About Elite Academy
MEET THE STAFF
CO-OWNER. DIRECTOR. INSTRUCTOR. CHOREOGRAPHER
Nicole began dance at age of 5, under the direction of Shelleh Harkcom at Deltona Dance Academy in Deltona, Florida. She studied all genres of dance including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary/ Lyrical, Pointe, Gymnastics and Hip Hop. Nicole began competitive dance at age 7, traveling to various conventions and competitions country-wide. Utilizing scholarships, she had won in dance competitions, Nicole would travel to New York City or California each Summer to train with professional choreographers and instructors such as Mia Michaels, Ray Leaper and Chris Jacobson to name a few.
Nicole performed professionally at age of 8, dancing at Walt Disney World, performing on stage, in the televised Christmas Parade, as well as in TV commercials. Nicole starred in her first dance television show at age 9. Nicole has also had the opportunity to work and Dance at Epcot Center in Orlando, Florida. Nicole began competitive dance at the age 7 and has been awarded numerous titles including Florida Dance Masters Rising Star, Petite Miss Dance of Central Florida, and The Bill & Edith Royal Jazz Scholarship. Nicole was selected to tour with Florida Dance Masters Teen Company. Other national accolades Nicole has won include Miss Showbiz, Miss. Starpower, and Miss Star Quest. Proudly, Nicole is a 4 time 1stplace National High Scoring solo Champion.
Nicole began classroom instruction, assisting her dance director at age 12, and continued assisting until she was 18. After graduating high school, and while attending Seminole State College, she taught dance at Stetson University in Deland, Florida, as well as for several other studios in Florida.
Nicole has toured with two National competition circuits as a judge for over 5 years, and has been asked to guest teach and choreograph for various studios around the United States. Nicole has received multiple Choreography Awards, and continues to be recognized for her innovative choreography. Nicole has also performed as a dancer for the Orlando Predators NAL Football team.
Nicole currently resides in Whispering Pines, North Carolina with her husband and three children. As Co-Owner, Director, Choreographer, and Instructor for Elite Academy of Dance in Southern Pines, Nicole has made her life’s work sharing her knowledge and passion for Dance with all of her students.
Mackenzie Broccolo was born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island and began dancing at the age of 3 at Jeannes Dance and Gymnastics Center where she trained in Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Hip Hop, Tap, and Gymnastics. Mackenzie frequently traveled to NYC to take classes at institutions such as Broadway Dance Center and Steps. She has also traveled all over the US to compete and participate in conventions. Knowing she wanted to further her career in dance, Mackenzie received her BA in Dance during her 4 years at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusettes where she also minored in Psychology. She trained under Jill Silverman, Gregory King, Rose Pasquarello Beauchamp, Todd Shanks, Laura Young and many other well established names in the community. Mackenzie also had the pleasure of traveling with William Evans Modern Company for 2 years. While dance is her number one passion, Mackenzie also enjoys fitness and has been teaching at Pure Barre on and off for 5 years. She has had great opportunities teaching and choreographing for over 8 years throughout New England and is ready to take her expertise to the South.
Giselle Fernandez is originally from Riverside, CA. She began her dance training at Riverside Ballet Arts, then went on to succeed in company schools such as California Riverside Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, The Rock School for Dance Education, Burklyn Ballet Theatre, and the dance department at University of California, Irvine.
Her professional career started in traditional Russian folk dance for LA- based company, The All-Authentic Russian Souvenir Dance Co. Giselle then danced in various shows and parades at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and The Walt Disneyworld Resort. She has worked for various entertainment companies based in Los Angeles performing for conventions and other productions. Working with Stiletto Entertainment, Giselle has traveled the world with major cruise lines such as Princess Cruises and Holland America Cruise Line.
Most recently, she lived in Hawaii for five years working as creative director for a well-known luau, Waikiki-based entertainment companies, and faculty at the prestigious Ballet Hawaii under Pamela Taylor-Tongg. Her connections run deep in the both the professional ballet and commercial entertainment world, and she’s excited to now be spreading the magic with the students of Elite Academy of Dance!
Veronica began her dance training at the age of four and fell in love with the art instantly. Through her youth she trained with Van Dyke and Company and Dynamic Motions Dance Academy. At twelve she moved to North Carolina and began training in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus under Sue Peterson and Diana Turner-Forte. She completed levels 4 through Vocational Intermediate and received distinction marks on all exams. Through the years she has trained in intensive programs under Jillana of the New York City Ballet, with the Milwaukee Ballet, and at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Teaching dance has only strengthened her passion, and has sparked a new love for helping young dancers become the people and artists they are going to be!
INSTRUCTOR - CHOREOGRAPHER
Matthew Rock was born in Pinehurst, North Carolina on July 8th, 1992. Matthew first started in the arts with music and theatre, and was introduced to the art of dance in 2009 where he studied ballet, contemporary, and jazz technique. In 2011, he attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, majoring in BFA dance performance and choreography. There, Matthew began studying a myriad of genres of dance more in depth, such as, African, ballet, ballroom, contemporary, improvisation, jazz, modern, and choreography. After graduating in 2014, he relocated to Washington D.C. to further pursue his career. Dancing with companies such as ArasDance, Jane Franklin Dance, and Light Switch Dance Theatre, and under the instruction of various renowned dance artists, he has performed in venues and theatres throughout North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. He has choreographed his own works for various festivals and events along the East coast, providing different insights and perspectives on current societal events and human experiences through athleticism and artistry. He is also artistic director of MARO Movement and has dabbled in dance journalism as an active concert reviewer in D.C. Through choreographing, performing, teaching, and writing, Matthew hopes to continue to grow and expand his knowledge as an artist, sharing his experiences and voice through a movement medium and promote social change.
INSTRUCTOR . CHOREOGRAPHER
Micaela started dance at the age of four, taking tap and jazz classes. At the age of seven, she auditioned for and was accepted into the Northwest Florida Ballet Academy in Fort Walton Beach Florida. She studied Classical Ballet for two years under NFB’s professional staff and Todd Eric Allen, Director and CEO of NFB and former professional dancer with Boston Ballet, Louisville Ballet and Les Grands Ballets Canadiens. Here she learned everything from proper ballet attire and hair to in depth ballet technique training. Along with her training, Micaela has completed many Royal Academy of Dance examinations with distinction. Throughout high school Micaela danced and studied under Heather Waymack, Sue Peterson and Diana Turner Forte. She has performed many principal and corps roles throughout her dance career, Cinderella and Mr. Grinch from “How The Grinch Stole Christmas” being her favorite! Micaela’s passion has always been Ballet but she loves all genres of dance and has studied Jazz technique at a collegiate level alongside Ballet. More specifically she studied Ballet technique and performance at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Jazz technique at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Micaela loves to inspire and help others, which led her to become an instructor for her passion, Dance!
Courtney’s journey began in Florida at Deltona Dance Academy, at the age of three, where she quickly discovered her passion for dance. At the age of five, Courtney began training under a Russian ballet instructor and participating in dance conventions and competitions. Over the next 13 years she was awarded many overall awards and scholarships, while training under a wide variety of teachers in numerous styles. She moved to North Carolina at the age of eight and began training in the North Carolina School of the Arts ballet preparatory program. Courtney continued her North Carolina School of the Arts training in their high school ballet program, while also traveling with convention circuits as an assistant on the weekends. Courtney then completed her high school education in Columbia, SC while training under and working with the Columbia City Jazz Dance Company. Courtney discovered and pursued her love of teaching dance and choreographing at a young age. She continues to be passionate about dancing, teaching, and creating, and hopes to use her passion to spread the art of dance and inspire children of all ages to follow their dreams.
Bridget Whitaker began her dance and teacher training in Charlotte, NC at the Charlotte School of Ballet. She is trained in the syllabi of the Royal Academy of Dance completing examinations I-V and Cecchetti method examinations Primary – Adv. II earning Distinction. Bridget performed with the Charlotte Youth Ballet as a company member for 14 years. During these years Bridget also performed with the Moscow Ballet, Eddie Mabry Dancers, Queen City Jazz and studied abroad with the Royal School of Ballet as well as Balleteatro Nacional de Puerto Rico. She also attended the prestigious Broadway Theatre Project in 2007 & 2008, was selected as Miss Mecklenburg County Outstanding Teen in 2008 and performed as a guest artist at the 2008 Miss America Pageant. Bridget went on to graduate Magna Cum Laude, from Florida State University with a B.F.A. in Dance Education and Dance Performance as well as become a licensed ZUMBA® instructor. Bridget has had the privilege of working with artists such as Suzanne Farrell, David Howard, Ben Vereen and Melissa Hayden. Bridget went on to pursue a career in New York City working for Mark Selliger Studio and studying with Third Rail Projects and acclaimed dance critic Sally Sommers. She has performed rolls such as “Clara” in the Nutcracker, “The Queen of Hearts” in Alice in Wonderland, “Rosie” in Bye Bye Birdie, “Tzeitel” in Fiddler on the Roof, “Winter Fairy” in Cinderella, “Pas de Trois” in Sleeping Beauty and “Dorothy” at The Land of OZ on Beech Mountain, NC. Bridget is overjoyed to be back in NC working as an instructor at FORTE Fitness Southern Pines, NC. Currently offering private training in Classical Ballet (RAD & Cecchetti Methods), Contemporary Ballet and Pointe work plus Broadway based Tap and Jazz as well as public classes in Forte Barre, Dance*Fit & ZUMBA® classes.