Co-owner Natalie Dobbins-Denny started dancing when she was four years old. After graduation from Wilkes Central High School, she attended NC School of the Arts as a dance major. Miss Natalie began teaching at Canipe School of Dance in Wilkesboro in 1989, and has been teaching ever since! In 1996 she earned her certification to teach from Dance Masters of America.
Co-owner Stephanie Mayberry also began dancing at the age of four at Canipe School of Dance. She began teaching unexpectedly at age 16 when Miss Natalie's son was born a few weeks early! Miss Stephanie grew up in the Dance Masters of America organization, performing as a Carolina Protege and competing as a finalist for Junior, Teen and Miss Dance of NC. She finally took her exams in 2009, and is proud to be a certified member of this organization. Stephanie was elected to the Carolina Dance Masters board in 2017. Miss Stephanie graduated Magna Cum Laude from Meredith College with a B.A. in English and a minor in Professional Communications.
Instructor Amanda Staley began dancing at the age of three at Canipe
School of Dance, and continued her dance training at Appalachian State University and University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she graduated with a degree in dance. Miss Amanda and husband Michael live in Cornelius, NC. Amanda earned her certification through Dance Masters of America in 2009. In 2017, Miss Amanda assumed the role of head coach of the West Wilkes Struttin' Hawks.
Instructor Maria Bailey has 20 years experience in dance and dance instruction. As a young dancer under Margie Canipe, Maria represented Wilkes, Surry and Yadkin counties as winner of the Tri-County Junior Miss pageant and participated in Junior Miss and Miss Dance of the Carolinas. A graduate of Wilkes Central High School, Maria received her B.S. degree in Elementary Education from Appalachian State University where she graduated magna cum laude.
Instructor Rachel Minick has always been very involved in the local dance community. She grew up dancing at Canipe School of Dance and went on to continue her dance training while at Appalachian State University. Rachel spent several summers as a cast member at Horn in the West, an outdoor drama presented in Boone, NC. She was the director of DanCIS, a non-profit dance program offered through Communities in Schools. Rachel became a certified member of Dance Masters of America in 2017.
Office manager Debbie Coles is known affectionately as "the Dancers' Principal." As Miss Natalie's Aunt, and mother of two grown dancers, she knows the ins and outs of the dance studio! She makes sure the studio and it's staff is organized and efficient. If you ever need to know anything, just ask Miss Debbie!
Audrey Casamer is an Arkansas native who holds a strong passion for sharing her love of dance through teaching and choreographing. She has trained at Broadway Dance Center in NYC as part of their professional semester, where she concentrated in tap, ballet, theatre, jazz, contemporary and street styles with other professional dancers, choreographers and performers.
She's been a member of Little Rock, Arkansas' first and only professional tap company - UnTapped. She also served as the Tap director at All That Dance in Bentonville, AR. She has experience as a dance camp instructor for the Universal Dance Association (UDA) and is also a certified dance team coach.
Audrey earned an Associate of Arts degree in education from Northwest Arkansas Community College. She recently relocated to Wilkes with her fiance and puppy and has her own custom costume company, ACE Designs.
She plans to continue sharing her knowledge of dance for years to come and gratefully considers every dancer she works with as someone she can learn from. She aims to instill confidence, technique and strong work ethic into every student and is very happy to be part of Studio 68!
**While Miss Debbie is out of the office this week, Miss Audrey will be teaching some of Miss Stephanie's classes. We are super excited!**