Michelle McGrath-Gerlick - Director

Miss Michelle began her dance training at age 3 at her parents dance studio, Academy of Ballet Arts, and has been teaching for over 20 years. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Nova University, and an Associate of Arts Degree in Dance Education from The Ohio State University. Professionally, Michelle appeared as a "Fly Girl" on Fox Televisions "In Living Color", and was a Miami Heat Dancer for the NBA. Michelle also appeared in two NFL Superbowls, both as a dancer and a choreographer, during which time she toured the East Coast as a Superbowl Staff member. Michelle's greatest achievement in dance has been opening Dance Theatre, where tens of 1000's of children have learned to love dance as much as she does. As the director of Dance Theatre for the past 19 years, Michelle has led her students to such notable accomplishments as the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, the FedEx Orange Bowl in Miami, and Superbowl XLI. Michelle also continues to spread her love of dance beyond South Florida, most recently to the Lexington, KY area with Dance Theatre at Hamburg, and later this year, to Atlanta, GA, with the grand opening of Dance Theatre at Sandy Springs. It's no surprise that Michelle was recently added to the Cambridge Directory of Successful Women in Business.

Sonia Taylor - Director of Operations / Teacher

A native of West Chester, Pennsylvania, Sonia has been actively involved with education of adolescents by means of instructional support, extra-curricular and athletic activities with an emphasis In dance and cheerleading for 30 years. Sonia has coached various award winning dance and cheer teams, choreographed numerous competition routines and has instructed dance, cheer and gymnastics clinics and workshops throughout the Tri-State, and Atlanta area. In 2009, Sonia founded Sparkler All-Stars and Glo Dance of Chester County, PA. Moving to Atlanta, Georgia in 2011, Sonia co-founded the Allatoona Hotshotz Dance Team, and began to make a name for herself in the Dance World by becoming a coach, choreographer, lead dance instructor, and judge in the Metro Altlanta area. Sonia has also worked under contract to host private dance clinics, choreograph workshops, and commissioned regularly to choreograph competition dance and cheer routines for private extra-curricular groups. In addition to the emphasis Sonia puts on teaching dance, she also assists individuals with seeking college scholarships and preparing for college or professional team auditions.

Dale Sassman - DTX Director

Dale Desiree began her dance training at Impact Dance of Atlanta. During her High School years, Dale received a full scholarship to North Atlanta School of the Arts, and then continued her dance education through the undergrad program at Kennesaw State University where she enjoyed many seasons with the Kennesaw State University Dance Company; performing at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., working with artists such as Lauri Stallings and John Welker, and representing the dance department in Morocco. Dale's pursuit of dance education continued with scholarships from The Paul Taylor Dance School in New York, Pilobolus, and The American Dance Festival (2012 & 2014). Dale brings her experiences as a performer into the classroom, most recently performing as a guest artist, at The Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, Atlanta Ballet, CORE Dance Theatre, Emily Cargill and Dancers. She has been represented by The Movement Talent Agency and gained professional credits such as "The Vampire Diaries" and the hit show "Nashville". Dale has been on staff teaching and choreographing for, The Great Gig Dance Ensemble since 2011 and Impact Dance of Atlanta since 2015. 

Princess Littleton - DTC Director

Princess has been a professional dancer and teacher for the past 15 years. Her dance career started in the San Francisco Bay Area where she received her Arts degree. To further her training, she began studying with some of the country's best teachers and choreographers in the discipline of Modern, Jazz, Lyrical, Hip Hop and Musical Theatre. This four year member of the San Francisco 49er's "Gold Rush" was given the opportunity to cheer for some of the greatest athletes in NFL history during Super Bowl XXIX earning herself a Super Bowl ring. Dancing for the 49ers opened the doors for Princess to dance behind musical greats such as Carlos Santana, Tony Bennett, Don McClean, Jeffery Osborne and Boyz II Men. Her TV and Film credits include Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Inside the NFL, EA Sports Industrial, Jacks Bistro commercial, Idlewild and soon to be released Bolden. Outside of the world of dance, Princess was also an inspiring model hitting various runways and working in the areas of print, Redken and Sorbie Internation Hair shows.

Sarah Stokes

Sarah Stokes is an Atlanta-based choreographer, dancer,  and dance educator.  She studied contemporary dance performance and composition at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance. Afterwards, Sarah moved to Atlanta to perform, choreograph, and teach. She has had the great pleasure to perform in works by choreographers such as Shapiro & Smith, Helen Tamiris, Carl Flink, Larry Keigwin, Nadya Zeitlin, Mallory Baxley, and Morgan Carlisle. In 2015, Sarah joined with Britt Whitmoyer Fishel in order to establish Atlanta Dance Collective, a collaborative company of dance artists. Sarah's choreography, described as "ambitious-and effective" by the Twin Cities Daily Planet, has been produced in Minneapolis, New York City, and at various venues in and around Atlanta. Currently, Sarah is a dance instructor in Atlanta, as well as a founding member and co-director of Atlanta Dance Collective.

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning is in her 5th year teaching in the Atlanta area. Originally from the suburbs of Atlanta, she grew up in Woodstock dancing at Steps Dance Center. She furthered her ballet training at the Georgia Ballet throughout high school. Upon graduating she went on to pursue a Dance and Business major at the University of Alabama focusing mainly on performing with the Atlanta Repertory Dance Theatre. From Alabama she went on to further her training in Dance, specifically Dance Education, at New York University. At NYU she received her Masters in Dance Education through the American Ballet Theatre's National Training Curriculum. She is certified in all levels of training through ABT as well as a certified pure barre instructor. She currently teaches at 3 studios in the Atlanta area, sharing her love for ballet with her students. 

Vanessa Chisolm

Vanessa Chisolm, originally from Columbus Ohio, began her training at the Pinnell Dance Center with Jeri Pinnell. Graduating with high honors, she received her BA from the University of Akron. She continued her dance and choreography studies upon her relocation to Atlanta. She presented her early work in Atlanta at numerous dance spaces and founded Fluid, The Artistic Movement, a series of co-operative showcases, which allowed choreographers to outsource their work. She worked for Dance Canvas, teaching tap and jazz at the Mayor's Arts School Program increasing youth participation in the arts through dance. Ms. Chisolm, has judged for various dance competitions while currently teaching Tap and Jazz classes throughout the Southeast. She currently is co-founder of Atlanta Tap Project as well as manages and runs the Vanessa Zabari & Company hosting weekly open classes and privates. She is also the director of the Chocolettes. Vanessa strives to do even more throughout the community with her talent and make other children's dreams come true in dance.

Jamal "Surf" Clay

Jamal SURF Clay started his interest in dance while in Hardaway High School after being inspired by films like Breakin 1 & 2.The creativity, dynamics and freedom in dancing has inspired his style to have a combination of (Breakin, B-Boying or Breakdancing), Poppin and Lock-in. Eager to express, he performed in his High School talent show and other performances.Later on, his skills encouraged him to move to Atlanta,where he became more involved and earned more from various dancers who also shared the same passion. He studied and trained with some of the top bboys and poppers in the city plus took various workshops in Atlanta and New York. Since then, he has earned respect to be a member of HBO (Home Boys Only, One of Atlanta’s premier bboy crews), TBB:The Bronx Boys rocking crew (Atlanta Chapter) and FullStyle Fam from the country Panama. Surf is currently Vice President for TBB Atlanta chapter. In addition his dance has been seen performing for Atlanta Zoo, various churches, street shows, festivals and a Hip Hop play. He is also a member of the ATL Breakers who are the dance team for the Atlanta Braves and a member of the A-Town Breakers. A group of bboys/bgirls who dances with the Atlanta Hawks. His main style of dance is BBOY yet he can also dance popping, locking, Uprock (rock dance) and house dance. He also taught workshops around Atlanta and in Panama. In his free time Surf likes to travel, draw and read. In addition Surf has also judged a few competitions as well taught workshops in Atlanta and Panama. Plus with blessings worked youth boys in The Salvation Army shelter.

Rebecca Hirsch

Rebecca Hirsch bio coming soon...

Courtney Locke

Courtney is a Houston native who began her dance training at the age 13. She has a Fine Arts Degree in Modern Dance and Composition from San Jacinto College and has trained at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway in New York City. Courtney has most recently performed at Springer Opera in West Side Story and Dreamgirls as well as in Christmas in the City at Stone Mountain Park. She will be performing at Six Flags over Georgia this summer. This is Courtney's first year at Dance Theatre of Sandy Springs! She is very excited about the opportunity to work with these wonderful young ladies who always bring an amazing energy to class. Merde ladies!

Devon Szklanka

Devon Szklanka, originally from a small town in northern Pennsylvania, has been dancing since the age of 5 and has 19 years of training in ballet, jazz, tap, theatre, contemporary, and hip hop. Devon attended The University of the Arts in Philadelphia. There she trained under the instruction of many prestigious staff, and earned her Certificate in Dance. From there Devon continued to pursue her love for dance in the big city of Los Angeles. Over time there she trained under some of the top working instructors in the industry. Devon had the privilege of being on the set of many shows and commercials including, FOX television show Glee, 2 Broke Girls, Nike, and AT&T, while still performing live stage performance, and video. Following that, Devon then joined the touring show, Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend where she played the role of Count Von Count, as well as a live dancer. Devon now resides in Atlanta continuing her dance career as a performer with SIDEWAYS contemporary dance company, Atlanta Dance Collective, new and upcoming hip hop company SurfKlub. Currently dancing at Six Flags, and involving herself in many pop up performances in Atlanta, Devon couldn’t be happier living out her dream as a working dancer. She has had the opportunity to teach at the Royal Dance Academy, Dare Dream Dance, and the Atlanta Ballet Outreach program. A current dance instructor with Expressions in Motion Dance, the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and Dance Theatre of Sandy Springs. Devon is enjoying her journey in the city of Atlanta, and is extremely grateful and excited to be teaching at Dance Theatre this season!

Jessica Saund

Jessica Saund began her early dance studies with California Ballet, and continued her training on full scholarship at the Kirov Academy of Ballet in Washington, DC. In 1996, she joined the Washington School of Ballet under the direction of Mary Day. That same year, Ms. Saund took the Gold Medal in the junior division at the 2nd International Ballet Competition in South America. In 1999, she was invited to study with Le Jeune Ballet de France in Paris before joining the English National Ballet, where she remained for 5 years. In 2006, she entered American Ballet Theatre as a member of the corps de ballet. Ms. Saund has performed in every full-length ballet in the classical repertoire. She has performed leading roles in the works of George Balanchine, Mikhail Fokine, Anthony Tudor, Sir Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, Sir Frederick Ashton, and John Cranko, and has worked with and/or created roles for many of the greatest living choreographers, including Twyla Tharp, John Neumeier, Mark Morris, Jiri Kylian, Lar Lubovitch, James Kudelka, Benjamin Millepied, Christopher Wheeldon and Alexei Ratmansky. In addition to performing as a guest artist with several U.S. ballet companies, Ms. Saund has modeled for Barney’s New York, Vogue, Glamour, YSL, Seiko, and Bloch Ballet in both print and television advertisements. Ms. Saund is 5'6" (168 cm) and is a dual citizen of Italy and the United States, holding both U.S. and E.U. passports.