...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 Disney and Universal Studios 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 building up their summer dance and theatre program, studied dance 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. While in Missouri she was a featured instructor for the Springfield Ballet, and 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. During that time Joanie had the privilege to work with such celebrities as Andy Williams, Mickey Rooney, Dino Kartsonakis, Ann Margret, Mickey Gilley, Glen Campbell, The Osmond Family, Yakov Smirnoff, Pam Tillis, and many others. While working the Sundance Film Festival in Utah she had the opportunity to work with Robert Redford.
Joanie has worked for several years as a visiting choreographer/director for Springfield Little Theatre’s education program in Springfield, MO. As a guest-instructor she has worked with them on a variety of productions, showcases, and projects.
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 choreographing other in-house productions such as the Pirate’s Town Cabaret.
In 2015 she helped launch Impossible Productions—a theatrical experience company specializing in providing talent, scripts, and other theatrical content for clients across the country. Recently, she spent several years in New Orleans, teaching, choreographing, and staging productions across Louisiana. This included creating an original Halloween musical for New Orleans’ City Park—a first for the city.
Joanie is super excited to be returning to Central Florida—which she considers home—and joining the tremendous team at Leesburg Dance Centre.