Dance School Owner Cumming GA

Ms. Courtney Palubiak Bromwich


Ms. Bromwich began her formal dance training in Marietta, GA with Dance Stop Studios where she had the opportunity to take classes from many dance professionals such as Gus Giordano, Debra Bray, and Jason Weiss. She pursued dance in her collegiate years with Brenau University, Gainesville Ballet, Kris Cangelosi Dance Project, and Ruth Mitchell’s Georgia Dance Conservatory.

Ms. Bromwich discovered her true passion of teaching at the Sawnee School of Ballet in 2000. Under the direction of Director/Owner Joan Kall Stewart, Ms. Bromwich honed her teaching skills for the next six years in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and hip hop for dancers of all ages. Since her beginnings at Sawnee Ballet, Ms. Bromwich has been a respected dancer, choreographer, and teacher in the metro-Atlanta area for over 15 years. Her strengths in tap, jazz, and modern and her propensity for character pieces have earned her several choreography awards, honors, and placements throughout the years.

In 2007, Ms. Bromwich was invited to join the faculty of the dance program at Kennesaw State University as a guest tap teacher. Having already graduated with a B.A. in Business Management, she decided to return to KSU to further her dance education, and subsequently obtained her B.A. in Dance.

Upon her relocation to Gainesville, GA in 2011, Ms. Bromwich was excited to rejoin the faculty at Sawnee Ballet. In November 2012, she was honored to take over as the new owner and director. Ms. Bromwich is continuing the same spirit and core principals that have driven the school for so long in addition to applying new and fresh ideas that educate, energize, and inspire the dancers and grow their passion for dance.

This year, Courtney will be teaching the bitty ballerinas on Monday as well as Musical Theatre 3, and most levels of Jazz and Tap.  In addition, she is the Artistic Director of the Sapphires performing program and looks forward to the Sapphire’s third season performing out in the community.

Dance School Director Cumming GA

Ms. Joan Kall Stewart

Director Emeritus

A native New Yorker, Ms. Stewart received her formative training at the Westbury Studio of Fine Arts with Martha Manners, Lillian Waldecker and Jon Curtis. She furthered her studies at the School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theatre and the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo under the guidance of Anatole Vilzak and Ludmilla Shollar.

A performer of great versatility, Ms. Stewart worked for Broadway’s four top producers: Lerner & Lowe, David Merrick, Hal Prince, and Rodgers & Hammerstein.

Her professional credits include Broadway companies of Hello Dolly, Camelot, and National Touring Companies of Sound of Music, Fiorello, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.  She has performed with Carol Channing, Ginger Rogers, Betty Grable, Kathryn Grayson, Florence Henderson, Eve Arden, Anne Miller, Leslie Gore, Tony Randall, and Soupy Sales.

Her Summer Stock credits include Paper Mill Playhouse and Music Fair Productions of production of Half A Sixpence and Gypsy and the Atlanta’s Theatre Of The Stars as Liesl in The Sound of Music, Liat in South Pacific, Gloria Upson in Mame, and Ermengarde in Hello Dolly. Industrial show credits include The Ford Show, Coca Cola, and Canada Dry.

Ms. Stewart has taught ballet in Atlanta since 1967 and directed the Sandy Springs School of Ballet for fourteen years. She was a principal dancer with Georgia Ballet, DeKalb Concert Ballet, and Chattahoochee Dance Theatre.

Ms. Stewart’s choreographic works have been performed by the Georgia Ballet, Ruth Mitchell Dance Company, Phoenix Opera, Mercer University, DeKalb Concert Ballet, Chattahoochee Dance Theatre, Sandy Springs Dunwoody Civic Ballet, Sawnee Ballet Theatre and St. Petersburg Florida’s Chamber Ballet Company.

In 1990, Ms. Stewart founded the Sawnee School of Ballet, and in 1992, she formed the Sawnee Ballet Theatre presenting Cumming, Georgia with its first full length Nutcracker.

Currently, Ms. Stewart holds the title of Director Emeritus for both Sawnee School of Ballet and Sawnee Ballet Theatre.

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Ms. Becky Binion

Becky Binion received a dance scholarship at the University of Riverside where she studied various forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, African and modern. She toured Southern California with the company “Groundwork” and eventually found her way to Atlanta, GA where she danced with “Gotta Dance and Co.” and “Colours Dance Theatre”. She loves to choreograph for theater and has received a Metropolitan Theatre Award for her work on “Chicago” and “Forever Plaid”. Becky currently choreographs for children’s theater at Forsyth Academy of Performing Arts. She enjoys teaching the discipline of dance while keeping it fun and is quite convinced it helps keep her young!

Miss Becky will be in her fourth season with Sawnee Ballet as a teacher of our bitty ballet dancers (ages 3-5 years) on Tuesdays and Fridays.  She will also be teaching Musical Theatre 2 on Tuesday evenings.


Ms. Jessie Johnston Carmon

Jessie Johnston Carmon began her ballet training at the age of five in Gainesville, Georgia with Diane Callahan. At the age of nine, Jessie became the youngest charter member of the Gainesville Ballet Company where she continued to dance and perform until high school graduation in 1982. Miss Johnston spent summers training with the Atlanta Ballet, Washington Ballet, Alabama School of Fine Arts, Ruth Mitchell, Southwest Ballet Center, Virginia Intermont College, Louisville Ballet and the National Academy of Arts. Jessie Johnston was the first woman to receive a full scholarship to the National Academy of Arts under the directorship of Petrus Bosman and Robert Dicello. After leaving the academy, she became a soloist with the Augusta Ballet under the directorship of Ron Colton.

Ms. Jessie has taught advanced ballet in the evenings for the past three summers and is excited to be officially joining the faculty of Sawnee Ballet!  She will be teaching the Beginning and Intermediate Pointe levels on Wednesday evenings.


Ms. Dahlia Canada

Dahlia Canada has been dancing with the Sawnee School of Ballet for the past 15 years; she was a member of Sawnee Ballet Theatre, the Sawnee Ballet Sapphires, and has been involved in Sawnee Ballet’s teacher training program.

Dahlia has attended summer intensives at Kennesaw State University, Festival Dance Camp at the University of Georgia, and SBT summer intensives held here at Sawnee School of Ballet.

Dahlia’s future plans include attending Kennesaw State University to be a part of their rapidly growing dance program.

Ms. Dahlia is so excited to be in her third year at Sawnee School of Ballet.  She will be teaching Ballet and Jazz on Saturday mornings as well as working the front desk.

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Ms. Teresa Eckart

Teresa began her ballet training at Southern Ballet Theater in Jacksonville, FL under the direction of Marta Jackson. Upon moving to Tampa, she continued her training with Carmen Morales at the School of Ballet and Spanish Dance and with Haydee Gutiérrez at the Classical Ballet Center of Tampa. In high school, Teresa was a member of the Tampa Concert Ballet Company. During her college years, she studied under Sarah Stravinska and Helen McGhee, was a member of her college dance company, and taught ballet at a local studio.

In 1983, Teresa received a BA from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with a double major in economics and political science. Two and a half years later, she received a JD from Stetson University College of Law and began working in Pinellas County as assistant state attorney.

After relocating to Alpharetta in 1994, Teresa’s passion for dance brought her to Atlanta Ballet as she began taking classes with Carol Szkutek. For the last six years, she has focused on intense Vaganova training in her classes with Marina Levasheva, which she attends four times a week. In addition, she takes classes in the metro Atlanta area from various instructors including Kathryn McBeth and Reiko Kimura.

In the summer of 2015, Teresa enrolled at Kennesaw State University to pursue a degree in dance with a concentration in ballet. It goes without saying that she enjoys her Pedagogy class, but has found Kinesiology to intriguing as well, especially since she has a strong interest in the cross training of ballet dancers for increased strength and flexibility and injury prevention.

Teresa loves teaching ballet technique. “It is important to me to teach ballet technique,” she says “so that each dancer can reach their full potential whether they are taking classes for personal enjoyment or if they want to be a professional dancer.”

Teresa is also a classically trained pianist, training from age 9 to 18.

Sawnee Ballet is delighted to welcome Ms. Teresa to the faculty.  She will be instructing our advanced ballet and pointe dancers on Thursday evenings.

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Ms. Allison Michalke Gupton

Allison Gupton is a native of Marietta, Georgia and has been dancing since the age of three. She attended Bravo Dance Center for six years before attending Pebblebrook High School; the Cobb County Center for the Excellence in Performing Arts as a dance major, vocal minor. While at Pebblebrook, Allison performed in many musicals including West Side Story as Graziella, Copacabana, Big: the Musical, Footloose, Children of Eden as the Dove, and Side Show, as well as many dance performances. Allison is an honor’s graduate of The University of Alabama where she earned a B.A. in Dance and Public Relations. While at the University, Allison performed in the musical The Threepenny Opera, was assistant choreographer for the musical The Wild Party, and was the movement coordinator for the play Medea. Allison was a member of Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre, the University’s pre-professional dance company. Allison was also the Vice President of the dance organization Dance Alabama! and was President of the dance honor’s society Nu Delta Alpha. Professional choreography credits include: The Vegas Show, ‘Mo Motown, Little Women, Little Shop of Horrors, Hairspray, and Spring Awakening. In February of 2013, Allison choreographed for a movie titled, The Last of Robin Hood, where she had the honor of working with Dakota Fanning, Kevin Kline, Bryan Batt, and Susan Sarandon. Allison is also one of the regular dancers and choreographers on The CW Network’s, The Originals. Allison loves being in the classroom, molding young lives, and watching the art of dance grow and evolve in our world today. Roll Tide!

Allison also writes for Dance Informa Digital Dance Magazine.  Here are a few of her articles:

Miss Allison is on maternity leave, but she hopes to return to Sawnee Ballet next season after her first year of motherhood with her future dancer Camden.


Ms. Shara Martin Keith

Ms. Keith received her formative ballet training from Joan Kall Stewart and Dana Mott at The Sandy Springs School of Ballet and was a principal dancer with the Sandy Springs/Dunwoody Civic Ballet Company and the Chattahoochee Dance Theatre. For two consecutive seasons, she was selected by the Dekalb County Fine Arts Council to participate in the Dekalb County Young Artist in Dance Program.

A graduate of Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ballet, she was a principal dancer with Texas Christian University Dance Ensemble and studied under Fernando Schaffenburg and Lisa Fusillo. She was invited to perform in a choreographic showcase with members of the Fort Worth, Texas, Ballet Company.

Ms. Keith was a principal dancer with the Georgia Ballet for three seasons and performed with the Phoenix Opera Company in productions of Hansel and Gretel and Mozart’s Magic Flute. She was a Guest Artist for The Gilmer Arts Council and the Governor’s Honors Program in Valdosta, Georgia.

Ms. Keith is an assistant to the Artistic Director of Sawnee Ballet Theatre. She has appeared with Sawnee Ballet Theatre in numerous principal roles in their Spring Concert and Nutcracker productions. She received her Associate Degree in Nursing from Kennesaw State College, Kennesaw, Georgia.

Miss Shara will be working with the SBT ballet dancers on Tuesday evenings this year.

Brelin Zimmerman

Ms. Brelin Zimmerman Knop

Ms. Knop began her training at the Sawnee School of Ballet at the age of 3 and continued through her high school years. She was a member of the Sawnee Ballet Theater for 9 seasons, starting at the Apprentice level and progressing to the Company, dancing lead roles such as Clara, Arabian, and Snow Queen in SBT’s annual production of the Nutcracker.

Ms. Knop continued her education at Brenau University and received her Bachelor’s Degree in dance. While there, she danced numerous leading roles with the Gainesville Ballet such as Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in the Nutcracker as well as Jasmine in Aladdin.

In addition to teaching at several studios around the metro-Atlanta area, Brelin continues to take classes and perform. For her fifth season with Sawnee Ballet, Brelin will be working dancers ages 4 and up in Tumbling, Ballet, and Jazz.


Ms. Megan Larkin

Ms. Larkin trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, tap, and hip hop at Bravo Dance Center in Acworth, GA. At age 12, she auditioned for the Bravo Dance Company, and continued to dance as a company member until graduating high school. Throughout her time as a student at Bravo, Ms. Larkin competed in several competitions as well as performed at school and local festivals, the 2007 Chick-Fil-A Bowl, the Atlanta Hawks’ games, Jazz on Tap, Balletfest, and the end of the year recitals. She also participated in Inspirations, Bravo’s student choreography showcase.

Ms. Larkin spent her summers training at various summer intensives including Jazz on Tap on Tour, Firespark!, and the Kennesaw State University Summer Dance Clinic. Through these summer intensives, she was invited to be an “On Tour” dancer with Jazz on Tap on Tour and was awarded a scholarship to Kennesaw State University.

In addition to dancing, Ms. Larkin worked at Bravo Dance Center her senior year as a teaching and office assistant. She recently graduated Kennesaw State University, majoring in Dance (with a concentration in ballet) and Early Childhood Education. During her time at KSU, she was a member of the KSU Dance Company which has given her the opportunity to perform in GloATL’s production Maa, the Atlanta Ballet, and the Student Choreography showcase, where she had a lead role. She also had the privilege of working on two pieces that represented KSU Dance at the American College Dance Festival Association (ACDFA), one of which was later performed in a choreographer’s showcase in New York City.

Sawnee Ballet is excited to have Megan join the faculty for a fourth season.  A jack of all trades, she will be teaching Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, and Musical Theatre on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Ms. Delaney O’Shea

Bio coming soon!

Delaney is thrilled to be joining the faculty of Sawnee Ballet and will be teaching Irish on Wednesday evenings this year.

Natalia Shevchenko

Ms. Natalia Shevchenko

Ms. Shevchenko is a graduate of the Kiev Academy in the Ukraine and was trained in the Vagonova style. She was the recipient of Laureate awards at both the National Competition of Art in Kiev, Ukraine, and Kishinev, Moldova.

As a principal dancer, Ms. Shevchenko has an extensive repertoire including such roles as ‘Odette’ in Swan Lake; ‘Aurora’ in Sleeping Beauty; ‘Swanhilda’ in Coppelia; and ‘Juliet’ in Romeo and Juliet.

She has performed at the Mussorgsky State Theater of Opera and Ballet; Kirov Academy Theatre of Opera and Ballet; the Bolshoi Theater in Russia; the Muldova Academy Theater of Opera and Ballet in Muldova; and National Academy Theatre of Opera and Ballet in the Ukraine.

Ms. Shevchenko’s teaching experience includes the Classical Ballet Academy of Kishinev, Muldova; the Muldova Academy Theatre of Opera and Ballet; Kiev Academy of Ballet; and the Atlanta Ballet.

She has been an instructor with Sawnee School of Ballet for the past sixteen seasons.  This year, she will be teaching our Intermediate/Advanced and Advanced levels in Ballet as well as Variations on Monday evenings.

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Ms. Cheyney Smith

Cheyney Smith has been dancing at Carla’s Dance Factory for 18 years under the direction of Mrs. Carla. She joined the company at the studio at age eight and has been competing since. She was a part of the Senior Company at Carla’s Dance Factory for a number of years and has won numerous Platinum trophies at various competitions, not only in group routines, but also in solos, duets, and trios.

In high school, Cheyney was a member of the McIntosh Chiefette Dance Team and was Captain her senior year. For three consecutive years of her membership, the Chiefettes earned a state title in both the high kick and pom divisions at the UDA Georgia State Dance Team Championship. Also during her membership, the Chiefettes ranked 7th in the nation at the UDA National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida for the high kick division.

As a soloist, Cheyney was ranked first in the state of Georgia for 4 consecutive years at the Georgia Dance Team Championship and was given an award for best choreography for her solo at the University of Georgia dance invitational. Cheyney has not only been a part of dance programs, but has done choreography for other high school teams, mainly in Alabama who have competed in both state and national competitions and has choreographed other solos for state competitions as well.

Since graduating high school, Cheyney has joined the staff at Carla’s Dance Factory. In the Spring of 2014, she accepted a scholarship offer to attend Southeastern Louisiana University that fall where she would be a part of the Lionette Dance Team. As a member of this team, the Lionettes earned 3rd place in jazz and 4th place in hip hop at the UDA College National Dance Team Championship in Orlando, Florida.

She currently teaches and choreographs Jazz and Hip Hop for the junior and senior companies at her home studio as well as around metro-Atlanta.

Cheyney is thrilled to return to Sawnee Ballet for a third season to share her passion for dance.  Parents and students rave about her exciting, hard-hitting hip hop style and enthusiasm for dance.  You can find her at the studio on Tuesday and Thursday evenings teaching all levels of Hip Hop, Modern 3, as well as Stretch/Flex and Leaps/Turns.   Miss Cheyney is also the new coach for the FCHS Dance Dawgs, which will be practicing at Sawnee Ballet.


Ms. Katie Veldhuis

Ms. Katie is a Georgia native with a B.A. in Dance from Kennesaw State University. She began dancing at the age of 3 and hasn’t stopped since. Training with Jonnie Kelley, Ruth Mitchell, Terrell Paulk, Nicolaus Pacana, and other notable instructors at the Dancer’s Studio Backstage, shaped her into the dancer that she has become. She was a company member of Atlanta Dance Theatre for 8 years where she was able to perform in ballets such as Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Alice and Wonderland and Hansel & Gretel; her favorite role was Odile in Swan Lake. She attended SERBA where she performed in the Gala category for 5 consecutive years and was awarded a scholarship to the Louisville Summer Intensive. Other summer intensives include Festival Ballet, Metropolitan Ballet, and Ballet Austin. While she attended Kennesaw State University, she danced with the KSU Dance Company, performing on campus and around Atlanta. Katie has performed on many stages across the country; highlights include performing at the Kennedy Center twice with Gala honors and working with Lauri Stallings and her company, gloATL, at Symphony Hall in Atlanta. She went on to cheer as an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader with the NFL and was able to represent the Atlanta Falcons in New York City, Mexico City, Jamaica, and of course Atlanta. After her second season, Katie moved to New York City to experience the city life. She promptly moved back to the beautiful South, her home, and is excited to be back!

Sawnee Ballet is excited to have Katie back for a second season.  She will be teaching Modern 1 and 4 as well as Jazz 5 on Wednesday evenings and the advanced ballet levels on Saturday mornings.