STAFF BIOS

Nancy H. Tuttle Owner and Director, received her dance training at the Virginia Dell School of Dance where she also taught for two years. She has been certified by Dance Masters of America for twenty-five years in ballet, tap and jazz instruction. Miss Nancy has continued her dance studies with such well known teachers as: Frank Hatchett, David Howard, Henry Le Tang, and Pamela Bolling. She has served as Counselor and Dance Instructor in the Duval County Community Schools Summer Camp Program. She is the past president of Dance Masters of America, Florida Chapter. She recently received her Associate Degree of Certificate from the DMA Teachers Training School at the University of Buffalo. 

Lisa H. Thornton - Director, studied dance with Virginia Dell for fifteen years. She is Dance Masters of America certified in both jazz and tap. She taught in the Duval County Schools before joining the NancyDance Studio twenty years ago. Miss Lisa has received advanced training from such nationally recognized instructors as Debi Dee, Henry Le Tang, Buster Brown and Joe Tremaine. Miss Lisa is well loved by our preschoolers and is most famous for her expertise in tap. Her style has a flair that is the best in the city. Lisa has attended the DMA Teachers Training School at the University of Buffalo.

Melissa Geiger - Director, is a former student of NancyDance. She continued her studies in ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics traveling to various parts of the country like: Chicago, New Orleans, Atlanta, and New York. She has trained and studied with teachers such as: Joe Lanteri, Gus Giordano, Suzi Taylor and Laura Hauseman. She has attended the Teachers Training School at Kent State University and has been certified with Dance Masters of America for fifteen years. Melissa owned and operated Performing Arts Center of Baymeadows for eight years. She received recognition with American Society for the Arts for Outstanding Student. Not only is she known for her strong and energetic skills in Acrobatics, her exquisite flair of jazz technique and style is by far the best in the city.

Shanna Fisher Assistant Director, is a former student of NancyDance for 15 years, has been teaching at the studio for 19 years. Shanna received her training from Dance Masters of America’s Teachers Training School. Her infectious energy and passion for teaching is well received by all her students. Shanna’s talent shines in her favorite styles of dance -Tap and Hip Hop.

Hailey Dunavant – Instructor, danced at NancyDance for 12 years and was on the Fletcher High School dance team for 3 years. She continued her dance experience on Georgia Southern University’s dance team for 4 years then graduated with a degree in business administration. Hailey especially enjoys sharing her passion for Ballet at the studio.

Samantha Thornton - Instructor, danced at NancyDance since she was 2 years old and studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and baton. While attending college at FSU, Sam danced on the Seminole Dance Force. When she moved back to Jacksonville in 2015, Sam began teaching at NancyDance and graduated in December 2017 with a degree in nursing. Sam currently works in the neuro ICU at Baptist Downtown, teaching at NancyDance on her days off. 

Jenni Peavy Murphy – Instructor, is AFAA Group fitness certified and received training at Mildred Fleming School of Dance in Tallahassee. While at Florida State University, she performed for the Golden Girls Dance Team and with the Florida State Flying High Circus. While living in Orlando, she was an "Orlando Magic Dancer" with the NBA for 3 years as well as an Arena Football Cheerleader for the Orlando Predators. She also performed at Universal Studios and Disney World in several different variety shows. When she moved to Jacksonville, Jenni began her Zumba / Barre on Beach Adventure at NancyDance.

Kristina McManus - Instructor,is a former NDS dancer starting at the age of 8 years old. Kristina spent numerous summers at dance training workshops in NYC, LA, Chicago, Buffalo, NY and Miami. From 1996-1998, she was a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars Roar cheerleaders including as a captain in ‘97-‘98. She was nominated by the Roar team as a Pro Bowl Cheerleader in ’98. Kristina holds certifications from Health Coach Dr. Sears, DaVinci BodyBoard Fitness Instructor as a Master Trainer and is currently a student enrolled with NASM/PT National Academy of Sports Medicine. As the owner of FIT with HIIT Board & Bounce, Kristina loves spending time with her family that includes her three daughters dancing at NancyDance.

Marco Tacandong - Instructor, is from the Philippines and moved to Jacksonville, FL in 2009. He started dancing when he was 14 years old watching Hip-hop videos on YouTube. Soon he started taking classes from different choreographers and expanding his movement vocabulary. Marco has mostly trained with choreographers such as Ian Eastwood (Young Lions), Vinh Nguyen (Kinjaz), Anthony Lee (Kinjaz), and other amazing choreographers from the urban dance community. He is also trained in ballet, jazz, and modern. Marco is a part of WreckLess Dance Crew and a member of FSCJ's DanceWORKS Company. 

John Hollingsworth - Instructor, is native to the Jacksonville area and grew up in the dance industry. He started dancing when he was 3 years old. John is trained in ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap and his favorite hip hop. He has worked with professional dancers and artists like Carlos Garland, Peter Sabasino, and Greg Fountain. He attended multiple summer workshops including Joffrey’s Hip Hop Summer Intensive in New York City. He continues to train at Art of Dance and is a member of Dancelook LLC. John is very excited to share his love of hip hop with the students of NDS.

Heather Gorres - Instructor, originally from New York, Heather trained at the New Paltz School of Ballet under former New York City Ballet dancers Peter and Lisa Naumann. Heather graduated from Mercyhurst University in 2011, Magna Cum Laude, with a BA in Dance and a concentration in choreography. She was a member of the Nu Delta Alpha dance honors society and the Liturgical Dance Ensemble. Heather has performed professionally with Avant Chamber Ballet, Tampa Ballet Theatre, Nashville Dance Initiative, Dance Theatre of Tennessee, and Lake Erie Ballet, as well as a guest appearance with the Nilas Martins Dance Company. Heather enjoys teaching ballet and pointe to dancers of all ages, sharing her knowledge and experience with the next generation of dancers. 

Kellina Featheringill - Instructor, a native of Jacksonville Beach, Kellina grew up studying dance with Janet Sydnor. She is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and went on to dance with Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, First City Dance Theater in Pensacola, Florida, in New York City at Steps and Broadway Dance Center as well as Studio F in Los Angeles, California. Upon returning to Jacksonville, she has taught and choreographed at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Stanton College Preparatory High School, Episcopal High School and most recently choreographed Mary Poppins for Providence fine arts theater program. She is founder of Studio K Dance in San Marco and has taught at several studios in Jacksonville and the beaches. She is mom to Ella and Whit and is so excited to be a part of the NancyDance faculty.

Darcy Stinnette - Instructor, born and raised in Illinois, dance was always a passion. Dance teams, drill teams, and school talent shows helped her to express and explore the world of dance. A graduate from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, she learned different elements, and genres of dance which only deepened her passion. She has studied under Les Twins (Champions of World of Dance, featured dancers of Beyonce), Julie Williams (Universal Japan), and Amari Marshall (choreographer for Janet Jackson). Darcy is currently a dancer and choreographer for The Jewelry Box Society (Jacksonville, FL) under the artistic direction and choreography of Samuel Hills III, and is very excited to be an addition to NancyDance Studio.

Alexa Glover - Instructor, is a proud Pittsburgher, found her love for performing at her mother’s dancing school, and was hooked once she started training and performing with Pittsburgh Musical Theatre.  Alexa continued her journey at Pittsburgh’s own Point Park University with a major in musical theater. Since leaving the Burgh, Alexa has loved traveling and performing at Sacramento Music Circus, Pittsburgh CLO, Westchester Broadway Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Cape Playhouse, The Muny in St. Louis, Maine State Music Theatre, West Virginia Public Theatre and Tokyo Disney.  Alexa is proud to have eye-high kicked as a Radio City Rockette for three years.  She also spent two holiday seasons with Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.  One of her favorite adventures was touring the country with Monty Python’s Spamalot. After living in the New York City area for 13 years, Alexa and her family moved to Jacksonville in 2017. She loves living the mom life while raising two little boys with her husband. Her oldest son is a proud NancyDance student. Alexa loves sharing her passion for the performing arts with students any chance she gets. ‘Thanks for having me here at NancyDance!’

Amber Mills - Instructor, lauded for her holistic, integrative approach to the Pilates Method, Amber is one of the most sought-after instructors in North Florida and the driving force behind A Pilates Studio. She maintains a philosophy that highlights working with clients as individuals and instructing from a platform that emphasizes education in conjunction with dynamic movement. Amber has been practicing and teaching Pilates since 2000, and prides herself on teaching with excellence and customizing fitness programs to ensure her clients achieve maximum benefits from Pilates conditioning. Known for her meticulous attention to detail and feather touch, she is an expert motivator who encourages students to foster respect for their bodies while surmounting perceived limitations.  Miss Amber is excited to be a part of the NancyDance team and loves having her son Maddox and daughter Piper dancing here as well. 

Patty Harrison - Office Manager, is a Jacksonville native and has worked at NancyDance Studio since 1992. In her free time, Patty loves to fish, go to the beach and hang out with her nieces and nephews.

Marcy Dunavant Secretary, a Jacksonville native who moved to the beach 27 years ago, Marcy was a NancyDance mom for 12 years until her daughter Hailey graduated. She has continued to volunteer as a backstage mom at both the baby shows and recitals. She has worked for the Duval County School Board as a teacher and administrator for 29 years. Her family also includes her son Ben, daughter in-law, Kassie and their daughter, Sagan - first grandbaby and future Nancy Dancer. 

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