Go to ABOUT US to watch a video of one of our al-time favorite NADC dances.... "CHICAGO"
North Alabama Dance Center
5829 Oakwood Rd NW
Huntsville, AL 35806
Phone: 256 837-8033
Or use our contact form.
Our office manager is in the office Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3:00-7:00 pm and Wednesdays and Fridays from 4:00-6:00 pm.
Barbara Ellen Smartt- Director of NADC - Mrs. Smartt founded NADC in 1983 and has been teaching dance in the Huntsville area for the past 32 years. She is a Magna Cum Laude graduate from the University of Alabama in Huntsville. She is certified to teach dance through Dance Masters of America where she has twice served on the Board of Directors where she served as Performing Arts Chairmen for more than 6 years. Along with developing the classroom syllabus for each level at NADC, teaching dance, editing the music, and directing the recital… she likes to give back to her community; Mrs. Smartt just finished her term on the Board of Directors for Westminster Christian Academy and she continues to teaches 5th and 6th grade Sunday school for her church. She has also served as Programming Chairman for Panoply of the Arts and has choreographed for Huntsville Community Chorus and the Huntsville Chamber Orchestra. She has won the Panoply Choreography Competition in all 4 categories of Ballet, Modern, Jazz and Tap. She has been nominated in 4 consecutive years for the Wings Awards for her work with Pointe Station’s “Noah” and “Alabama Jubilee.” Her students regularly take away top awards at DMA’s Performing Arts Competition. Her greatest compliment is to see former students at the recital each year coming back to find that NADC’s high standards, skill and creativity are still going strong!
Mary Katherine Smartt Atnip - Associate Director - joined the NADC staff in 2003. In 2011 she became NADC’s Assistant Director and is now NADC’s Associate Director. She is certified to teach by written, oral and demonstrative testing through Dance Masters of America. Mary Katherine is a former Radio City Rockette and performed in New York City at Radio City Music Hall for 3 seasons and at Nashville’s Grand ‘Ol Opry for a fourth season. As a Rockette, Mary Katherine has appeared on NBC’s TODAY show, ABC’s Rachel Ray, Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, and NBC’s and PBS’s Radio City Christmas Spectacular. She is a former Miss Dance title holder for Dance Masters Chapter #33 and was a National Finalist in DMA’s National Miss Dance Competition in 2007. Locally, Mary Katherine has performed as “Annie” in 42nd Street, as “Patty” in Grease and as “Dorothy” in the Wizard of Oz. Mary Katherine is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of UAHuntsville with a BA in Communication Arts and a minor in Management and Leadership.
Melony League - Melony League is Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Melony has been studying and working in the dance community for the last 22 years. She has won the Panoply Choreography Competition an impressive 13 times. She has been a member of Dance Masters of America since 1998, and is currently on the Board of Directors serving as the Titled Solo Chairmen. Through Dance Masters, Melony has been honored to receive numerous Best Choreography Awards, Grand Champion Awards, and twice be selected as DMA's Protégé Choreographer. Her choreography has also been adjudicated and received Platinum at the DMA National Competition. In the summer of 2001, Melony was selected to participate in the very prestigious Craft of Choreography Workshop hosted by Regional Dance America. Samples of her work were reviewed and RDA extended an invitation as one of 12 choreographers from over 600 applicants. Melony has served as guest choreographer and instructor for many dance and theatre groups both locally and nationally.
Kaitlyn Gokee –joined the NADC staff in 2010. She teaches all dance disciplines and serves as NADC's Hip Hop Program Director. She is certified to teach by written, oral and demonstrative testing through Dance Masters of America. Kaitlyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Minor in Dance and Culture from the University of Alabama and a Masters in English Education from Alabama A&M. While attending the University she auditioned and was chosen to be on the University of Alabama’s official dance team “The Crimson Cabaret “ from Aug. ’06-May ’09 and did choreography for the team in ’07, 08, and ‘09. In ’06 the Universal Dance Association selected Kaitlyn as 1 of 15 instructors out of 250 in the southeast division of regional dance all-stars. She traveled the country teaching week-long dance camps for children 4th–12th grade. During her 4 years in college, Kaitlyn served as a full-time dance instructor and choreographer at several of the high schools in the Tuscaloosa area and also taught ballet, jazz, and hip hop for area dance studios. Kaitlyn also choreographs for many area school drill and dance teams. Kaitlyn is teaching English at Buckhorn High School and serves as the Dance Team Coach.
Katherin Rule became a faculty member in 2012, but has been a part of the NADC family since 1994. She has trained extensively in the classical arts of tap, jazz, ballet, and modern for 19 years. in 2006 Katherin began serving as a NADC teaching assistant. In 2007 she was one of six chosen dancers to preform in the "Harlem Globetrotters" which was awarded the Grand Champion at DMA. Katherin has served as assistant choreographer and dancer in many community theater productions such as "42nd Street", "Guys and Dolls", and "Joseph and the Technical Color Dream Coat". Along with teaching at NADC, Katherin is creating some of the costumes for the NADC's competition 2016 competition season and has been one of NADC's Costume Mistresses since 2008.
Candace Smith- Candace joined the NADC Staff as a full-time instructor in 2012. She is certified to teach by written, oral and demonstrative testing through Dance Masters of America. Candace is trained in and excels in all disciplines of dance. In April of 2015, Candace auditioned for and was hired by The Universal Dance Association (UDA). This summer she is traveling from California to Florida teaching week-long dance camps for children 4th to 12th grades. In 2014, Candace appeared in Mercy Me’s music video “Shake.” In the summer of 2012, Candace traveled to NYC to attend the Radio City Rockette Summer Intensive after auditioning in Nashville 6 months earlier and being accepted into the highly competitive program. We are thankful Candace selected UA Huntsville so she could continue to dance, train and teach at NADC while seeking a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She is doing so under an Academic Scholarship through UAH! Candace is thrilled to continue to share her love of dance with NADC Students.
Born in Florida, Erika Bettencourt began her professional career with Southern Ballet Theater which is currently operating as Orlando Ballet. Dancing has taken her to Japan, throughout the Caribbean and United States. Erika’s television credits include the Today Show, Late Night with David Letterman, The Daily Show on Comedy Central, and the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Erika served five years as Dance Captain and featured dancer with Andy Williams at his Moon River Theater in Branson, MO. She also choreographed several stage production while working in Branson. She was lead/adagio dancer for both Carnival and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Working for Opryland Productions, she performed at the Alabama Theater in Myrtle Beach, SC.
Since the birth of her two children, Erika has turned her attention to dance education. Married to a U.S. Army Soldier, she has had the fortunate experience of teaching in a variety of studio environments throughout the United States and Germany, sometimes initiating a program where none existed. Each place was a unique experience teaching her the value of dance education for all types of students, from recreational to the aspiring professional, preschool to high school. She is excited about her move to Huntsville, AL and working at North Alabama Dance Center.
Truett joined the NADC staff in 2014. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Auburn University. Truett has studied dance for more than 16 years and received her early training from Patty Taylor Academy of Fine Arts, Nix Dance Studio and Dayton Ballet. She trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Pointe. While at Auburn, Truett created a Dance Program for a local children’s center which consisted of weekly classes as well as an end of the season recital. Truett has also been on staff for studios in Auburn, Opelika and Valley. All total, she has 9 years of teaching experience. Truett, her husband and their 2 little girls now reside in Huntsville. For the past 11 years, she has been using her Apparel Merchandising, Design and Production degree as a regional representative for New Balance. She recently retired to be a full-time mom but is so excited to be coming back to her passion- - - teaching dance!
Sarah Pitts is originally from Memphis, TN and received her early formal dance training from Pat Gilespie of Classical Ballet Memphis, and Annette Wilson and Natalie Fotopoulos of Dance Dynamics. She holds a B.F.A. in dance performance and choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received additional training from notable artists such as Joe Goode, Carla Maxwell of the José Limón Company, and Chris Elam of Misnomer Dance Theater. Following her undergraduate degree, Sarah performed professionally with choreographer Stacy Reischman-Fletcher as a featured soloist in her evening length work Have You Passed Through This Night? and spent two seasons with the Jackson, MS based collective, Front Porch Dance. During her tenure with Front Porch Dance, Sarah had the opportunity to collaborate with an eclectic mix of Mississippi based artists, performing and presenting her choreography in a variety of venues including Eudora Welty’s birthplace, art galleries, and the historic Temple Theatre in Meridian, MS. She is currently a company member of Huntsville's own Premiere Dance Theatre. Along with dance, Sarah is a skilled acrobatics teacher who loves to incorporate her studies in somatics and elements of Safety Release Technique into her acro teaching to help facilitate more fluidity into and out acro skills. When not working as a dance artist, Sarah is a licensed physical therapist assistant and a full time wife, mother, and G.K. Chesterton enthusiast.
Kaye Gokee - Office Manager/ Recital Coordinator- Mrs. Gokee, known to NADC students as “Miss Kaye”, joined the NADC staff in 2000. Kaye has 20 years experience in office management. For 5 years, she taught computer skills at Monrovia Elementary School. She has been involved in all aspects of dance for the past 29 years. She twice served on the Executive Board of Pointe Station and as Costume Mistress for the ballet production of “NOAH”. Mrs. Gokee’s goal is to manage the office in the most efficient manner possible through constant consideration of the teachers, dancers and parents needs. NADC is also blessed to have Mrs. Kaye supervise our custom made costumes. Because she is an accomplished seamstress herself, she oversees the selection of fabrics and costume design and execution. She also regularly uses her creative skills in building props and scenery for NADC annual recital production each May.