Our Staff

Megan Bodsford

Owner, Artistic & Competition Director

Megan began training at the Palm Beach Ballet Center in West Palm Beach, FL at the age of 6. Her extensive training included Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Musical Theater and Acrobatics. At age 11 she performed with the professional company, Ballet Florida, in their annual Nutcracker. The following year she was accepted into the Palm Beach County School of the Arts, currently renamed Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, where she became the subject of a 1992 televised documentary on dance education. In 1995 her dance training brought her to North Carolina where she attended North Carolina School of the Arts majoring in Ballet. While at UNCSA she trained with Melissa Hayden, Fanchon Cordell, Melinda Lawrence, Warren Conover and Susan McCullough among others. Some of her roles include, Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Bayadere and Giselle to name a few. Her summers were spent training with Houston Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Boston Ballet and other professional companies. After Graduating UNCSA she toured schools around North Carolina educating children on the art of dance. Megan began teaching in 1999 and found her true passion. She has received many "Choreography" and "Top Teacher"  awards. Her competition teams have won titles and overall top scores at competitions across the state and country. Her positive teaching style and love of children helps her students become successful in all aspects of life.

Megan began training at the Palm Beach Ballet Center in West Palm Beach, FL at the age of 6. Her extensive training included Ballet/Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Musical Theater and Acrobatics. At age 11 she performed with the professional company, Ballet Florida, in their annual Nutcracker. The following year she was accepted into the Palm Beach County School of the Arts, currently renamed Alexander W. Dreyfoos School of the Arts, where she became the subject of a 1992 televised documentary on dance education. In 1995 her dance training brought her to North Carolina where she attended North Carolina School of the Arts majoring in Ballet. While at UNCSA she trained with Melissa Hayden, Fanchon Cordell, Melinda Lawrence, Warren Conover and Susan McCullough among others. Some of her roles include, Swan Lake, Coppelia, La Bayadere and Giselle to name a few. Her summers were spent training with Houston Ballet, Nashville Ballet, Boston Ballet and other professional companies. After Graduating UNCSA she toured schools around North Carolina educating children on the art of dance. Megan began teaching in 1999 and found her true passion. She has received many "Choreography" and "Top Teacher"  awards. Her competition teams have won titles and overall top scores at competitions across the state and country. Her positive teaching style and love of children helps her students become successful in all aspects of life.  

Hunter Burris

Assistant Director & Competition Choreographer

Hunter began her classical dance training in Greenville, North Carolina, with Joseph Carow, ballet master at East Carolina University.  She continued her study of dance at the Raleigh School of Ballet under the direction of Ann Vorus, where she was a member of the Carolina Ballet Theatre, founding company of Carolina Ballet.  She received intensive summer study training on honors scholarships at the Houston Ballet, Boston Ballet and Richmond Ballet.  She was also a founding member of the Greenville Civic Ballet.  In 2002, Hunter graduated with a B.A. in English and a minor in Journalism & Mass Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While attending UNC-CH, she performed with the Duke University Ballet Ensemble under the direction of Tyler Walters. From 2002 to 2004, she served as the Marketing & Event Specialist for Duke University Institute of the Arts and Duke University Dance Program.  Hunter has her CECDI certification to teach dance to young children and taught pre-ballet and ballet classes at The Ballet School of Chapel Hill and Little People’s Creative Workshop. She also served as the dance and fine arts instructor St. Teresa’s Academy in Kansas City, Missouri.  Most recently, Hunter received her Core Barre certification from Monica Hoeskstra, the technique’s creator, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Keynisha Graves

Assistant Director & Competition Choreographer

Keynisha Jackson has been dancing since the age of three and trained with several studios, including Gainesville Dance Center and Greensboro Dance Theater.  In addition to attending The School of the Arts Summer Intensive in middle school, she attended many dance conventions and took classes with several professional choreographers including Nick Lazzarini, Mia Michaels, and Alex Wong.  Keynisha did competitive dance for over ten years. While attending Appalachian State University to receive a Bachelors of Arts in Dance Studies, she specialized in Contemporary, Jazz, Tap and Hip-Hop styles. She served as  President of Entropy Dance Crew (ASU’s resident Hip-Hop Club), and was a member for four years. She choreographed and danced for the Fall Appalachian Dance Ensemble, the Spring Appalachian Dance Ensemble, and the  Momentum showcase.  While at Appalachian,  she also taught Contemporary classes for Momentum and guest taught Hip-Hop classes for the ASU Dance Department’s Style and Form Courses. She has danced in the work of the late Jan Van Dyke, and has been a KODACHROME and North Carolina Diggs Deeper representative. Nisha has a passion for teaching and youth, and started her own dance program at the age of sixteen at the Ragsdale YMCA. Keynisha was recently selected to bring some of her choreography to the American College Dance Festival Association in West Virginia.  While obtaining her bachelor's degree, Keynisha taught dance at SG Ballet in Boone NC.

Cala Beamer

Instructor & Competition Choreographer

Cala was a company dancer in Greensboro for 14 years. Her focus was ballet, tap and contemporary. She has taken classes from known choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Mandy Moore, Nick Lazzarini, Tyce Diorio, and many more. She received a tap scholarship from Co. Dance. She began assistant teaching at the age of 13 and joined Starz when she was 20. She teaches all ages, from preschool to College age dancers. Cala is trained in all subjects with concentration in contemporary, tap, ballet, acro/gymnastics. She also coaches at High Point Gymnastics in their recreational program. With her training there, she is able to not only teach dance, but tumbling and acrobatics to our dancers. Her choreography has won top awards at some of the largest competitions in the state. 

Ethan DeBoer Instructor & Competition Choreographer

Ethan began his training at the age of 6. He danced for a ballet school until joining the competition world at the age of 11. Ethan is trained in ballet, contemporary, hip hop and tap. He was an assistant teacher at the age of 15 and began teaching for Starz when he was 21. Ethan has worked with many choreographers such as Wildabeast. He dance with the Palmetto Tap Intensive for 2 years. Along with teaching, choreographing competition routines, he also works for the dance competition ADC. We are thrilled to have his hip hop style and love for teaching at Starz!

Rebekah Downing

Instructor

Bekah Downing is originally from Charlotte NC where she began training at North Carolina Dance Theatre under the direction of Patricia McBride. She studied ballet at UNCSA from 2005-2009. Following graduation, Bekah switched to the contemporary program. In 2011 she relocated to Rotterdam, Netherlands to complete her dance education at Codarts School of the Arts. Upon receiving her BFA she remained in Europe where she worked as a freelance performer and choreographer- dancing for Lonneke Van Leth Productions and Guilia Mureddu Dance. Upon returning to the USA Bekah has continued to freelance and perform with Mari Meade Dance Company, Helen Simoneau Danse, Stewart Owen Dance, and SF Symphony Opera. She has been teaching various dance forms since 2014 and enjoys sharing her passion of movement to the next generation of dancers. Recently she presented her solo work 'Trace the Loop' at LadyFest Dance Festival in Charlotte, NC. Bekah is also on faculty at UNCSA and Wake Forest Community Ballet.

Sam Shapiro

Instructor

Sam Shapiro hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He began his ballet training at Wake Forest University under the direction of his mother, Brantly Shapiro. At age 11, he entered the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied with the entire faculty including Duncan Noble, Nina Danilova and Gyula Pandi. At age 17 he joined The Royal Ballet's Upper School where he danced for three years, graduating with commendation. Sam danced in the Royal Ballet’s productions of Cinderella, La Fille Mal Gardee, Firebird, La Valse and Manon. He spent two years in Boston Ballet II and performed with Boston Ballet in many ballets such as Giselle and Romeo and Juliet. After Boston he spent two years with The North Carolina Dance Theater performing classical and contemporary repertoire. Favorite roles included Dwight Rhoden's Broken Fantasies and Mark Godden's Dracula. The next year was spent touring, performing freelance with Tulsa Ballet, Fort Wayne Ballet and Ballet National de Panamá. He joined The Royal New Zealand Ballet for the 2011-2012 season, dancing roles by Larry Keigwan, Benjamin Millipied, and Ethan Stiefel. 2013-2015 was spent performing as a guest artist with varies companies and perfecting his skills as a dance educator. For the last 2 years Shapiro has worked closely with director James Darrah and choreographer Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, performing in Opera Omaha's 'Semele', San Francisco Symphony's 'Das Klagende Lied' and their SoundBox series, as well as 'Iris' at Bard Summerscape and site specific work for The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Sam currently teaches workshops and masterclasses around the country in addition to being on the faculty at Wake Forest University and University North Carolina School of the Arts.

Starz Elite Dance Center

3710 N. Main Street Suite 106

High Point, NC 27265

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