Motion Staff
Motion Dance Studio
We Educate and Motivate
Jina Yelton - Motts serves as the Director/ Instructor/ Owner and is celebrating the 30th dance season this year. Ms. Jina takes great pride in planning educational events for the studios. She assembles a motivational staff to provide a family valued and educational studio. "Ms. Jina"  continues to enjoy teaching dancers of all ages to pursue their personal best. Her philosophy with her students is to educate and motivate - make the most of every movement, be authentic and keep it real is her style of leadership. Jina's professional dance experience carried her from the West coast back to the East coast.... from ballet company to grass roots programs in Pomona, California..She has a Bachelor of  Fine Arts in dance from East Carolina University, Summer Intensives from Michigan State University, Studies at Barnard College, Certified with Cecchetti Council of America, and Dance Master America,  as well as many award winning competition routines recognized both regionally and nationally. 

Holly Westbrook serves as Manager / instructor/ Owner for the studio and provides leadership in all levels of dance at both studios. Miss Holly has had over 26 years of dance experience and training. She has her degree in Dance from UNCC, with a Child and Family development minor. As a previous student at Motion Dance Studios , she continues to teach with a caring  dedicated style. She creates positive relationships with both students and parents assisting them with Motion events. Miss Holly will brighten your child's dance experience and inspire them to a new level of confidence in dance.

Samantha Coyte - is one of our proud dance moms that will beteachng junior hip - hop and helping with studio events. Ms. Sam has always enjoyed dancing and is so full of energy and creative ideas. She is also currently studying radiology college courses.

 Meagan McCabe - Meagan has her MS, LMFT,RYT-200 and is a licensed marriage and family therapist and certified yoga instructor. she is continuing her two passions to help promote mental and physical health in our community. Her daughter Marliegh dances at the studio and is thrilled to be able to offer classes to our Motion Dance family.

Rachel Riddle - Rachel holds a Bachelor of fine Arts in theatre Arts and Dance from East Carolina University and was a member of their touring ensemble. she earned a K-12 NC Teacher Certification in Dance Education from UNC - Charlotte. She has worked with all ages of dancers in creative movement, pre-ballet, contemporary, musical theatre and jazz in the private studios, community theaters, universities and public classrooms. She was a dance educator for Catawba County Schools and was the teacher and owner of creative, pre-ballet school for several years. Rachel is currently teaching at Louis Nunnery School of Ballet in Hickory and will guest teach with Motion this season.

Martha Bennett - Martha began her training at just three years old. Her training at Motion Dance Studio under Jina Motts for 11 years. Having experienced summer sessions with various dance competitions, workshops, she also has spent time at UNCSA completing the commercial dance intensive before beginning her work as a company member at North Carolina Academy of Dance Arts in Greenville, NC. Under the direction of Sheryl Tipton, Martha studied classical pointe under Galina Panova of the Kirov Ballet ( 1064 - 1972), various members of the Raleigh, NC, and ECU dance alum Amanda Oakley Hort in areas of jazz and contemporary. Having performed roles in the Nutcracker as well as Le Corsaire, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia and more, Martha has developed specialties in the areas of ballet, contemporary,, pointe, jazz, musical theatre, modern and hip - hop. Her dancing has taken her to local, state, and national competitive levels where after being named the Distinquished Woman of North Carolina forr 2016. Martha currently attends UNC - Chapel Hill and is a student of the School of Media and Journalism where she is studying public relations and political science. She continues her love of dance as a choreographer and dancer for the Carolina Style Martha Bennett -Ballet Company in Chapel Hill.  

Megan Lambert McLaughlin- began her early dance training at a Motion Dance Studio. She has many pageant titles and continues to create unique choreography for competition both regionally and nationally. Megan is recently married and continues to find time to share her love of dance. She is currently the captain of the Silver Line of the Carolina Panther cheer leaders. Megan counts it a blessing to be in a positive atmosphere at Motion Dance.
Alondra Vahan - Alondra has danced for the past fifteen years with nothing but passion. Through the journey she started at Motion Dance she's learned to be a hard working and talented individual. Motion has been a big part of her life and she will be able to stay on this season after her graduation. She will  teach classes and share her love of dance. She has training in ballet, contemporary lyrical, musical theatre jazz  and modern. Alondra is the recipient of the Passport Program where she will do dual enrollment at UNC - Charlotte and CPCC for the 2015 - 2016 school year. She hopes to always leave and everlasting impression performing and or teaching.

Emily Absher - grew up at Motion Dance Studio, a part of the family since 2002. She began competing at age six, then grew to assist numerous classes and choreograph musicals and dance showcases in her district. She continued training until her junior year, when she graduated a year early to spend her senior year of high school at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Drama Program. She continued her dance training there under the instruction of Broadway and Modern veterans Matt Loehr, Cynthia Penn- Halai, and Molly Murray. Graduated from UNCSA in 2016, she is now pursuing a BFA Acting degree at Texas State University. In undergrad, she continues to train in many genres of dance and choreograph under the instruction of Kira Schmidt - Carper, Lynzy Lab, and Cassie Abate.

Lauren Roberts- a graduate of Motion Dance Studio continues to be on board with summer classes and  and clinics offered at the studio. She has trained in ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap and modern. She is currently attending Western Carolina University in Cullowee where she is a rising sophomore.  She was most recently selected to be on the dance team at the University. Lauren sets choreography for us and has numerous specialty dances with competitive honors. She always shows her love of movement and intrigue as well as awesome technical abilities.

Jackson Canaan- joins us at Motion this season. She has had many years of dance training in Charlotte at Miss Donnas. She attended University of North Carolina Wilmington and studied nursing . Jackson continued dancing while in Wilmington studying jazz, contemporary lyrical and modern. She enjoys working with young students to inspire them to be their personal best and pursue their dance goals. Welcome aboard!

Allie Buckelew - Allie will be joining our team at Motion Dance this season to add new classes in Baton Twirling. She has experience with halftime shows, Show Twirl, Team/ Line and Solos,Strut. Some of her notable performances:Clemson University Tiger Twirler, Orange Bowl, Russell Athletic Bowl, Chick Fil-A Bowl and Disney Parades as well as Tiger rama Homecoming Events. She served as captain three of the four years with the Clemson Tiger Band. Allie has choreographed, coached and gained recognition at DMA and USTA both regional and State sponsored competitions. She received a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Communications in May 2016. We are so pleased to have her on board at Motion.  

Guest Teachers:
Amelia Sturt - Dilley - Amelia was raised in Colorado where she trained under Karen and David Samuelson. She received her high school education at the Walnut Hill School for the Arts 
under the direction of Micheal Owen and Samuel Kurkjian. She then went on to receive her  BFA from the Julliard School.She has attended summer intensives at schools including
 Nutmeg Conservatory, Washington School of Ballet, Houston Ballet, Ballet Austin and The Paris Opera. she appeared in the 2-15 Vail International Dance Festival where she performed Larry Kegwin's Stormy Weather. As a company member of the Charlotte Ballet, she has been featured in works by   Jean = Pierre Bonnefeaux, Sasha Janes, Mark Diamond, David Ingram, Dwight Rhoden, Jiri Kylian and Chad Naharin.  We are pleased that she will be guesting with us this season.

Amyia Burrell- loves being in Disney's The Lion King. Amyia's training as well as performance and teaching career have taken her around nth world. She has worked with numerous companies including the Atlanta Ballet, Orlando Ballet, North Carolina Dance Theatre, Minnesota Dance That, Central Florida Ballet, City Dance ensemble, Pittsburgh Ballet and Broadway Dance Center in New York and Tokyo! In addition to contrary and Broadway dancing, her specialties also include Tap, gymnastics, African, Latin and Ballroom dancing, vocals and acting. A true triple threat, Amyia has been featured in several Disney productions and television specials. She is thrilled to share her passion for dance and the stage with students around the world!

Bree Branker studied at North Carolina School of the Arts and then she set out to live her dream! She has been with NYC / tours with: Spamolot, Radio City Rockettes, Cirque de Soliel, White Christmas, West Side Story, Will Rogers Follies, Finian's Rainbow, and Girl Crazy. Choreography: N.Y. Philharmonic's Company, Beauty and the Beast, My Way, Love to Man and Brankers.  Bree teaches master classes that are truly motivational for our students.

Robert Hartwell - is a proud magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan 's prestigious Musical Theatre Program where her garnered the Willis Patterson Diversity Award and fraduated with a magna cum laude honors. A native of Raleigh, NC. Robert began his dance training under Kirstie Tice Spadie at the North Carolina Dance Institute. He received his high school diploma studying at NCSA: School of of Dance roberts cut his teeth on the national and international tour of DREAMGIRLS, which premiered at the would famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem. After the tour he made his Broadway debut in MEMPHIS the Musical as Wailin' Joe and understudied 3 male principal roles. In 2012, Robert joined the original cast of Rodgers and Hammerstein's CINDERELLA. He can currently be seen in the first national tour of MOTOWN the MUSICAL..

Lauren Linville ( Cast of Wicked) - has her BFA from OCU. She is dedicated to family and career ..loves touring with Wicked where she is in the Ensemble in Munchkinland.. Other shows she has appeared in 42nd Street ( Asian tour) and Swing ( U.S. tour)

Sara Andreas - cast member of the First National Tour of Broadway's Legally Blonde, directed and choreograhed by Tony Award winner, Jerry Mitchell. She was born in Los Angleoes, CA where she graduated from the prestigious Hamilton Academy of Music and continued her studies at the Universityy of Miami. She was proud to graduate magna cum laude with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Sara moved to New York City where she she has performed Off-Broadway with the JARADOA Theare Co. and the Connelly Theatre. She appeared regionally in Sweet Charity, Guys and Dolls, and Kiss Me Kate. She earned her Screen Actors Guild card by performing on NBC,WB,FOX and CBS programming. 

Demonstrators/ Junior Assistants:
EmmaTreon, Madi Vickery, Hannah Meeks, Lilliana Whalen
Assistant Teachers:
 Brittany Blitstein, Marlie Santiago
Office and Reception;
 Melanie Westbrook, Kristy Westbrook, Karen Forquer

Last Updated 8/1/19

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