Director & Faculty

Dance Faculty

Jenni Nettleton, Markell School of Dance Director


Jenni Nettleton is an accomplished dancer who also has experience in choreography. She has choreographed for Project: Motion, the modern dance collective which she is a member, and Germantown Community Theatre. As a professional dancer with Project: Motion, she rehearses and performs regularly with other members and guest artists of note. Jenni’s other passion is theatre. She is currently in the Ph.D. program in English at the University of Memphis. Focusing on Modern and Contemporary Drama, Jenni is working on her dissertation on plays and performances that portray characters with physical disabilities. While studying for her doctorate, she has taught Introduction to Theatre and Introduction to Dance courses for the Theatre & Dance Department at the University of Memphis. Prior to joining the MJCC staff, Jenni worked for the Germantown Community Theatre as their Community Relations Coordinator and Box Office Manager. She looks forward to using her skills as a dancer, educator, and administrator for this position as the new director of the Markell School of Dance.


"I believe that every person should have an opportunity to learn to dance. Being a dancer isn’t just about being technically proficient; it’s also about being a role model, an advocate for dance, and, above all, a respectful person in and out of the classroom.” ~Jenni


Evan Hewer,  Ballet V & Company Ballet instructor dance instructors/Evan Hewer.jpg

Evan Hewer has danced professionally for both San Francisco Ballet and Ballet Memphis and has trained at many leading schools including Houston Ballet Academy, School of Ballet Chicago, and San Francisco Ballet School. He has performed works by George Balanchine, Julia Adam, Trey McIntyre, August Bournonville, William Forsythe, John Neumeier, Kenneth Macmillan, Michael Fokine, and Helgi Tomasson to name a few. Evan was selected to perform at the Assemble International for National Ballet of Canada School’s 50th Anniversary in 2009 and was also selected to perform in Monte-Carlo, Monaco at the Tremplin Jeune Ballet Festival in 2010. In 2009, Evan participated in a teacher training seminar taught by San Francisco Ballet Trainee Program Director Jean-Yves Esquerre.

 “I believe that every student should have access to dance instruction that can help them achieve whatever they want with their dance.” ~Evan


Debra Wexler, Ballet II & III, the Ballet V Pointe Prep class, and Company Ballet.

Debra began her early training at the Buffalo Ballet Center. Being in close proximity to New York, she studied at Harkness Ballet, School of American Ballet, American Ballet Theater, and Joffrey Ballet. At the age of 17, Debra was asked to join the Joffrey II Ballet. She was later accepted into the Maryland Ballet in Baltimore. Over the next ten years, she worked her way up from corps de ballet, soloist, then to principle dancer. Debra then began a family and transitioned into an instructional dance career. Debra taught at The Maryland Ballet school, the Baltimore School for the Arts and, when she and her family moved to Memphis, the Tennessee Ballet Company. Debra opened Germantown Academy of Ballet then later, Cordova Academy of Ballet and has taught children and pre-professional for the last twenty-six years. She was most recently the ballet instructor and part-owner of Plié, Pump, and Palette.

“The world of dance opens a whole new world to those who experience it.” ~Debra


 Alexis Jackson, Jazz & Dance Fusion instructor

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Alexis is from Sherveport, Lousiana and she has performed with, taught, and been the assistant instructor for the Carol Anglin Dancenter/Louisiana Dance Foundation. Alexis has been a member of Louisiana Dance Theatre for eight years prior to moving to Memphis. She has previously taught at Carol Anglin Dance Center for five years teaching many styles of dance (ballet, jazz, tap, and modern). She is currently working on a bachelors degree in both Greek and Roman Studies and Political Science at Rhodes College.

 “Dance is one of the few art forms where you express yourself in all forms, and watching students discover this craft not only makes you a better teacher, but a better person.” ~ Alexis


Carmen Savage, Hip Hop instructor dance instructors/Carmen Savage headshot.jpg

Carmen Savage is a native of Memphis, Tennessee. Carmen is a dancer and choreographer for Subculture Royalty Dance Company as well as a dancer for the Memphis Grizzlies GritGrind Squad. She has been dancing professionally for four years and she has been teaching dance for three years. Carmen is also a student at the University of Memphis pursuing a degree in Exercise Sports Science.


Marianne Bell, Tap instructor dance instructors/Marianne Bell Headshot.jpg

Marianne Bell is a graduate of The University of Memphis and Cornell Law School, and has been teaching tap dance in Memphis for three years.  Since 2000, she has choreographed and performed professionally with Metal Velvet Dance Project, Breeding Ground Dance Collective, Voices of the South, and Project: Motion. In December 2012, Marianne founded the Hot Foot Honeys, a tap performance group that is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and performing rhythm tap.  She regularly attends tap conferences throughout the country, including the St. Louis Tap Festival, Chicago’s Human Rhythm Project, and New York’s Tap City, in order to bring the latest and most innovative tap skills back to her students in Memphis.

“Tap dance provides both children and adults with an opportunity to experience the freedom of making their own music and rhythms, which gives them confidence to express themselves in every avenue of life.” ~Marianne


Sarah Bolton, Ballet III dance instructors/Sarah Bolton Headshot.jpg

Sarah Bolton has a BFA in dance from Belhaven University. She received her early training in classical ballet and modern dance from Gilbert Reed and Theresa Slobodnik in San Luis Obispo, California, and has performed with several professional dance companies, including Gilbert Reed Ballet, Entourage!, Performance Art Network, and Project: Motion. Sarah has taught ballet, pointe, modern, jazz, and musical theatre to students from ages 5-18 for the past 6 years. 

“'Why are you stingy with yourselves? Why are you holding back? What are you saving for—for another time? There are no other times. There is only now. Right now.’ These powerful words by renowned dancer, choreographer and ballet instructor, George Balanchine, remind me why I dance and why I love to teach dance to others.” ~Sarah



Noelia Warnette-Jones, Ballet I and Tap I classes dance instructors/Noelia Warnette Jones Headshot.jpg

Noelia Warnette-Jones is a native New Yorker. She has been dancing since the age of seven.  She is a graduate of the Alvin Aliey American Dance School where she trained professionally in dance.  She furthered her education and received her BFA in Dance from Marymount Manhattan College and came to Memphis in 2000 to join the University of Memphis Dance Department as an adjunct professor, teaching jazz and beginner ballet.  While teaching at the University of Memphis, she is currently a five year fulltime dance teacher for Shelby County Kirby High School.  She is a six year veteran of the Memphis Grizzlies Dance Team.  Her first debut in Musical Theatre was at Playhouse On The Square’s production HairSpray. Since then she has been in RagtimeFootloose, and was a dancer and choreographer for Legally Blonde.  She was Dorothy in The Wiz and Deena in Dream Girls at the Hattiloo Theatre, Lilly in Annie, Ronnette in Little Shop Of Horrors, and Mrs. Brown in the musical Camp Rock.  She just closed Chorus Line at Theatre Memphis as Diana Morales and as an ensemble dancer in The Color Purple.  Her film credits include Malcolm X as a principal dancer and body double for Jada Pinkette-Smith in the movie Bamboozled

“I have a passion for teaching students and developing the whole child.  I am honored to be apart of a wonderful and prestigious Dance School at the Markell School of Dance at the MJCC.  My goal is to turn these dancers from good to great.” ~Noelia


Tamara Prince-Parrish, Teen/Adult Ballet Instructor

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Tamara Prince-Parrish has been an active professional member of the arts community in Memphis, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, and Georgia through teaching, choreography, acting, and dancing for 13 years. She currently is an instructor the Teen/Adult Ballet Instructor at MJCC, an adjunct professor of dance at the University of Memphis, and Artistic Director & Founder of Bridging Souls Productions. Tamara was last seen in the Ensemble/Dance Captain of The Color Purple at Playhouse on the Square (2013). She ;has a B. F. A. in Theater and Dance from the University of Memphis (2003).

“I believe in teaching every student consistently in a nurturing way to help them fulfill their dance goals whether recreationally or professionally.” ~Tamara