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Meet the DRD Instructors

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Alyssa Headshot.png

Danelle Afflerbaugh - Artistic Director 
Danelle Afflerbaugh has more than three decades of dance experience.  Throughout her career, she has studied tap, jazz, hip-hop, cheer and ballroom, but focused primarily in ballet.  Danelle studied under Melinda Shaner in Southern California as well as Paul Maure, former dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo.  Over the years she has performed various roles, including the Snow Queen, Magical Doll and Russian Trepek in The Nutcracker Ballet; the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, the Emerald Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty Ballet, the ballet corps in Swan Lake. During her eleven-year tenure as the Head Cheerleading Coach at the University of Redlands, her teams competed and earned rankings in regional and national competitions.  In addition to her work at DRD, Danelle has a passion for theatre working locally with Millennium Repertory Company as a choreographer and director. Her work has been seen in such productions as Singin' in the Rain (2018), Chicago (2019), White Christmas (2020), A Chorus Line (2021) Cabaret and Hello Dolly (2022). Her choreography for Newsies (2019) won a Broadway World Award for Best Choreography.  Danelle serves as the Vice-Chairman of the board of directors at the Manchester Arts Center, as a member of the board of Millennium Repertory Company. She is also a member of TAD (Tennessee Association of Dance) and attends First Baptist Church in Manchester with her husband and daughter.


Tricia Hiers - Instructor 
Mrs. Tricia Hiers is one of Duck River Dance’s ballet instructors, and the 2023-2024 season will be her eighth year teaching at DRD. Over the years, she has taught ballet classes from pre-ballet to adult, beginning jazz, and beginning tap. Growing up, she danced for 14 years in the styles of ballet, lyrical, tap, and jazz. Some of her dancing roles include The Sugar Plum Fairy (2016), The Snow Queen(2017), and Shepherdess (2019) in DRD’s The Nutcracker. Tricia is also involved in community theater and has directed, performed, and choreographed for many musical productions at the Arts Center of Cannon County and the Manchester Arts Center. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing clarinet, and spending time with her husband, daughter, and poodles.




Rachel Spangler - Instructor

Rachel is a Manchester native and legacy employee at AEDC. She has served our community as both the children and teen theatre coordinator at the Manchester Arts Center for over 15 years, as well as being a board member of several related non profit organizations. A soccer player in her school years, Rachel found her way into dance as an adult. Alongside her husband, Landon, and other dear friends she joined the DRD family for it’s inaugural season in 2015. Since then she has studied Ballet, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Tap, eventually joining the staff to teach both children and adults. She enjoys cultivating the arts in our community and encouraging other adults to embrace their own inner dancer. 




Ansley Hall - Instructor

Ansley Hall, a native of Opp, Alabama, is a 2021 graduate of The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance and a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. Her Kinesiology concentrations are fitness, nutrition, and health promotion. She grew up dancing at the Dorothy Rainer Sellers School of Dance, Andalusia Ballet, and Enterprise School of Dance. While her career is just beginning, Ansley has been an avid student of both baton and dance since the age of 3 years old. Ansley has experience in all forms of dance but her collegiate training concentrated heavily on the jazz, hip hop, modern, and contemporary styles. She has won numerous awards in both baton and dance. Some of her most favorite include Miss Majorette of Alabama beg.16+ 2016, ESD Dance Student of Year 2016, numerous Twirltacular Champion titles, and UDA All American where she got to perform in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. While Ansley enjoys performing, her true passion lies in choreographing and teaching dance and baton routines. She has been teaching since the age of 15 and has spent many hours over the last 5 years choreographing and instructing high school dance and majorette lines. She has also taught many private lessons in both baton and dance. Being a person of strong faith and believing that God has a special purpose and plan for each of us, Ansley hopes to share her love of these arts with others while encouraging them to be their best selves.



Gianna Afflerbaugh - Instructor

Gianna began dancing in 2008 with Pearl Wardlow at Dance Spectrum in Beaumont, CA.  Upon her move to Tennessee she trained locally at a studio in Murfreesboro.  Miss Gianna became a student-instructor at DRD in 2018 and has since graduated to the position of instructor.  As a homeschool high school student, she volunteers much of her time at the Manchester Arts Center as a choreographer for their WAG, TAG and MRC productions.  Her choreography has also been seen in WMS productions as well as on stage at Motlow College. In addition to her position as instructor at DRD. Miss Gianna also serves as the lighting design technician for all of DRD's productions as well as creating specialty make-up design for DRD recitals and Nutcrackers.  A student in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Contemporary, Gianna feels especially drawn to the discipline of Contemporary dance, both as a student and as an instructor.




Carrie Barton - Instructor

Carrie Barton began dancing with DRD at its opening in 2015. During her tenure as a student and instructor, she danced the roles of Alice in Alice in Wonderland, both the Snow Queen and Sugarplum Fairy in The Nutcracker Ballet, as well as the Lilac Fairy in The Sleeping Beauty.  Carrie was also a founding member of the DRD Company dance team. A 2019 graduate of CCCHS, she moved on to the University of Tennessee at Martin, earning a degree in Health and Human Performance.  Miss Carrie returns to DRD to bring her passion for ballet to our Pointe I and Pointe II students. 

Alyssa Freeze - Instructor

Alyssa Freeze is a senior at CCCHS and has been dancing and performing for over 10 years. Alyssa is an active member of the CCCHS Show Choir, theatre program and BETA Club, placing top five in regional competition. In addition to her BETA placement, Miss Alyssa has been nominated twice in the Best Dramatic Actress category of the Spotlight Awards. Her choreography has been seen on stage at CCCHS, WMS, South Jackson Civic Center and the Manchester Arts Center.  Alyssa has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, musical theater, and contemporary, and she is a member of the DRD Company elite team.



Anne Louise Brasfield - Instructor

Anne Louise has over 15 years of dance experience in ballet, pointe, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, musical theatre, and hip hop. Beginning at the age of five, Anne Louise trained at the Paula Duff School of Dance in Cleveland, TN which later became Cleveland City Ballet and Bang-A-Rang Productions. Anne Louise was a part of the senior company and studied under Monica Coulter and Frank Hay with the Chattanooga Ballet as well as Teri Seier of New York City.  Anne Louise’s passion for lyrical, contemporary, and jazz lead her to then train and study under Nisa Rayburn Hooper of Cleveland Dance and Performing Arts Center competing and winning at dance competitions across the southeast. In addition to studio dance, Anne Louise was also the captain of her high school dance team where she lead and choreographed countless dance routines for the football and basketball seasons. Throughout her collegiate tenure, Anne Louise choreographed and directed award-winning routines for her sorority’s campus wide competitive dance performances which included step and hip-hop. Anne Louise looks forward to bringing her experience, passion and fresh choreography to Duck River Dance.

Stephanie Whiting - Instructor

Miss Stephanie began dancing in 1998, and continued to her training at various studios in the Murfreesboro area until 2007. From there she pursued to further her dance in education and started attending classes at the school Nashville Ballet, where she was given many performance opportunities, including Gonzalo Espinoza‘s Halloween Special at the Schermerhorn with the Nashville Symphony, and Paul Vasterling’s the Nashville Nutcracker for four years. She continued to further her training at Dance Theater of Tennessee, and AREA of Atlanta. She has previous training in Cecchetti, and RAD, and Vaganova methods. Stephanie tries to stay active and enjoys being involved with local community theater projects. Stephanie is so excited to have the opportunity to share her love of dancing with dancers in the Manchester area!

Jaxen Waggoner - Instructor

Bio coming soon.


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