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Owners ~ Teachers

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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 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 Turner - 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!"








Carmen Perkins - Ballet, Tap

CJ’s Dance Factory, in Prattville, Alabama, is where Carmen Perkins began her dance journey. There, she received instruction in all genres of dance, with a concentration in Ballet. Her instructor, and owner of CJ’s Dance Factory, CJ Martin, was a former member of the Houston Ballet, and student of the late, Patsy Swayze, of Houston. At the age of 18, Carmen began student teaching with CJ, and continued teaching at the dance studio, and at Huntingdon College, in Montgomery, Alabama, where she attended college, majoring in Early Childhood Education. Carmen married Jason Perkins, a soldier in the US Army. As an Active Duty Army wife, she has lived in eight different states, including one over seas assignment in Okinawa, Japan, and her most memorable assignment, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. But perhaps her favorite assignment of all was her husband’s Recruiting assignment in North Alabama, that brought back to her home state, and to this heart warming, lake town of Guntersville in 2010. Carmen taught dance and Zumba at KAPA while stationed here in Guntersville. She and her family always knew that they would return upon her husband’s retirement from active duty, and did just that in 2020.
She’s happy to call Guntersville HOME with her husband, daughter Jessica, and son, Colby, and THRILLED to be teaching the precious Tiny Dancers at Kohl Academy of Performing Arts!


Kaylee Wells - Ballet, Tap, Lyrical/Contemporary

Kaylee started her dance journey at AllyKat Talent Studio where she was on the competition team. She started teaching in 2017 at Unleashed where  she remained on the faculty until 2020. Kaylee has been a part of many theatre productions at Northeast Community College. She was a member of the cast of Big Fish, Shrek, A Christmas Carol, and Beauty and the Beast. She choreographed Peter and the Star Catcher, Shrek, The Addams Family, A Christmas Carol, and Beauty and the Beast. 

Josiah Rains- Vocal and Beginner Piano
Josiah is a graduate of Guntersville High School who is currently pursuing his degree in music education at the University of North Alabama. His concentration is in choral and vocal studies as a classically trained tenor. Josiah has a vast performance experience including productions with Guntersville High School and The Whole Backstage Theatre. He has also performed in UNA's Chamber and Collegiate Choruses as well as the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and has been a member of Opera/ Musical Theatre. He has taught vocal, beginner piano, and choral at Kohl Academy in the summer of 2021 and 2022. 
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