Blake Lett, Owner
Blake Lett is the owner of Rhythmics Performing Arts, Inc. Blake has been involved in music, drama and dance for most of her life. She studied voice at Converse College, in Spartanburg, SC. Prior to opening Rhythmics, Blake taught for Miss LIbby's School of Dance in Sumter, SC. She has also been on faculty at Gilbert Studio of Dance Arts, Columbia Conservatory of Dance and The Southern Strutt. Blake teaches dance, piano and voice lessons. Blake has a wonderful husband, Jerry, 3 kids, Stormy, Anna & Nate, and 2 dogs, Sammy & Jem. When she isn't at the studio, she is on the lake!
Amy Holliday, After School Program Director
Mrs. Amy has been working with children for 20+ years. Mrs. Amy heads up our after school program, drives the bus, and takes care of the building maintenance. Mrs. Amy is married to Kenny, and she has 3 daughters, Amanda, Meredith, & Katherine. Mrs. Amy is also the proud grandmother to Willow and Emerson!
Lindsey Fallaw, Dance Instructor
Kellie Guinn, Dance & Baton Instructor
Originally from California, Mrs. Kellie Guinn, formerly Kellie Trouten, began her twirling career at the age of 5, after spending numerous evenings watching her mother teach baton twirling. Following in her mother's footsteps, she became a certified NBTA judge in 2009 and has coached since she was 15 years old. Kellie was a feature twirler at the University of South Carolina from 2005-2009. During her time as a competitive twirler she received many state, regional and national titles. Some of these awards include:
- Jr. Miss Majorette of America
- Sr. Grand National Strutting Champion
- Jr. World Open Twirling Champion
- World Strutting Silver Medalist
- World Rhythmic Twirl Silver Medalist
- California State Twirling and Strutting Champion
- Miss Majorette of California
- All-West Regional Twirling and Strutting Champion
- All-West Miss Majorette
Deana Hage, Dance Instructor
Mrs. Deana began dancing at a young age for with Dee Crump School of Dance in Chapin, SC, and continued her dance education with Wilson School of Dance in Newberry, SC, where she was on their competition dance team. At the College of Charleston, Deana continued pursuing her passion with the College of Charleston Dance Team. She has since choreographed for schools, musicals, and dance studios, including Marion High School. In addition to her fabulous work here at Rhythmics, Mrs. Deana also works for 2 of our state senators at the State House. Mrs. Deana lives in Lexington, SC with her husband, Otto, and their 3 children, Madeline, Preston and Lukas.
Madeline Hage, Choreographer
Madeline has been passionate about dance for most of her life. She comes from a family of dancers and artists, and is following in the teaching footsteps of her mom, Deana Hage. Madeline is a natural born talent, and has won numerous awards for her solos, including the highest scoring number of the day at Boogie Fever Dance convention in 2015. She has been seen on stage in CMFA's The Nutcracker, and has held many lead roles with Rhythmics, including The White Rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland". Madeline has a gift for choreography, and is thrilled to use her talents for teaching and choreography with the Rhythmics family. Madeline is a student at the College of Charleston, where she is a member of the Cougarettes, the CofC dance team.
Aliye Hancock, Company Director, Instructor
Aliye has been dancing since the age of 13. She may have gotten a late start, but that didn't stop her from progressing quickly, through hard work and dedication. She trained under Kim Langley at South Carolina Performing Arts Center in Columbia, SC. As a competitive dancer, Aliye won many scholarships, titles and top awards. One of her proudest moments was being selected 1 of 10 dancers out of hundreds to audition for Clear Talent Group Agency in Los Angeles, CA, because they saw the "it" factor in her.
During her time at SCPAC, she began teaching and choreographing, and she never stopped! She has received numerous choreography awards, including, "Most Entertaining" and "Crowd Pleaser". She graduated from Winthrop University where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BA in Dance Performance. During her career, she has danced throughout the United States with esteemed choreographers such as Mia Michaels, Desmond Richardson and Debbie Allen. Prior to finding her dance home at Rhythmics, she directed the ETC dance company. She loves to share her passion for dance, and to watch students grow and excel in their art. The RPA students, parents and staff make her teaching experience a joy, and worth every minute.
Stormy Lett, Dance Instructor
Dance has been front and center in Stormy's life since the age of 2. She has moved from dancer to assistant to instructor in the intervening years, always bringing her special brand of spunk and passion to her art. She has studied her art for 15+ years, and is constantly looking to improve and grow. In the past, she has been recognized for her leadership with the Lexington High School Wildcat Dance team, as well as with the Senior Company at Rhythmics Performing Arts. She has held numerous lead and solo roles, including Alice in "Alice in Wonderland". In addition, she has danced in the Columbia City Ballet and the CMFA productions of The Nutcracker. Stormy is currently completing her licensing in cosmetology at Kenneth Schuler! Most recently, Stormy earned her acrobatics teaching certification from Acrobatic Arts, certifying her to teach acrobatics internationally.
Jennifer Risola, Dance Instructor
Jennifer Laura Risola has been teaching dance to students for over twenty years. She recently relocated to the area from CT after running and directing Norwalk Dance Academy for ten years where she taught ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop, acro, acting and creative movement. She started dancing in 1976 in New York and began student teaching under Rockette Cheryl Anderson at the young age of seventeen. In her sophomore year at Fairfield University, she founded the FU Dance Team and performed and choreographed for the FU Dance Ensemble. In 1995 she was awarded the Fairfield University Student Services Achievement Award for the foundation of the Fairfield University Dance Team. Recently, she has earned two choreography awards for her work (2014 Tap and 2007 Lyrical). Jennifer has been a student of Viola Farber and has taken classes with Mia Michaels, Frank Hatchett, Finish Jhung, Brenda Bufalino, and Tony Waag. She is certified by the Little Peoples Creative Workshop to teach creative movement in her children’s program. She has taught and choreographed locally at Dance Expressions (Lexington), Danceworld (Irmo), and for the Columbia City Jazz Dance Company (Columbia) at Fort Jackson. She graduated from Fairfield University with a double major in Communications and English and she has her Master of Fine Arts from Sarah Lawrence College. During the day, she is an 8th Grade ELA teacher. She has been with Rhythmics Performing Arts since 2012 and believes that teaching children to dance is teaching them more than just steps, but also discipline, respect, working with others and how to develop a passion.
Valerie Shumpert, Afterschool Counselor
Mrs. Valerie has been with Rhythmics since 2016, she has been a bus driver and bus driver trainer for 11 years. Mrs. Valerie is well known to our students as our reigning queen of crafting! We love the creativity and passion that she brings to our after school program! She has 5 children, Paige, Abbi, Paislee, Phoebe, and Preston. She loves spending time with her family at the beach. She loves to cheer on the Clemson Tigers in her down time! Mrs. Valerie has a special place in her heart for children! She loves helping them learn and grow!
Meghan Smith, Guest Instructor
Meghan Smith began dancing at age 5, when she began taking a tap and jazz combination class from Mrs. Blake. Meghan quickly decided that one class wasn't enough, and added ballet to her schedule, beginning her love affair with ballet. Meghan, a former member of our Rhythm Company, is beloved by her former students and teammates alike. Meghan has performed on stage at Disney, along with many other national venues. She was crowned Miss Power of Dance in 2014, celebrating her community service and dance talent, and also won a scholarship from Dance Machine Productions for her stunning performance of her contemporary solo, "Hot Gates", in 2016. Meghan has played the role of the Duchess, and one of Alice's sisters in "Alice in Wonderland", as well as Coraline's Father in the Rhythmics performance of "Coraline". Meghan is a student at College of Charleston, where she is a proud member of the Cougarettes dance team. When Meghan isn't dancing or teaching, you can find her hiking,shopping, and attending as many concerts as she can!
Molly Smith, Front Desk Assistant/Instructor
Molly Smith has been dancing since the age of 3, when she began taking tap and ballet with Mrs. Blake. Molly is well known at RPA by staff and students alike as a student whose first love is dance. Molly now studies ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical and pointe. In addition to winning many awards at nationally recognized competitions, Molly is also an intern with Fierce National Dance Competition. Molly was accepted to the Rockette Experience Intensive in summer of 2017. In addition to dance, Molly loves playing the piano and playing the cello with the White Knoll High School orchestra. Molly currently studies cosmetology at the Lexington Technology Center.
Angela Willis, After School Counselor
Mrs. Angela's heart for children is obvious in the time and care that she puts into her students here at Rhythmics! Angela has been working with children for over 12 years, as a preschool teacher, 4K teacher and long term substitute teacher. In addition to her experience in the classroom, she has also held a position on the board for Lexington County First Steps. Mrs. Angela's energy, organization and creativity are what our students love the most about her. When she isn't at Rhythmics, you can find Mrs. Angela at the baseball field, supporting her sons, Matt & Dawson, hanging out with her son, Noah, shuttling her daughter, Amelia Joy, to and from dance classes and performances, or hanging out with her husband.
Bob Wysner, Karate Program Director
Bob has been teaching karate for 30 years. He earned his B.A. in Physical Education at the University of South Carolina in 1985. Mr. Bob worked for the Physical Education dept at USC from 1986-1996, teaching weight training and karate. He earned his M.Ed. in PE in 1997. He earned his black belt in 1996 from Mike Genova. He has worked for Genova Karate since 1982 and is still affiliated with Genova Karate. Bob also trained with karate legend Bill “Superfoot” Wallace for many years. Along with participating in over 30 karate tournaments in the 1980’s, Bob has trained in amateur boxing. He trained from 1980 - 1982 at the Maxy Greg Youth Center in Columbia. In 1997 Bob started training in boxing again with former heavyweight #1 contender Gerry Cooney in New York. He has continued his training and friendship with Gerry for the last 21 years. Bob has been married to Debbie Signorelli Wysner for 23 years. Mr. Bob lives in Lexington and has four very active Australian Shepherds.