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, and was recently a judge for, the Safe Haven Women’s Shelter fundraiser Dancing with the Statesboro Stars and is on the local board for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. In 2017, Shay was honored with a Deen Day Smith Service to Mankind Award for her work in the Statesboro community. In 2023 she was featured in Discovering Bulloch, and in 2024 was featured in one of the Averitt Center for the Arts’ ONE Series. Mrs. Morgan resides in Statesboro with her husband, Clint, and two sons, Rand and Rhett.

School Faculty

Makayla Chambers

Makayla Chambers is a student at Georgia Southern University majoring in Human Development and Family Science concentrating in Child Development with hopes of earning a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Makayla began her dance training at four years old studying tap, ballet, and jazz. She progressed to competition-style jazz and liturgical dance before joining the Accelerated Programs at East Athens Educational Dance Center directed by Nena Gilreath. Under Mrs. Gilreath, Makayla studied a myriad of traditional dance genres such as Pointe, African, Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Hip Hop. During those years, Makayla supplemented her dance training by attending summer intensives such as Joffrey South and New York Institute of Dance and Education’s Dance Festival, along with participating in Brenau University’s Days of Dance and Joffrey Ballet School’s open classes. Additionally, she was given the opportunity to take class and participate in a mock audition with the Radio City Rockettes. Makayla completed her dance training in Covington Regional Ballet’s Pre-Professional Ballet Company. While in the company, she performed lead roles such as Drosselmeyer and Rat Queen in The Nutcracker and Czarda in Coppelia, as well as many Corps roles in various ballets like Where the Wild Things Are and The Little Mermaid to name a few. While her days of performing were filled with such joy and wonderful memories, Makayla is looking forward to discovering a new avenue in her dance journey- teaching. She possesses a deep love for the intricacies of dance, especially in ballet and pointe work, as well as exploring new, unique movements in contemporary dance. Makayla’s primary goal in the studio is for each student to know they belong, are capable of greatness beyond their imagination, and emphasize just having fun doing what they love. Makayla is exhilarated to be joining the SSOD family and begin working with all the wonderful students!

Mandy Edwards

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 20 years and is the mom to two red-heads, Allie, a SSOD alum who is a freshman at UGA; and Eliza, who is in the B&B 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.

Jessica Lavender Goddard (Guest Faculty)

Jessica Lavender Goddard moved to Statesboro, GA when she was four-years-old. She could never stand still (still cannot), and was doing kartwheels on the soccer field during games, so her Mom quickly enrolled her in dance lessons. She danced with SSOD for ten years and loved every minute of it. Jessica was especially honored to dance the role of Sugar Plum Fairy two years in a row under Mrs. Shay’s direction. She began helping with dance classes when she was in fifth grade, and was teaching on her own as a junior in high school. Jessica continued to teach dance all four years of college at Georgia Southern University, and has assisted in choreographing dances for Mrs. Shay each year since she graduated with her bachelor of science in Communication Studies in 2020. Jessica currently lives in Wake Forest, NC with her husband, Dawson, and her golden retriever, Brinkley.

Taylor Hinson

Taylor is a current sophomore at Georgia Southern University where she majors in elementary education. She danced under the instruction of Mrs.Shay for 11 years at SSOD. Taylor has been teaching and assisting at the studio since tenth grade. While not at the studio, you can find Taylor working at Forest Heights Pharmacy or spending time with her friends and family. She is also a member at Eastern Heights Baptist Church. Taylor is the daughter of Corey and Shannon Hinson, and she is the oldest sister of Ansley Hinson.

Karlye Brooke Mainer

Karlye Brooke is a current senior at Georgia Southern University where she majors in elementary education. She danced under the instruction of Mrs. Shay for 14 years at SSOD. Karlye Brooke has also been assisting and teaching at the studio since the ninth grade. Her passion for dance and children have led her back helping at the studio. While not at the studio, you can find Karlye Brooke working at Forest Heights Pharmacy or spending time with friends and family. She is also a member of First Baptist Church of Statesboro. Karlye Brooke is the daughter of Niki Gladin and Terry Mainer, and she is the older sister of Kayla Mainer.

Claire Pagliarullo

Claire is a freshman at Georgia Southern University in the Honors College and is a Biochemistry major. She danced with Statesboro School of Dance for 14 years. She has been assisting for the past 6 years and loves to see younger dancers develop a passion for dancing. When Claire is not at the dance studio, you can find her working at Forest Heights Pharmacy or spending time with friends and family. She is also an active member of Old Fellowship Baptist Church and an active volunteer in the community. Claire is the daughter of Tony and Cyd Pagliarullo.

Diana Ray

Diana 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 Critical Care and Dialysis at East Georgia Regional Medical Center. Diana has 3 beautiful children: Elaina, Lucas, and Liam, all of which dance at SSOD.  Diana is a member of Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church, where she teaches religious education classes for the 8th grade.  She serves as secretary on the board of Safe Haven and Dancing with the Statesboro Stars Committee. When it comes to dance, Diana is no stranger to dancing and the stage.  She participated in the Safe Haven Domestic Violence Shelter fundraiser Dancing with the Statesboro Stars in October 2018 and 2020.  Her dance partner was former SSOD dancer Aaron Carter. After performing a ballet to “Titanic”, they walked away with 1st runner up and People Choice Award Winner!

Student Teaching Assistants

Lauryn Bazemore

Lauryn is a 9th grader at SEBHS. She has danced with Mrs. Shay since age 3. She is a member of the math team and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Lauryn loves babysitting and working with children. She is the daughter of Chris and Melissa Bazemore.

Bella Bishop

Bella is a 9th grader at SHS.She has been dancing with Mrs.Shay since she was 3 years old. When she is not at the dance studio, she is active at FBC Statesboro and in the Bulloch County 4-H. She enjoy spending time with family and friends. Bella is the daughter of Tim and Summer Bishop and the younger sister of Alex Bishop.

Abbie Durden

Abbie is in the 9th grade at Trinity Christian School where she is a member of Student Council. She has been dancing for 11 years, 6 of which have been with Statesboro School of Dance. Abbie is a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church and is active in the youth group. In her spare time, she loves reading, drawing, painting and hanging out with her friends and family. Abbie is the daughter of Cameron and Anna Durden and the older sister of Cameron Jr.

Ella Collins

Headshot and bio coming soon.

Eliza Edwards

Eliza is an 9th grader at Bulloch Academy. She has been dancing with Ms. Shay since she was 2 1/2 years old. When not at the dance studio, Eliza is active at FBC Statesboro and in Bulloch County 4-H where she also competes in archery. At school she is on the math team, archery team, and a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Eliza is the daughter of Ben and Mandy Edwards, and little sister to SSOD Alum Allie Edwards.

Savannah Gordon

Savannah Gordon is an 8th grader at Southeast Bulloch Middle School and has been dancing at SSOD for 11 years. She is excited to help at the studio this year and looks forward to seeing all of the dancers.

Elle Greeson

Elle is a senior at Bulloch Academy, and has been dancing with Mrs. Shay at SSOD for 14 years. She is an active member of the Brooklet United Methodist Church youth group. Elle enjoys spending time with family and friends at the beach. She is the daughter of Josh and Holly Greeson and big sister to Hannah Grace.

Blair Lanier

Blair has been dancing with SSOD for 9 years.  She is a 7th grader at Trinity Christian School and is a member of First Baptist Church Statesboro. Besides dancing, Blair loves reading, crocheting, and spending time with family and friends. Blair is the daughter of Landon and Malinda Lanier and sister to Madelyn and J.B.

Madelyn Lanier

Madelyn is a 9th grader at Trinity Christian School. She has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for twelve years. Madelyn is a member of First Baptist Church Statesboro and enjoys being a part of the youth group. When she’s not dancing, Madelyn loves reading, baking, and embroidering. Madelyn is the daughter of Landon and Malinda Lanier and older sister of fellow SSOD dancer Blair and JB Lanier.

Vivian Nguyen

Vivian is currently a junior at Bulloch Academy. She has danced at SSOD for 11 years. Outside of dance, Vivian enjoys going out with friends, walking along the beach, and drawing. Vivian is the daughter of Bill and Tina Nguyen and is the middle child of her two brothers Alex and Edward.

Charlotte Pagliarullo

Charlotte is in her 13th year of dance with Mrs. Shay and is currently a 10th grader at Southeast Bulloch High School. When Charlotte is not dancing she enjoys being with her friends and family. She is also an active member of Old Fellowship Baptist Church youth group, Builders Club, and is a huddle leader for Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Charlotte is the daughter of Tony and Cyd Pagliarullo, and sister to Claire and Tripp.

Sara Rawlins

Sara is a senior at Southeast Bulloch High School. She has been dancing for 15 years and 11 of those years have been with SSOD. Sara attends Trinity Presbyterian Church. When she is not at dance, she enjoys watching movies with her family and eating out with friends. Sara is the daughter of Don and Melissa Rawlins and the younger sister of Jacob.

Elaina Ray

Elaina is in the 7th grade at Langston Chapel Middle School. She has been dancing for 10 years at Statesboro School of Dance. Elaina is a member of Saint Matthew’s Catholic Church.  In her spare time, she loves reading, drawing, hanging out with her brothers, and serving at the soup kitchen every Saturday. Elaina is the daughter of Justin and Diana Ray and the older sister of Lucas and Liam, who also dance at SSOD.

Tess Rogers

Tess is a 7th grader at Southeast Bulloch Middle School. She has been dancing with Mrs. Shay since she was 3. She loves dancing, and she also loves singing and acting. She participates in chorus at her school and theatre at the Averitt Center. She is very involved in student council and other clubs at her school. Tess is a member of First Presbyterian Church where she is part of the youth group. She is the daughter of Matt and Lauren Rogers, and big sister to William. She loves spending time with her friends and her two goldendoodles, Maggie and Bo, and her orange tabby cat, Tiger LIly.

Harper Whitlock

Harper Whitlock has been dancing with SSOD for 12 years. Harper is an 9th grader at Bulloch Academy where she is a member of the math team. Harper has performed with the Columbia City Ballet as a Bon Bon in “The Nutcracker”. Outside of dance, Harper loves traveling, spending time with her family, and playing with her dog, Scout. Harper is the daughter of Austin and Heather Whitlock and the younger sister of Ansley and Katherine.