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Meet Our Faculty

at Ballet Arts Centre we are extremely proud of our faculty. All of our instructors have extensive training and performance experience and a deep love for the art of dance.  Dance is a major part of all of the instructors lives and we are honored to share our love of dance with the dancer in your family. 

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The Ballet Arts Centre logo inspiration. A picture of our owner/director, Ms. Sydney Phelps in college at FSU.


Sydney is a magna cum laude graduate of Florida State University, with a BFA in Dance. While at FSU Sydney was a member of FSU’s Dance Repertory Theatre for three years. As a company member of DRT she was able to work with guest artists; Stephen Koester, Alan Danielson, Michael Foley and more. Her choreography Life After This was showcased at FSU in their Days of Dance Concert Series in 2011. Raised in Jacksonville, Sydney attended LaVilla Middle School of the Arts and went on to graduate from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in 2007. At Douglas Anderson she was a member of Dance Theatre for three years. Since graduating from FSU, Sydney was the director of dance at Lake Forest Elementary and has been dance faculty at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, LaVilla School of the Arts, Jacksonville Country Day School and Assumption ECLC. Sydney has held the title of Miss Jacksonville 2013 and Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen 2006 in the Miss America Organization. Sydney has enjoyed choreographing and dancing with both Jacksonville Dance Theatre and Braided Light Dance Project. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her children and traveling the world with her husband who is a pilot. 

Sydney Keister Phelps - owner/director

Ms. Katie Blandford tapping

Katie fell in love with dance at the young age of three and hasn’t stopped since! She is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and while there was a member of the Tap Ensemble. Katie continued to study dance while majoring in Exercise Science at Florida State University. While at FSU she was able to train under FSU’s dance faculty and performed in many of their shows.. Some of the dancing greats that she’s studied under include Joe Lanteri, Rhonda Stampalia, Mia Michaels, Ellie Potts Barrett, Finis Jhung, Phyllis Penney and Joe Tremaine.
After graduating in 2003, she moved back to Jacksonville and started teaching dance at local studios. Since teaching at Ballet Arts Centre, she has fallen in love with the students and staff here and hopes to share her passion for tap for many years to come!

Katie Blandford - tap 

Ms. Elizabeth Kuhn

Elizabeth Concilla - ballet 

Elizabeth grew up in Columbus Ohio, where she studied classical dance at BalletMet Academy. During her time at BalletMet Elizabeth had the opportunity to train in the pre-prefessional program which allowed her to perform alongside the professional company in multiple ballets and performances. She was also a member of their YouMet company, which had the privilege of training with Alvin Ailey principal dancer April Berry, and traveled the states presenting classical modern works. In 2007, Elizabeth attended Jacksonville University on a talent scholarship where she received her BFA in dance performance in 2011. After college, Elizabeth joined a local dance company and started teaching in the Jacksonville area. She has set several full-length ballets, as well has had her choreography performed all over the state of Florida. 

Ms. Sarah George

Sarah George - ballet, tap & jazz 

Sarah was born and raised in Jacksonville, where she began her dance training at the age of 4, right here at Ballet Arts Centre. She learned all styles of dance but loves ballet and jazz the most. She continued her training at BAC throughout high school and performed all over the city with "Art in Motion" performance group. She spent her summers training with the Orlando Ballet and Florida Ballet schools. After graduation she attended Tulane University where she performed with the Newcomb-Tulane Dance Company in New Orleans. She is so excited to be back in her hometown and home studio teaching her passion and love of dance to all!

Ms. Stacey Henderson

Stacey Henderson - ballet, tap, jazz & acro

Stacey has made a career out of dance and education. She began dancing at age 3 for Laurie Lanouette’s Dance Connection in Windham, NH. She performed jazz, ballet, contemporary and modern as well as started her career and love of teaching. She is a graduate of Jacksonville University with an Education Major and Dance Minor. While at JU, she was a varsity Cheerleader for the Football and Basketball teams. After graduation she returned home and taught for Laurie Lanouette for 5 more years before returning to sunny Florida. She taught preschool at JU's Wilma's Little Peoples School for 15 years. She is currently a teacher for Duval County. Stacey has a true passion for children, dance and education and it shows in her home life as well. She keeps life interesting raising her three girls who also love to dance.
Ms. Erin Lloyd

Erin Lloyd - ballet & acro 

Erin was born and raised in Jacksonville, FL. She started her dance career at Ballet Arts Centre at the age of 8 and has called BAC her home ever since. She graduated highschool as a homeschool student at the age of 16.  Erin is pursuing her BFA in Dance and currently attends FSCJ with the plans to transfer to Florida State University or Jacksonville University. Erin has attended various summer intensives including Urbanity in  Boston, MA, Missouri Contemporary Ballet in Columbia, MO and also a variety here locally in Florida. Erin has been assisting in dance classes for about 8 years. This has given her the inside view of teaching from a very young age which has helped mold her passion for teaching young children. 

Mr. James Ranch

James Ranch - hip hop

James started dancing at the age of 7 in street / urban dance styles and by age 10 he had incorporated training in ballet and jazz. Before dancing, he trained in taekwondo, gymnastics, and capoeira. Along with dance, James has been playing music and doing visual arts from an early age. His formal education includes Lavilla School of the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. He received his Associate in Arts in multi-media production from FSCJ. 
James has taught at numerous schools, studios, and institutions in North East Florida. He has been a guest artist, instructor, and Artist in Residence at Lavilla School of the Arts, teaching ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, hip-hop, and world dance. As a choreographer he has received several awards from Hall of Fame and Fire and Ice dance competitions. In his free time James is a “renaissance” artist, musician, visual artist and dancer.

Ms. Tess Sturgeon

Tess Sturgeon - ballet, tap, jazz & modern

Tess is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma but was raised in Jacksonville. She grew up training at Ballet Arts Centre before graduating and moving to Philadelphia PA to continue her dance education. Tess has trained across several states at University of the Arts, Oklahoma City University and Florida State College at Jacksonville. She has trained with Andy Blankenhueler, Bliss Kholmeyer, Jay Jackson, Jonah Bokaer, and Pioneer Winter. Tess has taught at several studios in Florida and North Carolina, including Ballet Arts Centre. Tess is currently a member of Jacksonville Dance Theatre and a choreographer and instructor at APEX Theatre Studio. She is thrilled to be back in the studio at Ballet Arts Centre! 

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