About Us

"Everything in life has a rhythm, everything dances." - Maya Angelou

South Shore Dance Academy is a young dance studio, dedicated to continuing the vision of On My Toes Dance Studio that began in 2002. Our mission is to educate and inspire people of all ages through dance. We aim to create well-rounded dancers through training in a variety of techniques as well as integrating lessons in history and culture into the classroom environment. We are committed to providing high quality training from our experienced and certified instructors who will guide students through proper (safe) technical training and encourage individuality and artistry. Dancers at SSDA will also have numerous performance opportunities including community parades and events and the SSDA annual recital, which will allow them to share what they’ve learned and gain confidence by taking the stage. It is our hope that students who go through our program will walk out our doors with self-confidence in their abilities both as a dancer and as a member of the community. We understand that not all students aspire to be professional dancers so while technique is important, we strive to provide students with tools for success no matter where life takes them.

Meet the Team!

Aubrey Sonnendecker

Director and Instructor

Aubrey began her dance training at the age of five at Main Street Dance Studio in Fuquay Varina focusing on ballet, tap, and jazz techniques. After graduating high school, Aubrey decided to continue her dance training at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she received diverse training in ballet, jazz, modern, Afro-brazilian, and West African techniques. Aubrey, through the program at UNC Charlotte, has taken master classes from Marcus White, Netta Yerushalmy, Janet Schroeder, and company dancers from Abraham in Motion and Alvin Ailey, among others. She has performed throughout the Charlotte area and at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. Additionally, Aubrey has attended NCDEO (North Carolina’s Dance Educators Organization) for the past several years, receiving dance training and educational best practices from experts in the field. Aubrey graduated from UNC Charlotte in May of 2019 with a Dance Degree and a Business Degree and is excited to pass on all she has learned to the dancers at South Shore Dance Academy.

Marcia Kelly

Director and Instructor

Marcia began dancing at the age of four with the Charlotte Blume School of Dance where she fell in love with the art. In her college days, she was a member of the Dance Theatre of Wilmington and performed in the annual production of The Nutcracker. While in Wilmington, she also performed with Thalian Hall Theatre Association. Prior to moving to Oak Island, Marcia taught for 4 years with Main Street Dance, 11 years with Studio Five Dance Company in Fuquay-Varina, NC, and 1 year at On My Toes. She also is a regular judge with Southeast Showdown Dance Competitions. Marcia has two grown sons and lives in Oak Island with her husband. 

Tracy Parker


Dancing and singing have been a part of Tracy’s life for as long as she can remember. Though she has taken various types of dance, she has a love and passion for clogging. Since the age of 8, Tracy has competed all over the United States earning various first place titles including East Coast Clogging Grand Champion, as well as a spot on the 1996 All American Clogging Team. Tracy has performed at the prestigious Opry Land Hotel, as well as Disney World. She was also a performer at the The Alabama Theatre and was a part of the Carolina Music Celebration at the Celebrity Theater in Myrtle Beach. She has been a certified clogging instructor for 20 years and enjoys sharing her passion of the arts with the next generation. She resides in Shallotte with her husband, Jeremy and two children, Isaac and Selah.

Charli Arman


Charli began her love of dance when she was 3! After competing during her early years she continued her passion into college with the Appalachian Dance Ensemble. She later taught in the Triangle area with Annette Hagopian and the Triangle Academy of Dance. There she was able to further her knowledge as an instructor and have the opportunity to learn from members of the Carolina Ballet. After obtaining her Master of Education in Special Education, she was able to teach dance closer to home as her children grew as well as have a chance to teach children with Visual Impairments at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind. Charli moved to Brunswick County five years ago and works with Brunswick County Schools. Now she is excited to continue her service to the community by teaching her passion of dance!

Karen Barr


Karen is an incredible example (and inspiration for others) that it is never too late for a lifestyle change or an exploration into fitness.   It wasn’t until Karen was in her 40’s that she began to recognize her love for fitness.  Starting out with Yoga, Karen quickly accomplished the sought after "300 Hours" of Yoga Training.  Shortly afterwards she achieved her Pilates Reformer Certifications from Peak Pilates and Pilates Coach, Levels 1, 2 and 3.


When hired as an instructor at the prestigious Oxford Club in Pittsburgh, Pa. for 7 years, her reputation opened more doors.  Karen was selected to work with the Pittsburgh Steelers during their off season, training them in balance and flexibility.  Her focus on keeping joints safe through Yoga and the Pilates Reformer, was critical for their careers.  


In 2009, Karen furthered her career with Zumba certifications levels 1, 2, and 3 and moved to NC.  For the past 10 years, Karen infused her love of Dance, Fitness, Pilates and Yoga into a Dance Fitness class for Mind and Body.  Karen looks forward to sharing her wealth of knowledge of her fitness world with the residents of our Coastal Area.

Kelsey Knight


Kelsey is currently a student at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington where she is working toward a degree in Clinical Research. Although she has a brain for science, Kelsey has a great love for dance that she has been fostering since the age of 3. She began her training at Main Street Dance in Fuquay and at Infinity Ballet Conservatory in Apex. She trained in a variety of styles including tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical and competed with the Elite Dance Company at Main Street throughout high school. After graduating, Kelsey began her college career at the University of Arkansas and her love for dance continued to grow in jazz and ballet techniques. She then transferred to the University of North Carolina Wilmington and joined the UNCW Dance Company and has been performing with them for the past two years. Kelsey currently resides in Wilmington with her golden doodle, Milo (AKA S-milo). Kelsey is thrilled for the opportunity to share her love of dance with the SSDA students and community.

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©2019 by South Shore Dance Academy.