Kelly (Artistic Director) - Kelly is a working professional in the theatre community as a dancer, actress, singer, choreographer, and producer. Considering herself a dancer first, she enjoys sharing her passion and knowledge of dance and performance with her students and fellow performers. Her favorite "role" is being a mom to her own little dancers, daughters Tess and Savannah.
As a young dance student, Kelly diversified her training by studying with several prominent local dance teachers, as well as attending conventions and workshops. As she continued, she received overall highest honors at several regional and national competitive dance events. Kelly began theatrical performing in her early teens, and attended NOCCA as a dance student. Kelly has also trained at dance studios in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and New York, and attended Tulane University for Dance and Musical Theatre.
She has been employed as a dancer, performer and choreographer in many different facets including conventions in New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Miami, national commercials, a Mariah Carey music video, educational software, and musical theatre. In New Orleans, Kelly has performed in over 60 musicals at various local theatres including Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre, Le Petit Theatre, Rivertown Repertory Theatre, Le Chat Noir, NOCCA, and Jefferson Performing Arts Society.
As a choreogpapher, Kelly has created works for the University of New Orleans, Tulane Summer Lyric, Tulane Junior Lyric, Rivertown Repertory Theatre, Le Petit Theatre, Jefferson Performing Arts Society, and FourFront Theatre. Her performances and choreography have been awarded by the Big Easy Awards, Storer Boone Awards (a local theatre award whereby outstanding works are nominated and voted on by one’s peers), Ambie Awards and Marquee Awards. Kelly served on the faculty of NOCCA Academy as a jazz and tap teacher, and has received Ancillary Certification by the State of Louisiana to teach Fine Arts.
Extending her love for theatre to the community, Kelly co-founded two theatre production companies: FourFront Theatre and Theatre 13. FourFront Theatre and Theatre 13 produce a variety of shows including children's shows, Broadway's newest musicals and comdies/dramas in different theatres throughout the New Orleans area. In 2009, Kelly's work with FourFront Theatre landed her in Gambit's acclaimed "40 Under 40" issue which" honors the community's newest generation who have acheived amazing accomplishments and make New Orleans a better place to live." FourFront's productions have also been nominated for several Big Easy awards. In 2012, the City of Kenner awarded Kelly and her partner the contract to manage and artistically direct the new 'Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts'. For a performing arts school to essentially have its own home theater venue will be a perfect combination. This presents both performance opportunities and a stage for future Encore music, acting and tumbling showcases. With 2 theaters, a larger main-stage and a smaller theatre, Theatre 13 presents a full season of children’s theater and main-stage musicals / plays.
Kelly's goal as an artistic director is to provide students of all ages with the skills they need to enjoy the performing arts, in whatever capactity they choose, for a lifetime.
Karen Hebert (Ballet) - Long before the hit television series “Glee”, Karen Hebert was choreographing show choirs around the country. Her show choir chorus has been seen by 2 past president’s as well as the Pope in Vatican City. Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins & Belle in the Beauty and the Beast on Broadway) was a member of one of her choirs, along with many other performers in Lion King, Hairspray, Little Mermaid, Phantom of the Opera, Smokey Joe’s Café to name a few. Karen is known as a triple threat having won awards for “Best Actress” in a musical for Chicago and “Best Choreographer” for Anything Goes, Grand hotel, Sophisticated Ladies, Chicago, 42nd St,, Barmun, Kiss of the Spiderwoman, Cabaret, George M, to name a few. She has taught and judged for every major dance organization in the US as well as Canada & Puerto Rico. She has toured the United States with the stars of the American Ballet, and her association with Celebrity Cruise Lines as director & choreographer has enabled her to travel to 4 of the 7 continents of the world. Karen started at the age of 13 in her own dance studio and along the way trained with famous teachers as Alexandra Danilova of the Russian Ballet, Anton Dolin of the Royal Ballet of England, Vincenzo Celli partner to Pavlona and student of Ennco Checchitti. She has performed with the late Dame Margot Fonteyertrend, Fernando Bujones, as well as Peter Martins, Suzanne Farrell, Anne Marie DiAngelo, Kirk Peterson, Ivan Nage. She initiated the Musical Theatre department at NOCCA, the performing Arts High School in New Orleans and was head of the Ballet department at Tulane University’s dance arts program for 6 years. She was given the key to the city and the French Heritage Award for her contributions in dance and the preservation of the folk loric style. She owned and operated her own Award Winning Studio for 35 years and has sent numerous students onto professional careers in performing arts on Broadway, Television, Film, Opera and Touring Companies World Wide. She and her daughter Pamela Bolling own their own video company and produce the Peak Performance video series. Karen is working on her own vocal tapes for hopeful singers and auditioners. Currently she is teaching, choreographing, and performing in the New Orleans and Atlanta areas.