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Meet Our Instructors

Jeanne Palpant

Jeanne Palpant Jeanne began her dance studies at the age of 9 in Atlanta Georgia and continued extensive studies throughout the Southeast in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Musical Theater. She has performed professionally with the Atlanta Jazz Theater, The Dance Troupe, The Tap Company and the Governors Inauguration to name a few. Jeanne performed in Moscow Russia in 1990 as a representative of the United States with the USA-USSR friendship tour. She has served on the Board of the Henry County Arts Alliance. Jeanne has choreographed numerous musicals for the Henry Players, the Eagles Landing Christian Academy Drama Department, and other local theaters. She participates in annual workshops studying under master teachers in Atlanta and NYC. Jeanne has been the Director of Upstage Dance Center in Ellenwood Georgia since 1985 and in the fall of 2005 opened a second studio location in McDonough Georgia. Jeanne lives in Henry County with husband Andy and son Jordan.

Toni Doctor

Toni Doctor Toni Doctor Jenkins, an Atlanta native began her professional career with the Atlanta Ballet. During her tenure with the company, she performed many soloist and principal roles in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Carmen, The Sleeping Beauty, Dracula and Hamlet. She also graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University with a degree in sociology. In 2007, she left the company to join the cast of one of Broadway's most successful touring productions: The Lion King. Upon her return to Atlanta, she was also fortunate to be a founding dancer of Lauri Stalling's visionary contemporary platform gloATL. Shortly thereafter, she also discovered a passion for teaching. She is also a wife and a proud mother of two beautiful sons. She feels very privileged to be educating the next generation of aspiring dancers.

Rachel Welliver

Rachel Welliver Rachel Welliver grew up in McDonough Georgia where she began her dance studies at a very young age. Along with a strong technical background in ballet, tap and jazz, Rachel also brings experience in tumbling from completive cheerleading years. Rachel holds several titles in the pageant industry including being named Miss Georgia Teen of 2004. Rachel holds a B.S. degree in Organizational Communication with a minor in Management from Kennesaw State University. Rachel's patient and creative personality brings joy to her young dance students. Rachel lives in McDonough Georgia with her husband Jesse, an Associate Pastor, and beautiful daughter, Norah.

Keisha Whitfield

Keisha Whitfield Keisha is a Miami native who began her journey in dance at the age of 7. She was technically trained at The Dance Center in Royal Academy Ballet, Fred Astaire tap, Giordano jazz, and musical theatre. Her training continued from her dance studio into the extensive dance programs in middle and high school.

Following her passion, she changed her major from physical therapy to dance education and transferred to Georgia State University. Immediately following graduation, she received her first teaching position at R.R. Moton Elementary Expressive School of the Arts in Miami. That began her career and passion of sharing her love for dance. Keisha has taught in both elementary and high school. At Felix Varela High School, she served as the Fine Arts Department Chair, Dance Repertory Director, and Dance Team Director.

In 2006, Keisha joined the MLK High School faculty. During her time at MLK she has served as the Royal Essence Dance Company sponsor, Fine Arts Department Chair, and produced annual dance productions.

Keisha's greatest accomplishment at MLK has been consistently growing the dance program. She looks forward to continue sharing her love and passion for dance to the students at Upstage Dance Center.

Paulina Lightsey

Paulina Lightsey began her love of dance at the age of 7 at the Upstage Dance Center. She excelled in all styles of dance with ballet and contemporary being her personal favorites. Paulina attended many dance conventions and competitions while growing as a dancer and found she felt very comfortable on the stage. Paulina has a gift of creative expression and loves to pass that on to her students. She enjoys all aspects of teaching from the technical barre exercises to energetic combinations to choreography.

Ms. Paulina is well known for her creative movement syllabus for ages 3-4 year olds. Paulina lives in Henry County with her husband, Joseph, and their four children, Lillian, Ethan, Laura, and Jordan.

Patrice Bryant

Patrice Bryant Patrice Bryant began her dance training at Upstage Dance Center in Henry County Georgia at a young age studying ballet, modern, tap and jazz. Throughout her high school years, she performed, taught classes, and choreographed dances for her church and local summer camps.

She continued her education in dance at Brenau University where she received a dance scholarship and was selected to go to the American College Dance Festival. In 2011, she transferred to Kennesaw State University where she performed with the KSU Dance Company, choreographed for ChoreoLab, and participated in the Miss Black and Gold Pageant.

In spring 2014, Patrice graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Dance and a minor in Management. With her love for the arts, community, and education, Patrice continues to work towards achieving her ultimate career goal of owning a dance studio.

Chloe Lipscomb

Chloe Lipscomb Chloe Lipscomb was born and raised in Georgia. She began dancing at the age of 5 and continued her dance education studying extensively in ballet, tap, jazz, and various modern and contemporary techniques. As a member of the Elite Company of Upstage Dance Center Chloe performed many choreographed pieces of Ms. Toni Doctor along with advanced tap choreography of Ms. Angela Sammons. Chloe loves to travel and recently had a life changing opportunity to travel to China and Hong Kong on a business trip. Chloe is currently attending Clayton State University specializing in accounting and loves teaching the Contemporary teen class at Upstage Dance Center.
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