Faces of FSD: Ashley Ayris

Here at FSD, we love our little dance family, and we wanted to give y’all the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. Each week, we will be posting a picture of a student or staff member who helps make FSD all that it is. We have been blessed with some truly amazing people, and want the world to know it!

So this week, we’re starting with a familiar face. If you’ve been with FSD for any length of time, you’ll have come in contact with our gem of a dance manager, Ashley Ayris. From answering questions about registration, to dreaming up insanely fun summer camps, to making sure every single detail of recital is planned out beautifully, Ashley truly does it all. And now, without further ado, we proudly present: Ashley Ayris!


What brought you to Nashville?
My husband is doing a grad program at Vanderbilt.

What is your favorite part of dancing?
When I was dancing, it was the emotion of dancing. Now I love to watch ballet and feel most inspired to watch dancers who have the “it” factor—you know, the ones who are beautifully expressive, but also technically excellent. The ones who have that spark.

How have you seen God through dance?
Dance is a way of expressing where you are in the moment and way to glorify God with your talents.

What is your most memorable dance performance?
My favorite role was Snow Queen in The Nutcracker.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from dance?
To compete with yourself not others and that discipline builds character.

What is your favorite style of dance?
Classical ballet

Life verse?
Philippians 4:6-7

Favorite Starbucks drink?
Grande skinny vanilla latte!!!

Any hidden talents?
I am certified to SCUBA dive!

If you were a cookie, what would you be / why?
Chocolate chip because I eat an embarrassing number of them.

Two fun facts about you?

  1. My husband and I met in a wedding – we were both in the wedding party and were paired to walk together.
  2. I’m a huge SEC football fan (Go Dawgs!).

Best thing you ever ate?
Risotto Tots from Kayne Prime, Fried Chicken at Ad Hoc 

If you had a super power, what would it be?
You stumped me with this one.

If you could travel anywhere?
I’d love to go to the south of France.

We are so blessed to have Ashley on our team!  If you see her around, make sure to give her a big thank you for all she does!

Andi Hale
FSD Administrator

It's never too late to take a ballet class

We are thrilled to announce that Fellowship School of Dance is now offering Adult Ballet!

Amie Barriger will be teaching a six week session of beginner ballet classes on Mondays from 5:15-6:15pm. Join us to learn the basics of ballet and get a good workout!

The dates for Adult Ballet are as follows:

  • October 3rd
  • October 10th
  • October 17th
  • October 24th
  • November 7th
  • November 14th

Dress code: feel free to wear dance wear or active wear—whatever you’re most comfortable in! Ballet shoes are required.

Cost: $60 for the session, paid upfront, in full.

If you are interested, please contact the dance office at Dance@FellowshipNashville.org to let us know you’ll be joining us. You will receive a follow up email regarding payment.

We look forward to dancing with you!

Ashley Ayris
School of Dance Manager

Summer Workshop

Are you coming to Summer Workshop in July (if not, there's still room!)? Summer Workshop is a great way to stay in shape and take a variety of classes. Plus, you may get the chance to take tap or jazz from Ms. Brooke! Brooke Mihalek is new to the FSD family and we're so glad to have her. Here's some background on Ms. Brooke. If you see her around, please introduce yourself and join us in welcoming her to Fellowship School of Dance!

As a little girl, Brooke fell in love with dancing. She began her formal dance training in tap, ballet, jazz, modern and musical theatre over 20 years ago at Franklin School of Performing Arts. As a college student at Western Kentucky University, Brooke was chosen as the only freshman to perform her tap choreography for the Department Heads of Theatre and Dance. While studying under Bob Boross, Brooke enjoyed learning styles of Musical Theatre Dance such as the choreography of Bob Fosse and Jerome Robbins. She also learned to focus on the technique of rhythm tap and hoofing.

After college, Brooke continued her dance education at the University of South Carolina and Georgia Ballet. She has had the wonderful opportunity to study under tap legends such as Acia Gray, Brenda Buffalino, Bakaari Wilder, Lady “Di” Walker and Jay Fagan. She then pursued her passion for performing as part of the Entertainment Cast of Stone Mountain Park, a theme park outside of Atlanta, Georgia.  She also choreographed for musicals for Big Top Theatre in Marietta, Georgia and taught at several dance studios in the greater Atlanta area.

Brooke is thankful to be home in Tennessee with her husband and three sons and being an active part in the dance community at the Nashville Ballet, Vanderbilt Dance Program, Nashville Tap Authority as well as teaching at local dance studios. She also performs professionally within Nashville theatre community with credits such as Boiler Room Theatre, Chaffin’s Barn Dinner Theatre and choreographer for Ravenwood High School.  Most importantly, she hopes her love for all dance forms will inspire all students no matter what age.

Going En Pointe

Have you ever wondered how a dancer gets to go en pointe? Here’s some insight to how it works at Fellowship School of Dance.

Pre-Pointe Training

Pointe training begins with our instructors recommending a student enroll in a pre-pointe class. In order for students to be recommended, they must currently be enrolled in Ballet II (taking a minimum of 2 ballet classes per week). Students who wish to go en pointe are also strongly encouraged to take Conditioning for Dancers as preparation. A dancer’s training in pre-pointe can last at least one year. Students are taught to build strength in their feet and ankles, as well as increase core strength.


Beginning Pointe and Beyond

The next step is being recommended for Beginning Pointe and buying the first pair of pointe shoes! Our instructors typically will go with a group of students to a dancewear store for a pointe shoe fitting. Getting the first pair of pointe shoes is a very special and magical experience for a dancer. It is a sort of rite of passage and is to be celebrated.  Photographs are encouraged to help mark the event. Mrs. Cadle says a young dancer never loves pointe work as much as they do in this moment! Dancers may then be recommended to move to Pointe I and start to perform en pointe. As they progress and build strength and ability, they can move up through the levels to the highest level of Pointe III. 


Ashley Ayris

School of Dance Manager

Meet Andi Hale

Hello FSD Family! My name is Andrea Hale, but everybody calls me Andi. I started in January as the Fellowship School of Dance Administrator, and I just wanted to take a minute to introduce myself, as we’ll be seeing a lot of each other!

I grew up in Texas, and graduated from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor (Go Cru!) in May with a BA in Public Relations. I moved to Tennessee not long after, and have absolutely loved living in Brentwood. So far, my favorite things about living here include: Ellie’s Homemade Doughnuts, Radnor Lake, and (of course) all the music! I am so excited that I get to work for FSD. I have always loved working with kids, and have a very organized mind, so this job combines my head and heart perfectly!

Three things that you should probably know about me include:

  1. I’ve been told that I look like Taylor Swift… I still don’t see it!
  2. I could eat my weight in queso, and be the happiest girl in the world.
  3. I have a nephew who’s two years old, and (in my unbiased opinion) the cutest child on the planet.

I can’t wait to get to know each of you better—stop by my desk sometime and introduce yourself!

Andi Hale

FSD Administrator