Classes at January's are led by a gifted group of professionals dedicated to working closely with students and to broadening their creative horizons. Our instructors bring a wide range of perspectives and talents to the studio, and are passionate about what they do.

January Wolfe

Artistic & Managing Director, Academy of Arts at January's

Director, Choreographer, and Writer, JADCO Contemporary Dance Company

January is known throughout West Virginia as the creative energy and spirit behind the Academy of Arts at January's and JADCO Contemporary Dance Company. Since 1986, the Academy has had an outstanding reputation for instilling and sharing the love of dance with all ages. January manages both the Charleston and Teays Valley schools, setting the curriculum, overseeing the schools' instructors and all of the educational outreach programs the schools offer, as well as choreographing and teaching for the schools and dance company. She works outside of the studio volunteering for area school arts programs and lecture series, as well as choreographing for local community theatre organizations. She was the co-founder of the University of Charleston's Camp William in the 1980's, and the founder of the Charleston Stage Company's Summer Arts Camp in the 1990's; both programs are devoted to enhancing and broadening children's awareness of the arts and its importance in self-discovery. January is the author of four books, each offering a companion ballet and lesson plan: Chasing Butterflies: Meeting VioletCaptured, and Finding Boots. January's newest book and companion ballet, Second Sara, debuted in March 2016 to an audience of 5,000. All of the books are available at Taylor Books in Charleston or online from Amazon. Performance packages are available for dance companies and schools; packages include scores, scripts, choreography, lesson plans, and staging. For more information on package options, visit
Dorothea Hereford
Co-Director, JADCO Contemporary Dance Company
Ballet, Pointe
Dorothea has studied dance at the University of Kansas, and Oregon. She attended Lane Community College's dance program in Eugene, Oregon on scholarship where she was a teaching assistant for ballet. She has attended all major dance conventions, teachers seminars with Dance Educators, David Howard, Robert Christopher, Vaganova, Florida Dance Festival, Gus Giodano, Jazz Workshop & World Jazz Congress and Lea Darwin's Jazz Intensive for teachers. Dorothea has taken classes with the Kansas City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Eugene Ballet and spent summer vacations in New York City taking classes at ABT, Luigis, Phil Black's, Don Fornsworth's, Ronnie DeMarco's, David Howard's to name a few. In Charleston, she has studied with Helen Cox Schrader, Andre Van Damme and Nina Denton.
Maggie Ryder
Modern, Contemporary

Maggie Lin Ryder is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and graduated from The University of the Arts in 2004 with a BFA in Dance Education, being certified to teach Pre-K through high school levels.  After graduating college, she started auditioning everywhere possible and was contracted into touring nationally with numerous musical artists, dance companies and theater companies, which allowed her to explore the country doing what she loved most--dancing! Throughout her touring years, Maggie always tried to expand her experience and knowledge of dance education, so she made it a point to try to teach in every state she lived in or toured through and participated in any dance education or kinesiology workshops/seminars/lectures/intensives available.


In her hometown of Philadelphia, she was the Early Childhood Director of Movement/Dance Studies at the Settlement Music Schools Kaleidoscope Program (Germantown Branch) as well as a Modern Dance Teacher at the Philadelphia Creative and Performing Arts High School, and also worked and trained with Traci Hall & Company, The Young Professional Dance Company.


Some of Maggie’s most notable professional work on the East Coast includes: The Alvin Ailey Dance Theater school/training/performance, Manfred Fischbeck’s Group Motion performer, Koresh Dance Company, Brian Sanders JUNK Inc. performer, Crylumnia Productions performer, Mia Michaels productions performer, Mikhail Baryshnikov studies & performer, Patrick Swayze studies & performer, Pattie Labelle performer, EVE performer, Jon Bon Jovi performer, Aerosmith performer, Disney Live! performer & choreographer, freelance nightclub/entertainer/dancer/performer, National Theater Institute - touring, American Theater Company - touring, Denise Wall kinesiology studies, Tony Ward Photography, Bill Stank Fine Art Productions, James E. Dupree Studios collaborations and The Philadelphia & New York Fringe Festivals.
Maggie came to West Virginia when she was contracted to perform for Theatre West Virginia and was later contracted and toured with the West Virginia Dance Company. She taught for Theatre West Virginia’s summer and fall Acting Academy programs teaching “Dance Movement for Actors” and then toured with their Educational Puppet Company during the school year and taught with Treehouse Arts Ensemble Summer Theatre Camp at Tamarack.


In Charleston, WV, Maggie immersed herself at the Academy of Arts at January’s, teaching a multitude of year-round classes in Modern, Ballet, Jazz, Tap & Creative Movement and became the JADCO Choreography Showcase Director for two years. In summer seasons, Maggie also taught with Danse Elan LLC Summer Arts Camp, offering Modern Dance/Creative Movement, Production Theater Movement, and Student Choreography at WV State University. Maggie has also taught a variety of classes and productions at the Alban Arts Theatre in St. Albans, the St. Albans Studio of Dance and has worked with the Children’s Theatre of Charleston.


Stacy Holliday Mitchem
Stacy began her dance experience at the age of three under the instruction of January Wolfe.  At the age of thirteen she became an assistant to January and then joined the teaching staff at seventeen.  Though her passion if for tap, Stacy has taught various styles of dance to all ages in the past.  She has taken classes around the country under several of the industry’s top tap dance instructors, like Mike Minery, Mark Goodman, Lisa Hopkins, Ted Levy, and Barbara Duffy.  Her students have been accepted to the selective summer intensive program at New York Stage Original’s Tap Kids for three years running.

Stacy and her husband Rob currently reside in Charleston with their daughter Addison and their son Alex.  Stacy is excited to be returning to January’s for this coming dance season and will be teaching advanced tap.


Brianna Hickman
Children's Programs
Ballet, Modern, Adult Ballet and Contemporary
Brianna Hickman is a Charleston, WV-based dance educator and choreographer. She teaches at the Academy of Arts at January’s, with Capital High School’s Dance Company, and at In the Spotlight School of Creative Dance. Brianna is also the proprietor of ABC Dance, a dance education organization bringing creative movement classes to children of all ages at their schools and daycares. She trained at Oglebay Institute School of Dance, the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, and West Virginia Wesleyan College, where she completed a minor in dance, a bachelor’s in arts administration, and a master’s in business administration. She danced the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker and the Jaguar in The Rainforest with Virginia Civic Ballet. She also performed with Allegro Dance Company and JADCO Contemporary Dance Company. She participated in summer intensives with American Ballet Theatre and Ballet Austin, as well as numerous festivals including West Virginia Dance Festival and American College Dance Festival.
Kelly Underwood Reese
Director, Teays Valley Jazz Company
Assistant Director, A.P. Program
Children's Programs, Modern, Jazz, Ballet
Kelly began dancing at the age of three, training with different studios in the area including January's Academy and performing with the Charleston Light Opera Guild.  At Poca High School, she continued her love of performing by being a part of the Show Choir, the Marching Band's Color Guard, and the Dance Team. Kelly graduated from WV Wesleyan College in 2008 with a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration with Dance and Musical Theatre minors. In college, she was part of the Theatre Department, Dance Company and Dance Team, which she held the Captain position her senior year. 


Kelly is a part of the JADCO Dance Company performing at festivals and in 'Chasing Butterflies'. She has continued her training by attending the 2012 Dance Teacher Summit in NYC. She is currently employed by the Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety and contracted by the Division of Culture and History in the Events Staff helping plan festivals during the year, including the WV State Dance Festival. Kelly is also a 200-hour Certified Yoga Teacher, and is pleased to joint the Academy of Arts at January's as an instructor.

Tamara Buel
Ballet, Character
Children's Programs
Miss Tamara began her classical training in Clearwater, Florida under the instruction of the late Peggie Wallis of New Zealand.  She studied Royal Academy of Dance Syllabus and passed three RAD examinations, two with Highly Commended.  She also danced with the Florida West Ballet Company for three years.  She studied at the Tampa Ballet, and attended RAD workshops for further training,   Miss Tamara earned her teaching certification after passing a  two-year study course with the RAD.  Tamara is also a member of the American Academy of Ballet, NYC. Tamara operated her own school for over 15 years entering students for annual exams with the RAD.  All of her dancers earned merit or distinction with her senior dancers passing all of their vocational examinations.  Miss Tamara’s dancers also won silver and gold medals each year with the American Academy of Ballet Performance Awards Program. She is pleased to be on staff at January's.


Rachel Arcadipane
Children's Programs
Rachel Buel Arcadipane began dancing as a young child under the direction of her mother Tamara Buel, R.A.D., R.T.S. She has studied the syllabus of the Royal Academy of Dance. She received merit on both her R.A.D. Intermediate and Advanced Foundation Vocational Examinations. She was adjudicated annually by the American Academy of Ballet of New York, receiving nine consecutive gold medals with distinction. Mrs. Arcadipane studied at the Royal Academy of Dance summer intensive in Baltimore, Maryland in 2005. She also studied at Ben Stevenson's Texas Ballet Theatre's summer intensive during 2006. She has trained under the direction of the late Mrs. Peggie Wallis of Bentonville, Arkansas and  with Mr. Philip Pegler, member of the Board of Vocational Examiners of the Royal Academy of Dance. 
Rachel has completed the Royal Academy of Dance teachers course with the Atlanta Ballet and is also a certified Pilates instructor.  Mrs. Arcadipane graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marshall University with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Dance. 


Haven Cottle
Hip-Hop, Jazz, Children's Programs
Haven Cottle grew up dancing at Images of Dance Studio in Lewisburg, West Virginia. She has trained at multiple studios across the United States including the Dawn Meyer School of Dance in Ohio, the Pacific Dance Center in California, and the Broadway Dance Center in New York. She has trained extensively, competed, and performed in all styles of dance, including Classical Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Acrobatics, and various styles of Ballroom. Haven graduated from Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where she was a member of the dance team. Upon graduation she became the Marshall University Dance Team coach for the following three years. She judges for multiple competitions, including the On Point Dance Competition, On Stage America, and StarQuest international. She currently teaches at several studios in the state and travels the East Coast teaching master classes and workshops.
Lacy Hughes
Hip-Hop, Lyrical

Lacy has an Associate's Degree in Applied Science and an American Sign Language certification. She has staged work for the WV Bollywood Benefit Show, Children's Theater of Charleston, George Washington High School's Flag Corps Team, The Boy's and Girls Club, Danse Elan's Summer Arts Camp, WV Culture Center's Arts Camp, and for churches and daycares around Charleston. Lacy has performed professionally with Trielement Dance and Synergy, was a company member for JADCO Contemporary Dance Company and performed with Charleston's FestivALL, Star Systems National Talent Competition, Dance USA, and DTI (Dance Troupe Incorporated). Lacy currently teaches recreational programs at January's including Hip Hop, Lyrical, and Children's Programs. 

Ashley Olson

Ashley started dancing at the age of ten in Rexburg, Idaho, where she grew up. She was a part of competitive teams from ages of 14 to 18, and during these early years of dance, she developed a love for choreography and decided to pursue dance education as a career. Ashley received her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance Education at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. During her years at UVU, she performed with a variety of groups, including Synergy Dance Company, and took part it many technique and choreography classes.


At UVU, Ashley was able to work with many talented professors and professional choreographers. She had the chance to expand her knowledge of dance technique in hip hop, jazz, ballet, ballroom, modern, and contemporary. She began teaching in dance studios in Utah, and later moved to Iowa, teaching there for four years. Ashley has taught and choreographed competition groups for five years, and has received many 1st place awards, along with many judge's choice awards, including a choreography award. She has also attended dance conventions in the midwest where she learned from professional choreographers. Ashley recently moved to Charleston, and is excited to spread her knowledge here. She loves helping others build their passion and technique in the art of dance!  

Donald Laney

Donald Laney graduated from the University of California, Irvine, with an MFA in Dance.  He is currently the Producing Artistic Director of the WV Dance Company, the first and only professional touring dance company in the history of the state of WV.  Before entering the graduate program at UCI, Donald performed with the WV Dance Company, Houlihan & Dancers (Miami, FL), Randy James Dance Works (NYC), X-Factor (NC), and Trillium Performing Arts Collective (WV).  Donald has served as the WV Governor’s School for the Arts Master Teacher in Modern Dance from 2005 to present. He was awarded the WV Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts in 2018.

Kayleb "Kay" Jones

Kayleb “Kay” Jones is a 20-year-old Dancer/choreographer based out of Charleston, WV. He has been studying since the age of 10, training in modern, ballet, tap, jazz and contemporary. As a young dancer, he started in the dance scene as a competition dancer, competing with solos winning many regional and national titles, in West Virginia, Ohio and the region. His biggest achievement as a young dancer was being awarded “ Mr. V. I. P.” In Sandusky, Ohio. 

Mr. Jones currently is a freelance hip hop/ Jazz-funk choreographer for many studios throughout the state as well as continuing to perform with local pop and R&B artists. Kayleb continues to train as a dancer and choreographer traveling to New York and LA studying with renowned choreographers in the commercial and hip hop scene. Choreographers such as Will “ Willdabeast” Adams, Hollywood, Anthony Thomas, Janelle Janestra and Dana Foglia, all of whom have worked with such artists as Janet Jackson, Usher and Beyonce.

Suzanne Mathis

Suzanne Mathis holds a BFA in Theatre and Dance from the University of Memphis, Memphis TN. While in Memphis, she worked professionally with Playhouse On The Square, Playhouse On the Square’s Theatre for Youth, Project: Motion, Loop and Memphis Dance Theatre. Suzanne has taught modern dance as adjunct faculty at Marshall University. She has also worked with many of the local arts groups including teaching and performing with the Charleston Ballet and the Charleston Light Opera Guild.

Miranda Nichols

Originally from New Castle, PA, Miranda is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College where she received her BFA in Dance with a dual major in English & World Literature. While at Marymount, Miranda had the privilege of performing works by notable choreographers such as Jaqulyn Buglisi, Ronald K. Brown, and David Parker. Professionally, Miranda has performed in multiple projects with Attack Theatre in Pittsburgh, PA and most recently, with choreographer Gillian Walsh in New York City. This is Miranda’s first season with West Virginia Dance Company. 

Rotating Instructors

Kathi Curtis
Ballet, Pointe, Variations
Children's Programs
Kathi is a lifelong dance educator and choreographer as well as an experienced television writer and director.  She began her serious study of dance at the Atlantic Foundation for the Performing Arts in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, where she was chosen to participate in the highly selective Professional Training Program directed by Ruth Petrinovich. As a teen, Kathi joined Illinois’ semi-professional Springfield Ballet Company. There she performed soloist and principal roles in Nutcracker, Giselle, The Sleeping Beauty and Orpheus and Eurydice. Kathi was awarded scholarships to study ballet in premier schools such as the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Interlochen Center for the Arts. While Kathi has taught and choreographed since she was 17, she also pursued a secondary career in television production. She is an award winning voice-over artist and producer/writer/director. These careers combined have given her 30 plus years of experience teaching and training performers for dance performances, television productions and musicals. While living in Northern California, she founded and directed the pre-professional dance company, Diablo Dance Theatre. Her students received the highest honors and special recognitions at regional dance competitions. Several of her students have gone on to become dance majors in college and professional performers and dance educators themselves. Musicals that she recently directed and choreographed have broken records with sold out performances and received critical acclaim from local media. These productions won numerous awards and nominations from the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild. She has been enriched as an educator by teaching in prestigious dance schools in Illinois, California and Rhode Island. She is thrilled to share her love and passion for dance education with the students at the Academy of Arts at January’s. Kathi holds a B. S. in Communication with a Dance Minor from Millikin University and an M.A. in Media Studies with an emphasis in film from Northern Illinois University.
Leah Copley Summers
Director, Teays Valley Mini Troupe
Ballet, Pointe, Children's Programs
Leah Copley Summers has taught ballet for the past 24 years.  Leah studied with Dr. Mary Marcuzzi, along with many others as she attended pre-professional programs.  Leah graduated Cum Laude with her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education at Marshall University in 1991.  After receiving her degree, Leah began her career as a ballet teacher, choreographer, and artistic director, with the River Cities Dance Company.  She served as director for thirteen years working with both Marshall University and Shawnee State University to provide arts to the area community.  Leah also worked as adjunct faculty at Marshall University and served on the faculty of the WV Governor’s School for the Arts during her time in the Tri-State area.   After moving to Cary, North Carolina Leah continued her career with the Cary Ballet Conservatory for 8 years where she worked as full-time faculty creating original story ballets and concert pieces.  Moving to Lexington, KY Leah worked with the Bluegrass Youth Ballet and later became the founding director of the LDF Ballet Academy.  Leah’s greatest achievement has been the success of her students.  Leah’s students have gone on to study at prestigious arts school and continued on to careers as professional dancers, teachers and choreographers.  Leah is now happy to be joining the staff of Academy of Arts at January’s.
Christina Johnson
Modern, Contemporary, Hip-Hop
Christina Lavinia Johnson, born in Baltimore MD, received her BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2015. During her studies, she had the pleasure of performing in works by Nathan Trice, Reggie Wilson, William Forsyth, Christian Von Howard, Scott Putman and many more. In the summer of 2014 she was able to work closely with Terence Marling, director of Hubbard Street 2, and Meredith Dincolo at Hubbard Street Chicago Dance Intensive. Since receiving first place in Season 1 of RVA Has Talent in 2013, she has been inspired to create works mixing all artistic disciplines to explain biblical teaching that unite the world. In her junior and senior year at VCU, she took Children Pedagogy courses as well as a Teaching Methods course giving her a deeper desire to want to teach after graduation. With much excitement to help the new generation, Christina continues to push her technique and ability to enhance the growth of all ages while sharing the passion of dance with others. 
Jamie Roumayah
Jamie is the Director of Danse Élan, a professional dance education company.  She began her career in dance education in 1988 and received her ballet, tap, and jazz certification in 1992 through Dance Masters of America.  She was a studio owner in Michigan from 1997 to 2003 when she moved to Charleston, West Virginia.  Jamie is a teacher of ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, pointe, hip hop, musical theater, tumbling, and various specialty classes.  


Jamie co-directed and choreographed the original ballet, “Thistledowne Faeries,” from 2004 to 2009 for JADCO Contemporary Dance Company and is currently working on another original ballet, “Chasing Butterflies.” She is currently on the judging staff for Reaction Danceforce (RDF) Competitions and has judged for Premier Dance Competitions and Pageants and Dance Masters of the Blue Grass.  She is also the Director for Charleston Stage Company’s Summer Arts Camp at West Virginia State University.  Her students have received awards and scholarships to various universities, conventions, and schools of arts all over the country.  Many of her students are furthering their dance careers as professional performers and dance teachers.  Jamie has choreographed events for the Livonia Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded a choreography award for the pointe work entitled “Chaplin-A Tribute to Charlie Chaplin.”  She is also the Director of “Dance Attack! Workshops” and conducting workshops nationally.

Jamie Roumayah currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Morgan Switzer
Contemporary, Modern
Morgan attended Eastern Kentucky University, majoring in modern dance and choreography. She studied traditional modern movement, the history of modern dance, partnering, weight sharing, and development techniques. Morgan later transferred to Marshall University where she finished her Bachelor's Degree in Dance. While in Huntington, she was an active member of Marshall’s “aMUsed” Dance Ensemble and an apprentice with Jeslyn Dance Gallery, a professional modern dance company based in Huntington, WV. 

Although dance and movement remained an integral part of her life, Morgan decided to pursue a degree in law, and graduated from the WVU College of Law in 2016. She has returned to Charleston to pursue her law career as well as share her love of dance with students at the Academy of Arts, which is where Morgan began her training as a young child.

Morgan joined January's as an instructor in the 2017-18 fall season and is looking forward to continuing to share her love of movement and artistic expression with students.

Amanda Whites

Amanda Whites is a native of Louisa, Kentucky and began her training in Ashland, Kentucky. In 2003, she and her family relocated to central Kentucky and she continued her training at Bluegrass Youth Ballet and Kentucky Ballet Theatre. Amanda spent summers at intensives like the American Ballet Theatre (New York and Orange County locations), School of American Ballet, Joffrey Ballet (New York location), North Carolina School of the Arts, Cincinnati Ballet, and Ballet Austin with many merit-based scholarships throughout her pre-professional training. After moving to Pittsburgh, she joined the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, where for three seasons she studied and performed with the company and pre-professional divisions.

In 2010 Amanda became a member of Dance Theatre of Tennessee as a Company Artist. During her three seasons with DTT she performed many soloist roles, like Prayer in "Coppelia,” Snow Queen, Dew Drop, and Arabian Soloist in "The Nutcracker,” Summer Fairy, and Oriental Princess in "Cinderella,” as well as one of the three principal women in George Balanchine's "Who Cares?" Amanda also had roles created for her in contemporary works by Ron de Jesus and Darrell Grand Moultrie. 
Amanda has recently completed her fifth season as an instructor at Frankfort School of Ballet, and her fourth as both Artistic Director for performances and lead teacher of the school. This year, along with opening her own school in Kentucky, Amanda will be a guest instructor at January’s. She will be teaching on the school’s Pro-Trac Ballet and Pro-Trac Contemporary rotation on the first Thursday of each month for the 2018-19 season.

Hilary Freeland
Modern, Jazz, Tap
Hilary is a graduate of the University at Buffalo with a BA in Dance.  She is member of West Virginia Dance Company and has worked with Theatre West Virginia as a featured dancer, dance captain, and choreographic assistant. She has choreographed for Theatre West Virginia in Beckley, WV, The Strand Community Theatre in Moundsville, WV, Clay County High School in Clay, WV and Academy of Theatre Arts, a children’s acting company in Buffalo, NY.  She has studied with Point Park University International Summer Dance Program, the Leher Dance Company of Buffalo and Doug Varone and Dancers Winter Intensive. Hilary has performed with UB Zodique Dance Ensemble, UB Emerging Choreographers Showcase, and Saya Woolfalk: No Place - Life Art Performance - Museum Space of Harlem, NY.  
Give your child the gift of dance -
Poise • Grace • Confidence • Teamwork
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Charleston: 304.345.5141

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Teays Valley: 304.300.0058

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P.O. Box 6655, Charleston, WV 25362

© 2020 Academy of Arts at January's.

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