the ART OF DANCE studio

Meet the Teachers!

Kate Collins

Kate is the owner and artistic director of Art of Dance Studio and the non-profit organization Art of Dance, Inc. She has been dancing since the age of 2 when introduced to Ballet, Tap, and Jazz in her hometown of Apex, North Carolina. After watching a live performance of the Nutcracker, Kate knew she had found her passion. She then turned to intense Contemporary Ballet and Pointe training in the junior company at the Triangle Academy of Ballet for 8 years, taking classes under instructors from the Carolina Ballet Company. Such technical education influenced her to have a strong focus on Ballet and Pointe productions. At The Academy for Performing Arts, she studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Choreography and Hip-Hop. Most of her time was spent traveling to conventions, performances and competitions as a member of the Junior and Senior Company Competition team. Kate was awarded with a Scholarship to Broadway Dance Center in New York where she attended classes under tap enthusiast Mike Minnery and many other professional choreographers/dancers. This memorable experience led to her interest in choreography classes and inspired her to start teaching dance as she has been for the past decade. While attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, she was a member of UNCW Dance Team. In May 2009, she graduated with Bachelor Degrees in Psychology (child development emphasis), Philosophy, and Religion. Shortly after graduation, Kate took over ownership of a small dance studio in Wilmington, NC before moving to Asheville, NC in May, 2011. Kate truly loves teaching children of all ages and abilities. She believes that dance is an enlightening form of expression that every child can learn and grow creatively from. Kate also judges for National Dance Competition circuits such as INSPIRE, Imagine and Encore.

Elsea Brown

Elsea began her dance training at age 7 in the Dallas metropolitan area, studying ballet, jazz, and tap. Naturally drawn to high energy forms of movement, she began competitive cheerleading at age 9, and was competing at the national level by the time she was a tween. Her family relocated to Winston-Salem as she began high school, and Elsea made the decision to get back to her roots in traditional movement. Throughout her teens, she received training in jazz, tap, and ballet, as well as hip-hop, modern, and lyrical. After high school, Elsea spent two years as an apprentice with Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet in Greensboro and in 2013 moved to Asheville to attend UNCA, where she studied Biology and Dance. Since moving to the area, Elsea has performed with professional performance companies Bronze & Ebony, Project Negus, and Mosso Kan at area events like The Art Trap House, LEAF, Goombay Festival, and Downtown after 5. Elsea is looking forward to joining us to teach kids’ and teens’ hip-hop choreography, as well as adult hip-hop fitness. Elsea's choreography will be the highlight of our hip hop performance teams!

Brandon Romstadt

Brandon Romstadt, a long time resident of Hendersonville, has been in the gymnastics world his entire life. He has competed in many competitions around the nation and was a level 10 gymnast by the age of 16. He has been teaching now for a decade, coaching under the acclaimed 4 time olympic coach, Miles Avery. Above every other event, the floor exercise is his strongest, both to perform and to coach. He is excited to be partnering with The Art of Dance to provide top notch tumbling classes to the kids in his hometown!

Amanda Hoyte

Amanda Hoyte began her study of dance at age 4 in her hometown of Flat Rock, NC, and received the majority of her dance education at Pat’s School of Dance in Hendersonville, NC. As a student, she trained extensively in several styles of dance, including tap, jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, and hip hop. By age 12, she worked as a teacher’s assistant for several beginner and intermediate classes. During this time, Amanda was also a member of the award-winning Pat’s School of Dance Performing Arts Troupe, participating in numerous performances, most memorably at Disney World in 2006, and in countless competitions, including Showstoppers, Encore Dance Competitions, and Dance Educators of America. Her senior year, Amanda danced the lead role, Sweet Georgia Brown, in the senior production “Bubbling Brown Sugar,” which received the President’s Cup (highest score overall) at the Dance Educators of America National Dance Competition in 2008. After graduating high school, Amanda moved to Chapel Hill, NC to attend UNC. While attending UNC-Chapel Hill, she taught musical theater and tap to children and adults at Barriskill Dance Theater School in Durham, NC, and in 2012, graduated with a B.S. in Psychology (child psychosocial development emphasis) and a minor in Chemistry. In 2013, Amanda moved back to Asheville, NC, where she has since performed with professional performance companies Project NEGUS, Bronson’s Baddies, and Fire&Feist at events including The Art Trap House Atlanta, LEAF, and Coda at the Orange Peel. Additionally, since her return, she has cultivated her career as a mental health professional through work with special populations, such as those suffering from eating disorders, SPMI, and addiction, and has recently earned a M.S. in Medical (Health) Science from USF. As both a healthcare worker and a dancer, Amanda truly believes that dance, in all its forms, is therapeutic, and furthermore, is avidly dedicated to promoting body positivity and health in the dance community.

Rebecca O'Quinn

Originally from Raleigh, NC, Rebecca is a choreographer, Dancer, Singer, actress, and model working and living in Asheville, NC. Before moving to asheville in 2012, she graduated with a degree in dance and musical theatre from Elon university and went on to work as a singer and Dancer with several different cruise lines, theme parks, regional theatres, and industrial entertainment companies. Since moving here, she has enjoyed several seasons with Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, Asheville Ballet, and Montford Park Players. She is a dance instructor with Mars Hill University, Warren Wilson College, and many local dance studios. She is currently the most giddy about tap dance, hip hop fitness, singing with her country band, Rebecca and the Reckoning, and watching Star Trek the Next Generation.

Maggie Lewicki

A native to Florida, Maggie began her training at the age of 3 when she took lessons during preschool. Since then, she joined a competitive dance team at Barbara’s Centre for Dance where she was trained in many styles: jazz, tap, musical theater, acrobatics, and ballet. She competed in dance competitions throughout the year in production groups, large group, small groups, and trios, duets, and solos. She further trained at 2 different ballet conservatoires and developed basic tumbling skills at her local gym. After graduating from her competitive team at the age of 18, she attended Rollins College. She graduated with a degree in both Biology and Political Science and a minor in Dance. Her dance minor focused on teaching healthy dance practices and techniques combining breathing with natural movement. Maggie currently works at Camp Ton-A-Wandah, and all girls’ summer residential camp, where she continues to develop her passion for teaching and working with youth.

Rachel Putnam

Rachel Putnam was born and raised in Mills River. She started gymnastics at the age of 2 at Olympia School of Gymnastics in Hendersonville. She had dreams of being in the Olympics. Gymnastics was her life. Five days a week training for hours at a time. Her coach was an Olympic coach so she knew her dreams would come true one day. But that dream was ended short due to an arm injury when she was 11. After she had the "ok" from the doctors to start gymnastics again, her heart just wasn't in it anymore. She then spent her time riding horses for the next few years until she started competitive cheer. Cheering and traveling all over for competitions became her life. Her team Aero Allstars was one of the top teams winning every competition. Although she's only 4'10 she was a base. That's right, a base not a flyer. Rachel has quite the strength for being so little. Before her cheering career ended she was tumbling level 5 skills. Now she hopes to be able to bring the love of tumbling from her heart to yours.