Ballet, Conditioning, and PBT instructor
Certified Cecchetti ballet instructor, Certified PBT instructor.
Beth Barnette is a South Louisiana native with a diverse dance background. Folk Dancing was an activity she shared with her mother starting at a very young age, so she developed an appreciation for dance as a way to express one’s cultural roots. Dance training continued through grade school including ballet, tap, jazz, baton twirling, and gymnastics. In high school she joined a local clogging group, performing for various community events and eventually teaching a young group of dancers.
While earning her Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Loyola University, Beth joined the Loyola Dance Team and also studied classical ballet and danced with the Loyola Ballet, under the direction of Gayle Parmelee, including productions of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Paquita. She also started her fitness career earning her Group Exercise Instructor certification and organizing several "Fitness Week" events for students.
Since college, Beth has continued to study, teach and perform with Baton Rouge Ballet Theater (Baton Rouge, LA), Tara Rodi School of the Dance (Florence, AL), and Gay Whitt School of Dance (Jonesborough, TN). Beth has passed four graded ballet teacher examinations with merit through the Cecchetti Council of America (CCA). She is a Certified Progressing Ballet Technique Instructor. She has also completed a 3-day intensive Dance Teacher and Health Professional Training, led by renowned Australian Physiotherapist, Lisa Howell. Beth recently completed her Personal Trainer Certification and continues to teach group fitness classes. She is passionate about helping dancers understand their bodies and how to move more efficiently and safely to prevent injury and ensure a lifetime of dance enjoyment. Beth is celebrating 8 years with Bristol Ballet and she looks forward to many more years of learning, teaching, and appreciating the art of dance!
Contemporary Dance, Ballet
Olivia Ratliff began her dance training at the age of nine at Highlands Center for Ballet Arts and continued dancing there through high school and college. She attended Radford University where she graduated with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Dance with a classical concentration. While attending Radford, she studied a wide variety of dance styles under Inessa Plekhanova, Deborah McLaughlin, and Bob Boross. While at Radford, Olivia was selected to perform in a jazz dance showcase at Manhattan Movement and Arts Center in New York City as well as an Appalachian-based modern work at the College of New Jersey. She has performed many lead roles including Sugar Plum Fairy, Snow Queen, and Clara from The Nutcracker “Beauty,” in Beauty and the Beast, and Puck from A Mid-Summer Nights Dream, to name a few.
Olivia continued her education at King University where she obtained a Master’s degree in Elementary Education while also teaching and dancing at Highlands Center for Ballet Arts. She taught first grade at Abingdon Elementary for four years. Currently, Olivia is a full-time dance instructor at Southwest Virginia Community College. She is also pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Choreography at Wilson College.
Amanda Hairston began her studies at age three under the direction of Maryann Snyder at the Bristol Ballet, where she continued her studies until the age of 16. She was then accepted into the Virginia School of the Arts where she finished her last two years of high school under the direction and instruction of Petrus Bosman, David Keener, and Martha Faesi. Amanda performed various roles including Swan Lake’s Neapolitan Pas de Deux, a corp member in Balanchine’s Serenade, and a demi-soloist in the Nutcracker's Waltz of the Flowers. Her senior year she performed in the Spring Gala as a demi-soloist in the reproduction of Kirk Peterson’s (ABT) Carmen, working alongside principal dancers of the Cincinnati Ballet. Amanda also completed various summer programs including the Joffrey Ballet School (NYC), Richmond Ballet, and North Carolina Dance Theatre.
After graduating from VSA, Amanda was accepted into the Richmond Ballet’s traineeship program, in which she received merit scholarships that increased each year. While there, she performed in The Nutcracker, Giselle, Windows, and Sleeping Beauty. Upon completion, she decided to focus on her education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Outside of teaching Bristol Ballet classes and working at Pulp Printhouse, Amanda’s most important job is raising her son, Holden. She is very excited to be a part of the Bristol Ballet staff!
Creative Movement and Pre-school dance Instructor
Khyra Lowe began dancing at the age of three at Betsy Kay’s Dance Centre in Lakeland, Florida. She continued dancing as a young child at Allegra Dance in Greenwich, Connecticut. She then attended Rochelle School of the Arts as a dance major, followed by Harrison School for the Arts as a dance major in Lakeland, Florida. She also continued her dancing throughout this time at Highlands School of dance in Lakeland, Florida. Khyra has a BA in Human Services and Counseling and works in the Children’s Program at Cumberland Mountain Community Services in both Russell and Tazewell counties in Virginia. Khyra enjoys volunteering and supporting the arts in the community, as well as participating in community theatre with her four daughters. She is excited to be part of the Bristol Ballet Company team of instructors.
Creative Movement and Ballet Instructor
Amanda began her dance journey at a very early age. She developed a desire to dance as a toddler, observing her older sister's dance classes. She began to take her own classes at the age of three. Many forms of dance influenced Amanda's childhood, including classical ballet, lyrical dance, tap and jazz. She took classes at various local studios, finding her home at Highlands Ballet Company, where she became a company member as a teenager. She performed various roles in the Nutcracker, Coppelia, and Mountain Ballad. At the age of 18, Amanda left the dance world to seek a career in the medical field. After becoming a registered nurse, she married and was blessed with a beautiful set of twins.
Now, as a stay-at-home mom, she has found time to incorporate dance in her adult life. She trained in the area of Latin dance for five years and enjoyed assisting her instructor in demonstrating and performing salsa, tango and bachata. Amanda now has the good fortune of bringing her love for dance full circle. She has a passion for working with small children and is excited to introduce dance to them. She plans to use her personal experiences to instill a respect for proper technique and provide an outlet for positive self expression for the small dancers at Bristol Ballet.