Pat Brown (Advisor and Founder)
Pat Brown first studied dance with Jane Hart in Hartford, Connecticut, and then at the Hartford Conservatory. She was trained in the Cicchetti method of ballet but believes that an eclectic approach to teaching and learning is the most beneficial for her students. After moving to Jackson, TN. from Upstate New York she opened the Pat Brown School of Dancing in 1963. She founded Ballet Arts, Inc along with Jacquelin Rolls was the Artistic Director of the local civic group Ballet Arts, Inc., since its beginning in 1972 – 20. Under her direction many master teachers and famous dancers from various parts of the world and the United States have performed for Jackson audiences. In 1999 the Tennessee Association of Dance awarded Ms. Brown “Dance Teacher of the Year.”
“Miss” Pat has taught and touched the lives of young people that have gone on to careers in dance, as dancers, actors, singers and dance teachers. She is proud of those that work in the business and professional world, are homemakers and are parents of new dancers. She enjoys the visits of her former students and likes to see the added generations in her classes.
Kim (Brown) Turner (Owner)
Kim Turner has been part of the dance studio for over 30 Years. As a child she started classes at age 3 and continued through high school. Her training with her mother, Pat Brown, prepared her to be an asset to the studio. After a brief absence she took over teaching in the satellite schools in Dyersburg, Corinth and Savannah. When the enrollment in the Jackson studio increased, Kim concentrated on the acrobatic, lyrical, tap, hip hop, and preschool programs at the Jackson studio.
Kim’s expertise in Acrobatic Arts (Certified) tumbling training is widely known to the mid south. Her students come to her from surrounding areas. She has trained dancers that have won places on University dance teams across Tennessee and Mississippi.
Kim brings a warmth and friendliness to the studio in her work with the “babies”. Her gentle but firm guidance with the young classes have helped develop many shy children into confident and budding ballerinas. Hip Hop classes taught by “Miss Kim” are popular with the dancers and Kim continues to educate herself by going to teacher conferences and training workshops.
Ashley Mc Knight began dancing around the age of five with Rosemary Tall-Dehart at the London Dance Academy in Las Vegas. As she got older, her studies included the famous Royal Academy of England, (R.A.D.) Technique. She passed all formal dance examinations pre-primary through Grade 8.
Ashley received her BS in Education at University of Nevada, which makes her knowledgeable to teach our younger dancers. She married and took time off to start her family.
In 2006 her family moved to Jackson and she began working with Pat Brown School of Dancing where she has been on staff for 4 years.. She is married to Robert McKnight and has two children, Mikey and Isabella. Ashley is a teacher for the Milan Schools., but continues to follow her love of dance by teaching with the Pat Brown Studio.
Kelly Bryan is a Jackson native and an alumna of Pat Brown School of Dancing, where she trained for 13 years and participated in the student-teacher program. She was a member of Ballet Arts of Jackson for eight years. Along with Ballet Arts Summer Intensives, Kelly attended the Rockette Summer Intensive in New York City and Governor’s School for the Arts. After graduating high school from the University School of Jackson, she continued her education at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville where she majored in Recreational Therapy and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Education.
While in Knoxville, she served as a counselor at several camps for individuals with special needs and worked recreational workshops helping those with unique abilities. Kelly has worked in a variety of facilities such as skilled nursing, therapeutic horseback riding, and youth behavioral health helping residents and participants find alternative ways to achieve their goals and increase their quality of life. Along with teaching dance classes, she is also currently working as the Program Assistant at the Therapy and Learning Center here in Jackson.
Kelly trained with the very best at Pat Brown School of Dancing and is excited to use what she has learned with her very own classes this year!
Nicole Hewitt-Hicks has been involved with music, cheer, dance and color guard entities for over 48 years. She began dance at the age of 3 at The Pat Brown School of Dancing and has choreographed several works for pageants, band shows, color guards, weddings, cheer squads and dance teams in West Tennessee and in the surrounding states of Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Georgia. She has had formal training in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and modern. She has won over 10 National Championship titles in cheer and dance and performed in the 1996 Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA. She is currently a history professor at Lane College and coaches cheerleading from the elementary to the collegiate level. She consistently sponsored a large school group to travel to Orlando, Florida, every year to compete on the national level in cheer and dance. She volunteers for the Madison County Parks and Recreation cheer division and has grown her squad, “PinkNation” to help young aspiring cheerleaders and dancers to make their schools’ team. She is married to Darrin and they have one son, Nicolas.
Sharla Patton Key
Sharla Patton Key is a 36 year old graduate of Jackson Central Merry High School in Jackson, TN. She graduated with honors from The University of Memphis in 2005 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater and Dance. Her accomplishments include choreographing the opening number for the Miss Bronze West Tennessee Scholarship Pageant sponsored by The Jackson (TN) Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. for the past 16 years and she has served as its production chairperson for the last 5 years. In addition to the production chair, she now serves as chair of the pageant. Other accolades include choreographing dance numbers for churches and other organizations and assisting with productions. She graduated from Jackson State Community College in May 2017 as a Registered Nurse and is currently employed by West Tennessee Healthcare where she previously specialized in Respiratory care but now utilizes her skills in the Labor and Delivery Department. Her personal life includes her 15 year marriage to her high school sweetheart, Brandon Key, and the addition of their 4 children, Brayden(10), Bryleigh(7), Brooklyn(2) and most recently Bryanna(1). In spite of a busy life she finds time to volunteer with her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, serving as past chairperson of the Nominating Committee as well as an active role in her church, Journey, serving in their nursery and as a spokesperson for their “informational videos”.
Megan Jones was born in Southern California. While living in California, Megan spent many years on stage in both dance and musical theater. She danced at The Dance Factory for many years; tap always being a favorite. She also participated in youth repertory theater as both a cast member and an assistant director.
Megan moved to West Tennessee in 2004 to attend Freed-Hardeman University, majoring in Special Education. She is married and has two children. Her oldest daughter has been a dance student at Pat Brown for the last 6 years.
Megan is thrilled to upgrade her “Dance Mom” title to “Dance Staff” at Pat Brown School of Dance.
Amber Hobbs found a passion for dance in her early teens when she first learned Hebrew and folk dancing. This love for dance quickly became her focus and she started choreographing and performing for many church events. At 17 she watched Riverdance with her friends and was captivated. They hired Wendy Windsor from the Scott Ellis School of Irish Dance in Franklin to come teach them workshops. These workshops eventually led to the formation of an Irish dance troupe that would tour and perform.
Amber’s love of dance and self-discipline led to her becoming the head instructor and choreographer of the 50+ member Irish dance troupe named Windance. Windance performed in festivals all across Tennessee and drew crowds with their high energy and unique dances. Windance went on to perform at the Jackson Mississippi Celtic Fest multiple times and at the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas.
Amber hopes to pass on her enjoyment of dance and strong work ethic. She brings a sense of community to her classes as well as helping students individually excel.