Faculty

Mary Kate Campfield

From Auburn, AL., Mary Kate moved to Atlanta to pursue a dancing and acting career. In 2014, she became the youngest member of the prestigious Project 7 Dance Company under the direction of Cherrise Wakeham. As a Project 7 member, Mary Kate performed in an award winning piece at the Capezio A.C.E. awards in NYC and the show “S.H.E.” in Long Beach, CA/ ATL. She has also performed in “Surface” (GDA Contemporary), “Carnival ATL”, CiCi Kelly’s “Phazes of Love 2015”, Jon Carr’s “Mutual Core”, and as Joelly in the theatre show “Ghosts of Rock”. Mary Kate is currently training in acting and has been cast in several short films such as “Untapped- With You”, “Kudzu", “Faces”, and "The Door". Mary Kate is excited to continue pursuing film and dance.

Renée Locher

Renée Locher is a dancer, choreographer, teacher, director, actor, singer and writer. She has been involved in the performing arts since she was four years old and will always be a performer, creator, and artist in every sense of the word. She was one of the founding members of Project 7 Dance Company in Atlanta, and has performed in and choreographed for various companies doing work for the stage and film during her time spent living in New York City. Being a Meisner trained actor, she teaches and choreography using a broad yet detailed understanding of storytelling while dancing and places a high emphasis on improvisation techniques. She is also a professional hairstylist and makeup artist. Her company, Renee Locher Makeup, and Hair, specializes in bridal, events, fashion, portrait, film and TV, with work being found in numerous bridal magazines and wedding blogs. In addition, Renée is a visual artist and paints using most acrylic on canvas. She has returned recently from living in New York City to pursue her endeavors in Atlanta and is enjoying being close to family and friends.

Jahrea Brown

Jahrea first started dancing at a young age, specializing in the style of liturgical dancing. She danced along side her aunt and sister, and was also a part of her local church's youth dance group that was under the direction of her aunt, at the time. At the age of 14 she began dance training in the styles of Jazz, Tap, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Ballet at Studio One School of Dance, now The Vibe Dance Center, in Milledgeville, Ga., where she was also a part of their competition team and helped as a dance teacher assistant. While competing she won many awards and scholarships for her solo routines, including the title of "Best of the Beach", for the senior category, at Platinum National Dance Competition. She also has worked with Kandi Burruss, from the show Real Housewives of Atlanta, and appeared in a music video for the series The Kandi Factory. Jahrea was also apart of the cast for Jon Carr's "Mutual Core" in the summer of 2016. She is a part of the dance company Project 7 under the direction of Cherrise Wakeham, and will appear in the 2017 summer show, "There Will Be Time." Jahrea plans to continue nurturing her body and mind through her passion for dance and the movement, creativity, awareness, and individuality that it gives. 

Tre McClendon

Tre McClendon, a native Atlanta resident, was born to W. Oliver and Denise McClendon. Being the son of the owners of McClendon Performing Arts Institute, Tre has been surrounded by dance his entire life. Taking his first class at the age of 2, dancing was instilled as an important foundation in his life.  He starting teaching his first classes at the age of 16 at McClendon Performing Arts Institute and since then has taught at workshops, arts centers, and dance schools all over the metro-Atlanta area. After graduating from Morehouse College, Tre continued to pursue his tap career. Tre helped create and now performs in a tap show, called Beat and Rhythm: The Evolution of Tap. This show teaches children the origins of tap dancing in America, and has gone into more than one hundred elementary, middle, and high schools all over the state of Georgia. Tre performed in the ensemble at the Atlanta Lyric Theatre, where he was casted in musicals such as The Producers, Chicago, and Sophisticated Ladies. Tre is the founder and artistic director of the Atlanta Tap Project, a project-based company for tap dancers to rhythmically express themselves. Tre created the work, Radio, for the company’s debut performance in the choreography showcase, Dance Canvas. His ultimate goal is to become one of the premier tap names in America.

Karly Seeloff

Karly Seeloff's background begins with 15 years of ballet, modern, and jazz training at Woodstock School of Ballet and Cherokee Ballet Theatre under Dana Crain. She studied under a number of master ballet trainers such as Christy Corbitt Miller of the Louisville Ballet, and attended Georgia Governors Honors Program as a Dance Major in 2008. Karly began receiving Pilates training as a teenage dancer, learning the benefits of core strength and fluidity. After dancing in college at The University of Georgia, she now uses her dance background as a foundation to teaching a variety of Pilates practices. Karly is certified in Reformer Pilates from Restoration Pilates as well as Balanced Body Mat Pilates and Barre. She has a keen eye for lines and kinesthetic movement and enjoys working with current and former dancers to keep them strong and healthy for a lifetime through the Pilates Method!

Cameron Seeley

Originally from Huntsville, Alabama, Cameron grew up dancing on a competition team and trained in all aspects of dance. She knew early on that dance was her passion. After two years at the University of Alabama, Cameron moved to Atlanta to pursue her professional dance career. Currently, she is completing her final year at the University of Alabama through distance learning and living her dance dream. Cameron has worked on a variety of projects, Alvin and The Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Step Up – High Water, and most recently, Pitch Perfect 3, to name a few. She is excited to share her training and life experiences with us this year as a lyrical/jazz teacher!

Tally Balakirsky

Tally Frieder is a former member of the SanFrancisco Ballet under the esteemed direction ofHelgi Tomasson. Ms. Frieder-Balakirskyhas danced soloist and principle roles in a wide variety of choreographic styles. These include many ballets such asHelgi Tomasson's "Swan Lake", Anthony Tudor's"Dark Elegies", and Balanchine's "Serenade". While at the San Francisco Ballet, Ms. Frieder-Balakirskyworkedwith numerous choreographers during the creation of new works. Most notably, she worked with choreographer Val Caniparoli who created two leading pas de deux for her. In her earlier years, Ms. Frieder-Balakirskydanced with OaklandBallet where she performed numerous roles including the title role of Giselle.Ms. Frieder-Balakirskywas born in Haifa, Israel. As a child she moved to the United States and received many dance scholarships, including Jofferey Ballet School, the school of American Ballet, and the National Academy of the Arts boarding school. Ms. Frieder-Balakirskyhas taught adults and children at various schools in Maryland, Virginia, andD.C. since 1994. Since moving to the Atlanta area, she has taught company and pre-professional classes at the Georgia Ballet under the direction of Fiona Fairrie and the Atlanta Ballet’s fellowship program under the direction of Gennadi Nedvigin. Ms. Frieder-Balakirskyholds a BA in Creative Arts Therapy from The George Washington University.

Kalyn Hardman

Kalyn gained a formal education in dance from the University of Georgia and Gotta Dance Atlanta Scholarship Program. She has performed with esteemed companies such as Cherrise Wakeham’s Project 7, Victor Jackson’s The Accolades, Rachel Truitt's Gotta Dance Contemporary, and CiCi Kelley’s Dare Dream Dance Professional Division. She has performed at prestigious events including Usher’s New Look: United to Ignite and Ceelo Green’s Salute to America and she has worked on film such as Honey 4: Rise Up, Step Sisters, and YouTube Red's newest series Step Up: High Water. Her love for a diverse list of dance styles has allowed her to work with choreographers such as Aakomon Jones, Jamaica Craft, Jamal Sims, and Bubba Carr.

Cherrise Wakeham

Cherrise Wakeham is an established Atlanta-based choreographer and educator with a tenacious vision and tireless devotion to her craft. She has shared her passion for dance with a wide range of students, companies, and programs throughout the country. Known to “burn the floor with edgy, explosive LA contemporary jazz performances” – Dance Magazine, and have “an undercurrent of risk-taking and emotional honesty” – ArtsCriticATL, Cherrise has also been called “a true creative genius” by Dance Informa Magazine. In 2007, Cherrise graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Georgia State University with a Psychology degree, and went on to establish the Atlanta-based, non-profit professional contemporary commercial dance company, Project 7. Her work both personally and with Project 7 has appeared on stages ranging from the Joyce Theatre in NYC to the Alliance, the Balzer, 7 Stages, and Buckhead Theaters in Atlanta. Her choreography has been commissioned for the College Football Hall of Fame’s Flash Mob sponsored by Chic-fil-A, Flux Projects, and several charitable events and collaborative showcases such as Women in Film and Television of Atlanta, Project S.A.F.E., and The Pink Frog Foundation. Cherrise was named the 1st Runner Up winner of the 2014 Capezio Award for Choreographic Excellence, a 2-time Choreographer Pick for the Pulse on Tour, and a featured choreographer for Carnival Choreographer’s Ball Atlanta. Now on the faculty with FORCE Dance Tour, as well as hosting her own in-studio workshops, iN House DANCE, Cherrise aims to combine her love for psychology with her passion for cultivating creativity, discipline, and self-worth within her students in a professional and positive atmosphere.

Sarah Allen

Sarah Allen found her passion for dance at the age of ten. Two years later, she joined the world of competitive dancing where she won numerous scholarships and awards.After graduating high school, she began studying at Kennesaw State University while also furthering her dance training. She joined Project 7 Dance, an Atlanta professional contemporary dance company, in 2012 under the direction of Cherrise Wakeham. Through her, she has performed shows in Atlanta, New York City, and Los Angeles. Sarah has also the opportunity to dance in various film projects in Atlanta. To further her career in dance, Sarah plans to share her unique sense of musicality and expression with others through teaching dance. Photo Credits: Photography: Roman Naumov (c) Photos2keep.com Company Credits: Project 7 Contemporary Dance Company/Cherrise Wakeham

Ali Peecher

Ali Peecher is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been training, working as a professional dancer, choreographer, and teacher for nearly two decades. Through her younger years in the competition and convention circuit, she gained extensive style and broadened her opportunities for growth. From 2009-2010, Ali attended Kennesaw State University as a Jazz Dance Major. During her time in Atlanta, she had the immense honor of being a member of Project 7 Dance Company, under the direction of Cherrise Wakeham and credits most of her training and inspiration to her time and work with Cherrise. With a passion to broaden her horizons, Ali relocated to New York City to study in Broadway Dance Center's Professional Semester and comprehensively throughout NYC. She studied most directly with renowned teachers, such as Joe Lanteri, Joshua Bergasse, Sheila Barker, and Tracie Stanfield. While in New York, Ali quickly landed herself in Industrials for NYC's Fashion Night Out, Calvin Klein, and OfficeMax, to name a few. She also worked alongside the Radio City Rockettes teaching original Rockette choreography to children worldwide. During the summer of 2011, Ali had the honor of working next to her mentor, Joshua Bergasse, during his Musical Theater Performance Project. She was also an intern for the New York branch of Bloc Talent Agency, one of the country's top talent agencies. In the summer of 2012, Ali returned to Atlanta to finish her Undergraduate Degree. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Georgia State University with a BBA in Marketing. While in college, Ali began teaching in the Atlanta area and developed a competition company that tripled in size in just 3 years. For two years after graduation, Ali worked full time at Brown Bag Marketing in Buckhead as a Project Manager while directing a competition company in her spare time. During her time in her professional career, Ali discovered her calling for teaching and leading, and worked tirelessly to develop a studio unlike any other in the in-town Atlanta area. In September of 2017, Ali opened Elite Studios to provide dancers with the opportunities to reach their highest potentials and create a generation of kind, talented, hard working, and humble youth. Ali brings together all of her experiences and lessons with an ecstatic energy and incredible passion. She teaches and leads her students with the following foundations: knowledge, technique, dynamics, and emotion. With professionalism and poise, Ali looks to inspire, enable growth, and spark passion in and out of the dance studio in all of her students.

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