ABOUT THE OWNER...

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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 she lived 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 34 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, numerous Broadway tours of West Side Story, A Chorus Line, and Hairspray. Several of her students have performed on numerous international ships, in Vegas shows, and in various European performances. Former students have been ballet dancers with ballet companies in Nashville, Boston, Milwaukee, and danced 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, Va.-Santa Clara, Ca, -Charlotte, NC., 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 is a choreographer for their opening productions in Las Vegas and NYC. She also choreographs 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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