Nicole Onuszkanycz – Owner/Director/Instructor
Nicole began her ballet training under Loyd B. Tygett, Keren Gibb Hilliard, and David Herriott with Community Ballet (now Huntsville Ballet) in Huntsville. She also received instruction from well-known master teachers such as Shamil Yugudin (formerly of Bolshoi Ballet) and Mira Popovich (Birmingham Southern College). Nicole has danced leading roles with the Huntsville Ballet in their productions of “The Nutcracker”,” Romeo and Juliet”, “Les Sylphides”, “Les Patineurs”, and “La Bayadere”. She received a Wings Award for her performance as “The Sugar Plum Fairy” in “The Nutcracker.” Nicole was previously the Ballet Director of Dancers Inc. in Decatur where she designed the levels and wrote the syllabus for their ballet program as well as developed, directed, choreographed and danced in their production of “The Nutcracker”. While at Dancers Inc., Nicole choreographed for their competition teams receiving several “Best Choreography” awards. Most recently, Nicole developed, choreographed, and directed “Narnia, A Holiday Ballet” for Steps of Faith Performing Arts Center where she has taught for several years. Nicole’s students have been selected by audition to participate in many prestigious summer intensives and year round programs at American Ballet Theater, Dance Revolution, Ballet Magnificat, Joffrey Ballet, Boston Ballet and Alabama School of Fine Arts. Nicole has taught throughout the North Alabama and Atlanta area and has choreographed for several church productions. Nicole’s vision for her students is to facilitate the best technical training possible, to reach their full potential as a dance artist and to see them use that art to bless their community and to glorify the Lord!
Mary Graves – Instructor
Mary has been dancing for 15 years and was trained under Keren Gibb Hilliard, and David Herriot, at Alabama Youth Ballet Theater, and Nicole Onuszkanycz at Adonai School of Ballet and Fine Arts. Mary has participated in Ballet Magnificat’s Summer Ballet Intensive in Jackson Mississippi, where she was taught by company members and professional dancer Steve Rooks. She has traveled to South Carolina to participate in Project Dance and has traveled to North Carolina for Dance Revolution with the Adonai Company Dancers. Mary participated in The Assemblies of God Alabama State Fine Arts Competition in 2017 where she received a superior score and invitation to Nationals and in 2020 where she placed second in the state of Alabama with a superior score and invitation to Nationals. Mary not only enjoys dancing, but also has a passion for teaching others to use their bodies and the movement of dance to glorify the Lord. She encourages excellence while emboldening her students to work hard and pursue their dreams.
Catherine Hampton – Instructor
A native of Huntsville, Catherine received her dance training at Community Ballet School, and, later, Huntsville Ballet under the direction of Rachel Butler (PA Ballet, PNB) and Philip Otto (NYCB, PNB). She graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance from Belhaven University where she had the privilege of training under teachers such as Ravenna Tucker-Wagnon (Royal Ballet), Caleb Mitchell (Houston Ballet) and Laura Morton (Milwaukee Ballet, Houston Ballet School Faculty), among others. While at Belhaven, she developed her teaching style and approach to the classroom through courses like Dance Pedagogy, Composition, and Modern Teaching Methods, and through practical teaching experience in the summers with Huntsville Ballet. She believes that dance and movement should be fun and were created to be enjoyed–even through various challenges and adversity, and that the human body is a powerful tool of expression and worship uniquely designed by a Loving God to glorify Himself. Over the years, Catherine has taught Ballet, Pointe, Modern, Creative Dance and Improvisation to students of all ages in Jackson, MS; Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa; Nashville, TN; Franklin, TN, and Huntsville, AL. She is excited to be among the awesome faculty at Adonai, and continue teaching the incredible students here.
Jennifer Humphrey – Instructor
Jennifer Humphrey began dancing at the age of 10 at Civic Dance Center in Bakersfield, California where she was trained in ballet and pointe. Through high school she took a break from dance to focus on competitive swimming and marching band until she rekindled her love for dance while at Tulane University where she danced for two semesters under Alice Pascal Escher and Barbara Hayley. Jennifer received a bachelor’s degree from Tulane with a triple major in French, Classics, and Medieval Studies. Jennifer and her husband Curtis have three sons, Zachary, Daniel, and Eli. In 2011, a few months before their third son, Eli, came into the world, Jennifer began volunteering as a VBS (Vacation Bible School) leader in their church, a role that she has reprised every summer since, working with children ages 2 through 2nd grade. Jennifer has found such joy in sharing the love of Jesus with preschoolers that she continues to work with them in various capacities including Sunday School teacher, Mission Friends teacher, AWANA Sparks Leader, Mission Friends Director, and a volunteer in the church nursery. Jennifer began dancing with Adonai in 2015 when Zachary began his second year of dance and Eli began his first. The following year the rest of the family (including Curtis!) jumped in and they have been dancing together in the Family Tap class for three years. Jennifer continues her training in ballet, pointe, and tap and is excited to combine her love of dance and her joy of sharing Jesus in working with her students.
Whitney Huynh – Instructor
Whitney Huynh studied ballet, modern and tap at Melodies Dance School for ten years. Over multiple summers, she trained in ballet with Carrie Rothwell and The Huntsville Ballet Company. She taught ballet, tap, and modern at both Melodies Dance School (6 years) and Steps of Faith Performing Art Center before joining Adonai. Whitney and her husband Huy enjoy swing dancing (including Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa), and they teach several of these dances locally as well as regionally. Regardless of the dance style Whitney is teaching, she promotes a blend of technique and artistry. Whitney loves teaching and encouraging students of all ages to dance and to develop their abilities to the fullest, enjoying dancing in their everyday lives and striving to use their talent to minister to others.
Emma Jahnke – Instructor
Emma was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama. She began dancing at the age of three at a local studio. Over her 13 years of dance, she has had training in ballet, pointe, jazz, modern, contemporary, and acro. Emma has taken classes under American Ballet theater’s principal dancer Skylar Brandt, Ballet West’s principal dancer Beckanne Sisk, as well as attending multiple workshops and intensives such as Dance Revolution, Project Dance, and Ballet Magnificat. Emma has had the wonderful opportunity to fulfill the roles of “Dopey” in Snow White, “Bluebird” in Creation Story, “Stepsister” in Cinderella, as well as being a part of the corps in Swan Lake and Stars and Stripes. She enjoys watching students grow physically, spiritually, and mentally. She loves to see her students’ faces light up when they get to dance either in class or on stage. She can not wait to begin her adventure of teaching at Adonai.
Erin Johnson – Instructor
Erin began her dance training at age four at the Tolbert-Yilmaz School of Dance in Roswell, Georgia. Erin had an opportunity to dance in a church musical production at age 8, and has had a passion for worshiping the Lord through dance ever since. She continued her training with the Atlanta School of Ballet and Capital City Ballet, and had opportunities to perform with Atlanta Ballet and Chattanooga Ballet. She studied ballet and modern dance at Butler University’s Jordan College of Fine Arts, and pursued degrees in dance and elementary education. Erin received a bachelor’s degree in elementary
education from the University of Georgia. She and husband Steve have three children: Matthew, Ryan, and Katie. She has taught both public and private school, ballet, tap, and worship dance, and enjoys using dance and sign language to participate with the praise team at The Grove Baptist Church.
Maria Mitchell – Instructor
Maria has danced for the past 12 years and has been instructed in ballet, pointe, modern, and tap. She began taking dance at Melodie’s Dance Studio when she was 5 years old. She also danced at Steps of Faith Performing Dance Arts for 1 year, where she first met and was taught by Nicole Onuszkanycz. She has been with Adonai since it opened and has had the honor of performing the “Raven” in Noah’s Ark, “Grumpy” in Snow White, in the corps of swans in Swan Lake, a duet in Stars and Stripes, and the “Step-mother” in Cinderella. Maria has enjoyed being part of the Adonai Dance Company since 2018. Through company, she has had the privilege of performing at Project Dance, The Living Christmas Tree, Dance Revolution, and more. Maria loves little kids and has had the opportunity to be an assistant for the past 5 years during classes as well as at summer camps. She has also had the blessing of helping with children in a special needs class. Maria is thankful to be a part of Adonai and is thrilled to be a teacher there!
Sara Mount – Instructor
Sara began dancing at the age of 9 at Adonai School of Ballet and Fine Arts. She has learned different styles of dance including tap, ballet, modern, and pointe. Sara has participated in Ballet Magnificat’s Summer Dance Intensive for two summers, where she was taught by Kathy Thibodeaux, Jiri Voborsky, and other company members. She is a member of Adonai Company Dancers and has participated in Project Dance in South Carolina and Dance Revolution in North Carolina Revolution as well as local community ministry opportunities. Sara has danced the roles of “Sneezy” in Snow White, a soloist in Stars and Stripes, “Fairy Godmother” in Cinderella, and danced in the corps of swans in Swan Lake. She is excited to teach younger dancers to use their dancing to worship the Lord. She loves watching younger dancers grow in their dancing and is excited to join the Adonai faculty!
Kyra Smith – Instructor
Kyra was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, and began dancing at a local studio when she was four years old. Kyra began training under Nicole at Steps of Faith in 2011 and followed her to Adonai. Over the years, Kyra has studied tap and modern, but her love is classical ballet. Kyra never smiles brighter than when she is on stage and she has loved every recital! In “Cinderella”, Kyra embraced her role as “the King” and delighted in her part in “Dancing Through the Decades”. She has had the amazing opportunity to assist in several classes with Nicole as her mentor, and she is ready and excited to lead her own classes this year! Patient and encouraging, Kyra has a special way with the youngest dancers. Her desire is not only to help raise up the next generation of dancers, but to be a Godly role-model.
Hannah Swanner – Instructor
Hannah began dancing at age 3 with In His Courts Dance Studio. At 10 she began more intensive training at Steps of Faith Performing Arts Center. She has extensive training in ballet, pointe, modern, contemporary, jazz, tap, hip hop and tribal. She began assisting in and teaching classes at age of thirteen. She has performed, competed and received high honors in competitions and has participated in master classes with Dance Educators of America, Dance Revolution and Panoply Arts Festival and An Evening of Dance. She has performed in Adonai’s production of “Sleeping Beauty” as Aurora and in productions of “Narnia” as Peter Pevensie and Jadis, the White Witch. Hannah has received instruction from well known Master Teachers such as Gary Taylor, founderand artistic director of Winston Salem Festival Ballet, Marc Wayne, musical theater dance instructor and producer at Marc Wayne Productions and staff with Dance Revolution. Hannah is a Huntsville native and loves teaching and encouraging students of all ages to use their abilities to fully praise the Lord.
Katherine Tharp – Instructor
Katherine is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy. She currently works for Music Therapy Milestones as a contract music therapist in the Huntsville/Madison area. She loves working in early childhood and serves individuals of all ages including those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Autism, and dementia. Katherine has loved assisting the special needs, preschool, and pre-ballet classes at Adonai for the past three years and is thrilled to lead and teach this year! Adonai has been such a blessing in providing her a positive environment to learn and grow as both a teacher and dancer. When she isn’t dancing, Katherine provides private, group, and adapted music lessons for the guitar, piano, voice, and ukulele at Adonai. In her spare time, Katherine enjoys singing, performing and assisting with community theatre, exploring Huntsville’s music and arts scene, and visiting local coffee shops!
Eva Thompson – Instructor
Eva began her dance training at the age of four at North Alabama Dance Center (NADC) in Madison, AL. During the thirteen years that she trained there, she received her primary instruction from Barbara Ellen Smartt, Melony League, and Jennifer Bernhard in the disciplines of ballet, pointe, tap, modern, and jazz. She also had the opportunity to perform multiple roles in Pointe Station’s original ballet Noah and was a junior company member for the 2003-2004 season. Eva also attended Pointe Station’s summer intensive for many years. In 2006 and 2007, Eva had the opportunity to attend Ballet Magnificat’s Summer Dance Intensive, where she received training from Kathy Thibodeaux, Jiri Voborsky, and other company members. After high school, she continued her dance training with The University of Alabama Department of Theatre and Dance in Tuscaloosa, AL, where she received pre-professional training from Sarah Barry, Cornelius Carter, Qianping Guo, and Rita Snyder. Eva graduated magna cum laude from the University of Alabama with a BFA in Dance and a BS in Physics in 2012. Eva has been teaching at Adonai since 2015. She loves sharing her passion for dance with others, and she encourages each of her students to train with excellence and for the glory of the Lord. Eva is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 3 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
SaraBeth White – Instructor
SaraBeth’s love for dance began at Melodies Dance School as a preschooler. She took ballet, tap, and modern classes there for six years. SaraBeth began taking classes at Adonai in 2015. In her time at Adonai, she has taken ballet, pointe, modern, worship, and tap classes. She has enjoyed assisting several teachers at Adonai over the last four years, and she is so excited to teach her own classes! SaraBeth hopes to be a light to her students and encourage them to glorify God in everything they do.