Faculty

Christine Mashburn-Paul, Director

Originally from Atlanta, Christine grew up studying the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus under the training of Kelly Oakes-Dent at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center. By the time Christine graduated high school, she had completed RAD examination grades II through VIII Award and the major syllabus examinations Pre Elementary through Intermediate II (recently renamed Intermediate Foundations through Advanced I). Christine went on to receive her minor in dance at the University of Georgia, performing in the UGA Ballet Ensemble as well as the modern dance company, CORE. From 2002-2006 Christine taught, choreographed and directed for Freedom of Movement Dance Academy in Athens, Georgia and completed a 230 hour yoga teacher training at Asheville Yoga Center. Christine has a professional career dancing, teaching, and choreographing with the Chattanooga Ballet, and also directed the Orange Grove Dancers. Christine is currently the president of the Tennessee Association of Dance and chair person for their AspireDance performance at the Statewide Festival each fall. With experience in many forms and dance, Christine directs the Chattanooga Dance Theatre to have classes and productions in many forms of dance and movement for all ages.

Errin Cusack, Dancer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Errin holds a BA in Dance from Kennesaw State University where she graduated with honors and helped to found the KSU chapter of the Nu Delta Alpha National Dance Honor Society. While at KSU she was featured in the choreography of faculty and guest artists. She continued her studies at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts before returning to the Southeast where she has performed extensively, including work with gloATL, Atlanta Ballet, and Many independent choreographers. She has taught for more than ten years at Dance Academy Est and Dodds International Performing Arts Center in Douglasville, GA, Dance 101 in Atlanta, GA Cartersville School of Ballet in Cartersville, GA and Ballet Tennessee. This is Errin’s second year with Chattanooga Dance Theatre.

 

Miranda Denham, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Miranda is enjoying her third year with CDT both as a company member and as a staff member teaching ballet and the acro dance class. She is a Chattanooga native, having graduated from Center for Creative Arts in 2010, and received her classical training from Ballet Tennessee. She has recently returned to Chattanooga after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development and Family Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, where she participated in the Dance Theatre company. She is currently working towards a Masters Degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a concentration in Child and Family Studies.

 

 

 

Morgan Forster, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Morgan Forster has been studying dance since childhood and after graduating from Center for Creative Arts in 2007 where she devoted her studies to modern and ballet, Morgan moved to Nashville to attend Middle Tennessee State University. While working on her Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication, she minored in dance and participated in the MTSU Dance Theatre for 5 seasons. Morgan devoted herself to studying the artistry and technique of modern and ballet. She had the pleasure to study wih choreographers including Kim Nofsinger-Shelter Repertory, Marsha Barksy-Company Rose, Erin Rehberg- Core Project, Alberto Del Saz- Artistic Director and Repertory Director of the Nikolai/Louis Foundation for Dance Inc, and many others. During her studies Morgan participated in American College Dance Festival and adjudication concerts and had the opportunity to present her own work “Stemware” at the 2012 ACDFA showcase.

Kelli Gibson, Office Staff

Kelli Gibson is currently a senior at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is majoring in Communications with a minor in Business Administration. She has been dancing for ten years and trained at Chattanooga Ballet for seven of those ten under Frank Hay. She graduated from Center for Creative Arts in 2015 and was a member of Project Motion for two years. She was a member of Boss Dance Company at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 2015-2016. She is co-founder of UTC Dance Company in hopes to bring dance on UTC’s campus. This is her third year at CDT and she could not ask for a better place to not only work but to call home.

 

 

Jenny Hannah, Dance Instructor

Jenny Hannah is from Chattanooga. She began in baton twirling and gymnastics at the age of six. Jenny trained in ballet with Anna and Barry VanCura at Ballet Tennessee. Jenny is currently a baton twirling athlete on the elite level. A member of Team USA, Jenny is a nine time World Baton Twirling Championships medalist and a seventeen time Grand National Champion. Jenny is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a BS in Biology and a M.Ed. in Health and Physical Education. She is a licensed Physical Therapist Assistant. Jenny is an adjunct instructor in the Health and Human Performance department at UTC where she is the coach for the UTC Majorettes. Jenny teaches twirling with United Twirling in Chattanooga.

 

Frank Hay, Ballet Instructor, Choreographer

Frank Hay grew up in California where he studied dance and gymnastics with his father. His early training included performing children’s roles with such notable companies as the San Francisco Ballet and the touring Bolshoi and Mariinsky Ballet Companies. He majored in ballet with an emphasis on performance technique at the University of Utah under an academic scholarship. Frank then joined Ballet West where he trained with Willam Christensen, Bruce Marks, Toni Lander and Leon Danilian. Frank was a principle dancer with the Atlanta Ballet, the Tampa Ballet and the Louisville Ballet. His first engagement with Louisville Ballet included a tour of Texas with Mikhail Baryshinikov. He most recently served as Ballet Master with the Chattanooga Ballet where he taught company class and classes for the Chattanooga Ballet School. In addition to restaging many of the works from the classical repertory, Frank is an award winning choreographer and his credits include many original works for Chattanooga Ballet including “The Nutcracker” and “The Creation”, based on the Hayden Oratory. He also served as the adjudicator for the Pacific Northwest Music Fest and coached a dancer in the 2002 USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. He is well-versed in the Russian, Cecchetti, and Bournonville schools of ballet.

Abigail Lee Haynes, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Abigail was born and raised in Sevierville, Tennessee and began her training at Elizabeth Williams School of Dance. During her early dance career, she trained with Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, Joffrey Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts. She has competed at numerous competitions including Youth America Grand Prix, where she placed in the top 12 for the contemporary division in 2011. She graduated from the University of Alabama fall of 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Dance. During her time at UA, Abigail performed in the pre-professional dance concert, Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre, where she held lead roles in classical ballets such as Paquita in Paquita and Odette in Swan Lake, as well as, leads in contemporary ballet works including Today is History, The Last Military Salute, and Trainer. She has also been apart of student-choreographed concerts, Dance Alabama! and Dance Collection, where her choreography made debut. Abigail was honored to represent the University of Alabama with her performance in co/lapse at the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. She was also selected to represent the University of Alabama’s Dance department at the Alabama Dance Festival and was chosen as a counselor for American Ballet Theatre’s summer intensive in 2015. Abigail was recently a company apprentice and faculty member with Chattanooga Ballet. Now she is managing The Batterie, choreographing and teaching for local companies, and focusing on her dance photography.

Keri Lamb, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Trained in Hip Hop, Jazz, Contemporary, Ballet, and Modern, Keri Lamb is a versatile and energetic dancer, with extensive experience in teaching and performance.  Keri is the curriculum designer and teacher of Chattanooga State Community College’s only hip hop course, and is delighted to be teaching teen and adult Hip Hop at Chattanooga Dance Theatre! Her Hip Hop training includes classes in Lyrical Hip Hop, Locking, Popping, Breakdancing, and Boogaloo, and in her own teaching she strives to deliver an authentic hip hop vibe in a relaxed and inclusive environment.

 

 

 

Elizabeth Roemer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Elizabeth Roemer discovered her love for dance as a child while taking classes at Kathy’s School of Dance and Chattanooga Ballet. After graduating from Baylor School in 2005, Elizabeth attended the University of Georgia where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance. She worked with guest choreographers Bill Hastings and Lou Conte as well as many dance department faculty members during her time at Georgia. Upon her return to Chattanooga, Elizabeth became a guest teacher and choreographer for Baylor School’s dance program, Verve. Elizabeth also served as the Executive Director of the Tennessee Association of Dance for two years. 

 

 

Chloe Russell, Dancer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Chloe Russell is a dancer, teacher, and choreographer with CDT. She teaches ballet, modern, and jazz. She received her early training with the Ballet Memphis junior company and Collage Dance Collective’s pre-professional training program. She has earned a degree in Political Science: Nonprofit Management with a minor in Spanish from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Throughout her college career she danced demi-soloist and corps roles with Chattanooga Ballet and Tennessee Ballet Theatre in ballets such as Giselle, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Sleeping Beauty and new works. Additionally, Chloe is a producer and grant-writer for a local arts event called Celebrations, where she has showcased and danced in her original contemporary ballet works. This is Chloe’s first season with Chattanooga Dance Theatre.

 

Brie Timmons, Dance Instructor, Choreographer

Baylor School alumna, Brie Timmons, Started classical training at the Armfield Dance Academy in Athens, Tennessee at the age of three. Throughout middle and high school she danced and choreographed for Baylor School’s Dance Company, Verve’, and competed with United Cheer leading Junior and Senior level hip-hop teams. At thirteen, she attended the Rockettes Summer Intensive, and at seventeen, auditions for the University of Alabama’s 15th nationally ranked dance program under Ailey danseur, Cornelius Carter. Here she received classical ballet training from American Ballet Theater and Vaganova Academy certified, International Ballet Competitor, Professor Qainping Guo, along with training in modern, jazz, choreography, history, anatomy, pedagogy and stage mechanics. She earned her spot as a freshman in the pre-professional company, Alabama Repertoire Dance Theatre, and danced with renown artists such as George Staib, Stacey Alley, Sarah Barry, Rita Snyder, Rebecca Salzer, and Lawrence Jackson. By graduation, she had multiple pieces of her own choreography adjudicated for production. She graduated with a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences in Dance with a minor in Business in May 2016 and since has taught lower and upper school dance for Baylor School and pre-primary through primary classes for Ascension Dance. This is her first year with Chattanooga Dance Theatre, and she lead the 2018 Contemporary Dance Camp and held master classes for the Advanced Summer Intensive.

 

Nena Widtfeldt, Dancer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer, Office Staff

Nena started her pre-professional training at Contra Costa Ballet school in Walnut Creek, CA under directors Zola Dishong and Richard Cammack. She spent the summer of 2003 at San Francisco Ballet School and the following two years moved to Japan and attended the Tokyo Ballet School. In 2005 she came back to Contra Costa Ballet to finish her dance education and performed various roles in the student company. In 2012 Nena received her Bachelors in Family Studies from Brigham Young University in Provo, UT. She danced with BYU’s Theatre Ballet company and received several dance scholarships during her 4 years there. She toured the west coast with the company performing lead roles in Sleeping Beauty, Le Corsaire, and Cinderella, as well as original contemporary works. From 2013-2016 Nena relocated to Detroit, MI where she continued her teaching career at various ballet studios as well as outreach locations. In April 2016 Nena had the opportunity to perform in Detroit as a dance supernumerary under Alexei Ratmansky’s reconstruction of Sleeping Beauty for American Ballet Theatre. In December of 2016 Nena relocated to Chattanooga, TN and this is her second season with Chattanooga Dance Theatre.