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 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 on Music Row in Nashville in 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 wife Bethany are parents of daughter, Jaylee and son, Bryson.


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”.

  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

Amber Reavis

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, Contemporary, and Tap 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 and  experienced teacher, 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.  An accomplished ballet, pointe, and tap dancer, Lesli specializes in introducing beginning students, children and teenagers, to the world of dance.

Koura Wright is originally from Ithaca, New York.  She studied dance at the University of Vermont and The Ailey School in New York.  Koura moved to the Knoxville area where she performed as soloist and guest artist for The Appalachian Ballet Company as well as serving as guest choreographer. Koura is now completing her dance major at MTSU.  Koura will begin her work with DS in the summer of 2019 heading up the upper level ballet and pointe program. Koura brings a combination of maturity, experience, and grace as we welcome Koura to the Dancer’s School faculty. 


Koura Wright

Mason Owen

Mason is from Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Mason is currently a theatre major and dance minor at Western Kentucky University where she is studying modern and contemporary dance.  Mason’s modern style is characterized by fluid, expressive moves while incorporating the techniques of Twyla Tharp and other well known modern choreographers.  Holding the Delta Zeta Dance Chair Position at WKU along with numerous years of award winning dance performances, Mason brings a creative, innovative approach to the disciplines of Modern Dance.  She joins DS in the summer of 2019.

Gracie Walker

Versatile! An MTSU major in exercise science and minor in dance,  Gracie is a multi-talented dancer and teacher.  She has numerous choreography credits and was accepted into the Joffery Summer Ballet Intensive.  Gracie’s training encompasses multiple genre including ballet, pointe, jazz, contemporary, and hip hop.  Gracie joins the DS faculty as a Wee School instructor and will assist in multiple hip hop classes.