The Pointe Dance Arts’ owner and artistic director, Shannon McClure Denney, began her dance training in Mobile, AL at Sheffield School of the Dance. Upon leaving Mobile, Shannon continued her dance education under the direction of the University of Alabama’s nationally acclaimed teacher Cornelius Carter. Additionally, she has studied at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and Edge Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles.
Shannon has been privileged to perform in a number of unique environments. As a young dancer, she was accepted as a member of the Sheffield Performing Arts Company with whom she competed for eight years, winning numerous regional and national awards. Shannon was honored to perform in a split dance concert with former Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago members Sam Watson and Richard Havey. She also performed on the Celebrity Cruise ship “Meridian” and the Isle of St. Georges in Bermuda. Selected as a member of the Universal Dance Association All-Star group, Shannon had the honor of performing in Paris, France.
Shannon began her teaching career in Atlanta, GA where she served as a ballet, jazz and tap instructor for three prominent Atlanta studios. In 2000, Shannon relocated to Birmingham, AL to continue her teaching career. She founded The Pointe Dance Arts in July 2005 where she is thrilled to pass on her love of dance to young people throughout the Birmingham area. Most importantly, at The Pointe Dance Arts, Shannon has been able to fulfill her vision of offering the highest quality dance education in a family-friendly, age-appropriate atmosphere. Shannon’s students have been awarded dance scholarships to The University of Alabama, Edge Performing Arts in Los Angeles, Joffrey Ballet New York, Tremaine Dance, Company Dance, New York City Dance Alliance & NUVO for their outstanding Ballet and Jazz work. Additionally, Shannon’s students have received countless accolades through the Junior Miss/Distinguished Young Women Scholarship Program and the Miss Alabama program.
Shannon takes pride in exposing her students to the the top teachers and choreographers from around the country by having a top-notch staff, bringing in master teachers, attending dance conventions, and traveling to various cities for training. Shannon is married to Patrick Denney, and the two reside in Vestavia Hills with their adorable daughter, Sara Madelyn.
Michael Fothergill was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, training intensively with Robert Thomas and Miyoko Kato of the Harkness and Joffrey Ballets. Michael was granted full scholarship to further his studies within such notable schools as The School of American Ballet: the official school of The New York City Ballet, the Milwaukee Ballet School, and the Boston Ballet School. After an early graduation from High School, Michael accepted an invitation to continue his education and dance with American Ballet Theatre.
Upon his arrival in NYC, Michael soon instructed at both STEPS on Broadway and The Peridance Center while teaching beg/int ballet to all ages. After a tenure of freelance performance, instruction and choreographic endeavors, Michael later accepted a position with the Milwaukee Ballet. Michael has since performed with the New Jersey Ballet, Ballet Nuevo de Mexico, Ballet Contemporaneo de Mexico, City Ballet of San Diego, Charleston Ballet Theatre, the David Taylor Dance Theatre, Hannover Staatsballett, the Alabama Ballet, and across the U.S.A, EU and Japan as a Guest Artist.
Michael has danced the male leads in much of the classical repertoire, as well as in works by visionaries such as Balanchine, Robbins, Prokovsky, Massine, Duato, Kylian, Tharp, Tudor, De Mille, among others. Michael is one of only three men in the world to perform the role of “The Hero” in Agnes de Mille’s final work “The Other”, originally set on ABT in 1992 and mounted for the Alabama Ballet by Amanda Mckerrow and John Gardner in 2011.
A choreographer, Michael has been creating classical and contemporary ballet installations since early 2004. Within the last 10 years, Michael’s works have been performed in Japan, Iceland, Australia and in the USA. In 2007, Michael competed in the European Contemporary Choreographic Initiative, receiving 3rd Place of nearly 200 competitors. Most recently, the Alabama Ballet commissioned Michael to create two ballets for the 2012/13 season – both receiving great reviews.
As an educator, Michael has traveled across the United States and to Japan to instruct students and professionals alike. He has taught master classes for Universities, regional companies and their respective academies, and for independantly operated studios. He is a frequent guest instructor for the Checchetti Council of America and a regular collaborator with numerous other arts organizations and presenters of ballet performance within the Southeastern
and Midwestern regions of the U.S.
Lindsay Jones is the hottest hip hop talent in the Birmingham area. Her teaching style is high- energy and non-stop. Her unique style of choreography has been recognized on the local, state and national level. Lindsay serves as The Pointe’s Company Hip Hop choreographer where she has gained countless accolades for her work including Concept Awards and overall awards. In 2013 & 2014, Lindsay’s choreography was recognized as The Best Hip Hop in Birmingham at Applause Talent Competition. Lindsay also serves as the Hoover High School Buccanette Dance Team choreographer. In 2009, 2010, & 2011, Lindsay led the Oak Mountain Middle School Dance Team to the title of Alabama’s Junior High State Champions. In 2010, her jazz piece went on to be named 3rd in the nation at the Universal Dance Association National Championships in Disney World.
Preschool, Beginning Ballet, Jazz & Tap
Christie Everett has over 16 years of experience teaching dance to children of all ages. She grew up in Huntsville, Alabama where she had the privilege of studying dance under Rita Leidags and Patricia Taylor for 14 years at Performing Dance Arts in Huntsville. Christie received is a graduate of Auburn University where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Dance/Theatre. In 2001 she moved to Chicago where she accepted a position teaching tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical and hip hop for Joe’s Footwork Studio and The Dance Workshop Company. In 2003 Christie was given the title of Head Choreographer for The Dance Workshop Company, a non-profit organization that traveled throughout the Chicago area performing and competing at local dance competitions. While in Chicago, Ms. Everett continued to study dance at The Joel Hall Dance Center. After the birth of her first child, she returned to the South. For the past seven years, she has resided in the Birmingham area. She has been a member of Dance Masters of America in Ballet and Tap since 2000.
Catherine Garratt, a Birmingham native, began her training at the Alabama Dance Academy. She continued with the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance before moving to the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet to study under Marcia Dale Weary.
Following a year with Louisville Ballet, Catherine joined the Alabama Ballet in 2007, where she has performed Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, the title roles in Paquita and Snow White; Sugar Plum Fairy, Dew Drop, Lead Marzipan, and Lead Hot Chocolate in George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker; Effie in La Sylphide; Myrtha and Moyna in Giselle; Pas de Trois, Big Swan, and Lead Czardas in Swan Lake; Mercedes and Queen of the Dryads in Don Quixote; and Fairy Godmother in Cinderella. Other repertoire includes Jirí Kylián’s Sechs Tänze, George Balanchine’s Allegro Brillante and Serenade, The Mistress in Antony Tudor’s Lilac Garden, Agnes De Mille’s Three Virgins and a Devil, Twyla Tharp’s Nine Sinatra Songs and Baker’s Dozen, Michael Fothergill’s Weighted Rhetoric and Laid to Wrest, Roger Van Fleteren’s 1 and 5, Be Major, Messin’ with Mozart, Of One Voice, Alice in Wonderland, Dracula, Romeo and Juliet, Coppelia, and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Raymonda, Carnival in Venice, and Graduation Ball.
Catherine is on faculty at the Alabama Ballet Royal Academy of Dance and is the former Director of Outreach for the XL Program at the Pointe Dance Arts.Catherine graduated summa cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in December 2012.
Taylor Ohman, from Kansas City Missouri, started her training at age 5 at the Classical Ballet School. During her time there she became the youngest member of the school’s studio company Ballet North. Taylor continued her training in ballet and modern dance at the University of Missouri Kansas City where she received a BFA in dance performance and choreography in 2012. While in college, Taylor danced with the Kansas City Ballet in their production of The Nutcracker and again in their spring performance of Serenade by George Balanchine. After graduation Taylor accepted an apprenticeship with Ballet Nebraska and the following year accepted a company position with Arova Contemporary Ballet where she will begin her third season in fall of 2015.
Lisa Gibbs is a former professional dancer with Southern Danceworks, a modern dance company directed by Teri Weksler of the Mark Morris Dance Group. During her career with Southern Danceworks, Gibbs performed several solos, duets, and ensemble pieces choreographed by Ms. Weksler, as well as works by choreographers Robert Battle and Germaul Barnes. Gibbs has also performed with the Alabama Ballet under the direction of Wes Chapman, former principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. Lisa continued a performance career with two Birmingham area companies—Sanspointe, a modern dance company, and Arova, a contemporary ballet company, prior to retiring in 2011.
Lisa is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Alabama. Her research focus is the place of dance in higher education as an academic endeavor. She is a member of the Alabama Dance Council, the National Dance Education Organization, and is an American Ballet Theatre National Training Curriculum certified instructor for Primary through Level 5. Gibbs also serves on the membership committee for CORPS-de- Ballet International, an organization promoting and serving dance in higher education and is on t he Fine Arts committee of the Norton Board of Advisors for Birmingham-Southern College.