Tammy Evans is the owner and director of A Step of Class since 1993. She is a 1993 graduate of UNC Wilmington with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. In 1996 Tammy was certified to teach by Dance Masters of America and became a member of Chapter 15 Carolina Dance Masters, where she is still an active member. Tammy began her dance education at the age of 3 under the direction of Deborah Blanton and then continued her education through high school under the direction of Lynn Raley. She has furthered her education under many master teachers such as Savion Glover, Karen Hebert, Christopher Gatelli, Elie Lazar, and many more. She was in the television version of Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Tammy has also enjoyed working with Goldsboro’s children’s theater, Stage Struck, where she has choreographed the Premier Musical of “Cinderella” as well as worked with their “STARS” camp for 3 summers. She enjoys teaching Kinderdance, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, and Acro to her students in both the Beulaville and Goldsboro locations.
Niyah Lester has attended A Step Of Class Studio for the past 16 years, and has been a company member since she was 5. She is trained in Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Tap, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Acro. Niyah has received numerous overall awards as a solo dancer and as a group dancer in both Regional and National competition. She performed with Dance Troupe's Youth Dance Ambassador program in Savannah, GA. Niyah continues to take class with A Step of Class and attends workshops with Flow 40, Epic, CDM, and more throughout the year as a continuing education experience. She has trained with well known names such as Grant Chenok, Nick Drago, Rich Ashworth, Pat Brennan, Dorrell Martin, Brent Oplotnik, Tyler Muhlenkamp as well as many others. Niyah enjoys sharing her love of dance with kids of all ages. She attends Eastern Wayne High School and is a part of her school's Relay for Life club. She is passionate about keeping her campus clean and volunteering in plant activities in her Horticulture class. She also volunteers at her church’s nursery.
Ainsley Harrison danced at A Step of Class for 15 years and is so excited to be back to teach! She began dancing at the age of 3 under Ms. Tammy Evans and joined the company team when she was 5 years old. She is trained
in Ballet, Pointe, Lyrical, Jazz, and her favorite, Tap. During those years, her Group and Solo competition dances won several awards. She was also awarded Youth Dance Ambassador. Ainsley also trained under various guest
choreographer companies, including Flow 40, as well as attended various workshops. During high school she began assisting with dance classes and in her senior year taught several classes. After graduation she attended the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. Ainsley hopes to provide a safe and supporting space where your kids can have fun. She can’t wait to be there for them through their dance journey!
Kaitlyn is an instructor at the Goldsboro A Step of Class location. She is an instructor of kinderdance, ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics, and lyrical. She began dancing at the age of 2 under the instruction of Tammy Evans at A Step of Class, and was a member of the award winning A Step of Class Dance company starting at age 6. Kaitlyn continues her dance education through conventions, master classes, and seminars. In 2015 she became a member of Dance Masters of North Carolina and Dance Masters of America and received certification to teach ballet, tap, jazz, and acrobatics. She has choreographed many award winning company dances that have won prestigious honors like the Peggy Lee Choreography award and the Dance Machine entertainment award along with many other choreography awards. She choreographed Stagestruck's Summer theater program "Big Stars" in 2015. She hopes to share the same love of dance with her students that was shared with her!
Amanda’s love for dance began at a young age as a student at A Step of Class. She was trained and excelled in many styles including ballet, tap, jazz, tumbling, pointe, and clogging, just to name a few. Her love for dance turned into a passion for teaching. When she was 11 she became a teacher’s assistant and by the age of 16 she became an instructor. In 2019, Amanda became a certified dance instructor through CDM and DMA. While being a dance teacher she also became the mother of 3 beautiful children, modeled for Tara Grinna and other clothing companies, and acted in movies and T.V. shows. Amanda has expanded her dance background with other activities such as sports and horseback riding. Teaching and sharing her love for dance has been such a blessing to her life along with all the wonderful children that God has allowed her to teach.
Kenesha Simmons is a native of Wayne County. She graduated from Southern Wayne High School in 1996 and NC A&T SU in 2000. She is currently in her 18th year at Southern Wayne as a Science teacher and cheerleading coach. Mrs. Simmons has 28 years of cheerleading experience which includes middle school, high school, college, choreography, and coaching. She is also a 5 time Coach of the Year with the Eastern Carolina 3A Conference and currently serves as the lead cheer coach of Wayne County Public Schools. Mrs. Simmons resides in Goldsboro with her husband Corey and two children, daughter Kenedi and son Kamari.
Emily Kennedy was a student in dance for 15 years and danced as a company member for 11 years. She feels as though the A Step of Class is her second home. She has been trained and has excelled in many dance styles including kinder dance, ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, acrobatics, clogging, and hip-hop, as well as trying to broaden her horizons in getting experienced in improvisation. In Emily’s years as a student, she has won many awards in competitive group and solo routines. She was chosen as a Youth Dance Ambassador for Dance Troupe Inc. twice. She has performed in parades, recitals, competitions, skits, fairs, fund raisers, and church services. Emily’s expectations as a teacher are to help her students grow and improve their self-confidence, strength, flexibility, musicality, showing love to others, and working well as a team. Emily has dreamed of being a dance teacher since she was a child and feels extremely blessed to be able to share her love of dance with the children that God allows her to teach.
Victoria is an instructor of Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Lyrical, Acro, and Hip Hop at the Goldsboro location. She is a graduate of East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and Choreography. During her time at ECU, she was given many opportunities to train with guest artists from various parts of the US and even participated in a dance exchange with students in Nairobi, Kenya. Victoria grew up in A Step of class under the instruction of Tammy Evans. She hopes to instill the core values of dedication and persistence into her students' lives through dance.
Shakia Gainer Lee has been dancing for over 25 years. She graduated magna cum laude from Meredith College in 2007, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Dance with a concentration in Private Studio Teaching. Shakia is a member of Nu Delta Alpha, the national dance honor society. During her college career, she enjoyed choreographing and performing as a member of both Meredith Dance Theatre and Meredith Tap Ensemble. She performed at the 2007 American College Dance Festival, and she also toured with the North Carolina Dance Festival for the 2007-2008 season with Talani Torres. Shakia began dancing at the age of three, but she was nine years old when she found her home with Miss Tammy and A Step of Class. As her dedication to dance increased, she became a member of ASOC’s Company, where she competed for five years. Shakia started assisting in classes when she was thirteen and has been in love with teaching dance ever since. Teaching has given her the opportunity to work with dance studios across North Carolina and Florida. Shakia and her dancers have won numerous awards for overall placement, special recognition, and choreography at their competitions.
Shakia and her husband Robert live in Goldsboro with their two sons Joseph and Benjamin. When she is not dancing, Shakia enjoys homeschooling her children, singing with the praise team at Sheridan Forest Worship Center, and completing home renovation projects. Shakia is delighted to be sharing her love of dance with the students of A Step of Class once again.
Savannah Odom, Hannah Williams