Getting to know BSOB...
Bonita's School of Ballet was started in 1992 to foster the love of dance in Union County. Bonita, a native of Monroe, fell in love with ballet when she was a young child and wanted nothing more than to see the art form flourish in her hometown.
BSOB's approach to dance training is principled and personalized. In addition to classical technique, each student learns the grace, style, and self-confidence that result from performing to one’s personal best.
Thought is given to each child’s personality, strengths, artistic gifts, and sensitivities, thus drawing out the best in each child. Together, the class builds its own bond, allowing energy and companionship to shine. Each group benefits from the closeness they develop and the contribution each dancer makes. Our goal is not only to teach dance, but to touch lives.
Bonita’s School of Ballet has been a home away from home for hundreds of aspiring dancers. Our warmth, discipline and pure love of the dance continue to inspire young people who live by the motto, “We love to dance!”
Our teachers are among the most talented in the area. Their experience and passion create a perfect environment to foster the love of dance in students of all ages.
Bonita Simpson - Owner, Artistic Director, Teacher
Bonita Simpson, owner and director of Bonita’s School of Ballet (1992), founded Monroe City Ballet (2004) and the Union County Youth Ballet (1992). She is certified by American Ballet Theatre through the National Training Curriculum Program, Primary through Level 5. She is also certified as a ballet teacher through the Royal Academy of Dance and the Cecchetti Council of America. Simpson trained at the Charlotte School of Ballet under Gay Porter Speer. In her earlier training, Simpson attended summer programs at the North Carolina School of the Arts. She has continued her training with summer Teacher Intensives with Finis Jhung, Ballet Magnificat, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. Since she founded the Union County Youth Ballet, Simpson has directed and choreographed numerous full length productions including: The Nutcracker, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, and There is a God.
Amy Helms - Ballet/Pointe
Helms teaches ballet, pointe, pre-pointe, and boys' classes at Bonita's School of Ballet. She is certified by American Ballet Theatre through the National Training Curriculum Program, Primary through Level 5. She has studied Royal Academy of Dance and Vaganova (Russian) methods of classical ballet as well as modern, jazz, tap and ballroom dance. Amy is also a middle school social studies teacher in Monroe. She is married to District Court Judge Tripp Helms; they have three children; Max, Zealy and Henry.
Skyla Caldwell - Ballet/Pointe
Skyla Caldwell, A.R.A.D. (Associate of the Royal Academy of Dance), trained at the Charlotte School of Ballet under Gay Porter Speer and The Point Park Conservatory in Pittsburgh, PA as a scholarship student under the direction of Robert Munoz. Skyla has danced for NCDT as an apprentice under Salvatore Aiello and Jerry Kumery. Caldwell has also danced at the National Ballet of Cuba under Laura Alonzo in Havana, Cuba, and is associated with the Royal Academy of London. Caldwell has danced with the Moving Poets Theater of Dance for the last eight years and is currently serving as the Ballet Mistress of the Union County Youth Ballet.
Lisa Leone - Ballet/Pointe
Leone began her training in Tacoma, WA under Jan Collum. After dancing the role of Cinderella in Washington, the choreographer, Tom Pazik, director of Atlanta Ballet II, invited her to study in Atlanta. She later danced with the Atlanta Ballet and the Ballet Rotaru, touring Romania and performing at the George Enescu Festival in Bucharest. For three years Ms. Leone danced as a soloist with the Oregon Ballet Theatre. After relocating to NC she performed as a guest artist with area companies and was a member of the Moving Poets Theatre of Dance.
Elizabeth Roach - Modern/Jazz
Elizabeth Roach is a native of North Carolina and an alumna of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where she graduated with honors with a BFA in contemporary dance. She has received scholarships and participated in a variety of dance summer activities, such as: The American Dance Festival, Limon Summer Workshop, The London Contemporary Dance School, and most recently she has participated in the Methodist Liturgical Dance Workshop. Recently, she choreographed with members of the Bill T. Jones Company in a workshop known as "Thinking, Making, Doing Together" at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Elizabeth has had the pleasure of working with Doug Elkins and Company, The Limon Company, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Au Deum Dance Company and choreographers of The Place of London, Europe. Since Graduation, Elizabeth has been a full-time dance teacher at various dance studios in the Charlotte area, a member of The KYNETIC Works Dance Company of Charlotte, North Carolina. Elizabeth teaches beginning through advanced classes in modern and advanced jazz at BSOB. Elizabeth is an ABT certified teacher, who has successfully completed the American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level Three of the ABT National Training Curriculum.
Joel Paulus - Ballet
JOEL PAULUS is a dancer, singer, actor, musician, choreographer and teacher originally from Baytown, Texas. Mr. Paulus has performed with many regional and civic ballet companies across the United States including Rochester City Ballet, North Star Ballet, and Contemporary Ballet Theater of New York. In New York when not dancing freelance, he could seen performing for three seasons as a supernumerary with the Metropolitan Opera and American Ballet Theatre. He was also a member of Dance Spectrum, At Marah Dance Theater and in conjunction with the Jose Limon Dance Company danced in There is a Time for the C.S. Lewis Institute in Cambridge, England. Other credits include choreography for the NIV Kids Club video series, the Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival, and various regional musical theater productions ranging from Pirates of Penzance to South Pacific. Places of study include: City Ballet of Houston, Joffrey Ballet School as full scholarship trainee, Broadway Dance Center, Steps, a BFA in Musical Theatre/Dance emphasis, and an MA in Christian Apologetics researching the theological value of ballet. Mr. Paulus' studies afforded him the opportunity to glean from a spectrum of dance luminaries including David Howard, Elenor D'Antuono, Fernando Bujones, Donald McKayle, and Charles McGowan. He has taught ballet classes in the greater Houston, Charlotte, and New York areas. Currently, Mr. Paulus is pursing PhD studies in theology and the arts and is artist in residence with the Union County Youth Ballet.
Miranda Crane - Ballet/Pointe/Boys
Originally from Waxhaw, NC, Miranda has received ballet training from Bonita’s School of Ballet and Ballet Magnificat. During her time at Bonita’s School of Ballet she was a member of Union County Youth Ballet as well as Monroe City Ballet, the Pre-Professional sector of the UCYB. With the UCYB she had the privilege to perform in ballets such as The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, and Cinderella. She also attended UNCSA’s Winter Dance Festival for multiple years during high school and performed with MCB at the showcase at the end of the Festival. During high school she also attended Ballet Magnificat! Summer Dance Intensive for 2 years.
In 2014 Miranda was accepted into Ballet Magnificat! Trainee Program. While dancing in the Trainee Program she was awarded the Rose Faucher Scholarship for the 2015-16 season. She also served as Ballet Magnificat! School of the Arts Costume Mistress in 2016-17. She danced with Trainee I, II, and Events Company for 3 years. In the Events Company she toured not only nationally but also internationally to Honduras, Guam, South Korea, and China. She graduated from the Trainee Program in the spring of 2017.
Christopher Rodriguez Miro, originally from Cuba, started dancing at the age of seven, training at the Elementary School of Ballet of Cuba under Alejo Carpentier. He continued his training at the National School of Ballet of Cuba. Christopher was awarded the Bronze Medal at the International Students of Ballet competition in Havana in 2006 and went on to win the Gold Medal in 2008. He has performed in ballets such as Giselle, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Suite Paquita and Coppelia,and has performed internationally in Mexico, Cuba, and South Africa. Christopher first joined the Columbia City Ballet in 2010 and has danced such roles as Spanish Hot Chocolate from Nutcracker and Flames of Paris Pas de Deux. Returning this season, Christopher has performed as Snow King and Dew Drop in Nutcracker; and takes on the role of The Prince in Cinderella. Christopher was promoted to Principal in 2015.
Jamie Roumayah - Tap/Jazz/Beginner Teen Ballet
Jamie is currently on the judging staff for Reaction Danceforce (RDF) Competitions and has judged for Premier Dance Competitions and Pageants and Dance Masters of the Blue Grass. She is also the Director for Charleston Stage Company’s Summer Arts Camp at West Virginia State University. Her students have received awards and scholarships to various universities, conventions, and schools of arts all over the country. Many of her students are furthering their dance careers as professional performers and dance teachers. Jamie has choreographed events for the Livonia Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and was awarded a choreography award for the pointe work entitled “Chaplin-A Tribute to Charlie Chaplin.” She is also the Director of “Dance Attack! Workshops” and conducting workshops nationally.
Heidi Gordon - Tap/Jazz
Gordon has an extensive background in performance and education of multiple forms of dance. She began training in 1979 at a local dance school where she studied for 17 years. In 1996 she came a certified member of Dance Masters of America Chapter 44. She has since served this organization for 25 years holding the position of Upstate Director as well as serving on the Board for 4 years. Gordon attended CPCC for 3 years while performing ballet and modern with the Dance Central Performing Arts Company. In 1998 Gordon opened Broadway Dreams Dance Productions in Monroe. Her students have received such honors as Jr. Mr. Dance of South Carolina, America’s Jr Mr. Dance, America’s Jr. Miss Dance as well as being named Grand National Champions in the solo, duo, group divisions. Gordon retired as studio director in June of 2018 after celebrating 20 years of business. She is now teaching at First Baptist Church Weekday Preschool, and is joining the staff here at BSOB this fall. Gordon is a Union County native and has married to her husband Josh for 11 years. They have 2 daughters, Savannah and Brooklyn, who are also dancers.
Sun Young Hwang
Hwang has taught Ballet at Sejong University in south Korea. She has studied Method of classical ballet at Vaganova of Russian Ballet as well as contemporary Ballet, Korean dance and modern dance, She is also certified to teach Russian Vaganova Method Ballet technique. She is also a Director of the Korea Ballet Association and an Executive Director of the Korean Association of Dance.
Rebecca Dickson - Ballet/Pointe
Alex White - Hip Hop
Tara Beaver - Ballet/Pointe/Tap/Boys
Tara has been dancing with Bonita's School of Ballet since its inception in 1993. She has studied the Royal Academy, Cecchetti, & ABT methods of classical ballet. Tara is an ABT certified teacher, who has successfully completed the American Ballet Theatre Teacher Training Intensive in Primary through Level Three of the ABT National Training Curriculum. She has also been trained in contemporary ballet, modern, jazz, tap, and lyrical. Tara is daughter of Owner/Artistic Director, Bonita Simpson. She is married to Grant Beaver, and they are expecting their first child in September of 2018. Tara is currently on Maternity Leave, but will return to teaching in January of 2019.