Teachers/FAQ

Tracy Leigh Sellars Kiumarsi

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 Tracy received her Bachelor degree in  Communications with concentration in Public Relations from the  University of Tennessee in 1995.  She earned some of her expertise by  studying with professionals such as the legendary children’s teacher Al  Gilbert, Los Angeles’ Joe Tremaine, Marcea Lane and Broadway  Choreographer Thommie Walsh.  Tracy has also studied with Nickelodeon’s  Ivan Dudyinsky, Opryland productions Choreographer Mallory Graham, Janet  Jackson dancer Robert Alvarez, Reba McEntire dancer Terry Lindholm,   and the Hoctor family.  Tracy completed semi-private study with Richard  Croskey and Dr. Gene McCutchen, Dance Department head at the University  of Tennessee.  Tracy had private instruction with Broadway dancer and  choreographer of the show “13” Christopher Gattelli, whose credits  include “Guys and Dolls” on Broadway and the famed Mr. Mistoffelees in  the touring cast of “Cats”.  Tracy’s ballet instructors include  Balanchine protégé and New York City Ballet principal Roni Mahler,  Broadway Dance Center’s Amy Horowitz, and Jerry Rose of Professional  Dance Teacher’s Association. She has studied lyrical with Doug Caldwell  of L.A., Jazz with Scott Benson of Access Broadway and Fosse style with  Ron Kellum from the cast of “Chicago”.  Her most recent training was  with Tyler Hayden of “Tap Dogs” and Dance Caravan’s Darrin Contessa.

Tracy’s  students & competition teams continue to earn regional &  national titles in Junior Miss, Showstopper International, Miss National  Pre-Teen and Stars of Tomorrow National Talent Competition.  Tracy has  produced consecutive regional champions in group, duet/trio, & solo  competition.  She has had many first place winners in Tremaine Dance  Competition, Dance Troupe, Inc, Extreme Dance, Premiere 2000, Cathy Roe,  International Dance Championships, Platinum, and Encore competitions. 

In  1995 Tracy joined the faculty of Pellissippi State as the Adult Ballet  & Tap instructor.  In 2003, she became administrator and instructor  of the dance program at Fort Sanders Health & Fitness Center.  Tracy  was a judge for Talent Productions, Inc. whose proprietor was the  father of Maria Beale Fletcher, Miss America 1965.  She has  choreographed and coached dance and drama competitions for national  fraternities & sororities. Tracy choreographed locally for  Proffitt’s Trendsetters runway, was assistant choreographer at the  Junior Olympics stadium show with Walt Disney Choreographer Doug Jack,  and choreographed and judged for University of Tennessee’s All-Campus  Events (ACE).  She directed the “Jazz Alive” & “Magnificent Seven”  jazz troupes, & the “Fabulous Five” tap troupe.  Beginning in 2007,  she became the instructor for the dance program for Nanny’s EduCare  center.         

Tracy’s students have earned scholarships with  Joffrey Ballet School, Dance Educators of America, Tap City in NYC, and  summer study with Atlanta, Nutmeg  and Tulsa Ballet. Her students have  been selected for residential apprenticeships at Joffrey, Harid  Conservatory, Kirov in D.C. and Boston Ballet.  Through her coaching and  guidance, Tracy’s students have been selected for Dance Caravan faculty  demonstrators across the country, Gil Stroming and Mike Minery’s Slide  Tap camp, and trips to the Debbie Allen studio in L.A.  Tracy’s students  have landed Universal Dance Association Faculty jobs and have earned  collegiate dance scholarships at Tennessee Wesleyan, University of  Tennessee, MTSU, Georgia Tech, ETSU, Austin Peay, and UNLV. 

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Jeanne Sellars

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 "Jeannie” Sellars, a graduate of the  University of Tennessee, earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in  Education, K-12, with certification in Health, Physical Education, and  Dance.  She received graduate credit in supervision and administration  from East Tennessee State University.
Jeannie grew up in dance from  the age of four at the Range School of Dance where she experienced  numerous opportunities to study at the Broadway Dance Center and other  studios in New York City.  She was a member of the University of  Tennessee Repertory Modern Dance Group.  Through her dance career that  included stage and television performances and training in teaching, she  was selected for the legendary Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes- the  original kickline.  She has performed at the nationally renowned Barter  Theater and was the acro-gymnastics demonstrator for Joe Price of New  York City.

Jeannie has been consulted for her teaching experience  in issues of Dance Teacher Now magazine and has served as East  Tennessee Director of National Dance Week chaired by the late Gregory  Hines and Ann Reinking.  She has studied with George Balanchine’s  protégé, Roni Mahler of the New York City Ballet, Los Angeles’ Joe  Tremaine and Doug Caldwell, the late Kit Andree and the late Al Gilbert  of Hollywood and New York.  Jeannie and Broadway performer and  choreographer Christopher Gattelli have partnered in dance and  competition judging.  Also to her credit is assisting Disney and Miss  America choreographer Doug Jack in the Junior Olympic field show at  Neyland stadium.  Jeannie has served as judge for the renowned Beale  Fletcher of Talent Productions, Inc. and Creation Dance Championships.    She has judged numerous talent preliminaries for the Miss Tennessee  Pageant and has coached contestants for Miss Tennessee in dance,  modeling, and oratory.  She has collaborated with Marty Dew, formerly of  Gaylord Entertainment and Tyler Hayden of “Tap Dogs”.  Recently she  judged the national Radio City Rockette “High Kick” contest.

Jeannie  is a member of Dance Educators of America, a certification necessary  for a quality dance school.  She is also a member of Professional Dance  Teachers Association, Dance Masters of America and is listed in the  National Who’s Who in Dance. She is a certified instructor and judge for  the National Baton Twirling and Dance Association.  Many of her  majorette squads have achieved state and national titles in baton  twirling and dance twirl.

For over 40 years, Jeannie has been  Owner and Director of Dance Center West, Inc. and continues to coach,  judge, and direct dance performances and competitions.  Through the  years Jeannie has had over 6000 students who have benefited from the  self-confidence, mental discipline, and self-expression that dance  provides.  Moreover, many of the first students from years ago are now  bringing their little ones to learn from “Miss Jeannie”. 

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Kali Porteous

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FAQs

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**What is the age a child can begin a class? 
Typically  we begin a student at age 3 for an introductory class to ballet,  creative, and rhythm. They progress to a Ballet/Tap combo class at ages 4  & 5. We recommend a child to be age 7 before beginning  jazz/hip-hop.


**What is the dress code?
Any solid color leotard  and tights for all classes are permitted. Check with the instructor or  director on the shoe style and color.


**How many students are in a class?
Our  large studio can accommodate up to 14 children in a class with one lead  teacher and at least one assistant. Most classes, however, have 8-10  students.


**Can I observe the class?
Yes! We have an observation  window for parents in our large studio. Parents wait in the lobby area.  Often we have the door of the classroom open, depending on the noise in  the lobby.


**What is the length of a class?
45 minutes to an hour and 15 minutes, depending on level


**What is the length of a session?
Our  dance year runs from the second week of August to the end of May.  During June and July, we have special events and summer 2-week camps.


**Is there opportunity for private instruction?
Yes. If there is a desire to advance, strengthen skills, catch up, or compete.


**Do you participate in dance competitions?
Yes.  2-3 per year. We have solos, duets/trios, and groups. Summer study is  usually required, as well as a separate year-round class. All  competition students are required to take one ballet class weekly in  addition to a technique class of the genre they are competing in.


**Can my child try a class before we enroll?
Yes, at no charge.


**What is the inclement weather policy?
When Knox County schools dismiss for BAD WEATHER, DCW is also closed.


**When is tuition due?
Tuition  is always due the last week of the month for the following month's  classes. If payment is received on the 1st or after, a late charge will  be added.


**What are the additional costs besides tuition?
Attire, Registration fee, Costumes for Recital, Recital Fee. Optional pictures.


**What qualifications are required of the staff?
Our  staff all have college degrees. They have a background of dance  education from childhood. Each staff member has extensive training in  teaching children dance as well as dance history. Our assistants must be  in high school, must be students at our studio for at least four years,  and also have a background in dance since their early childhood.



**What are the staff and studio's certifications and accreditations?
Who's  Who in Dance, Dance Masters of America, Dance Educators of America,  Professional Dance Teachers Association, AAHPERD, BMi, ASCAP, and we are  incorporated.


**What are the days and times classes meet?
Classes  are held Monday through Thursday. There are morning pre-school classes.  School-age children's classes run from 3:30-8:30 p.m.


**Do you offer Saturday classes?
Saturdays are reserved for private lessons and competition preparation.


**Can my child eat /drink before & after class?
There is no food allowed in the studio. Bottled water is available for purchase or you may bring your own

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