Our Wonderful Staff

Dianne Cheek,

Owner

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When Dianne opened Dianne’s School of Dance 52 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 DSOD. She has been with our school for 45 years and has taught for 30 years. Lacey is a graduate of Greenville Technical College where she majored in Business. She studied 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.

Currently, Lacey judges on a regional and national level for various competitions and teaches master classes around the Southeast. 

Her competition teams won numerous overall awards and have performed at numerous festivals and events, including half-time entertainment at Furman Basketball Games. 

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 34 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.

Kaitlyn Hendrick

Starz Artistic Clogging Assistant Director 
 

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Kaitlyn Hedrick is a 23 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.

Tiffany DuPuy

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Starting at age 2, Tiffany began her love of dance. Growing up in Texas where drill team is popular, she took classes in ballet, pom, lyrical, kick, jazz, military, prop, novelty, and gymnastics. Tiffany made both her Jr. High School and High School dance teams. In college, she began coaching dance at the age of 19.  While attending Sam Houston State University, Tiffany's dance minor allowed her to explore Laban technique and perform with the Kista Tucker Dance Company.  

Upon her move to Greenville in 2005 she began coaching with Carolina Cheer and Dance, assisting with various high school dance teams.  Shortly thereafter she became the exclusive coach for Eastside Dance Team during the years of 2008-2011, winning them their first national title in school history. 

In May 2011, Tiffany bought Palmer School of Dance, a dancing school that had been in Greenville since 1936.  She changed the name to Dance United, incorporated her love of dance team style genres and has been the proud owner for almost 12 years. 

Emily DeJesus

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Emily is from Paterson New Jersey. There is where she studied Dentistry and went on to receiving her Dental Assistant Certification.
Emily has been a Greenville resident for the past 12 years. She is the Office Clerk of Dianne's School of Dance going on 9 years. Emily's bilingual in both English and Spanish and has a passion for helping our Hispanic community in joining the Love of dance.
Helping others is what Emily loves most about life.
Her favorite quote she goes by daily is,
" Life's most persistent and urgent question is , 'What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King Jr. 

Ariel Brown

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Ariel Brown trained in classical ballet in Virginia. She danced in a pre-professional company and performed lead roles in classic performances such as Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Coppélia, and other works. She began her dream of being a dance instructor after graduating and spent 7 years teaching at various studios in Virginia. 

Ariel, her husband, and 4 children moved down to South Carolina 4 years ago, where she is excited to continue her passion of teaching dance and the love of ballet to the community. She is excited to be a part of the DSOD family!

Katie Gillespie

Katie began dancing at the age of three and continued her dance career. She was a member of the dance team who placed fifth at the FDC World Dance Championships in Dallas, Texas in 2011. She was also a member of five national championship winning teams where she performed as a soloist and jazz team member. Katie is a veteran of local high school pageants where she was a Senior Beauty and three time talent and casual wear winner. She performed as a "Miss South Carolina" Dancer for two years and has instructed dance classes at other local studios in the upstate.
 

Katie graduated from Clemson university where she was dance chair of Kappa Kappa Gamma. She enjoys working with her students in Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Jazz as well as other dance classes. She loves sharing her passion for dance with her students through building strong relationships and helping them reach their potent

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