…originally hails from New Orleans and spent her college years in Natchitoches at Northwestern State University where she majored in musical theatre and dance.
Joanie has extensively traveled the country performing, directing, and choreographing professionally for over two decades. She spent many wonderful years with both Universal Studios and Disney as a performer and choreographer and has also worked in those capacities at Six Flags, Hershey Park, and Sea World, as well as many regional theatres—including Kentucky's Stephen Foster the Musical, Derby Dinner Playhouse, Musicana Dinner Theatre, the Naples’ Dinner Theatre, the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky’s YPAS (Youth Performing Arts School), Theatre West Virginia, and Louisiana’s JPAS (Jefferson Performing Arts Society).
Joanie worked for 4 years at Camp Thunderbird in Lake Wylie, South Carolina setting up their dance and theatre program for kids ages 5-18, studied dance and choreography under Bob Fosse’s personal assistant, was the resident choreographer for the Central Florida Lyric Opera and Penguin Entertainment, and has worked extensively with many Orlando production companies. She attended Teacher Training School with Dance Masters of America at SUNY in Buffalo, NY, and ran her own dance and theatre school in Branson, MO for eight years. She is so proud of her students- many of whom are in film and live shows across the nation now. While there in Missouri, she also worked professionally in shows as a choreographer and singer/dancer, including: the original Branson Underground Friday Night Live Cabaret, The Road to Rock, Swing!Swing!Swing! Dino’s Christmas Spectacular, and Silver Dollar City- working with celebrities such as Andy Williams, Mickey Rooney, Dino Kartsonakis, Ann Margret, Mickey Gilley, Glen Campbell, The Osmond Family, Yakov Smirnoff, Pam Tillis, and many others.
Joanie was also fortunate to work with Springfield Ballet as their Advanced Ballet Mistress, and Springfield Little Theatre Education program as a lead instructor in Ballet, Lyrical, Jazz, and Musical Theatre for kids and adults ages 4-25, and still returns there as a guest instructor and choreographer when she can.
Joanie performed in The Three Musketeers: Voyage Home and Pirate’s Dinner Adventure: Rise of the Sea Dragon at Pirate’s Town in Orlando. She served as assistant director for Musketeers, and as the Music & Movement Director for both shows at that venue, as well as teaching professional dance master classes and choreographing other in-house productions such as the Pirate’s Town Cabaret for 5 years until Hurricane Irma.
Recently, she spent several years in New Orleans, teaching, choreographing, and staging productions across Louisiana including creating an original Halloween musical for New Orleans’ City Park—a first for the city, as well as working with the areas youth. She served as the Artistic Director and lead instructor in Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Lyrical Contemporary, Tap and Aerial classes for Muse Dance Stage Screen where her students performed throughout the St Tammany and New Orleans area until Covid.
Joanie is super excited to be returning "home" to Central Florida—and joining the tremendous team at Leesburg Dance Centre to spread the magic and love of theatre and dance to the next generation of artists.