With 43 years of dance experience in ballet, tap and jazz, Dawn Kuster has had the opportunity to study under some of the most recognizable top instructors and choreographers in the industry, including the late Frank Hachett, Ray Hollingsworth, Joe Tremainie, and Majorie Perry.
As a child and through her high school years, Dawn traveled the east coast as a competitive dancer representing her studio capturing many regional, state, and national titles; some including: America's Little Star, Ga Miss Teen Talent, Ga Miss Perfect Teen, National Miss Super Star and 4H District and State and Talent winner. Dawn's passion for teaching began under the guidance and direction of Carol Colson. She has attended years of dance conventions, teacher's seminars, and workshops earning numerous teaching certificates, and learning a variety of dance curriculums including Dance Makers Inc. and Music Works Unlimited. Thirty years later she is still sharing, her love of dance with hundreds of students in the Coastal Empire. Dawn prides herself of humble beginnings, starting her studio with only five dance students, it successfully began to grow.
Dawn continues to balance her dance career with being a wife and mother of three. Along with the demands of owning the business she continues to pour her love of dance into the lives of her students. Her choreogaphy has made a name for itself by winning many prestigious awards in all age levels of competitive dance from solos to productions. While she enjoys teaching recreational and competitive dancers she finds it immensely rewarding to give back to the community. Dawn feels there is nothing more fulfilling than being a mentor and instilling the love of dance in a child.
Liza Youmans is no stranger to Coastal Performing Arts Academy. At age 9, she started her dance training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, contemporary, and musical theater at Coastal and has been a part of the Coastal family ever since. She began her teaching training at Coastal when she was 12 years old. Liza competed with the Coastal Starz Dance Company for 8 years winning many regional and national awards and scholarships.
After graduating high school, Liza moved to Franklin, Massachusetts to attend Dean College as a dance major. During her time at Dean College, Liza was a member of the Loose Screws Tap Team, a Student Ambassador, and interned with the Assistant to the Dean of the School of Dance. Liza choreographed multiple jazz and contemporary pieces for the Main Stage at Dean College. In her junior year of college, Liza recognized another passion - writing. She had the honor to combine her love and passion for writing and dance by publishing her first book, Dance Speaks One Language, with the founder of Joan Phelps Palladino School of Dance in her senior year at Dean College.
Although Liza was in Massachusetts for college, she continued to work with the dancers at Coastal any time she was home. Liza cleaned and critiqued the upcoming competition dances during winter break and choreographed routines for the upcoming competition seasons. After graduating from Dean College with her Bachelor of Arts in Dance, Liza moved back to Savannah, GA. Immediately after moving to Savannah, Mrs. Dawn Kuster had Liza in the studio.
Since then, Liza has fulfilled many duties within Coastal Performing Arts Academy. She currently teaches Academy and Company classes at Coastal as well as the Dance Instructor and Content Creator at Calvary Day School.
Christine Shawl, originally from New York, has an extensive background in teaching dance over the last 20 years including Modern/Contemporary, Jazz, Ballet, Hip-Hop, Tap and Creative Movement. She has taught dance to all age groups and abilities from pre-school to adult, from beginner to professional, in private studios, public schools and college programs. Christine was adjunct professor of Performing Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) teaching Jazz for 4 years. Before relocating to Savannah, Christine was adjunct professor at The University of Michigan and Oakland University teaching Modern, Choreography, Somatic Studies, Anatomy and Kinesiology for Dance, and was Artistic Director of Oakland Dance Theatre. Christine also served as the Director of Education for Eisenhower Dance where she managed and directed their two studio locations. Early in her dance training Christine had the privilege of performing as a feature dancer in famous dance works such as Lar Lubovitch’s North Star and Paul Taylor’s 3 Epitaphs. Christine performed professionally for 10 years in New York City with Mary Seidman & Dancers, Ellen Shadle Dance Works, Pi Dance Theater, Perspectives in Motion and in Michigan with Eisenhower Dance, More Dances Contemporary Dance Company and was a guest dancer for the Peter Sparling Dance Company and Ann Arbor Dance Works. Believing that dance can bring great joy to anyone who participates in it, she is thrilled to be able to share her passion and love for dance with her students.
Jenna Mixner is a Dean College alum and is very excited to start her journey as a staff member at Coastal Performing Arts Academy. Jenna started dancing at the age of 3 under the direction of former Radio City Music Hall Rockette, Carolyn Dutra in Warwick, Rhode Island. After high school, she decided to pursue a career in the dance field and continued her education at Dean College where she earned her Bachelor’s in Dance Performance and Choreography. With the help of her childhood mentor, Miss Carolyn, she was awarded the Dance Teacher’s Club of Boston Dean College scholarship worth $70,000. During her time at Dean, Jenna choreographed more than 10 of her own pieces to be shown on the stage, as well as assisted in producing a show her senior year. She has also performed in original works by Bill Evans, Kristina Berger, Jeremy Howes, Todd Shanks, and more in Dean College’s Dance Company.
Aside from teaching, Jenna just finished her second year as the Assistant Coach of the Braintree High School Junior Varsity Dance Team, in Braintree, Massachusetts, as well as a teacher and choreographer for dance schools and Massachusetts.
A Savannah native, Angela Novelli has been classically trained in ballet since the age of three. She studied under the direction of Veronica Moretti Niebuhr at the Studio until graduation from Savannah Arts Academy, where she majored in Ballet. Along with her Studio training, Angela has studied with Complexions Contemporary Ballet Company, The Rock School for Dance Education, Atlanta Ballet, and Virginia School of the Arts. She has worked with instructors such as, Finis Jhung, Adam Sage, Dominique Angel, Ivan Pulinkala, Lauri Stallings, and Reiko Kimura. To continue her dance education, Angela attended Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, where she received her Bachelor of the Arts degree concentrated in Ballet, alongside her minor in the French Language. Angela has recently relocated back to her roots in Savannah to rekindle her love and passion for ballet. She believes the more we dance, the better we feel.
Maceo "Mace" Harrison is a hip-hop dancer and choreographer born in Maryland D.C. At age 7, after settling from a move to Georgia, Maceo started pursuing hip-hop dance. At age 15, he started attending hip-hop battles, performing at talent shows, and even auditioning for America’s Got Talent. At the age of 17 he joined his first dance studio, where he learned ballet, jazz, contemporary, modern, and tap. Spending 4 years on a dance competition team, he won multiple scholarships and overall awards for his hip hop solos. He also made it to the third round of auditions during season 11 of, “So You Think You Can Dance”. In 2016, he received a full scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School in New York City for their hip-hop program and was featured dancing for Sharaya in her music video, “Snatch Your Wig”. Dancing saved Maceo’s life on numerous occasions, so he expresses his passion with his explosive tricks, musicality, and showmanship personality. In his spare time you can catch him as the Dancing First Base Coach for the Savannah Bananas baseball team.