Maria Ross Campsey, owner of Athletic Arts Center in Jasper, has over 20 years of experience in the dance and gymnastics industry. Maria performed and choreographed for three seasons with Alabama Repertory Dance Theater and Dance Alabama! She has received special recognition for her choreography, most recently at Panoply Arts Festival in Huntsville. She had the privilege of serving as Artistic Director and Choreographer for the 2011 production of Annie; 2012 production of The Music Man; 2013 production of High School Musical Jr; 2014 production of High School Musical 2 Jr; and 2016 production of Disney’s Cinderella Kid. This is Maria’s eighth season to direct The Nutcracker. As the former Director of Children’s Phys. Ed. & Gymnastics at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, Maria developed and managed programs for over 800 students. She trained both competitive and recreational dancers and gymnasts in Alabama and New York. She worked in the education and training department of the American Ballet Theater in New York. Maria earned a B.A. in dance from the University of Alabama and a yoga teaching certification from New York Yoga. She is a USA Gymnastics safety certified judge and is certified in Movement Education and Lesson Plan Development and Kinder Accreditation for Teachers. Maria also serves on the advisory board of the Walker County Arts Alliance.
Cindy Laing has been designing and building costumes for more than twenty-five years for venues including Olde Towne Productions in Washington D.C., Paramount Theme Parks and Cruise Line Entertainment and Central Piedmont Opera Theatre in Charlotte, N.C. A seasoned performer, Cindy worked as a recording artist and toured internationally as a variety singer for many years. Some of her favorite theatrical roles have been Annie in Annie Get Your Gun, Widow Corney in Oliver, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Truvy and M’Lynn in Steele Magnolias, and Marcelina in The Marriage of Figaro. She was the Artistic Director and Musical Director of the 2011 production of Annie; 2012 production of The Music Man; 2013 production of High School Musical Jr; 2014 production of High School Musical 2 Jr; 2016 production of Disney’s Cinderella Kids. Cindy teaches voice and musical theatre at Athletic Arts Center and also teaches for the Walker County Arts Alliance in-school music program.
Elizabeth Ross directs DANCEe, elizabethrossdancecompany, dance artists / dance educators. Her work has recently been presented at Baryshnikov International Arts Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, and the Virginia Samford Theatre. Both AROVA Contemporary Ballet and Florida A&M University commissioned her choreography in 2009. Elizabeth treasures Dan Wagoner as a mentor of her dancing and dance-making. Elizabeth has performed professionally for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Ugly Company. Performing in Prague, at the Dans Prix Italia, she was awarded as Outstanding Performer. She has performed repertory of Paul Taylor, Jawole Zollar, Gerri Houlihan, Monica Bill Barnes, Ronald K. Brown, Wallie Wolfgruber, and Alwin Nikolais. In 2010 at Danspace (NYC), she premiered the work, “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” a solo choreographed by Dan Wagoner. Loving to dance with others, she has been an instructor of dance at the Florida State University, Florida A&M University, School of the Arts and Sciences (Tallahassee), the 92nd Street Y (NYC), and Bevill State Community College Kid’s Kollege. Beyond teaching movement, Elizabeth was an instructor of World Dance History at the Florida State University. She has given lecture/demonstrations at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and Walker High School.
Amanda Henson has been with Athletic Arts LLC since 2012, teaching a variety of disciplines including tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, and tumbling. She loves challenging her students and encouraging their own creative sides. Mrs. Henson majored in dance at Florida State University where she studied under Lynda Davis, Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, Gerri Houlihan, and Dan Wagoner. While there she trained in several different techniques such as Graham, Cunningham, Limon, and African and studied kinesiology, dance history, stage design/production and pedagogy. Since 2010 she has been a company member of DANCEe, directed by Elizabeth Ross. With DANCEe, Amanda has been featured in Bmetro, Birmingham Magazine, and Weld. She has also performed at Birmingham Museum of Art's annual Art on the Rocks series for three years and performed in “Where the Wild Things Are”, (including a “sensory-friendly” version) a show presented at the Alys Stephens Center. Additionally, she has performed at DUMBO Dance Festival in Brooklyn, NY, Big Range Austin Dance Festival, and Jacksonville State Dance Festival. Amanda furthers her passion for teaching dance at an outreach program for the Woodlawn community at the YWCA in Birmingham. There, she constructs interactional games for classes which encourage students to problem solve with one another through movement and dance.
Sonya Webb has been a member of the staff at Athletic Arts Center for the past 5 years. At Samford University, she earned a degree in Accounting and also studied acting. Sonya has been involved in acting since the age of 8. Her list of credits includes Miss Hannigan in Annie, Ouiser in Steele Magnolias, Mother Superior in Nunsence, Nellie Forbush in South Pacific, Ado Annie in Oklahoma, and Nancy in Oliver. She has directed many productions which include Grease, London Suites, Rumors, and The Passion Play in Fort Payne, Alabama. Sonya has served as the President of the Walker Community Theatre for 2 years and was on the original board of The Arts Alliance of Walker County. She is Married to Scotty Webb and has two daughters, Meg and Annee Brewer, and one granddaughter, Lallie.