Susan Crawford, owner & artistic director of the Academy of the Arts, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Spelman College. She started ballet, tap, and jazz at the age of three and became a principal dancer for the Albany Ballet Theater. Susan was a member of Tennessee State University, Morehouse College, and Spelman College dance and cheerleading squads.
She also performed in the Opening & Closing Ceremonies during the 1996 Olympic Games. Susan, the former Ms. Black International 1999-2000 and Ms. Black Georgia International 1998-1999 has performed all over the world during her reign.
Susan is a certified etiquette instructor. She instructs children, teens, and adults social, business, and dining etiquette. She also teaches Business Etiquette to top corporations. She was a ballroom dancer for Tyler Perry’s, Diary of Black Woman and the choreographer for the CW’s new sitcom, Vampire Diaries.
Jasmine received her formal dance training from the Dance Theatre of Harlem, and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. She has danced professionally with the Dance Theatre of Harlem DTB Ensemble, Ballethnic Dance Company in Atlanta, Dance Canvas, and The Atlanta Dance Connection. She has had the opportunity to perform internationally and work with many outstanding choreographers, such as Nathan Trice, Dwana Smallwood, Scott Rink, Debbie Allen, and Hinton Battle among many others. Ms. Roberts is a certified American Ballet Theatre Teacher. She has worked with Elliot Feld’s Ballet Tech, Alvin Ailey Arts & Education, and Atlanta Dance Canvas as a teacher and choreographer, as well as various dance studios in the south-east region.
Vanessa began her training at Pinnell Dance Centre in Gahanna, Ohio for ten years. She later attended and graduated with a BA degree from The University of Akron majoring in dance. At the University of Akron, Vanessa trained techniques such as Ballet, Graham modern technique, Jazz, Tap, Choreography, Dance History, and Music. In 2002, she decided to chase her dreams and move to Atlanta. She also performs “Bringin Tap Back” around the Atlanta metro area for television shows, community festivals with live bands. She currently teaches Tap Master Classes for Stepp Stewart’s Dance Convention, judges for his dance competition Dynamite, and assists with The Chocolettes. She strives to do even more throughout the community with her talent and make other children’s dreams come true in dance.
Brittiney is a North Carolina native. She has a degree in broadcast journalism from East Carolina University. Wall has been dancing for 17 years. She competed in dance competitions throughout middle school and high school where she won numerous awards and scholarships. Wall joined the ECU Dance Team in college; competed and choreographed a national ranking routine for them. After college, Brittiney became an Atlanta Falcons Cheerleader. She cheered for four seasons, was a captain and was selected to represent the Falcons in the 2014 Pro Bowl in Honolulu, Hawaii. She has choreographed for the Atlanta Falcons Cheerleaders, The University of Georgia Dance Dawgs, The Georgia Tech Goldrush dancers, and The Georgia State D.
Zakiya Davidson is a veteran in the dance community, having over 20 years of experience in the art of dance. Ms. Davidson has studied and performed Ballet, Modern, Lyrical, Jazz, Tap, African, and Pointe. She was accepted into the wildly popular Dekalb School of the Arts and has refined her craft with notable instructors such as Waverly Lucas and Nena Gilreath at Ballethnic Dance Company and Roscoe Sales at The Atlanta Ballet. Zakiya has had the opportunity to travel and perform as a pre-professional with Ballethnic Dance Company, perform with Ryan Kilgore, and open for R & B singer Bobby Brown. Zakiya believes that the lessons learned in dance extend far beyond the edges of the dance floor and takes pride in watching the children under her direction excel both inside and outside the dance studio.