Meet Our Instructors


 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

 

  Bethany Cannon; Art

After spending much of her childhood traveling all over, Bethany attended Harding University and lived in Searcy as a freelance artist and graphic designer while giving private and group art lessons to children of all ages and adults. She recently went back to school for her Masters of Arts in Education which she used to teach middle school and high school art for two years before moving to Jonesboro in the summer of 2017. In her spare time, she enjoys culinary adventures and spending time outdoors. She loves imparting her knowledge of art and joy in creating.
Brenna McConaughey; Jazz, Tap
 557023_10150957361168525_716943076_n Chelsea Hays; Art

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 cchaysdesigns@gmail.com and personal portfolio chelseahaysvisual.weebly.com

ChiYoung Song; Instrumental
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.

Davis Polston; Acting

Davis is a junior at Arkansas State University studying Acting and Public Relations. He first worked with the FOA in 2015 when a college course required the application of a PR campaign for a local non-profit of choice. He returned in 2016 to work as a Public Relations intern, and now handles marketing as well.
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.

Hannah Housley; Ballet

 

 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.
Jennifer Webb; Ballet
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.

  Kaitlyn Bass; Ballet, Pointe

Kaitlyn Bass was first introduced to the world of ballet at the age of four under the direction of Jane Anderson at Ballet Regent South in Jacksonville, FL. Moving to Kingsport, TN, her dance education continued at Kingsport Ballet, where her Vaganova training began with Valeria Sinyavskaya at age 12. The world of classical ballet was shown to Kaitlyn through performance and study, and under the artistic direction of Ms.Valeria, Kaitlyn performed both soloist and corps de ballet roles in classics such as “The Nutcracker,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” and “Giselle.” Through the incredible instruction she received from Ms.Valeria, Kaitlyn was given multiple opportunities to further her training at different schools and ballet companies during the summer. She has trained with the Tennessee Association of Dance, Sarasota Ballet, and Bossov Ballet, as well as with numerous guest teachers from around the world. She accepted a scholarship from Bossov Ballet, and was given the opportunity to travel to the St.Petersburg International Dance Open in Russia. While in Russia, she was able to take classes from world renowned teachers and choreographers, where she proudly represented her studio back home. After high school, Kaitlyn knew that giving up dancing was not an option she was willing to consider. Upon moving to Memphis to pursue her academic endeavors, Kaitlyn continued to further her dance education at the University of Memphis. While studying at the university, Kaitlyn participated in faculty and student showcases as both a dancer and choreographer. One of her proudest moments was watching one of her pieces performed on the stage of the Rose Theater, knowing her hard work and the work of her dancers would not go unnoticed. Since graduating, Kaitlyn has continued to study and teach dance at studios within the Greater Memphis Area. She has also begun studying ballroom dance to further her repertoire of dance knowledge, with hopes of competing on the professional level. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Joachim, who comes from Germany and works as a supply chain manager in Mississippi, and their four fur-kids.

  Kaylee Lapiro; Lyrical

Kaylee started ballet at the age of 6 at FOA. She began competing with nettleton jr. high dance. and later went on to jonesboro high school where she was dance captain her senior year, leading them to a state championship. After high school, she danced for the Arkansas state Red Wolves dancers, where she again became captain her senior year. In 2016 she decided to further her dance career and was selected for the Memphis Grizz Girls. She’s currently entering her second season with the NBA team where she hopes to grow as a dancer and strengthen her skills. 

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.

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.

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
 Meshayla Payne; Theatre
  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. Mollie joined the Foundation of Arts family 17 years ago when she began taking ballet, hip hop, jazz, modern dance, and tap classes. In 2007, she started training en pointe under Heather Intres and completed the Teacher’s Assistant Program. While dancing, her favorite roles were performing as the first Clara in The Nutcracker to dance en pointe at the Foundation of Arts and performing as Odile in Swan Lake. Mollie has been teaching at the Foundation of Arts for seven years, has choreographed for the Spring Showcase, and in 2016 was the Assistant Director and Choreographer for The Nutcracker.  In May of 2015, she graduated from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor’s in Public Relations. Outside of the FOA, Mollie is the Community Outreach Coordinator for The Make-A-Wish Foundation.

 

 Natasha Rayevskiy Natasha Rayevskiy; Strengthening and Conditioning, Ballet
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!