Our Wonderful Staff

Dianne Cheek,

Owner

When Dianne opened Dianne’s School of Dance 49 years ago she wanted to give children a place to come and love to dance, learn life lessons, and stay busy and out of trouble! She has taught over 10,000 children, over 3 generations, and has loved every minute of it. Dianne started teaching at the young age of 11, under the direction of Ms. Vicky Moody. Dianne’s specialty is the art of tap dancing! She has trained under top instructors from around the country. Dianne’s students have appeared on Showtime at the Apollo, Showtime in Harlem, Choreographer’s Carnival in Los Angeles, Miss South Carolina, Miss North Carolina, and other National Events. She has former students currently studying at the prestigious dance schools: Juilliard and Alvin Ailey, both in New York City! She has influenced many in the community through the art of dance and through her dedication to community service. We are excited to have Ms. Dianne back in the classroom teaching pre-school combination classes!

Lacey Cheek McKinney, Co-Owner/Company Director

Lacey is a co-owner and artistic director of Starz Artistic Performance Company. She has been with our school for 34 years and has taught for 23 years. Lacey is a graduate of Greenville Technical College where she majored in Business. She studies under the top choreographers in the Nation including Travis Wall and Martha from So You Think You Can Dance, Caroline Lewis, Ray Leeper, Mia Micheals, Dee Caspberry, Frank Hatchett, and Mark Goodman. She has also studied under the ballet instruction of Sandra Miller, with the Balance Point, and Andrew Kuharsky with the Greenville Ballet.

Currently, Lacey judges on a regional and national level for various competitions and teaches master classes around the Southeast. She is also the director and choreographer for the Travelers Rest High School pageants.

Her companies have won numerous overall awards and have performed at numerous festival and events, including half-time entertainment at Furman Basketball Games. Last year “Starz” were National Champions winning the Top Studio Award in Myrtle Beach!

She participated in the 1990 Peach Bowl, 1994 and 2000 Citrus Bowl, and also was talent winner in 1998 Miss SC Pageant.

Hoyt Starkey

Recreational Instructor/ Clogging Company Director

Hoyt Starkey has been on staff at Dianne's School of Dance for 32 years. He is the Co-Director of the Award Winning STARZ ARTISTIC CLOGGERS. Throughout his years of clogging he has had the opportunity to perform on The Grand Old Opery, Hee Haw, Club Dance and the Miss South Carolina Pageant. He has had many High School pageant winners as well as Miss South Carolina pageant preliminary winners.He also opened for Minni Pearl in Punta Gorda, Fla at their Tri-Centennial Anniversary. Hoyt recently had the privilege to travel abroad with the award winning Bailey Mountain Cloggers from Mars Hill College to Palma de Mallora, Spain and Paderborn, Germany to participate in the International Folk Dance Festivals. He resides in Travelers Rest, SC.

Caitlin Drummond 

Caitlin Drummond is a native of Travelers Rest, SC and began her dancing career at the age of 2. She received her training from Dianne’s School of Dance, The Fine Arts Center of Greenville County, and Greenville Ballet. She was a member of Dianne’s School of Dance company, Starz Artistic Performing Company, where she competed on both the Jazz and Clogging teams. Caitlin has received many solo awards and was inducted into the National Honor Society for Dance Arts in the Spring of 2012. She was also a four year student at Greenville County’s Fine Arts Center. Caitlin is trained in Ballet, Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Modern, Tap, and Clogging but, Ballet is her favorite genre of dance. Caitlin completed her Undergraduate degree at Mars Hill University where she studied Education. Caitlin was a member of the 27-time National Championship clogging team, The Bailey Mountain Cloggers, during her Undergraduate career. Caitlin is currently a Masters student at Mars Hill University and a 1st Grade Teacher at Upward Elementary in Flat Rock, NC. 

Nicole is from Greenville, SC and started dance at 2 1/2 years old. At age 7 she joined a competition team at Upstate Carolina Dance Center. During her time there she was chosen at age 9 to perform in a senior clogging group at the Opryland Hotel. In 2000 she found her way to Dianne's School of Dance where she has made a home. Her first year attending she received the Dedication Award chosen by the staff. In 2002 she competed in the Miss American Clogger Pageant and won the title of Junior Miss American Clogger. She performed in Dracula and The Nutcracker while also competing with the award winning Starz Artistic Performing Company. After graduation in 2007 she started teaching recreational and company classes at Dianne's School of Dance. While attending Clemson University she choreographed and competed with Tigerstrut, Clemson's competition dance company. Nicole has choreographed routines for multiple pageant contestants and auditioned for 2 seasons of SYTYCD. As well as teaching at Dianne's School of Dance she also is a part time children's church teacher at Mountain Grove Baptist Church.

Nicole Stansell

Recreational Instructor/ Jazz Company Instructor
 

Amanda Lowenstein

Recreational Instructor
 

Amanda began her dance training at the age of 3 in Upstate New York. She danced with Tawn Maries Dance Centre’s award winning competition team until she graduated. During that time she competed in many regional and national competitions and won numerous awards. She traveled to NYC to take classes at Broadway Dance Center and Steps on Broadway. She also performed in Walt Disney World with their Magic Music Days program. Following high school, Amanda attended SUNY Fredonia. While in college she was a member of Orchesis Dance Company. After college, Amanda began teaching at Tawn Maries Dance Centre. She taught recreational as well as competition classes until her family relocated to Greenville in October of 2012. Amanda has two children, a 3 ½ year old daughter who is dancing at Diannes and a 1 yr old son. Along with having a passion for dance, Amanda loves to spend time with her children and husband and her two dogs.

Ryan Kirby

Jazz Company Instructor 
 

Kaitlyn Hendrick

Starz Artistic Clogging Assistant Director 
 

Ryan Kirby began dancing at the age of 6. Training until he graduated school in his hometown of South Carolina. After graduation, he worked as a company director for Starz Artistic Performing Company. It was there that his choreography won numerous national first overalls and FDC awards. After directing for 2 years, Ryan decided to pursue his dream of dancing professionally and moved to Los Angeles, California. Since moving, Ryan has worked on Glee, toured the country with Macy's passport and on the 2015 Pentatonix tour, worked on a Toyota commercial, and on several music videos and industrials. He also taught at IDA (international dance academy) in Hollywood, Mather Dance Company, and as faculty for the Industry Xperience convention. Feeling a shift in his heart, Ryan is beyond excited to return to his home of Starz for the 2018 dance season.

Kaitlyn Hedrick is a 21 year old native of North Carolina. She has been dancing since she was 2 years old and has been teaching clogging since she was 17. Kaitlyn has taught at many different summer camps, clogging intensives, clogging workshops and at multiple different studios. She also has danced with a international clogging group and has had the privilege to represent the United States overseas in CIOFF sanctioned International Folkdance Festivals. She has traveled as far as England, Greece, Poland, the Czech Republic, and South America showing the world Appalachian clogging. Kaitlyn is a soon to be graduate of Mars Hill University where she dancing with the 23 time national championship team, The Bailey Mountain Cloggers and is the current captain of the team.

Brooklynn Conrad

Taylor

Morton

Kimberly Langley

Kimberly has an extensive background in tap, jazz, contemporary and classical ballet under the tutelage of Ann Brodie, Fina Suarez-More, Susan Anderson, Stanislav Issaev, Maya Plisetskaya of the Bolshoi Ballet, Vyacheslav Gordeyev of the Moscow Ballet, William Starrett, Mariclare Miranda and Radenko Pavlovich. Kimberly brings with her over 25 years of teaching experience. Kimberly is known for her enthusiastic and innovative teaching style. Students under her tutelage have won top soloist and title at National Dance Competitions, scholarship recipients and top five at Youth America Grand Prix, Universal Ballet Competition, Grand Talent at the Miss SC Pageant, performed in The Rockettes Christmas Spectacular, admissions to Point Park, Joffrey School, AMDA, performed on Broadway, the Choreographers Carnival in L.A. and Cast Members for Disney.

 

Noelle Chasmar

Noelle Roby attended DSOD in middle school and was a member of Starz Artistic Performing Company and Clogging Team. She graduated from Southern Strutt Senior Company in 2010 and attended the University of South Carolina where she graduated with her Bachelor’s in Exercise Science and minor in Psychology. While attending USC, she was a member of the Carolina Girls dance team and was Vice President for USC Moksha, the university’s Bollywood fusion dance team. At NDA camp, Noelle was awarded Top Gun Turns and All American. During her time in Columbia, SC, she was also a member of Unbound Dance Company. Noelle returned to school for her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and enjoys her job at Greenville Memorial Hospital working in Women’s Health. She enjoys swing dancing with her husband Nick whenever they get the chance.

The 1999 Dance Staff

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