The Pointe Dance Arts’ owner and artistic director, Shannon McClure Denney, began her dance training in Mobile, AL. She studied under nationally and internationally recognized choreographers Theresa Noletto-Hutchins, Celi Shinn and Scott Benson 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 and her students have received countless accolades at dance competitions including overall awards, choreography awards, entertainment awards. The Pointe has also been named the Top Studio in Birmingham by two different organizations. 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, 24 Seven Dance, New York City Dance Alliance & NUVO for their outstanding Ballet and Jazz work.
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 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. We are so excited to have Lindsay as a part of The Pointe family.
Preschool, Beginning Ballet, Jazz, Tap & Hip Hop
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. She is excited to be returning to The Pointe for her 3rd dance season.
Catherine Garratt began her training at the Alabama Dance Academy and the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance before continuing her studies with the Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet under Marcia Dale Weary. After dancing for a season with the Louisville Ballet, Catherine joined the Alabama Ballet in 2007. Since her promotion to company member in 2009, Catherine has performed principal and soloist roles in much of the classical repertoire including Romeo and Juliet, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle, Paquita, La Sylphide, La Bayadere, Don Quixote, Swan Lake, Cinderella, Snow White, and George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. Other repertoire with the company includes multiple works by neoclassical and contemporary choreograhers such as George Balanchine, Agnes De Mille, Michael Fothergill, Jirí Kylián, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, and Roger Van Fleteren.
In addition to her role within the company, Catherine enjoys teaching at the Alabama Ballet School (Royal Academy of Dance), where she has taught a variety of levels and ages since 2010. Upon graduating summa cum laude from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in December 2012, with a degree in Sociology and International Studies, Catherine joined the ballet staff at The Pointe Dance Arts. Catherine is looking forward to her eighth season with the Alabama Ballet.