Meet Our Instructors

We are excited to welcome 3 summer ballet intensive guest instructors!

Click here to meet Stephanie Thibeault and Thom Yzaguirre!

 abi-mason-head-shot Abi Mason; Ballet

Abi Mason has been involved at the FOA since 2004, she started ballet at the age of 5 and has since then taken several forms of dance including ballet, jazz, tap, and lyrical, as well as being in several productions at the FOA. She has been Clara and the in The Nutcracker Ballet, she played Alice in Alice in Wonderland the Ballet, as well as roles in musical productions such as Annie, Lès Miserables, Mary Poppins, Anything Goes, andWhite Christmas.
Abi has taken dance intensives at the FOA as well as master classes from instructors from Ballet Chicago and UO school of dance. Abi has graduated from the T.A.P. program at the FOA and enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of dance with others. Abi loves the theatre atmosphere and hopes to one day be a hair and makeup artist for theatre.
alisa Alisa Becton; Ballet, Pointe

Alisa has studied ballet for eleven years and has been an instructor at the Foundation of Arts since 2009.  She studied under Heather Intres, Elizabeth Sales, LeeAnn King, and others, including summer intensive training at Ballet Magnificat!.  When she’s not in the studio, Alisa also enjoys writing and cooking.  Her goal as an instructor is to share the beauty and strength of dance and how it sheds light on the joy of life.

Amber Ferguson; Tap, Jazz


IMG_2655a Ashley Driscoll; Lower Level Ballet, Tap, Jazz

Ashley is currently a student at the Foundation of Arts. She is a graduate of the T.A.P. program and has been teaching for 3 years. She began dancing at 3 years old in Maryland and has continued her studies in ballet, tap, jazz, and strengthening/stretching  for 12 years at the Foundation of Arts under Heather Intres, Leeann King, Alisa Mason, Annie Andrews, Grace Andrews, Hannah Mason, Amber Ferguson, Abby Kuonen Broadway, Sydney Driscoll, and Natasha Rayevskiy. She has participated in The Nutcracker Ballet for 11 years; her most recent roles include Arabian Lead, Flower Princess, Russian Lead, and Chinese Lead. She has also performed in many ballets including Stars and StripesSleeping Beauty, CinderellaTriumph de la LumiereSwan Lake, and Mary Poppins. In addition to the Foundation of Arts, Ashley has had the opportunity to study at numerous intensives such as Ballet Chicago (2012, 2013), SummerWind Youth Ballet (2014), and Oklahoma City Ballet Summer Intensive (2015). At these intensives, Ashley was able to study ballet, pointe, variations, modern, jazz, and pilates.

 557023_10150957361168525_716943076_n Chelsea Hays; Photography

Chelsea is graduate student at Arkansas State University. She received her Bachelor’s of Science degree from A-State in Graphic Communication.  Her course in school included graphic design and photography. She has won many awards for her photography and was able to present some of her work at the Delta Flix Multimedia and Film festival. She enjoys all kinds of photography as long as it can tell a story. Her current work includes nature, artist portraits and stage photography.  She had the privilege of photographing productions at the A-state theatre and also Celtic Woman and The Avett Brothers when they put on concerts at The Convo. She also enjoys experimenting in graphic design. Her hobbies include dancing, acting, musical theatre, acrobatic yoga and reading comic books. She took dance classes up until she was in middle school. She is now pursuing them again by taking classes in Ballet and tap at the FOA. Her current roles have been Mary in Little Town of Bethlehem and party woman in The Nutcracker.  Email and personal portfolio

damon-wright Damon Wright; Musical Theatre Performance

After 30 years experience playing trumpet, Dr. Damon Wright shifted his artistic focus to vocal, piano, and character acting. He has recently appeared in Anything GoesDarling, You Slay MeGrease; and Les Miserable. He is currently taking tap class and continues to study stage acting and vocal performance. “I love to learn, I love to teach, and I love to perform”.

danielle-imrie Danielle Imrie; Lower Level Ballet

My name is Danielle Imrie, and I have been dancing at the FOA for thirteen years. At the age of ten I went to ballet Chicago for their Summer Dance intensive, and at the ages of 13 and 14 I trained at Ballet Magnificat during their Summer Dance Intensive. I have been doing the Nutcracker ballet for 11 years, and have participated in numerous other shows at the Forum. My favorite roles I have danced are the roles of Clara, Snow Princess, Rat, and Russian from Nutcracker, Michael from Mary Poppins, and Charlotte from The Pirate Ballet. My favorite types of dance to do are contemporary, Ballet, and Lyrical. After I graduate High School, I hope to continue dancing and eventually open up my own studio. The FOA has given me so much over the years, and I am blessed to a part of their family.

david-mason David Mason; Art

David Mason is a native of Northeast Arkansas. He has been drawing, painting, experimenting with photography, or dabbling with clay for most of his life. He graduated from Williams Baptist College with a degree in Art Education in 1998. He has been teaching students of all ages how to unleash their inner artists ever since. He’s been married to his lovely wife for almost as long as he’s been teaching and stays busy with three active boys.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset Elea Pulliam; Acting, Musical Theatre, Tap

Elea Pulliam has been involved with the Foundation of Arts since 2006, when she participated as a chorus member in her first production Pinocchio.  Among her favorite roles since then include Leslie in Bridge to Terabithia, Zaneeta in the Music Man, Dana in Camp Rock, Mayella in To Kill A Mockingbird, Shulie in Schoolhouse Rock, Live!, Jan in Grease, and Emily in Our Town.  She joined the FOA as a drama/musical theatre instructor in the fall of 2012.  In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with family and friends, and participating in community theatre productions.

 Greta Hacker Greta Hacker; Art

Though Greta Hacker has always loved creating and observing art, she began taking formal lessons in 2010 and started studying art at the FOA in 2014. She enjoys working in a variety of mediums including paints, charcoal, chalk pastel, and pencil. Greta appreciates the freeing and expressive nature of visual art and is eager to help her students develop artistic skill and passion.

 james-faulkner James Faulkner; Piano Accompaniment

James has been a pianist for over 40 years.  He has performed for three US presidents.  He currently sings in the New Beginning Gospel Trio and does piano and vocals at various country clubs and events in Jonesboro.  He has been teaching piano accompaniment for over 15 years.  One of his students recently won the NEA District Fair talent show and made it to the finals in Little Rock.
77962405_9kp4_103 Jessica Maddox; Lyrical, Ballet

Jessica is a native of Carlisle, Arkansas and has been dancing for almost 20 years. She started her training at Lana’s Dance Studio in Lonoke, Arkansas, where she took classes in ballet, tap, lyrical, and jazz. She studied ballet under Marla Edwards, former headmistress at Ballet Arkansas. She competed in solo and group dance competitions for 10 years, including Showbiz, Talent on Parade, Nexstar, and Spotlight, consistently placing in the Top 10. She attended The PULSE dance convention twice, studying under choreographers featured on So You Think You Can Dance. During her freshman year in college, Jessica danced with an on-campus group called “A Touch of Class” and choreographed an original routine for the Spring showcase. She became involved with the Foundation of Arts the next 3 years, performing in The Nutcracker and The Sleeping Beauty. Jessica graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from ASU Jonesboro in August 2015. She is continuing her studies to become a physical therapist for dancers. In her spare time she enjoys baking, reading classic literature, and thrift shopping.

kristen-jones Kristen Jones; Art, Graphic Design

Kristen Jones took her first art class at the Foundation of Arts nearly 20 years ago and quickly grew to love all forms of art. She graduated from Arkansas State with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design as well as minors in Spanish and Marketing and is now a designer in Memphis.  Aside from the arts she enjoys traveling, eating anything sweet, being a dog mom, and spending time with family and friends.

kristi-pulliam Kristi Pulliam; Yoga

Kristi holds an M.A. in Communication/Theatre and a B.S.E. in Theatre/Speech Communication. She taught in the Paragould School District and at Arkansas State University and Crowley’s Ridge College for a total of 12 years. After teaching and directing at the FOA for eight years, Kristi joined the staff full time in 2008 as the Community Development Director, and then added to her role at The FOA, as the Artistic Director and eventually Executive Director.  Kristi is currently training for her yoga certification, and we are thrilled she is gracing the Arts Center with this skill she is crafting.

leah-aldridge Leah Aldridge; Dance, Theatre

Leah is a senior at Valley View High School! She is active in the Valley View Theatre Department, FOA, & GCFAC and has been in over 30 productions. She enjoys performing, yoga, coffee, & smiling!

leeann-king LeeAnn King; Ballet

LeeAnn is a graduate of Jonesboro High School and has been dancing for 17 years.  Her dance training began here in Jonesboro under the instruction of Katherine Kyle.  Later, she studied under Heather Intres, Dr. Elizabeth Sales, and Stacey Alley at the Foundation of Arts.  Training outside of Jonesboro includes two workshops in Mississippi with Ballet Magnificat!, and a summer at the Cecchetti International Summer School in Hope, Michigan.  The most recent training was a two month intensive studying under Daniel Duell of the New York City Ballet, and Patricia Blair at Ballet Chicago.  LeeAnn has also completed the Teacher’s Assistant Program through the Foundation of Arts, under the guidance of Heather Intres.  After completing the program, she went on to teach for the Foundation of Arts for 3 years.  LeeAnn has taught several different styles including lyrical, contemporary ballet, pointe, and dance team technique.  She has served as choreographer for The Nutcracker and Spring Showcase with the Foundation.  During 2008 and 2009, LeeAnn served as Assistant Director for the Nutcracker Ballet, and director for 2010-2012 and 2014.  She has served as choreographer for Jonesboro High School’s FAME and Hairspray, and directed and choreographed 3 Spring Recitals for the Jonesboro Studio of Dance.  In 2012, LeeAnn held the position as Dance Instructor for Jonesboro’s Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School.  LeeAnn is currently the Education Programs Manager and Head Ballet Instructor for the Foundation of Arts.

Madison Bangert

Madison is a Senior Art Major at Lyon College. She has a broad field of interest in the Arts; including drawing, creation, theatre, and performing music. Madison’s first exposure to theater was at the age 10 when she participated in a summer theater camp at the Foundation of Arts. She then went on to be cast in four High School productions, in which she enjoyed assisting in the creation of set props. Her enjoyment of performing music is exemplified in her five years of playing the saxophone in her High School Jazz and Concert Bands, one year in the High School Marching Band, and playing on the drumline in the Lyon College Marching Band. Madison’s talented in and enjoys drawing, designing costumes and creating objects from raw material.

maranda-nichols Maranda Nichols; Musical Theatre Performance

Maranda Nichols has been teaching Drama here at the FOA since 2010.  She has always enjoyed participating in theatre productions. She began performing in church productions as a child then worked in community theatre and Nettleton High School productions as a teenager. She then performed in parades and shows at Walt Disney World. Her favorite roles in previous productions include Mrs. Brill in Mary Poppins, Frenchie in Grease, Gingy in Shrek: The Musical, Alice Beane in Titanic, Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Grandmother in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Flowers for Algernon, June in A Sander’s Family Christmas, Mrs. Pugh in Annie!, Chorus in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Martha Cox in Disney’s High School Musical. Offstage, she has served as Stage Manager for the Spring Showcase¸ Makeup-Artist for Treasure Island, served as the Assistant Director for A Christmas Carol, and directed Disney’s Camp Rock: The Musical and Schoolhouse Rock, Live!It’s A Wonderful LifeSteel Magnolias and 13! The Musical. She will also serve as director for this season’s A Little Princess. She has a BS in Biology with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies from UCA, a Master’s in Public Health from A.T. Still University and a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies from Harding University. She is a member of FUMC Jonesboro. She also works to continue her education by taking dance classes and workshops here at the FOA.

 Megan Dacus Megan Dacus; Ballet
mollie-potgieter Mollie Parker Potgieter; Ballet, Tap, Jazz

Dance has been a part of Mollie Parker Potgieter’s life since she first started dancing at the age of three. She joined the Foundation of Arts family when she started taking ballet, hip hop, jazz, modern dance, and tap classes when she was eight years old. In 2007, Mollie started training en pointe under Heather Intres and completed the Teacher’s Assistant Program. After finishing the program, she taught ballet classes for three years, choreographed for the Spring Showcase, and choreographed for the Nutcracker. Her favorite roles have been performing as the first Clara in the Nutcracker to dance on Pointe at the Foundation of Arts and Odile in Swan Lake. Outside of the FOA, Mollie was a member of the Valley View State Championship dance team. In May of 2015, she graduated from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations.

 Natasha Rayevskiy Natasha Rayevskiy; Strengthening and Conditioning, Ballet
rosina-flemon Rosina Flemon; Art

Rosina Flemon is enthusiastic about teaching art to children and has been creating arts and crafts since an early age.  Her love of painting started around the age of 11 and continues today.  Rosina is an Arkansas State Alumni with a BSE in Art Education and has over 15 years of Experience as a school art teacher.  She is married and has 3 grown children.

sametta-jackson-parker Sametta Jackson-Parker; Theatre

Sametta Jackson-Parker has lived in the Jonesboro area since 2012. Before moving to Arkansas with her family, she taught secondary English in Alabama’s public schools for over ten years. During that tenure, Parker taught Theatre Arts and Speech at Sidney Lanier High School, where she was also artistic director of the school’s first artistic touring dance ensemble, Poetry in Motion.

Her love of fine arts began in her childhood with music, theatre and photography. Her first acting experience was with the Walter Anderson Players, a local community theatre in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. The acting bug had gotten her and Parker continued to perform in school, church and community dramas. She became a member of the International Thespian Society Troupe 1587 at East Anchorage High School in Anchorage, Alaska. While in high school, Parker earned Honor Thespian status and also lettered as a part of the school’s drama team, earning competing all the way up to state championships during her senior year. While attending Tuskegee University, Parker was a member of the Tuskegee Little Theatre where she worked as assistant director for productions including Sister Mary Ignatius Explains it All for You and My Children, My Africa. Parker also studied under actress Tonea Stewart, director of Theatre Arts and Dean of College of Visual and Performing Arts at Alabama State University.

In addition to performing arts, Parker is a self-taught artist. She began drawing and etching quite by accident, creating her first etching in college, while playing with an electric pencil engraver and a piece of glass. After a friend suggested she use a Dremel tool, Parker began to improve her skills. She started out creating souvenir plaques for her sorority sisters and eventually began etching portraits and other fine art designs. She has previously shown items at the Craighead Library in Jonesboro and was a featured artist of the Foundation in April 2016. In 2014, after retiring from teaching to become a full-time caregiver for her terminally ill husband, Sametta began to make jewelry. She is the owner/artist of Studio SammieJay, where she provides personal service, including custom creations and private showings of her jewelry for her clients.

Parker is also a published author of three novels, and a collection of poetry under her pen-name, S.J. Parker. She has also published two of a number of plays that she has written and is currently working on a project depicting African and African-American folktales, and the personal narratives of former slaves in Arkansas.

She is widowed and the mother of two children.

 savannah-strickland Savannah Strickland; Ballet
 Season-Pankey Season Pankey; Twirling

Hi!  My name is Season and I LOVE TO TWIRL!  I fell into the sport of baton twirling in the eighth grade and it has held a place in my heart ever since.  I cannot wait to share my passion of twirling with you and see you all grow into twirling stars!

Victoria Meyers; Sewing

Victoria has lived in Jonesboro for 13 years, though her experience in Jonesboro didn’t truly come alive until she became part of the FOA family.  Her great love for the arts can be attributed to her grandparents, much of her time spent with them in Madison, Wisconsin involved experiencing all forms of art; she experienced watching live theater in many different venues, Ballets, symphonies, street bands and many art fairs.  Victoria’s love for creating costumes started at a very young age when her grandmother first taught her to sew an American Doll dress, teaching her with a passion, requiring her to sew the first dress by hand; soon moving on to creating dresses using the sewing machine.  Victoria’s mother taught her the art of creating something from nothing, making something old something new.  She would simply tell her mother what she wanted to be that year for Halloween and she would watch as her mother brilliantly brought her ideas to life using some fabric, some house hold items and a sewing machine.

While in High School in Paris, Texas, Victoria was finally able to get involved and take the stage in: Baby, The Thwarting of Baron Bolligrew and The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. Her senior year she became the “costume director” for the theater club, gaining access to the coveted costume closet.  In 2011, Victoria found the theater community once again at The Foundation of Arts, her first role was The Ghost of Christmas Future in A Christmas Carol, though it was a non-speaking role, her actions were big and her life was forever changed.  Since then Victoria has been seen on the FOA stage in Sherlock Holmes the Doom of Devil’s Moore, School House Rock the Musical (as a wide array of fun characters including one of her most favorite roles as Interplanet Janet!), The Boys Next Door, Miracle on 34th Street, Our Town, A white Christmas, The Odd Couple and Robin Hood/Rapunzel.  Assistant Directed Ring of Fire and A little Princess.  Costumed School House Rock the musical, The Emperor’s New Clothes, It’s a Wonderful Life, Mary Poppins, A Little Princess (school girl dresses), Robin Hood/ Rapunzel.