Angela Puleo is a Performance Improvement coach, consultant, educator and public speaker and the owner of Blairsville Dance Project. A dancer since age 2, Angela started trying to open her own dance studio at age 9. It is likely no surprise that parents were not lined up to sign up their children, so the studio she started in the spare bedroom, Rainbow Connection, was her second business fail. The first was the handwritten worksheets she tried to sell in her front yard at age 6.
Never one to give up, she opened Blairsville Dance in 2006. After getting her MBA, she then went on to found Compass Sterling, a coaching and consulting firm in 2016, but despite a degree and a flood of great ideas, she felt that she wasn’t really living up to her potential and achieving her goals.
After noticing she often self-sabotaged by not following through with what she had promised herself, she took time off from creating new things and began studying mindset, self-image and success strategies. She pursued a neuroscience based coaching certification, which combined with her multiple failures and a cancer diagnosis gave rise to a new skill…finding new ways to look at troublesome things. As it turns out, other people will pay you for that, so she has worked with educational institutions, hospital systems, national non-profits, tech companies and small businesses to help them find new opportunities to make big changes.
As she discovered during her 17 years of working as a dance teacher, however, her passion is helping youth develop a self-image that serves them well in dance AND in life. She then transformed Compass Sterling to focus on teaching this skill to dancers and dance educators with the goal of helping dancers nationwide find their personal power to create their ideal lives, both in and out of the dance studio. Outside of coaching and teaching, she is working with her mother Deborah Adams, a published author, on a series of growth mindset books for young dancers, featuring the loveable, yet oftentimes clumsy, York the Yeti.
In addition to serving as Director of Blairsville Dance, Angela currently teaches Senior Contemporary, Senior Jazz, Senior Clogging and co-teaches Senior Hip Hop.
Brett has been dancing for 39 years and has been teaching for 26 years. During that time she has also performed in numerous dinner theater productions at Elaine’s Dinner Theater in Cape May N.J. As well as being a performer and lead dancer at Elaine’s, she was also the choreographer for the theater for a number of years. Brett has also worked on Premier Cruise Lines as a lead dancer, actor, singer as well as the choreographer. After working professionally for a number of years, she wanted to be a dance teacher and a role model like all of the teachers that she had when she was younger. Brett was ready for the next step in her career. She opened a dance studio in New Jersey, Rising Stars Performing Arts Company . She loved being the owner and director of her studio, and teaching tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, ballet and pointe. In addition to working as the General Manager of Blairsville Dance Project, Brett teaches Youth and Junior Ballet, Ballet Intensive, Pre-Pointe, Pointe, Junior Jazz, Acrodance 2, and Senior Lyrical.
Director of Preschool Dance
Molly Brendle has been teaching dance professionally for ten years at Blairsville Dance Project. Prior to joining the BDP staff, she studied dance for nearly seventeen years, with a focus on Jazz, Hip Hop and percussive dance styles. Before becoming a lead dance instructor, Molly was an assistant teacher for seven years, assisting with students of all ages and has competed in regional and national dance competitions countless times in both Hip Hop and Clogging as a team dancer, as well as a soloist. As part of her continued commitment to quality dance instruction and study, Ms. Brendle continues to study dance through master classes and has trained with many internationally known industry professionals, including Tony Dovolani and tWitch. She as achieved multiple certifications in Preschool Dance and Acrobatic Arts and oversees curriculum development for Dance Fundamentals, Tap/Ballet Combo, Fairy Tale Ballet and Dance and Tumble classes. She also teaches Dance Fundamentals, Tap/Ballet Combo, AcroDance 1 and co-teaches Advanced Hip Hop.
After rekindling her childhood love of dance while preparing for Dancing with the North Georgia Stars with one of the Blairsville Dance teachers, we were able to convince Angie to join our studio family. She already had extensive training in multiple dance styles, but she began classes as an adult student at Blairsville Dance in 2018. Because of her dedication, talent and gentle way with children, she was a natural fit for the BDP staff, and she began teaching in 2019. Angie currently teaches Dance Fundamentals and Fairy Tale Ballet.
Hope Koluder began as a student at Blairsville Dance in 2008. Over the years, she has studied ballet, jazz, clogging, hip hop and contemporary. In addition to her training at Blairsville Dance, she was active in the theatre program throughout school and is an accomplished actress and singer. She began teaching the Musical Theatre program in 2020. In addition to oversight of the Musical Theatre program, she also teaches Tap/Ballet Combo, Junior Hip Hop and Dance and Tumble.
Trista Taylor began as a student at Blairsville Dance 14 years ago. Over the years, she has studied ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, clogging, hip hop, lyrical, contemporary, acrodance and musical theatre. She has competed with multiple BDP competition groups and as a soloist, winning many regional and national titles. Trista teaches Youth Clogging, Junior Clogging, Fairy Tale Ballet, Youth Jazz and co-teaches Junior Hip Hop.
Sara Ketchens began her dance training at age 3 and joined the Blairsville Dance family as a student in 2015. Over the years, she has studied ballet, pointe, jazz, clogging, hip hop, lyrical and contemporary and is a member of the Blairsville Dance Force competition clogging team. She holds pageantry titles with the American Clogging Hall of Fame, as Miss ACHF Role Model of the Year 2021 and with ANG as Miss Tennessee Teen 2020. Her platform and community outreach is ConfiDANCE in Motion, which encourages young ladies through the art of dance. Now pursuing her degree in Social Work, Sara is currently serving as a Guest Instructor and Competition Choreographer.
Ella Collins is an accomplished dancer who has trained in all genres for 13 years. She specializes in acrobatics, lyrical, contemporary, jazz and technique. She has danced competitively since age 6 and has won multiple titles in the Elite/ Level 3 division, as well as many scholarships and awards. She has taught locally and has traveled from Florida to New York City to help others attain their dance goals and advane their training while sharing her passion. She currently teaches Junior Lyrical, Junior Contemporary, Junior Ballet Technique and co-teaches AcroDance 2.
Megan Kimsey is a new addition to Blairsville Dance Project, and we are very excited to have her developing our new Pom Dance program. Megan has 16 years of competitive cheerleading experience, which makes her the perfect addition to our studio family. She has eight years of experience providing choreography and coaching for cheerleading, dance, tumble and gymnastics. She will be teaching Beginning Pom, Youth Pom and Junior Pom.