Debra Ford was born and raised in Edmonton Alberta, Canada. She moved to Los Angeles California when she was 17 years old and danced with the professional group “Disconnection” while performing in Private Clubs and Knotts Berry Farm Amusement Park. She was then selected to dance in three movies adding to her credits. She then went on tour dancing with a band called “Way Out” across the USA and throughout Canada for six years. She has trained and assisted choreographers from all around the world in all styles of dance, which lead to her teaching career. Debbie has been teaching and choreographing performances for over 40 years. She is the proud owner of Debbie’s Dance Company, which she opened in 1986, and this year she is celebrating her 30th anniversary. She has taught and been a mentor to many students who have gone on to dance professionally all over the world in various dance careers. She takes most pride in her students and especially her staff, teaching is what she was meant to do and continues it because she loves the passion and dedication her children have.
Jennifer Turbyfill is a graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and received her BFA in dance performance cum laude from Florida State University. While attending Florida State Jennifer was a multiple recipient of the Friends of Dance scholarship. Jennifer also was a member of Dance Repertory Theatre for three years and assisted as rehearsal director for much of her time under the direction of Lynda Davis. While attending FSU Jennifer was privileged to study under world-renowned ballerina Suzanne Farrell, Lynda Davis, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar director of Urban Bush Women. After graduation Jennifer pursued her dream of dance and moved to New York City. She continued to study intensively with Doug Varone and Dancers and at the Limon Dance Studios in New York. Jennifer has danced as a featured performer in works by: Bridget Bleistein, Sean Curran, Alan Danielson, Lynda Davis, Gerri Houlihan, Anthony Morgan, Jessica Patz, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. She has performed as an ensemble dancer in works by Piper Arpan, Maria Bauman, Nancy Smith Fichter, Donlin Foreman, Jennifer Handel, and Brent Schneider. Jennifer is currently on the dance faculty at Douglas Anderson where she teaches all levels of modern technique, senior choreography, musical theater, and dance aesthetics. While on faculty at Debbie’s Dance Company she has received choreography awards and numerous top placements at the regional and national level.
We are so excited to welcome Starr McKnight to DDC as our new ballet instructor! Bio- Starr McKnight trained year-round on full scholarship at the prestigious School of American Ballet, official school of New York City Ballet, and at Kirov Academy of Ballet. He trained on scholarship during the summers at Boston Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, and Ballet West. He has danced professionally throughout New York, Colorado, and Texas with companies such as Joffrey Ballet, Houston Ballet, and Colorado Ballet. McKnight founded Texas Dance Theatre (TDT), a ballet company, serving as the company’s Artistic/Executive Director, and primary choreographer. With TDT, he choreographed and staged classical and contemporary works, created an outreach program, bringing dance to children in schools throughout Dallas and Fort Worth, and developed a company-affiliated school for young and adult dancers alike.
McKnight is a graduate of Texas Christian University, where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology, and Florida Coastal School of Law, where he received a law degree. He is excited to join Debbie’s Dance Company as a ballet instructor!
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, Lynnette McCallister began her dance training at several local dance schools in the area, Beans School of Dance, Dulce Anaya, Marta Jackson, Mervyn’s School of Dance, Florida Ballet and with Betty Swenson at Jacksonville University. At the age of 11, Lynnette was accepted as a company member with the Jacksonville Ballet Theater under the direction of Dulce Anaya. She was also accepted into the Ballet Guild under the direction of Mervyn Rickard where she gained more performing experience while working with renowned guest choreographers. At the age of 13, Lynnette was given a full scholarship to study under the direction of Robert Lindgren, Dean of Dance, at the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston Salem, NC, where she also studied with a number of acclaimed teachers such as Mimi Paul, Duncan Noble, and Marina Eglevsky. During summer and holiday breaks from NCSA, Lynnette studied at the Washington Ballet and the Florida Ballet on scholarships, and she also took Master classes from Edward Villella.
Lynnette graduated from High School at age 16 and began her professional dance career with the Florida Ballet at Jacksonville under the direction of Laurie and Michael Byrd as the only apprentice in the company. After one year of apprenticeship, Lynnette was given an opportunity to study as of member of the Very Young Dancer group at the Washington Ballet in D.C under the direction of Mary Day, which allowed her to enrich her technique and performing skills while learning from established teachers in the Ballet world. Lynnette danced with the Washington Ballet for 3 years performing many classics and new works by acclaimed choreographers. Lynnette auditioned and won 4 contracts with the Pittsburgh Ballet, Hartford Ballet, Ballet Retouro, and the Florida Ballet. After careful consideration, she chose her hometown Florida Ballet and danced with them for 7 years where she was given many roles in a diverse repertoire of works by acclaimed choreographers. While dancing with the Florida Ballet, she was able to teach dance part-time at local studios, sharing her passion of dance with young students, as well as attend Jacksonville University on full scholarship and work toward her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dance.
Lynnette Has over 20 years of teaching experience, teaching Ballet, Pointe, Tap, and Jazz. Has work with a Competition Ballet team The last 2 years in Ca and recently became certified in Progressing Ballet Technique as a Level 3 instructor.
April Henehan graduated from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida and has earned degrees from both Florida State University & Jacksonville University. She was awarded ‘Most Artistic’ by Faculty two years in a row and has performed works set by Alonzo King, Ronen Koresh, Michael Foley, Mia Michaels, Eddy Toussaint, Bill Evans, and Kavin Grant. As a dancer. she has performed principal roles of ‘Lead Chinese Doll’ and ‘Nutcracker Doll’ alongside the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, been featured in commercials and can be seen as a Las Vegas finalist on Season 4 of the hit TV series “So You Think You Can Dance.” April has worked as a guest choreographer for the Jacksonville Giants Dance Teams, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, LaVilla School of the Arts, and the Teen Jacksonville & Miss Jacksonville USA pageants. Her dance photography has been featured & awarded by Dance Spirit Magazine; and her choreography was showcased on tour in 2015 with “American Idol” Season 12 Winner, Candice Glover, recognized by Tyce Diorio and recently featured in the January, 2016 issue of Dance Teacher Magazine. In addition to consistently being recognized on both the Regional & National Competition levels; April currently travels as a Competition Adjudicator, Choreographer, and Convention Teacher while continuing to teach in the Jacksonville area as a guest teacher.
Jessica Eurom grew up in Jacksonville, Florida and is an alumnus of Debbie’s Dance Company where she danced competitively for many years. She recently graduated from James Madison University with a B.A. in Dance and a B.S in Kinesiology. Throughout her years at JMU Jessica was selected to perform at the 2017 American College Dance Association and was cast as a company member of the Virginia Repertory Dance Company for the 2018-19, and the 2019-20 seasons. Jessica is a cofounder, member, and choreographer for The Aftermath Company; a pre-professional theatre collective which operated for two full seasons. During her time at JMU she has performed works by Kyle Abraham, DanceWorks Chicago, Matt Pardo, Scott Putman, and Ruben Graciani as well as participated in residencies with Omar de Jesus, Sara Burke, and Emily Cargill. She studied abroad in London enrolling in classes at the Laban Centre for Movement and Dance, The Place, and Pineapple Studios. While there, she attended performances by Nederlands Dans Theater, Hofesh Shechter Company, and Semperoper Ballet. Jessica is a choreographer of multiple works, some of which have been showcased in the Fall & Spring Dance Concert and the New Voices in Dance Concert. She is currently employed as a physical therapy technician, utilizing her love for movement and knowledge of kinesiology. Jessica is thrilled to be returning to Debbie’s Dance Company as an instructor and is excited to share her passion for dance with her students.
Lauren Logan, a Debbie’s Dance Company Alumni, is a believer in the positive influence of
movement. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Jacksonville University, where she
was awarded a talent scholarship. While at JU, she was honored to perform works
choreographed by Take Ueyama, Adrianne Clancy, Twyla Tharp, and Attila Csiki. From 2011–
2013, Lauren was selected as a company member and performer with Braided Light Dance
Project. In 2015, Lauren earned a Master of Fine Arts in Dance from Hollins University, in
collaboration with The Forsythe Company. After school, Lauren moved to Tallahassee, Fl where
she enjoyed collaborating with artists, choreographing for Dance Tallahassee, and teaching at
several dance schools.
Currently, Lauren guest teaches around Jacksonville, including at La Villa School of the Arts.
Lauren is the creative director for Firebird Photos, where she showcases her combined love of
dance and photography. She has been honored to receive multiple choreography awards and
top overall scores on the regional and national level. She loves to spend time with her 11 month
old daughter, Lennox, who never sleeps, and her puppy, Leo.