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’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 was blessed to be able to attend Ballet Magnificat’s Teacher Training Course in the summer of 2022 and plans to attend again this summer! 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!
Madeline Bohlinger – Instructor
Maddie started learning ballet when she was three years old and was trained by Keren Gibb Hilliard, and David Herriott, at Alabama Youth Ballet Theater. She has trained under Nicole Onuszkanycz at Adonai School of Ballet and Fine Arts since 2016. She has been a part of ballets such as The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Stars and Stripes, and Paquita. Maddie has attended several different events such as Project Dance, Dance Revolution, Living Christmas Tree, and Ballet Magnificat’s summer dance intensive. She has had the privilege of helping teach a workshop for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Huntsville called Dream Kids Camp, and has enjoyed assisting in a Special Needs Ballet Class since 2019. Maddie has participated in the Assemblies of God Fine Arts Competition and has won first place in the category of Worship Dance Solo at the State level in 2021 and 2022. She has been teaching at Impulse Dance Center for one year and was previously a substitute teacher there. She has taught a Beginner Acro/Creative movement class and a Ballet 1 Advanced class. Maddie loves teaching and sharing what she knows. She likes to make learning a fun experience and enjoys watching her students grow. She has a heart for worship and using dance as a way to glorify the Lord and make His name known.
Elise Duehring – Instructor
Picture and bio coming soon!
Mary Graves – Instructor
Mary started her ballet career at the age of 2 in the Huntsville area, and was trained under Keren Gibb Hilliard, and David Herriott, at Alabama Youth Ballet Theater. She began attending Adonai School of Ballet and Fine Arts in 2016 and has been on the staff since 2021. Mary has danced as several main parts in classical ballets including as a Little Swan in Swan Lake, as Clara in the Nutcracker, as a pas de trois member in Paquita, as a soloist in Stars and Stripes and has portrayed the roll of Cinderella in the classical ballet. She has traveled with the Adonai company to Project Dance, Dance Revolution, and Living Christmas Tree as ministry opportunities to share the love of Jesus and to improve dance technique by taking classes with the members on staff. She has also participated in Ballet Magnificat’s summer intensive, and with the Assemblies of God Fine Arts Convention. Teaching has always been her passion and she has had the opportunity to teach underprivileged children of the Boys and Girls Clubs in the Huntsville area and assisted with the special needs classes at Adonai. Mary has a desire to teach children how to use their gifts to glorify God and pursue excellence in the art form. She believes that dance should be used as a way to worship our Heavenly Father and strives to impart those same beliefs to younger generations.
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.
Cassie Heyne – Instructor
Cassie began dancing when she was 4 years old and danced for about 3 years before taking a
break to do acting. Though she received no technical training during that time, she was accepted by audition as a dancer in two Fantasy Playhouse productions of A Christmas Carol. Cassie has had training in ballet, pointe, modern, and tap. In total, Cassie has danced for 10 years under both Nicole Onuszkanycz and Melodie Kayak. She was a part of Paquita and was featured as the Chinese Dancer in The Nutcracker as well as Peter Pevensie in Adonai’s rendition of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. She was also very excited to be able to attend a Ballet Magnificat workshop this past spring and plans to attend the Ballet Magnificat Summer Dance Intensive in the summer of 2023. Cassie has recently graduated from high school with a certificate as an Emergency Medical Technician. She has assisted in several ballet classes including special needs in the past and has had experience as a substitute teacher for other general classes. Cassie has always loved encouraging others towards their best and enjoys paying attention to the details of both technique and artistry. She has a passion for dance and hopes to further her students’ abilities and create art that will glorify and give thanks to our great God!
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 began her dance training at age 10 at Melodies Dance School in Madison, AL. She has studied ballet with Carrie Rothwell (Academy of Classic Arts), Huntsville Ballet, and Nicole Onuszkanycz. She has also attended and performed at Project Dance and Dance Revolution workshops. She has taught ballet, pointe, tap, and modern at both Melodies Dance School and Steps of Faith Performing Art Center before joining Adonai in 2014. Whitney holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Alabama in Huntsville and worked in missile defense prior to having her two children (Eleanor and Henry). She and her husband, Huy, are swing dancers (Charleston, Lindy Hop, Balboa), and have taught together in Huntsville, AL; Auburn, AL; and Rome, Italy. Regardless of the dance style, Whitney promotes a blend of technique and artistry. She loves teaching students of all ages by encouraging them to develop their abilities to the fullest and to use their talents to bless others and glorify God.
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 14 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, Ballet 5:8’s artistic director Julianna Rubio Slager, 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, and “Stepsister” in Cinderella, as well as being a soloist in Paquita and a part of the corps in Swan Lake and Stars and Stripes. Emma has been a student at Adonai since the doors opened and became an “honorary company member” in 2018 and officially joined in 2019. Since then she has had many opportunities to spread the gospel through events such as First Baptist’s “Living Christmas Tree”, Calvary Assembly’s “Christmas Now and Then”, and multiple of Adonai’s “Night of Worship”. 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 strives to create a fun and safe space where students can learn how to worship while dancing.
Ashley Jordan – Instructor
Ashley Jordan, Huntsville native, began her training in classical ballet at Huntsville Ballet
School at the age of four. She joined Huntsville Ballet’s professional company under the
direction of Artistic Director Phillip Otto after training with him and his wife, Rachel Butler, at
Huntsville Ballet School. She has danced professionally with Huntsville Ballet for five seasons.
Ashley has portrayed characters such as Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Christine in Phantom of the
Opera, and the Sugar Plum Fairy in The Nutcracker. Ashley has attended summer programs at
Pacific Northwest Ballet, Ballet Chicago, Caroline Ballet, Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet,
and Indianapolis Ballet. Through these summer programs and opportunities at Huntsville Ballet, Ashley has trained under notable teachers such as Tim Fox, Darla Hoover, Daniel Duell, Patricia Blaire, Stacy Calvert, Keith Cross, and Dede Barfield. In the fall of 2018, Ashley began teaching in the Huntsville Ballet School. Ashley has also had extensive teaching opportunities through Huntsville Ballet’s Discover Dance outreach program under the direction of Cathy Curry. She is currently pursuing a kinesiology degree at the University of Alabama in Huntsville with a concentration in exercise science. Ashley is thankful for the opportunities she has been given to dance, perform, and learn, and she hopes to use these gifts as a blessing to others.
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!
Rebecca Sims – Instructor
Rebecca began dancing at Kelly’s Studio of Dance when she was 6 years old. She danced there for five years, came to Adonai, and has been here since. She has been trained in Ballet and Pointe and has taken Worship Ballet for the past 3 years. She has been a part of several amazing performances and dances with some of her favorites being Mazurka in Paquita, Fairy Corp in Cinderella, Attendants in Easter, Spanish Corp in the Nutcracker, and Wise Men in the Nativity. Rebecca started to assist with classes when she was about 14 and has loved every second of it. She has dreamed of becoming a teacher that inspires the next generation of dancers as her teachers have done for her. Rebecca is beyond excited by the opportunity to have a class of her very own! She is looking forward to meeting her first students and having an amazing year.
Elizabeth Smith – Instructor
Elizabeth began dancing when she was 7-years-old at her small town ballet studio in Tennessee. When her family relocated in 2014, she began dancing at Adonai School of Ballet. She has learned multiple styles of dance, but she focuses on classical ballet. Elizabeth has participated in several dance workshops including Ballet Magnificat weekend intensives. Elizabeth has performed in the roles of a “Big Swan” in Swan Lake, a soloist in Stars and Stripes, the “Evil Stepmother” in Cinderella, and a soloist in Paquita. Elizabeth has also had the blessing of using her gift of dance in homeschool performances. Elizabeth has been a ballet teacher assistant since she was 10-years-old and is excited to continue to share her love of dance as a ballet teacher. As a teacher at Adonai, Elizabeth strives to share with her students what that she has learned over her years of dancing as she exemplifies Christ.
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 5 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.