Meet the Teachers

ASHLEY HEDGCOTH

Ashley is our studio owner and director.  She also teaches many classes at DA each week!  She has been with The Dance Academy for 20 years and been the owner for 14.   Ashley graduated from Hendersonville High School where she trained for 15 years at Jody's School of Performing Arts.  She was a member of the New Attitude and New Attitude Two Dance Companies that won numerous competition awards in Tap, Jazz, and Modern dance.  For many years, she was a featured dancer in the Conway Twitty Christmas shows.  She has performed for numerous awards shows, danced for Garth Brooks Gold Party, appeared in music videos, been a featured dancer in the Nashville Music City Bowl and appeared has in Channel 4 Service announcements.  She has taught dance in Nashville Metro classrooms in conjunction with Nashville Institute of the Arts.  She has taught technique classes to the MTSU dance team as well as been the choreographer for the Oakland Middle School Dance Team.  Ashley graduated from MTSU with a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies and holds memberships in Tennessee Association of Dance, Southern Association of Dance Masters and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters.  She has attended multiple conventions to further her dance and teaching education. These conventions include Dance Makers, Inc, Southern Association of Dance Masters, Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Music Works, and other conventions,workshops and Master Classes from Teachers all over the United States. Ashley is also the director and one of the choreographers for the DA competition teams.  She is proud to have won choreography awards and to have led her dancers to win many awards such as High Score Overall, Judges Choice, Dance Again Awards and many First Place Overall Awards. Ashley is excited to have competition team members that have been awarded scholarships to attend Broadway Dance Center, Retter Academy of Dance and Keith Clifton Dance Project both in California as well as Dance Directive in Arkansas and to attend Master Classes at the Broadway Dance Center in New York.  Her students have also won  Scholarships to many National Dance Conventions and Competitions around the country.   Ashley helped lead her team to their first International Dance Competition ever in 2016.  While competing, they were awarded International Dance Titles in Lyrical, Jazz, and Hip Hop. One of her teen soloists was also awarded the Miss Teen International Dance Challenge Idol.  Another teen soloist was awarded 2nd Overall out of over 120 International dancers. She loves sharing her passion with everyone at The Dance Academy and that she gets to spend every day doing what she loves!


 AMANDA EARP

Amanda is the Assistant Director as well as a teacher at DA.  She started dancing at DA when she was 3 and has been a teacher here for 11 years.  She graduated from Oakland High School where she was captain of her dance team and  then became the choreographer for 5 years where she led the team to win 4th in the state of TN.   Amanda graduated from MTSU in 2012 with a B.S. in Nursing.  In addition to teaching classes each week, she is also a nurse, mother, and choreographer for our DA competition teams.  She is a member of Tennessee Association of Dance, Southern Association of Dance Masters and Chicago National Association of Dance Masters.  Amanda has participated in many conventions to further her dance and teaching education such as Dance Makers, Inc., Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and Southern Association of Dance Masters conventions, workshops, and master classes from teachers all over the United States.  She has been a featured dancer in the Nashville Music City Bowl and competed in many dance competitions.  She has won many awards such as Best Overall Dancer and Most Dedicated Dancer among many others. Amanda is proud to have won Best Choreography awards and led her dancers to win awards such as High Score Overall, Judges Choice, Dance Again Awards and many First Place Overall Awards.  She is also excited to have competition team members that have been awarded scholarships to attend Retter Academy of Dance and Keith Clifton Dance Project both in California as well as a Dance Directive Master Class in Arkansas.  Students have also won many scholarships to National Conventions and Competitions around the country. Amanda helped lead her team their first International Dance Competition ever.  While competing, her dancers won International Dance Titles in Lyrical, Jazz and Hip Hop. One of her teen dancers was also awarded the International Dance Challenge Teen Idol.  Amanda is excited for another year at our studio and we are excited she still makes time to be a part of our DA team!

BECCA WILSON
Becca is one of our amazing instructors at DA. She grew up dancing at The Dance Academy where she danced for 19 years.  This is Becca's 9th year teaching with us.  Becca graduated from Blackman High School where she was a member of National Honor Society, Business Academy, Chair of her committee in Renaissance program and danced in all of the school musicals.  She graduated from MTSU with a degree in Early Childhood Education and is now entering her 3rd year as an elementary school teacher. Becca holds membership with Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and Southern Association of Dance Masters.  Becca has been a featured dancer in the Music City Bowl and attended many conventions such as Dance Makers,Inc. Chicago National Association of Dance Masters, Southern Association of Dance Masters and many more Conventions as well as and Master Classes from teachers all over the United States. She has won awards such as Best Overall Dancer and Most Dedicated Dancer among many others While in High School, she was a part of our DA Competition Team where she won many awards with her team.  She has such a passion for learning from other professionals so she may better instruct her dance students. This makes her such a great teacher and team member for The Dance Academy.  She is so naturally skillful with our younger dancers and we are excited she is back again with us for another year!


EMILY LEONARD
emily@danceacademydance.com


Emily danced with the DA for 17 years and this will be her 6th year as an instructor.  She graduated from Oakland High School where she was voted Most Talented by her senior class, a member of her dance team all 4 years, and captain her junior and senior years. She is now entering her 5th year as the OHS dance team choreographer. She is proud to have led her team to be named Grand Champion by getting the highest score two years in a row at the AmeriDance dance competition as well as placing State Runner Up in the state of Tennessee at the TSSAA State Dance Championship in 2015. Emily recently graduated from MTSU in 2017 with a degree in Elementary Education. Emily was also a member of the DA Competition Team where she won many awards as a soloist and with her team including Judges Choice awards, High Score Awards and many other First Place trophies. She has been awarded numerous scholarships for dance that include Keith Clifton's Dance Project in California and TOP Starz dancer at Talent On Parade Dance Competition. Other scholarships include Dance Directive master classes in Arkansas and a college scholarship to attend Southwestern College in Kansas. In 2015, Emily attended Broadway Dance Center in New York to take master classes through a scholarship she was awarded by an audition at the Dance Makers Convention to further her dance education. She was also named the Charity Dance Down Champion for Dancers Against Cancer two years in a row as well as TOP Entertainer in her solo category at the Talent on Parade Competition. Emily is also a choreographer for our DA competition team.  She has been awarded Best Choreography awards and won first overall with her dances at many competitions.  Emily is currently studying to take her membership exam to join Chicago National Association of Dance Masters and Southern Association of Dance Masters. This past year, Emily auditioned for the world renowned Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders where she made it to the finals.  The DA is so proud of her and is always excited to have her back teaching on our team!  


MOLLY LEONARD
molly@danceacademydance.com

Molly danced at The Dance Academy for 16 years.  This will be Molly's 4th year as a DA teacher. She graduated from Oakland High School where she was a member of her dance team for 4 years and captain her Junior and Senior year.  She was a member of our DA Competition Teams and competed as a soloist as well as group routines.  Molly won and helped her team win many awards such as Highest Score Overall, Dance Again Awards, Judges Choice Awards, and many First Place Overall Awards. She has been awarded scholarships to conventions and competitions around the United States.  These include Dance Directive Master Classes in Arkansas, Dance Makers National Conventions in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and invitations to be a part of the Top Starz Dance Team at the National Talent On Parade Competition.  Molly was also awarded the Charity Dance Down Champion for Dancers against Cancer at the Talent on Parade Regional Competition.  Molly has attended many conventions to further her dance and teaching education such as Dance Makers, Inc., Southern Association of Dance Masters, and taken master classes at the Broadway Dance Center in New York.  She has won many awards at DA such as Best Overall Dancer and our Leadership Award.  Molly currently attends Columbia State Community College where she is majoring in Respiratory Therapy.  She is such an incredible dancer and teacher and we are excited to have her back again this year at DA!