Dance Academy

Dance

Parish Extend Dance Academy is proud to offer a wide range of classes for all skill levels and ages, with an emphasis on cultivating a love for the art of dance.

Dance

Classes are designed to build skills and knowledge of dance techniques, as well as introduce students to the joy of self-expression through dancing.  Dive into the world of dance with genres like Ballet, Jazz, Contemporary Modern, Hip Hop, Acro, and more!

If you have questions or are a new student, please contact Jessica Robinson, Extend Dance Academy Director, who can assist you with class selection.

View All Dance Programs

Our Dance Program

The Parish Extend Dance Academy nurtures creative expression, communication skills, problem solving, and inventive thinking. Through personal discovery and experimentation, coupled with sustained involvement in the arts, we foster skill development, cultivate appreciation, and encourage creativity.

Our program is designed to holistically support the growth and development of each child.  Participating in the Parish Extend Dance Academy serves various purposes for our students, ranging from fostering a love for dance, providing a creative and physical outlet, to preparing them for the in-school dance program.  More specifically,

  • Lower School (PreK-4th Grade):  Introduces a love for dance, offering students the opportunity to discover their passion and a creative, structured outlet for movement.  These classes also serve as preparation for the transition into our 5th and 6th grade Middle School dance program during regular school hours.
  • Middle School (5th-8th Grade):  Dance is offered as an elective, giving students the choice to continue with Extend Dance for the joy of dancing or to accelerate their skill level.  Extend Dance can also serve as preparation for Junior Dance Company auditions.
  • Upper School (9th-12th Grade):  Elective dance students reinforce the techniques taught during the school day.  Extend Dance empowers dancers by incorporating their voice and choice.  The Parish Extend Dance Academy boasts dancers who have participated throughout their entire Parish tenure and graduated through our program.
  • PreK – Kindergarten – Students do not change clothes and will wear uniforms to class
  • Ballet & Jazz – Black leotard, pink tights, pink split sole ballet shoes, tan split sole slip on Jazz shoe, and hair pulled up
  • Ballet/Lyrical – Black leotard (tank or spaghetti straps), black ballet skirt is optional, tan/flesh colored convertible tights, pink split sole ballet shoes, and hair pulled up
  • Contemporary Modern Dance – Black leotard (tank or spaghetti straps), black boy short optional (must wear flesh colored convertible tights), no shoes, and hair pulled up
  • Dance Technique – Black leotard (tank or spaghetti straps), black Jazz pants/leggings, black boy short optional (must wear flesh colored convertible tights), tan split sole slip on Jazz shoes, and hair pulled up
  • Hip Hop/Hip Hop Jr. – Students do not change, but must wear tennis shoes and have hair pulled up
  • Hip Hop Jazz – Black leotard (tank or spaghetti straps), black boy short optional (must wear flesh colored convertible tights), no shoes, and hair pulled up
  • Jazz & Acro – Students do not change, but must wear tennis shoes and have hair pulled up
  • Lyrical – Black leotard (tank or spaghetti straps), tan/flesh colored convertible tights, pink split sole ballet shoes, and hair pulled up
  • Modern/Intermediate – Black leotard (tank or spaghetti straps), black boy short optional (must wear flesh colored convertible tights), no shoes, and hair pulled up

The 12th annual Parish Extend Dance Academy Performance will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 10:00am in the Eller Hall located in the Noble Family Performing Arts Center at the Midway campus. Rehearsal for this performance will take place on Saturday, May 4 from 9-11:30am and is optional for students.  Please note that the end of year performance costume is included in the class fee.

In-depth information regarding logistics, rules for performance space, and a checklist for performance day can be found here.

Meet the Teachers

Jessica Robinson, Dance Academy Director

Jessica Robinson has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance with an emphasis on performance and choreography from the University of Southern Mississippi. During college, Jessica was a member of her college dance/drill team and served as captain for three years. After receiving her degree, she performed for Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Holland America Cruise Lines and then went on to pursue teaching dance; which she has done for 25 years. During the course of her career, Jessica successfully started the City Dance program for the International Ballet Competition; taught at the Power Academic and Performing Arts School in Jackson, Mississippi; directed the Academy for Dallas Black Dance Theatre; and taught dance and served as director of competition teams for local studios. Jessica is celebrating her twelfth year at Parish where she is currently teaching Middle and Upper School dance and is the Director of Parish Dance Company and the Director of Parish Extend Dance Academy. Jessica is so grateful for how this program continues to flourish.

Kianna Dugan

Kianna Dugan is a graduate from the University of North Texas, where she studied dance and communications. She received her dance degree specializing in performance and choreography in May 2021. Shortly after that she began her career as a professional Ballroom Dancer and instructor with Arthur Murray Dance Studios. In addition to her work as a freelance choreographer, Kianna has choregraphed productions such as Scrooge the musical, Secret Garden, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story and many others. Currently, she teaches Middle School dance and serves as the Director of Parish Junior Dance Company.

Jazlyn Whitlowe

Jazlyn Whitlowe has studied dance since the age of three. She was a competitive dancer for several years and has received training in various dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and more. Among her instructors are notable names such as Adrienne Dellas Thornton, Keith Clark, Dr. Linda Quinn and Lee Wei Chao.  In 2009, Jazlyn had the privilege of being cast as a dancer in the film The Beacon. She has also been a member of Movers Unlimited Touring Dance Company under the direction of Dr. Kihyoung Choi.  Currently, Jazlyn is pursuing degrees in Interior Design and Dance. Throughout her journey, she has taught dance at Dana’s Studio of Dance, Apex Academy, and Come Read With Me.  Jazlyn has a passion working with the special needs community, and she is thrilled to share all that she has learned through dance with her Parish students.

Marilyn E. Miller

Marilyn E. Miller is originally a native of Memphis, TN. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Belhaven University located in Jackson, MS. During her time of undergraduate studies at Belhaven, is where she found her love of dance. From 2013-2016, Marilyn participated in the Dance Ministry Ensemble and performed at churches, schools, and nursing homes. After graduating, Marilyn continued to spread the gospel through the arts and worked as the Performing Arts Teacher at The Piney Woods Christian Boarding School where she wrote and directed her first show called “Choices.”  In addition, she taught dance techniques such as Ballet, Modern, African, and Hip-Hop. Marilyn continued to teach students dance at Memphis Merit Academy from 2020-2021 and now resides in Dallas, TX, dancing professionally with the Zion Dance Project and leads the primary dance program at The Dallas Conservatory.

Contact the Dance Academy

Have questions about Parish Extend? Reach out to our team – we’d love to hear from you.