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 is a certified Acrobatic Arts Instructor. This certification process involved coursework, a practical and a written examination. The course instructed in technique, anatomy, and training skills such as spotting safely and effectively, as well as implementing seamless Acrobatic Arts transitions. Acrobatic Arts is a National professional certification organization.
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!
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.
With more than thirty years as a dancer and twenty as an instructor and choreographer, Alexa Roussos brings more than dance knowledge into the classroom. Her passion for the Art instills a greater dedication and discipline into every dancers' life that she has had the opportunity to instruct. Alexa has taught all age levels in classical ballet, jazz, hip-hop, musical theatre, lyrical, contemporary, and tap dance over the years with a main focus on contemporary, lyrical and jazz . Her dance training began at the young age of 3,
at Sheffield’s School of the Dance in Mobile, Alabama, under the instruction of Theresa Noletto-Hutchins and Celi Shinn. She was a member of their Dance Ensemble, competing and performing worldwide.
Alexa spent her Summer's attending intensives and classes in areas of NYC, Los Angeles and in the suburbs of Chicago. She has studied all dance forms and choreography for many years at studios such as The Edge, The Millennium, Broadway Dance Center NYC, The American Dance Center in Saratoga Springs NY and Gus Giordano dance center Chicago. Alexa spent her early adult years as a dancer/back-up singer and performed in Casinos all across the U.S. and also had the opportunity to perform on Celebrity Cruise Lines. She has been the co-director and primary choreographer for many dance companies across the southeast, in the states of Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina, where she has received many awards for her outstanding and emotional choreography. She has worked with many high school dance teams, color guard teams, drama departments and Mardi Gras associations choreographing for various events.
Alexa has taught classes and continues to teach for many studios across the nation with a main focus on creative choreography and lives to inspire and motivate young dancers that enjoy the Art of Dance.
Katie is a born and raised “Yankee” originally from New England, now calling North Carolina home. She is an experienced classical ballet and pilates instructor, having taught beginner, intermediate, advanced/pre-professional students at Elysium Dance Project, Terpsichore Dance, Alpha & Omega Dance Academy.
Dance has been a life long passion for Katie since beginning training in classical ballet at age 8 through Brixham Danceworks in Maine. She continued focused ballet education throughout school age at Ballet New England and Elysium Dance Project both in New Hampshire. Upon graduating high school, Katie accepted a contract with Elysium Dance Project’s dance company performing with them for two seasons.
Katie completed training as a Stott Pilates instructor in 2009, and has been teaching pilates group classes and private lessons throughout the last decade.
Katie has retained extensive knowledge of ballet technique, continuing to self educate through reading, watching videos online, and refreshing experience though ongoing training. She is knowledgeable in both Vaganova and Cecchetti ballet technique within a classroom setting, and additionally has performed various works by Balanchine through independent study.
Katie is a classical music enthusiast through playing piano and listening to every category of classical music recording under the sun! She loves the deep traditional ties of classical music and ballet, and is passionate about inspiring others to enjoy classical music within dance education.
Dance, and specifically ballet, is a forever intrinsic passion for Katie and she loves inspiring others to explore movement through their own unique dance experience. Whether it’s a mom who’s getting back to the ballet barre after many years away, a little one bedecked in a pink tutu dreaming of being a ballerina someday, a young teen looking to gain some inner self confidence through exploring creative movement, or a gifted ballerina in training continuing to hone her craft, Katie sees it as her privilege and passion to inspire every student to flourish and succeed on their individual dance journey!
Sheila Huggins began her formal dance training at The Dancer's Studio of Northford Connecticut, in ballet, tap, jazz, modern, contemporary, lyrical, hip hop and pointe technique. She went on to receive a BFA in Dance Performance from The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theater at The University of Hartford in West Hartford Connecticut, under the direction of Stephen Pier. There she received formal training in classical ballet, classical modern, contemporary, composition, improvisation, and much more. She was given the opportunity to work among many talented dancers, as well as work with professional choreographers such as Gregory Dolbashian, Loni Landon, Bryan Arias, Nina Watt, and many more. She resided in New York City for two years, working as a freelance artist. Currently residing in Connecticut, Sheila teaches, choreographs, and judges in the New England Region.
To say the least, Sheila Huggins passionately strives to be an artist, educator, and honest individual. Although the path of a freelance artist is an endless journey without any destination, she is striving to be the best possible version of herself. A creative mind, genuine teacher, artist, and choreographer, her passion to grow and find infinite success in all areas of life stems from her drive to find her purpose in this lifetime. Artistically, Sheila continues to push her creativity to the edges. Always looking for the maximum capacity of creativity through movement and expression. She dares to take risks and enter the relms of discomfort to discover what the potentials of her works truly are. Through dancing, teaching, choreographing, and performing, in various genres of dance, Sheila's true art form is revealed. Her work can be seen as an extension of who she is and who she hopes to become. Having this view she sees the importance of working "full out" in every opportunity to fail neither herself nor those around her. Though a teacher and choreographer, she is first and always will be a student, seeking out from everyone and everything around her to absorb the knowledge to in return give to students and colleagues. Her passion becomes more present with each passing day and the need to be constantly challenged in order to succeed.
Professionally Sheila seeks to give to those who share the same passion and desire as she does and to help them succeed in their own goals. As a dancer she hopes to dance professionally to gain the experience of a working professional dancer, to ensure the younger generations that hard work and dedication does in fact pay off. Ultimately Sheila wants to make a mark on the present dance world in order to be able to secure a professional environment of training for the next generations of dancers to achieve their dreams. In order to achieve this, she will seek out any opportunity to work with dancers apart of schools, companies, workshops, classes, adjudicating for competitive events, and sharing her own life experiences to those who will listen.
Everything in life happens for a reason. Sheila is a strong believer in that, and it is with honesty and humility that she hopes to have an impact on those whom she crosses paths with along the way. She hopes to have a positive impact in people lives so that the younger dancers of the world can find comfort in knowing someone is working to ensure their future place in the dance world.