Blue Ridge Performing Arts Academy

"Changing lives one step at a time"


Our staff are well-trained accredited professionals and are grateful to have the opportunity to teach the children in the Rocky Mount and surrounding communities. We strive to make dance, music and theater an exciting and fun experience for the entire family. We also have opportunities for our experienced Senior dancers to teach as well as many of them intend to continue teaching after high school. Below is information regarding our staff here at BRPAA.

Jennifer Young

Owner & Executive Artistic Director

Jennifer has been performing and teaching dance, music, and drama for more than 30 years. She studied under the direction of Ray Hollingsworth, Dr. Erma Rose, Gina and Gary Evans, Stan Kingma, Dr. Wayne Nelson, Mary Alice Bowman, Dr. Herbert Wray, and Carlton Wilkes. She is a graduate of Franklin County High School and studied music and computer science at Ferrum College. 

Jennifer has also been an actress and director for many plays including but not limited to Annie, Grease, Beauty and the Beast, Anything Goes, Pajama Game, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Elf

She has been married to her wonderful husband, Jeff, for 23 years and has two incredible daughters, Lynanne and Billie Jo and a handsome grandson, Urijah. She and her husband live with Jennifer's mother, Joyce Ann Jamison, as well as their two adorable Boston Terriers, Lucy and Lily.

Brittany Alexander

Associate Artistic Director

Brittany is a graduate of Franklin County High School and has danced for more than 25 years. She has competed with Dance Troupe, Inc. and received their Youth Dance Ambassador Award for two years. Brittany has won many special awards for choreography and entertainment as well as many overall placements and highest scoring routines.

Brittany's expertise is in the styles of jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and street funk. She goes to dance conventions yearly to learn new and exciting dance steps to teach to her students.

Brittany is married to her loving husband, Johnny, and has two energetic sons, Brynson and Jacob.

Katelyn Saunders

Assistant Artistic Director

Katelyn is a graduate of Franklin County High School, Virginia Western Community College, and Radford University. She has been dancing since the age of three. Katelyn has competed in multiple dance competitions and conventions including Pulse, Jump, DanceMakers, Inc., Dance Troupe, Inc., and Showstoppers where she won multiple awards. 

Katelyn's expertise is in the styles of jazz, tap, and clogging. She attends yearly conventions to learn new dance steps for her students.


In addition to the staff above who serve as the primary instructors, we have an additional teacher at BRPAA.

Will Smith

Ballet Master

Originally from Camden, New York, Will started dancing under Delia Foley (A.R.A.D.) and completed the Royal Academy of Ballet’s advanced syllabus with merit. He then attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City on a talent and merit scholarship where he graduated with a B.F.A. in dance, with an emphasis in ballet. 

Will has danced with the Kansas City Ballet, Montgomery Ballet, Albany Berkshire Ballet, Richmond Ballet, and Ballet Theater of Maryland. He has choreographed several ballet shows and was awarded the Virginia Commission of Arts Fellowship for Choreography in 2014. Will is also a ballet instructor at Roanoke Ballet Theater. We are so lucky to have him with us at BRPAA!