Offering premier instruction in both competitive and recreational dance

I, Karen Deese, personally welcome you to ADFA! This studio was established in 1977 with a love for dance and a desire to share it with others. The first Academy of Dance and Fine Arts opened in Mooresville, NC and throughout the years additional North Carolina locations were opened in Statesville, Taylorsville, and Denton.   Now, I am so happy to have the first South Carolina ADFA studio, which is located in North Myrtle Beach.  Our first priority at ADFA is that the students receive the knowledge of dance techniques and styles, as well as, the emotional qualities and confidence to perform and develop a higher self-esteem.  At ADFA, we always display and expect: hard work, respect, and self-discipline. Our goal is to instill qualities in our students that will help them to develop a love for dance, an appreciation of the arts, and to succeed in any career they may choose. I am proud to have a faculty consisting of dancers with college degrees and/or professional performing experience. 

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Karen Deese

Academy of Dance & Fine Arts

Studio Owner

Karen Brown-Deese graduated with honors from the University of Greensboro with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in dance. At UNC-G and while living in New York City, she studied with Twyla Tharp, Phil Black, Luigi, David Howard, Broadway Dance Center, Martha Graham and the Alvin Ailey Dance Companies. In 1977 she opened The Academy of Dance Arts in Mooresville, NC. The studio later became known as The Academy of Dance and Fine Arts, Inc. (ADFA).


Over the last 40 years, Karen has taught thousands of dancers and numerous students who have gone on to become professional dancers and dance educators. Former student accomplishments include dancing at The Carolina Opry, The Alabama Theater, and Tokyo Disney, as well as performing in numerous Broadway tours of West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Hairspray. Additionally, several of her students have performed on numerous international ships, in Vegas shows, and in various European performances. In the Ballet world, former students have danced with companies in Nashville, Boston, Milwaukee, and for Ballet Pacifica. Karen was an assistant, choreographer,  and dancer with the Miss NC, Miss Virginia, and Miss Mississippi Pageants (for a total of over 20 years).  She has traveled the world working with Kennedy Entertainment, choreographing and directing revue shows for numerous cruise lines including: American Hawaii, Crown, Cunard, and Stella Solaris. Karen has also worked as a choreographer for Norwegian Cruise Line. In 1998 she began directing and choreographing Paramount’s main stage theater shows in Cincinnati, Ohio, Richmond, Virginia, Santa Clara, Ca, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Toronto, Canada.  In 2002 her “Graveyard Shift” show in Cincinnati received the IAAPA Award for the most outstanding theme park show internationally, and her “Superstars” show in Toronto received the 2nd place international IAAPA award.  


Karen now judges across the United States for Kids Artistic Revue dance competition on regional and national levels and has choreographed for their opening productions in Las Vegas and NYC. She has also choreographed the opening numbers for the Brunswick County and Horry County Dancing with the Stars. The Academy of Dance and Fine Arts at North Myrtle Beach won the Top Primary Studio at the  National Kids Artistic Revue Competition. Karen’s goal is to produce another studio offering the finest instruction for students who wish to dance on a competitive level or just for fun and recreation. She and her husband Larry currently reside in North Myrtle Beach.

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304 Hwy 90E 

Unit D-1

Little River, SC 29566