Shay Thompson Morgan, Artistic Director

morganShay 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.

School Faculty

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 19 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

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

Lauryn Bazemore

Lauryn is a 7th grader at WJMS. She has danced with Mrs. Shay since age 3. When she is not at dance, you will find her on the sideline cheering on the Knights. 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.

Abbie Durden

Abbie is in the 7th grade at Trinity Christian School where she is a member of Student Council. She has been dancing for 9 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.

Eliza Edwards

Eliza is a 7th 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 placed 2nd in the state in her division at the 2021 State Archery Tournament. At school she is on the math team, middle school archery team, and a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Eliza is the daughter of Ben and Mandy Edwards, and little sister to B&B Class Dancer Allie Edwards.

Elle Greeson

Elle is a sophomore at Bulloch Academy, and has been dancing with Mrs. Shay at SSOD for 12 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.

Taylor Hinson

Taylor has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 11 years.  She is a senior 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.

Madelyn Lanier

Madelyn is a 7th grader attending Trinity Christian School as a new student this school year. She has been dancing with Ms. Shay since she was 2 1/2 years old. Madelyn is an active member of First Baptist Church Statesboro where she enjoys being a part of youth group.  Madelyn has enjoyed participating as a member of the math team at school and place 3rd individually in the Penny Sikes Math Team Tournament. When she’s not dancing she enjoys writing and reading, she can usually be found behind a good book. Madelyn is the daughter of Landon and Malinda Lanier, and big sister to purple class dancer Blair, and brother J.B.

Zoe Pantin

Zoe has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 11 years. She is a senior at Statesboro High School. Her favorite type of dance is Tap. When she is not at dance she enjoys lifeguarding, teaching swimming lessons, and hanging out with my friends. Zoe is the daughter of Jill Johns and Raphael Pantin.

Charlotte Pagliarullo

Charlotte is in her 11th year of dance with Mrs. Shay and is currently an 8th grader at Southeast Bulloch Middle School. When Charlotte is not dancing she enjoys being with her friends and family. She is also an active member of Friendship 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.

Claire Pagliarullo

Claire has been dancing with Mrs. Shay for 13 years and will be assisting for her 5th year. She is currently a junior 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 FCCLA where she is an officer. Claire is the daughter of Tony and Cyd Pagliarullo, and big sister to Charlotte and Tripp.

Sara Rawlins

Sara is a sophomore at Southeast Bulloch High School. She has been dancing for 13 years and 8 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.

Nyla Tanksley

Nyla is a senior 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 four years now. 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.

Harper Whitlock

Harper Whitlock has been dancing with SSOD for 10 years. Harper is a 7th 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.

Katherine Whitlock

Katherine is a junior at Bulloch Academy and in her 14th year of dance at Statesboro School of Dance. At school, Katherine is the President of her class and active with the Science Club 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 four summers has seen her attend the Joffrey Ballet Summer Intensive at the University of Georgia twice, private lessons with William Starrett, the director of the Columbia City Ballet in Columbia, SC., and the South Carolina Dance Conservatory Summer Intensive at the University of South Carolina. Katherine is the daughter of Austin and Heather Whitlock and the sister of Ansley and Harper.