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 Aca-demy of Charleston for 10 years. During the years 2016-2018, she completed the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certification Program in New York City for all levels.
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 Okla¬homa. She enjoys teaching ballet, modern, and creative dance as well as lecture classes like Dance Appreciation and Dance, Gender, & Culture. In 2015, Leslie joined the adjunct dance faculty at the College of Charleston and in 2017 also that of the School of the Arts.
Douglas Smoak studied with Robert Ivey Ballet in Charleston before attending the University of North Carolina School of the Arts for dance. 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.
Sarah Bowdoin toured internationally as a pre-professional and then went on to study dance at The University of Oklahoma, graduating with a BFA in Ballet Performance from the College of Fine Arts. In addition, Sarah completed a second degree in Organizational Studies. She performed with Charlotte Ballet and received additional training at the intensives of Kansas City Ballet, Ballet West, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Carolina Ballet, and the Académie Américaine de Danse de Paris in Paris, France. Sarah is a company member of Ballet Evolution of Charleston.
Natasha Nast began dancing at the Baltimore School for the Arts and the Russian Ballet Academy of Maryland and at 17, was accepted into the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Graduate Program, where she was one of the few student dancers selected to perform company roles in several classics including Swan Lake, La Bayadere, Le Corsaire, Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker, as well as George Balanchine’s Western Symphony, Lew Christensen’s Beauty and the Beast, and Derek Deane’s Alice in Wonderland and Romeo and Juliet. Natasha currently dances with Ballet Evolution.
Amanda Wingard attended Charleston’s School of the Arts for middle and high school, majoring in Dance. While studying Dance Education at the University of South Carolina, she worked with master teachers as she attended conferences in several states, where she also was able to present research, perform choreography, and teach classes. After graduating from USC she directed the dance program at Alston Middle School in Summerville and then taught dance at SOA before concentrating on family and joining Ballet Academy of Charleston.
Amanda Evans is a ballet dancer from Copper Canyon, TX. She began her early training at The Ballet Conservatory in Lewisville, TX where she danced with Lakecities Ballet Theatre. She has also danced with Oklahoma Festival Ballet and Contemporary Dance Oklahoma while pursuing her BFA in Ballet Performance at The University of Oklahoma. Amanda is so excited to begin her professional career with Ballet Evolution this season and teach at Ballet Academy of Charleston
Rebecca Smith danced with Charleston Ballet Theatre for 3 years before sustaining multiple injuries that forced her to end her career early. She loves to teach and con-tinuously takes courses and certifications to grow as a ballet teacher. Rebecca is the administrative assistant to the director.