PROFESSIONAL QUALITY INSTRUCTORS

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Joy Murphy (Owner, Instructor)

Joy is the founder of Dance With Joy Enterprises, Inc. She is a licensed ASCAP member, a certified Yoga instructor, a AFSA certified Group Fitness/Bootcamp instructor, a member of IDEA, a member of River Valley Arts Center and a member of Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce. Joy has served as the AR Regional Director of National Dance Week and a Board Member of the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center. Joy is the proud recipient the Beaux Arts award for Performing Artist of the year 2015. In 1978, she became an adjunct instructor for Arkansas Tech University .  Joy taught various dance and fitness classes for 38 years at ATU Continuing Education until the Department was dissolved in 2014. She opened her first studios in 1979, at the age of 19, in Russellville and Ozark. She traveled to many surrounding towns teaching children and adults, accumulating a studio family of over 300. Joy enjoyed many years competing in various styles of dance during 1986-1990. In 1992, she appeared in many tapings of the nationally televised show Club Dance, on the Nashville network TNN, showcasing her style of country dancing . In 2013, Joy worked at the College of The Ozarks as an adjunct instructor teaching an accredited Ballroom dance class. In 2014, Joy became a USUI Reiki Practicioner and a Young Living Essential Oils DistributorAs a former pageant circuit Queen, she serves as a judge and MC for talent/pageant competitions, community festivals and events. Joy has had the privilege of teaching up to 4 generations of families. She enjoyed teaching youth classes, showcasing their abilities and coaching them for competition. Joy continues to teach adult dance and fitness classes.In 1992, DWJ studio incorporated and became DWJ Enterprises, Inc. beginning a new journey as an entertainment arts studio. In 1995 Joy built a state of the art facility on Crow Mountain in Russellville, Arkansas. This is where it all happens now offering many styles of dance, acrobatics, tumbling, aerial dance, & fitness program.

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Lauren Underwood (Miss Lauren)

My name is Lauren Underwood! I am 18 years old and I have always had a passion for dance as long as I can remember. I have danced for 15 years and danced competitively for 6 of those years. I was a member of the Cabot High School Dance Team for 3 years and was chosen to be captain of the team my senior year. I will be attending Arkansas Tech this fall and pursuing a degree in elementary education because I have always loved working with younger students. I hope to make a lasting impact in every students life. My favorite styles of dance are tap, jazz, and hip hop, but I have danced nearly every style throughout my years of dancing. I am very excited to have received this opportunity and I can't wait to start teaching at Dance with Joy! I am so excited to meet everyone very soon!

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Rita Claire Jones (Miss Claire)

I am 20 years old from Rogers, Arkansas. I’m pursuing an elementary education degree from Arkansas Tech and hope to have a long impact on young students in the dance and education fields. I fell in love with dance as soon as I stepped on stage at age 4. I taught ballet, tap, tumble, and hip hop in Rogers for two years. My favorite styles are jazz and hip hop. I danced for ATU as a Golden Girl my freshman and sophomore years of college. I am excited to start teaching for Dance with Joy!

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I am 21 years old, a Beebe High School graduate. I am a Nursing Student at Arkansas Tech University. I have been dancing for 15 years, competitively for 8 years at Cabot Dance Academy. I've had a love for dancing since the second I stepped onto the dance floor. It has allowed me to become more confident in my everyday life and I hope that I can help my students do the same. My 6 year teaching experience is in recreational and competitive classes in the styles of jazz, musical theatre, lyrical, ballet, and tap. I am also CPR certified. My favorite styles are musical theatre and lyrical because of the story telling. I look forward to sharing my love of dance with you this year at DWJ.

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Jessica Askew-Russo
 

Jessica has 35 years of experience as a dancer and acrobat. She is the daughter of Mrs. Joy and took her first class at 12 months old. As a child, she participated and helped with every class that she could, even the adult classes. Throughout her childhood she competed and performed at various events, shows & dance competitions. One of her most memorable routines earned her a 1st Place Award at age 9 from Showbiz Dance Competition in the Student Choreography category. At age 15, she offered her first class at Dance With Joy as the sole instructor and was the first person in the area to offer hip hop classes! Over the years, Jessica has trained in many different genres including hip hop, jazz, tap, ballet, lyrical, aerial silks, aerial hoop, acrobatics, gymnastics, contemporary, clogging, belly dance, line dance, country & western, swing dance & more. She has also worked as a runway model, promotional model, actress, talent scout, dance competition judge & pageant judge