Meet Our Staff
Owner / Director
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 dancers and tumblers each operating day, which expanded further in 2008 to include StarKidz After School and Summer Camp program. In 2017 Christi opened up StarMakers sister school, Realta School of Irish Dance.
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. StarMakers also has a Nationally ranked power tumbling team.
Christi’s dancers have had the opportunity to perform around the globe. The have danced at Disney World, New York, Carnival Cruise Lines, Ireland, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, along with other numerous local festivals and events.
StarMakers has opened up so many opportunities for their dancers/tumblers. Numerous dancers/tumblers have pursued higher education on dance scholarships. StarMakers recently became the director of the Wofford College Dance Team and are very excited about the opportunity to partner with a local college to enhance their current dance program.
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.
Kelly became a part of the StarMakers family 15 years ago when her daughter, clogging instructor Mrs. Rachel, began dancing. Though no longer a dance mom, Kelly now serves as the Office Manager for StarMakers Dance Company and StarKidz After School and Summer Camp Program. Before beginning her career with StarMakers, Kelly worked from home for 20 years doing medical transcription. Kelly is married to her husband, Jimmy, and they have two daughters Rebekah, and the above mentioned, Rachel. Kelly is thrilled to be a grandmother of three beautiful girls, Emilia, McKinlee, and Ella. Kelly looks forward to many more years of growing with StarMakers.
Work at StarMakers!
Are you interested in working at a world-class dancing facility in Spartanburg, SC? Email your resume with a brief cover letter describing yourself and your qualifications to [email protected].
Director of Co. Team Training, Mini Starz, & Hip Hop Program
Co. Team & Studio Instructor
competitive hip hop, and jazz teams, as well as Mini Starz and Co. Team Training. Jordan has had the privilege of teaching at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind where she is able to share her passion of dance. As of 2019, Jordan was given the opportunity to become the Assistant Coach of the Wofford College Dance Team along with the head coach, our very own, Christi Stanton. When not at StarMakers, Jordan is the office administrator for Bird Paving & Upstate Grading.
Jordan Says: “I have danced for as long as I can remember, in many different places…Disney World, Dollywood, Bowl games and more! Dance is such a passion for me, and I also love kids, making this the best job ever! I have always had an aspiration to teach children and the best feeling in the world is knowing that I am using my talent to reach out to children and teach them the art of dance!” She is happily married to the love of her life, Hunter, and they have a beautiful daughter named, Huntly, who is also a dancer for the SMDC Co. Teams.
Director of Tap Program
Co. Team & Studio Instructor
Director of Tumbling Program
Power Tumbling Team Head Coach
In 2010, Shauna married Jeremy Hines, and together they have three wonderful children: Ryan, Jaydon, and Shaylee. In 2014, they decided to leave the army. Now, after thirteen years, Shauna is returning to the sport she so passionately loves. Shauna has been coaching the power tumbling and trampoline program for 5 years at StarMakers. This program has had athletes qualify for Nationals every competition season. With multiple State and Regional Champions. Shauna was named the Developmental Coach of the year for North and South Carolina in 2019 and USAG State Chair for South Carolina for 2019-2020.
Director of Clogging Program
Power Tumbling Asst. Coach
to this day. Courtney began her life of dance at StarMakers Dance Company in 1999, when she became a Company Team Member at the age of ten.
She has won numerous overall awards when she was competing as well as the title of SC State Dancer. Some awards that her competitive teams have won are Overall Entertainment, Overall High Score of the day, and First Place Overalls.
Courtney has also danced in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Walt Disney World and in Ireland; 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 become part of the StarMakers staff as an instructor. She continues to work as an instructor since 2008 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. When not at StarMakers, Courtney works in the Cath Lab at Spartanburg Regional as a Invasive Cardiovascular Technologist.
Studio & Company Dance Instructor
member of all StarMakers Senior dance teams from 2001-2004
where she also served as a class assistant. By 2015, Ashley was hired on as an instructor at StarMakers, and currently teaches studio level Ballet/Tap Classes, Mini Starz Tap, and the competitive Petite Tap team. Her daughter, Aly Grace, is also a member of the SMDC Co. Dance Teams. Ashley’s goal is to provide her students with a strong foundation in dance and to grow their passion for this amazing artform. In addition to dance, she’s an elementary school teacher in Spartanburg’s District 5 where she strives to incorporate dance and the arts into her regular classroom curriculum. Ashley currently resides in Spartanburg with her husband, Ryan, and their two children, Aly Grace and Henry.
Studio & Company Clogging Instructor
Hoyt Starkey has been clogging for 41 years and teaching for the past 36 years, and is the Director of the Award Winning STARZ ARTISTIC CLOGGERS. Throughout his clogging career he has had the opportunity to perform at The Grand Ole Opry, on Hee Haw, Club Dance, The Miss South Carolina Pageant and Disney World. Hoyt has had many High School pageant winners as well as Miss South Carolina pageant preliminary winners. His Clogging Team opened for Minni Pearl in Punta Gorda, FL at their Tricentennial Anniversary. In 2012, Hoyt was inducted into the America’s Clogging Hall of Fame where he also serves on the advisory board for the organization. Hoyt had the privilege to travel abroad with the Bailey Mountain Cloggers from Mars Hill University to Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Paderborn, Germany to participate in the International Folk Dance Festivals. We are blessed to have Hoyt as a part of the StarMakers staff!
Company Clogging Instructor
Co. Team Instructor
ADCRG, TCRG Certified Irish Instructor
In addition to competitive achievements, The Drake Irish Dance Troupe travelled all the way to Shangai China in March 2013 where they performed at Shanghai Oriental Arts Centre and Dulwich College Shanghai, China.
Currently they hold the title of World Champions.
Studio Dance Instructor
Kyleigh is a 2016 Graduate of Dorman High School where she maintained a 4.0 GPA, was a member of the National honor society, and Beta Club while being an active member in the Dorman Dance Department. Including performing for the district and choreographing dances for peers. She still goes to her alma mater to guest choreograph dances for this department. Kyleigh graduated Converse University with a degree in Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Dance. Along with her Dance minor, she was also a member of Dance ensemble and choreographed a tap piece for one of their productions.
Starmakers is a big part of her life and is so grateful for all the wonderful people she has met and all she has learned. She has always aspired to teach children and share her love for dance and now she can do both.
Kyleigh is currently an elementary school teacher at Lone Oak Elementary and, In 2021, she married her husband, Matthew Murphy.
Réalta Irish Instructor
Bio Coming Soon!
Jazz Technique Intructor
Katie Gillespie is a highly accomplished dance instructor with a passion for inspiring students through the art of dance. With over 20 years of experience in the industry, she has become a well known figure in the upstate dance community.
After completing her education at Clemson University, Katie embarked on a career as a professional dance teacher. Driven by a desire to share her expertise and knowledge with aspiring dancers, Katie creates a nurturing and supportive environment for students of all ages and skill levels.
Katie has received numerous accolades and recognition for her choreography on Regional and National levels. Most recently, she was named one of Talk Magazine’s “Top 25 Beautiful Women” for her work with special needs children in a weekly dance class designed especially for them. She strives to create opportunities for individuals from all backgrounds to experience the joy and liberation that dance offers.
As a dance educator, Katie remains committed to nurturing the next generation of dancers. Her unwavering dedication has solidified her as a beloved and influential figure in the world of dance education.
Beth has over 25 years’ experience in many genres of dance. She was Captain of the University of South Carolina-Upstate dance team for three years and has competed in dance on the junior, collegiate, and adult levels. She has been an instructor with StarMakers Dance Company since 2009. She was the Coach and Director of the StarMakers Dance Company All-Starz Team for 3 years. She has taught Hip-Hop, tumbling, Junior Acro, and Senior Acro Company Teams. She is a certified coach with the USA Gymnastics Organization and currently she coaches the SMDC Power Tumbling teams. She has 12 years of coaching experience on both the Junior Varsity and Varsity levels of high school competitive cheerleading, and 3 years of coaching All-Star competitive cheerleading. She has also trained several South Carolina and North Carolina cheerleading teams on both the middle school and the high school level, both competitive and non-competitive, where she specialized in choreography, tumbling, and stunting. Beth has also worked with several local youth association cheerleading programs, providing choreography, stunting, tumbling, and cheerleading skills. She is on the South Carolina High School League Competitive Cheerleading judges’ panel.
Beth has also choreographed innumerable pieces for plays and pageants. She was part of the Production Staff, formerly an LED, and a certified member of the Judges’ Panel with the Miss South Carolina Pageant Organization. Beth also directs and choreographs the Miss Freshman Pageant at Boiling Springs High School Ninth Grade Campus which has awarded over $55,000 in scholarships in the past 15 years.
Beth holds a Master’s degree in Secondary English Education and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently the Literacy Instructional Coach at Boiling Springs High School And Boiling Springs Freshman Academy. She loves to read, write, and study Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in her spare time.
Ballet & Jazz Instructor
Amanda’s love affair with dance began at age 3. She trained at a competition dance school and participated on multiple award winning dance teams prior to becoming a teacher’s apprentice at 13 years old. These days, Amanda combines 30 + years of teaching experience with a masters degree in nursing. Amanda’s primary focus is teaching conditioning techniques that optimize dance skills and performance. During the day, she works with an Oncology practice as a Nurse Practitioner and clinical manager. She and her husband are parents to 3 boys ages 21, 17, and 10. In her spare time, she enjoys many aspects of the fine arts including literature, painting and vocal performance.
Amy Novak trained at Edna Lee Dance Studio in Linthicum, Maryland, for fifteen years. While there, she studied ballet, tap, jazz, and contemporary styles under Ashley Canterna-Hardy, Mary Moran, Alicia Canterna, and Brandon Perry-Russell, among others. She began teaching and choreographing at the age of seventeen. Amy attended the University of Utah and graduated with a BFA in Ballet and minors in Business Administration and Nutrition. While there, she taught ballet, jazz, contemporary, and character dance classes at local studios, as well as choreographing several group and solo pieces for university performances and competitions. After graduation, she danced as a trainee with Ballet Idaho during their 2021/2022 season before joining Ballet Spartanburg as a company artist in 2022. Amy loves helping students improve their technique, while also encouraging them to find their unique artistic voice in the studio. She is excited to have the opportunity to work with the students of StarMakers Dance Company this season!
TCRG Certified Irish Instructor
Abigail McKeever, born and raised in Kildare, Ireland found a passion for dance at the age of 4yrs old. She is an outgoing, highly motivated and trustworthy dancer and teacher of a number of forms of dance.
Abigail is passionate about all aspects of movement, dance and in particular Irish dancing.
Abigail enjoyed much success during her competitive Irish dance career, participating in numerous prestigious competitions, to name a few, Leinster, All-Ireland and World Irish Dance Championships. Abigail’s enthusiasm and natural talent for Irish dance performance and teaching led her to the University of Limerick, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Irish Music and Dance. From thereon, Abigail’s teaching career went from strength to strength. She is an accredited Irish dance instructor and choreographer (T.C.R.G), personal trainer (I.S.S.A) and Modern Dance instructor (I.D.T.A).
After performing in many shows worldwide, 3 years ago Abigail began a journey of moving to the US to start this adventure of bringing Irish dance & culture to communities. She has been teaching for the last 10 years to people of all ages & abilities and hopes that Irish Dance can bring her students some exciting enjoyment as they venture into this new activity with her!
TCRG Certified Irish Instructor
Miss Anna T.C.R.G began traditional Irish Dancing lessons at the age of 3 which instilled in her a love of the genre. Her competitive dance career began with The Drake School of Irish Dance at age 9, and led her to compete at regional, national and world championships earning medals at each level. In 2015 she ranked 23rd at the World Irish Dance Championships in Montreal, Canada, bringing the only medal back to the state of Georgia. Miss Anna is an established award winning Traditional Irish Musician & Irish Gaelic Singer as well. Her competitive music career began at the age of 10, with performances in Atlanta at age of 9. She advanced to performing throughout Georgia & the Metro Atlanta area a member of several Ceili Bands. In 2011 Anna her employment as a Vetted Teacher for the Woodruff Arts Center Young Audiences program teaching Traditional Irish music, dance and culture classes and workshops in numerous Metro Atlanta school systems. In both 2011 and 2012 she ranked as one of the Top 8 Concertina Players in the world as well as one of the Top 8 female Irish Gaelic Singers in the world. In addition, she also earned the opportunity to compete at the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Cavan, Ireland. Anna was blessed to attend the CCE’s Scoil Egisa Music Academy in Ireland on full scholarship at age 17. Miss Anna has taught Irish dancing basics as well as Championship material to hundreds of children and adults alike, fulfilling her childhood dream of sharing her love of Irish dance and music. Miss Anna presently assists Mr. Karl Drake A.D.C.R.G. at the Drake School of Irish Dance, one of the most successful and largest Irish Dance schools in the USA. Anna is now married to her husband, Andrew, and has one daughter, Laelyn.