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.
Aaron Carter, a native of Statesboro, has been dancing since the age of 8 with Statesboro School of Dance. He has trained in classical ballet under the direction of Shay Morgan. Aaron has performed as the Cavalier, Arabian Prince, Soldier Doll, Snow Prince and the Nutcracker in “The Nutcracker Ballet”, King Triton in “The Little Mermaid”, Kristof in “Frozen”, Peter Pan in “Peter Pan”, Elf in “Rudolf”, Joseph in “Heaven’s Child”, Prince in “Snow White”, and Prince in “Sleeping Beauty”. He also performed in the “Wizard of Oz”, “Angelina Ballerina”, and “Alice in Wonderland”. Aaron also performed with the Columbia City Ballet in “Dracula Ballet with a Bite”. Along with assisting at Statesboro School of Dance, he currently works part-time at East Georgia Regional Medical Center as a nursing assistant. Aaron was pro dancer for Statesboro Dancing with Stars in 2018, a fundraising event for Safe Haven, a local women’s shelter. He and his partner, Diana Ray, won first runner-up Judges Choice and the People’s Choice award, voted for by fans.
A dancer since she was little, Jessica is our tap and jazz teacher, helping with the Pink, White, Light Blue, Royal Blue and Purple Classes for her sixth year. Jessica has studied tap, jazz and ballet under Ms. Shay. She danced with Statesboro School of Dance for 14 years, and started assisting classes when she was in 5th grade. A senior at Georgia Southern University, Jessica is majoring in communication studies. She is an active member of the First Baptist Church Student Ministry, and is the proud little sister of Jeremy, Jenifer and Jeb Daniel; and proud aunt of Benaiah!
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 17 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 Purple 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.
Student Teaching Assistants
Taylor has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 9 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 13 years and this will be her fourth year assisting. She is a junior 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.
Karlye Brooke Mainer
Karlye Brooke has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 14 years and will be assisting Mrs Shay for her third year. She is a senior at Southeast Bulloch High School where she is involved in FCCLA, FCA, and Beta Club. She enjoys spending time with family and friends and is also active at First Baptist Church. She is the daughter of Niki Gladin and Terry Mainer and also a big sister to Kayla Mainer.
Claire has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 10 years and will be assisting for her third year. She is currently a freshman 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 sophomore at Statesboro High School and has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 9 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 an 8th grader at Southeast Bulloch Middle School, and she is going into her 11th 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.
Nyla is a sophomore at Statesboro High School and has always loved the stage. When she was five she performed with Shades of Art, under direction of Mrs. Yolanda Oliver, which opened up endless confidence for her. She also danced with Brava Total Praise, under the direction of Lisa Campbell, where she learned praising God through dance was fun. Nyla also danced with The Prancing Stallions, where they competed in majorette dance as she had some ballet and tap practice with Mrs. Shay through the Boys and Girls Club, she went full time with Mrs Shay going on three years now. She will be taking early childhood classes this year as she loves babysitting and children. Nyla is the daughter of Robert and Jamie Parrish and Walter Tanksley. Nyla attends Spirit and Truth Worship Center where she does Praise and Liturgical Dance.
Katherine is a freshman 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.