Our Staff

Our Staff

Artistic Director

Kellye Parks, Owner

Kellye Parks, owner and director of Terpsichore…a moving experience received her B.A. in Ballet Pedagogy from Brenau University in 1984, and went on to graduate from UNC-Greensboro with a M.F.A. in Dance/ Choreography in 1987.  Ms. Parks taught dance under the Basic Education Plan for Moore County  Schools, as well as for the Public Schools of Robeson County. She has been affiliated with such professional organizations as the North Carolina Dance Alliance and the N.C. Department of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, & Dance.  Ms. Parks and husband Albert reside in Raeford with their two children Garrett, and Kasey. The Parks family is proud to begin their twenty-fifth successful year with Terpsichore…a moving experience.


Terpsichore Instructors:


Leigh Blanton, ballet, pointe, tap, jazz, acrobatics and contemporary dance instructor is enjoying her fifth year at Terpsichore.  She earned her B.A. Degree in Dance from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Leigh has danced for over 20 years and still loves it! She is a current performing member of Nosi Dance Theatre in Durham, which tours throughout the Southeast.   She and her husband Chase reside in Southern Pines, along with their daughter Natalie and son Nick.





Kelli Diaz, grew up in Menlo Park, CA. She started her training in Mountain View under the direction of Mark Foerigner. She quickly moved on to dance with the Academy of Ballet SF, studying under Richard Gibson and Zory Kara, where she joined the Pre-Professional Company. Wanting to continue her dance training, she graduated from Dominican University of California, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts through the LINES BFA program. During her collegiate years, she had the opportunity to work with artists such as Marina Hotchkiss, Gregory Dawson, Alonzo King, Nathan Trice, and Arturo Fernandez. After graduation she continued her career  with Concept- o4, Dexandro Montalvo, Blind Tiger Society, and Push Dance Company, and BinkiDance. 



 Alessandra Gironda, Instructor, is a Southern Pines native who grew up dancing at Terpsichore for 14 years. During this time, she performed various lead roles such as Sugar Plum Fairy, Black Swan, Arabian Princess and Lilac Fairy, among many others. In addition to being well versed in Ballet, Alessandra is an advanced dancer in Jazz, Contemporary, Tap, and Hip Hop, with training in Acro. She is a recent graduate from East Carolina University where she received her BS in Communication with a focus is Journalism. During her time at ECU she was a member of the ECU Dance Team and served as the captain her senior year. She was a National Dance Alliance All-American Dancer in 2016-2017, she has also performed alongside of the hit country music artist, Brad Paisley, as well as performing in front of thousands of fans in the Carolina Panthers Stadium as part of the halftime entertainment. She is excited to teach dance where her passion began!



Kristal Kowach, Instructor, is a 31 year mother of 3 and military spouse from Southern California. She has background in various styles of dance, but her forte’ is Children’s’ Ballet, Tap Hip Hop, Jazz, and musical theater. She has been dancing since she was 16 and began teaching when she was 17. She has taught for various studios on the West Coast, including Ovation School of the Performing Arts, Dance Street West, Via Verde Dance, and Joan Kathy Dance Center.  She has been honored to take classes at the Debbie Reynolds Studio in LA as well.  Kristal has a wide range when it comes to the arts. She has been involved in productions such as Grease, Seussical the Musical, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown to name a few.



Alyssa Schwartz 
Miss Alyssa has 9 years experience as a gymnast and cheerleader. She was on several youth cheerleading squads from Pop Warner through high school, and competed in the Junior Allstar Division of the Canadian American International Championships. During the summer of 1997 she trained with National Champion University of Kentucky cheerleaders and was invited to perform for Queen Elizabeth of England. As an adult, she has taught cheerleading squads, gymnastics classes, and competitive gymnasts in both Hawaii and North Carolina. 
A forensic psychologist by training, Miss Alyssa currently assists autistic youth as an equine psychotherapist and works as a substitute teacher at Episcopal Day School. She is excited to join the Terpsichore teaching staff as an acro instructor. In her spare time, Miss Alyssa enjoys hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, and competing in obstacle course races. She is an Army spouse and the proud mother of six-year-old Cambria, four dogs (Anubis, Kovas, Gryphon, and Nymeria), and three horses (Abraxas, Cerridwen, and Image).