Instructors

TONDALAYA PEARSON (owner | director)

Tondalaya’s study began at the age of three. Her professional training began at the age of thirteen in the ballet program at the NC School of the Arts (NCSA). She studied from dance legends, Melissa Hayden, Mel Tomlinson, Frank Smith, and others. Tondalaya also enjoys Musical Theater. Her credits include “Oklahoma,” “Anything Goes,” “West Side Story,” “Hello Dolly,” and Raleigh’s “A Christmas Carol.” Tondalaya studied at East Carolina University on a scholarship in the dance program. From there she began to teach in local schools until she opened Cary Dance Productions in 1995. Tondalaya continues to study through national workshops affiliated with NYCDA, Tremaine, WCDE, and JUMP, to name a few. Next to her children, Peyton and Monroe, she considers CDP to be one of her greatest blessings.

Jessica McMillan (studio manager)

Jessica began dancing at age six in Melbourne Beach, Florida. Upon moving to North Carolina she began studying all genres of dance under CDP owner, Tondalaya Pearson. Jessica was part of the CDP Competitive Company for 8 years and continued her training in New York City under the Broadway Dance Center internship program. After choreographing her first award-winning piece during her senior year of high school, she was hooked, and has since been teaching and choreographing at CDP ever since. Jessica now lives in Los Angeles, California and works remotely, managing our accounts, helping with schedules, and overseeing lots of CDP communication. You’ll likely be hearing from her soon 🙂

Kathryn Hamrick (recreational director)

Kathryn Hamrick grew up dancing in Charlotte, North Carolina at Jami Master’s School of Dance and North Carolina Dance Theater. She continued dancing in college and majored in ballet at Indiana University. After graduating, she began her professional career joining Charleston Ballet Theater, where she danced for three seasons. This is her 10th year teaching at Cary Dance Productions. She is so grateful to be able to share her love of dance with all of her students. When she is not dancing, Kathryn loves spending time with her family.

Amy Holcomb (company manager)

Amy Holcomb is from Kernersville, NC where she Started dancing at the age of four and eventually went on to dance competitively until she graduated high school. Amy attended Meredith College where she majored in dance with a concentration in private studio teaching. While in college she performed and choreographed at numerous pieces at Meredith College performances and at the national level while attending the American College Dance Festival. She was a member of Meredith Dance Theater, Meredith Tap and Jazz Ensemble and Nu Delta Alpha Dance Honor Society. Amy has been sharing her love of dance through teaching for numerous years and is so thrilled to be a member of the CDP Staff as well as working closely with the Cary Dance competitive and recreational companies as the Company Manager.

Ashley Wade (instructor)

Ashley has been dancing since she was 3 years old! After moving several times and attending different studios throughout Virginia, she moved to North Carolina and began dancing at Cary Dance Productions. She continued dancing there from age 10 on and went on to major in Dance Performance (with a concentration in Jazz)  at East Carolina University. This is her 15th year teaching at CDP and she continues to share her passion of movement and music with her students while growing and learning right alongside them!  She loves being able to share this 2nd home with family; her husband (who enjoys helping as a prop dad) and their two daughters, Evie and Mollie, who love dancing competitively on CDP’s companies!

Jessica Judd (instructor)

Jessica Judd began dancing at the age of 5, and luckily her training as a competitive dancer started at Cary Dance Productions! She has loved every minute of her evolving dance career from student-teaching, being a member of the competitive company, and choreographing through high school and college! During her years at East Carolina University she interned for the New York City at Broadway Dance Center professional summer semester! She has trained in jazz, tap, ballet, contemporary, musical theatre, hip hop, lyrical, and jazz funk. During her 14 years of competing regionally, nationally, and in many conventions Jessica always knew she was passionate about choreographing and instructing the beautiful art of dance. She graduated from East Carolina University in 2016 and never left CDP. Her training as a teacher continued while she assisted under many well-known, remarkable choreographers. Jessica’s favorite part of her job is the inspiration she gets from watching her students and co-workers (who she considers family) grow, learn, and achieve their goals!

Andrea Crews (instructor)

Originally from Charlotte NC, Andrea Crews is a dancer and choreographer that has been educating students in the art of dance for 18yrs. She trains in all forms of dance but especially enjoys tap, hip hop, and contemporary. Her greatest passion is seeing a student achieve their goals while having the confidence to try something new. She truly believes that anything is possible if you believe! Her motto is that teamwork makes the dream work!

Kathleen Black (instructor)

Kathleen Black is a current member of the Carolina Ballet. She grew up training at Infinity Ballet and The Raleigh School of Ballet, and spent her summers training at American Ballet Theatre, Harid Conservatory, Boston Ballet and School of American Ballet. She has been on staff at CDP for two years and works primarily with our competitive companies. She has a contagious passion for dance and love for our students – we love having Ms. Kathleen on our CDP staff!

Ashlynn Davis (instructor)

Ashlynn Davis recently graduated from Meredith College studying Communications, specifically Public Relations and Dance, specifically Private Studio Teaching. She is so excited to have been welcomed back at Cary Dance Productions to teach. Ashlynn has been dancing her whole life, with 7 years being at Cary Dance Productions. Upon graduation, Ashlynn went on to choreograph, teach, and perform with the Meredith Dance Theater and Meredith Jazz & Tap Ensemble. Ashlynn helps with many projects around the studio and manages our social media accounts (shout her out!). Her fun loving spirit and passion for dance is contagious – she can’t wait to dance with you!

Anne-Catherine Rossi (instructor)

Anne-Catherine grew up dancing and competing with CDP and couldn’t wait to come back after graduating! While she loves all dance styles, her favorite genre to teach and perform is tap. She recently received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Appalachian State University in Elementary Education and now teaches fourth grade at Kingswood Elementary School, in Cary. Anne-Catherine has loved teaching dance since she was given the opportunity to do so as a student.  “I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else!”

Kaity Ellis (instructor)

Kaity is an alum of CDP and a recent graduate from Hollins University where she received her B.F.A. in dance. During her time at Hollins, she had the opportunity to choreograph and perform contemporary solo performances and develop her thesis around a study of dance on screen. Kaity is a certified yoga instructor and loves to infuse her understanding of the body with her passion for creative expression. As an avid learner, she is excited to soak up inspiration from her peers, students, and teachers this season at CDP!

Taylor McNair (instructor)
Taylor McNair began dancing at the age of 4 and spent 14 years at Cary Dance Productions. She was a member of the Competitive Company for 9 years and acted as a teacher assistant for 7 years for a variety of company classes. Currently, Taylor is a Senior at UNC Chapel Hill where she is studying Biology and Neuroscience on a Pre-Health track. Taylor continued dancing in college as a member of the Carolina Girls Varsity Dance Team for three years where she performed at sporting events and competed at national collegiate competitions. She has loved staying involved at CDP after her graduation, and could not be more excited to join the CDP staff this fall.
Ayla O’Day (instructor)
Ayla O’Day is a current company member at the Carolina Ballet. She was born in New York Cityand began her ballet training at the age of 3. She received most of her ballet training at Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet in Carlisle, PA. In 2016, she was invited to be a trainee with Boston Ballet and remained there for two years. Following that two-year stint at Boston Ballet, she moved down to Raleigh to dance with the Carolina Ballet. We are so excited to welcome Ayla to our CDP family this season!

Beth Rossi (head receptionist)

GUEST ARTISTS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS:

Kent Boyd

Karen Chuang

Guy Groove

Lacey Schwimmer

Carisa Wilson

Dana Wilson

GET IN TOUCH

Cary Dance Productions
683-A Cary Towne Blvd.
Cary, NC 27511

@carydance
Phone: 919-467-7040
info@carydance.com

Office Hours
Monday - Thursday
3:30pm to 6:00pm

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