Meet Our FACULTY
at Ballet Arts Centre we are extremely proud of our faculty. BAC is one of the few dance schools in Jacksonville where all of the faculty are college educated. 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.
Sydney Keister Phelps- owner/director
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 on faculty at Jacksonville Country Day School. Sydney has held the title of Miss Jacksonville 2013 and Miss Florida's Outstanding Teen 2006 in the Miss America Organization. Currently she is on faculty at LaVilla and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Sydney has enjoyed choreographing and dancing with both Jacksonville Dance Theatre and Braided Light Dance Project.
Katie Blandford - tap & acrobatics
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!
Elizabeth Concilla - ballet & modern
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. During Elizabeth’s training she spent several summers at prestigious summer intensive studies throughout the country. 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. Elizabeth has had the opportunity to developed multiple elite training programs throughout the city designed to help students grow to love and succeed in classical dance. She has set several full-length ballets, as well has had her choreography performed all over the state of Florida. Elizabeth has trained students for classical competitions and auditions such as the Youth America Grand Prix and the Universal Ballet Competition. Her students have been accepted to top summer programs all over the country and are currently representing Jacksonville at many award-winning trainee programs.
Stacey Henderson - ballet, acrobatics, tap & jazz
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 has been teaching preschool at JU's Wilma's Little Peoples School for 11 years. She is the lead teacher in the Two year old classroom. Stacey has a true passion for children, dance and education and it shows in her home life as well. She and her husband live in Jacksonville and are raising three girls who also love to dance.
James Ranch - hip hop
a Jacksonville native attending both LaVilla School of the Arts and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Specializing in Hip-Hop, Contemporary, and Acrobatics,he has a rich history of movement training and teaching in and around Jacksonville. Along with movement, he is also a professional musician and Multi-Media specialist. His company NuGlyph ("New-Gliff") is in its 3rd year of business. As he grows as an artist, entrepreneur, and leader in Jacksonville, James plans to open arts enrichment centers for lower income communities.
Kellie Walsh - ballet, jazz & modern
a summa cum laude graduate from the University of New Mexico, started her dance training at three years old and hasn't stopped since. Kellie attended New Mexico school for the arts, concentrating in dance for her high school education and attended multiple summer dance intensives such as Alonzo Kings LINES ballet, Ballet Chicago, Saratoga Summer dance Intensive and American Dance festival. In her last semester of pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in contemporary dance at the University of New Mexico, her choreography was selected to be adjudicated at the American Dance Association Conference. Kellie has studied with artists such as Alonzo King, Melissa Sandvig, Lee Wei Chao, Dana Tai Soon Burgess and Company, Erica Pujick, Vladimir Conde Reche and many more. You can catch Kellie in Sylvan Esso's newest music video Parad w/me and has performed professionally on a glacier in Austria Hannibal. For the past four years, Kellie has been a dance instructor. In her free time she loves spending time with her husband and her dog. Kellie is so happy to be sharing her passion with others!