Faculty

JANA CHRISTENSEN 

Director

Jana Christensen is currently the Artistic Director of Franklin School of Performing Arts, where she has been on faculty or a student for over twenty years. She first  began studying dance at Franklin School of Performing Arts in 1993  under the direction of Kaylee Cahoon. She was named the FSPA student of the year in 1998 and shortly thereafter joined the faculty. Jana credits her jazz and teaching style to the influences of her many teachers, Luigi (pioneer of jazz dance), Jeffery Bullock (former Hubbard Street dancer), and Geri Houlihan (former Lar Lubovitch dancer).

She has been a guest teacher for Nashville Ballet, Nashville School of the Arts, Metro Parks, and the City Performing Arts Academy in Visalia, CA. Jana has had students go on to nationally recognized college dance programs, as well as, students dancing on Broadway. Jana is also a certified Pilates instructor for SMARTCore Method. Her vast Pilates training has been through Core Dynamics Pilates in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Pilates Center of Boulder, Colorado, and Power Pilates of NYC. Jana's personal goal as a dance teacher is to instill correct alignment and body patterns in her students through the art of dance. Jana has her Associates degree in business from Columbia State Community College.

 

 

Megan Ciccoline White

 

Megan holds a Bachelor’s in Science in Psychology, Dance, and Nutrition. She is currently an Adjunct Professor of Dance for Columbia State Community College in Franklin TN.

The past twenty years Megan has been studying dance in Nashville, New York, and California. Sixteen of those years she has been teaching in the Middle Tennessee area where she has held title of Artistic Director of Tennessee Dance Arts Conservatory and of the Spring Hill Arts Center's School of Dance. In 2009, White founded Tennessee Dance Arts Conservatory to provide her local community with classical dance education. She developed a strong ballet and modern concentrated program that trained dancers to continue on at American Ballet Theatre, Joffery Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Next Generation Ballet, Scripps College, and Florida State University. 

As the Artistic Director, White presented over a dozen evening length works including The Nutcracker, La fille mal gardee, Carnival of Animals, and original productions. Megan’s contemporary choreography was noted and placed her student in the top 12 of the 2012 Youth American Grand Prix. In the summer of 2012 Megan co-taught a six week pilot program for Very Special Arts of Tennessee, teaching dance to children with down syndrome and autism. In the fall of 2012 she continued her work by creating a Special Needs dance program at Tennessee Dance Arts Conservatory.

Megan began studying modern dance technique, composition, and improviation as a child with former Nikolais and Louis company member, Kaylee Scott Cahoon. She trained under Cahoon at Franklin School of Performing Arts, in Franklin TN for twelve years, continuing on to teach modern, tap, and jazz at the school. During that time Megan had the amazing opportunities to take workshops and master classes from Donald McKayle, Luigi, Bill T. Jones, and Sean Curran, In 2001, Megan moved to Los Angeles to pursue school at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, concentrating on Costume Design. This experience helped aid Megan in her work as a dance costume designer. Megan left California to go on tour with multiple touring acts, including a two-year run with Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance. During this time she worked as a wardrobe mistress and taught pilates and contemporary dance on tour. Megan has continued her dance education by taking classes from Luigi and Brenda Bufalino, as well as, attending workshops at Giordano Jazz Dance, American Tap Dance Festival, NYC Dance Teacher Summit, and Tennessee Association of Dance. She has also taken courses in Laban Movement Analysis, Alexander Technique and Dance Movement Therapy.

 In 2018, Megan was awarded the Judith Woodruff, Professional Development Scholarship from the Tennessee Association of Dance, as well as, the Game On Grant from Aldi to implement a mindful movement program at McDowell Elementary in Columbia, TN. She is currently pursuing her K-12 Licensure in Dance from the National Dance Educator's Organization, and hopes to continue arts integration in the Maury County school system.

 

Thom Yzaguirre

BALLET Director, ABT® Certified Teacher

 

Mr. Thom does not currently teach at the Columbia School of Performing Arts, but is the overseeing Ballet Director of both the FSPA and CSPA ballet programs. 

Originally from Montana, Thom Yzaguirre began his formal dance training at Minnesota Dance Theatre and School. Thom trained in both ballet and modern dance, and worked his way up from student to Company 2 dancer.

Thom went on to receive scholarships with the Tidewater Ballet Academy, Milwaukee Ballet, Joffrey Ballet and the School of American Ballet. Among his many teachers were Bonnie Mathis, Gene K. Hammett, Susan Borree, Robert Joffrey, Michael Bjerknes, Stephen Jenkins and Elaine Thomas.

He has danced professionally with Duluth Ballet, Ballet Arizona, as a soloist with Louisville Ballet and as a principal with Nevada Dance Theatre and Nashville Ballet. He has worked with a variety of directors including Loyce Houlton, Vassili Sulich and Janek Schergen. He has also danced a wide range of choreography by a host of dance masters including Antony Tudor, George Balanchine, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Graham Lustig, Paul Vasterling and Choo San-Goh.

Mr. Yzaguirre has been a guest teacher for the Tidewater Ballet Academy, the Academy of Nevada Dance Theatre, the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts, Nashville Ballet, Tennessee Association of Dance and Ballet of Theatre Arts.

He currently lives in Nashville and is the director of the ballet program at Franklin School of Performing Arts. Thom also works with competitive figure skaters at A Game Skate Academy and teaches ballet for the Commercial Entertainment Department at Columbia State Community College.
Thom Yzaguirre is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 + Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

 

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Lori Brown

Children's Instructor

Coming Soon..