dedication. passion. excellence.
Stephie Clement began dancing with Floyd Ward at the age of 3. She started competing at age 7, and continued to be a part of the Tap, Rhythm Tap, Jazz, Clogging, and Hip Hop Ensembles on the elite teams through her senior year of high school. Stephie received countless awards throughout her competition career, including a specialty judges award for rhythm, as well as being recognized several times as a Youth Dance Ambassador for Dance Troupe, Inc. Stephie began choreographing solos and duets for herself and others at the age of 16, and has remained on staff with us as a part time choreographer and substitute teacher ever since. Stephie graduated from James Madison University in December of 2013 where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a minor in Religious Studies. She also took ballet, modern, and West African dance during her time at JMU. Stephie came on staff with Floyd Ward School of Dance full time in the spring of 2014. Stephie took over the Hip Hop competitive team and has grown the department from one team to one or more teams at each age level. She loves dance, but loves her students more, and enjoys watching them learn and grown in dance and beyond.
Cannady Dent began her journey at Floyd Ward School of Dance at three years of age under the instruction of her mother, Jill Graybill. The youngest of four children, Cannady was jokingly raised in the studio. Born in Botetourt County, Mrs. Dent has been in the area her entire life, graduating from Lord Botetourt High School and Roanoke College. Cannady was a part of Preteen Ballet, Tap, and Jazz Ensembles and Junior and Senior Tap and Jazz Ensembles. Additionally, she also served on the Precision Clogging Team and Senior Clogging Ensemble. She was twice selected as Dance Troupe Incorporated’s Youth Dance Ambassador and earned the cheerleading honors: ECA All-Star Cheerleader and UCA All-American Cheerleader for her efforts in competitive cheer. Following high school graduation and while a full-time student at Roanoke College, Cannady became a staff member at Floyd Ward. Over the years, she has coached numerous teams in a variety of genres. She is so excited to be back on the dance floor, watching the children grow and develop their love of dance.
DeLisa FiGart began dancing at the age of three. She joined the Floyd Ward family when she was ten years old and was a member of the Floyd Ward Ensembles. DeLisa has always had a love for dance and children, and after graduating high school, began teaching at Floyd Ward. Throughout her years of teaching, she was blessed to lead several teams to national titles and to teach current staff members, Cannady, Stephie, and Chelsea. DeLisa took a break from teaching while raising her children, but has always stayed very involved at the studio, working in the studio office, cheering on her own daughter and other Floyd Ward Students, and helping to clean and perfect routines. She has loved Floyd Ward her whole life and is so grateful for every opportunity and relationship it has given her. She is excited to be teaching clogging this year, and looking forward to watching each one of her students grow not only as a dancer, but as a person as well.
Tara Gallimore is a graduate of Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Dance Education. She has studied ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, liturgical, modern, musical theatre, pointe, and hip hop. During her time at FWSOD, Tara was a part of the Jazz and Ballet Ensembles under the instruction of Jill Graybill and Amy Rapp among others. During her time at Floyd Ward, Mrs. Gallimore earned scholarship awards for both ballet and jazz from Floyd Ward School of Dance as well as a continuing education scholarship from Footnotes Dance club. She was also recommended and earned a position as a summer resident to Virginia’s Governor School of the Arts in 2001 where she was able to continue her studies with many world renown teachers and choreographers. She attended Birmingham-Southern College with a dance department scholarship under the direction of Mira Popovich, Ruth Henry, Edith Monroe, and Terri Weksler. Tara completed her student teaching at the Alabama School of Fine Arts.
Mrs. Gallimore has a passion for inspiring students to do their best and reach for their personal goals. She has choreographed many winning numbers for the Floyd Ward Ensembles including judges' choice and choreography awards and has also been given the honor of choreographing a routine for our dancers to perform in Martina McBride's Winter Concert in Roanoke as well as Showtimer's theatre locally. She currently serves as Floyd Ward’s chapter sponsor of the National Honor Society for Dance Arts as well as co-coordinator for the Angels from Heaven Program for special needs students.
Jill Graybill, Artistic Director, has been teaching on the faculty at Floyd Ward since 1976. Mrs. Graybill teaches ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and clogging. She is currently co-instructor for Preteen Tap, Preteen Jazz/Lyrical, and Tween Jazz/Lyrical Ensembles. Jill holds a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from Westhampton College/ University of Richmond. She trained under Floyd Ward, Frances Wessels, Mildred Harper, and Luis Felicia. Jill has been dancing since the age of four and continued her dance training through college, performing and choreographing for the University of Richmond’s Senior Orchesis. Mrs. Graybill was honored with the Presidential Citation from the Governor’s School of Virginia, recognizing her as one of Virginia’s outstanding educators of 1995. She has choreographed numerous winning routines for Dance Troupe Inc., Dance Makers Inc., Star Talent Productions, Celebration Talent, Boogie Fever, JUMP, WCTE, Ultimate Starz, and Showstopper regional and national competitions.. In 2018, “Ms Jill” was honored to be recognized for her 40 years of service working with dedicated owners, professional teaching staff, and the many talented students of Floyd Ward School of Dance.
Kirsten Schultz is a graduate from Radford University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a minor in Vocal Performance. Kirsten began studying dance at an early age. During her time at Floyd Ward, she was a part of the Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Pointe, and Tap Ensembles. During this time, she received a scholarship award in modern dance from Floyd Ward and was recognized as a Youth Dance Ambassador for Dance Troupe Inc.
While receiving her degree from Radford University, Kirsten studied under the direction of Margaret Devaney, Danah Bella, and Deborah
McLaughlin among others. Kirsten’s studies focused on choreography and backstage management. During her time in college, she began teaching at Floyd Ward. Since graduating, Kirsten has begun teaching numerous recreational and competitive classes. She has choreographed many winning routines, some earning the title of Judge’s Choice and Best Choreography.
In her spare time, Kirsten enjoys volunteering as a choreographer for local community theaters and she continues to perform in various
musical theater productions as well as in the Roanoke Symphony Chorus. Kirsten enjoys sharing her love of the arts with all her students!
Alaina Miller has studied dance for 14 years and graduated in 2021 from Floyd Ward’s elite ensemble. She has studied a variety of dance genres including: contemporary, jazz, lyrical, ballet, pointe, modern, tap, and hip hop. As a dance student, Alaina also attended Radford University’s International Summer Intensive program for 3 years. During her time as a competition dancer, Alaina received numerous awards including: Overall Highest Scoring Solo at Turn It Up, Southeast Showdown, and Celebration Talent; All Star Dancer at Showstopper; Technique Award at World Class Talent Experience and Turn It Up; and Dancer of the Year Finalist with Celebration Talent. She also received numerous scholarships: Floyd Ward Modern Dance Scholarship, Break the Floor Productions Nationals Scholarship, 24Seven Non-Stop Dancer Scholarship, and dance scholarship to AMDA College of Performing Arts in NY. Along with receiving numerous awards, she performed in the opening act at Showstopper Nationals, attended master classes at the Dance Awards, and plans to assist the master teachers at the Turn It Up Convention fall 2021. Today, Alaina attends Virginia Western Community College studying visual design and culinary arts. She continues to dance with Mental Health in Motion which aims at providing mental health education, advocacy, and awareness for hospitals, universities, support groups, awareness day events, schools, and arts showcases. Since 2015, Alaina has been a substitute teacher and a student teacher at Floyd Ward. She is a creative choreographer, has an eye for detail, and gives instruction in a way children can understand and apply. At Floyd Ward, she enjoys using her talents to teach, edit music, choreograph dances, and give private lessons.
Chelsea Roark is a graduate of Hollins University with a major in Clinical Psychology and a minor in Dance. While attending Hollins, she studied dance abroad in Berlin and Dresden, Germany. She was a part of Hollins dance programs including Fall and Spring Dance Works, ACDA, and traveled with groups to Brooklyn, NY and Chapel Hill, NC for further study and master classes.
Chelsea's love for dance started at the age of 5 as she began all genres including tap, ballet, contemporary, jazz, jazz funk, ballroom, pointe, liturgical, lyrical, modern, clogging and hip hop. While in grade school, she competed on all competitive teams with Floyd Ward School of Dance. She participated in competitive and sideline cheer as well. During college, she began studying with Roanoke Ballet Theatre to further her education and experience. Chelsea has been an instructor with Floyd Ward School of Dance since 2005 teaching competitive and recreational dance. She continues to teach and enjoys watching her students grow, learn and compete.
Chelsea has choreographed routines for dancers performing with Martina McBride, the Virginia Gentlemen's singing group, and local pageants. She also had the pleasure of choreographing for and dancing on stage with “Weird Al Yankovic” in his Mandatory World Tour. In 2020 Chelsea began judging competition dance on the East Coast.
Morgan Short took her first dance class at the age of 4 at the M&S Studio in Fredericksburg, Virginia. She joined the Floyd Ward family when she was 11 years old and started competing on the Jazz, Lyrical, Tap, and Clogging Ensemble Teams the following year. Morgan thrived as a competitive dancer, earning copious awards and the title of National Champion. Morgan was then accepted to the Arnold R. Burton Center for the Performing Arts, as well as the Kevin Jones Performing Arts Studio, where she fell in love with musical theatre as she trained as a dancer, vocalist, and actor. During this time, she was selected as dance captain by her teachers and peers and had choreography featured in numerous performances. Morgan obtained an Associate's Degree from Virginia Western Community College while working with the William Byrd Cheer program as an Assistant Coach at the middle school and a consulting choreographer for the WBHS Competition Team. She went on to major in Dance Education at Radford University, where she studied Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Ballet, Choreography and Improvisation.
Morgan was asked to write an essay when she was in ninth grade, starting where she'd like to end up in her performance career. Her answer was "teaching at my home studio, Floyd Ward School of Dance." She's really happy to be home.
Jenni Vaughn started her dancing journey with Floyd Ward in the mid 1980's with Jill Graybill and then went on to explore other disciplines such as baton & cheerleading. While cheering and working towards her degree in Business Administration at Roanoke College, she trained and became a Ballroom Dance Instructor. Upon graduating, she moved to Naples, FL where she continued to perform and compete both professionally and with her students in the Pro-Am division. She has trained under many leading coaches in the Ballroom world including Julia Gorchakova Powers and Diana McDonald. After returning to Virginia and staying home with her 3 beautiful children, Jenni is happy to be back and to be part of the fusion of our dance worlds.
Our Office Staff Members
Cassy Childress Vinton Secretary Tuesday and Thursday Evening
DeLisa FiGart Office Manager Monday-Friday Morning
McKinley FiGart Vinton Secretary Friday Evening and Saturday Morning
Amy Foster Botetourt Secretary Monday-Thursday Evenings
Tara Gallimore Office Manager Monday-Friday Morning
Jenni Vaughn Vinton Secretary Monday and Wednesday Evenings
Amber White Botetourt Secretary Friday Evening