Teachers

jessica lighthartJessica Lighthart

Jessica Lighthart is from Boca Raton, FL, where she trained with Boca Ballet Theatre under the direction of Dan Guin and Jane Tyree. While at Boca Ballet Theatre, Jessica danced in Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet, Les Sylphides, Coppelia, La Bayadere and much more. Jessica, a graduate from the College of Charleston, has been teaching at Ballet Aca­demy of Charleston for 10 years. She has recently completed the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certification Program in New York City. Jessica lives in James Island with her husband and children.

Image 3Megan Bristol

Megan Bristol began her dance training at the age of 3 at the School of the Hartford Ballet in her home town of Hartford, Connecticut.  After graduating high school she attended Pittsburgh Ballet Theater’s Graduate Program for two years. In 2007, she joined the apprentice program at Ballet Theater of Maryland where she studied and performed for three seasons. She then joined Charlottesville Ballet in Charlottesville, VA and spent the next three seasons performing soloist and principal roles with the company, and teaching at their Academy.  In 2013 she relocated to San Diego to dance with San Diego Ballet and also joined the faculty of Dance to Evolve San Diego where she worked with young children. After two years of dancing and teaching in San Diego she decided to head back to the east coast. She is excited to be part of the team at Ballet Academy of Charleston.

lesliejonesLeslie Jones

Leslie Jones holds an MFA in Dance from Texas Woman’s University and a BFA in Dance and Minor in Music from the University of Central Oklahoma. During college, Leslie performed with UCO’s Kaleidoscope Dance Company across the Midwest and at the Performaticá Festival in Puebla, Mexico and later with Oklahoma City’s modern and aerial dance company, Perpetual Motion Dance. Leslie’s choreography has been presented at the World AIDS Day ceremony in Oklahoma City, and at the {254} Festival in Texas. She enjoys teaching various levels of ballet, modern, tap, and creative dance as well as lecture classes including Dance Appreciation and Dance, Gender, & Culture. Leslie has also served as an adjudicator for the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute ballet program and as a Teaching Artist for Oklahoma’s Arts Adventure Summer Camp. After graduate school, Leslie moved to Charleston to teach dance in public schools and in 2015, she joined the adjunct dance faculty at the College of Charleston, as well as our team.

Douglas Smoak

Douglas Smoak studied with Robert Ivey Ballet in Charleston before attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for dance.  With Robert Ivey Ballet, he performed in Russia, Denmark, Spain and S. America.  While at UNCSA, he participated in a student exchange program in Budapest, Hungary.  He began his professional career with Nevada Dance Theatre, and then moved on to Florida, where he danced professionally with Sarasota Ballet and Ballet Eddy Toussaint. Mr. Smoak began teaching while in Florida, and continued teaching upon his return to South Carolina.  Several dance schools in the Tricounty area have benefited from his instruction, and he currently teaches at Ballet Academy of Charleston. For the past several years, Mr. Smoak has served as the Community Coordinator for the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, preparing the local children’s cast of 60 to 120 dancers.