Teachers Page

Yvonne Antinazi - Owner / Director

Ms. Yvonne began dancing at age 3 and has had formal training in all aspects of dance. Throughout her dancing career Yvonne has studied under the instruction of Dee Hodges, Chris Cory, Terrell Paulk, Patsy Bromley and Tommy Sutton to name a few. From the ages of 12 to 21 her summers were spent in New York City taking Master Classes from such well-known artists as Luigi, Melissa Hayden, Frank Hatchett, The Joffrey Ballet as well as Alvin Ailey. At 18 she became Ballet Mistress for the DeKalb Dance Theater, assisting in classes as well as choreography. She was a member of the City Center Chamber Company under the direction of Robert Archard; was President of her college dance club, and performed on TV, in convention shows, at Kennywood Amusement Park and Six Flags Over Georgia’s Crystal Pistol. She has won numerous 1st places and best over-all awards in Regional and National solo, duet/trio and group competitions. Yvonne is a member of the production team for the Distinguished Young Woman of Georgia program. The Georgia DYW program has won numerous national awards for choreography and production. Since 1993 she has been a member of Dance Masters of America where she held the office of Secretary/Treasurer as well as Scholarship Chairman for her local chapter. In 2015 she became a certified member of Dance Educators of America and continues to take classes by not only participating in local workshops but also traveling to New York City and to Buffalo, NY for the accredited Dance Masters of America's Teacher Training School (TTS). Ms. Yvonne is a Post Graduate of TTS having successfully passed her Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics and Modern exams.

Gigi Stoneback - Assistant Director

Ms. Gigi began dancing at age 3 and has had training in all areas of dance. She began competing at age 5 and realized that she excelled in the areas of Jazz and Acrobatics so she began focusing her training in these areas. Upon entering high school, she found an outlet in these two areas through competitive cheerleading where she was part of an award winning traveling squad. In January 1994, she was part of the Halftime Show for Super Bowl XXVIII. She also has performed for Paramount Productions in convention shows. Throughout her years of competing she has won many 1st place solo and group awards as well as many overall awards. Ms. Gigi has her certification in acrobatics and jazz through Dance Masters of America. She continues her dance education through participation in workshops and studying in New York City.

Yara Betancourt

Ms. Yara began her formal dance training at age 13 and immediately fell in love. Under strong and motivating instruction, she pushed her limits and quickly grew in both technique and artistic expression. During her High School years, she performed regularly with the Dekalb School of the Arts' Dance Repertory Company at various local events and venues, including the Georgia World Congress Center and the Phillips Arena. She later discovered her passion for teaching dance and has had the opportunity to teach at various dance studios, children's programs, and workshops. In recent years, Ms. Yara performed as a company member for several Atlanta-based dance companies, including Gathering Wild, Me.You.Us.We.Them, and Phyzix Urban Dance Theatre. In addition to her love for dance, Ms. Yara also has a background in voice, musical theatre, and video production. She is excited and honored to be a part of the dance family at North Georgia Academy of Dance.

Malina Wilde

Ms. Malina began dancing at age 4 at the Dance Company in Springfield Massachusetts and has taught for 15 years. While at the Dance Company she studied Tap, Jazz, Ballet and Pointe. Ms. Malina added the genres of Afro and Hip Hop while dancing at Kim's Danceland and was a member of their Company. She began her teaching career also at Kim's Danceland. She has taken from Frank Hatchett at the Broadway Dance Center in NY and has tapped with Savion Glover in NJ. Ms. Malina is excited to join the NGAD dance family and to spread her love of dance to her students.

Peyton Wood

Ms. Peyton began dancing at age 4 and has studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Contemporary, and Tap. She studied at the Lawrenceville School of Ballet and was a member of the Southern Ballet Theater Dance Company. While attending Peachtree Ridge High School she was a member of the Ridge Dance Senior Company. Ms. Peyton has attended and performed at South East regional Ballet Association and has studied at Atlanta Ballet. She loves working with young dancers and is looking forward to working with the NGAD students and faculty.

Ashton Antinazi

Ms. Ashton is a graduate of Georgia College and State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a double Minor in Dance and Spanish. Ashton began dancing at the age of 3 at NGAD and received training in Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Acrobatics and Lyrical/Modern. Ms. Ashton performed in GCSU college productions including Anything Goes, The Birds, Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Annual GCSU Dance Minor Concert. During college she was inducted into Chi Tau Epsilon Dance Honorary and Alpha Psi Omega Theater Fraternity. She began teaching while at NGAD during her High School years and continued at the GCSU Community Dance School. Ms. Ashton has put several pieces on the NGAD Elite Dancers which have won Awards at the Dance Masters of America Competition in Chattanooga, TN. Ms. Ashton is a certified member of Dance Masters of America and looks forward to sharing her passion for dance with the children at North Georgia Academy of Dance.

Christine Puckett

Ms. Christine began taking her first dance lessons at age 5 and has loved dancing ever since. She has trained in several different disciplines of dance including Ballet, Pointe, Jazz, Lyrical/Modern, and Hip Hop. While in middle school she was a cheerleader and competed in cheerleading competitions. During high school she was involved in The Collins Hill Dance Theatre where she performed annually in the very popular The Nutcracker All Jazzed Up and several spring recitals. While she was a member of the NGAD Elite Dancers she had the opportunity to dance at several venues including Festival of Trees, Jazz on Tap, and BalletFest. She has also competed in the Mid-South Dance Masters Chapter #41 Competition and received numerous gold and Platinum awards. Ms. Christine is also actively involved in the pageant community and has held the titles of Miss Forsyth Relay Queen, Miss North Georgia, Miss Cherokee Fair Queen, Cobb’s Beautiful Miss, and Miss Georgia State. She has a major in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Dance. She is thankful and greatly enjoys her opportunity to share her love of dance with others through being a teacher at North Georgia Academy of Dance.

Karen Neely

Ms. Karen is a graduate of the University of North Alabama with a major in Management Information Systems. She has studied dance as a hobby for more years than she cares to admit. Karen has been associated with studios in Alabama and Georgia, and has taught jazz and ballet to students of all ages. Karen is an active volunteer for the Distinguished Young Woman program. She was the co-director of the Madison County Junior Miss program in Alabama for 10 years, where she often assisted with choreography duties. Upon her move to the Atlanta area, she become involved with the Distinguished Young Women of Georgia program where her daughter was named North Gwinnett's Junior Miss in 2011. Ms. Karen has a deep love for the arts and is always excited to be back in the studio.