Where Are They Now?

Jordyn Santiago attended Dance Theatre of Jacksonville for 14 years where she trained in many styles of dance. She was a member of the Senior Protege Team from ages 11-18. Before graduating high school, she attended the Alvin Ailey Summer Dance Intensive Program in 2009. She was a soloist performer in Peter Chu's piece "Someone to Love" in Los Angeles, California in July 2011. She was also a soloist in Andy Pellick’s "Prelude" which featured 2011 NYCDA college scholarship recipients. She was in the 1st annual "Bright Lights, Shining Stars" New York City Dance Alliance Foundation show recognizing Roberta Flack as an ambassador for the arts in August 2011. Jordyn was a member of the DTOJ Ballet Company from 2010-2012 and danced the roles of the Arabian, Snow Demi-Soloist, Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. When performing the roles of Snow Queen and Sugar Plum Fairy, Jordyn partnered with Adam Schiffer of the Carolina Ballet. She was selected as a NYCDA Regional Outstanding Dancer every year from 2007-2013. Jordyn traveled to NYC to compete for NYCDA National Outstanding Dancer in the summers of 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 and performed in their National Gala. Jordyn was a Top 12 Finalist for Senior Outstanding Dancer in 2012 and 2013. She was offered a $40,000 scholarship to Point Park University in the summer of 2012. Jordyn traveled to Las Vegas in the summer of 2013 to compete at the 24/7 Dance Convention Nationals. Jordyn competed for the Senior Non-Stop Dancer and was the first runner up. After graduating high school, Jordyn took a year off to travel and assist many different choreographers. She just completed her freshman year at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, and was the first freshman to ever make the Marymount Dance Company, while working under Desmond Richardson from Complexions all year. She is very excited to return for her sophomore year! Jordyn is double majoring with a BFA in Modern as well as Psychology. Jordyn also worked with choreographer Ashley Lindsey this year for his upcoming project “Pushing Progress” which will be performed in the upcoming year in New York City. She is also going to work with Destiny Rogers in her upcoming music video project in LA this summer, for a new band called “Innovate”. Jordyn is thrilled to see some of the opportunities Marymount has to offer her in the years to come.

Kayleigh-Anne Jewell started dancing at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville at the age of seven and continued dancing there for twelve more years. During her time at Dance Theatre, she was a member of their competitive dance teams as well as performed in their annual Nutcracker production. Kayleigh-Anne is currently at East Carolina University earning her BFA in dance education and BS in psychology. While at ECU, she has had the opportunity to participate in numerous dance shows and has had the opportunity to work with several guest artists such as John Magnus from the Joffery Ballet, artists from River North Dance Company, and Lauren Edson. Kayleigh-Anne also teaches during the school year at Kinston Dance Academy. She teaches ballet, modern, and lyrical for all ages and works with their competitive dance team.



Arielle Israel began her training at the Dance Theatre of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, North Carolina from 1995 to 2011. During her time at the Dance Theatre of Jacksonville she was a member of their competitive team and performed the role of the Snow Queen in their first annual production of The Nutcracker, in 2010. Upon graduation, Arielle furthered her training at Towson University, where she has been a member of the Towson University Dance Company, performing ballets such as GisellePaquita, and Don Quixote, as well as works by Runqiao Du, Linda Denise Fisher-Harrell, Vincent E. Thomas, Trent Williams, Stephanie Powell, and Alvin Ailey's Robert Battle. While attending Towson University, she is also performing with two professional companies in the Baltimore and DC area: VT Dance Company and Ballet ADI. Arielle had the pleasure to work with the Broadway legend, Hinton Battle, on the feature film BOLDEN! She has also received training at The Ailey School, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet, and Complexions Contemporary Ballet summer intensives. Arielle is currently receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance at Towson University.

Marleen Melendez started her dance training at the age of 11 at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville. Growing up training in various styles from tap, jazz, contemporary, ballet and hip hop, she fell in love and knew that this was she was born to do. Eager to start her career, Marleen graduated high school a year early and moved to New York City to complete the Professional Semester Program at Broadway Dance Center. Since graduating from the program in 2012, Marleen has had the pleasure of working with various choreographers such as Candace Brown, Nicco O'Connor, Kevin Maher, Jared Grimes, Brian and Scott Nicholson, Jared Jenkins, Neil Schwartz, Derek Mitchell and more. She has performed in the Soul Train Awards flashmob choreographed by Frank Gatson, and a Billboard Event for Grammy nominated Colombian artist, Fonseca. Marleen has also had the honor of being nominated two years in a row for the Monsters Of Hip Hop show by Parris Goebel and by Kevin Maher. At the age of 20, Marleen continues to pursue her career goals in New York City with plans to move to Los Angeles.


Jessica Israel began her dance training at the Dance Theatre of Jacksonville in Jacksonville, North Carolina from 1995-2008. While studying in jazz, ballet, contemporary, and tap she also participated in various dance competitions such as "Jump" and "New York City Dance Alliance". Once she graduated from high school in 2008, she enrolled in the Ailey School's Certificate program, in New York City, where she studied Horton, Graham-based modern, ballet, jazz and tap. She has performed works by Darrell Moultrie, Francesca Harper, Ursula Payne and David Parker. Since graduating from The Ailey School in 2011 Jessica has been in various freelance projects. She has been featured on Good Morning America, in music videos by Hettie Barnhill, a Bollywood featured film "ABCD", and she was also a part of the Michael Anthony Collection fashion week "Castle on the White Hill" fashion show. Jessica lived in Eilat, Israel for 7 months performing in Tevet productions, "Wow Show".  Jessica is currently teaching and continuing her work as a freelance artist in New York City.  Her most recent projects include being a part the the 2014 NBA playoffs flashmob promo and she will be dancing in a show called The Victory Dance Project which has been featured on Answers4dancers.

Noel Woodruff is a North Carolina native. She trained at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville from 1994 - 2008 and continued her passion throughout college graduating from The University of Alabama with a Bachelors Degree in Dance. She has trained with choreographers such as Chris Judd, Dave Scott, and Eddie Garcia, just to name a few. Noel began interning with Bloc South Talent Agency and worked her way up to become a Talent Representative. She considers herself very lucky to be able to work with some of the best industry professionals and strives to be one of them through hard work, dedication, and determination.




Ashleigh Hunter began her training at Dance Theatre of Jacksonville under her mother Desiree LeFebvre where she was a student from 1991-1999 and later taught from 2004-2011. She competed regionally and nationally winning numerous awards and scholarships. Ashleigh danced with the Corpus Christi Ballet for five seasons under the direction of Cristina Stirling Munro. She's also performed on Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, La Grande Magia (Italy), and in "Magic & Mayhem" in Las Vegas. Ashleigh is currently dancing with Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company in New York City.





Angie was a student at DTOJ from 1991-1996. She left home at age 14 to attend the Harid Conservatory with a full tuition scholarship. After completing her education at Harid, she spent two seasons with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago where she appeared in Robert Altman’s 2003 film The Company. Following her stay with Joffrey, Ms. Sansone worked toward her B.S. in ballet at Indiana University before she joined Kansas City Ballet in 2005. In her two seasons with KCB, she has been featured in End of Time, Apollo The Concert , Great Galloping Gottschalk, Dark Elegies, Splendid Isolations III,Mozartiana and as Dew Drop in The Nutcracker. She had the opportunity to perform Ben Stevenson’s End of Time at the International Dance Festival of Colombia. This is Ms. Sansone’s sixth season with Kansas City Ballet 

Mollie Sansone was a student at DTOJ from 1991-1996. She began her training in North Carolina with Melissa Hale-Coyle, Claudia Folts, Lisa Leone, and Rebecca and Daniel Wiley. She also studied at the Metropolitan Ballet Theater with Maniya Barredo, the Joffrey Midwest Workshop, the Nutmeg Ballet Conservatory, and the Atlanta Ballet.

As a member of the Nashville Ballet 2 from 2004 to 2006, Mollie performed with the main company in Balanchine’s Square Dance, Sarah Slipper’s Postcards from the Boys, and Salvatore Aiello’s Rite of Spring. Some notable performances of hers since joining the main company are in Robert Philander-Valentine’s Sunday Sunday, in Balanchine’s Valse Fantaise, the Dew Drop Fairy in Paul Vasterling’s Nutcracker, the “Balloon Girl” in Salvatore Aiello’s Clowns, and the Blue Pas de Deux in James Canfield’s Jungle. Mollie also performs as guest artist with the Piedmont Dance Theater during the summers, where she has performed Balanchine’s Who Cares?, La Bayadere, and Thang Dao’s, Printemp Perdu.  ......


Elissa Edwards was a student at DTOJ from 1996-2001. She started teaching by assisting protege classes when she was 16. Elissa then went on to attend the University of the Arts in Philadelphia on a full scholarship. After that, Elissa moved to Charlotte and continued to pursue her love of teaching and choreography. She then ended up in Wilmington, NC where she now is co-director of Impulse Dance Project, a brand new company and studio. Elissa also owns and directs EVOLVE, an in-studio dance convention that tours all over the US and Canada, where Elissa teaches and sets choreography on numerous studios.