Holley Johnson is the executive director and director of the pre-professional ballet division for the Holmes Center for the Arts. She has trained in many different dance schools including Dance Arts (Valdosta, Georgia), The Academy of Dance (Hampton, VA), The Ballett Schuller (Oldenburg, Germany), and more. Holley attended summer dance programs at Joffrey Ballet School (New York), North Carolina School of the Arts, The Rock School of the Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet West Conservatory, the Georgia Governor's Honors Program, and Ballet Magnificat. She continued her education by attending the University of Utah where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in Ballet and a performance emphasis. While there, she received full dance and academic scholarships including the Presidential Scholarship for the arts and was selected to be a member of the Utah Ballet and the Character Dance Ensemble. After college, she danced professionally with the Atlanta Ballet and the Lexington Ballet. She performed at such venues as the Royal Festival Hall in London, England, the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, the Olympic Centennial Park in Atlanta, and the Opera House in Lexington, KY. Holley has taught all levels of ballet for 20 years. She and her husband and three children live in Holmes County.
A local to Holmes County, Sophia Beachy began her dance training at the age of 11 at Holmes Center for the Arts under the instruction of Holley Johnson. She attended multiple summer intensive programs through the University of Utah and Ballet Magnificat! in Mississippi. In her senior year of high school, Sophia began dancing with a nonprofit ballet company, North Pointe Ballet, out of Cleveland, OH. With the mission, “to make classical ballet accessible to everyone in our community”, daily outreaches to local schools and nursing homes are part of what inspired Sophia to continue using the arts as an outlet of expression and learning. Returning to Holmes Center for the Arts as an instructor and working with such talented and lovely students has been an honor!
Shannon Olsen started dancing at age 11 with training in ballet, modern, jazz, hip-hop, tap, and cheer. She attended what is now known as the Pinellas County Center for the Arts in St. Petersburg, Florida. She co-founded Take A Bow dance studio in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Shannon has coached cheerleading and taught jazz, tap, hip-hop, creative movement, and dance fit. Shannon lives in Holmes County with her husband, Brad, and their four children. Shannon enjoys teaching at Holmes Center for the Arts.
Abi Besse began dancing at the age of four with Linda Adolphi and Paul Wilson at Cleveland City Dance. She has trained under Courtney Laves-Mearini, Mark Otloski, Andrea Blankstein-Otloski, and Shannon Sterne. Abi went on to graduate from the professional trainee program of Light of the World Ballet in Syracuse New York in 2012. Over the last six years, she has enjoyed teaching, choreographing, and performing. She has performed multiple soloist and supporting roles as a guest artist for Holmes Center for the Arts and City Ballet of Cleveland including Sleeping Beauty, Paquita and the annual Nutcracker Ballet. She loves working with students of all ages and levels and finds the greatest joy in watching them grow and achieve their goals.
Susie Chaney is the coach of the West Holmes High School Majorettes and twirl instructor for Holmes Center for the Arts. She has over 20 years of experience in teaching and coaching baton and is excited to offer youth more opportunities for learning, performing, and growing in the art of baton twirling. She is available for teaching private lessons as well as group lessons.
LoriMae has been the Project Administrator for the Holmes Center for the Arts new home since 2018. LoriMae holds a BA in Social Welfare and a BS in Meteorology. LoriMae has been involved in dance, theater and music her entire life starting with ballet and tap at the age of 3, sewing and designing costumes in high school, performing in theater in college and volunteering as a costumer, choreographer, dancer, or stage manager for Bright Life Players, WacPac, and the HCA since 2015. She also plays eight different instruments and once performed at the Ford Theater in Washington DC. She has been an event planner for many events including military balls, weddings, and fundraisers for most of her adult life. After moving to Ohio in 2012, she started ballroom dancing and competed in the Buckeye Open 2014 winning 1st place in all competed categories. LoriMae now oversees the new building and events at HCA.
Tumbling and Dance Instructor
A native of Millersburg and a 2012 graduate of West Holmes High school, Kori began her dance training at 2 years old at a local Millersburg studio for 10 years before moving to a studio in Canton. Kori started competing at age 7 and through dance competitions and convention classes, Kori had the opportunity to compete all over Ohio and various parts of the United States including Nashville, Las Vegas, and Orlando to name a few. Kori’s training and experience in the dance community inspired her to keep taking and teaching classes locally. In her free time, Kori enjoys spending time with friends and family.
Ema started dancing at the age of 12 years old and quickly fell in love. She realized early on she wanted to pursue it as a career! Ema has danced professionally with ING Dance Co and Dance Revolution. She is American Ballet Theater Certified from Pre- Primary through Level 3. She has had the pleasure of teaching Epicenter for the Arts, Lifestyle Christianity, and Grace Dance to name a few. Ema loves to see her students grow in freedom as they pursue excellence!
Megan Mellor is a tumbling instructor for HCA. When she isn't teaching, Megan is employed at Dr. Welsh & Assoicates as a dental assistant. Megan has lived in Holmes County her whole life and attended West Holmes School District. She began tumbling classes at the age of 2 and later moved on to cheerleading. She started cheering for Heather's studio and the West Holmes Youth program, moving up through the middle school program and eventually all four years of high school. It brings Megan great joy to share her love for tumbling with the students at HCA. She loves seeing their passion at such a young age.