentice under the artistic direction of Alex Jones. Olivia is currently beginning her journey at Florida Southern College and is diligently working to obtain her BFA in Dance performance and Choreography while pursuing her desire to become a choreographer based in the central Florida area.