BAPA is always looking for new and excited instructors! Contact us for more information!
Cynthia Turnage (Shahira) – Artistic Director
Cynthia Turnage, (sometimes better known by her stage name Shahira), has danced her whole life and there are no signs of her slowing down. She began her journey in dance at age 4 at the Schuyler School of Dance in Knoxville, Tennessee. She danced all throughout high school and danced at the University of Tennessee where she received her Bachelors’ Degree in English Literature. She has also worked towards a master’s degree in Theatre, Lighting and Design. Ms. Turnage has studied Middle Eastern dance in New York City with Ibrahim Farrah for 25 years. During that time, she also trained and taught disco, ballroom, exercise and Jazzercise. She’s taught seminars on Middle Eastern Dance throughout the United States and Canada, and has performed throughout the US, Canada, Europe (Including a Turquoise International Tour), Casablanca and Egypt. Ms. Turnage has taught dance in Knoxville for over 20 years and is the Director of Troupe Hyetti – formed in 1979. BAPA is a dream come-true for Ms. Turnage and she is very excited to see performing arts grow here in Knoxville.
Greg, “Mr. G”, is an accomplished local performer with many years experience performing and teaching Hip-Hop from beginning (aerobics) level, through the mastery series. He has choreographed hip-hop routines for Union County High School Dance Team and Loudon County High School Dance Teams as well as The G-Force Cheerleading and Tumbling Team and Knoxville Elite Cheerleading and Dance. He took 1st place in the Who Can Dance dance competition in Cincinnati, Ohio, 5th place in the Florida Spring Break Dance Off dance competition and was in the top 100 finalists for Beyonce’s World Tour. He performed at the BudFest in Atlanta, Georgia and danced in the MC Hammer Pepsi Feelings commercial. He also volunteers as a dance teacher with Urban Divine and was the founder of P.A.R.A.D.I.C.E. (a non-profit sing/rap/dance group working to educate kids against drugs). Because of his unique step-by-step teaching style and outgoing personality, his classes are always FUN! By the way…you may have seen him around town with his production of THRILLER. We are glad he’s found a teaching home at BAPA.
Emily is a new Nia teacher and a long-time well-being seeker. The first time she danced Nia, in the fall of 2012, her whole body- uncoordinated, ungracefully, off-balance- said “YES!” She’s danced every week since and has seen her own and her students’ flexibility, agility, mobility, stability and strength blossom. In April 2014, Emily traveled to North Carolina to take her Nia White Belt Training. She became a certified Nia Technique Instructor in May and began to teach classes that same month. As Emily’s trainer, Kate Finlayson, said about Nia, “Nia is not for everybody, but it’s for every body!”
BUTI Yoga Instructor, 200 hour RTY – Carrie once considered herself a professional at home exerciser, for 10 years she tried just about every program and every exercise. In 2012 she discovered BUTI Yoga through a fitness magazine and was blown away by the intense cardio that BUTI offered as well as the balanced strength and flexibility found through the yoga asanas. Teaching BUTI was always a dream in the back of her mind so in 2015 she took the leap and became a 200 hour RYT through BUTI Yoga founder Bizzie Gold. During this process Carrie fell more in love with not only the physical aspect of BUTI yoga, but also the mind/body connection that yoga gives to the student and the tools they can take into their everyday life.
has been a dancer for over 25 years having trained extensively in many different dance forms. She has a BFA in Dance Education from Arizona State University and has been teaching dance to people of all ages and abilities for over 20 years in a variety of settings. Angela was a long-time member of Circle Modern Dance here in Knoxville and has also worked with many different organizations locally, regionally and internationally in Sydney, Australia as a performer, choreographer and teacher. In addition to being a Certified Dancing For Birth™ Instructor she is also a Certified Rolfer™ and Rolf Movement® Practitioner, Craniosacral Therapist and Parenting Educator. She is passionate about helping women get out of their habitual movement patterns to feel empowered to give birth and to connect with their infants!
Claire Metz Fenner
Claire Metz Fenner has performed across the country at such events as Bonaroo, TribalCon, TribalCafe and Elevation Dance Festival, both as a soloist and with a variety of troupes. Formerly a core member of the Gypsy Hands Tribal Belly Dance Troupe, you can currently find her performing with Shadhavar Belly Dance, Panty Raid! Burlesque, as well as Biz’Cirque Circus Theatre. Claire first picked up a pair of poi in 2004 and was immediately entranced with the rhythm and flow of the dance. Quickly realizing that Poi and Belly Dance complimented each other, she fused the two dance forms, creating a style that is uniquely her own. A teacher at heart, she has been teaching Poi since 2005, and Tribal Fusion Belly Dance since 2007. She is very excited to be joining the team of instructors at Broadway Academy of Performing Arts!
Gabriella has been practicing yoga intermittently since 2009. Though she always enjoyed the the physical challenge of the asanas, she was never able to fully commit to a practice and felt unfulfilled. From 2010-2016, Gabriella moved around the east coast several times, attending studios in Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina and Tennessee. In March of 2016, Gabriella attended her first Buti Yoga class and instantly felt the deeper mind/body connection that had since been missing from her practice. Very quickly, she decided that Buti was something that she wanted to pursue more in depth and in June of 2016 she became Buti Certified in Scottsdale, Arizona under Lead Master Trainer Tara Winterhalter. She hopes to expand the presence of Buti Yoga in Knoxville and eventually become RYT and Advanced Buti Certified in 2017.
Paul Simmons has been performing for over 21 years, and has been teaching improvisation for over 15 years. He has also taken many improv and acting courses through out the years as well. Paul currently performs every week with Einstein Simplified and is the last original member of that comedy improv troupe. He has enjoyed using his improv skills in multiple movies, as an emcee for many benefits, teaching high school and college students, and helping professionals with presentations so that their audiences remain engaged and entertained while learning. His approach to teaching improvisation comes from the joy of seeing people discover what they can do when they put no limits on themselves. He’s here to help you uncover the talents you have always had, and share them with the passion that he has for the art form. He firmly believes that anyone can learn to improvise.