Teachers & Staff:

 “To Teach… is the burning desire to make a difference in the life of a child.”

 "Building Self-Esteem through Self-Expression one step at a time, since 1999."

Julie Brooks, Owner & Head Instructor

Company, Pre company Head Instructor & Competitive Cheer Coach

Julie has been dancing since the age of 5. She is professionally trained in Dance, Gymnastics, Cheerleading, Pilates, Modeling & Baton Twirling. In the early years she studied under Sacchi Doss at the Union City Ballet & Gymnastics School in Union City, TN. Julie says, " I owe my love of Ballet to Sacchi, she taught me steps but more importantly she taught me the LOVE for the art." During High School Julie studied Ballet Jazz & Tap at a Bartlett Dance Studio under the instruction of Raina Dixon.  Julie performed locally in several stage productions. Julie was crowned Miss Bartlett in 1989 and represented the City of Bartlett in the Miss Teen Tennessee pageant in Nashville. She was also crowned Miss American Dream Girl and is a graduate of John Casablanca Modeling School where she studied pageant and runway modeling.

Julie became an assistant dance teacher for Mrs. Raina's Bartlett Dance Studio at the age of 17 and choreographed holiday and spring recital performances. During college Julie taught dance, music and movement at Bartlett Childcare and Kid’s Choice Daycares for ages 2-12. Julie has instructed girls ages 2-17 for 20 years in Cordova, Bartlett, Millington, Atoka, Brighton, Munford and Covington, Tennessee. Julie has her B.S. Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Minor in Dance from the University of Memphis.

Throughout her Professional Dance career, Julie has appeared on stage for local and other Mid-South area productions to include The Nutcracker. Julie was the official Barbie spokes model for the Mattel Toy Company and appeared at TOYS “R” US grand openings throughout the Mid-South. After graduation from the University of Memphis, Julie moved to Tipton County where she taught second grade for the Tipton County School System. Julie also taught Dance part-time while teaching second grade at Munford Elementary. In 2000 Julie opened ShowStars Dance Academy in Brighton, TN. Julie is a prior member of the Miss Tipton County Scholarship pageant board and a judge for local pageants. Julie has also taught private lessons in modeling and interview training for girls that participate in local pageants.

Julie is the Head Instructor and Competition Dance and Cheer instructor for the ShowStars Dance and All-Star Cheer Teams. Julie’s Dancers won the Title of National Dance Champions for 2009-2010 during a National Dance Competition held in Panama City Beach, Fl. The 2010-2011 Competitive Dance team was a half point away from winning another National Dance Title for 2010-2011 as they placed second in the National Dance Competition at Panama City Beach Fl. 2011-2012 Competitive Dance Trio won Second Place Overall at Nationals.  This year the petites placed 10th overall and a petite solorist won the National title.  Our entire dance company placed many times in the top ten and Second overall for their Circus production number.                                                            

The 2011-2012 Senior Company also placed in Nationals Top 5 high score overall winners.

All ShowStars Competition teams, soloist and duets have won numerous Top Awards throughout the Mid South in National and Regional Dance & Cheer Competitions for the past 14 years.

Julie is a member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters, Unity Dance, Chicago Association of Dance Masters and Dance Instructors of TN. Julie is certified in  Ballet, Jazz, Pilates & Acro Gymnastics.

Julie's Level 3 All-Star Cheer team won First Place at the University of Memphis UCA 2011 June camp for best overall extreme dance & cheer routine.

Mrs. Julie's Dance and Acro teams have won top awards and most recently her Senior Acro Team won 1st Overall at Star Systems competition on March 3, 2013.  The Acro team was invited to audition for the American's Got Talent.

Julie and husband Mike Brooks have lived in Atoka, TN for fifteen years and have two children.



Jenny Leath - Guest Ballet, Jazz & Pointe Instructor

Jenny is orginally from Kansas City and has been dancing for 25 years. She is extensively trained in Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Lyrical, Drill/Pom and Musical Theater. She trained at Danceworks Conservatory under Sharon and Nicole Romine, American Dance Center, Kansas City Ballet, Virginia School of the Arts, and the University of Kansas dance program. Her stage credits include The Nutcracker, The Last Unicorn, Once Upon a Mattress, Beauty and the Beast, Annie, and Will Rogers Follies. Jenny has competed and won various top awards at Showbiz National Talent Competition, Tremaine, Starmakers, Showstopper, DEA and UDA. Jenny danced professionally with the Kansas State Repertory Dance Company and performed in many shows around the Kansas City area. Jenny was also a member of the Blue Valley North Dance Team for 4 years and was captain and choreographer in 2000-2001. Since moving to Memphis, she has danced for the Memphis Redbirds, Redhots" dance team and also performed in the Memphis Grizzles dance team finals at Gold Stike Casino in Tunica. Jenny has been teaching dance for 13 years and is a certified member of the Southern Association of Dance Masters. This is Jenny’s sixth year teaching at ShowStars Dance Academy. During her first year at ShowStars her choreography was nominated for a Top Choreography Award at Access Broadway in 2007 representing ShowStars Dance Academy and Instructing the Senior Competitive Dance Team. Since then, her routines have also won many First Place Overall awards, a judges Award, and other speciality awards.

Currently, Jenny dances with the Memphis Ballet's Professional Troupe at the Buckman Performing Arts Center. Additionally, she graduated Magna Cum Laude in May 2011 from the University of Memphis with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Jenny is employed at LeBonheur Children's Hospital as a Registered Nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Car Unit. Jenny and her husband, Dr. Jared Leath, live in Arlington. They have two boys. 

Mrs. Jenny recently won best Choreography award and First overall for her breathtaking lyrical piece done in remembrance of Mrs. Shirley Ballard.




Rachel Bolding - Dance Instructor

Rachel discovered her love for dance while studying under Elizabeth Williams at the Elizabeth Williams School of Dance in Sevierville, Tennessee. She has been dancing since the age of four and is trained in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, hip-hop, tumbling, and pom. Rachel has competed regionally and nationally, winning various top awards at competitions across the country. Rachel was a dancer in the Great Smoky Mountain Dance Theatre where she performed in their production of the Nutcracker for six years dancing various soloist and principal roles including that of The Sugar Plum Fairy.

Rachel has over 10 years of experience teaching various styles of dance to children of all ages. Along with teaching classes in the studio, she has coached and choreographed for several middle and high school dance teams. Mrs. Rachel joined our Showstars Staff in 2011 teaching recreational classes and working with our dance company. Since then, she has choreographed many solos and group numbers that have won various top overall and choreography awards. She is a certified dance instructor through the Southern Association of Dance Masters.

Rachel attended the University of Memphis where she was a member of the Memphis Pom Squad and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English. She now lives in Memphis with her husband, Jeremy, and son Isaiah. Rachel's favorite part of teaching is watching students develop a love of dance. She hopes to inspire an attitude of self-confidence in all she has the privilege of teaching.




Caitlin Metz - Guest Dance Instructor

Caitlin grew up in Chandler, Arizona, where she began her dance training. She moved to Tennessee in 2006 and has been a part of ShowStars since then. She was a member of our dance company throughout her high school years, while also assisting our teachers in recreational dance classes. She went on to become a certified dance instructor through the Southern Association of Dance Masters in 2009, and now teaches both recreational and company dance classes here at ShowStars. She has choreographed numerous company & solo dance routines that have won Top awards at regional and national dance competitions. 

Caitlin was awarded a full academic scholarship to the University of Memphis, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Child Development. Soon after graduation, she married her husband Rick who was stationed in Texas. She joined him there, and was a dance company instructor at Gabrielle's Dynamics Plus in Temple, Texas. Her choreography took the stage at several competitions across central Texas, winning many overall and Choreography awards.

Caitlin and her husband, who is now serving in the U.S. Army Reserves, moved back to Brighton in 2014. We are happy to have her back at ShowStars! 




Bridget Flynn - Dance Instructor

Bridget has been a part of Showstars since the age of twelve. She has won numerous awards with the competitive dance teams. Bridget began working at Showstars as a student assistant, but has been on staff as a teacher since 2013. She graduated from Dyersburg State with a degree in Nursing and is now a Registered Nurse in the ER at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis. Bridget is a very quiet soul, but will work the kids technique until they have it down right! She works with our recreational students, as well as our prep and competitive dance teams. Mrs. Bridget has a love for kids and we call her our beauty queen of Showstars!




Lindsay Bartholomew - Dance Instructor

Lindsay has been teaching dance at Showstars since 2016. She has a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Psychology, Art, and Dance from the University of Memphis. Lindsay has over 13 years of experience as a high school dance team coach, as well as teaching the Fine Arts curriculum at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School. She toured the country as a UDA Staff Instructor and has judged numerous Regional and State dance team competitions. Before starting her career as a dance instructor, Lindsay danced at Collierville High, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Memphis. Her favorite styles of dance include pom, hip hop, and jazz.

Mrs. Lindsay's choreography has won top awards and we are so grateful to have her working with our competitions teams. When she is not teaching, you can find Lindsay spending time with her husband, her two sons, and their dogs!



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Leighann Colin - Dance Instructor

Leighann Colin is originally from Munford, TN and actually danced at Showstars with Mrs. Julie back in the early 2000s. Leighann majored in Theatre/Speech at Wagner College in Staten Island, New York. She has worked at many regional theaters across the country, performed in various concerts and showcases in New York City, and performed as a singer/dancer for Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. Leighann has just returned home after dancing in the U.S. National Tour of "A Chorus Line". The next big adventure for Leighann is going to graduate school at the University of Memphis for Speech Language Pathology.

Teaching dance is another passion of hers. She has been teaching since high school and has taught in New York, Tipton County, and Holland America Line. Leighann is so excited to be home and to share her journey with her students in her hometown. She hopes to share the training, passion, drive, and encouragement to her students so that they can reach their artistic endeavors.

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Maddie Wright- Cheerleading and Gymnastics Coach

Maddie began her training at three years old when Showstars first opened its doors in 1999. She was a member of the All-Star Dance and Cheer competition teams where she won many national and top awards. She also cheered at Brighton High School for two years. Maddie started out as a student assistant at Showstars in 2013 and joined the teaching staff in 2016. She holds multiple teaching certifications including USASF Level 1 and 2 Cheer, Gymcert Gymnastics, and SADM Ballet and Acrobatics. As a current employee for Varsity Spirit, Maddie has had opportunities to expand upon her cheerleading knowlegde and experience by traveling to several different states to work Varsity summer cheer camps, and traveling to Orlando numerous times to work some of the largest cheerleading and dance events in the world including The College Cheerleading and Dance Nationals, The All-Star Cheerleading and Dance Nationals, Worlds, Summit, and D2 Summit. Coach Maddie is excited for another great season teaching gymnastics and cheerleading at Showstars!

Maddie is currently attending the University of Memphis and will be graduating in December 2018 with a degree in Physical Education. She has a passion for cheerleading and is constantly seeking ways to grow in her knowledge of the sport. Coach Maddie loves teaching children and helping them grow into hard-working and confident athletes!


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Camilla Curran - Ballet and Pointe Instructor

Cami is a Vaganova trained ballet dancer and teacher. She studied with her mother, Nora Curran, beginning at age 7 and continued through her graduation from the Allegro Youth Ballet having completed all eight levels of the Vaganova syllabus at age 18. She has attended numerous intensives and received private coaching from Russian ballet's best dancers. Her performing repertoire includes all Nutcracker pas de duexs, the White Swan pas de duex from Swan Lake Act I, various solos from Don Quixote, Swan Lake and Coppelia, Mrs. Nora Curran's choreography as well as her own. She has performed for Roudnev Dance Company, Performance Art network, and the Allegro Youth Ballet, and currently enjoys dancing principal roles with the Tennessee Ballet Theater.

Miss Cami has taught ballet and choreographed for local ballet schools in the Memphis area for several years. She is also a model and a fashion stylist and enjoys working in all areas of the arts.


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Katie Rothenberger - Guest Cheerleading Coach 

Katie joined the ShowStars Staff in September 2011.  Katie is a Munford native where she was a MHS Varsity Cheerleader for 4 years and also cheered on a competitive level. Katie was also the cheer coach at Munford High for several years and is now a member of the Germantown Police Department. 









Melvin Isabel - Guest Cheer & Tumbling Coach

Professional NFL Baltimore Ravens Cheerleader

Melvin is a professional NFL cheerleader from the Baltimore Ravens. Coach Melvin is  a UT graduate where he was a Varsity Cheerleader for four years. Melvin is a certified UCA cheer, stunt & tumbling instructor and currently works UCA camps and stunt clinics held throughout the Mid-South area. Coach Melvin is also an award winning All-Star coach. Melvin has worked for UCA for the past 10 years and brings a world of knowledge and a fresh approach to the floor with his fun and exciting skills and drills.   Coach Melvin is currently a Baltimore Ravens cheerleader.  We look forward to his upcoming visits!!




Emily Ollis - Guest Dance Teacher

Miss Emily is no stranger to ShowStars. Emily has been a student since the age of nine she is a recent graduate of Munford High School and will attend Christian Brothers University this fall on Scholarship. Emily was also the ShowStars 2011 College scholarship winner. Emily has been a part of the competition dance teams for 8 years and a student assistant for the past 5 years. Emily has competed and won numerous awards for her solo and group performances. Emily will take her test this fall to become an instructor through the Southern Association of Dance Masters. We are extremely proud of Emily's accomplishments on and off the dance floor. She is a shining example of integrity and christian beliefs to all that she comes in contact with. We are so blessed to have her become a part of our showstars staff as a dance instructor for the 2011-2012 season! Miss Emily has taught several of our soloist that have placed in Top 5 Overall plus won platinum and high gold awards.  Miss Emily's work with the tinys paid off and they placed first overall at KAR in 2013!!




We take them from tiny toes to tippy toes


Student Assistants/Scholarship Program

Every year ShowStars Dance Academy selects a group of dancers that have taken dance for several years and are part of the Competition Team to become Student Assistants and work toward their certification and Scholarships for college. These girls assist teachers in the classroom earning credits toward competition costs and helping to build their resume to further their career in dance education as well as community involvement. The student assistants are required to write a paragraph on what this opportunity would mean to them. The paragraphs are then judged and the student assistants are named and placed in classes that would most benefit their individual study of dance. Each year ShowStars Dance Academy awards a scholarship to a graduating senior student assistant as well as nominating them for scholarships through other dance organizations. ShowStars Dance Academy also helps seek scholarship information through college programs that offer dance. Last year we were very proud to award not one, but three ShowStars Scholarships to a Brighton High School Senior- Ambur Taylor, St. Benedict Senior- Kelsey Brooks, and Munford High School Senior- Bryanna Bomar.

This year’s Student Assistants are: Mary Michael Roe, Tori Shelton, Haylee Taylor, Fortner Childress and Xan Barrell

All the girls do a wonderful job helping with the younger students and they are great mentors on and off the dance floor. When entering a classroom you will be able to recognize them through their student assistant attire that they wear proudly while assisting your future stars! Your children love them! The assistants love this opportunity and the bond they are creating with these tiny dancers creates a life time of wonderful memories. When you see the assistants thank them for being a special person in the life of your child.

College Scholarships Awarded

2008 -  Kirsten Akin, University of Memphis

2009 - Caitlin Jones, University of Memphis

2011 - Emily Ollis, Christian Brothers University

2012 - Bridget Cockrell, University of Memphis

2013- Kelsey Batts, University of Tennessee Chattanooga

2014-Maddie Wright, University of Memphis

2014-Lauren Scruggs, Middle Tennesse State University

2016-Samantha Smith, University of Tennessee Knoxville

2018-Bryanna Bomar, University of Tennessee Knoxville

2018-Kelsey Brooks, University of Memphis

2018-Ambur Taylor, University of Memphis



Shirley Ballard, Rest in peace mom-never forgotten

Shirley had been a part of ShowStars Dance Academy since its conception. Shirley had worked behind the scenes part-time since 2000 with all phases of its operation and growth. She was a professional photographer and had a strong background in sales and advertising. Her hobby of writing poetry turned into a “dream come true” when several of her pieces were published in daily women’s journals. In 2006 Shirley gave up her career in Corporate America to join ShowStars Dance Academy full-time as the Studio Director. Miss Shirley, as she is called by all the girls wears many hats of our operation. She was not only our director but she took care of all advertising, marketing, costume and prop design as well as fundraising for our competition teams. Shirley helped prepare and coach students for solo vocal and acting performances. In 2007 Shirley was responsible for the voice and drama training for a ShowStars student that won First Place for Voice and Acting. This student also went on to win the “Triple Threat” Title Award at Access Broadway. Shirley operated her own photography studio in Atoka, TN, A Moment In Time Photography, and was the exclusive photographer of ShowStars Dance Academy.

This Loving Lady was not only the heart of ShowStars, she was the beloved Mother of the Studio Owner, Julie Brooks, and grandmother to Kelsey & Austin Brooks. She had become the loving, encouraging studio grandmother to all students that became part of our dance family.   Mrs. Shirley passed away in June of 2013.  May she rest in peace.  

Please Note:
For your safety and security, ShowStars Teachers  and Studio Director are Certified in CPR.




ShowStars Dance Academy | 1350 Old Highway 51 | Brighton, TN | (901) 848-7827 | Email Us