Lynn D. Raley

Lynn D. Raley

Owner and Artistic Director
Lynn D. Raley is a native of North Carolina and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance Performance from East Carolina University.  Lynn has been teaching dance for 30+ years.  As Owner and Artistic Director of South East Dance Academy she continues her dance education by attending numerous Seminars, Master Classes, and Dance Conventions thus allowing her to stay on top of the changes to this living art form. Lynn has studied with Masters such as Gregory Hines and Debbie Dee for Tap; Gus Giordano and Luigi for Jazz; Douglas Waddell and Karen Hebert for Ballet; Keith Clifton and Tracy Stanfield for Musical Theatre.  She is a Certified Dance Educator through Dance Masters of America. Lynn has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Carolina Dance Masters as well as President of the organization.  She has also served on the National Board of Directors of Dance Masters of America.

She has won many state and national awards for choreography and is the teacher of Teen Mister Dance of America.  She has many dancers that are performing and teaching in New York, Chicago and Atlanta.  Lynn is instrumental in making sure that her dancers don’t just learn “A” dance, but learn “How To” dance.

While teaching children is her primary passion, performing is a close 2nd. Lynn can be seen in film, television, and live theatrical performances. She has been the Dance Captain and performer with Opera House Theatre Company for such productions as “Chicago”, “Victor/Victoria”, “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas”, “Singing in the Rain,” “42nd Street”, ” A Chorus Line”, “Anything Goes”, “Will Rogers Follies” and “George M!”.

In addition to teaching dance, Lynn maintains her commitment to community service.  She gives back to her dancers an extra opportunity to perform  as well as an opportunity for her dance families to contribute to a local charity during the Annual Christmas Concert.   She also recognizes those dancers that hold monthly Service Society projects as well as those that volunteer time or items to projects.  Lynn works hard on teaching life lessons not just dance lessons.

Taylor Raley

Taylor Raley

Instructor
Taylor Raley is a native of Wilmington, NC where she began her dance training and pursuing a
career in the Dance field. From there she attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she
graduated in May of 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance Performance and
Choreography. While attending VCU she had the privilege of performing choreography by
accredited staff and colleagues whilst also participating in a Pedagogy Internship under the
guidance of Courtney Harris and Village Dance Companies director Melissa Gravely. Taylor
traveled abroad to Doha, Qatar under faculty member Melanie Richards and participated in the
VCU- Qatar Taseem conference; an international arts event featuring artists from around the
world with unique and creative workshops displaying their approaches to making art and
integrating many disciplines. Taylor has also had the opportunity to showcase her own
choreography on many stages including The Grace Street Theater, The Druker Center, and in site
specific works. Since graduation, Taylor relocated to Chicago and has interned with Thodos
Dance Chicago, performed as a company member with Cocodaco Dance Company, J. Lindsay
Brown Dance, and Peckish Rhodes Performing Arts Society. As a free lance performer she has
also been featured in several pop up performances for dance festivals and performance
showcases including THAW, Dance Chance at Lou Conte, Going Dutch, Delve, and many
others. Taylor has been operating as Communications and Assistant Artistic Director at Intrigue
Dance and Performing Arts Center for the past 3 years while also traveling giving master classes
and setting choreography for studios and contemporary companies and acting as a teaching artist
for The Joffrey Ballet.
James DeVita

James DeVita

Instructor
James DeVita is originally from Owego, NY where he began his training in ballet, tap, and jazz at age 3 at Kathy Hansen’s School of Dance. At age 12, he continued his technical training at Ballet Arts Theatre in Endicott, NY under the direction of Tina Christina-Price. Throughout his time at both studios,James competed at numerous regional and national competitions, and performed in several regional performances of The Nutcracker and other originally choreographed works. He also attended Joffrey Ballet’s summer sessions in New York City. James continued his training while attending Colgate University where he also taught ballet, jazz, and technique classes at the United Academy of Dance in Oneida, NY. Since completing his undergraduate degree, he has performed with and taught for several regional companies in the Northeast, including New England Ballet Company, Ithaca Ballet, and Hangar Theater Company. While working on his graduate degrees at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, James performed with, and taught and choreographed for the UT Dance Company. In 2010-2011 he was the primary ballet instructor with Charlee’s Elite School of Dance in Waukee, IA. James also works as an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.
Kristi Stevens

Kristi Stevens

Instructor
Kristi Stevens took her first dance steps at age 8 and found her way to Dance Dimensions (Brookfield, CT) under founder Beverly Legge, and current director Dody Flynn. Realizing her passion for dance, she began her journey with Dance Masters of America starting Teacher Training School as a high school senior, studying with renowned educators Tom Ralabate, Larraine Susa, Bill Thomas, PJ Catalano, Judy Rice, Jill Chase and Lynne Kurdziel Formato to name a few. Over the next four years, Kristi continued her TTS program in the summers earning the post-graduate level and successfully passing certification exams in ballet, jazz, modern and tap.  She is a 2004 graduate of East Carolina University (BFA in Dance Education) as well as a licensed massage therapist from the Connecticut Center of Massage Therapy (Clinical Massage Program 2006) and licensed Pilates Mat instructor. As a dance instructor, Kristi shares her love for anatomy and how to safely use their bodies to be the best dancer possible. Kristi has been a member of Carolina Dance Masters since 2006 and currently serves on their Board of Directors. She has been teaching at South East Dance Academy since 2007 and lives in Wilmington with her husband Seth and two incredible children, Russell and Coraleigh.
Stevie Rae Stone

Stevie Rae Stone

Instructor
Stevie Rae began her dancing career at the age of 3 and soon after joined a traveling company dance team.  She quickly developed a passion for dance and remained a company dancer for 14 years.  She has experience in many diverse forms of dance including tap, hip hop, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, ballet and pointe.

Some of Stevie Rae‘s achievements include, at the age of 7 she was invited to the ABC television studio along with other dancers to be filmed for ESPN and she has appeared on instructional videos for Cathy Roe which has sold nationally.

Her teaching career began when she was 14 and she helped to assist other instructors in their classes at Storm Dance Alliance.  At age 16, she was hired at Gina’s School of Dance to teach her own classes of ballet, tap, hip hop jazz, contemporary, tumbling and technique every week with age ranges from 7 to 18.  She has since continued to work at Gina’s School of Dance and has received numerous awards and overalls for her competitive choreography.  Stevie Rae has also taught tap, hip hop, and ballet for ages 4 all the way up to 12 at Virtues in Motion.  A few of her dance combos she has taught in her classes are available to be viewed on her Instagram @sttevie.

Stevie Rae‘s passion for dancing extends into her love for teaching the art.  She strives to create an environment in her classroom where her students feel energetic, inspired and confident.   To her, each student brings something special to the class for the other students, as well as, the teacher to learn from.

LaVonda Howard

LaVonda Howard

Instructor
LaVonda Howard is a graduate of East Carolina University where she received a BFA in dance and was the recipient of the Marie Wallace Dance Scholarship. While at ECU, she was a member of the “5678” Musical Theater performances. She also appeared in the musical “Gypsy” with Barbara Bosson of Hill Street Blues. LaVonda danced professionally and traveled throughout North and South America on various cruise lines such of Royal Caribbean, Costa, Holland America and Celebrity. Being a veteran of the stage, she also performed on stages in San Diego, CA at the Coronado Resort, Showboat and Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, and the Newport Hotel and Resort in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

LaVonda has appeared in local theater productions in the Wilmington area including “42nd Street”, “Guys and Dolls” and “A Chorus Line”. Film credits include “Track 29”, “Cats Eye”, “Firestarter” and most recently onset of the film “Adrenaline”. Industrial credits include Daisytek, Ross Stores and IBM.

For the past 17 years, she has taught dance to recreational and competitive students. LaVonda is a 6-year Breast Cancer Survivor. In her spare time she is very dedicated to volunteering for charity organizations such as Women of Hope, Susan G. Komen and Pretty in Pink Foundation. LaVonda is a single mom of two beautiful children Brooke (15) and Trevor (11) of whom she shares life’s treasurable moments! She is excited for the “new” chapter in her life and delighted to share her passion and love of dance to children of all ages!

Morgan Grady

Morgan Grady

Instructor
Born and raised in Leland, Morgan graduated from North Brunswick High School in 2013 where she was a member of the dance team all 4 years, and captain for 2 of those years. She was also the team hip hop choreographer. Morgan competed on the SEDA Performing Team at the elite level with Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical, Modern and Hip Hop. She is a soon to be graduate of East Carolina University where she was Vice President of the Club Dance Team for two years, and President her senior year. Morgan will graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science in Public Health Studies upon completion of her internship at Verizon Corporate Wellness in December. She also completed the Disney College Program at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando FL in 2016! Morgan is extremely excited to be back at here home, SEDA, sharing her passion with the students!
Lizzy Mongo

Lizzy Mongo

Instructor
Elizabeth Mongo discovered her passion for dance at Tamala Taylor’s Academy of Dance (Wooster, OH) at age 5. There, she studied with Cecchetti Council of America completing   exams in Chapters One and Two by the age of 9. Elizabeth moved to the East Coast in 2006 where she continued her competitive career as a member of the South East Dance Academy Performing Team. Throughout her 12 years of competitions, Elizabeth was recognized for her musicality and  performance quality as well as receiving many overall scores in the Elite Contemporary and Tap   categories. Elizabeth was selected to compete for the title of Miss Dance of NC where she placed 11th at age 16. From ages 13-18, she was an active junior member of Carolina Dance Masters where she volunteered her time at competitions and conventions. She has been teaching at SEDA since 2014 and has always enjoyed sharing her knowledge with young artists. Her passion for teaching children has been present since she first started assisting dance classes at age 13. Her ultimate goal in every class is to encourage and challenge her students to express all of their emotions through movement. Elizabeth is currently a full time student of Cape Fear Community College where she will receive an Associates degree in Business Administration in the spring of 2020. She also works as an administrative assistant at Stevens Fine Homes in addition to being an instructor at SEDA.
Anthony Hinrichs

Anthony Hinrichs

Instructor
Anthony is a native to Wilmington and grew up training with Mira Fox-Lamendola. At 18 he moved to Los Angeles where he danced professionally with Bloc Talent Agency. He has taught and performed all over the country in genres such as tap, hip hop, contemporary, and jazz. Currently, he is working for Revive Dance Convention and is a Remix teacher for Adrenaline Dance Convention. He is very excited to be in Wilmington this summer to teach and share with everyone!
Audrey Buck

Audrey Buck

Instructor
Audrey Brown relocated to Wilmington, NC when she was ten years old and quickly found a home inside the walls of South East Dance Academy. She was a member of our SEDA Performing Team for five years. In that time, she studied Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Contemporary, Lyrical and Hip Hop. Audrey has also studied dance at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and was featured on the cover of the “Livin’ Out Loud” magazine. She is currently getting her Associates in Fine Arts from Cape Fear Community College and is excited to be a part of the wonderful SEDA Family.
Sean Tinkler

Sean Tinkler

Instructor
Sean Tinkler was born in St Petersburg Florida and moved to Wilmington at the age of 3.  He started teaching himself gymnastics at the age of 8 and specialized in trampoline and floor tumbling.  Sean started teaching at Gymnastics Unlimited in 2002 and has continued to teach privately till the present. He has 15 years teaching experience. When he is not teaching, he also owns and operates an automotive paint and body refinishing business. Sean is very excited to be working with South East Dance Academy.