Alexandra was born in England in 1975 and raised in Portugal, she started dancing when she was three years old. At the age of nine she was accepted at Elmhurst Ballet school in Great Britan where she stayed till she was 18. www.elmhurstdance.co.uk
Alexandra Graduated from Elmhurst with a degree in Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap and Musical Theater. The last two years of her education at Elmhurst she had lead roles in Sound of Music and Pal Joey where she then went on to further her career in the US.
Leaving England behind, Alexandra performed in numerous musicals, cruise lines and dinner theaters and continued her career until little Liam arrived. Upon her arrival on Amelia Island 10 years ago she saw a need, and felt the calling to fill it by bringing culture and love of the arts to the children and families of Fernandina. Her studio offers a generous variety of all types of classes which focus on dance, theater, and music. In the past, aspiring young artists might have had to seek higher-level education elsewhere, RAD offers quality instruction right in your own backyard.
Alexandra chooses Instructors, (including herself), that bring experience and excellence. With a faculty of impressive instructors and increasing student enrollment, RAD’s reputation for excellence will continue to soar higher and higher.
"It is important that if a student has big dreams of being on stage, they start on the right foot learning proper technique.”
She encourages teachers and students to participate in real world applications of their chosen art form. For example, for actors, this approach might mean taking part in a local community theater production. Alexandra puts the best interest of each student first, and nourishes the love and passion of the arts into every child that comes through her door.
Susie Dodge is originally from Jacksonville, Florida, where she graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in 1994. She then moved to Dallas, Texas and graduated cum laude from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance. Susan moved to New York City to pursue her dream of dancing professionally and had the pleasure of dancing with many artists. She worked with Doug Merrifield, Patrick Corbin, and was a company member of The Paul Taylor Dance Company and Taylor 2.
Susan left dancing to start and serve as Artistic Director of The Dodge Dance Company from 2002-2006. Her choreography was reviewed by the New York Times, and Susan was selected to work at White Oak through The Field. She has also served as the Artistic Director of Dream Street, a performance company for adults with disabilities from 2007-2013.
Ms. Dodge has taught across the US at multiple Universities and Conservatories. Susan has served on the faculty for The Long Island High School for the Arts as well as for The Summer youth program at Walnut Hill Arts Academy. Susan has been on the faculty at The Paul Taylor School and is Co-founder of The Dance Project of Washington Heights.
Ms. Dodge teaches for Douglas Anderson School Of The Arts, Florida Ballet and Royal Amelia Dance Academy. We love having Miss Susie as a member of our RAD family!
Chantel Jackson was born in Jacksonville and started dancing when she was 6 at “Attitudes Performing Arts”. She competed in dance competitions and was later accepted into the “Debbie Alan’s Dance Academy” in California. She continued her training at “Boleros” for ballroom dancing. Since then, she’s trained at “Debbie Reynolds” and “Millennium Dance Complex”. She started teaching and choreographing at age 16 and has been a member of our amazing teaching group here at RAD since 2009.
She currently teaches Hip Hop at RAD.
With a lifetime of dance influences from ballet to tap and from contemporary to street dance, Meridith Burkhart brings a broad perspective to the classroom. Meridith’s professional experiences includes numerous industrial shows, cruise lines and musical theater. Her eclectic resume equals 20+ years both professional dance and teaching experience. She has been a member of our team at RAD for the last years and continues to inspire all her dancers with immense depth of knowledge and her passion of the arts.
Sarah Sandall was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI where she started dancing at just 4 years old. By age 10 she had begun her training with Wendi Debois and in 1995 was one of the founding dancers for the Youth Dance Theater of Michigan.
Sarah started teaching dance in 2001. She’s been teaching at RAD since 2007 and is very active in the dance and theater community on Amelia Island.
Jennifer is a professional dance teacher and choreographer. She received her Bachelor of Science in Dance and Arts Management from Oklahoma City University. While at OCU she served as Box Office Manager, Assistant Wardrobe Mistress, and Assistant to the Director. She has studied under many prestigious teachers including Lyn Cramer, Robert Reed, and Jo Rowan. She was also an award winning competitive dancer throughout high school. She attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and was awarded the Tap Dance Award her senior year.
Jennifer has served as Dance Director at the Grace Academy of Fine Arts and has taught in studios and theater programs throughout Jacksonville. She is thrilled to be a part of the RAD family where she teaches Tap, Jazz, Ballet, and Dance Trance.
Kailin discovered her love of dance at the early age of five, studying ballet and tap in Houston, Texas. She furthered her training at the Deerfield Academy of Dance and as an adult studied ballet for three years under Cary Dresser. She has danced in Amelia Musical Playhouse's productions of Into the Woods, Les Misérables, Guys and Dolls, The Producers, Young Frankenstein, Chicago (Velma Kelly), South Pacific (Nellie Forbush) and Drowsy Chaperone (Janet Van De Graaf).
Kailin received her Bachelors Degree from Florida State University in Social Sciences with a minor in Philosophy. Her studies included Child Development and Education.
Kailin Friedrich loves teaching RAD's tiniest dancers and seeing them grow up in our studios! She started teaching here in 2011 and now leads BTJ (Ballet, Tap & Jazz), Kindermusik and Tumbling classes. Kailin also loves bringing new babies into the world as a doula.
Lauren was born and raised in Valdosta, Ga. She began her dance training at the age of 3 at Dance Arts under Linda Chase. Lauren trained in many kinds of dance there including Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Modern, and HipHop. She enjoyed dancing The Nutcracker with Dance Arts every December performing such roles as Clara, Dew Drop, and Snow Queen. It was at Dance Arts that she discovered her love of teaching. Lauren was an assistant instructor at Dance Arts throughout high school. After graduating she became an instructor at Dance Arts. Lauren has been teaching at RAD since 2015 and Loves being part of the RAD family.
With Laurens' extensive Classical Ballet training, she teaches our Level 1 and up classes.
Holly Lavin is from Tallahassee, FL. She is a huge Florida State football fan! She is married with three beautiful children, one boy and two girls. She began dancing when she was three years old. She danced professionally at The Tallahassee Ballet Company for six years. She then continued to dance in college at FSU. During her college career she discovered a love for yoga. After getting her certification to teach, Holly began teaching prenatal and all levels yoga classes on Amelia Island. She is an advocate for fitness and healthy living. She is excited to share her passion for dance!
Natasha is originally from the United Kingdom where she studied dancing since the age of three, training in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and Tap. She is a graduate of FSCJ with an Associate in Arts degree as a Dance Major. While at FSCJ Natasha performed with Dancework. Natasha is also certified in Acrobatic Arts Module One and Module Two and has been teaching at Arts Edge for two years and will be starting wit Royal Amelia Dance Academy August 2018.
Lacey Mickler began her dance training at the age of 13 at a little studio in Callahan, FL, where she served as an assistant teacher to 2-4 and 5-6-year-old ballet classes for close to 5 years. From there she moved to Bean School of Dance in Fernandina Beach, where she attended as a student and teacher’s assistant under Lisa Clarson. Lacey is an honors student and is receiving her BFA in Dance with a minor in Photography under scholarship at Jacksonville University. She is proud to have experience taking classes under artists such as Ariana Grande’s twin choreographers Brian and Scott Nicholson, Jennifer Archibald of Arch Dance Company, and Amy Miller of Gibney Dance Company in New York City. She currently works at Bean School of Dance teaching upper-level technique classes, and is very thankful to be able to broaden her teaching experience at the Royal Amelia Dance Academy in Wildlight teaching BTJ 2-3-year-old and 4-5-year-old classes!
Emily Buckles is a professional choreographer and dance instructor who has been teaching dance for over 20 years. Her expertise includes many forms of dance: ballet, contemporary, tap, jazz, and musical theater. She has instructed students ages 2 to adult at performing arts schools, high schools, dance studios as well as workshops and dance festivals. She enjoys working and interacting with students and believes dance is a wonderful way for children to gain confidence and express themselves through movement.
Emily began her dance training at the age of 3 and has studied across the country. She has worked with nationally renowned tap instructors Lane Alexander, Kathy Wind, and Robert Reed. She has studied all forms of dance and has taken master classes and workshops from some of the biggest names in the dance community.
Emily competed on a national level for 8 years winning many highly prestigious awards at dance competitions around the country. She has been involved in community organizations supporting the growth of dance such as the Human Rhythm Project and Tappin in the Twin Cities in her home state of Minnesota.
Emily also holds a BA in psychology from the University of St. Thomas. She is a mom of two amazing boys that keep her busy, you can often find her at the ballfield watching them play baseball.
Choreographer/teacher/performer, Alex Marques holds a dance theatre conservatory certification from the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City and Hollywood, Los Angeles. Between the two cities, she studied traditional and contemporary dance and acting techniques, musical theatre performance, and choreography.
Jumping right into choreography after graduation, some credits include: Spamalot, Tarzan, Les Miserables, Mary Poppins, and several dance company performances. Recently, Alex worked with Jacksonville’s own Three Hearts Dance Company as a featured artist. Alex now travels beside her husband teaching, choreographing, and performing along the way. A lifelong learner, she is also finishing up a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Communications. Alex is so excited to join the RAD family!
Rachel Davis is originally from North Carolina where she grew up dancing at Northwestern Dance Studio and was part of their competition team, Starz. At the young age of 11, Rachel started attending summer intensive programs at the Virginia school of the Arts where she received training in ballet, pointe, jazz, hip hop, lyrical, modern, and flamenco. She has also received training at the Atlanta Ballet. She was accepted into the then North Carolina School is the Arts and began intensive training as a high school student.
As an adult Rachel was asked to perform for the Wilmington Ballet Company in Wilmington where she was one of the lead dancers. She was also one of the dance teachers at this studio. Later, Rachel was trained in Pilates and throughout the rest of her career has taught dance for several dance studios and works as a First Grade teacher at Southside Elementary School in Fernandina Beach.
Jodi recently moved from Gulf Breeze, FL to Yulee, FL with her husband and three children. She is the Co-Owner/Founder of Zero Gravity Athletics - a competitive cheer and tumbling gym located in Gulf Breeze and Niceville, FL. Jodi was a competitive gymnast through level 9 before she found her passion in competitive cheer, which she participated in through college. The love for both sports transitioned into 16 years of coaching experience in competitive gymnastics and cheer. With USAG and USASF certifications, she is extremely passionate in sharing her knowledge on safe progressions and solid foundations of tumbling (and stunting) skills. Jodi is excited for the opportunity to bring her coaching knowledge into the dance world, and she can't wait to share her passion with your children!