Owner and Director / Choreographer
Brenna Smith grew up in Alexandria, Minnesota, where she began her dance training at age seven. She went on to be an award winning soloist as well as an instructor/choreographer in her home state. Brenna moved to Dallas in 2004 where she has trained extensively under master instructors, in the dance program at Collin College, and at prestigious dance studios throughout the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She received additional professional training from Millennium Dance Complex, Edge PAC, and Debbie Reynolds Studio in Los Angeles. She is a versatile dancer and is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary and hip hop.
Brenna danced professionally as a Dallas Desperados Dancer and has performed in numerous industrials and live stage performances. She toured the nation with Chris and Candy Productions, performing in the Body Art Ball and The Femme Fatals. Her professional credits also include work for Pepsi, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Sherwin Williams, Party City, Home Interiors, Chuck E. Cheese, Symbol Technologies, Good Morning Texas, San Diego Living, Best of Big D and Dallas Dance Company.
Bringing twelve years of teaching experience to Southern EDGE, Brenna has taught all levels of dance. She has instructed and choreographed for several dance studios in the metroplex and has won numerous choreography awards for her work. Along with her choreography awards, Brenna’s routines have won awards for best costume, performance, entertainment, judges choice, technique, best in jazz, and 1st overall. Under her direction, EDGE Company won numerous awards locally, regionally and nationally in 2014 – 2015.
Brenna’s husband, Tim, is a personal trainer at the studio. Together they strive to offer you the most complete dance experience possible.
“Let them praise His Name with dancing.” Psalm 149:3
Assistant Company Director / Choreographer
Nicki Curtis grew up in Omaha, Texas where she started training in twirling at age two and was the first to represent Paul H. Pewitt High School at the UIL State Solo Competition. She has spent many years training in the art of twirling batons, knives, fire and much more. She was also a competitive gymnast and cheerleader, winning numerous national titles. After suffering from a shoulder injury, she decided to dance at age sixteen. She studied ballet, tap and jazz at the Kim Ivy Dance Company in Omaha. After graduating with honors from high school, she went onto the University of her Choice on a twirling scholarship.
Nicki attended Stephen F. Austin State University as a member of the Twirl-O-Jack line and Repertory Dance Company, where she studied under many master dance teachers, choreographers and anthropologists. She spent her college years not only studying Ballet, Jazz, Modern/Lyrical and Ballroom, but also how the body was made to move. During her time at SFASU, she studied the proper care and prevention of injuries specific to dancers and really enjoys the science behind the movement. She participated in many projects to study choreography and movement earning her a spot on the Presidents List for several semesters. She graduated in December 2009 Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Dance.
While at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nicki developed and started a dance program for the youth of Nacogdoches at the local recreational center. She and her husband moved to Dallas in 2009 and she has been teaching dance for other dance studios. She brings ten years of teaching and choreography experience to Southern Edge Dance. She has choreographed for all levels of dance and that is where her passion lies. Nicki and her husband, Aaron, are proud parents of Oliver, born in October 2015.
Instructor / Choreographer
Leslie Shaw-Hatchard has spent the last 25 years performing and teaching dance throughout the U. S. as well as France, Germany and Switzerland. Her dance training began at the age of 5, and has since developed into a professional career, with such credits as performing for the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Soccer League and the Major Indoor Soccer League.
Leslie’s involvement with professional sports began in 1990 when she was selected as one of 36 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders from a field of over 300. In 1991, Leslie began dancing for NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and she continued entertaining basketball fans as a Dallas Mavericks Dancer for the next five years, receiving recognition in 1996 as the Dallas Mavericks Dancers’ Veteran of the Year and Dancer with the Most Positive Influence. In 1997, Leslie joined the dance team for the Dallas Burn, Dallas’s outdoor soccer team. She was also the founding Director for the NBA D-League Texas Legends Dance Team in Frisco, TX in 2010.
For eleven years Leslie was the Company Director at the Broadway Dance Center in Garland, Texas. She regularly choreographs award winning routines throughout Texas and the U. S. She often serves as a guest instructor and professional adjudicator for MA Dance, Crowd Pleasers, Spirit Celebration, and Halftime Entertainment (HTE).
Leslie has been married for 17 years and resides in McKinney, Texas. Leslie is also the proud mother of 13 year old daughter, Kennedy and 15 year old daughter, Madison. Leslie most recently completed writing and publishing her first book, What I Learned Half Naked: Tales of a Pro Cheerleader which is available on Amazon.com and Kindle.
Hip Hop Instructor / Choreographer
This accredited athletic dancer is featured in numerous local as well as national markets. His experience in a variety of styles and his expertise in teaching offers clients well-rounded dance instruction in a fun, positive, and energetic atmosphere.
Keith attended the University of Arkansas where he played football. Since then he continues to choreograph and dance consistently on television, in music videos, tours, commercials, and corporate events. He teaches dance classes and workshops for kids and adults of all ages. For over 14 years Keith has taught sought-after Hip Hop Master Classes throughout the country. Keith has been represented by various talent agencies including Clear Talent Group out of Los Angeles, CA.
Choreography includes work for the record label National Recording Artists. Keith has also worked with Tyrese, Marcos Hernandez, MTV’s “My Super Sweet 16”, MTV3’s “Road to Menudo”, the film “El Guitarist”, MLS Championship Cup Half-Time Show, NFL’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, AFL’s Dallas Desperados Dancers, Toni & Guy Photographic Awards, and National Dance Alliance / National Cheerleaders Association. He also choreographed competitive hip hop numbers for Commack Cougarettes (3rd at NDA High School Nationals 2012) and Odessa High School (National Champions at MA Nationals 2012). Keith is currently choreographing for recording artist Karen Noseff.
Performances include music videos choreographed by Marty Kudelka and Roger Lee, along with live stage performances in the “Body Art Ball “. Additional credits include Good Day Texas, The “V”, Texas Lottery “Cash Five” commercial, and “Indiana Live Casino” motion caption commercial as well as opening performances for recording artists Monica, Omarion, Cassie, Ciara, Ice Cube, Chingy, Young Joc, Ludacris and Drake.
Ballet Instructor / Choreographer
Cristen Benson grew up in the Dallas area and trained locally in all forms of dance at several award winning studios. She has received numerous scholarships as a competitive dancer to top studios in L.A., Chicago, and New York. Some of the instructors she has trained with include Debbie Allen, Finis Jhung, Tyce Diorio, Savion Glover, and David Howard. Cristen also received many accolades including Distinguished Performer of the Year, several titles including Miss Starpower and Miss Showbiz, along with multiple 1st overall awards as a top soloist. She also was lucky to have the opportunity to perform excerpts of famous ballets as a principle with her studio’s ballet company. Cristen is also an accomplished vocalist in the styles of classical, pop, and musical theatre.
Cristen performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular for 6 years both in New York City and on tours across the United States. She is also featured in the Radio City Christmas DVD and national commercial! Recently, Cristen was also a principle dancer in a commercial for the Texas lottery. Other credits include choreography and performances for companies such as Sally Beauty Supply, DIFFA, and Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS in their annual conventions. She has also performed in shows and videos for Mary Kay Cosmetics and Chuck E. Cheese as a featured dancer and vocalist. Some other credits include performances with regional theaters in productions of Fame, Footloose, and Cinderella with the Joffery Ballet.
Cristen has been teaching ballet for over 10 years and loves sharing the art and discipline of ballet with her students. Her goal is to teach ballet in a healthy way which focuses on correct ballet technique and also injury prevention.
Instructor / Choreographer
Amy Z. is a Dallas native whose passion for and excellence in dance have afforded her many opportunities both as a performer and as an instructor. Amy is a former Dallas Mavericks Dancer who has trained under Marty Kudelka, Roger Lee, Kim McSwain, Brooke Wendell and Shella Satler. Amy starred in national television commercials for Pepsi Co. and Foot Action, danced in industrial shows for the likes of Mary Kay, Sam’s Club, and BeautiControl, and has danced for corporate fashion shows, C&C Productions, Dallas Morning News events, and the City of Dallas; she also traveled America touring with the Body Art Ball. Her competition teams have won national championships for six years, she has been a master class instructor and competition routine choreographer for various high schools across Texas, including Odessa Permian, Highland Park, Mt. Pleasant, Shepton, Richardson, Hillcrest and Odessa High School. She has worked with numerous college teams including Texas Tech and SMU. Amy also taught master classes at Star Dance Productions, American Dance/Drill Teams, Crowd Pleasers and Southern Methodist University Pom Squad. She has danced and choreographed for Dance for the Planet and Good Morning Texas, is a featured guest judge for various dance and drill team competitions and has been an award winning director and choreographer for competitive teams at Power House of Dance – Dallas and Frisco, Extreme Danz, Preston Center Dance, and Centre for Dance.