Owners ~ Teachers
Carrie Lowrey / Owner / Studio Director- Dance Extensions, Ballet, Lyrical, Contemporary, Pointe, Tap, Dance Acrobatics
Carrie started dancing with Kohl Academy of Performing Arts at the age of 3. During her 14 years she was a member of the Dance Extensions Dance Company where she competed in various competitions. She attended the University of Alabama and graduated with a degree in Human Environmental Sciences. She started teaching at Kohl Academy in the Fall of 2011. She received her Dance Masters Teacher Certification in July of 2013 and her Acrobatic Arts Certification in July of 2021.
Shara Benefield/Owner/Studio Manager
Shara started with Kohl Academy as a parent in 2003. In 2007 she became The Dancewear Shop Manager. In 2018 she became Office Manager. She is looking forward to this new adventure as Owner/Office Manager.
Lauren Benefield-Rains - Ballet, Pointe, Tap, Jazz
Lauren began dance at the age of 4 and has continued dancing for the next 14 years. She was a member of our Dance Extensions Dance Company for 7 years. During the years she was on the Dance Company she attended Master Classes taught by well known choreographers and instructors. She started student demonstrating for Ms. Jane and Ms. Melissa at the age of 9. And in 2011 she started the Dance Masters of America Teacher Training Program through Kohl Academy and has been continually assisting in classes of all age groups. She also studies acting, guitar, and voice. She has been very active in KAPA's Theatre program as well as productions at The Whole Backstage.
Catie Wells - Ballet, Tap
Catie's lifelong love of ballet began when she saw The Nutcracker at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. She began ballet at age 6 and has gone on to perform with several pre-professional ballet companies in Georgia (Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Peter Pan). She has been involved with numerous musical theatre productions in Georgia, Arizona and The Whole Backstage in Guntersville. Catie featured supernumerary in Arizona Opera's production of "Rigoletto" in 2008 which incited a love of opera. Catie has continued to refine her ballet technique and artistry through attending Sun King adult ballet intensive in 2019 in Richmond, VA, Louisville Ballet's adult ballet intensive in 2021, and with Broche Ballet, an online ballet school for adults.
She has also taken classes and performed with Huntsville Ballet (Nutcracker, Cinderella, Romeo & Juliet) from 2011 to 2020 and has served as a board member and currently serves on the scholarship committee. She has choreographed several musical theatre productions including Once Upon a Mattress, The Fantasticks, and Little Women.
"I am an advocate for adult ballet and endeavor, by example, to encourage more adults to express themselves and stay healthy through classical ballet."- Catie Wells
Erica Mason - Ballet, Tap, Jazz
Erica began dancing at the age of 4 and began teaching at 16. She is an Albertville High School alumni and was a member of dance line and show choir. She continued dancing in college on the Snead State Dance Team, Troy University Dance Team, and the UNA Lionettes. Erica graduated from the University of North Alabama with a Bachelor's in Business Management. She has served on staff as a jazz, ballet, and competition team instructor at Impulse Performing Arts Studio in Madison, AL and All That Jazz Dance Co. in Boaz, AL. She currently is the dance line instructor at Oneonta and Arab High School.
"I am so excited to return to the place where I first fell in love with dance. I look forward to meeting all my students. It's going to be a great year!"
Alyson Graves - Ballet, Tap, Acro, Lyrical/Contemporary
Alyson Graves started student teaching dance in 2014 and became an instructor on 2020. She is currently pursuing a Dance Education degree from Wallace State Community College. Help us welcome Ms. Alyson to Kohl Academy!