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Instructor Bios

Ballet Master Jewel Ellis

Jewel Ellis


Jewel Ellis began her dance career at the age of 3 with Lilburn School of Ballet. Today, Jewel is nationally known as the “FlowerinaTM” or ballerina flower-girl. She is also CEO of Jewel Ballerina LLC, an event entertainment company that specializes in classical ballet performances for luxury weddings and events. Jewel has acquired over 37+ million views on TikTok alone for showcasing her talent across the country. She has been recognized by Good Morning America, NBC LX, FOX 5, ABC, and many more for her unique spin on a timeless tradition. Jewel strives to continue exposing the art of classical ballet to the masses and educating the next generation of ballet dancers at Dynamite Dance Factory.

Instructor Stephanie Simpkins

Stephanie Simpkins


Stephanie Simpkins has over 25 years of dance training and 14 years of teaching experience. Stephanie started her dance training at age 5, at the Venettes Cultural Workshop, under the direction of Vanessa Baird in Long Island, NY. In 2004 Stephanie and her family moved from Long Island, NY to the small town of Cartersville, Georgia. Shortly after moving, Stephanie found Spirit of Dance Company. As a young adult Stephanie trained under various instructors including the Director Tanecia Weems and instructor Dee Baskerville. In 2006 Stephanie was hired as an assistant teacher working with the mini group. She quickly found success in her ability to create fun classrooms and teach little ones discipline and technique at a young age. Throughout her first few years of teaching, she established a student following and has since continued to train a few of her first mini-students all the way to high school graduation. Between the age of 18 and 25 Stephanie expanded her dance training to other studios within the Atlanta Area. Throughout her adult years she primarily trained at Gotta Dance Atlanta under the direction of Cici Kelley. At Gotta Dance Atlanta, Stephanie trained with a wide number of other instructors such as Allyne Gartrell, Peter Poulos, and Daryl Foster. Through the years Stephanie worked on the Gotta Dance Atlanta team as a work-study intern perfecting her craft in Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, and Lyrical. Stephanie eventually became a staff member at Gotta Dance Atlanta teaching pre-teen Jazz.  In 2014 Stephanie ventured into the world of competition dance. Stephanie continued teaching with a specialized focus in her all-time favorite genre, Jazz. Stephanie has found an amazing love for watching a young dancer become confident, build self-esteem, blossom, and grow within dance. Stephanie believes her dancers have no limits. Stephanie looks forward to continuing being a Coach for the "Brown Girl Twirl" and "SPARKS" Performance Groups. She also teaches Monday recreational classes.

Instructor Dominique Leonard

Dominique Leonard


Dominique Leonard found her passion for dance at the age of 2. She continued her dance education after moving from New York to Georgia at the age of 4. She began training under the instruction of Erica Keating at Carla’s Dance Factory (CDF) at the age of 10 in Fayetteville, GA. As a member of CDF’s junior and teen company, Dominique competed in dance competitions annually in tap, jazz, and lyrical styles. Dominique served as the Choreography Captain for the McIntosh High School Chiefettes Dance Team in high school. As the Choreography Captain, she choreographed the winning UDA Jazz Home Routine for her teammates. The Chiefettes competed under the Universal Dance Association (UDA) at the state, regional, and national levels, and Dominique has won numerous state titles with the group in Pom and Jazz. Dominique was named the first-place teen soloist out of over 10 competitors at the 2019 Georgia State Championship and choreographed the winning solo. Prior to leaving her hometown for college, she began her career as a studio instructor. She enjoys getting to know her students personally and loves building relationships with fellow dancers. Dominique graduated in Spring 2023 with a Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education and a minor in Dance. She married the love of her life in the Summer of 2023. Dominique looks forward to continuing being a Coach for the "Brown Girl Twirl" and "SPARKS" Performance Groups. She also teaches Monday recreational classes.

Instructor Cassandra Pappy Springs

Cassandra Pappy Springs


Cassandra Pappy Springs is a business owner, choreographer, and dance educator currently living in Atlanta, GA. Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, she has trained and worked with teachers, choreographers, dance teams, and dance studios across the nation. She received her competitive dance training from Dance Productions Performing Arts Studio where she earned various awards including the title of Miss Dance of North Carolina and Top Senior Soloist at Nationals. After high school, Cassandra received a B.A. in Dance with a K-12 teaching license from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. There she served as a member and captain of the Spartan G's dance team. She has trained in the genres of ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary, modern, lyrical, west african, hip hop, and heels technique. After graduating from UNCG, Cassandra taught dance in the North Carolina and Georgia Public School systems for a combined 9 years. During her tenure in public school education, she led professional development presentations on arts integration, coached a national award-winning dance team, and was recognized for outstanding choreography in several spring musical productions. During this time she also continued her performing career as a member of Techmoja Theater and Dance Company and continued her training at industry studios such as Broadway Dance Center, Millenium Dance Complex, and Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio. Cassandra has also choreographed, performed, and toured with recording artists IYAZ and Ginuwine. In 2019, Cassandra appeared as a dancer in the film “Bolden!”. Currently, Cassandra runs and owns Elite DanceWerks LLC., a dance education business providing pop-up dance classes, guest teaching, choreography, and private dance training services. Her clients are located throughout the southeast and have won top scores and high recognition at various regional and national competitions. Additionally, she serves as an adjudicator/master teacher for Fusion National Dance Competition, Impact Dance Adjudicators, and Imagine Dance Challenge. Cassandra also serves as a faculty member on Expressions and Vault Dance Tour Conventions and teaches weekly company classes at Dynamite Dance Factory in Kennesaw, GA.

Office Manager Amber Jones

Amber Jones 


Amber Jones has been a supporter of DDF from the very beginning. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Nonprofit and Leadership. She is a woman of God who does public speaking, performing poetry, & and creating content for ministries and businesses nationally. She mastered the art of communication and sales for a variety of businesses over the span of a decade. She and her incredible 8-year-old son now live in north Georgia in their brand-new home. She enjoys lying on the beach, singing, writing poetry, and spending time with her son.

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