Jessica Lighthart, Owner/Director

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 13 years. During the years 2016-2018, she completed all levels of the prestigious Bolshoi Ballet Academy Teacher Certification Program in New York City. She completed the Ballet Conservatoire Classical Ballet Training and Examination in January 2021 and received her certification in Progressing Ballet Technique in July 2021. In March 2021, Jessica became the new owner and director of Ballet Academy of Charleston. 


Douglas Smoak

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

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 Palmetto City Ballet.

Natasha Nast

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 Palmetto City Ballet.

Amanda Evans

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 currently dances with Palmetto City Ballet.