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.
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 traveling the world with her husband who is a pilot.
Sydney Keister Phelps- owner/director
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 & acrobatics
Elizabeth Concilla - ballet
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.
Stacey Henderson - ballet, tap, jazz & acrobatics
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.
Lauren Logan - ballet & jazz
Since a young age, Lauren has been a believer in the positive influence of movement. Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Lauren is a teacher, choreographer and dance artist, and she shares her love of dance with her many students in Florida and Georgia. Lauren’s recent projects include commissioned repertoire for Dance Tallahassee, a local contemporary dance company, as well as many large productions for Off Broadstreet Centre for the Dance Arts, including Tale as old as Time, Wonderland Unleashed and This is Me. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Jacksonville University where she was awarded the Talent Scholarship. In 2009, she was accepted to study abroad in Bangkok, Thailand, where she was invited to choreograph for Mahidol University's Dance Program. After undergrad, Lauren was selected as a company member and performer with Braided Light Dance Project, as well as an Artist in Residency. In 2015, Lauren earned her Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University, in collaboration with The Forsythe Company.
Currently, Lauren is a dance instructor at Ballet Arts Centre, Debbie’s Dance Company and LaVilla School of the Arts. Lauren is also the Creative Director of Firebird Photos, where she showcases her combined love of dance and photography . She has been honored to receive multiple choreography awards and numerous top overall scores on the regional and national level. She loves to spend time with her daughter, Lennox, and her puppy, Leo.
Tess Sturgeon - ballet & 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. She taught and choreographed at Episcopal School of Jacksonville, and is currently teaching at Seacoast Christian Academy. 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!
Chelsea Thomas - hip hop
Chelsea Thomas was a maga cum laude class of 2020 graduate at Atlantic High School in Port Orange Fl. She was born in Louisiana and moved to Florida when she was only 7 years old. Chelsea was Nautica Dance Company President/Publicist at Atlantic High School and has studied under Amanda Aubry for 3 years while performing in Modern Dance Rock operas. She has won many titles such as Miss Atlantic High School, most passionate dancer, best choreography winner two years in a row, and she has gotten the opportunity to dance at Volusia’s All county performance. Chelsea was an intern at a professional dance company "RAKR” for 2 years where she worked as their publicist. While she has only danced for 6 years, she had a burning passion for hip hop and knew she wanted to share her experience and talents with everyone. She hopes to bring diversity and give challenges to her future students.