Instructors & Staff

Alexis M. Kozar- Owner/Artistic Director, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, JLT, Combo, and Performing Arts Company

Miss Alexis grew up in Annapolis, Maryland where she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Hip-Hop, and Lyrical under the Pre-Professional direction of Fran Peters. She has over 20 years of dance experience. For 13 years she competed as a member of a Competition Team for major competitions such as Dance Educators of America, Dance Masters of America, and Tremaine, as well as performing in the Pro Bowl Half Time show in Honolulu, Hawaii for the first time at age 15. After graduation she moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she trained under the members of the Koresh Dance Company; she took extra classes at the renown studio STEPS in NYC. Miss Alexis was an instructor and choreographer to the Competition Team at Kay’s Act II Dance Studio in Trevose, Pennsylvania. Her choreography has won 1st and 2nd place in New York at the National Dance Competition for Tremaine. Alexis then moved on to become a part of the Norwegian Sea Production Company as a main stage dancer. After two years with the cruise line she moved to Atlanta, Georgia where she has trained under and performed for Michael McDonough and David Norwood.  Miss Alexis has now accomplished her dream, owning a dance studio! This will enable her to pass her knowledge onto students of all ages and levels through creativity and passion for dance!

 

 

 Casey N. Clemens- Office Manager

Miss Casey grew up in Annapolis, Maryland where she, too, trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and Lyrical. She has 10 years of dance/instructor experience. For 8 years she competed as a member of a Competition Team, many times with Miss Alexis, for major competitions such as Showstoppers, Starpower, Tremaine, and Dance Caravan. Miss Casey, at a young age, was selected through an audition process to be a part of Dance Caravan Tour for a summer. She is now excited to be back in the dance community and plans on returning to teaching young students in the near future!

 

Amanda Gerster- Lyrical, Combo, Jazz, Tap, & Performing Arts Company

Miss Amanda trained at the Gus Giordano Dance Center, Steps On Broadway, Broadway Dance Center, and Dance Arts Centre. She studied with Dennis Caspary, Jason Beitel, Joel Hall, and John Crutchman, just to name a few. Her performance credits include the Jerry Lewis Telethon, Sesame Street with Bob McGrath, the Miss Ohio Pageant, and Star Search. She has won awards such as Miss Dance (Kids Artistic Revue), numerous convention scholarships, and many other national awards. Recently Amanda has won awards for her choreography, including the FDC award and many high point and overall awards.

While attending high school in Chicago, she was president of the Orchesis Dance Troupe, Captain of the Varsity Cheer Squad, and a member of the Student Council. After moving to the greater Atlanta area, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Georgia Gwinnett College, majoring in Business Administration. Amanda is married to her husband Felix, has a son named Michael and a daughter Madeleine. She is thrilled to be on staff at N-Step and looking forward to a great year!

 

 Lauren Overstreet- Balletimage1

Lauren studied and trained in dance from age 3 at a local studio in Alpharetta, GA. There, she trained in many styles of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, modern, and musical theater, as well as voice and acting. At the age of 9, she joined the competitive company. She has trained with numerous established instructors including Mandy Moore, Travis Wall, Brian Friedman, Wade Robson, Tyce Diorio,  Mia Michaels, Mike Minery, Ellen Tshudy, and Susan Anderson. She was also a member and choreographer of Xtensity Atlanta, a member and choreographer of Dancefx Concert Dance Company, and show coordinator for Pamoja Dance Company at UGA for several years.

More recently, while teaching and choreographing at numerous studios throughout the tri-state area, she has been a member of Project 7 Contemporary Dance Company under the direction of Cherrise Wakeham (2014 Capezio Ace Awards 1st runner up). Along with gaining national recognition  for her award-winning choreography, Lauren has also been the music video choreographer for both Emergent Heart’s “Top Shelf” and Pacific UV’s “Funny Girl”, and she was a dancer and choreographer for Dancefx Concert Dance Company’s “Alice : Lessons in Wonderland”. She also recently choreographed and helped staged the opening number for the annual Flagpole Music Awards in Athens, GA.

She looks forward to pursuing her career as a professional dancer and instructor and making N-step a part of the journey!

 

 Rachel Zervakos- BalletRachelZervakos

Rachel is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory, where she earned her B.F.A. in Dance, Magna cum Laude. She received her initial training at Tolbert-Yilmaz School of Dance in Roswell, GA. Her studies continued at Regional Dance America conferences and summer programs including American Ballet Theatre, Kaatsbaan Extreme Ballet, San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, and Walnut Hill. She has danced major roles in Cinderella, Don Quixote, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, Paquita, and The Nutcracker.

At The Boston Conservatory, Rachel studied a wide range of classical and contemporary techniques under the Conservatory’s renowned faculty, including ballet pedagogy courses with master teacher Donna Silva. She was a three-time recipient of the Jan Veen Scholarship for Dance Education Award.  Her performance credits include works by José Limón, Trey McIntyre, Twyla Tharp, Tommy Neblett, Francesca Harper, Diane Arvanites, Lorraine Chapman, among others, as well as her own choreographic work. In 2012, Rachel had the honor of performing Tommy Neblett’s La Giornata Omicida at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2014, Rachel was an Intern at American Ballet Theatre with the National Training Curriculum program in New York City. She currently choreographs and teaches ballet, pointe, modern, and jazz for all ages in the Atlanta area.

 

 

Emily Kay Vanderkley, Lyrical & PointeNKP_NZ (9 of 108)

Emily comes from a diverse professional dancing career having performed all over the world.  Before taking on her 8 years with Royal Caribbean Productions, she performed with the Atlanta Ballet and Bacchus Productions. She began, on full scholarship her senior year, to the Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education under the direction of Sharon Story, where she had the opportunity to perform with the company under the direction of John McFall. Then after graduating High School, performed for an additional 4 seasons with the company taking the stage in productions such as: John McFall’s Alice In Wonderland, The Nutcracker and Peter Pan, Michael Pink’s World Premier of Romeo and Juliet, Fernand Nault’s Carmina Burana, Stanton Welch’s US debut of Madame Butterfly, and George Balanchine’s Serenade.  Emily was also cast to perform at the Fabulous Fox Theater’s 75th Anniversary show in 2004. In 2011-2012 also in Atlanta, Emily assisted David Norwood in putting together his debut contemporary company “Phyzix” as well as performing as an original member.

 From 2003 – 2010, she performed at sea with Royal Caribbean Productions in Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Mexico, the East Coast and all over the Caribbean.  Here she also became an accomplished wardrobe and wig supervisor for the productions casts of the largest cruise ship’s overseeing as many as 3 production shows at a time.

 In between contracts, she began teaching ballet, jazz and Broadway Movement (Emily’s version of Musical Theater dance class), choreographing and coaching for the Georgia Youth Ballet Company in Fayetteville, GA under the direction of Magdalena Maury, Jonsie Pollock and Randi Lancaster. One of her GYB students took home the bronze medal at the Youth American Grand Prix competition for Emily’s arrangement of the Giselle Act II Variation.  Then in 2010 and 2011, she was honored to have her pieces “Emue” and “Misguided” chosen to be performed in the Festival Showcase for established choreographers, at the South Eastern Regional Ballet Association’s annual conference.

 She has also choreographed solos and group routines for several competition performing companies such as the Eagles Landing Dance Center, under the direction of Vanessa Gibson. Dance 101, owned by Ofelia de La Valette, sponsored Emily in the January 2012 Dance Canvas showcase, directed by Angela Harris, at the 14th Street Playhouse, where her piece “The Liberation” was debuted. Afterwards, Cathy Cronin Dunlap, director of Academy of Ballet, hired Emily to set “The Liberation” on her senior company for their company recital. Also, for the past 5 summers, Emily has been invited by Mitch Flanders, formerly of NYCB, to teach and choreograph at his annual Festival Dance Camp held at The University of Georgia in Athens, GA.

 Emily continues to choreograph and teach regularly for N-Step Dance Academy in Suwannee, City Gate Dance Theatre in Avondale Estates, Eagles Landing Dance Center in Stockbridge, Studio D in Griffin, Dance 101 Atlanta, Dance 101 Alpharetta and gives master classes and private lessons throughout the Atlanta area.

Kelly Ensman- Acro & Kinder Tumble

Kelly Ensman grew up in Orange County, California competing club gymnastics.  At the age of 14, she began coaching all levels of recreational and competitive gymnastics which she loved for the next 15 years.  She graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a BS in Child Development and from Whittier College with a Master’s Degree in Education.  She taught third and fourth grades before deciding to become a stay at home mom.  Her family moved to the Phoenix area where they lived for 3.5 years and she now lives in the Atlanta area with her husband and three children.  Kelly is excited to be teaching at N-Step and to be able to pass on her gymnastics knowledge to the amazing N-Step dancers!

Aaron DavidsonIMG_0350(1)- Hip-Hop & Performing Arts Company

AЯRON  represents a new generation of recording artists. Real name, Aaron Davidson, the young performer adds the title of acclaimed producer and songwriter to an already impressive repertoire.

Aaron began studying the movement of great performers like Michael Jackson and Usher early on. He was captivated by their talent and in awe of their generosity. At that moment he vowed his life to his passion for music and performance. He studied at various different dance and competition academies on scholarship, becoming technically trained in all dance styles including hip hop, ballet, jazz, contemporary, tap, African, lyrical, and modern. Finding a love for the stage, Aaron began to perform in talent shows & showcases spanning the South East. Age 20, Aaron initially draws in all his audiences with his husky tone and charms them with his honest lyrics. Strapped with a composition book and pen, Aaron began to write. His poetry turned into thought provoking lyrics, and his melodies evolved into beats. Currently writing for EMI, Aaron is busy working on his debut EP & attending Georgia State University in Atlanta. He is on his way to simultaneously achieving a BA and MA is media production, and is already on track for graduating with honors and academic recognition. Stay tuned. There’s more to come from this rising talent!

 

 

Porchae Bryant- Musical Theater, Combo & JazzFB_IMG_1438139731595

Porchae Bryant is an Exercise Science major with a minor in Business Administration at Georgia Gwinnett College.  She began dancing at the age of 5 in Austin, Tx at All That Cheer and at age 8 relocated to Georgia to perform with Atlanta Jayhawks for their jazz dance team, and won numerous awards in both divisions. She danced all 4 years of high school at Peachtree Ridge and was awarded with the Director, Choreographer, and Hip Hop awards, while also lettering in Hip Hop. She was a dance composition student her Junior and Senior year, won Homecoming Princess her freshman year, and cheered for 3 years receiving the Coaches and Lion Awards.  Ms. Porchae participated in the Miss Peachtree Ridge Pageant and was titled Miss Junior Most Spirited and Miss Senior Miss Congeniality. After graduation she has devoted her time to volunteering as a guest choreographer for Peachtree Ridge’s dance department and Grayson High School’s dance and theatre departments, as well as the dance fitness instructor for PRHS Cheer Lions. She now choreographs around the Gwinnett area, has choreographed work performed at Georgia State University, as well as performing at Walt Disney World.  She is branching out to Las Vegas and Houston as the Artistic Director of Youth Outdoor Unity helping students express themselves through the art of dance.

 

Nia Byrd- Tap 

 Keith Wilders- Hip Hop