NMDC Staff
Owners:  Sarah and Jim Karrant
Director:  Beth Richardson

  Roxie Thomas Clayton-
Roxie is a native of Tupelo, Mississippi. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Mississippi and completed her Master of Arts in Dance at Shenandoah University. While at Shenandoah, Roxie taught ballet and jazz classes as well as studied with Alan Arnett, Ting-Yu Chen , Maurice Fraga, Kim Gibilisco, Elijah Gibson, Erica Helm, and Linda Miller. In the Summer of 2010, Roxie created, directed and choreographed a two-hour dance concert, The Doniphan Project, at the Lyric Theatre in Tupelo. While living in Washington D.C., Roxie was chosen to choreograph for the Eureka Dance Festival in December 2010, which led to her to the opportunity to create a piece for the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in a program titled Unhinged in June of 2012. Four the past four years, Roxie has worked at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Potomac, MD as the Department Head of the Performing Arts and Dance Teacher. Roxie is extremely excited to be moving home and teaching at NMDC next year and looking forward to building a modern dance program. 

   Janine Hassell-
Janine Walter Hassell began dancing in 1980 at the McKenna School of Dance in Wayne, NJ.  She learned ballet, tap, and jazz under the direction of Cynthia Griffenkranz.  In 1994, she was accepted, with scholarship, to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.  She primarily trained in ballet under Barbara Sandanato and Andrew Pap.  She performed in two Balanchine ballets, an excerpt from “Concerto Barocco” and “Pas de Dix”.  Further dance training was under Roni Koresh, Wayne St. David, Milton Myers, Gabriel Masson, and Faye Snow.  In 1998, she earned  her BFA from the university where she was received the Student Excellence Award and the highest ballet award.  After graduation, she became a member of the Koresh Dance Company in Philadelphia.  She performed throughout the United States from 1998 through 2005.  While she was there she worked with several choreographers including, Roni Koresh, Melissa Rector, Brian Sanders, and Donald Byrd.  In 2006 she moved to Mississippi where she trained to become a massage therapist.  She had the opportunity to use her training as a therapist to work on the Tupelo Hound Dogs and Cirque du Soleil.  In 2016, she joined the Civic Ballet Board of Directors.  Now, venturing into another chapter of her life, Janine is excited to join the North Mississippi Dance Center where she will be teaching ballet, pointe, and contemporary.

Mary Frances Massey- 
Mary Frances Massey has been on staff at NMDC since 2001. Upon graduating from Tupelo High School in 2003, she attended Mississippi State University on a vocal scholarship and graduated from Columbia State Community College with a Commercial Performance associates degree. She began her professional career in 2006 with Royal Caribbean Cruise lines as a lead production singer and Matt Davenport Productions as a singer/dancer. She has done professional recording work in Nashville, New York and Tupelo. She wrote, produced and self released her debut album "Movin' On" in January 2015 to budding reviews. She founded her band in 2008 and performs regularly in the North MS area. She is a regular choreographer with the Tupelo High School show choirs and with Tupelo Community Theatre. some of her favorite roles on stage include the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, Rose in Bye Bye Birdie, Doralee in 9 to 5 and Fantine in Les Miserables. However her favorite role by far is being a mother to Molly Elizabeth and wife to Adam. For more information on Mary Frances please visit her website. www.maryfrancesmassey.com
Sarah Karrant-
Sarah Karrant began her ballet training in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Dansarts Studio in 1958 studying with Gwen Neeser, a former broadway "gypsy" and lead dancer on the 50's  T.V. show, the "Hit Parade". Other trainers were John Claas, a former gymnast originally from the Netherlands; Joan Dare, a former Joffrey ballerina; and Dot Callanen, a former dancer on many N.B.C.T.V. variety shows of the 50's and 60's. Karrant performed with the Dansarts Jr. and Sr. dance troupe all over the United States. In 1963, she joined the Arkansas State Ballet Company, the first dance company in the state of Arkansas, and later became a Senior member and featured dancer. It was housed by Jeanette Rockefeller, then first lady of Arkansas. The company was directed by Manolo Agullo, formerly with the Ballet Russe, and ballet master with Carnegie School for the Performing Arts in New York City. Karrant danced at the Arkansas Arts Center until 1978. During those years she graduated from the University of Arkansas and taught Kindergarten for the Little Rock Public Schools and taught dance for Studio One. Studio One was directed by Sally Riggs, a former Broadway dancer and actress on London television and theatre. 1n 1978, she married Jim Karrant. In 1981, she moved to Tupelo and studied with and later assisted Jozia  Mieskowski at Mississippi University for Women in Columbus, MS. She also studied with Mira Popovich at Birmingham Southern University where she participated in many Summer Intensive Programs taking her most talented students with her. Ms. Jozia and Mrs. Mira helped Sarah launch her dance program in Tupelo over 30 years ago.  The Karrants have two daughters, Beth Richardson and Mary Frances Karrant. Sarah has a record of active participaption in all the arts activities in Tupelo, serving as an organizer and choreographer for musicals and other arts programs.
Beth Richardson-
Beth received her early dance training from Sarah Karrant, Jozia Mieskowski, Mira Popovich, Lisa Howell, and Dolan Shoemaker. Throughout her training she has attended workshops and classes at Atlanta Ballet, Broadway Dance Center in New York, The Edge in Los Angeles, and Ballet Magnificat's School of the Arts in Jackson, MS. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Science from The University of Mississippi in 2004. During her time at the University she performed with  Showstoppers, was  a member of  Oxford Ballet Company and an instructor at Oxford Ballet School. In 2005 she moved to Southaven, MS where she was a dancer with Ballet DeSoto, a dance instructor at Stars in Motion, performed with Desoto Family Theatre, was a fitness coach at Desoto Athletic Club, and lead teacher at The Little Gym.  In 2007 she returned to Tupelo and North Mississippi Dance Centre as an instructor. She began studying under Jan Dijkwel in 2008 and was one of the first dancers with Civic Ballet. In 2009 she became director of NMDC and continues to teach classes in ballet, tap, and conditioning.    In 2013 she founded ‘Hope for the Holidays’, a studio wide benefit performance project to raise awareness and funds for the children and patients of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Richardson also serves on the board of directors for Civic Ballet and Regional Rehab of North Mississippi. Beth is married to Brian Richardson. They have two children, Barrett and Maggie. 

Sally Stallings-
Sally Herring Stallings has been studying dance for over thirty years and has been teaching
ballet, tap, jazz, and pointe for nearly twenty years. From her first dance lessons at age three
with Sarah Karrant to her continued training with Jozia Mieskowski, Mira Popovich, and Dolan
Shoemaker, ballet has remained a defining force in Sally’s life. Her love of dance was fostered
by training in many places including: Broadway Dance Center in New York City, Birmingham
Southern College in Birmingham, AL, The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS,
New Orleans Ballet Theatre in New Orleans, LA, as well as numerous workshops and
conventions around the United States. Sally owned and operated Amory Dance Centre for
twelve years where she produced and directed Amory Dance Centre’s annual production of The
Nutcracker as well spring recitals. As a freelance choreographer, Sally has had the opportunity
to work with several dance companies, college and high school drama departments and dance
teams, as well as community theater productions. In 2011, Sally’s ballet students were among
the first high school students ever to be invited to perform at the Orpheum Theater in Memphis,
TN, as cast members of Amory High School’s production of Phantom of the Opera. She was
one of five directors as well as the choreographer for this successful production. Sally is married
to Zach Stallings, licensed Massage Therapist at Recovery Wellness Spa in Tupelo, and they
reside in Amory with their six daughters-Bella, Ruby, Mesa, Lucy, Sophie and Mya. She
currently teaches dance lessons in Amory at her new studio, Downtown Dance, and Yoga,
Pilates, and Barre classes at Anytime Fitness. Sally loves being a part of the NMDC family and
is looking forward to sharing her passion for dance with her NMDC students!

Melissa Dunn Sullivan-
 Melissa began her dance training at the age of six. She studied Summers on scholarship with Ballet Austin under the direction of
Stephen Mills, Ballet Mississippi under Jullian Davis, and the AtlantaBallet. She has taken master classes with David Howard, Tom Clower, and AnneBurton Avery.
Once graduating high school, Melissa attended Belhaven College onscholarship where she was a member of Ballet Magnificat’s pre-professionaltraining division under the direction of George Lysenko. She was offered an apprenticeship position to dance professionally with Ballet Arkansas under the direction of Kurt Hathaway.
Melissa has eighteen years experience teaching ballet, tap, and lyrical dance (ages 3-adult.) She has danced numerous roles, including Lilac Fairy with Ballet Dallas,Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian princess, Dewdrop, and Snow Queen in the Nutcracker. Other full length ballets include Coppelia and Cinderella. She was Ballet Mistress and board member for the Tupelo Ballet as well as well as a member of the MS Dance Association.
Melissa resides in Tupelo with her husband, Heath and their 3 children, Ty,
Sarah Ashley, and Audrey.

  Kendrick Wallace-
Originally from Madison, MS, Kendrick recently graduated from Ole Miss with a B.S. in Exercise Science. He is currently still at Ole Miss pursuing his M.A. in Higher Education Administration as a first year graduate student. He first found his love for dance in high school as a show choir singer/dancer and has made dance present in his life ever since. Kendrick has been teaching hip hop at NMDC since 2016 and hopes to continue to inspire our students to be confident in themselves through his classes. When he isn't in the studio teaching, he loves to spend his free time taking care of his garden of cacti and succulents back in Oxford!
Madi West-
Madi West attended North Mississippi Dance Center for 15 years. She studied tap, jazz, and hip hop, but focused on ballet. She was a member of the Civic Ballet its starting year. She is a 2009 graduate of Tupelo High School, a 2013 graduate of William Carey University, and a 2015 graduate of the Mississippi University for Women. She is currently teaching fourth grade gifted at Lawndale Elementary. Madi is married to Jay West. 
Lexie Wildmon-
  Lexie Wildmon began receiving dance instruction at the age of 3. When her family moved to Tupelo in 2006, Lexie began taking classes at North Mississippi Dance Centre. She took hip hop, tap, contemporary, and ballet classes while at NMDC. She was an assistant teacher at the studio during high school. While attending Mississippi State University, Lexie continued teaching classes and conducting summer workshops with NMDC. After receiving her degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi State University, Lexie began her education career at Joyner Elementary in fall of 2016. She begins her third year at Joyner this fall and is excited to continue teaching dance at North Mississippi Dance Centre!

Thom Yzaguirre- Master Teacher
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 scholarship 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 Academy of Nevada Dance Theatre (Las Vegas), Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts (Louisville), Nashville Ballet, The Foundation of Arts (Jonesboro, AR), American Academy of Dance (Hendersonville, TN) and Tennessee Association of Dance (TAD) Tennessee Dance Festival. Thom was the recipient of the 2014 Judith Woodruff Professional Development Award from TAD.
He currently lives in Nashville and is the Ballet Director at Franklin School of Performing Arts. Thom also works with competitive figure skaters at Nashville Skating Academy (Centennial Sportsplex, Nashville, TN) and teaches ballet for the Commercial Entertainment Department at Columbia State Community College (Williamson County Campus).
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 (NTC). ABT® NTC is a breakthrough 9 level program for the development and training of young students that embraces sound ballet principles and incorporates elements of the French, Italian and Russian schools of training.

Student Teachers:
 Rachel Frick-
Rachel Frick is the daughter of Beth and Robert Frick. She began dancing at NMDC since the age of three. For the past 13 years,  she has studied a variety of dance styles as well as being a part of Doniphan Dance Project and Civic Ballet company.  She has been with Civic Ballet for five years and danced in many showcases including their pre-professional ballets of Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Firebird.
Rachel has received formal training in classical ballet, pointe, contemporary and modern ballet, jazz, hip hop and musical theatre. This past summer she also traveled to New York and trained with Joffrey Ballet School for 5 weeks in their Summer Intensive program.  Rachel is a junior at Tupelo High School and an active community volunteer.

 Carrol Trent Imbler-
Carrol Trent Imbler is the daughter of Trentice and the late Chuck Imbler Jr and sister to Mallie. She is a native of Tupelo and has been dancing at NMDC since the age of two. For the past 15 years, she has participated in various dance classes and is an active member of the Doniphan Dance Project. Carrol Trent is a junior at Tupelo High School where she was a part of show choir and is currently involved with WTHS broadcast journalism. This past year, she participated in Miss Mississippi’s Outstanding Teen where she tap danced for her talent. She was honored to be named a non-finalist talent scholarship award winner as well as onstage and evening gown preliminary winner. Carrol Trent hopes to be able to pursue her love of dance in her future.