Jennifer Venable Austin
Jennifer, a Knoxville (Bearden) native, was an original member of the East Tennessee Children's Dance Ensemble. Following high school, she majored in dance at The University of Tennessee, performing as a soloist for UT's New Repertory Dance Company.
She continued her dance training in New York City. Her modern dance training was with the Martha Graham Company, Alvin Ailey, and Limon School. Her ballet training was with the Joffrey Ballet. Jennifer's extensive jazz training includes Bob Fosse, Luigi, Frank Hatchett, and Joe Tremaine.
Ashley has been teaching all styles of dance at Arts In Motion since 1999. She has served as Ballet mistress since 2011, and is Dance Company director for the competitive team. She has also taught in the Broadway Dance Center Children's Program.
Ashley trained under Dariusz Hochman, Salim "Slam" Gauwloos, Natalya Stavro, Andrey Silantyev, Finis Jhung, Richard Pierlon, and Denise LaPointe. At AIM, Ashley trained under Jennifer Venable Austin, Karen Christenberry, Keisha Clark, and Lilia Valieva. She has performed in the AIM Nutcracker, with the Riley's Dance company in NYC, and in the Roane State productions of Rocky Horror Show, Oklahoma, and Pippin.
Kiersten Mays is Arts in Motion's Director of Tap. She has also served as choreographer for Unified Professional Theatre Auditions for the past 22 years. She was the Dance Director and Resident Choreographer for Cumberland County Playhouse for 10 years.
Kiersten has performed and taught in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan; and internationally, in Switzerland and France. Her training includes National Academy of Arts, Luigi, Betsy Haug, Maurice Hines, Savion Glover, Phil Black, Frank Hatchet, Charles Kelly, Joe Tremaine, Gus Giordano, Nan Giordano, Robert Audy, and Joel Hall. She has choreographed and performed in shows including “Singin' in the Rain”, “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Gypsy”, Annie” and “Hello Dolly”.
Tamara Anderson is a teacher and choreographer of jazz, ballet, tap, modern, and hip-hop for Arts in Motion. Her dance training is varied, and includes instruction from Broadway Dance Center, Columbia South Carolina City Ballet, Dance World in Columbia South Carolina, Oxley School of Dance, Dance Makers, Inc., Hoctors Dance Caravan, Dance Olympus (Frank Hatchett), and Tremaine Conventions (Joe Tremaine, Frank Hatchett). She has led her dance company to win 1st place, 2nd place, and grand champion awards at various dance competitions.
Tamara has had her own dance studio. She was instructor and choreographer at The Dance Company in Athens GA. She has worked for famed danceware company Capezio. During the school year, Tamara works as a Special Education Assistance at Cherokee Middle School Kingston, TN.
Ashley Thompson is our newest teacher at Arts In Motion and excited to begin her journey as a hip hop instructor! She has a background in dance, cheer, and gymnastics. She has been dancing for 8 years and has found that her calling is hip hop.
She began dancing at Wilson Central High School where she competed in jazz and hip hop and danced on the sidelines for football and basketball teams. Ashley also has experience in musical theatre where she was awarded “Best Female Dancer” in her spring musical “Grease”. She has choreographed for Circle Players Inc. in Nashville, TN for their musical “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”. Ashley then decided to take her passion for dance into college and became a Golden Girl on the Tennessee Tech Dance Team. During this time, she gained experience in pom and continued her training in hip hop. She has trained in the Nashville area as well specifically in the hip hop field under choreographers like Phil Wright at Millennium Dance Complex and Jordan Grace at Area 54.