Emily McKnight, Owner & Lead Instructor
Emily is a third generation dancer, following in the footsteps of her mother and grandmother. While her family’s dance history began in 1934, Emily’s dance training began exactly 50 years later, in 1984.
Competitive Dance and Awards
By 1989, Emily had become a competitive dancer, traveling the southeast. From 1989 – 1998, Emily won awards at multiple dance competitions including Rising Star, Winners Talent Show Case, Dance Masters of America, American Dance Awards, American Dance Spectrum, Dance Educators of America, and Showstopper competitions.
Emily continued winning awards when, in 2016, Nexstar Talent recognized her work as an instructor, and she was given both a “Top Performance Award” and “Choreography Award” for 2 dance numbers she created.
In addition to being a competitive dancer, Emily was selected to be a Georgia Dance Star and performed at the Georgia Olympic Games.
As for Emily’s teaching career, it began in 1996. At the age of 16, her dance instructor appointed her to teach classes throughout the summer. At the encouragement of her teacher, Emily also began choreographing musicals for her high school’s theater department and their production of “Oliver.” Emily continued with her involvement in theater when she became involved with Rome Little Theater in 2011. Between 2011 and 2014 Emily choreographed “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Sound of Music,” “Hairspray,” “Legally Blonde,” and portions of “The Rocky Horror Show.” At the 2012 RLT Gala, “The Sound of Music” was awarded to be the “Best Overall Show” of the season. In 2013, “Hairspray” was awarded “Best Musical” as well as “Best Overall Show” of the season, and in 2014 “The Rocky Horror Show” became the highest grossing show in the history of Rome Little Theater.
In addition to working with theater productions, Emily has had the joy of working with television personalities. In 2011 she provided back up dancers and choreographed a performance with musical group, Laughing Pizza, who could be seen regularly on GPTV. Then in 2013, two of Emily’s dancers attended auditions for Abby Lee Miller, and were seen on the Lifetime television show “Dance Moms.” Again, in 2016, Emily was called by producers and invited to have her dancers audition for the show
In May of 2018, Emily’s studio will celebrate their seventh annual recital. She continues providing instruction at Dance Works of Rome in genres including hip hop, ballet, jazz, tap, modern, and lyrical. Emily also continues to provide her dancers with the opportunity to compete, model, and audition in the dance industry. Currently Dance Works of Rome is Rome’s only competitive dance studio.
Shannon Dudley-Kamp, Instructor
Shannon began dancing at the age of 8 with the LaGrange College Ballet Company under the direction of Elizabeth Turley in LaGrange, GA where she focused on classical ballet for 3 years. Her desire to learn tap and jazz influenced her to take dance classes with the Callaway Educational Association under the direction of Julia Hope Johnson in LaGrange the following 3 years.
Becoming a Leader
She was offered to teach and choreograph a variety of dance and twirling classes at Stars and Stripes Twirling Corps of LaGrange, GA under the direction of Carolyn Evans, where she taught throughout high school and college. She was captain and choreographer of her high school dance team at Troup High School in LaGrange, GA. She was captain of the football dance team at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton, GA, captin/choreographer of Bravettes basketball dance team, and a member of Position One Dance Company under the drection of Dr. Karen Clevenger.
In 1989 she performed with the National Cheerleading Association Dance Team in the opening number of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York City, the halftime performance at the Aloha Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii, and in 1991,the Lord Mayor’s Ball/St Patrick’s Day Parade in Dublin, Ireland.
Education & Teaching
Shannon has a B.S. degree in Municipal Recreation from the University of West Georgia. She move to Rome, GA and earned her Early Childhood teaching certificate at Shorter College. She taught at Main Elementary and founded and lead the “Panther Pride” dance team for several years. Afterwards, she decided to take a break and focus on her family. She currently teaches at West End Elementary, and is a children’s Sunday school teacher and preschool choir teacher at First Baptist Church of Lindale. She is looking forward to returning to her first love, teaching dance!
Stephanie Kipfer, Ballet Instructor
Training with Magdalena Maury, founder of Georgia Youth Ballet
Stephanie began training a the age of 7 at Magdalena Maury’s School of Classical Ballet in Fayetteville, GA. This would be Stephanie’s dance home for the next 11 years, where she was a member of the esteemed Georgia Youth Ballet (GYB), a pre-professional ballet company nationally ranked by the Southeastern Regional Ballet Association. There she was instructed directly under Magdalena Maury herself, who is the founder of the GYB, and joined the performance company. While in the GYB company, Stephanie shared the stage with guest professionals from across the country, including the Cincinnati Ballet. During this time she also studied under Josie Pollock, current Artistic Direction of Georgia Youth Ballet.
Moving to Rome
In 2004 Stephanie moved to Rome, GA to attend Berry College, where she was a member of the Berry College Dance Troupe. During her four years at the college, she performed annually with the Troupe, and was often a featured dancer. Three years after graduating with a degree in Studio Art, she began instructing at Dance Works of Rome, where she has taught pointe, intermediate, and advanced ballet classes for the past 5 years.