MEET OUR TEAM
Calli Jones was born and raised in Winder, GA. In 1994 she began her dance training under the direction of Janice Cater. She has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, hip-hop, musical theatre, modern, and pointe. In 2005, Calli performed in the Gator Bowl halftime show in Jacksonville and in 2006 she had the amazing opportunity to dance in New York City at Broadway Dance Center with her dance team. In 2013 she graduated from Brenau University with a BFA in Dance Studies. While at Brenau, Calli performed choreographed works from top choreographers such as CiCi Kelly, Cassandra Alvarado, Juel Lane, Danita Emma, Nikki Bybee, Vincas Greene, Jolie Long, and Diavolo Dance Theatre. While at Brenau she also performed with Dance 101, Fuse Dance Company, and Expansions Dance Company. After graduation she continued teaching for two years as the Artistic Director of Studio One located in Winder. In 2014, Calli opened the doors of INSPIRE School for the Arts. INSPIRE is entering into its 7th season of dance housing INSPIRE Dance Elite, an in-house competitive program, as well as over 200 students recreationally. INSPIRE was recognized as a studio of excellence three times in 2019 and is an affiliate with CLI Studios. Calli is currently pursuing her Certificate in Dance Education with NDEO’s Online Professional Development Institute with a concentration in choreography.
Samantha Peden fell in love with dance at three years old and has turned that love into her career! She is a Brenau University honors graduate with a B.A. in Dance Studies and a minor in Small Business Management. Samantha has been performing for 19 years and has trained in many styles of dance including Ballet, Jazz, Modern, and Pointe. Samantha grew up dancing in LaGrange Georgia at the LaGrange School of Performing Arts. While dancing at the LaGrange School of Performing Arts, Samantha danced as a senior company member. During her high school years, Samantha worked at Techniques School of Dance and Gymnastics as an assistant teacher for various classes. Samantha was also a member of the Senior Jazz Company for three years and attended many competitions across the state of Georgia. Samantha finished her residency with Brenau University in 2015 where she performed and choreographed in a total of eight shows hosted by the Brenau University Department of Dance. Samantha is thrilled to begin her sixth year working at INSPIRE as she loves being able to share her passion for dance with those in the community.
Autumn Fullington is a graduate of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga with a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology and Exercise Science. She has been involved in the art of dance for twenty years! Raised in Myrtle Beach, SC, at the age of four, she started her life long journey with dance. When her family eventually moved to Bogart, Ga she continued her education in dance at Oconee Youth School of Performance and was a member of the North Oconee High School Dance Team. Throughout the years she has been trained in Acrobatics, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Ballroom, and Clogging. Growing up she competed in many dance competitions including Star Power, Access Broadway, I Love Dance, Miss South Carolina Dance, and Dance Explosion. During her time at Georgia Southern University she became the captain of the Georgia Southern Explosion Dance Team. Autumn continued her love for dance as she transitioned from a student to a teacher while in college. She taught dance for four years at Helen Redding's School of Dance located in Statesboro, Ga. Here she taught Tap, Ballet, Jazz, and Tumbling. In addition to teaching at a studio, she worked at two dance supply stores. Now a college graduate, a wife, and a mother, Autumn has moved to the surrounding area to continue to share her passion for dance with those around her. Autumn has been teaching at INSPIRE School for the Arts for five years and is loving every minute of it!
Aaron James was born into a family of athletes, music lovers, and creators! So, it's no surprise that his favorite sport, basketball, had much to do with the professional dancer he is today. As he was on his high school varsity basketball team his grades took a slight drop and his parents decided to take him off the team to focus on school work more. Being the competitor, he is, Aaron found he could use his competitiveness in dance. Entering himself and his group of dance friends in dance battles around the southeast turned into forming his own dance crew & then eventually turned into a full-fledged professional dance career. Aaron has danced all over the country for many artists (major and independent) and has appeared on many movies and TV shows as an actor and/or dancer. Some of his credits include: America's Best Dance Crew, Pharrell, Little Big Town, T- Pain, CMT Awards, and Jacob Latimore. Mr. Aaron has been teaching at INSPIRE for five years and prides himself in helping to cultivate a true love and passion for dance in each of his students.
Kalli Drake was born and raised in Loganville, GA where she grew up dancing. She is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism, and she spent her college years performing and choreographing for the UGA Tap Dawgs. Kalli is trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and hip hop. She now lives in Athens, GA and has taught as a resident and guest teacher for studios in the area for the past 5 years. While her specialty is tap, Kalli also loves teaching contemporary, jazz, and musical theater. Her goal as a teacher is for her dancers to find their confidence and personal artistry through rhythm, groove, and expression. Kalli is currently pursuing a masters degree in higher education from Georgia Southern University and is excited for her second season with the INSPIRE family!
Ashley Atkins started dancing at the age of three. She had the amazing opportunity to dance in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Upon high school graduation she got her first professional dance job in “TEXAS” the outdoor musical in Canyon, Texas. Ashley went on to get her BFA in dance from Point Park University in the Conservatory of Performing Arts. After graduating from college Ashley began performing for Stiletto Entertainment with Holland America Cruise Lines. She performed on many different class ships including the Prinsendam, also known as the elegant explorer, as the featured dancer. Ashley held Company manager and dance captain positions as well. She then went on to perform in Las Vegas, NV and Branson, MO. Ashley then got the opportunity to dance on Princess Cruises where she was also the Company Performance Manager/Dance Captain. Ashley is now happy to have started a family and be back in her home state of Georgia sharing her knowledge and passion with the up and coming stars of tomorrow!
DaeSun Cupid is a dance teacher, choreographer, performer, actor, and creative director. He was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia where he attended John S. Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School for 7 years. Due to his outstanding achievements and hard work in both the field of dance and stage production, he was able to choreograph and assist with putting together numerous dance pieces for thousands of patrons. After engaging with local dance studios for several years he decided it was time for a new environment. He is now currently residing in Atlanta where he teaches numerous styles at various dance studios in the area acting as a leader in the local community. His credits include names such as YK Osiris, Saweetie, Leah Culver, BET, Tiffany Evans, Angelica Hale and Estelita Quintero La Diosa. He has also worked under prominent names such as Garth Fagan, Jamaica Craft and Fatima Robinson. He is now expanding upon and reaching others through his true passion, teaching. INSPIRE is thrilled to welcome Mr. DaeSun to our studio!
Erin began her dance training at the age of three, and it has remained an integral part of her life ever since. She was a company member at Gwinnett Ballet Theatre under the direction of Lisa Sheppard Robson. There, she performed lead roles in productions such as The Nutcracker, A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Alice in Wonderland, and Firebird. Erin attended Southeastern Regional Ballet Association festivals, including Regional Dance America’s National Festival in 2007. Erin attended summer workshops at North Carolina Dance Theatre, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Atlanta Ballet Theatre, and Joffrey Midwest. Erin has served as a ballet teacher, choreographer, and rehearsal coach since 2011, and loves to share her passion for classical ballet technique with young dancers. Erin has her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Early Childhood Education and is a Kindergarten teacher in Barrow County. When Erin isn’t teaching, she loves traveling the world with her husband, James.