Shay Thompson Morgan, Artistic Director
Shay Thompson Morgan began her ballet training at age three, following the Royal Academy of Dancing syllabus. She has studied with world-renowned teachers including David Howard, Karena Brock, Patricia Wilde and William Starrett.
Mrs. Morgan holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia Southern University. She served as faculty member and soloist with Ballet South/ Columbia City Ballet from 1996 to 2001. Her performance achievements include major roles in The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Coppelia, Les Sylphides, Cinderella, Hansel & Gretel and Dracula.
Mrs. Morgan has choreographed numerous original works and taught community outreach and dance enrichment programs for Bulloch/ Candler County schools, Georgia Southern University, and the Boys & Girls Club. A member of the Statesboro/Bulloch County Chamber of Commerce since 2003, Shay is heavily involved in community improvement.
She has participated in the Safe Haven Women’s Shelter fundraiser Dancing with the Statesboro Stars, as well as Georgia Southern University’s Festival of Trees; a fundraiser that provides Christmas gifts to needy families. In 2017, Shay was honored with a Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award for her work in the Statesboro community. Mrs. Morgan resides in Statesboro with her husband, Clint, and two sons, Rand and Rhett.
A former student of Mrs. Shay’s for 10 years, Annalise graduated from Georgia College & State University in May 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and minors in Dance and Creative Arts Therapies. Annalise was involved with the Department of Theatre and Dance program at GC and the Community Dance program. Her performances included the Nutcracker, Cabaret, and Spring Dance Minor Concerts. Annalise currently attends Georgia Southern University to pursue her Child Life Specialist certification.
Autumn danced with Mrs. Shay for 14 years and is a freshman at Georgia Southern University, where she is a member of the marching band. She is enjoys spending free time creating works of art and makeup. She is the daughter of Gina and David Winnette and big sister to Maegan and Maegan Thomas.
Mandy is the Marketing Director for Statesboro School of Dance. She is owner of locally-owned, and award-winning, ME Marketing Services, where she creates successful digital marketing strategies for clients, along with designing websites. Mandy has been happily married for over 18 years and is the mom to two red-headed dancers at Statesboro School of Dance – Allie, who is in the B&B Class; and Eliza, who is in the Green Class. She’s a member of First Baptist Statesboro and is active in Professional Women of Statesboro, the Ibis Foundation, and the Lynda Brannen Williamson Foundation, where she sits on the board for all three.
Diana Ray is the backstage director for all of Statesboro School of Dance’s performances. She graduated from Georgia Southern University in 2005 with a Bachelor’ of Science degree in Nursing and is the Clinical Director of the Intensive Care Unit and Progressive Care Unit at East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Diana has been happily married to Justin Ray for 14 years. They have 3 beautiful children: Elaina, Lucas, and Liam, all of which dance at SSOD. Diana is a member of Saint Matthews Catholic Church, where she teaches religious education classes for the 8th grade. When it comes to dance, Diana is no stranger to dancing and the stage. She participated in the Safe Haven Women’s Shelter fundraiser Dancing with the Statesboro Stars in October 2018. Her dance partner was former SSOD dancer Aaron Carter. After performing a ballet to “Titanic”, they walked away with 1st runner up and Sunday’s People Choice Award Winner!
Student Teaching Assistants
Taylor has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 10 years and will be assisting with the pink class. She is a sophomore at Statesboro High School. When she is not at dance, Taylor is an active member of Eastern Heights Baptist Church youth group. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends. Taylor is the daughter of Corey and Shannon Hinson, and big sister to Ansley.
Kate has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 14 years and this will be her fourth year assisting. She is a senior at Statesboro High School. She attends Pittman Park United Methodist Church where she is an active member of the youth group. She enjoys spending time with her friends and family. Kate is the daughter of Franklin and Beth Lamb, and big sister to Christopher.
Claire has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 11 years and will be assisting for her t4th year. She is currently a sophomore at Southeast Bulloch High School. When Claire is not dancing she enjoys spending time with friends and family. She is also an active member of Friendship Baptist Church youth group and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Claire is the daughter of Tony and Cyd Pagliarullo, and big sister to Charlotte and Tripp.
Zoe is a junior at Statesboro High School and has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 10 years. When she is not at dance, Zoe enjoys youth activities at PPUMC, especially Big Stuf summer camp. She enjoys spending as much time as possible time with her friends. Zoe is the daughter of Jill & Ken Johns and Raphael Pantin & Eun Lee. She has 2 dogs, 2 cats and 3 brothers.
Sara is a freshman at Southeast Bulloch High School, and she is going into her 12th year of dancing. She is Vice President of Builder’s Club, which focuses on community service, and a huddle leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. She enjoys being around her family and friends as well as her cat BoBo and her dog Buck. She also babysits her 5 year old cousin on a regular basis. Her interests outside of school include drawing, painting and reading. She attends Trinity Presbyterian Church in Statesboro. Sara is the daughter of Don and Melissa Rawlins, and the younger sister of Jacob.
Katherine is a sophomore at Bulloch Academy and in her 13th year of dance at Statesboro School of Dance. At school, Katherine is a member of the Math Team and Y-Club. She attends First United Methodist Church where is a member of the Youth Group. When not at school or dance, Katherine loves spending time with her friends and going to the beach or to Disney World. The past three summers has seen her attend the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive at the University of Georgia twice, and private lessons with William Starrett, the director of the Columbia City Ballet in Columbia, SC. Katherine is the daughter of Austin and Heather Whitlock and the sister of Ansley and Harper.