:L to R : Sarah Michelle Lovern, Abigail Edwards, Ashley Lackey Harper, Brittany Buckner Francis, Anne Gravely Moore, Katie Robertson Pruitt, Caitlin Drew Price, Bailee Cole Puckett, Julia Torre (Photo by Alan Dalton Photography)

Photo Credits: Alan Dalton Photography

Anne Gravely Moore is beginning her 32nd year of teaching dance and her 21st year as director of The Meredith Gravely School of Dance. Under her direction the studio has expanded to three locations, added additional faculty, dance forms, a dance company, as well experienced growth in the student population. It has been Anne’s mission for the studio to provide excellent dance training, as well as promote self-awareness, discipline, perseverance, teamwork, inspiration and a love for the art of dance. As a student, performer and teacher, she has had the privilege to study under many nationally recognized choreographers and teachers. Anne continues to be an active member in Dance Masters of America. 

Anne has taught and choreographed for the Forest Dance Academy, The Performing Arts Academy, The Ray Hollingsworth Studio of Dance, The Linda Watkins School of Dance, Patrick County Dance Arts Center, Danville Parks and Recreation and the Danville Public Schools. She has been an adjudicator for the Virginia Governor’s School Auditions, a committee member to develop the Woodrow Wilson Magnet School dance program and part of the External Review Team to restructure James Madison University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She has also chaired the North Carolina Chapter of Dance Masters of America Scholarship Committee which awards scholarships to accomplished dancers and on the President’s Committee to award college scholarships to deserving applicants. She has judged numerous dance competitions throughout the state of North Carolina. She received the “Best Choreographer”award at a Dance Troupe Inc. competition, as well as her dancers receiving the Highest Score Award. Anne continues to support The Danville Concert Association to bring professional dance companies to teach master classes and perform for their concert series.  

Anne graduated Cum Laude in 1990 from James Madison University with a Bachelor of Science in Dance. While attending JMU, Anne performed with the Contemporary Dance Ensemble and toured professionally with the Virginia Repertory Touring Company. In 1989-1990, she received the James Madison University Outstanding Dance Performer’s Award.

Anne has a genuine interest in each of her students and their dance education. She is dedicated to the studio and its excellence. 

Ashley Lackey Harper is beginning her 29th year as an instructor for The Meredith Gravely School of Dance and her eighth year as director and instructor for the South Boston studio.  She began dancing with the studio at the age of five and attributes her dance education to Meredith Gravely, Anne Moore, master teachers/classes, and countless dance conventions with Tremaine and Dance Makers Incorporated where some of the nation’s leading teachers and choreographers instruct classes. Early in her dance career, Ashley had the privilege to share the studio’s instruction and choreography at other venues including the original South Boston studio, the Linda Watkins School of Dance in Roanoke, and the Parks and Recreation of Danville. She has taught summer classes, assisted with the very popular princess dance camp, given private lessons, and choreographed and taught dance routines for local talent show contestants, dance competition contestants and Cheer/ Dance teams.  

Ashley graduated Cum Laude in 1996 from Averett University with a Bachelor of Arts degree with Teacher Certification. She later received a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Averett in May 2005.

Ashley is employed by Danville Public Schools currently as a middle school teacher.  Throughout her 25 years with DPS, she has held numerous teaching positions, served as a former cheerleading coach for the George Washington High School Football Cheerleaders and the GW Cheerleading Competition Squad for five years, and more professionally, she has developed and given local and state sponsored presentations, served on various committees regarding school and curriculum improvement, trained and served as a reading coach and attended numerous workshops/classes on best practices and instruction in the classroom. In 2011, Ashley was chosen by the Danville/Pittsylvania Chamber of Commerce as Elementary Educator of the Year for Danville Public Schools after being nominated by the school faculty at Forest Hills Elementary.

Katie Robertson Pruitt began her dance training at the age of four under the direction of Vikki Rimmer.  At thirteen she transferred to The Meredith Gravely School of Dance to continue her dance education and is just beginning her 19th year of teaching for the studio.  In 2011, Katie also became the Director of The Meredith Gravely Dance Company, the studio’s competitive performing group.  Over the past ten years, the group has become a strong presence on the competition circuit by consistently taking home numerous first place awards as well as Overall High Score and top Showmanship honors.  Katie takes great pride in not only pushing her students to be the best dancers they can be, but also to be the very best versions of themselves.  She truly believes, as Joe Tremaine says, “Dance training, is LIFE training.”

As both a teacher and student with the studio, Katie has attended many dance conventions including Dance Makers, Inc., Dance Troupe, Inc., JUMP, NUVO, Velocity, Radix, and Tremaine where she has had the opportunity to train with master teachers and choreographers from around the country.  Her work consistently takes home top honors on the regional as well as national level and in 2017, her and Brittany Francis’choreography won 2nd Place Overall in the Senior Division at Tremaine Dance National Finals in Orlando, FL and was one of only nine routines selected to perform for a panel of celebrity guests in the Tremaine Gala.  In 2018, their choreography won 1st Place Overall in the Junior Division and again was selected to perform in the prestigious Gala!

At the studio, Katie is also in charge of coordinating Master Workshops. These have given Meredith Gravely students the opportunity to take class with such highly-acclaimed professionals as Jeremy Hudson, Seth Zibalese, Tom Alexander, Keri LaGrand, Derrick Schrader, Blake McGrath and many others. Katie has also been a guest teacher and choreographer for the Linda Watkins School of Dance in Roanoke, Virginia and DMR Adventures in Charlottesville, VA. 

Katie is a 2003 graduate of James Madison University where she received a BS degree in Health Sciences. While attending JMU, she performed with the dance team, The Dukettes, during football and basketball games. In 2001, Katie became the coach for the Bridgewater College Dance Team and in April of 2003, she led the team to a first place finish in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championships.

Brittany Buckner Francis began dancing with The Meredith Gravely School of Dance at the age of three. She is just beginning her 16th year of teaching for the studio. As a student and instructor, she has attended numerous conventions including Dance Makers, Inc., Tremaine, NUVO, Velocity, Radix and JUMP.  These conventions provide the opportunity to study the instruction of master teachers, expanding her knowledge on different styles of dance and choreography. She has also attended innumerable dance workshops including Universal Dance Association and Eastern Dance Association. In 2003, she was named as an Eastern Dance Association “Best All Around Dancer” and became one of seven nominees to compete in the national scholarship competition. In 2004, she was extended an invitation to join the Universal Dance Association Staff. She has competed with The Meredith Gravely School of Dance and in 1999 was part of a routine that won “Best in Show” at the Dance Masters regional competition. In 2006 she became one of the reigning Dance Makers, Inc. National Champions.  

In addition to teaching she also enjoys editing music.  Brittany is responsible for all of the studio’s music edits and compilations featured in the recital.

Brittany is the Co-Director of The Meredith Gravely Dance Company.  She joined Katie Pruitt in 2013 launching the Company’s “Mini” team, allowing a younger range of ages to explore the competition scene.  The “Minis” were highly successful from the start, taking home the Overall High Score award at Tremaine Dance Convention Regional competition two years in a row.  Her choreography has been recognized with overall honors at the Regional and National level.  She is passionate about offering a healthy competitive environment which she believes builds character in these young dancers.

In May of 2008 Brittany graduated Cum Laude from Patrick Henry Community College as a Registered Nurse.   

Caitlin Drew Price began dancing at The Meredith Gravely School of Dance at the age of seven and she is beginning her seventh year instructing ballet, tap and jazz at the studio. As a student, Caitlin attended the Dance Makers Inc. National Convention in Myrtle Beach, SC and participated in numerous other master classes.  In 2002, she was selected to dance in the Moscow Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker.

Caitlin graduated Cum Laude from James Madison University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Liberal Studies with a minor in Early Childhood Education. Caitlin has taught Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and first grade in both public and private schools.  She also served as the cheerleading coach at Epiphany Episcopal School for three years and led summer camps for dance and cheerleading.  While living in Richmond, VA, Caitlin worked as an assistant office manager and ballet instructor at Encore Performing Arts Studio.

Caitlin is currently teaching Kindergarten at Sacred Heart Catholic School in addition to teaching at both the Danville and South Boston studios for The Meredith Gravely School of Dance. 

Abigail Edwards began dancing at The Meredith Gravely School of Dance at the age of four and is beginning her first year instructing ballet and jazz at our South Boston studio. As a student, Abigail took ballet, tap, jazz, pointe, contemporary, and skills technique classes. She attended conventions as a student taking classes from notable professionals such as Tom Alexander, Keri LaGrand, Tony Bellissimo, Tiffany Maher, and Derrick Schrader. She graduated from our studio in 2012 and continued to take classes with us while attending Danville Community College until she transferred to Radford University in 2014.

While at Radford University, Abigail studied dance in addition to earning a
Bachelor of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and completing a rigorous Elementary Education program. Abigail continued her dance training under highly respected professors in Radford’s Department of Dance. She completed ballet, jazz, and musical theatre courses and thoroughly enjoyed furthering her dance training while pursuing her degree. Abigail graduated in 2017 and returned to Danville to begin her career in Elementary Education. She has continued to stay involved at the studio by taking jazz and working backstage at the show for the last several years.

Abigail is currently a fifth-grade teacher at Twin Springs Elementary School. She
loves working with children and feels honored to have a role in helping them reach their
full potential in life. She attributes many of her personal strengths and successes to the
discipline and values that she gained during her formative years of dance training under
Meredith Gravely, Anne Gravely Moore, Ashley Lackey Harper, Katie Pruitt, and Brittany
Francis. Abigail looks forward to a year of new experiences while helping her students
find a passion for dance.

Sarah Michelle Lovern began her gymnastics career at the age of four at Blue Ridge Gymnastics. At the age of thirteen she was invited to be a part of the competition team at Blue Ridge Gymnastics. Sarah competed in Blacksburg, Virginia at the Rockstar Invitational, Greensboro, North Carolina at the Dave Brown Invitational, Hilton Head, South Carolina at the Hilton Head Invitational, along with several other competitions. Throughout her four years on the competition team, she qualified for the state gymnastics meet held at the end of each season. Sarah’s discipline, work ethic and dedication to the sport allowed her to quickly advance her gymnastics skill level. Sarah also had the opportunity to attend FlipFest gymnastics camp where she trained with olympic medal winning athletes, most notably Shawn Johnson. With their encouragement, her goal was to become a collegiate gymnast. Unfortunately, Sarah’s competitive gymnastics career ended due to an injury when she was a junior in highschool. 

Sarah’s love for the sport continued when her body was no longer able to compete. Sarah began coaching gymnastics as a junior coach in 2016 at Blue Ridge Gymnastics. She learned that watching her students learn and grow as they obtained new skills became her new passion. Her enthusiasm and dedication to teaching led her to become a coach for the competition team at Blue Ridge Gymnastics in Martinsville, Virginia. Sarah coached at Blue Ridge Gymnastics for five years until 2021. Her students quickly turned into family and she pushed them to be the best that they could be! 

Sarah is currently enrolled in the Bachelors of Radiologic Technology degree at Averett University along with obtaining a minor in business management. After attending Averett University for two years, she is working towards completing her degree through the SOVAH Health Radiology Technology program. 

            The Meredith Gravely School of Dance is so pleased to add tumbling to the studio’s curriculum and very grateful for Sarah to help us get our program started!  Sarah is ecstatic to begin working with children who have an interest in learning new tumbling skills!

Julia Torre began dancing at the age of three under the direction of Linda Watkins in Roanoke, Virginia. After seven years at the studio, she started competitively dancing. She did so for nine years, traveling to conventions and competitions, including Tremaine, DMI, Velocity, Showstoppers, and more.

In addition to dancing, Julia has always loved tumbling. She expanded upon this passion throughout her youth by participating in cheer and gymnastics. Julia first attended The Roanoke Academy of Gymnastics. She trained for four years as part of their recreational classes and spent a year on their competition team. In 2018, Julia joined her school’s competition cheer team. She spent two years traveling to competitions and expanding her knowledge of tumbling under the instruction of Don Ayton. Unfortunately, Julia sustained an injury that prevented her from continuing the sport. While no longer physically capable of participating in cheer, her passion for tumbling remains. Julia’s training in the discipline has continually given her a competitive edge throughout her time as a dancer.

In 2020, Julia transferred to The Meredith Gravely School of Dance. She spent the past two years growing her love and knowledge of dance at the studio and traveling with The Meredith Gravely Dance Company. As a part of MGDC, Julia placed second overall in the Senior Division at Tremaine Dance National Finals in 2021 and 2022 and was selected to perform in the Tremaine Gala both of those years with her team. She was also individually awarded a Nationals Scholarship to DMI, named an MVA Runner Up at Velocity, and received a 20,000-dollar AMDA scholarship at Tremaine.

This year as a part of Julia’s academic career, she will be pursuing an online degree in Business Administration through Colorado Technical University. Julia also recently advanced her education by completing the U100-Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction course provided by USA Gymnastics University. Completing this further instilled her knowledge of teaching and tumbling instruction, adding to her continual education.

Andyn Cornell is a senior at Chatham High School. She has been dancing at the studio for 10 years and was a member of the The Meredith Gravely Dance Company, the studio’s competitive performance team, for 7 years. At the studio, Andyn has been a class and choreography assistant for many years and enjoys teaching and working with the younger dancers. Outside of the studio, she has just completed her first year as a member of the Tremaine Performance Company and hopes to continue to travel the country with them this upcoming season to further her dance education.

Andyn will be team teaching with Bailee Puckett at our South Boston studio, as well as assisting in classes at the Danville studio.

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