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I started taking ballet at Pensacola School of Ballet as a three-year-old. As the years went by, my love of dance grew and I added tap, jazz, and modern dance classes to my schedule. I also served as a senior company member, principal dancer, and rehearsal assistant for Emerald Coast Ballet. As a teenager, I helped with classes for the younger students and discovered that I love to teach! I began to teach classes on my own while attending University of West Florida where I earned a bachelor’s degree in business management. Now, I’m able to combine my degree and love of dance so that another generation can experience the joy of dance.
I began teaching dance in the Pensacola area in 1977, operating my own dance studio during the 1980s. Throughout this time I attended numerous workshops/classes to improve my tap skills and the knowledge of dance. Joyfully joining the family of Pensacola School of Ballet in 1988, I specialize in the teaching and choreography for tap dance and use the Al Gilbert graded tap technique in all of my classes. My mother, Vivion Jennings, founder of the Pensacola Dancing Grannies instilled in me the love and passion for tap that I enjoy to this day, and I happily share this joy with each and every one of my students.
Pensacola School of Ballet has always been my home, having started dancing with them at the age of 3. Since 2002 I have been teaching ballet and jazz for Pensacola School of Ballet in different age levels. I danced for 10 years with Emerald Coast Ballet and enjoyed the status of Principal Dancer for four years. Additionally, during my high school years, I was involved in the Pensacola Teen Board where my dance training enabled me to assist with choreography for their annual Back-to-School fashion shows. My employment as an elementary school teacher gives me the inherent qualities of being able to lovingly discipline a class of ‘little ones’ while instilling in them a love of dance. I am looking forward to continuing my future with Pensacola School of Ballet.
Kym Atwood began her dance career under the direction of Bernadette Clements with the Ft. Walton Beach Ballet, now known as the Northwest Florida Ballet. Kym graduated from Pensacola Junior College with an A.A. degree in dance before transferring to the University of Florida. At UF, she performed with the Florida Players, the UF Dance Company, and the university’s professional dance company, New Moves, directed by Dr. Rusti Brandman. Since her return to the Pensacola community in 1983 Kym has taught for the Northwest Florida Ballet Summer Dance workshop as well as for Bernadette Clements; in addition, she has taught dance and health classes at both Pensacola Jr. College and the University of West Florida. Moreover, Kym ran the dance program for the City of Pensacola Parks and Recreation Department form 1987 until 2008 where she directed the Gull Point Performing Dancers. In 1993 she was awarded the Elvie DeMarko Dance Achievement Award for Excellence in Dance Education. Kym is currently a doctoral student and teaches dance and fitness classes at UWF.
Having started elementary dance education in my native town of Scunthorpe, England I quickly realized that this was my lifetime love and passion. Receiving a degree and teaching certificate from the famed Royal Academy of Dancing in London, I moved on to a professional career traveling with a ballet company throughout Europe, South America and the Middle East. Settling in Pensacola led me to the further realization that dance and teaching was what I had to do and over the past thirty years I have followed that dream. I hope to continue to inspire children with a love for dance; self-discipline to get it right; poise to carry themselves with self-confidence through their very challenging lives and a happiness that this performing art will bring them…beyond compare!
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