Mariah, Artistic Director
Mariah began her dance training, at two and one-half years of age in Atlanta. Growing up in Jacksonville, she trained at several Jacksonville area studios and was a member of a championship competition team. She performed several roles in area productions of major ballets, including Clara, in The Nutcracker, which was produced in cooperation with the City of Jacksonville and in Midsummer’s Night Dream with Charleston Ballet. She also studied theatre with Sally Deming and Ian Mairs and was one of the youngest members of Jacksonville Actors Theatre. Mariah attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts before pursuing a professional career in dance. While at D.A., she was a member of Dance Theatre and Tap Ensemble. Mariah moved from Jacksonville in the summer of 1990, being invited to train full time with Boston Ballet. She departed Boston Ballet in 1992 for the opportunity to be a soloist in Commonwealth Civic Ballet, a new company formed by a former principal ballerina with Boston Ballet.
During Mariah’s extensive dance training, she was fortunate to be able to study and perform with many renowned ballet companies including Charleston Ballet Theatre, New York City Ballet, and The Royal Ballet in London. She also enjoyed the privilege of taking classes with esteemed choreographers such as Martha Graham, David Storey, David Howard, Damian Woetzel, Darcy Kistler, Melinda Roy, Jacques D’Ambrois, Mia Michaels, Elaine Bauer, Frank Hachett and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Due to an injury, Mariah stopped performing professionally in 1994, and attended East Carolina University, receiving her B.S. with Honors in Communications. While in college, Mariah was a cheerleader and a member of the dance team; an officer in her sorority, Delta Zeta and president of Order of Omega, the National Greek Honor Society. When she competed for the title of Miss North Carolina, her lightning fast tap number was a showstopper, especially for those who thought of her only as a “ballerina”.
Mariah has taught ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, lyrical, musical theatre, and conditioning in studios in Florida and North Carolina. She is honored to be able provide a nurturing environment for dancers of all ages and abilities to be able to achieve their personal goals and aspirations in the performing arts.
Ashley has been dancing since she was a toddler and is still as passionate about dance today as she was when she first began to advance from a novice to a skilled technician. Ashley is trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical/Contemporary, and Hip Hop. Her natural talent was recognized at age 10 by the director of her dance studio’s performing and competition team. She joined the team, performing and competing for the next 8 years.
During her years on the performing and competition team, she attended annual dance conventions including Dance Revolution and performed in numerous local events and festivals. One of her most treasured memories is dancing in Times Square with her dance team for Project Dance. While in New York, Ashley took classes at Steps, Broadway Dance, and NYU. A few of the highlights of her performing and competing experience include winning the state title of Teen Talent in synchronized Hip Hop in 2009 going on to compete on the national level. In 2011, she was a member of a trio that won a National Talent competition in lyrical dance.
Ashley joined DanceWorks, a Ballet and Modern based performance company, in 2013 performing locally and regionally. Among other notables, she has taken classes from Princess Lockeroo, who rose to fame after appearing on So You Think You Can Dance, and incorporates what she learned into the Hip Hop techniques she teaches.
Ashley is also very active in Community Outreach programs sharing her love of dance with young people who may not otherwise have the opportunity to have any formal dance training. Ashley shares that she feels very blessed to have had so many wonderful opportunities in her training and to be able to share them with our students at aim.
Crista has been dancing since the age of three years and has over 35 years of experience as a performer, choreographer, and teacher. Crista’s training and experience includes jazz, tap, ballet, acro/tumbling, musical theater, musical theater dance and Dunham (African). She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance with a concentration in Jazz from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and has committed her life to studying, teaching and choreographing dance and musical theater. She has been an Equity actress for 18 years and performed numerous roles including Lucy Harris in “Jekyll & Hyde”, Adelaide in “Guys and Dolls”, Electra in “Gypsy”, Lily St. Regis in “Annie” and Fastrada in “Pippin”.
She owned a dance studio in Pennsylvania for 8 years and taught all levels of tap, jazz and musical theater dance for Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Maryland for another 8 years. While teaching at Frostburg, she also choreographed over 25 musicals, such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, “Sound of Music”, “Annie”, “Anything Goes”, “Crazy for You”, “ A Chorus Line”, and “Damn Yankees” for the University theatre department and for Cumberland Theater.
Some of Crista’s favorite memories are of living and performing in Nice, France!
Crista and her husband have made the St. John’s /Jacksonville area their home, moving about 6 years ago for his work and continue to discover why they enjoy living here so much. She had been researching dance injuries and dancers and performers overall health and saw a need for improving dancers’ and performers’ health and well being through massage therapy so she completed her training and certification and established a practice focused on dancers, performers, and athletes.
Crista is extremely excited and feels blessed to join the artists in motion family. She will be teaching tap and jazz and also providing in-house massage therapy to interested dancers and their families.
Laryn began dancing at a young age at Dance Plus in St. Louis. After her first year of training, her talents and gift for dance were recognized with an invitation to join their competitive dance team. While on the competition team, she trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and ethnic styles, as well as helping her team achieve numerous 1st place awards, scholarships and national championships for their large and small groups, duos, and her solos. She was honored to be invited to attend the Peter Sklar Beginnings Workshop with dedicated training for aspiring stage performers.
Her skills and talent led to her being invited to join her studio’s Elite performing and competition team. She was also asked to be an assistant teacher due to her natural leadership abilities and she credits her early mentor, Jamell Jacobs, the owner of Dance Plus, with providing her with guidance as well as dance training that has helped her reach many of her goals.
Laryn was a cheerleader in high school and was elected Team Captain her senior year. After high school, she attended West Point Preparatory School where she continued cheering and began studying sports management. She was accepted to New York University to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management. While attending NYU, she continued cheering and dancing.
She gained valuable experience in teamwork and performing participating in the National Cheerleading Association Collegiate Competitions. Laryn has decided to complete her degree in Sports Management at University of North Florida so she can live with and assist her grandmother.
Laryn is very excited to join the artists in motion family and to continue to share her passion for dance and performing. She will be teaching Hip Hop, Jazz, Cheer Dance / Poms and working with the Competition and Performing Team.
Lyndsie has been training, dancing and performing for as long as she can remember! From taking Ballet / Tap combo classes to professional Hip Hop training, Lyndsie has extensive training in all forms of dance. She also has extensive gymnastics and tumbling and cheer training. She performed as a member of her high school and college cheer teams and after moving to Florida, as a member of the University of South Florida dance team.
Lyndsie has taught dance / drill camps for the United Spirit Association as well as 6 years of studio teaching cheer, jazz, tumbling for dancers, and hip hop. She is always enthusiastic and naturally motivates her students to work to their full potential and master new techniques and reach new levels of self-confidence.
Lyndsie is the mother of three active sons; their family has recently relocated to St. John’s County with her husband’s, John, career. They are excited to be in Florida and close to family again after living the past few years in San Juan. She is active with her church and has been a leader of several organizations working with children and young women.
Lyndsie quickly wins the admiration of her students and we are excited to have her join the artists in motion family.