Madeline Parker Avinger

Madeline Avinger, since 1966 a teacher and director. She was director at the Chickasaw location for fourteen years. She is a member of Professional Dance Teachers Association (PDTA). She received her early training with Mary Lou Sheffield Noletto. She has studied with many famous teachers and choreographers in New York, New Orleans, and other areas, having studied at the June Taylor Studio while in New York. Former studies also include the Teachers Training School of the Dance Masters of America. She performed numerous roles as a Soloist for the Mobile Theatre Guild Dance Wing in Mobile, Alabama. From 1990 to 2000, she was the owner and director of Madeline Avinger’s School of Dance in Foley, Alabama. As a teacher, she has helped initiate a dance therapeutic program for the pre-schoolers at the Springhill School for Special Children. She is a member of “Very Special Arts of Alabama”, a group inaugurated by the John F. Kennedy Foundation of the Arts. Ms. Madeline attended a Special Olympics training school which certifies her as a Special Olympics gymnastic coach.

Theresa Noletto-Hutchins

Is a Professional Dancer, Master Teacher, International and National Award Winning Choreographer. Professional ballet training started at eight years old with Don Farnworth in New York City and later with Balanchine’s New York City Ballet principal Melissa Hayden. Also, additional training with Bruce Marks, Ballet West Utah, Phyllis Latin’s Saratoga Ballet Company, American Ballet Theatre principals Marcia Haydee and Elizabeth Carroll, Joffrey Ballet principal Finis Jhung, Broadway Dancer Charles Kelley, Luigi, Lea Darwin, Susan Quinn, Michael Williams and Gus Giordano. She received a dance scholarship to Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago. In 1984 she became a professional dancer with First City Dance Theatre as a principal soloist for eight years. Her guest performing credits include the Jazz Dance World Congress, Mobile Ballet and Wats on Dance. As a teacher, her experiences includes Dance Masters of America, Alabama School of Fine Arts, American Dance Center, The Dance Centre, University of South Alabama and Springhill College. As a choreographer she has received over thirty Choreography Awards and Top Overall Solo/Group Titles at National Dance Competitions. Her most prestigious award was for “Dedication 911” which wrapped up an Overall National Title, Overall Choreography Award and Perfect Score. She has also received One World Choreography Award at The Jazz Dance World Congress and One State Choreography Award at Panoply. Her dance company has performed on the Celebrity and Carnival Cruise Lines, at the Jazz Dance World Congress, St. Augustine’s Winter Dance Festival and First Night Mobile. In 2008 she taught Master Classes for Dixie Dance Masters of America and was an adjudicator for their Petite, Junior, Teen and Senior Miss Dance Pageant. In 2009 she received her Teachers Training Certificate with the Leap N Learn Educational Program for early to primary dance students and also received advanced studies with Northwest Florida Ballet for the past four summers. She traveled to Los Angeles for master training with Doug Caldwell at Doug and Friends and for the past two summers at The Collective Contemporary Workshop with Mia Michaels. Her trained dancers are dancing professionally with the Rockettes, American Ballet Theatre, Gus Giordano Jazz Chicago and Atlanta Ballet. She has trained America’s Junior Miss and Miss America Title Winners. Many students continue to receive full dance scholarships to colleges and professional dance training schools from under her instruction. Her passion for dance continues to inspire her students today.

Celi Shinn

Is a National Award Winning Choreographer and has been teaching since the age of 15. Growing up in the Sheffield School of the Dance family, she began her training at an early age and went on to work as a Professional Dancer and Faculty Member with the American Dance Center in Saratoga Springs, NY. She has choreographed for the America’s Junior Miss program locally, and studied under Master Teachers and Dance Greats including Sonya Arova, Roni Mahler, Lea Darwin, Susan Quinn & Michael Williams, Luigi, Frank Hatchett, and the late Gus Giordano. In 1998 and 1999, Celi’s choreography appeared on ESPN with Paula Abdul receiving 1st Overall National Champion Titles. Celi was recognized by New York City Dance Alliance in 2000 for “National Outstanding Choreography” and has achieved an astounding 27 “Best Of Show” titles at Tremaine National Finals including four “National Performance of the Year” titles from So You Think You Can Dance’s, Wade Robson, Broadway Legend, Chita Rivera, Paula Abdul and Mitzi Gaynor. In 2005, Celi directed and produced Imagine… A Performance for Life, a benefit concert for Dancers Responding to AIDS. This project, which she claims to be her Most Rewarding Endeavor, was backed by the City of Mobile and drew tremendous community support by raising over $10,000 for this wonderful organization. In the summer of 2007, she received the prestigious honor of being named the “2007-08 Tremaine National Dance Teacher of the Year” for her continued love and commitment to the art of dance. Most recently, she choreographed Rock The Runway, a fashion benefit for America’s Distinguished Young Women Organization. In the summer of 2010, her choreography was nominated for “National Outstanding Choreography” and shared the stage with some of Broadway’s Finest as a National “Critic’s Choice Award” Finalist at the New York City Dance Alliance National Finale. In 2011 and 2012, she attended the Tremaine Intensive in Hollywood, CA for master training with Toni Basil and Anthony Thomas of Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation and coached 2012 Miss America Finalist, Courtney Porter. Her students are currently working globally and can be seen with the American Ballet Theatre, The Radio City Rockettes, The Houston Ballet, The New York City Ballet, the MTV Video Music Awards and many more.

Joanie Noletto

Joanie Noletto is a Sheffield trained student/teacher. In addition to her early training, she has studied at the American Dance Center in Saratoga Springs, New York. She has also studied at the Dance Center in Pensacola, Florida. She has attended national conventions of Dance Masters of America during the summer. She travels regularly for special teacher training at dance conventions in New Orleans. She is a charter member of the Sheffield Dancers. For eleven years, Joanie was a performer and choreographer for award winning dance routines in the finals of Showstopper National Talent Competition in Greensboro, North Carolina, Cleveland, Ohio, and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as well as the Danny Hoctor’s Dance Caravan, USA in New Orleans, Louisiana and Gatlingburg, Tennessee. Joanie, associated with and choreographer of the Mobile County Junior Miss Program for over ten years. In 1998, she attended the dance workshop and competition in Chicago sponsored by Gus Giordano Jazz Dance School. In 2003, she traveled to Las Vegas for the West Coast Dance Explosion teacher conference and competition and Orlando, Florida for the Joe Tremaine convention. In Mobile, Alabama she attended New York City Dance Alliance, West Coast Dance Explosion and Shock teacher workshops. The past two summers she traveled to New York, NY for the New York City Dance Alliance National Finale, and to Orlando, FL for Tremaine National Finals for master training. Currently she is also employed with Family Practice Associates of Mobile as an office manager/insurance clerk.

Courtney Baugh Crowe

Courtney has been a part of the Sheffield School of the Dance Faculty since 2003. She has trained at Sheffield School of the Dance for over 20 years, many of which were spent competing with the Sheffield Dancers. After graduation from high school, she went on to perform with Walt Disney World Entertainment in Orlando, Florida. She has been seen in various stage productions and parades at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. She has also appeared as several popular Disney face characters throughout the Walt Disney World Theme Park in Orlando, Florida. She graduated in May of 2006 from The University of South Alabama with a BFA degree in Graphic Design and a minor in Painting. In 2007 she started her own freelance graphic design company, Crowe Creative Design. Currently she is also employed full time as a webmaster at Televox Software, Inc. She still enjoys performing and taking dance classes in her spare time. In the summer of 2008, she traveled to Orlando, Florida for the Tremaine National Finals competition and workshop. In May 2009, she made her debut at the Mobile Theatre Guild as a Kit Kat Girl dancer/singer in the musical Cabaret. In 2012, Courtney performed in the American Heart Association’s 2012 Go Red For Women® Conference. Courtney and her husband, Bo Crowe, are enjoying their 3 year old twins, Max and Lily and newborn baby boy, Brody. She continues to follow her passion for dance at the very place she herself was trained, Sheffield School of the Dance.

Colby Shinn

As a young and versatile artist, Colby Shinn is one of the most recognized dancers in the United States. He is from a 3rd generation dance family and has gone on to work with choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing With the Stars and most recently with Sheryl Murakami, choreographer for Beyonce’ and Lady GaGa, and Chucky Klapow, from Michael Jackson’s This Is It. By the young age of 16, he was already a National Award Winning Choreographer, with his work being nationally awarded by Chita Rivera, Paula Abdul and Mitzi Gaynor. His work was also recognized by Dance Spirit Magazine as “Best Choreography” for recording artist, Lauren Hildebrandt. His most recent projects include performing with LeAnn Rimes on CMA Country Christmas airing on ABC, choreography featured on Britney Spears’ official website for her #1 hit single “Hold It Against Me”, and recently performed in a tribute to Screen Legend, Ann Margret. In 2012, his choreography garnered the attention of Gloria Estefan, for his work on the international company, DanceWorks Costa Rica. Currently, he can be seen as the Choreographer & Model in the 2013 Marcea Collection. He has choreographed and performed for the Distinguished Young Women Organization including their Rock The Runway fashion benefit. His national award winning choreography for Major Universities has been featured on the UDA National Championships airing on ESPN. Stage credits include the 22nd Annual Gypsy Awards in Hollywood honoring TV / Film Icon, Mary Tyler Moore, the “Oscars of Fashion”, The Michael Awards, in New York, and the Jazz Dance World Congress. Other television credits include performances with Paula Abdul on ESPN, appearances on E! News, and the America’s Junior Miss National Finals on BRAVO. In his competitive days, he was a Seven-Time National Title Winner, including winning Debbie Allen’s National FAMEUS Challenge, chosen by Disney’s, Raven Symone. He is currently on Faculty with Tremaine Dance Conventions, being the only dancer in it’s 32 year history to have won their “National Dancer of the Year” title as a Junior, Teen, and Senior. Colby’s tremendous energy and emphasis on technique and style has put him in demand as an International Master Teacher and Choreographer, where he recently taught in Canada, the All You Can Dance Festival in Austria, the Jazz Dance Fest Costa Rica.

Mandi Ward

Mandi Bond Ward has trained with Sheffield School of the Dance for over 25 years and has been part of the faculty since 2010. During her high school years Mandi participated in several events with the Sheffield Dancers. After graduation from High School she began her studies at The University of Mobile. Mandi was a member of The University of Mobile Cheerleading Squad and also participated in special events with The University of Mobile Dance Team. While working as an instructor with Contempo Studio, she attended special training at Dupree Dance Conventions in Birmingham, AL and received a 1st place overall award in the faculty division at Showstoppers Talent Competition in Mobile. Mandi worked as a private coach and choreographer for contestants participating in Mobile County Junior Miss. In addition, Mandi worked with several local award winning cheerleading squads preparing for competitions. Mandi has recently attended dance training workshops at the local and national level. She has focused on training young dancers. Mandi traveled to Biloxi, MS in 2011 to participate in the West Coast Dance Explosion workshop. She has traveled to New Orleans, LA and Orlando, FL each year from 2011 to 2014 attending Tremaine Dance Conventions and she has attended New York City Dance Alliance 2012 and 2013 in Mobile. In 1997, Mandi graduated from The University of Mobile with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. She currently works as a Nurse Case Manager. Mandi is married to Jeff Ward and is the mother of two children, Tanner and Cammie.

Rebekah Howard Womack

Rebekah has trained at the Sheffield School of the Dance for more than 25 years where she was both a dance assistant and member of the national award winning Sheffield Dancers. She has performed with the Parapluie Dance Company and as a soloist with the Azalea City Children’s Ballet. She was a featured dancer in the Mobile Theatre Guild’s musical productions of Cabaret and Chicago. She has performed in numerous productions at the Joe Jefferson Playhouse where she choreographed two full length stage musicals, 2010’s The Full Monty and 2011’s All Shook Up. She taught at Robin Adams Performing Arts Center in Pascagoula, MS for four years and has served as a guest teacher/ choreographer for various other area dance schools and teams. Rebekah is a graduate of Spring Hill College. She is married to Shane Womack and has a son, Jack. Rebekah is delighted to join the faculty at Sheffield School of the Dance, the school that fostered her love of dance.

Katie Noletto-Felis

Katie Noletto Felis—MFA, began her dance training at age 3 at Sheffield School of the Dance under the direction of her grandmother, Mary Lou Sheffield Noletto, and her aunts, Theresa Noletto-Hutchins and Celi Noletto-Shinn. Discovering a passion for ballet and performance, she also began training at Mobile Ballet and was accepted into their pre-professional company in 1995. From 1995 until 2007, she performed with Sheffield School of the Dance and Mobile Ballet. She was awarded scholarships from PDTA-Hoctor to attend the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive in New York City from 1997-1999. Additionally, she spent her summers studying dance at various other schools including American Dance Center in Saratoga Springs, New York, American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive in New York City. In 2002, she was a top ten finalist in the 2003 Mobile County Junior Miss Pageant where she was also given an award for Talent. A 2003 graduate of McGill Toolen Catholic High School, she continued her education at Spring Hill College. In addition to her studies, she continued performing with Sheffield School of the Dance and Mobile Ballet, and began teaching at both locations. Her talent and involvement in various organizations led her to be given the prestigious honor of leading the Crewe of Columbus as their Queen in 2007. That same year, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from Spring Hill’s Honors College with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and began a Master of Fine Arts program at the nationally acclaimed School of Dance at Florida State University. While at Florida State, she was a performing member of Dance Repertory Theatre, a counselor with the FSU Summer Dance Intensive, and a teacher for non-majors classes as well as at Wildwood Ballet in Tallahassee. During the summers, she attended Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine on scholarship, and American Dance Festival in Durham, North Carolina under a research grant. In October of 2010, she performed at the Ringling International Arts Festival in Sarasota, Florida, and premiered three works of choreography for her Thesis Concert, in which she performed a solo choreographed by Michael Foley. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance in December 2010. After graduation, she taught dance in Kirksville, Missouri and in the greater Phoenix area, where she was on faculty at the highly-esteemed School of Ballet Arizona, Glendale Community College, and Grand Canyon University. Additionally, she performed and danced with Treeline Dance Works in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, she is on faculty at Sheffield School of the Dance and is the choreographer for Sun Chief Sound at Faulkner State Community College in Baldwin County.

Lauren Soutullo Smith

Lauren is a former Sheffield dancer herself! She was a part of many nationally award winning numbers throughout her years training at Sheffield School of the Dance where she worked extensively with both Theresa Noletto-Hutchins, and Celi Shinn. Lauren supplemented her training in the summers with classes at the Edge Performing Arts Center, and Millennium Dance Complex in Los Angeles, CA, as well as Broadway Dance Center in New York City. She was awarded many convention scholarships, as well as the Danny and Betty Hoctor Award for Excellence in Dance. She gained her foundation, and upon graduating high school went on to further her academic career in the field. She earned her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi. There, she was awarded multiple scholarships, and was recognized as an outstanding dance student. While a member of Repertory Dance Company, both of her choreographic works, Drip, and Warped Attraction were presented on a main stage venue selected by the faculty. There, she worked with many amazing faculty including Stacy Reischman Fletcher, Julie White, Shellie Neilson, Kelly Ferris Lester, and Carrie Brueck Morris. After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi, Lauren went even further to pursue her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from the Florida State University. Her works, Letting the Hold Go, and Of Curved Things were selected by faculty and shown in the annual Days of Dance concert for two years in a row. Lauren was a member of Dance Repertory Theatre, under the direction of Lynda Davis. She had the pleasure of working with Lynda, and was selected to perform choreography by guest artist Michael Foley during his residency with DRT. Along with performing, Lauren was a teacher for the Suzanne Farrell Young Dancers Workshop held every year at the Florida State University’s School of Dance. In her time at Florida State, she had the opportunity to work with many legendary teachers and choreographers such as Gerri Houlihan, Lynda Davis, and Michael Foley. For the past two years Lauren has been honored to be a performer and teacher for the Mississippi Dance Festival, held on the University of Southern Mississippi’s campus in the Department of Dance. Since earning her MFA, Lauren has since moved to Birmingham, AL where she danced professionally with DANCEe, under the direction of Elizabeth Ross. She was also a guest artist with Staibdance, a professional modern dance company based out of Atlanta under the direction of George Staib. Most recently, Lauren was asked to be a guest artist for Hub Dance Collective, a professional modern dance company in Hattiesburg, MS where she has performed works by Coco Loupe, and Stacy Reischman Fletcher. She is excited to announce that she will be teaching as adjunct faculty at USM in the Fall, and is grateful to be part of the Sheffield legacy; this time on the other side!