StarKidz Staff


Christi Stanton

Owner

Christi began studying dance at the age of 5 and continues her education on a yearly basis.

She began teaching at the ripe age of 19 in her parents’ garage. This small studio grew into a state of the art, 10,000 square foot facility in Inman, SC that houses over 400 young dancers and tumblers each operating day, which expanded further in 2008 to include StarKidz After School and Summer Camp program.

Christi has choreographed award-winning routines for numerous dance studios, colleges, and theaters, including a principal role in USC Upstate’s Steel Magnolias. Her studio has been voted one of the TOP 50 STUDIOS IN THE NATION by Dance Teacher’s Magazine and Dance Spirit Magazine and awarded numerous state and national titles for several years consecutively.

Christi is married to Nathan Stanton and has a daughter, Seren Mason Stanton. Christi would like to thank God, her family, staff, students, parents, and friends for blessing her with an amazing career.

FUN FACT: Christi is an All American Clogger and member of the American Clogging Hall of Fame.

Courtney Frost

Courtney Frost is a 2008 graduate of Byrnes High School and attended college at the USC Upstate.

Dance became a huge part of Courtney’s life at the age of two, when she began her first class. She immediately fell in love, and that love and passion for dance continues to this day. Courtney began her life of dance at StarMakers Dance Company thirteen years ago, when she became a Company Team Member at the age of ten.
In high school, Courtney became addicted to Irish, also known as Riverdance, and wanted to compete her first Irish solo—so in 2004, in Myrtle Beach, she did! She received a First Place Diamond Award, and much to her astonishment, Courtney also won the State title out of eighty dancers. Her incredible performance was featured in a great deal of the competition’s advertising over the following year.
Courtney has also danced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and at Walt Disney World; been seen on Your Carolina, and performed at many other local venues. With dance being such a huge part of her life, she was thrilled to became part of the StarMakers staff as an instructor. She continues to work as an instructor with Company Teams, where she specializes in clogging and Irish. Her love and passion for dance, as well as children, will continue to be a huge part of her life for many years to come.

Morgan Harris

Morgan is a 2013 graduate of Chapman High School.

Morgan is currently pursuing a nursing degree from Spartanburg Community College. She began with StarMakers Dance Company at age 3 and danced competitively until 2013. In 2013 Morgan began working at StarKidz.
Thoughts from Miss Morgan: “I can honestly say that working with the kids on a daily basis is very rewarding and I cherish the relationships I’ve built with the kids over the years. They have truly impacted my life greatly. I look forward to the beginning of each school year and the summer with the kids!”

Donna Mason

Donna James Mason is a graduate of Byrnes High School.   

She has been married to Dickie Mason of Lyman for 45 years.  She is the mother of Christi Mason Stanton and the late Madison Mason.  She has 3 grandchildren, Seren Stanton, Skylar Mason and Cody Mason.  She is a USC Upstate graduate with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.  Donna is a semi-retired nurse of 44 years and works as needed at Hospice.  Her accomplishments include past Assistant Director of Nursing at Camp Haven (Magnolia Manor) and Camp Care (Lake Emory), also Case Manager & Quality Assurance Nurse at Hospice Carolina Foothills (Hospice of Rutherford County).  Donna is excited to be working as a lead teacher at StarKidz AfterSchool Program. 

Judy Connolly

Judy has been a member of the StarKidz family since her daughter started there in 2007.

She joined our staff in 2012. A  mother of four, including StarMakers instructor, Miss Taylor, Judy has always loved working with kids. In 1998, she became the Assistant Artistic Director of Children’s Theatre Experience in Claremont and Pasadena, CA where she also performed on stage with the cast. She has been a part of the dance world since 2003 when her daughter first started dancing in CA. Judy felt blessed when offered the opportunity to work for StarKidz where she says “there is never a bad day when you’re able to put a smile on a child’s face.” Judy is also the wife of Wofford Assistant Football coach and Tight Ends coach, BJ Connolly, a grandmother of eight and a great-grandmother of one. Every year, Judy is more and more excited to see what StarKidz has in store for both the school year and the summer.

Allison Cooke

Allison Cooke is from Shelby NC where she was a star softball player in high school.

Allison Cooke is from Shelby NC where she was a star softball player in high school. She is an early childhood education major at USC Upstate.
Allison has spent many years teaching in various pre-schools and is excited for the opportunity to work with StarKidz .

Melissa Santana

Melissa is married with 2 children and has been a member of the SMDC family since 2008.

Prior to joining the StarKidz staff, she worked in the Spartanburg District Five K4 Program for 6 years and served as the Assistant Director of the RRES-ASP for 7 years. Her hobbies include Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains. She loves the children of StarKidz and encourages them to set positive examples for their classmates both in and out of StarKidz and StarMakers.

Chase Lawter

Chase Lawter is a senior at Boiling Springs High School where he has a 3.7 GPA.

He enjoys hunting, fishing, baseball and basketball. He works in the 2nd and 3rd grade homework room. Chase is very involved in the youth and children’s program at LifeSong Church. Chase loves working with the kids at StarKidz.

Taylor Connolly

Taylor Connolly has been a part of the StarMakers family since 2007.

She became a member of the StarMakers Company Teams in 2007, but her dance career began in 2003, at the age of 11, in Simi Valley, California where she was classically trained in Ballet and Pointe, along with Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Lyrical, and Contemporary.
After four years of competing on the GottaDance Academy Competition Teams, Taylor’s family packed up and moved from California to South Carolina where she was pointed in the direction of StarMakers.
From 2007 to 2012, Taylor had the opportunity of competing in numerous solo routines along with competing on the local, state, and nationally ranked Jazz, Tap, Clogging, Hip Hop, Irish, and Top 5 company teams.
Since 2007, Taylor and her teammates have made numerous appearances on Your Carolina with Jack Roper and Fox Carolina News. In 2010, her Top 5 team was granted the opportunity to travel to New York and audition for Paula Abdul’s reality show, Live to Dance. Also in 2010, Taylor was hired on as an instructor and staff member at StarMakers teaching Jazz technique classes, ballet/tap/jazz combo classes, performance hip hop teams/ Taylor also acts as assistant to fellow jazz instructor Blake Sanders and to Miss Christi, with the Sr. Hip Hop and Tap company teams.
StarMakers has not only been a place to further her career as a dancer/dance instructor, but has become a true second home and second family. Taylor could not be more thankful for all of the open doors that dance has provided in her life.

Anna Grace Hatchette

Anna Grace is from Spartanburg, SC.

Ana has been dancing at StarMakers for 12 years.  She is a member of the Sr. Clog, Sr. Elite Clog, Sr. Tap, Sr. Irish, and Sr. Irish Elite teams, an is the Captain of the Irish teams.  Anna Grace competed for the title of Miss South Carolina Teen in 2014 and 2015 as Miss Duncan Teen, and then as Miss Chesnee Teen.  She won talent at both preliminary pageants, and won talent at Miss South Carolina in 2014 with an Irish Step dance.  She is currently a student at Landrum High School and the Scholar’s Academy at USC Upstate, from where she will graduate in 2018. Anna is excited about working as a teachers assistant at StarKidz.

Kyleigh Southers

Kyleigh has been dancing at StarMakers for 14 years.  

She is a member of Sr. Clog, Sr. Elite Clog, Sr. Tap, Sr. Irish, Sr. Irish Elite, Hiphop Company, HipHop Elite, Jazz Company, and Jazz Elite.  She graduated from Dorman High School in 2016. She is currently a student at Converse College where she will graduate in 2020.  Kyleigh is majoring in Elementary Education and a minor in Dance. Kyleigh is excited about working as a teachers assistant at StarKidz.

Marianna Allen

Marianna has been at StarMakers for 6 years. 

She is a member of Hip Hop Company, Junior/Senior Clog, Elite Hip Hop and Production.  For the past three years, Marianna has done an excellent job of portraying certain roles in her hip hop routines while making people laugh.  She is currently a Senior at Boiling Springs High School and plans to attend USC Upstate in the fall.  Marianna adores children and loves working with them.  She is very excited about being a teacher’s assistant at StarKidz.

Nikki Wyatt

Nikki has danced at StarMakers for 15  years.

She is currently on Sr. Clog, Sr. Tap, Sr. Irish, Jazz Company, Elite Hip Hop and Hip Hop Company.  Nikki is a Senior at Dorman High School and is attending North Greenville next year.  She will be studying Elementary Education and is excited about working with the children at StarKidz.