Chip and Misty Harrison

Owners / Directors

Chip and Misty have owned Southern Dance Academy since 2008. Both grew up dancing and found each other through dance. Together they traveled throughout Europe and the Caribbean performing, teaching, and judging. They have won numerous National Championships, choreographed for many studios throughout the country, and taught at many national conventions and workshops. Chip and Misty have been fortunate to be featured on America’s Got Talent on two seasons, once making it to the semi finial round, and filmed a television show for TLC, “Down South Dance”, focused on the studio. Chip and Misty believe that dance can change lives and want to bring as many opportunities to their dancers as possible.

Emily Burgess

Combo Teacher

Emily Burgess has been dancing since she was three years old. A native of Gaffney, Emily has been trained in clogging, tap and ballet. She was a member of the Southern Jewels Clogging Team for 7 years. Emily is the proud wife to Adam and has two energetic daughters, Anna Grace and Emma, who are also students at SDA. Emily is a graduate of Limestone College and enjoys sharing her passion of dance in clogging and combo classes.

Keasha Currence

Hip Hop

Keasha is a native of SC and the director of SDA’s Hip Hop program. Keahsa grew up loving dance and pursued that passion by becoming a member of the Limestone Dance team. After graduating Keasha pursued her love of teaching dance while still training. She has trained with the Monsters of Hip Hop program, 411 Dance, and also attended numerous master classes. Keasha is currently the cheerleading and dance coach at High Point Academy. Keasha’s unique style of hip hop and energy makes her a great asset to SDA.

Claudia Fowler


Claudia Fowler was born and raised in Gaffney, SC. After working for twenty-eight years as both a teacher and a guidance counselor in Cherokee County Schools, she retired – but she’s never retired from teaching dance. Claudia fell in love with clogging at age six and has been teaching clogging for over fifty years. In fact, Claudia was the first contestant to use clogging as her talent in the Miss America pageant system. Claudia’s love of dance was passed down to her daughter, Julia Fowler, but Claudia often found herself travelling outside of her hometown community in search of quality dance education for Julia. So, in 1991, Claudia, her daughter, and her husband, Allen Fowler, opened a dance studio in Gaffney offering classes in tap, jazz, ballet, and clogging. After seventeen years of training students and building award winning dance teams, the Fowlers sold the dance studio to Chip and Misty Harrison and are thrilled that the studio has continued to flourish under their talented leadership.

Cheyenne Gibson

Jazz / Clogging

Cheyenne Gibson has been dancing with SDA since the age of 6. She is a dancerinstructor, steeped in every genre of dance! Her accomplishments and accolades include, 7 time CCANCHC National Championship titles with SDA teams and TNC Elite, 2014 NCHC National Champion Amateur Female Soloist, 6-time NCHC Dollywood All-Star, Inferno’s Top Female SoloArtist On Fire winner, Groove’s Instagram Featured “Inspired By Passion” Dancer, with multiple scholarships to Bellamoxi, Groove, and Inspire Dance Tours, and appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2016.

Julia Karriker

Teacher Assistant

Julia has been dancing at Southern Dance Academy since she was two years old. She has trained in tap, jazz, ballet, and contemporary. Julia has won numerous awards and scholarships while being a part of the Sr Trios and Jr competition teams. Julia has also trained at Broadway Dance Center and trained with numerous professionals. Julia is a student at Gaffney High School. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her family at the beach.

Jasmine Mills


Jasmine Mills is originally from Hendersonville, NC. She is a rising senior majoring in Theater at Limestone College. Jasmine is a member of the Limestone Acro team. She was a competitive gymnast for 11 years and was a level 10 tumbler. Jasmine  loves to teach and share her love of the sport.

Josiah Savage


Josiah Savage is originally from Georgia. Josiah has trained with the Hamburg Ballet in Germany, New Haven Ballet in Connecticut, the Georgia Ballet Company, and the Charlotte Ballet. He is currently working and studying with the Greenville Ballet.  Josiah shares his love and passion of ballet at a number of studios. He is excited to be on staff at SDA and to watch the growth of the dancers. Josiah believes that Ballet can change lives and improve all other forms of dance.

Hallie Smith

Teacher Assistant

Hallie been dancing at SDA since the age of three. During her years at the studio, she has trained in ballet, clogging, jazz, hip hop, tap, and contemporary. She is a senior member of multiple teams, which include contemporary, tap, and THE crew. Hallie has traveled to many states for dance and conventions and has taken classes at NYC’s Broadway Dance Center and Peridance Center.

Chip Summey


Chip Summey is a native of Ashville, NC. He is a nationally certified judge and clogging teacher. Chip has traveled to Europe, Australia, the Carribean, and throughout the US sharing his passion for Clogging. He is a regular on the workshop circuit and has held positions on the National Clogging and Hoedown Council and the Clogging Champions of America. Chip brings his infectious sense of humor and wealth of knowledge to every class.

Karena Thacker

Jazz / Tap / Contemporary

Originally from Burnsville, NC, Karena Thacker has been dancing for almost 30 years. She has studied numerous dance styles including tap, clogging, contemporary, jazz, hip hop, and more! She received her BFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Elon University, and is currently a freelance teacher and choreographer throughout the Carolinas!

Kristen Upchurch


Kristen grew up dancing at Julia’s School of Dance and Southern Dance Academy. After graduation she moved to assisting then directing clogging teams. She has directed National Champion teams and is an essential member of the SDA faculty. Kristen spends her free time with her loving family and working at Limestone University.