The Dancer’s School


Sara Raines, a graceful ballerina since childhood, has been with The Dancer’s School for more than a decade. Having studied with The Nashville Ballet for several years, Sara performed in Coppelia as well as numerous productions of The Nutcracker.  Other dance credits include Carousel with The Nashville Opera and a two-time featured performer for Vanderbilt’s Masked Charity Ball.  In addition to teaching tap, Sara enjoys introducing students to ballet and laying the foundations for advanced work in pointe.  With a background in Montessori education,  Sara also holds a B.S. degree from MTSU in Health and Human Performance with a minor in Health and Nutrition.  A Murfreesboro native, Sara is married to Caleb and are parents of daughter, Samantha Jane and son, Tristan.

Jordan Tate, a lifelong resident of Murfreesboro, is the Assistant Director of The Dancer’s School and a master teacher of Hip Hop.  A true professional, Jordan toured with Interscope Recording Artist, Kaci Brown as the opening act for The Backstreet Boys’ “Never Gone Tour”.  With dance performances in every major US city and Canada, Jordan brings excitement and current, competitive choreography to all of his classes as well as appropriate music with clean lyrics.  An honors graduate of SAE Institute, sound and audio engineering, Jordan’s work also includes music editing services to clients near and far. Jordan teaches for several well-known studios in the mid-state area. His music video credits and stage performances include work with artists Kirk Franklin, Brad Paisley, and Joe Nichols, in addition to various television commercials.  He describes his passion in one word…”teaching”. His classes prepare students for dance teams, music videos, stage, theatre, and other high energy performances.  Jordan and Bethany are parents of daughter, Jaylee and son, Bryson.


Jordan with wife


Jimmi Lou Tate, owner and director of The Dancer’s School, has been a leading member of the dance community for over thirty-five years.  A master teacher of tap for all ages, she also has served as an independent choreographer for the MTSU music department and the Nashville Opera.  With a BS in Elementary Education, an MS in Physical Education, and studies in sacred dance from the University of California at Berkley, Jimmi Lou is also a competitive, award winning Latin and ballroom dancer.  A published writer of dance related articles and poetry; Jimmi Lou has been described as “the teacher who has taught Murfreesboro how to dance”.

Nancy has taught pre-school at The Dancer’s School for two decades.  With the perfect mix of structure and fun,  Nancy lays the foundation upon which good dancing is built.  Having studied dance at MTSU, taking weekly classes in tap and jazz, and being a mother and grandmother of four young dancing children, Nancy’s experience is invaluable to the very young dancer.

Ashlie Heatherly

Ashlie joins the staff as a young lady who has proven herself on and off the dance floor.  A former DS Director’s Award winner, Ashlie is a high energy dancer and a servant leader to her fellow students.  A competitive Hip Hopper, Ashlie instructs the K-1 Hippy Hop classes.  She is very popular with adult classes as well.  Ashlie combines her responsibility to little ones with a sense of propriety in music  and lyrics. Energetic and creative, her classes are fun in every way! 


Jimmi Lou Tate

Sara Raines

Ginny Whaley

Kaci is a veteran in the performing arts. Highlights from her dance career include dancing at Walt Disney World’s Pleasure Island, a featured dancer in various musical theatre productions and instructing tap, ballet, and jazz at Abounding in Grace Christian Dance in Winter Park, Florida. Kaci served as an in-house choreographer for The Civic Theatre (now the Orlando Repertory Theatre) in Orlando, Florida. Currently, Kaci serves as the Dance Director for the Kids Choir Dancers at World Outreach Church.  Kaci has a BS in English Education and a Masters in Education in Professional Counseling. Kaci instructs the college / career lyrical classes, pre-k, and home school dance division.  Married to Joe, they are parents of Anna and Audrey.

Kaci Jacobellis

Amber Reavis

Shelby Ring

Jenna Nelson

With an emphasis in jazz and contemporary dance, Amber is a seasoned class teacher as well as a successful dance competition choreographer. Her contemporary, jazz, and creative approaches to movement have been continually recognized and awarded in the competition community. A seasoned hip hopper as well, Amber holds a performance resume including Star Power, Star System, Applause, Showstoppers, and NYCDA.  Amber was also selected as a Titans cheerleader. Amber instructs DS Jazz and Contemporary classes. Amber’s high energy and creative choreography prepare students for stage, theatre, dance teams, and video work. 

Jenna comes to The Dancer’s School from Nashville, Tn. Jenna graduated from West Palm Beach Atlantic University with an emphasis in performance/choreography. Continuing to study in New York, Jenna danced professionally with the 6th Day Dance Company in Seattle, Washington. Jenna instructs the DS junior high lyrical classes and selected ballet classes. A seasoned Pilates instructor, Jenna brings a warmth  and an experienced understanding of the student to the day to day studio experience.

Jordan Tate

Lesli Hammers

Dancer, teacher, and choreographer, Lesli’s credits include teaching pre-school-kindergarten ballet and tap; choreographing lyrical and ballet sacred dance for various church performances, and performing for mass crusades in Peru and Nicaragua.  A DS graduate and an accomplished ballet, pointe, and tap dancer, Lesli is the lead teacher for the ever popular DS Summer “Princess/Prince” School.

Nancy Walters

 Ginny is lead instructor for all DS upper level ballet technique and pointe classes. Graduating from MTSU in May 2017 with a B.A. in Anthropology, a minor in dance and a concentration in French, Ginny offers her students challenging technique classes and multicultural dance experiences. From east TN, Ginny trained at the City Youth Ballet and attended the TN Governor’s School for the Arts.  A seasoned ballerina, Ginny recently performed in Senegal, West Africa and will be performing in the 2017 Spring dance festival at the People’s Friendship University of Russia.

Russia.  She is a passionate dancer with a teaching style that emphasizes enthusiasm for the art and a strong desire to improve.  Ginny teaches our advanced ballet and pointe classes.

Shelby graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2015 with a BFA in Contemporary Dance. Shortly after leaving UNCSA, Shelby found her way back home to Tennessee where she became a company member of FALL where she has been able to work and perform with various artists and collaborators. Shelby teaches modern dance technique at The Dancer’s School and is excited to share her love of performance with her classes.