TARA ADKINS REILEY: As the artistic director of Oz Dance Center Tara strives to be the most dedicated and inspirational teacher possible. She started taking dance lessons at the age of 8 from Oz Performing Arts Centre. She was a company member of Patti Rutland Jazz from 1992-2010. At the age of 18, she moved to Chicago where she continued her dance education. Her professional training was received from Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago where she trained under many world renowned teachers and choreographers including Gus Giordano, Nan Giordano, John Lehrer, Eddie Ocampo, and Billy Siegenfeld. After moving to Los Angeles she trained under various instructors at The Edge in Hollywood, CA. Tara worked professionally as a dancer for the MTV Movie Awards with the Pussy Cat Dolls, toured the USA with X-box and Wayne Foster Entertainment and starred in a Backstreet Boys video. Her many television credits include CSI Miami, The O.C., Numbers, and Spin City. Movie credits include Old School, American Pie 2, Gigli, and In The Mix. Its has always been Tara’s dream to share the gift of dance with children of all ages and backgrounds. Her mission is to create a fun and innovative dance environment while encouraging self esteem, respect, and discipline in all students.
Camille Whaley is a native of the Wiregrass area. She received her early dance education at Oz Dance Center. After graduation, she further pursued her career in dance at Florida State University. In 2006, she and her husband relocated closer to home and she came on as faculty for Oz Dance Center. For almost 10 years, she has taught many different ages and forms of dance ranging from Creative Movement up to Advanced Pointe. She also spent those years at Oz Dance Center choreographing and rehearsing for their award winning competition team.
Brittney is a true triple threat singer, dancer and actress. Brittney received her professional training from Chipola College with dance training from OZ Dance Center and Millsaps Dance Studio. Brittney is the choreographer for Dothan High School Dance Line and constantly works as choreographer for numerous show choirs, theatre departments and dance teams in the Southeast.
Tracy Gilland Shillabeer holds a BA from The University of Alabama and a MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Tracy has an extensive background in dance performance, choreography and teaching. She has toured nationally and internationally as a soloist with Ad Deum Dance Company of Houston, Texas. While an Ad Deum company member, she was selected to assist the director in teaching Modern classes to the Houston Ballet. While living in New York City she performed with The Second Avenue Dance Company, Brooke Notary and Dancers, Deborah Jowitt, Jim Martin Dance Company, and was a soloist, with Hee Ra Yoo and Dancers. She has also performed works for Dancespace Project at St. Mark’s Cathedral and performed in the “Field” and “Traditions in Transition” festivals. As a participate of the American Dance Festival, Gilland, performed repertory works by David Dorfman, Lisa Race and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. She was also chosen to perform with Indonesian choreographer, Sukarji Sriman, for the International Choreographers Commissioning Project. Teaching credits include Vicky Simegiatos Dance Company in Brooklyn, DEMA Dance Company and Hee Ra Yoo and Dancers in New York City. Gilland owned and operated a successful dance school in Alabama before venturing off to New York to continue her career in performance and teaching. Most recently, Tracy has served on faculty at Troy University as a Professor of Dance for the past seven years. In the dance department Tracy is the primary Contemporary/Modern faculty member, also teaching classes in Dance History, Anatomy, Improvisation and composition and choreography. Her choreography has brought her wide recognition. She has won many awards for her work and most recently her piece “Chaddash” was selected to perform in the “New Works” concert at the Alabama Dance Festival in 2015.
Sydney Wingate received her early training at Oz Dance Center. She started taking dance at the age of 8 and quickly realized that this was her passion. She continued to work hard training and was an apprentice company member of Patti Rutland Jazz for 3 years. She also earned a place on Oz Dance Center’s Elite Competition Team for 6 years. Sydney developed a love for choreography was 2nd runner up at the 2014 VIP Dance Nationals Competition for her choreography. We are happy to have her as our company rehearsal coach and choreographer. Sydney is currently a senior at Troy University in Troy, AL where she pursuing her BFA in Dance.
Tiffany Swan is a graduate of the Alabama School of Fine Arts where she studied under Dame Sonia Arova and Thor Sutowski. She also studied at the School of American Ballet (the official school of New York City Ballet), Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, and with David Howard and Douglass Wassell. She attended the University of Alabama and the Harvard Summer Dance Program under full dance scholarships and performed with the Alabama Repertory Dance Theatre where they were one of only two universities invited to perform at the Biennial Festival in Lyon, France. Tiffany danced professionally with Atlanta Festival Ballet under Co-Artistic Directors Nicolas Pacana and Gregory Aaron dancing lead roles such as the Lilac Fairy in Sleeping Beauty, Big Swan in Swan Lake, Ursula in the Little Mermaid, and Snow Queen, Arabian, Mirliton, Spanish, Chinese, and Winter Fairy (Sugar Plum Fairy Variation) in The Nutcracker. The directors also created an original ballet set on her entitled An Artist’s Life. Tiffany also guested with the Southeast Alabama Dance Company performing classic pieces such as “The Balcony Scene” for Romeo and Juliet as well as original pieces such as “Texas Canyons” which was invited to represent the southeast region of Regional Dance America at the USA International Ballet Competition in Jackson, MS. Ms. Swan became Assistant Artistic Director of SEADAC in 2006, then Co-Artistic Director in 2008-2015. She received a full scholarship to the Craft of Choreography conference awarded by the Southeast Regional Ballet Association in 2010 for her piece entitled “Eventually…”. Tiffany taught at Troy University for 4 semesters helping them build their dance program and choreographed Footloose for the theatre department in 2008. She travels all over the southeast teaching and choreographing and has worked with the Henry County Arts Alliance in McDonough, GA, choreographing the Level 2 performances for 16 years. When Tiffany is not teaching or choreographing she spends her time using her knowledge and experience fitting pointe shoes at Li-Bo’s Dance Barre, Inc. in Dothan, AL.