Christie Leonard - Director
Christie began her dance training with Frankie Sherman and immediately developed a love and passion for the arts. Her early years of training included classes with Pat Jackson, Felicia Scherz, Glen Irby and Laurie McAlister. Later, she spent time in New York City taking classes from nationally acclaimed instructors at Steps, Peridance and Broadway Dance Center. She also continued her dance education by attending many dance conventions, workshops and masterclasses.
For 14 years, Christie owned and operated two studios in Upstate SC and produced, in addition to yearly recitals, the productions of The Nutcracker, Hansel and Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Willy Wonka and original productions of The Enchanted Toy Shop and Storm the Stage. She is also the co owner of AC Dance Craze with Ashley Pritchett. AC Dance Craze is a dance convention that hosts workshops in studios across the East Coast. Christie is an Integrated arts specialist with the SmartARTS program in Greenville County Schools, and also director of Furman University's dance team.
Christie's students have won local and state pageant titles, won numerous awards at regional and national competitions, performed on cruise ships, attended the Ailey School and Joffrey summer programs, chosen as featured performers in the Miss SC pageant, attended the SC Governor's School for the Arts, as well as the Greenville Fine Arts Center, and AARMES. Her students are in theater and dance programs at many local high schools and at College of Charleston, Washington and Lee University, University of Georgia, Clemson, Lander and USC.
Christie has worked with the Lander University Dance Team, Hillcrest and Mauldin High Dance Teams, worked as a judge for the National American Miss Pageant, Southern Council of Dance Masters, Marvonna National Dance Competition and Star Talent Productions. Christie was also the choreographer for productions of A Christmas Carol and Westside Story for the theater ensemble FIRE.
Ashley Pritchett - Director
Ashley has been dancing since she was a child, and has studied under Christie Leonard for 15 years. Ashley and Christie own AC Dance Craze, a convention that travels to studios in the upstate and along the East coast doing 1 and 2 day workshops. Ashley has been classically trained in many different styles of dance including Cecchetti and Vaganova methods of Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap and Canadian/Buck style Clogging. She is also director of Furman University's dance team.
Ashley has experience in tumbling and acrobatics, as well as assisting and spotting tumbling and tricks. She started assisting her teachers in classes and dancing competitively at an early age.
She extended her dance training by attending conventions such as West Coast Dance Explosion, Jump, and Adrenaline, and has taken many master classes with top choreographers and dancers such as Brandon Tyler (Broadway dancer in A Chorus Line), Eric Campros (Back-up dancer to well known music artists, teacher at Broadway Dance Center in NYC), Paul Franklin (Works with Cirque de Soleil dancers), Joey Tarwater (Choreographer in LA, Dancer on Broadway, teacher at Adrenaline Dance Convention), Pavel Romanyuk (Dancer for the Bolshoi Ballet Company in Moscow, Russia), and many more.
She has received two scholarships from Adrenaline dance convention, and has won numerous overall titles and awards in regional and national competitions. She has performed in the Miss South Carolina and Miss South Carolina Teen pageants, and in presentations such as The Nutcracker, Enchanted Toy Shop, Little Red Riding Hood, and Hansel and Gretel.
Ashley currently works with students of all ages, teaching competitive Ballet, Tap, Contemporary and Clogging. She has won awards for her choreography, and her students have won many overall titles at regional and national dance competitions. Ashley also has students who have won many pageants including Miss Hilltopper, Miss Woodmont, and Miss Golden Strip Teen. Her students have also won the talent portions within their pageants. Ashley has worked with Marvonna National Dance Competition, and Star Talent Productions. She has also assisted alongside Paul Franklin who is currently working with Cirque De Soleil.
Ashley enjoys sharing her passion of dance with others, and strives to bring out the best in young dancers. She has taken college courses in Anatomy and Physiology, Sports Medicine, and Food and Nutrition. She is knowledgeable about how the body works, how to treat injuries, and how to protect your dancers body and make sure they are doing techniques the proper way to eliminate long term damage.
Andrew Kuharsky - Director, Greenville Ballet School
Mr. Kuharsky is a graduate of Canada’s National Ballet School. He was an apprentice with the Joffrey Ballet in New York, a principal dancer with The Atlanta Ballet, and a soloist with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens in Montreal. He has performed across Canada, the U.S., and in France, Italy, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia. He taught in or chaired the dance program of the S. C. Governor’s School for the Arts from 1984-1999, and directed the high school dance program at the School District of Greenville County’s Fine Arts Center from 1984-2002. He has taught at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, and choreographs regularly for many regional companies. He is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum. In 1984 he won an
S.C. Arts Commission fellowship. His work has been performed in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Alabama, Virginia, Kentucky, Vermont, Texas, and Scotland.
Merry Kuharsky - Director, Greenville Ballet School
Mrs. Kuharsky was a principal dancer with The Atlanta Ballet and the Augusta Ballet in her native Georgia. With The Atlanta Ballet she danced leading roles across the United States including Alaska. She trained at the Augusta Ballet, and studied at the Joffrey Ballet School in New York. She has taught at the Augusta Ballet School, the Atlanta School of Ballet, and the New Jersey School of Ballet. She served as Ballet Mistress for The Atlanta Ballet, and has staged works for The Atlanta Ballet, Augusta Ballet, Gainesville Ballet, and Burklyn Ballet Theatre. Mr. and Mrs. Kuharsky have two children and four grandchildren.